John Oldham and Several of His Crew are Killed by Narragansett-Allied Indians

On July 20, 1636, a respected trader named John Oldham was attacked on a trading voyage to Block Island.

He and several of his crew were killed and his ship looted by Narragansett-allied Indians who sought to discourage English settlers from trading with their Pequot rivals. In the weeks that followed, colonial officials from Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, assumed the Narragansett were the likely culprits. Knowing that the Indians of Block Island were allies of the Eastern Niantic, who in turn were allied with the Narragansett, Puritan officials became equally suspicious of the Narragansett. Even so, the colonial English response to Oldham's death, the last in a series of escalating incidents, has traditionally been viewed as the beginning of the Pequot War.

The 1636, John Oldham, a respected trader and friend of the Narragansetts, was murdered in his boat off Block Island. The murderers were Block Islanders, tributaries to the Narragansetts, however, they escaped capture and were given safe haven by the Pequots.