The Wampanoag and the Arrival of the Pilgrims with Linda Coombs

Speaking on a History Camp Interview on February 4, 2021, Linda Jeffers Coombs (Aquinnah Wampanoag), author and historian, discussed the Wampanoag’s experience with the pilgrims’ arrival as well as the effects of an epidemic that swept through and devastated the region just before the pilgrims arrived. Click here for the 51-minute video.

Ms. Coombs was interviewed by Lee Wright and Carry Lund of History Camp and began by talking about some of the many times that Native men were captured by Europeans along the coast of New England and sold into slavery in Spain, including Epenow who was able to trick  Sir Ferdinando Gorges into returning him to Martha’s Vineyard where he escaped.


Coombs talked about Verrazanno’s voyage which was the first to record a description of the Native people in Narragansett Bay. She went on to talk about how a game similar to football was sometimes played by Native warriors between two tribes to resolve differences rather than going to war.


Coombs explained the mutual aid treaty that the Pokanoket Massasoit struck with the English in March, 1621 that guaranteed that each would come to the aid of the other if attacked. That treaty was ignored after the Massasoit’s death in 1661, eventually leading to the conflict known as King Philip’s War in 1675.