Munsee Indian Trade in Ulster County, New York 1712-1732 (Syracuse Univ Press, 2013), edited by Kees-Jan Waterman and J. Michael Smith offers the full, annotated translation of a recently discovered Dutch account book recording trade with Native Americans in Ulster County, New York, from 1712 to 1732.
The ledger contains just over two-thousand transactions with about two-hundred native individuals. Slightly more than one-hundred Indians appear with their names listed. The volume and granularity of the entries allow for detailed indexing and comparative analysis of the people and processes involved in these commercial dealings in the mid-Hudson River Valley.
Waterman and Smith place this exceptional resource within its historical context, presenting figures and tables with aggregated data. They examine several key aspects of the intercultural exchanges, such as the high level of participation by Native American women and the growing importance of the deerskin trade in this region. In addition, the appendix contains individual profiles of forty Esopus and Wappinger Indians appearing in the Ulster County account book.
“Besides adding to our knowledge of how the fur trade operated the study offers insights about the importance of textiles, the role of women, and information about individual Munsees involved in the trade,” Laurence Hauptman says.
Kees-Jan Waterman works at an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the editor and translator of “To Do Justice to Him and Myself”: Evert Wendell’s Account Book of the Fur Trade with Indians in Albany, New York, 1695-1726. J. Michael Smith is a Senior Media Specialist at Vermont Public Television. His articles have appeared in the Hudson River Valley Review and New York State Museum Bulletins.
The book is part of a series of Syracuse University Press books on The Iroquois and Their Neighbors.
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