Native Americans Attack Lancaster in Plymouth Colony

The war quickly spread, and soon involved the Podunk and Nipmuck tribes.

During the summer of 1675 the Native Americans attacked at Middleborough and Dartmouth (July 8), Mendon (July 14), Brookfield (August 2), and Lancaster (August 9). In early September they attacked Deerfield, Hadley, and Northfield (possibly giving rise to the Angel of Hadley legend.) The New England Confederation declared war on the Native Americans on September 9, 1675. The next colonial expedition was to recover crops from abandoned fields for the coming winter and included almost a hundred farmers/militia. They got careless and were ambushed and soundly defeated in the Battle of Bloody Brook (near Hadley) on September 18, 1675. The attacks on frontier settlements continued at Springfield (October 5) and Hatfield (October 16).

Deep-seated resentment bubbled to the surface, and neighbors became enemies. The war, marked by Native American raids on the colonists’ settlements and the colonists’ retaliation, didn’t end until Philip’s death in 1676. Chaos and violence characterized the raids on British towns: in Lancaster, for example, a number of Native Americans arrived at sunrise and opened fire on the town, using guns they had acquired in trade or in warfare with other settlers.