(1612–87), born in England or Ireland, at the age of 18 was living on his father's Virginia plantation, and there later became a burgess, captain, and large landholder. An ardent Puritan, he emigrated to Massachusetts (1644), where for 35 years he was reelected as deputy to the General Court, and among other officers was appointed major general of the colony's forces (1681). He was interested in the welfare of the Indians, and was “chosen to be ruler over the praying Indians,” protecting them during King Philip's War. Historical Collections of the Indians in New England (1792) and An Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians (1836) are attempts at scientific history, marked by a humanitarianism toward the Indians.
From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.