Massasoit măs˝əsoi´ĭt, măs´əsoit˝ [key], c.1580–1661, chief of the Wampanoag. His name was Ousamequin (spelled in various ways); Massasoit is a title of leadership. One of the most powerful native rulers of New England, he went to Plymouth in 1621 and signed a treaty with the Pilgrims, which he faithfully, if warily, observed until his death. He befriended Roger Williams and was a friend of Edward Winslow. In 1632 he fought his enemy, Canonicus, ruler of the Narragansett. Massasoit's son Pumetacom, or Metacomet, became famous as King Philip (see King Philip's War).
See biography by A. G. Weeks (1919).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: North American indigenous peoples: Biographies