Dutch and Indigenous Communities in Seventeenth-Century Northeastern North America

What Archaeology, History, and Indigenous Oral Traditions Teach Us about Their Intercultural Relationships

Edited by Lucianne Lavin

Subjects: Indigenous Studies, New York/regional, American History
Hardcover : 9781438483177, 342 pages, May 2021
Paperback : 9781438483160, 342 pages, January 2022

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Abbreviations

Lucianne Lavin

1. Henry Hudson Goes Ashore on Castle Hill
Shirley W. Dunn

2. Sources Relating to Dutch-Indian Relations
Charles T. Gehring

3. Declarations of Interdependence: The Nature of Native–Dutch Relations in New Netherland, 1624–1664
Stephen T. Staggs

4. Building Forts and Alliances: Archaeology at Freeman and Massapeag, Two Native American Sites
Anne-Marie Cantwell and Diana diZerega Wall

5. Mohawk and Dutch Relations in the Mohawk Valley: Alliance, Diplomacy, and Families from 1600 to the Two Row Treaty Renewal Campaign
Paul Gorgen

6. The Dutch and the Wiechquaeskeck: Shifting Alliances in the Seventeenth Century
Marshall Joseph Becker

7. Early Seventeenth-Century Trade in Southern New England
Kevin A. McBride

8. Roduins: A Dutch Fort in Branford, Connecticut
John Pfeiffer

9.The Fresh River and the New Netherland Settlement: "House of Good Hope"
Richard Manack

10. Dutch–Native American Relationships in Eastern New Netherland (That's Connecticut, Folks!)
Lucianne Lavin


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.


"Readers will recognize many of the contributors as authorities on New Netherland, and will appreciate this wider view of colonial-Indigenous relations across the whole of New Netherland and throughout its history." — Hudson River Valley Review

"…this is a great resource for people interested in the history and archaeology of Northeastern North America, particularly during the early Colonial period." — CHOICE