Mohawk Frontier, Second Edition

The Dutch Community of Schenectady, New York, 1661-1710

By Thomas E. Burke Jr.
Introduction by William A. Starna

Subjects: Indigenous Studies
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438427065, 278 pages, February 2009

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Table of contents

Maps and Tables
1. The Founding of Schenectady
2. “The most beautiful land”
3. A “sad and deplorable massacre”
4. White, Black, and Red at Schenectady
5. A Divided Community
6. To “gain some little profifit”

A history of Dutch Schenectady.


This is the fascinating story of the Dutch community at Schenectady, a village that grew out of the wilderness along the northern frontier of New Netherland in the 1660s. Drawing upon a wealth of original documents, Thomas Burke renders an engaging portrait of a small but dynamic Dutch village in the twilight years of the New Netherland colony. Despite the proximity of the Mohawks, Schenectady's residents—when they were not quarreling amongst themselves—made their living more from farming and raising livestock than trading. Due to a scarcity of labor, Schenectady became one of the most diverse and energized communities in the region, attracting servants and tenant farmers, and paving the way for slavery. Its northern frontier location however made it a vulnerable target during the many conflicts between the French and English that erupted in the late seventeenth century. Bringing Schenectady fully out of the historical shadow of its large neighbor Albany, Thomas Burke reveals both the intricate depths of a small Dutch village and how many aspects of its story mirrored the broader histories of New Netherland and New York. This second edition of the classic history features a new introduction by William Starna, which updates key research and issues that have arisen since its initial publication.