On This Day: In 1621 the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a peace treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoags. Massasoit Sachem or Ousamequin (c. 1581 – 1661), was the sachem, or leader, of the Wampanoag, and "Massasoit" of the Wampanoag Confederacy. The term Massasoit means Great Sachem. According to English sources, Massasoit prevented the failure of Plymouth Colony and the almost certain starvation that the Pilgrims faced during the earliest years of the colony's establishment.
This 1902 photo showsProfile Rock in Assonet, Massachusetts. The local Wampanoag believe it to be the image of Massasoit.
Profile Rock, 2008
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Profile Rock, also known as the Old Man of Joshua's Mountain, is a 50-foot high granite rock formation located in Freetown, Massachusetts just outside Assonet village and near the Freetown State Forest.
Native Americans believe it to be the image of the Wampanoag Chief, Massasoit. The Wampanoags occupied the region of present-day Rhode Island and Massachusetts bounded by Narragansett Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Chief Massasoit was friendly to the early Pilgrim settlers, but his son, Philip, is the namesake of King Philip’s War (1675) between the Wampanoags (sometimes referred to as the Pokanoket) and the English, which resulted in the tribe’s ruin.
Joshua’s Mountain was named after Joshua Tisdale who was the first to settle near the site. The mountain was privately owned for several years by former Freetown Selectman, Ben Evans, who sold the mountain to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be used as a state park tourist attraction. Massachusetts has done little to promote the attraction, however, and the site has been vandalized with graffiti.
"This picture was taken around 1963 and it might be the best picture ever taken of the Indian Head because it was done before all the unattractive graffiti was added to it."