Date of Award

Spring 2011

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Cynthia van Zandt


This study examines the role that Indians played in King Philip's War. It argues that Indians and Indian fighting tactics saved the colonies from destruction. This contention relies heavily on the assertion that February 1676 was the turning point in the war. Chapter I reexamines the role that Indian spies and informants played in King Philip's War, and argues that they saved the colonies from surprise attacks on major settlements. Chapter II argues that "friendly" Indians played a significant role as counterinsurgents against a common enemy. Additionally, they provided extra numbers at a time when the colonial militias suffered from impressment derelictions. Finally, Chapter III shows that only after the colonial militia adopted Indian skulking tactics did they successfully repel Philip's forces. In summation, this thesis argues that colonial authorities organized English-Indian companies after a complete economic collapse in February 1675/6. It was this Indian alliance that led them to victory.