Peter Anjos is fond of traveling to see the small pieces of history that litter Rhode Island as one of the oldest settlements in North America. He is a resident of Rhode Island, having been born in Pawtucket in 1988. However, this oddity takes us a little further back, to December 16th, 1675, when Native Americans and Colonial forces clashed in the Great Swamp Fight. In South Kingstown, Rhode Island, just 45 minutes by car away from where Anjos was born, one can today find a memorial to the battle that took place. It is a simple inscribed stone that can only be accessed by a 1.5 mile hike through the woods.
The memorial marks one of the turning points in King Philip’s War. It marks the freezing and stormy day that Colonial forces retaliated for an attack by the previously neutral Narragansett tribe who had killed 15 people at a nearby garrison a couple of days before. Troops from all across New England on this day attacks the 1,000 Narragansetts gathered at this fort, with more than 300 Native Americans killed, including women and children. Needless to say, the Narragansett soon abandoned their neutral position and joined the Native American coalition involved in King Philip’s War. In 1906, the stone monument that now stands in the woods was unveiled by descendants of the Native Americans and Colonists.