Pessicus, 1623 - 1676
Known by at least six names, Pessicus (c. 1623-1676), was the son of Mascus and the younger brother of Miantonomo. After his brother’s murder by the Mohegans in 1643, he rose to the position of sachem of the Narragansetts, which he shared with Canonicus. In 1644, the leaders submitted the Narragansett to the “care, protection, and government of that worthy and royal Prince Charles, King of Great Britaine and Ireland.” Both Pessicus and Canonicus sought revenge against the Mohegans for the Miantonomo’s demise, a position which put them at odds with the Commissioners of the United Colonies. After the death of Canonicus in 1647, Pessicus continued his leadership of the Narragansett, although weakened by the influence of Ninigret. He advocated peace with the English during King Philip’s War but ultimately he fled his country in the spring of 1676. He was killed near Piscataqua by Mohawk forces early in that year. Harold M. Chapin, Sachems of the Narragansett (Providence, 1931), 63-68; Elisha Potter, Jr., Early History of Narragansett (Providence, 1835), 173. Glen LaFantasie, The Correspondence of Roger Williams, 237.