Chief Massasoit, also known as Ousamequin, (ca. 1581- 1661) was born in present-day Rhode Island. As chief sachem of the Wampanoag nation, he befriended the Pilgrims at Plymouth, taught them farming methods, and joined with them in a 1621 thanksgiving feast. He was a cordial host to the original Pilgrim settlers and sheltered Roger Williams during his winter exile in 1636.
Massasoit, who led the Wampanoags for about a half-century, is best remembered for this diplomatic skill and for his successful policy of peaceful co-existence with the English settlers. Although Massasoit is usually associated with Plymouth, the Mount Hope lands in Bristol and the Indian village of Sowams in present-day Barrington were his places of residence because of his membership in the Pokanoket band of the Wampanoag nation.
Photo credit: Paul Oka, Cyrus E. Dallin Statue of Massasoit at Plymouth