Examines the significant impact of Dutch traders and settlers on the early history of Northeastern North America, and their relationships with its Indigenous peoples.
This volume of essays by historians and archaeologists offers an introduction to the significant impact of Dutch traders and settlers on the early history of Northeastern North America, as well as their extensive and intensive relationships with its Indigenous peoples. Often associated with the Hudson River Valley, New Netherland actually extended westward into present day New Jersey and Delaware and eastward to Cape Cod. Further, New Netherland was not merely a clutch of Dutch trading posts: settlers accompanied the Dutch traders, and Dutch colonists founded towns and villages along Long Island Sound, the mid-Atlantic coast, and up the Connecticut, Hudson, and Delaware River valleys. Unfortunately, few nonspecialists are aware of this history, especially in what was once eastern and western New Netherland (southern New England and the Delaware River Valley, respectively), and the essays collected here help strengthen the case that the Dutch deserve a more prominent position in future history books, museum exhibits, and school curricula than they have previously enjoyed.
The archaeological content includes descriptions of both recent excavations and earlier, unpublished archaeological investigations that provide new and exciting insights into Dutch involvement in regional histories, particularly within Long Island Sound and inland New England. Although there were some incidences of cultural conflict, the archaeological and documentary findings clearly show the mutually tolerant, interdependent nature of Dutch-Indigenous relationships through time. One of the essays, by a Mohawk community member, provides a thought-provoking Indigenous perspective on Dutch–Native American relationships that complements and supplements the considerations of his fellow writers. The new archaeological and ethnohistoric information in this book sheds light on the motives, strategies, and sociopolitical maneuvers of seventeenth-century Native leadership, and how Indigenous agency helped shape postcontact histories in the American Northeast.
Lucianne Lavin is Director of Research and Collections at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Connecticut. She is the author of Connecticut's Indigenous Peoples: What Archaeology, History, and Oral Traditions Teach Us about Their Communities and Cultures.
"…this is a great resource for people interested in the history and archaeology of Northeastern North America, particularly during the early Colonial period." — CHOICE