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Mt. Sugarloaf showing King Philip's Seat
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The legend of King Philip (Metacom or Metacomet) grew in the years after King Philip's War (1675-76). Philip was seen as a sinister figure, a mastermind who had brought together all of the tribes of New England into a combined force to fight the English. But New England's Indians acted in a number of different ways during the war: some did attack together, others fought with the English, while still others sought neutrality and peace. In the end all were deeply impacted by its devastating effects. For most English settlers making distinctions between tribes was impossible. And in their minds at the center of the conflict stood Philip. He seemed everywhere, especially in the mid-Connecticut Valley. Among the many legends that grew from this period was one that Philip had spent the winter and spring of 1676 camped on the slopes of Mt. Sugarloaf, near Deerfield, Massachusetts. Although this notion was solidly debunked on good evidence as early as 1876, the idea persisted, as evidenced by this postcard produced nearly forty years later.
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