The village of the Pequot Indians

The figure of the Indians’ fort or palizado in New England and the manner of the destroying it by Captayne Underhill and Captayne Mason / RH, 1638 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Pequot War (1636-1637)

Though the major engagements of the Pequot War took place within a two-year span, the conflict had much earlier roots. After years of confrontations over land, trade, and livestock, the Connecticut Colony formally declared war on the Pequot and their allies on May 1, 1637. At the time of the war, the Pequot resided in what is now southeastern Connecticut. The conflict drew in numerous Native American tribes who fought on both sides all across the Connecticut Colony and in parts of Rhode Island. The war culminated with the 1638 Treaty of Hartford, which outlawed the Pequot language and name, seized tribal lands, and disbanded the surviving Pequot, who were given to the victors as spoils of war or sold into slavery. Today, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in southeastern Connecticut is proof of a people’s endurance and a collaborative project funded by the National Park Service is under way to identify and preserve sites associated with the Pequot War.


Pequot bowl, trade item, 17th century

Causes of the Pequot War

The outbreak of the Pequot War is best understood through an examination of the cultural, political, and economic changes after the arrival of the Dutch (1611) and English (early 1630s). …[more]

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The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut. “1637 - The Pequot War,” 2016. Link.
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. “Battlefields of the Pequot War,” 2016. Link.
“Pequot War Timeline.” Battlefields of the Pequot War, 2016. Link.


“Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center,” 2017. Link.


Tinker, John. “Map - Plan of the Pequot Country and Testimony of Uncas, Casasinomon, and Wesawegun.” Manuscript Map - Photostatic Copy. Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Library, 1662. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Haynes, John, Edward Hopkins, Roger Ludlow, Miantonomo, and Uncas. “Treaty of Hartford,” September 21, 1638. Yale University, Yale Indian Papers Project. Link.
Yale University. “Yale Indian Papers Project,” 2007. Link.


Mason, John. A Brief History of the Pequot War (1736). Edited by Paul Royster. Electronic Texts in American Studies, 1736. Link.
Gardiner, Lion, and W. Dodge. A History of the Pequot War, or, a Relation of the War Between the Powerful Nation of Pequot Indians, Once Inhabiting the Coast of New-England, Westerly from Near Narraganset Bay and the English Inhabitants, in the Year 1638. Cincinnati, OH: J. Harpel for W. Dodge, 1860. Link.
Shepard, James. Connecticut Soldiers in the Pequot War of 1637. Electronic Texts in American Studies. Meriden, CT: The Journal Publishing Company, 1913. Link.
Mather, Increase, and Samuel Gardner Drake. Early History of New England: Being a Relation of Hostile Passages Between the Indians and European Voyagers and First Settlers: And a Full Narrative of Hostilities, to the Close of the War with the Pequots, in the Year 1637 ; Also a Detailed Account of the Origin of the War with King Philip. Albany, NY: J. Munsell, 1864. Link.
Orr, Charles, ed. History of the Pequot War; the Contemporary Accounts of Mason, Underhill, Vincent and Gardener. Cleveland, OH: The Helman-Taylor Company, 1897. Link.
Vaughan, Alden T. New England Frontier; Puritans and Indians, 1620-1675. Boston, Ma: Little, Brown, 1965.
Underhill, John. Newes from America; Or, A New and Experimentall Discoverie of New England; Containing, A Trve Relation of Their War-like Proceedings These Two Yeares Last Past, with a Figure of the Indian Fort, or Palizado. Edited by Paul Royster. Electronic Texts in American Studies. London, 1638. Link.
Cave, Alfred A. The Pequot War. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996.


McBride, Kevin, and Laurie Pasteryak Lamarre. “Exploring and Uncovering the Pequot War,” Fall 2013. Link.
Landry, Alysa. “Native History: It’s Memorial Day—In 1637, the Pequot Massacre Happened.” Indian Country Today, May 26, 2014. Link.