King Philip’s War and Sudbury Fight

King Philip’s War is considered by many historians to be the deadliest war in Colonial American history. In the space of little more than a year, 12 towns were destroyed, the colonial economy was all but ruined and the population was decimated. Sudbury itself was the scene of a brutal battle in April 1676 between the town’s Puritan settlers and the area’s Nipmuc warriors. Click here for a 46-minute video of a presentation by Historian Richard Smith posted on December 6, 2022.

Smith discusses the causes of the War, how it affected both the colonists and Indigenous people of Sudbury, and the ramifications of what has been called the greatest calamity in seventeenth-century New England.

The Sudbury Fight (April 21, 1676) was a battle of King Philip’s War fought in both current day Sudbury and Wayland, MA. Approximately five hundred Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and Narragansett Native Americans raided the frontier settlement of Sudbury in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. 

About one third of the entire Native population was killed, their villages destroyed, and the remainder, who the colonists believed to have been involved, where caught, killed or shipped into slavery in Bermuda. Some Native americans did not fight against the colonists but fought with them, and those people were spared. This war was not only devastating to the Native population, but divisive as well. There were no winners, but the Indigenous people lost more than anyone else, individually and as tribes.”