By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

1675-1678: The King Philip’s War

1675-1678: The King Philip’s War

Story Reference Date: 06/25/1675

The King Philip’s War started on Jun 20, 1675, and ended on Apr 12, 1678. An elderly Roger Williams played a key role in the conflict. At the urging of Roger Williams, the Narragansett natives maintained neutrality during the early months of King Phillip’s War.

Later in 1676, a large army of about 3,500 native warriors led by chief sachem Canonchet marched north along the coast destroying towns. Roger went out to meet with the native leaders. Their discussions began with Roger scolding the Narragansett for becoming involved in the war. That led nowhere so he attempted to bluff them by saying they were not good fighters, and that 100 English could hold them off. His bluff was called and the Narragansett accepted a face off. He reacted by doing what he was known to do best, negotiate. He asked for the Narragansett to give him their demands so he could negotiate for them. His proposal was rejected. When Roger turned to walk away. He was warned by the natives that there were some young braves on his side of the river that might ‘do him some mischief,’ and he could safely return to the blockhouse by walking along the water’s edge.

The natives burned most of Providence. Roger’s home and crops were among those burned. Roger survived and helped rebuild Rhode Island, but mainly focused on Providence. For a time, he lived in his son Joseph’s home. He lead the first meeting after the war outside under a tree.

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