Initially, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Iroquois) claimed neutrality during the conflict between Britain and the colonists, seeing the disagreement as a civil war and valuing loyalty to their families and to their lands above all else. When the political discontent erupted into the American Revolutionary War, the member nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy split their support between the British and newly formed American forces. [Read more…] about The American Revolution in the Finger Lakes
Lenape - Munsee - Delaware
According to archeological records, groups of nomadic Paleo-Indians traveled through the Finger Lakes region approximately 8,000 to 9,000 years ago. Small bands of these hunters and gatherers followed large game during the last stages of the Ice Age when the glaciers that formed the area’s notable lakes were receding.
Somewhat more recent early archaic archeological sites scattered across Western New York reflect a culture that was highly mobile and left little in terms of an archeological record. [Read more…] about Early Inhabitants of the Finger Lakes Region
Although some consider California’s Disneyland, which opened in 1955, to be the first American theme park — not to be confused with an amusement park, which dates back far earlier — most argue that the first was actually Santa Claus Land in Santa Claus, Indiana, which opened in 1946. [Read more…] about Fort Delaware: An Early Theme Park, Now A Museum
On October 7, 1665, a peace treaty was signed between the indigenous Esopus people (the Ramapough Munsee Lunaape Nation / Ramapough Lenape Nation) and European settlers in what is now Ulster County, NY. The treaty brought to a close hostilities between the two parties that had begun in 1659, known as the Esopus Wars.
Both parties promised to cease hostilities, to establish a course of justice and conduct trade with each other. In addition to the cessation of fighting, the treaty proclaimed, “That all past Injuryes, are buryed and forgotten on both sides” and “that it may bee kept in perpetuall memory.”
A ceremonial peace tree planting and treaty renewal will be held on Friday, August 5th in Kingston. There have been 13 renewals of the treaty found in the Ulster County archives, dating from 1669 to 1745, and six more times in the last ten years. [Read more…] about Ulster County, Ramapough Lenape Renewing 1665 Esopus Treaty
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
In 2018, Saratoga National Historical Park received funding to produce an ethnohistorical study of the Saratoga area. Professor Karim Tiro from Xavier University was chosen to conduct the research and compile the report.
Dr. Tiro specializes in North American history during the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods with a focus on the history of Native Americans, the War of 1812, and epidemics. [Read more…] about Saratoga Area Ethnohistoric Survey Nears Completion
By 1642, the number of inhabitants of the van Rensselaer Manor Rensselaerswyck had grown and Patroon Kiliaen van Rensselaer willingly complied with a requirement of the Dutch West India Company to secure a clergyman for a Dutch Church to conduct services for the settlers.
The Reverend Doctor Johannis Megapolensis, Jr., the dominie (pastor) of the congregation of Schorel and Berg, belonging to the classis of Alkmaar in Holland, was selected and accepted the call. He was to serve for six years at a salary of one thousand guilders (about $400) per year. He was also to receive a yearly donation of thirty schepels (22 ½ bushels) of wheat and two firkins of butter. [Read more…] about Father Isaac Jogues, Pastor Johannes Megapolensis & Native People
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
We are a storytelling species. Recently, I shared an example of the potential for storytelling in our communities using primary source documents.
In subsequent posts, I intended to share examples from different formats and venues that show how some historians are reaching audiences in ways that go beyond the standard tour. [Read more…] about Storytelling: Using Your Documents To Tell A Story
There was a time when Lenape fishermen – or women, since they did much of the fishing in that culture— would use nets woven from branches, saplings or wild hemp to catch huge numbers of shad in the Delaware River. Much of their catch would be preserved by a unique smoking process that would keep them edible through the winter. The Lenape designated March as the month of the shad and celebrated with a festival that often lasted six weeks or more.
The early European settlers learned the importance of shad from the Natives and quickly picked up the technique of smoking them to provide food for the harsh winters when game was scarce. Some historians, including William E. Meehan writing in Fish, Fishing and Fisheries of Pennsylvania in 1893, have noted that virtually every Colonial era homestead in a broad area bordering the Delaware River “had its half-barrel of salted shad sitting in the kitchen with some choice pieces of smoked shad hanging by the kitchen chimney.” [Read more…] about Shad: The Founding Fish Returns