Pequot War of 1637: Summary & Timeline

Pequot War of 1637: Summary & Timeline
Coming up next: Peter Stuyvesant: Biography & Facts

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Background of Pequot War
  • 1:22 English Expansion
  • 2:50 A Lopsided War
  • 4:04 Backlash and Legacy
  • 4:51 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Adam Richards

Adam has a master's degree in history.

Between 1636 and 1637, one of the first engagements between the Native Indians and the English Puritans transpired in the newly formed colony of Connecticut. Learn about the preliminary events, the conflict, and the outcome of the Pequot War.

Background of Pequot War

The decade of the 1630s in colonial America was a time of great migration and expansion. Each year produced a growing stream of English to the eastern shores of America. Massachusetts had been established as a powerful colony. Northern Connecticut was on the rise; however, land was becoming less available. In order to remedy this situation, the English, more specifically the Puritans (technically, for the sake of historical accuracy, this group should be called the New English Puritans to differentiate between colonial Puritans and those still in England), pursued territory in the southern Connecticut region, more specifically the Mystic River Valley. This was home to the Pequot Indians, and the expansion of the authoritative white settlers into the region was not welcomed by the Pequot.

War was inevitable. As the English began encroaching on the territory of the Pequot and establishing draconian policies, the Pequot Indians held their ground. Ultimately, the Pequot War of 1637 ensued. The battle raged for the entirety of 1637, with the Puritans utilizing small battalions, as well as the Narragansett and Mohegan Indians as proxy soldiers against the determined Pequot. The battle was largely lopsided, ending in an English Puritan victory.

English Expansion

As mentioned, the English looked to expand into southern Connecticut. The Mystic River Valley offered tremendous land benefits and a valuable river transport, not to mention it would enlarge the English sphere of influence and power. By mid-1636, the English moved into the region and quickly pursued policies and actions in the hope of driving the Pequot off of the land. Colonists required Pequot Indians to pay extortionate sums of wampum (the native form of currency), provide their children for labor, and surrender any individual who was accused of crimes against the English. Additionally, the English, led by John Endicott, launched a surprise attack on the Pequot at Block Island, Rhode Island.

The Pequot were willing to accept the new policies in order to remain within the Mystic River Valley; however, they viewed the Endicott raid as a provocation of war. In response to this encounter, the Pequot began organizing plans of guerrilla warfare against their adversary. Between the end of 1636 and April 1637, the Pequot attacked the English twice, resulting in burned homes and facilities, damaged farm land, and several casualties. The surprise attacks at Saybrook and Wethersfield, Connecticut, prompted an English response.

The English quickly organized small battalions of colonists, as well as employing the assistance of the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes, both of whom had a long rivalry with the Pequot. Relations had hit a melting point.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support