In the evening of February 25th, 1643, soldiers and settlers of the colony of New Netherland massacred a large number of Native American men, women, and children belonging to Munsee nations on and around Manhattan. The victims were surprised in their sleep. They had assumed they were safe because they had recently sought shelter near New Amsterdam from Indigenous enemies. Dutch sources indicate that at least eighty and perhaps up to one hundred and twenty Munsees were murdered. [Read more…] about Kieft’s War: Mass Murder on Manhattan
Kieft’s War Against Native People: A Primer
The series of conflicts known as Kieft’s War (1643-1645) owe their origins to several factors.
Primary among these was the Dutch inability to understand the concepts of land use among native people. When the Dutch gave wampum, muskets, and other trade goods during land negotiations, they believed they were purchasing the land. Native people however, considered the Dutch to have, at best, leased the land. Convinced they had purchased the land in and around Manhattan, Dutch settlers drew ever closer to Native American villages. And, when Native Americans hunted on the ground the Dutch believed they had purchased, the New Netherlanders sought to punish the offenders. [Read more…] about Kieft’s War Against Native People: A Primer