The Law of War


Indians Fighting Indians War
The Patuxet Tribe had been severely marginalized by the more powerful Wampanoags, and they were thus desperately looking for allies, particularly military allies, most specifically military allies with superior technology.

Ft Collins, CO –-( “So long as Earth revolves around the sun. So long as cold and heat, storms and sunshine exist. There will be struggle. Struggle between people and nations” ~ Adolf Hitler, 1939

“King Philip’s War,” (1675-78) was the first major “Indian War” on the North American Continent. Indian wars would continue in North America (off and on) for the next two-hundred, plus years.

When Christian religious refugees from England (via Holland) stepped onto Plymouth Rock in present-day MA, it was late December, 1620. Mayflower passengers, lucky to have survived the harrowing voyage (several hadn’t), had been chartered to go to Virginia, but ended-up two-hundred miles up the coast, and too exhausted and low on supplies to go any further. After scouting the entirety of Cape Cod, Plymouth was selected because it was militarily defensible and had a source of good, spring water. That first winter was a rough one.

Of the 102 Mayflower passengers, fifty-one died that winter (mostly from starvation and exposure), and the remainder were in extremely poor health with the coming of spring. All would have likely perished, were it not for a fortunate contact.

Only a few Indians had been seen by the Plymouth pioneers. Many had previously populated the area, but plagues had wiped-out most of them. Europeans had been coming to North America since Columbus in 1492, and probably long before that. Periodic contact with Europeans had introduced the Indian population to European diseases, which proved universally lethal, eliminating many tribes entirely and reducing the total Indian population to close to nothing in many areas.

So, it was quite a surprise when, in the spring of 1621, an Indian named Squanto, from the local Patuxet Tribe, wandered into the weary Plymouth settlement. Plymouth immigrants were even more startled when Squanto spoke with them in broken English.

Over the previous 120 years, along with European diseases, coastal Indians had also picked-up European languages, mostly English, Dutch, and French.

During the following months, Squanto and other Patuxets quite literally saved the Plymouth colony from extinction, acquainting them with local food sources, local trade routes, the lucrative fur trade, and tricks of local agriculture.

However, Squanto’s mission was not entirely altruistic.

The Patuxet Tribe had been severely marginalized by the more powerful Wampanoags, and they were thus desperately looking for allies, particularly military allies, most specifically military allies with superior technology. As a result, the Plymouth Colony not only survived, but thrived, as additional boatloads of religious refugees joined them.

Many other (scattered) European settlements grew exponentially over the next fifty years.

Indian Tribes, encountered by newly-arriving Europeans, from Columbus to the Plymouth Colonists, were already involved in continuous, murderous territorial disputes with each other, and had been for as long as anyone could remember.

Of course, similar murderous territorial and religious disputes plagued all of England, Ireland, and Europe too, had for centuries, and were indeed the reason many Europeans departed the Continent (others fleeing creditors, some fleeing arrest, religious refugees, explorers, adventurers, and economic opportunists) and all were now seeking a new life in the “New World.”

Amazingly, friendly relations between European colonists and local Indians continued for nearly fifty years.

But, endless territorial disputes, sometimes mere misunderstandings, flaring into armed confrontations, murders, kidnappings, raids, etc were inevitable, and worsened by the year.

In 1660, Chief Metacomet, of the Wampanoag, succeeded his father. His adopted name was “Philip.” Metacomet’s father enjoyed a warm relationship with colonists, and conferred English names upon his two sons (“Philip” and “Alexander”) as a symbol of friendship and accommodation.

Colonists called the new chief, “King Philip” King Philip plainly saw his civilization being slowly marginalized by colonists, and concluded that even co-existence, much less integration, of the two cultures was not possible, at least in the short term.

He fought an effective guerrilla-style war with colonists, a military strategy colonists were unprepared to effectively counter. Many colonial villages had to thus be abandoned. During his three-year campaign, numbers of military-age male colonists were so drastically reduced that continued existence of the colonies was in doubt.

This was solely the colonists’ fight. The British had as yet sent no troops. The tide turned when colonists finally (reluctantly) changed tactics and employed Indian allies to fight King Philip on his own terms.

After three devastating years, King Philip himself was shot and killed. His tenuous alliance thereafter rapidly disintegrated, and “the War was over,” at least in the short term.

The French, unlike the British, had scant interest in establishing expanding colonies. They were interested mostly in trade and converting Indians to Catholicism, so Indians (in the aftermath of King Philip’s War) gradually gravitated toward an alliance with the French, rather than with the Protestant, land-grabbing British. Thus France, with the largest land army in Europe, sent no troops to America. The British sent them by the boatload.

This, of course, set the stage for the next series of Wars, starting in the 1700s.

Fighting the native American Indians War
Fighting the native American Indians War

There wasn’t much of an “intermission” of wars.

There never is.

The prepared, innovative, determined, audacious, organized, and well-armed sometimes prevailed.

The weak, confused, conflicted, vain, and unready never did, and their progeny died with them.

The “Law of War!”

We had no home front
We had no soft soap
They sent us Playboy
They gave us Bob Hope
We dug in deep
And shot on sight
And prayed to Jesus Christ
With all of our might

Remember Charlie
Remember Baker
They left their childhood
On every acre
And who was wrong?
And who was right?
None of that matters in the thick of the fight!

~ From “Goodnight Saigon,” written and sung by Billy Joel in 1982


Defense Training International, Inc

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

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The American Indians were screwed so badly by the white man, and we continue to screw them every day!
We took everything they owned, and slaughtered them to near extinction!
All the Treaties signed with the white man by the American Indians, was broken by the white man!

James Russell Bailey

Here’s a reality check for you my dear fellow: This ‘noble savage’ crap into which you are buying is a load of hooey! The Eastern Seaboard nations were murdering one another at the drop of the proverbial hat, and murdering each other in some of the most horrific ways imaginable! Why were they engaging in Wars against one another? Land, fishing rights, hunting rights, valuables, women, take your pick! Further, in case you haven’t bothered to actually studying American Indian history, wars were a natural function of geopolitics for them, just as it was for the Europeans, the middle easterners,… Read more »


“Death solves all problems. No man….no problem.” – Joseph Stalin


Excellent bit of history. My family battled in the Indian Wars, and somehow survived from the early 1600’s in Maine. My Grandmother was 1/4 Passamaquoddy, which led to awkward tension in family discussions. My daughters are the 13th generation in Maine. We originally came from Scotland having lost to the Brits and via Upper Normandy France as Knights and Lords of King William. My grandfather spoke of the Indian Wars often, he was raised by his grandfather who enculturated the family’s history. Each generation served in one war or another and came back home to the farm: I served in… Read more »

Larry Brickey

Yes, we can, but it isn’t easy. It takes a lot of effort and loads of patience. In the future it will not only be possible but absolutely necessary for the survival of our species.

James Russell Bailey

Apparently, you are not much of a student of human history, nor for that matter of human nature. The Sad Sack my dear fellow, is that the opening in Kubric’s movie ‘2001 Space Odyssey’ is wholly accurate, with the eight picking up the club with which to overcome his opposition. The Code of Hammurabi sums up quite nicely the first codified understanding of just how horrific human nature can be. This is the reason that Karl Marx’s utopian communism can never be achieved: human nature will never allow it to come to fruition; humans want more of something at all… Read more »

Wild Bill

@JRB, How do you conclude “… we are on the precipice of World War 3 and it cannot be stopped, …”? What is your analysis?

Larry Brickey

I’m going by the spiritual, not the physical. And I said “in the future”. You believe humans cannot change and progress yet here we are a long distance from the movie opening. We still have plenty of violence and it will continue past our lifetimes. But in the distant future I believe things will be much better. IMO is all and my Faiths teachings.

James Russell Bailey

Your stipulation that we have come a long way from the opening of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey movie, is utterly belied and disproven by the fact of modern weaponry. I take it you’ve never heard of either tactical nukes, or strategic nukes? How about napalm? How about old, little things like cluster bombs? How about the Soviet Spetsnaz troops leaving booby-trapped toys for Afghan children? How about Nazi concentration camps, or the ussr’s gulag system? How about the Khmer Rouge, and The Killing Fields there? My dear fellow, we have not gotten a frog hairs width away from… Read more »

Dr. Strangelove

Small world. I’m of Norman descent and my family arrived here in the 1630s.

Larry Brickey

1636, 1865 and the others had been here for many thousands of years. Guess I’m American.

Roy F. Wilt

Never kill Women and Children. It makes the Enemy want and Accomplish the destruction of your Race!

phil morris

I truly lament the fact that the human race is either incapable and or unwilling to learn from history , I mean my god it is written down for us to read/reread it , remember it , understand it , teach the lessons to our children , I fear what the human race has become and is becoming mindless animals but maybe there in lies the true lesson we never were and never will be anything more , but the good news is I wont have to witness it much longer as my time draws nigh and I can see… Read more »

Wild Bill

It is not that the youth are incapable of learning from history. It is that history is not being taught. Nor is civics, the US Constitution, critical thinking, or mathematics that lead to engineering and chemistry being taught.
Propaganda is being taught. Black studies, latino (what ever a latino is) studies, socialism, and a twisted history of the US is being taught by socialists with an agenda.

James Russell Bailey

WB, You’ve made a good chunk of my case for me, domestically, in that at least half of the current American population under the age of 40, is neither cognizant of geopolitical History involving the United States, nor are they interested in knowing it, nor attempting to understand it in an objective manner. Thus, we have a compliant population who believe socialism is a good thing, because they’ve neither studied it, nor lived through the era where firsthand, real-world victims were available to see, hear and read about, and places like Venezuela are rejected out of hand, as victims of… Read more »

Larry Brickey

Amen, WB!

Jerry S.

The last two generations don’t care about freedom. It is evident that they want to be taken care of by a large and magnanimous govt. agency. Their wish will come true on this present course, but many will rue the day when the piper has to be paid. I, too, am old and hope not to see the day my Republic falters into Socialism….