A Community Reading of William Apess’s Eulogy on Metacom

Why is it that historic figures such as Samuel Adams, James Otis, and John Hancock are remembered as heroes, yet Metacom—the Pokanoket leader whom the English called King Philip—is virtually unknown? The year 2025 will mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating and bloody conflict between New England colonists and Indigenous people that is most commonly known to history as King Philip’s War. However, very little is known about his campaign to end English mistreatment and his fight for independence and property rights for his people. Click here for the 122-minute video recording.

(Above, left) Moderating the evening’s program was J. Cedric Woods (Lumbee), Director of INENAS. (Above, right) John Dozier of Revolutionary Spaces was proud to celebrate the legacy of both Apess and Metacom at a May 10, 2023 community Reading of William Apess’s Eulogy on King Philip (Metacom), which commemorated the ideals for which they fought—ideals that were not so different from those that Americans fought for in 1775.

(Above, left) Drew Lopenzina, Professor of Early American and Native American Literature at Old Dominion University, provided historical context for the eulogy and the 19th-century events that informed Apess’s writing. He was followed by Robert Peters of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Tara Mayes of the Nipmuc Tribe.

Guest speakers then read excerpts from the eulogy followed by a brief panel discussion to critically address the history of Native American conversion to Christianity, the significance of King Philip’s War, and the importance of Apess’s eulogy.