Miles Morgan (1616 – 28 May 1699) was a Welsh colonist of America, a pioneer settler of what was to become Springfield, Massachusetts. Being one of the few settlers whose homesteads were successfully defended during the Attack on Springfield, Morgan was lauded as a hero of King Philip's War in 1675 for providing shelter and successfully contacting troops in Hadley. Today, a statue of Miles Morgan stands in the city's Court Square in Metro Center.
Of Welsh ancestry, he was born in Llandaff, Glamorganshire, Wales. Legend has it that he arrived with his older brothers, James and John, sailing from Bristol on the ship "Mary" and arriving at Boston in April, 1636. They lived in Roxbury, MA for a time. James subsequently moved to Plymouth Colony and later settled in New Haven, CT, where he became a member of the Colonial Assembly of Connecticut and fought in the Pequot War. John grew disgusted with the bigotry, superstition, and the persecutions (including the witch trials) then taking place in New England and moved to Virginia. Miles joined the company of Sir William Pynchon in the colonization of western Massachusetts and was one of the founders of the city of Springfield, originally named Agawam after the Indian tribes that lived in the area.
One of the company of colonists, Miles, though he was only 21 years of age, quickly became the second-in-command. He was one of the leading citizens of the new town and was regarded as an intrepid Indian fighter, farmer, and town leader. He had been given the title of "Sergeant Morgan" on the journey from Boston. in addition to establishing the farms that meant survival to the colonists he was also the butcher in the community and, in later years, operated a boat on the Connecticut River, trading with other colonists and with the Indians. He was subsequently known as "Captain Morgan." Unable to read or write, his mark on the town records was the sign of an anchor.
On the voyage from Bristol he had made the acquaintance of Miss Prudence Gilbert, who was emigrating to the New World with her family. Once settled in Agawam he had a letter written to Prudence, who had settled in Beverly, north of Boston, and proposed marriage. She accepted and in 1642, accompanied by an Indian guide, a pack horse, and two companions, Miles set out for Beverly, where the couple were married. Prudence, her possessions piled on the horse, walked the 120 miles back to Springfield with her new husband.
Morgan built one of the few fortified houses in town, (on a bank of the Connecticut River (In the late 19th century, the site of Morgan's blockhouse was occupied by the car shops of the Connecticut River Railroad), was active in the militia, and was depended upon in the protection of the frontier town. During the fighting that swept the colony during King Philip's War in 1675 the Indians attacked Springfield, nearly destroying the town. Many of the citizens took refuge in Morgan's house, and under his command, held off the attack. An Indian servant who worked for Morgan managed to escape and alerted the Massachusetts Bay troops under the command of Major Samuel Appleton, who broke through to Springfield and drove off the attackers.
Morgan's sons were also famous Indian fighters in the territory and one of them, Peletiah, was killed by the Indians in battle in 1675. Miles appears in the records as a Selectman, Constable, Surveyor, Fence Viewer, and overseer of highways. He was also appointed to sit in the balcony of the church during services and maintain order among the young men in the congregation. ("...up in ye gallery, to give a check to disorders in youth and young men in tyme of God's worship"). Given the piety of the early settlers this was a position of some honor and also attests to his force of personality. Not all their time was spent in church, however. According to the records, in 1673 Hannah Merrick, unmarried daughter of Thomas Merrick, accused Miles's son Jonathan with the paternity of her child. Miles provided his son's bail and Jonathan fought the charge. The court found him guilty, however, and ordered him to pay two shillings, six pence towards the child's support for four years. Jonathan's second wife eventually got a full confession from Hannah (the records do not indicate how) and Hannah was condemned to pay a fine of seven Pounds or receive twenty lashes as punishment for her perjury. Jonathan, not letting matters lie, then filed a suit charging slander against Hannah's father, but lost. Eight years later Miles was again in trouble over a child. His daughter Lydia worked in the household of the family of Samuel Gaines, who became the father of her child. Miles filed charges and won his suit and Mr. Gaines was ordered to pay child support.
Additional information: By 1658, Morgan is listed as a sergeant in the local militia.On 5 October 1675, Springfield was attacked by the native inhabitants, and Morgan's blockhouse became a fortress of the place, and, after the burning of the settlement, held out until messengers had been despatched to Hadley. Captain Samuel Appleton, with a force of men (the standing army of the Massachusetts Bay Colony), marched to Springfield and raised the siege.
Miles Morgan died on 28 May 1699 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is buried there.
A bronze statue of Captain Miles Morgan in Court Square in Springfield shows him in huntsman's dress and cocked hat, with a rifle over his shoulder. This statue, completed in 1882, was the first important work of Jonathan Scott Hartley.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of America in the 17th century around the Massachusetts Bay, the northernmost of the several colonies later reorganized as the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The lands of the settlement were located in southern New England, with initial settlements situated on two natural harbors and surrounding land about 15.4 miles (24.8 km) apart—the areas around Salem and Boston.
The Pioneer Valley is the colloquial and promotional name for the portion of the Connecticut River Valley that is in Massachusetts in the United States. It is generally taken to comprise the three counties of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin. The lower Pioneer Valley corresponds to the Springfield, Massachusetts metropolitan area, the region's urban center, and the seat of Hampden County. The upper Pioneer Valley region includes the smaller cities of Northampton and Greenfield, the county seats of Hampshire and Franklin counties.
Metacom, also known as Metacomet and by his adopted English name King Philip, was sachem to the Wampanoag people and the second son of the sachem Massasoit. Metacom became sachem in 1662 when his brother Wamsutta died shortly after the death of their father. Wamsutta's widow Weetamoo, squa sachem of the Pocasset, was Metacom's ally and friend for the rest of his life. Metacom married Weetamoo's younger sister Wootonekanuske. It is unclear as to how many children they had or what happened to them. Wootonekanuske and one of their sons were sold to slavery in the West Indies following the defeat of the Native Americans in what became known as King Philip's War.
King Philip's War was an armed conflict in 1675–1678 between Indian inhabitants of New England and New England colonists and their Indian allies. The war is named for Metacomet, the Wampanoag chief who adopted the name Philip because of the friendly relations between his father Massasoit and the Mayflower Pilgrims. The war continued in the most northern reaches of New England until the signing of the Treaty of Casco Bay in April 1678.
Western Massachusetts is a region in Massachusetts, one of the six U.S. states that make up the New England region of the United States. Western Massachusetts has diverse topography; 22 universities, with approximately 100,000 university students; and such institutions as Tanglewood, the Springfield Armory, and Jacob's Pillow.
William Pynchon was an English colonist and fur trader in North America best known as the founder of Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. He was also a colonial treasurer, original patentee of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the iconoclastic author of the New World's first banned book. An original settler of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Pynchon became dissatisfied with that town's notoriously rocky soil and in 1635, led the initial settlement expedition to Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, where he found exceptionally fertile soil and a fine spot for conducting trade. In 1636, he returned to officially purchase its land, then known as "Agawam." In 1640, Springfield was officially renamed after Pynchon's home village, now a suburb of Chelmsford in Essex, England — due to Pynchon's grace following a dispute with Hartford, Connecticut's Captain John Mason over, essentially, whether to treat local natives as friends or enemies. Pynchon was a man of peace and also very business-minded — thus he advocated for friendship with the region's natives as a means of ensuring the continued trade of goods. Pynchon's stance led to Springfield aligning with the faraway government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony rather than that of the closer Connecticut Colony.
John Winthrop the Younger was an early governor of the Connecticut Colony, and he played a large role in the merger of several separate settlements into the unified colony.
Elizur Holyoke of Springfield, Massachusetts was an English colonist, surveyor, soldier, the namesake of the mountain, Mount Holyoke, and indirectly, of the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts.
John Mason, was an early English settler, soldier, commander, and Deputy Governor of the Connecticut Colony. Mason was best known for leading the English settlers at an attack on the Pequot and the Mystic Fort, an event that ended up being known as the Mystic Massacre which effectively ended the hegemony of the Pequot tribe in southeast Connecticut.
Massachusetts was colonized by English settlers in the early 17th century and became the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the 18th century. Prior to that, it was inhabited by a variety of Indian tribes. The Pilgrim Fathers who sailed on the Mayflower established the first permanent settlement in 1620 at Plymouth Colony which set precedents but never grew large. A large-scale Puritan migration began in 1630 with the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and that spawned the settlement of other New England colonies. Friction erupted with the Indians in King Philip's War in the 1670s. Puritanism was the established religion in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and dissenters were banished, leading to the establishment of the Rhode Island Colony.
Samuel Chapin was a prominent early settler of Springfield, Massachusetts. He served the town as selectman, magistrate and deacon. Chapin is best known today as the subject of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculpture entitled Deacon Samuel Chapin.
The Westfield River is a major tributary of the Connecticut River located in the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley regions of western Massachusetts. With four major tributary branches that converge west of the city of Westfield, it flows 78.1 miles (125.7 km) before its confluence with the Connecticut River at Agawam, across from the city of Springfield's Metro Center district. Known for its whitewater rapids and scenic beauty, the Westfield River provides over 50 miles (80 km) of whitewater canoeing and kayaking, in addition to one of the largest roadless wilderness areas remaining in the Commonwealth.
The Agawam River is a 10.7-mile-long (17.2 km) stream in southeastern Massachusetts, USA, that is part of the Wareham River estuary watershed. The Agawam River is named in honor of the peaceful Native Americans that helped the Massachusetts Bay Colony establish its first Connecticut River Valley settlement at Springfield, Massachusetts in 1636, and helped it to flourish while many of the Connecticut Colony settlements south of Springfield were attacked or destroyed by more war-like Native American tribes.
The Great Swamp Fight or the Great Swamp Massacre was a crucial battle fought during King Philip's War between colonial militia of New England and the Narragansett tribe in December 1675. It was fought near the villages of Kingston and West Kingston in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The combined force of the New England militia included 150 Pequots, and they inflicted a huge number of Narragansett casualties, including many hundred women and children. The battle has been described as "one of the most brutal and lopsided military encounters in all of New England's history." Since the 1930s, Narragansett and Wampanoag people commemorate the battle annually in a ceremony initiated by Narragansett-Wampanoag scholar Princess Red Wing.
The Equivalent Lands were several large tracts of land that the Province of Massachusetts Bay made available to settlers from the Connecticut Colony after April 1716. This was done as compensation for an equivalent area of territory that was under Connecticut's jurisdiction but had been inadvertently settled by citizens of Massachusetts. The problem had arisen due to errors and imprecise surveys made earlier in the seventeenth century. The Equivalent Lands were never mapped.
The Siege of Springfield was a conflict around the colonial settlement of Springfield, Massachusetts during King Philip's War. Springfield was the second and final New England settlement burned to the ground during the war; the first was Providence Plantations. King Philip's War remains, per capita, the bloodiest war in American history.
Springfield, Massachusetts, was founded in 1636 as Agawam Plantation, after a nearby village of Algonkian-speaking Native Americans. It was the northernmost settlement of the Connecticut Colony. The settlement defected from Connecticut after four years, however, later joining forces with the coastal Massachusetts Bay Colony. The town changed its name to Springfield, and changed the political boundaries among what later became New England states. The history of Springfield, Massachusetts springs in large part from its favorable geography, situated on a steep bluff overlooking the Connecticut River's confluence with three tributaries. It was a Native American crossroad for two major trade routes: Boston-to-Albany and New York City-to-Montreal. Springfield also sits on some of the northeastern United States' most fertile soil.
John Strong (1610–1699) was an English-born New England colonist, politician, Puritan church leader, tanner and one of the founders of Windsor, Connecticut and Northampton, Massachusetts as well as the progenitor of nearly all the Strong families in what is now the United States. He was referred to as Elder John Strong because he was an Elder in the church.
Samuel Appleton was a military and government leader in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay. He was a commander of the Massachusetts militia during King Philip's War who led troops during the Attack on Hatfield, Massachusetts and the Great Swamp Fight. He also held numerous positions in government and was an opponent of Governor Sir Edmund Andros.
John Gallop was an early settler and militia captain in Southeastern Connecticut.