New England Confederation Declares War on Native Americans Following Multiple Attacks on Settlements

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).

Massachusetts Bay, the largest of the colonies, quickly discovered that too much authority had been surrendered to its smaller neighbors. As a result, when the Bay Colony faced an unpopular decision of the Confederation, it simply ignored the instruction. The Connecticut settlements lived in the shadow of the Dutch in the New Netherland and obtained the necessary votes for participation in the Anglo-Dutch conflict of the 1650s. Distant Massachusetts Bay refused to honor the summons to action. Not surprisingly, the Confederation's influence declined sharply from this time forward, but a brief revival occurred during the bitter conflict of King Philip’s War (1675-76).