1581 ca1661
the sachem or leader of the Wampanoag tribe. The term Massasoit means Great Sachem. Massasoit Ousamequin lived in Montaup, a Pokanoket village in Bristol, Rhode Island. He held the allegiance of a number of lesser Pokanoket sachems. Outbreaks of smallpox had devastated the Pokanokets, and Massasoit sought an alliance with the colonies of New England against the neighboring Narragansetts, who controlled an area west of Narragansett Bay in the Colony of Rhode Island. He forged critical political and personal ties with colonial leaders William Bradford, Edward Winslow, Stephen Hopkins, John Carver, and Myles Standish, ties which grew out of a negotiated peace treaty on March 22, 1621.
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