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

Remove 12: Turning back, “Two miles from the Connecticut River”

Weetamoo's party continued northward, heading toward sanctuary and alliance with the people and places further upriver. Yet, as they moved toward the northeast, Weetamoo, seemingly suddenly, had to “turn back" along the trail. As Neal Salisbury has noted, “Weetamoo was undoubtedly turning back because her own child . . . was too sick to travel.” As a mother, she had to get to a location where she could tend to her child, and perhaps get access to the plants or medicine people that she needed. 

This area of the Connecticut River Valley had begun to produce the spring plants that Native women relied upon. At this location, Rowlandson joined a group that gathered apenak, a spring legume known as groundnuts. Medicine plants such as jack-in-the-pulpit also grew here. 

Weetamoo's husband, Quinnapin, continued in his journey, leading others north. He may have been heading toward Ktsi Mskodak, another Sokwakik intervale, which hosted intertribal gatherings during the war, to the "pine tree place" of Koasek, further upriver, which became a key gathering place that summer, or even eastward to Ashuelot, a meeting place between Kwinitekw and Penacook. In these Abenaki communities, Quinnapin and other leaders may have built or strengthened the alliances that would provide forces for spring raids and provide shelter for the families who traveled upriver with him.

Weetamoo, on the other hand, took a small party back southward on the riverside trail, with her captive, and rejoined the larger encampments in Sokwakik and Pocumtuck. She remained on Kwinitekw until she received word from Quinnapin, that they might move on once more, toward Wachusett. 

Click here to view these locations in the map of Mary Rowlandson's removes or in the interactive story map.

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