Our Beloved Kin: Remapping A New History of King Philip's War

Mohegan Diplomacy & James Printer’s release

The violence in the Connecticut River Valley fueled the vitriol and apprehension that led to the capture and imprisonment of James Printer and his relations at Okkanamesit at the end of August. Yet it was also crucial to his redemption. As the missionary Daniel Gookin noted, Native actions at Pocumtuck led settlers to argue that “all the Indians” would prove “false and perfidious.” Although Gookin tried to assuage the fears and impulses of his fellow colonists, particularly regarding the mission communities, such suspicions fueled the containment of “neighbor Indians” at places like Hadley (Nonotuck) and Marlborough (Okkanmesit), ironically, creating stronger grounds for Native resistance. The Connecticut Valley was one more Native place that could not be contained, moving settlers to turn their attention to the visible Indians among them.

At the same time, colonists’ reliance on Native allies, like Attanwood’s Mohegan company, and scouts, like Job Kattenanit, intensified. When Lathrop and his forces were ambushed on the west side of the Great Beaver, as they attempted to retrieve both corn and colonists from Deerfield, it was a Mohegan company that came to their rescue, with reinforcements from Connecticut colony. The Mohegan delegation likewise used its invaluable position to argue for the fair treatment of James Printer and his kin. James's trial began on the same day as the ambush. The networks of alliance during the war were complex and always intertwined. The Mohegans’ recent conflicts with Native people of the Valley was a motivating factor for their participation, while their relationships of alliance and protection with Nipmuc towns led to their advocacy for James and his relations, who they knew to be innocent of the acts of violence for which they were accused. [1]

No signs at "Bloody Brook" acknowledge the assistance of Mohegan men in the battle on Pocumtuck land, nor are the stories and sacrifices of James Printer and his kin marked on the land at Marlborough or Boston.
[1] Gookin, Historical Account, 450. Schultz and Tougias, King Philip's War, 163. Oberg, Uncas, 178–9. 

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