So Dreadfull A Judgment. Puritan Responses to King Philip's War, 1676-1677. Richard Slotkin & James K. Folsom, editors, 1978. Wesleyan University Press, Middletown CT


The Puritans own accounts of the war, with analysis by the editors, and a bibliography. The ministers were loons, and some of the soldiers reasonable. There are reports of the war by Increase Mather, Benjamin Thompson, Thomas Wheeler, Samuel Nowell, Mary Rowlandson and Benjamin Church. The war and these reports have been in and out of favor or consciousness thru the centuries, and were the sources for the hugely successful early 19th century play Metamora.


The colonists have gotten a lot of flack for drawing and quartering Philip, and displaying his head on a pike for years at Plimoth. This is supposed to be a racist barbarity. But - I've been reading a biography of Daniel Defoe (~1661-1730), who was involved in some of the violence surrounding the royal successions in the late 17th century. Hanging, then drawing and quartering, and displaying the heads was "standard practice" for punishing traitors. The British did it to thousands of their own countrymen. Philip presumably would have disagreed, but he was seen by the Puritans as a rebellious British subject.

2/2000 David Kew

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