John Alderman

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John Alderman was a praying Indian (that is, a Christian convert) who shot and killed the rebellious Native American leader Metacomet (also known as King Philip) in 1676, while taking part in a punitive expedition led by Captain Benjamin Church.

As a reward, Alderman received King Philip's head and one hand. The rest of King Philip's body was quartered and hung on trees. Alderman later sold the severed head to Plymouth Colony authorities for 30 shillings, a standard rate for Indian heads during King Philip's War. The head was then placed on a stake atop the fort on Burial Hill in Plymouth, where it remained for the next 20 years.

Reportedly, Alderman would exhibit the cut-off hand of Philip for a fee.


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