Swansea’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of King Philip’s War

King Philip’s War broke out in Swansea on June 22, 1675 and changed the course of history for both the Pokanoket Tribe and the colonists who had occupied the area starting in 1653. Two hundred years later, the Town of Swansea held a Grand Celebration, described in these news articles uncovered by Swansea resident George Petrin in December 2022. Above, a poster from the event is on display at the Luther Store Museum.

Even 200 years later there was no disguising that the motive for the War on the part of the colonists “with barbarous foes” was “for the ownership of the soil” and was seen as “one of the greatest events in our colonial history.” No mention is made of the devastation on the Pokanokets and other tribes who saw the near genocide of their people and culture, a fact only recently begun to be acknowledged.

Click here for pictures of a 1914 celebration of Sowams held in Warren, RI that included a pageant that celebrated the Massasoit Ousamequin.