- A tribe of Algonquian Indians, at one time the most powerful of
Southern New England, who occupied the present state of Rhode island in
the section west of Narragansett Bay. Their name meant "People of
the Small Point."
In the early part of the seventeenth century
the Narraganset were friendly with the English colonists and aided them
in the Pequot War. In 1636 Roger Williams settled among them and
through their favor was enabled to lay the foundations of the state of
Rhode island. Later, the Narraganset fought the Mohegan and were
defeated. Their chief, Miantonomo, was executed for conspiring against
The Narraganset later fought in King Philip's
War, and in the celebrated swamp fight at Kingston, Rhode Island, on August
12, 1676, they lost almost 1,000 in killed, wounded, and prisoners.
This was the end of the tribe, as the survivors were forced to abandon
their territory and join scattered bands of other tribes to the north and
Their sachem, Canonchet, was believed by
many historians to have ranked with King Philip. He was captured
by the English and shot and his head sent as a trophy to the magistrates
of Hartford, Connecticut.
They gave their name to Narragansett Bay,
the town of Narragansett, and to Narragansett Pier, the well known summer
resort, all in Rhode Island.
within this Site
][ King Philip ][ Miantonomo
][ Orators ][ Pequot
][ Uncas ]