(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
Little is known about the experience of Native Americans living in southern New England during the 19th century. Not many people wrote about them at that time. The life and writings of William Apess help us know a bit more. Apess was a Methodist minister with strong religious beliefs. His mother and grandparents were Pequots but White people raised Apess after the age of 4. Apess' high praise for King Philip went against what the White people usually said about the Wampanoag leader King Philip and King Philip's War (1675-1676). Apess wanted to better King Philip's good name and draw attention to the wrongs done by "pilgrims" upon "Indians". At a time when most Americans remembered King Philip as the cruel and faithless leader of an Indian rebellion, Apess turned the accepted history of the war on its head, calling Philip "the greatest man that was ever in America."