The New Student's Reference Work/Massasoit
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Massasoit (măs'sȧ-soit'), a chief of the Pokanoket or Wampanoag Indians, ruled over most of southern Massachusetts from Cape Cod to Narragansett Bay. His tribe, once some 30,000 in number, shortly before the landing of the English had lost all but about 300 by pestilence. In 1621, three months after Plymouth had been founded, Massasoit and 60 warriors, armed and painted, came to the settlement and made a treaty of peace. This treaty was kept for 50 years, and Massasoit always was friendly to the settlers. His home was where Warren, R. I., now stands, and here he entertained Roger Williams for several weeks when on his way to Providence after being banished from Massachusetts. Massasoit was honest, kept his word and loved peace. He died in 1661. His son Pometacom, on his father's death, went to Plymouth and asked to be given an English name. He was named Philip, and became the leader in King Philip's war.