Famous Wampanoag

Famous Wampanoag Chiefs and Leaders

The Wampanoag Indians lived in what is now known as Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the early part of the 17th century.

The name means “easterners” and at one point, their population was 12,000. They were a loose confederacy made up of several tribes.

Famous Wampanoag People:

Annawan - A war leader.

Askamaboo - A Wampanoag female sachem at Nantucket.

Joan Tavares Avant - Author and historian.

Sachem Awashonks of the Sakonnet - A woman who at first fought the English but changed sides.

Blind Joe Amos - First Wampanoag Baptist preacher.

Crispus Attucks - first man killed in the Revolutionary War.

Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, the first student at the Indian College at Harvard College

Corbitant - 17th century sachem or sagamore of the Pocassets.

Jessie Little Doe Baird - Linguist, co-founder and director of the Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) Language Reclamation Project, which has been the first to revive a Native American language after all the speakers had died. In 2010 she was selected as a MacArthur Fellow.

Linda Coombs - Author and historian.

Cedric Cromwell, Elected Tribal Council Chairman, 2009

Sonny Dove, professional basketball player, New York City Basketball Hall of Fame

Epenow, a Nauset taken captive by English explorers in the 17th century, he was taken to England, where he learned the language. He convinced the English to return to North America, where he escaped and rejoined his people.

Amos Haskins, 19th-century whaling captain

Adrian Haynes - Chief of the Wampanoag People.

Vernon "Silent Drum" Lopez -

Massasoit - The Wampanoag sachem who first met the English. Father of Metacomet.

Metacomet (King Phillip or Metacom or Metacomet) - Massasoit's second son, who initiated the war against the English known as King Philip's War (1675–1676) in retaliation for the death of his brother at the hands of the English.

Leroy C. Perry - Chief of the Wampanoag

John "Slow Turtle" Peters - Supreme medicine man

Morgan James "Mwalim" Peters - Author, playwright, musician, composer, filmmaker, historian and educator

Paula Peters - Journalist and educator

Russell "Fast Turtle" Peters -

Samoset -

John Sassamon - He reported to Plymouth governor Josiah Winslow that Metacom (Philip) was planning a war against the English and was found murdered a week later. Three Wampanoag warriors were put on trial for his murder and subsequently hanged.

Squanto (Tisquantum)-  Squanto was an English speaking Patuxet Indian who lived with the colonists and acted as a middleman between the Pilgrims and Massasoit, the Wampanoag sachem.

Captured by Captain Thomas Hunt in 1614 and taken to Spain, where he was sold as a slave to Spanish Monks. The Monks eventually freed him, and he made it back to his village in 1619.

Wamsutta -Massasoit's oldest son (known by the English as King Alexander), who died under mysterious circumstances after visiting with English colonial administrators in Plymouth.

Another version says he died in the King Philip's War by drowning while crossing the Taunton River trying to flee the English. Brother of Metacom

Weetamoo -Daughter and successor of Corbitant, the lady sachem or sagamore of the Pocasset. The whites cut off Weetamoo's head and displayed it on a pike in Taunton, MA.

She was the wife of Wamsutta, a brother to King Phillip or Metacom and son of Massasoit.

Woonekanuske - Daughter of Corbitant and wife of Metacom.  Woonekanuske and son were sold into slavery and transported to Bermuda.

Wunnatuckquannumou - A Wampanoag female sachem on Martha's Vineyard. 

Wampanoag Tribes:

Federally Recognized:

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (F)
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (F)

Massachusetts State Recognized:

Assonet Wampanoag Tribe  (S)
Chappaquiddick Wampanoag Tribe (S)
Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe (S)
Pocasset Tribe of the Pokanoket Nation (S)
Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe (S)


Article Index:

Blind Joe Amos, first Mashpee Wampanoag Preacher

Blind Joe Amos was the first ordained Mashpee Wampanoag Indian minister. He was a pastor with substantial credentials, a reputation for great sermons and a propensity to fiddle.

John Sassamon, the Praying Indian and traitor

 Sassamon (Christian name John) was a Christian Indian raised in Natick, one of the “praying towns” of the Wampanoag tribes. He was educated at Harvard College.

Metacomet, Wampanoag sachem

Metacomet was better known to whites as King Philip. He was also known as Metacom or Philip of Pokanoket.  He was the second son of the sachem Massasoit, and became a chief of his people in 1662 when his brother Wamsutta (or King Alexander) died shortly after their father Massasoit.