Why is it that historic figures such as Samuel Adams, James Otis, and John Hancock are remembered as heroes, yet Metacom—the Wampanoag leader whom the English called King Philip—is virtually unknown? The year 2025 will mark the 350th anniversary of the devastating and bloody conflict between New England colonists and Indigenous people that is most commonly known to history as King Philip’s War. However, very little is known about his campaign to end English mistreatment and his fight for independence and property rights for his people. Throughout the 1830s, Willam Apess, a Pequot minister and activist, continued fighting for Indian rights. Revolutionary Spaces is proud to celebrate the legacy of both Apess and Metacom at A Community Reading of William Apess’s Eulogy on King Philip (Metacom), where we commemorate the ideals for which they fought—ideals that were not so different from those that Americans fought for in 1775.
This talk is produced in partnership with the Institute for New England Native American Studies (INENAS) at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Northeastern Humanities Center.
Moderating is J. Cedric Woods (Lumbee), Director of INENAS. Drew Lopenzina, Professor of Early American and Native American Literature at Old Dominion University, provides historical context for the eulogy and the 19th-century events that informed Apess’s writing. Guest speakers then read excerpts from the eulogy followed by a brief panel discussion to critically address the history of Native American conversion to Christianity, the significance of King Philip’s War, and the importance of Apess’s eulogy.