Muttawmp

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Muttawmp (? - died September, 1676 in Boston) was a sachem of the Nipmuc Indians in the middle of 17th century, originally based in Quaboag.[1] He participated in King Philip's War. Muttawmp took part in most of the major engagements of the war and was one of the most important chiefs who fought for Metacomet (King Philip).

Muttawmp had actually converted to Christianity and had become a Praying Indian. However, when Metacomet began organizing the local tribes so that they could rise against the English, Muttawmp, together with another Nipmuc sachem, Matoonas, foreswore Christianity and decided to join him.[1] As a consequence he led the successful attack on Brookfield in which, among others, Edward Hutchinson, son of the dissident preacher Anne Hutchinson, was mortally wounded.[2]

He was also the Nipmuc leader in the Battle of Bloody Brook on September 12, 1675, near South Deerfield, Massachusetts, in which fifty one English soldiers and seventeen colonial teamsters were killed, including Captain Thomas Lathrop; it was the battle itself which caused the name of the place to change from "Moody Brook" to "Bloody Brook", supposedly, because the stream near the battlefield turned red with blood.[3][4]

In October of the same year Muttawmp surrounded Hatfield, Massachusetts with 800 men and tried to draw the colonists out by setting fires outside of town. However, the militia within the town resisted the temptation to come out in force and only sent out a ten men party to investigate, nine of whom were killed or captured by the Nipmucs, while the tenth made it back into town and warned the colonists.[5]

On April 21, 1676, Muttawmp, with five hundred Native American warriors, routed the English in one of the most famous battles of King Philip's War, the attack on Sudbury, Massachusetts.[6]

Later in the war, running out of supplies because of the colonists' scorched earth tactics, Muttawmp tried to make peace with the English. Muttawmp was promised by Richard Waldron that he would be allowed to live if he turned himself in. Waldron, however broke that promise and executed Muttawmp in Boston in September 1676.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bourne, pg. 127
  2. ^ Bonfanti, pg. 28
  3. ^ Schultz and Tougias, pg. 173
  4. ^ Schultz and Tougias, pg. 51
  5. ^ Bonfanti, pg. 61
  6. ^ Schultz and Tougias, pg. 60
  7. ^ Bourne, pg. 142
  8. ^ Schultz and Tougias, pg. 69

Works cited[edit]

  • Eric B. Schultz and Michael J. Tougias, "King Philip's War. The History and Legacy of America's Forgotten Conflict", Countryman Press, 1999
  • Russell Bourne, "The Red King's rebellion: racial politics in New England, 1675-1678", Oxford University Press US, 1991, [1]
  • Leo Bonfanti, "Biographies and legends of the New England Indians: Volume 3 ", Pride Publications, 1972