The Tawagonshi Agreement of 1613
A Chain of Friendship in the Dutch Hudson Valley
The Bard Center 2000
The earliest contact between Dutch traders and Indians in the upper Hudson Valley is shrouded in mystery, even though there is a fairly clear trail of when and how the traders arrived. This mystery is due in part to a lack of sufficient knowledge about the actual Iroquois presence at the time of Dutch contact. But recent scholarship coupled with a close examination of the archaeological record shows a strong Iroquois presence, which soon precipitated into the Mohawk-Mahican wars of the 1620s. Compounding the mystery was the fact that a supposed agreement made between the Iroquois and the Dutch at Tawagonshi Hill in April of 1613, brought forth forty years ago by an eccentric medical doctor of Dutch ancestry named L. G. van Loon, was determined in 1987 to be a forgery by three distinguished New York history scholars. The document itself has disappeared. The claim of forgery has neither been challenged nor corroborated by later historians. In fact, subsequent scholarship suggests the agreements legitimacy. This paper traces the early Dutch presence, and the use of the Valley by Iroquois and Mahican groups; it critically examines the Tawagonshi agreement and the claims of its detractors, and concludes that although a final determination on the agreements authenticity awaits its rediscovery, its terms, as a Holland Society committee said in 1959, "dovetail into a pattern of lucidity," and the claims of its detractors do not. If legitimate, the Tawagonshi agreement not only fixes the date of the earliest Dutch-Iroquois agreement in America, it also serves as the prototype and origin of the most important diplomatic instrument in American Indian history, the Covenant Chain of Friendship of the Iroquois Confederacy.
Knowledge about Henry Hudsons 1609 voyage of discovery of the Hudson Valley was known in Holland early in 1610. Hudson was officially detained in England in January, but the Dutch crewmembers of de Halve Maen returned to Amsterdam and reported to the East India Company (EIC). The States-General heard from Emanuel van Meteren (15351612), the Dutch representative in England, who saw Robert Juets journal (not published until 1625) and almost certainly met with Hudson and saw his journal and charts as well. Hudsons journal circulated in London and probably the Netherlands for a dozen years after his death in 1610, and has since been lost.(1)
There is some evidence that a return ship was dispatched in 1610. The Lenape have a well-established tradition that they were given iron hoes by Henry Hudsons crew and wore them as decorations for a year, until returning sailors showed them how to make handles to use the hoes in their maize fields.(2) Johannes de Laet (15821649), a respected historian, asserted a trading presence; perhaps this was the 100-last Hoope that sailed to the West Indies and traded along the coast under the authority of Arnout Vogels (1580?1620), an Amsterdam merchant with an interest in furs. Another Dutch historian, Nicolaes à Wassenaer, claimed a ship arrived even earlier than HudsonsHendrick Christiaensz (d. 1618 or 1619) and Adriaen Block (c.15671627) were supercargoes on an early voyage, he assertedbut nothing is known of this voyage and it is not likely to have taken place before 1610.(3) Information for this period is spare because the volumes for 16091615 of the Secrete Resolutien Registers of the Royal Archives at the Hague, which contained States-General proceedings on treaties, wars, and other sensitive matters, are missing.(4)
The first demonstrable effort to explore the Hudson Valley for merchantable commodities began in May of 1611 when the St. Pieter under skipper Cornelis Rijser was chartered by Vogels and two merchant brothers, Leonard and Francoys Pelgrom. This may have been the ship alluded to by Wassenaer in which Block and Christiaensz served as supercargoes. On January 17, 1612, also apparently under Vogels authority, Adriaen Block purchased in Amsterdam a 55-last spiegelschip called the Fortuyn (with a "long beak head, high rising aft, and flat stern"), sailed to "Virginia," and returned "a better voyage even than last year." Francoys Pelgroms nephew, Jan Kindt (c.1584?), was Blocks supercargo. He may have remained trading on the Hudson while Block went off to survey the coast to Cape Cod and lend his name to an island and a sound seven years before the Mayflower.(5)
Interest in the new lands increased and became complicated. The Vogels partnership expanded within Vogels Lutheran congregation in Amsterdam to include Hans Hongers (c.15551616), an EIC director intrigued by Hudsons voyage, and Lambert van Tweenhuysen (15641627), a pearl merchant who became the groups principal investor.(6) They sent Block and the Fortuyn again to the new land in 1613. Christiaenszs role in this voyage is unclear, since later court records listed as Blocks supercargo a young man of nineteen, Jacob Eelkens or Eelckens (1593after 1633), a Walloon from Rouen. Eelkens was subordinate to Christiaensz and served temporarily as commander (commis) of Fort Nassau during Christiaenszs extensive trade forays.(7)
Eelkens presence one hundred and fifty miles into the Hudson Valley in the spring of 1613, although undeniable, led to a late-twentieth-century controversy about just what he was doing there. A document circulated in the 1950s by L. G. van Loon, an eccentric medical doctor and amateur Dutch-American historian, seemed to state that Eelkens and Christiaensz made an agreement with Mohawk Indians on April 21, 1613, at a hill called Tawagonshi, an imposing eminence that overlooked the Tawasentha as it snaked across river meadows and debouched into the Hudson less than a mile south of todays Albany.(8) The idea that the Dutch, in the middle of Mahican territory, would have a need to make an agreement with the Mohawks seemed preposterous according to the scholarship at the time, yet if authentic, this "agreement"(9) pushed back by thirty years the earliest known formal trade arrangement between Europeans and Iroquois.
In dating the first formal trade relations between the two groups, historians of this era usually quote a 1659 Dutch commissioners statement that it was sixteen years since the Europeans and the Iroquois were bound together "by an iron chain." This has been construed to mean that the first formal agreement between the two cultures took place during a 1643 visit to a Mohawk longhouse by Arendt van Curler, a legendary Dutch trader whom the Iroquois grew so to revere that they called future governors by the honorific name "Corlaer."(10) Undoubtedly, this historic meeting defined future relationships of Mohawks not merely with the Dutch, but with the English in the eighteenth century as well. But what if this "iron chain" was the same as or symbolic of an earlier chain, a silver one, for instance, or one that had once held an anchor that Mohawks trading at the Hudson River had returned with to their lodges thirty years earlier, an anchor given to them by Jacob Eelkens in 1613? The 1643 treaty may have been the first with all of the Dutch, but if the Tawagonshi pact preceded it, and even defined its format, then the earlier agreement becomes a remarkable kind of prototype and the earliest manifestation of the most powerful political tool used by Indians in America: the Covenant Chain of Friendship of the Iroquois Confederacy.
A close examination of van Loons assertions tends toward such a conclusion when viewed in a larger context of the Hudson Valleys transportation and trade patterns. Anomalies in our understanding of the Mohawk presence in particular become clearer as a fuller understanding of their movements emerges from the archaeological and historical evidence. And if van Loons highly critical detractors are proved wrong, a "pattern of lucidity" emerges to startle and invert conclusions about contact sustained by the consensus historical community over the last forty years.
Trails to Mskatak
The Mahicans were the domiciled culture of the northern Hudson Valley at the time of the Dutch arrival.(11) They were Algonquian, a tradition that emerged from the obscurity of time as the far-flung fingers of what Seneca anthropologist Arthur C. Parker (18811955) called "the most widely distributed aboriginal race in all America." The earliest form of this culture in our region was part of a "southward wasting" that began around 1900 B.C. of Canadian Shield aborigines to the sparsely populated river valleys across New England to the Hudson. William Ritchies Point Peninsula (Lake Champlain) complex of A.D. 700±100 is the earliest "hard" archaeological evidence of this culture in New York.(12)
The spread of the Mahican culture from northern New England into the Hudson Valley followed the Otter Creek watershed along the "Mahican Channel," the most important Northeast travel route prior to the American Revolution. This route (called the Saratoga trail in the Hudson Valley) and one to Lake George a few miles to the west are widely recognized in Hudson Valley literature. The Lake George route, which opened passages into the Adirondacks and became the Kayaderosseras trail as it skirted the northwestern Hudson Valley into the Mohawks watershed, was not within Mahican hegemony.(13) Mahicans turned instead down the Saratoga trail to access a region that stretched many miles south of todays Albany. Algonquians also spread into the Hudson Valley diffusely along the watersheds that fed the estuary from Vermont south to Connecticut; in fact, the Hudson Valleys Mahican culture may have originated from these areas, Point Peninsula merely reflecting a separate or later manifestation.
Mahican cultural references dominated the Valley west of the Hudson River from the Fish to the Catskill watersheds, but the culture was more numerous in the eastern watersheds; inland or upland areas west of the river, rich planting fields like Leeds excepted, were particularly under-populated. In the northeastern Valley, where the Hoosic River drainage neared the headwaters of Otter Creek, Mahican land abutted the Abenaki (their Algonquian cousins) and accessed the Deerfield and Housatonic watersheds of New England. The Battenkill opened the hills of southern Vermont. The Roeliff Jansen Kill provided a southern route to the Housatonic and the Connecticut and eventually (by the time Munsee Algonquian cultures became established late in the prehistoric period) defined a southeastern boundary of Mahican lands.(14) Over the centuries, bands, families, or hunting parties established proto-Mahican cultural dominance for all or part of the Washington, Rensselaer, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Albany, Schenectady, and Saratoga county areas. The western limit of this culture reached, but probably did not include, the Schoharie Creek watershed. Lotus Point was its southernmost penetration west of the Hudson.(15) No significant populations inhabited the forests northwest of the Hudson Valley in the Kayaderosseras, but Mahican hunting parties used these forests, and elsewhere in the Adirondacks, where passageways north of Mahican lands were numerous.(16)
The early Algonquian life was typified by small, dispersed settlements in hut-type structures, probably with storage pits for corn and based on the degree of fish-bearing capacity from nearby water resources and proximity to hilly woodlands for big-game hunting. Over the centuries, changes precipitated by agriculture enhanced food resources, accelerated population growth, strengthened the matrilineal nature of the society, formalized ceremonial and religious activities, contributed to greater sedentariness, and helped establish stabilized patterns of localized movement among those natives who utilized extensive river or coastal resources. Horticulture came into western New York with the Ongweoweh/Owasco, although its earliest arrival in the Hudson Valley remains a mystery.(17)
Our earliest record of maize (Zea mays), in the Roeliff Jansen Kill valley, reliably dates to A.D. 850, but any suggestion that this individual sample represents full-blown evidence of horticulture in the Hudson Valley is, like corn, best taken with a grain of salt.(18) The burnt maize was discovered in a multi-component site along a pathway that later Ongweoweh used to cross between Iroquoia and New England and access the shell resources of Long Island Sound. Movement north through the Harlem Valley or south through the Croton watershed also was possible from this area in the ninth century. The Hudson Valley date is not inconsistent with the earliest known agriculture (A.D. 700800) at a Huron site in the Niagara Peninsula in southern Ontario. Ontario Algonquians lived too far north to cultivate maize and instead traded fish for it with the Hurons. A Roeliff Jansen individual or family carrying maize obtained from Ontario cousins, or directly from the Hurons, might have been moving along a northsouth pattern instead of eastwest across the Hudson from the Catskill Creek watershed like an Ongweoweh.(19) That does not rule out the possibility that the maize was actually grown here: Dr. Robert E. Funk felt that the known Zea mays timeframe would expand as carbon-dating technologies expanded and testing became more commonplace.
The evidence of substantial maize horticulture which Hudson found among Mahicans in 1609 shows that the new technology eventually spread its way into the wider Valley, even if there is a dearth of hard anthropological evidence as to how and when this happened. Perhaps an Ongweoweh was responsible for the ancient ear of maize that confounds us now in its lonely and undeniable ninth-century reality; maybe not. Even though the first substantial record of full-blown maize horticulture appears in the Esopus fields in the fourteenth century, certainly the opportunity for learning horticulture was enhanced by Owasco trading with coastal natives as well, whenever that may have happened. The likely case is that Late Woodland natives added garden farming, slowly at first but more rapidly after the thirteenth century, to a panoply of food resources that already included hunting, fishing, and gathering.(20)
Footprints of the Ongweoweh
Archaeological evidence demonstrates a clear Owasco presence in the Hudson Valley at least by the thirteenth century, when the Elizaville Flats along the west bank of the Roeliff Jansen Kill in Clermont, Columbia County, hosted a multi-component site with pottery shards from the Castle Creek phase of the Late Owasco (A.D. 12001300). Other Owasco traces or influences included an extensive multi-component site near Hollister Lake in the town of Athens; a Hunters Home phase site at Black Rock in the village of Athens; a huge Hudson River cove site across from the city of Hudson including Iroquois ceramics from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuriesit was possibly a village, although probably not Owasco; Columbia County sites in Manorton and Clermont; and a site along the Wappingers Creek floodplain in Dutchess County that also may have held a large, non-Owasco settlement. Around 1915, Dr. Parker took Alanson Skinner to a Woodlands village site at Coeymans (later destroyed by a molding-sand mining operation) that included, in addition to Algonquian and coastal native traces, Iroquoia-tradition pottery pieces. Late Woodlands Owasco suggestions in southeastern Putnam County were also found at the Hermits Hut Rockshelter some twenty-five miles north of Long Island Sound. Evidence reported in Ritchie and Funks trailblazing survey about an extensive Owasco presence at Kingston and Hurley, and in Greene County, led Dr. Ritchie to assign the Ulster County sites to the Chance phase of the Owasco (A.D. 14001500), but that proved premature, since nearby Algonquian resources were more numerous. Funk eventually felt that Owasco traces here were "fairly widespread."
The strong prehistoric Ongweoweh fishing presence along the west bank of the Hudson from Fish Creek to Esopus (Rondout) utilized watershed routes that were more important as accessways out of the mountains from Iroquoia than passageways west for Mahicans. Indeed, the Late Woodland self-designation of the Mohawks as Ganeagaono ("people of the flint") (21) may have reflected their pattern of travel through the Eastern Door into the Hudson Valley specifically for these hunting tools. (As the easternmost of the five tribes, the Mohawks were considered guardians of the "Eastern Door" into the realm of the Ongweoweh.) Flint workshops were fairly commonplace in areas where Ongweoweh (not just the Mohawks) were likely to tread, such as the Rondout Creek, Hollister Lake in Greene County, and the river terrace and other areas near Mt. Merino in Columbia County. The fields near the Winston Farm in Saugerties, which were accessed by travelers into the Esopus watershed from the headwaters of the Schoharie, yielded significant point artifacts partly because small outcroppings of workable stone once proliferated in the immediate area.(22)
This new, linguistically different (23) culture used the Valleys flint resources for weapons, its fish resources in season, its trade resources, and its watershed resources to traverse to the coastal areas along Long Island Sound. Ongweoweh easily moved among these hills, traversing as much as eighty miles by foot in a days light and taking to the watercourses with the ease of beavers. (24) Seeds for maize, squash, beans, melon, and a small kind of pumpkin were carried in and traded. Ongweoweh entryways into the Hudson Valley depended upon where in Iroquoia the traveler began, but the most common route was the Catskill Creek watershed and the Catskill Indian Footpath, later mimicked by the Schoharie Turnpike. This route provided convenient northsouth options, once in the Valley, as well as a swift passage to the Hudson River and, across from the Catskills outlet, the Roeliff Jansen Kill. Several trails through hollows into Woodstock, the Platte Clove trail into West Saugerties, and the Pine Orchard trail along the Wall of Manitou north of Kaaterskill Clove all came out of the headwaters of the Schoharie Creek (which easily accessed either the Delaware or Susquehanna watersheds and routes to Philadelphia, the Chesapeake Bay, the Ohio River, and Onondaga and Seneca Iroquoia).(25) Trails entering Woodstock accessed the Waghkonk trail to Kingston and the Rondout. The Platte Clove route led conveniently to the Churchland gap through the Hooge Bergs to the Esopus at the Saugerties Indian caves, which have a local Iroquois tradition. The Pine Orchard trail led directly to the Kaaterskill, a Catskill Creek tributary, yet it also opened the mid-Hudson area via the Bakoven valley and the Beaverkill to Churchland. Coming out of the mountains further south, the headwaters of the Esopus brooked a gap from the Delaware watershed at Shandaken. The Esopus winding valley connected with the Rondouts, yielding other alternate routes to and from the southern Catskills and central Iroquoia through the Mamakating Valley.(26)
In the northern Hudson Valley, the Tawasentha watershed, which connected the tidal Hudson with the Mohawk River, was a common passageway until Fort Orange was established and the overland trail through the Albany Pine Barrens became more convenient. The Mohawk itself, although more difficult of passage because of numerous waterfalls and natural obstructions, also offered an array of travel options directly to the Hudson or northward toward Fish Creek and Saratoga. The Sacandaga River led to the Kayaderosseras Trail, the Saratoga region, and the northwestern Valley.(27) The northwestern forests were for hunting or fishing parties or passage through, but not for domicile (despite the occasional camp or small village), yet allusions in folklore suggest a more permanent Ongweoweh presence in those climes. The legend of the White Dove of the Kayaderroseras took a Saratoga Lake setting and involved a combined Mohawk-Adirondack tribal community; another tradition reunites a Mohawk prince and his mother on the east side of the Hudson, where their embrace evoked a burst of lightning that created the famous Lansingburgh crystal rock.(28)
Patterns of Ongweoweh travel across and around the Valley also underscored their significant presence here. The Roeliff Jansen Kill was only one of several eastwest routes for these or other New England travelers. South of the Hoosic drainage and the Otter Creek route, the Battenkill Valley was long known by its Iroquois name, Ondawa ("country of rounded hills")although John Merwin preferred the lesser-known Mahican tag, Tyetilegogtakook ("country around the river of toads"). The Battenkills seventy-five-foot falls near the Hudson also had a common Iroquois name, Dionondahowa ("where the hills interpose").(29)
Trails from the Tawasentha led over a hill or two to the Mohawk, westerly across the Rensselaerswyck foothills to the Schoharie Valley, or south to Coeymans, Coxsackie, Athens, and the Catskill Creek. The Rondout below and the Esopus north of Hurley also traversed parts of the Valleys northsouth axis. Movement occurred over routes of mazelike intricacy, but not entirely throughout the Valley as might be supposed by later usage. The romantic Parker notwithstanding, there is little evidence of an Indian presence at Albany itself prior to the seventeenth century.(30)
Deganawidah at Cohoes
Throughout prehistory the Ongweoweh presence in the Hudson Valley was benign, but when the fur trade began to consume and obsess natives of all persuasions the nature of the attitudes changed. The most significant prospect on the Valley horizon when Henry Hudson appeared was an imminent Mohawk presence. They paid tribute to the explorer as he lay at anchor at his northernmost penetration south of Selkirk on September 22, 1609.(31) The Mohawks were not yet involved in a military invasion (that would come less than twenty years later), although the tensions with the existing Mahican population were thick by 1613. Previous Ongweoweh traces had been strictly for fishing, hunting or trading purposes, but the new groups now had a history of warfare with Algonquian cousins of the Mahicans to the north over the pelt trade with the French at Tadoussec on the St. Lawrence.(32) The Mohawks had an attitude about partaking of that trade, a new militaristic ethic, some well-earned experience in their battles to the north, and, with fellow Ongweoweh to the west, a new collective identity as the Haudenosaunee ("people of the longhouse"). That identity was based partly on a spiritual transformation that had resulted from their founders experience with sea shells: their quest for the small, beautiful carapaces now took on mythic proportions and transformed these once sedentary planters into a fierce warrior nation. The Hudson Valley now lay at their Eastern Door.(33)
The evolution of these several Ongweoweh tribes into this single league or confederacy (including Hiawathas discovery of the shells) occurred off our stage, in the Mohawk and St. Lawrence valleys, although Iroquois tradition placed one of the first events in that ultimate arrangement in the Hudson Valley at Cohoes, where a small hunting camp of Mohawks supposedly was located.(34) (Iroquois called the Hudson River Cahohatatea, meaning the valley or waters below the Cohoes falls,(35) signifying the importance of that geological formation to the regions definition from an Ongweoweh perspective.) Around 1570,(36) a brave named Dekanawidah, or Deganawidah, appeared on a mission to unite the five Ongweoweh tribes into a single confederacy. He set up camp near the falls fully within a Mohawk villages view. This was an act of courtesy, since it was the habit of strangers to make their presence known in a new territory or neighborhood to avoid the appearance of aggression; if they had killed game, they would hang it openly to show that they were not thieves. The local royaner ("lord") (37) invited Deganawidah into his camp, heard the young braves call for a joining of the tribes, and required him to prove himself. Deganawidah took the villagers to the falls, climbed a bitter hickory tree that hung over the precipice, and instructed them to fell it. They did so; the tree and the brave tumbled into the raging water and were swept away. But Deganawidah, as his mother and grandmother had discovered when they tried to kill him as an infant, could not be drowned. The next morning a smoke rose over his old campsite and there he was, preparing his morning meal. The same event, as the story goes, was repeated at Cohoes falls later for the benefit of the Onondaga, with Hiawatha present.(38) Thus was the Hudson Valley the initial setting for the Peacemakers uniting of the tribes of the Ongweoweh into the best known confederation of Indians in American history. Soon the footfalls of their moccasins would pass down the vale of the Tawasentha to the hill of Tawagonshi, where, in mute defiance overlooking the land of the Mahicans, they watched the pale new visitors set up camps to trade.
The Hill at Tawagonshi
Why would the Dutch parlay with the Iroquois if they were in Mahican territory? The Tawasentha (later called the mill creek or the Normanskill), although within Mahican territory, was a well-defined Mohawk travel route to the Hudson Rivers fishing resources. It was known very early in the Dutch period that the Indians who frequented the river here were disliked, even hated, by those across the river.(39) There was no likely Mahican presence in the immediate vicinity at the time of Eelkens arrival, and it was not until a few years later that a Mahican village relocated across from the Tawasentha, probably in response to the Mohawk trade advantage and the construction of Fort Nassau on Castle Island at this location. The Mahicans disdained the pushy "maneaters." The Mohawks, on the other hand, understood that friction existed because northern Algonquians already fought Mohawks over the trade with the French at Tadoussec. They were aggressive, but were enamored of the trade and would not have wanted to chance an all-out confrontation. An agreement with the Dutch would have served to legitimize their trade in this alien land and perhaps even gain an ally with firesticks in the process. The Dutch, who wanted the furs and a peaceful environment, may have quickly deduced the situation. Although a formalized relationship was unnecessary, a cunning European might have seen formality as an entree into the peltstrings of the wilden, especially if phrased in a metaphor the natives would understand. A silver chain taken from around a Dutch traders own neck, say, or the anchor that held his ship firmly in place: these were the images a Mohawk lord could appreciate.
"In that Ship were Christians," Governor Henry Slaughter was told by Iroquois in 1691, "amongst the rest one Jaques with whom we made a Covenant of friendship, which covenant hath since been tied together with a chaine and always ever since kept inviolable by the Brethren and us ."(40)
Eelkens had gone upriver almost immediately on arriving in the New World and met with the royaners of the Rotinonghsiqonni (Mohawk for "people of the longhouse"). The arrangement was made immediately upon his arrival. The agreement van Loon produced had the names of Christiaensz, Eelkens, and (by their marks) four chiefs whose namesGarhatJannie, Caghneghsattakegh, Otskwiragongh, and Teyoghswegenghwere also the names of Iroquois villages. This is not as unusual as critics of the agreement have suggested: Mohawk in particular were likely to name persons after places or events.(41) (The sympathetic conveyance should be clear to modern ethnographers: by using his village name, the lord draws also on the power of his people.) The agreements provisions ensured safe travel and trading, as well as mutual support in time of need. The Iroquois, according to a 1689 native account, symbolized the day by carrying "the Ankor of the ship that Jaques came in" to Onondaga, the home of their council fire.(42)
Other documentary evidence, seeming to underscore the agreements significance, elevated "Jaques" to the importance of Arendt van Curler. But the question remains, was the Eelkens agreement real, or a hoax? Although an editorial committee of the Holland Society concluded that its terms and apparent origin did "dovetail into a pattern of lucidity," they honored the sentiments of one of its members and rejected it for publication in de Halve Maen in 1959. Almost thirty years later, three distinguished Albany-area scholarsthe dissenting member of the original Holland Society committee, a Dutch manuscripts expert, and an Iroquois anthropologistlabeled the agreement a forgery committed by L. G. van Loon.(43)
The conclusions of "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter" have remained unchallenged and unexamined for a dozen years now, a testimony to the esteem in which these scholars are held in the New York historical community. Yet the implications of this aspect of early Indian-Dutch history are significant, if this agreement did in fact exist, so much so that corroboration of the scholars conclusions is warranted. A close examination of the article and the history around it strongly suggests that their conclusions were wrong. Their argument is made largely by innuendo, is not sustained by other sources or by a close reading of facts, or is proved erroneous by other references.
For example, the writers imply (44) that naming Iroquois lords after ancient Mohawk villages is proof that the text is bogus, yet they do not document the assertion or account for Beauchamps observation on such a practice among Iroquois. The orthographys similarity to that of Mohawk missionaries is considered proof,(45) not of the agreements authenticity (as an objective reading might suggest), but its illegitimacy. The critics tout the use of a handwriting expert in the 1959 inquiry,(46) but only relate that the expert, J. Howard Haring, was "the star witness at the 1935 trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann " and the most dubious prosecution link in that trial, as I recall. The authors give their own handwriting opinion anyway,(47) by claiming, on thin reasoning, that a quill pen was not used, and by asserting (48) that the "pen strokes and handwriting style, in fact, very closely resemble Van Loons own handwriting." They base that assertion (49) on "many Van Loon letters in the Van Cleaf Bachman Papers" in Cooperstown (I found only nine) and van Loons "Voetstappe achter Weege," a portion of which they reproduce (50) without specifically comparing the handwriting to the agreements text, a photographic image of which they include in their article. (51) In fact, van Loons Dutch handwriting is clearly and rather obviously different from that of the Tawagonshi photocopy, or that of a 1634 Jeronimus de la Croix letter, which two of these authors also believed van Loon faked.(52)
The authors claim that the Tawagonshi document "contains expressions that were not in use in 1613" presupposes a knowledge of what expressions were used then, which the authors, by their own admission, claim they do not know. The limited etymologies that they do provide (royaner, for example) at least suggest that the expressions could have been used in 1613. Similarly, the contention that some of the Dutch phrases used "seem odd or suspiciously modern" reflects negative wish-fulfillment rather than logical reasoning. In an analysis of the text, the authors criticize the phrase, soolangh t gas groen is (so long as the grass is green), as "a metaphor familiar to present-day Americans from film and fiction" but not of seventeenth-century vintage;(53) yet Victor Hugo Paltsits found "as long as grass grew or water ran" in Rensselaerswyck leases of 1630s vintage, so even if the Indians did not know how to speak like Indians in the seventeenth century, the Dutch did.(54)
The allegations of Drs. Gehring, Starna, and Fenton about the provenance of the Eelkens agreement were at the very least unproved, and probably wrong, yet questions about Eelkens remain to be examined in more detail as scholars now re-examine L. G. van Loon and the unusual artifact he sought to authenticate.(55) The hide might be back-traced, for instance, through an examination of the record and personnel involved in the Five Rivers Reserve raid by Canadian authorities in 1924, since it was apparently from one of the individuals involved in that raid that van Loon obtained the skins. Unfortunately, absolute proof in the form of carbon-dating of the hides must await their rediscovery. They disappeared after van Loon gave them to the Onondaga shortly before the 1959 Holland Society review.
1. Meteren, "On Hudsons Voyage" in J. Franklin Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, New York (1909), 8 (from Meterens Historie der Nederlanden, published posthumously in 1614). Ellis Lawrence Raesly, Portrait of New Netherland, New York (1945), 9; Simon Hart, The Prehistory of the New Netherland Company: Amsterdam Notarial Records of the First Dutch Voyages to the Hudson, Amsterdam, Holland (1959), tr. Sibrandina Geertruid Hart-Runeman, 20; Donald S. Johnson, Charting the Sea of Darkness: The Four Voyages of Henry Hudson, New York (1995 ), 128; Henri and Barbara van der Zee, A Sweet and Alien Land: The Story of Dutch New York, New York (1978), 4. The journal of Juet, the English mate (several of the crew were Dutch), first appeared in Samuel Purchas, Purchas His Pilgrimes. In Five Books: The Third Part, London (1625). The closest modern text, but not well-accessible, is in Appendix B of Edward Hagaman Hall, ed., Fifteenth Annual Report, 1910, of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society to the Legislature of the State of New York, Albany (1910), 308346. Johnsons Charting the Sea of Darkness has a complete text, 90127, but with modernized spellings and an occasional missed sense of a word.
2. John Heckewelder, History, Manners, and Customs of the Indian Nations Who Once Inhabited Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (1876 ), 74; C. A. Weslager, The Delaware Indians: A History, New Brunswick, N. J. (1972), 475476. See John Bierhorst, Mythology of the Lenape: Guide and Texts, Tucson, Ariz. (1995), 3132, 33. The tradition is not repeated in European documents; neither Juet nor what little we have of Hudson made reference to a gift of hoes.
3. Laet, "From the New World," in Jameson, ed., Narratives of New Netherland, 28. This was repeated in Hollands 1660 "Deduction" on its disputes with the English; E. B. OCallaghan, ed., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Albany (1858), II, 133 (hereinafter referred to as DCHSNY). Van Cleaf Bachman, Peltries or Plantations: The Economic Policies of the Dutch West India Company in New Netherland, 16231639, Baltimore (1969), 4, n. 7, suggests that Laet sought to assert a firmer Dutch claim in light of Hudsons detainment in England. Simon Hart (The Prehistory of the New Netherland Company) quotes Wassenaer as stating that Hendrick Christiaenssen of Cleves sailed to or past New Netherland before Hudson, enroute to the West Indies, but did not approach land. Hart (18) and Bachman believe this was in 1610, at the earliest. The Wassenaer comment is repeated in I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island 14981909, New York (1915), I, 6.
4. DCHSNY I, xlix.
5. No details on the St. Pieters voyage are recorded. Francoys Pelgrom (15741616) to his wife in Brno (Prague), July 20, 1612; Hart, 2021, 7374; Bachman, 6, n. 13, n. 15. Virginia was a euphemism for New Netherland; another was "Terneuff".
6. Hart, 3941; on their Lutheran affiliation and extensive shipping interests elsewhere, Oliver A. Rink, Holland on the Hudson: An Economic and Social History of Dutch New York, Ithaca (1986), 3536. Hart anglicizes the spelling to Christiaenssen. The earliest and most common spelling is Christiaensz., usually with a period, as an abbreviation for -szoon, "son of." Alternative spellings include Christiaenszoon, Christiaensen, or Corstiaensen. I retain the earliest spellings but drop the period in names like this, which are pronounced as if the "-sen" ending were present. Little is known of Christiaenszs history outside of New Netherland.
7. Laet, "From the New World," 47; see Bachman, 11. Confusion arises from the fact that voyages were made in 1614 by two Fortuyns, the second under Christiaensz. A brief biography of Jacob (or Jacop) Jacobssen Eelkens is in Hart, 5455.
8. L. G. van Loon, "Tawagonshi, Beginning of the Treaty Era," in Indian Historian, I:1 (December 1967), 2226. Van Loon claimed that the agreement was written in Dutch on two pieces of animal skin and that it remained at the Iroquois Grand River Reserve in Canada until it came into his hands in the mid-twentieth century. On the hills name (Tawassagunshee or Tawassgunshee), William M. Beauchamp, Aboriginal Place Names of New York, N. Y. S. Museum Bulletin 108 (Archeology 12), 400, Albany (May 1907), 24. What remains of the hill, and the stream (now called the Normanskill), are visible from the bridge immediately south of the first Albany exit on the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway.
9. Francis Jennings, The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire: The Covenant Chain Confederation of Indian Tribes with English Colonies from its Beginnings to the Lancaster Treaty of 1744, New York (1984), 55, mistakenly called this a "treaty." The distinction is important. The Tawagonshi agreement should not be considered a diplomatic instrument, but merely a trade pact between Indian royaners (translated "lord"see n. 37 below) and company men.
10. E. B. OCallaghan, History of New Netherland; or, New York under the Dutch, New York (1868; originally published 1845), II, 391; see Charles H. McIlwain, "Introduction" to Charles H. McIlwain, ed., An Abridgement of the Indian Affairs, 16781751. . .By Peter Wraxall, Cambridge (1915), liii; Jennings, The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire, 53.
11. A vague Delaware tradition speaks of their northern boundary reaching to the present site of Albany, but that is unlikely; Beauchamp cites H. R. Schoolcraft for Ga-isch-ti-nic or possibly Kish-ke-tuk ("by the river side") as an Indian name for Albany. Aboriginal Place Names of New York, 20.
12. On the extent and dating of Algonquian culture, Samuel Eliot Morison, ed., The Parkman Reader, New York (1955), 26; James A. Tuck, "Regional Cultural Development, 3000 to 300 B.C.," in Bruce G. Trigger, ed., Handbook of North American Indians: Volume 15 Northeast, Washington (1978), 4. Dean R. Snow, The Archaeology of New England, New York (1980), 21, asserts that a proto-Algonquian language was spoken in North America four thousand years ago; Herbert C. Kraft, The Lenape: Archaeology, History and Ethnography, Newark (1986), 90, states that people in the future Lenape (Delaware) area spoke such a language by 1000 B.C. Tantalizing discoveries in Schenectady and Cohoes date to this time period and contain elements similar to the later Algonquian culture, including stone worked by pecking and smoothing into a bear image, the principal Mahican totembut no clear connection with the later culture has been determined. See Charles Leonard Fisher, "Social Organization and Change during the Early Horticultural Period in the Hudson River Valley," 34. On Ritchie, see Ted J. Brasser, Riding the Frontiers Crest: Mahican Indian Cultures and Culture Change, Ottawa (1976), 3.
13. Later cultures called Lake Champlain Can-i-a-de-ri Gua-run-te ("door of the country" according to Benson J. Lossing, The Hudson From Wilderness to the Sea, Somersworth, N. H. [1972; 1866], 38, although a better translation might be "lake that is a door," from kanyatare, "lake," and kanhohkaronde, "door"; see DCHSNY, III, 723). Jennings suggests the term "Mahican Channel" in The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire, 3031. Lake George was called Caniad-eri-oit ("the tail of the lake") when discovered by Isaac Jogues in August 1642. The Saratoga Trail was a canoe trail to Albany. (It was 135 miles from Albany to Crown Point: Albany to Stillwater, twenty-two miles; Stillwater to "Sarichtoge," fourteen miles; to the Great Carrying Place, fourteen miles; to Wood Creek, ten miles; to the little falls at the end of Wood Creek, thirty miles; to the Narrows between two hills, nine miles more; to "Tjondaroge," twenty-one miles; and Ticonderoga to Crown Point, fifteen miles. "Cornelius Cuylers Calculation of the Distance from Albany to Crown Point," in DCHSNY, IV, 287.) The Saratoga also accessed the Mohawk following a short portage from Ballston Lake to Eel Creek. The Kayderosseras Trail entered the Hudson Valley just west of Glens Falls, ran south of the Great Bend ten miles to the west, crossed through the present towns of Wilton and Greenfield, and exited the Valley "at Stiles Tavern, over near Lake Desolation," as the General Passenger Department of the Delaware and Hudson railroad reported in 1914. By the mid-seventeenth century, this trail was already considered "ancient." Warwick Stevens Carpenter, The Summer Paradise in History, Albany (1914), 84; Evelyn Barrett Britten, Chronicles of Saratoga, Saratoga Springs (1959), 5; Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, Historical Sketches of Northern New York and the Adirondack Wilderness: Including Traditions of the Indians, Early Explorers, Pioneer Settlers, Hermit Hunters, etc., (Harrison, 1973; Troy, 1877), 7172. The strategic importance of these trails figures in Mary Hun Sears interesting novel, Hudson Crossroads: A Documentary Narrative of Three Centuries in Upper New York, New York (1954), 225.
14. Susan J. Bender and Edward V. Curtin, A Prehistoric Context for the Upper Hudson Valley: Report of the Survey and Planning Project, N.Y.S. Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Albany (1990), 32. Snow, The Archaeology of New England, 26, Fig. 2.1, shows the distribution of New England Algonquians, including Mahican. Russell Bourne offers several maps of eastern New England seventeenth-century village and native trail patterns, some of which led into the Hudson Valley; The Red Kings Rebellion: Racial Politics in New England 16751678, New York (1990), 1417. Shirley W. Dunn, The Mohicans and Their Land 16091730, Fleischmanns (1994), 5053, traces the southern boundary of the Mahicans and suggests it likely included todays town of Red Hook. William A. Ritchie and Robert E. Funk, Aboriginal Settlement Patterns in the Northeast, N.Y.S. Museum and Science Service Memoir 20 , 335336, remark on the prevalence of Hudson Valley flints in eastern Massachusetts.
15. The sale of Schenectady and Niskayuna by Mohawks in 1661 was acknowledged as lands not formerly a part of their ancestry. The Saratoga Patent and the Van Bael Patent along the Normanskill were also Mahican lands that fell to the Mohawks after the seventeenth century wars. Dunn places the Mahican territorial line "several miles west of Schenectady, probably near present Hoffmans Ferry," or near a Mohawk village abandoned in 1626 about thirty miles northwest of Albany. The Mohicans and Their Lands, 49, 57.
16. Indian Pass was a famous trail that passed through a chasm between Mounts McIntyre and Wall Face in Essex County and crossed north of the Hudson Valley to Lake Champlain. Hunters Pass led to the headwaters of the Schroon Creek. Elk Pass reached the Au Sable, which opened Keene Valley. The Au Sable Pass was a natural gateway through the mountains to the headwaters of the Boreas, an Adirondacks tributary of the Hudson. Sylvester, Historical Sketches, 5860. These trails were used by Algonquians as well as Iroquois in prehistory.
17. Iroquois called themselves Ongweoweh, "original men" or "real men," which Arthur C. Parker felt reflected an attitude of racial superiority. The Constitution of the Five Nations, or The Iroquois Book of the Great Law, N. Y. S. Museum Bulletin 184, Albany (April 1, 1916), 9. The term Iroquois, according to John R. Swanton, is from an Algonquian word meaning "real adders," to which the French -ois was appended. The Indians of North America, Washington (1969; 1952), 33. Haudenosaunee ("people of the longhouse") is a political term adopted when the Five Nations united. The prehistoric culture, following archaeological practice, was identified by William A. Ritchie by the name of the first site where it was uncovered, Lake Owasco in central New York.
18. Daniel F. Cassedy, R. Scott Dillon, Mark Petersen, Molly Davies, Thomas Bianchi (Garrow and Associates, Inc.), Iroquois Gas Transmission System: Phase II Archaeological Evaluations, Volume 3, the Hudson Valley Region, Atlanta, Ga., February 1991, 2111. Lynn Ceci reported carbon-14 dates of 1070±60 years, 1130±150, and A.D.1300 for corn found in the state around this time; The Effect of European Contact and Trade on the Settlement Pattern of Indians in Coastal New York, 15241665, New York (1990), 94. The Roeliff Jansen maize, although apparently much older, was found in a firepit dating to the same period; another pit nearby is older (A.D. 900) but had maize kernels that, when tested, proved to have been cooked in or around 1560. J. C. Vogel and Nikolaas J. van der Merwe explain the technical problem in how maize metabolizes carbon monoxide, making radiocarbon dating consistently too young unless a "fractionalization" correction for that difference is made. That correction was made for the Roeliff Jansen maize, so the date can be considered accurate. "Isotopic Evidence for Early Maize Cultivation in New York State," in American Antiquity, 42:2 (April 1977), 239. Because of the confusing dates, additional testing of these samples seems warranted.
19. My interpretation of how the maize got there. In personal interviews, Martha Latta confirmed the Huron date and Funk commented on the trade pattern with Ontario Algonquians and theorized on early maize horticulture in the Hudson Valley.
20. Herbert C. Kraft, "An Archaeological Overview of the Lower Hudson Valley," in Catherine Coleman Brawer, ed., Many Trails: Indians of the Lower Hudson Valley, Katonah (1983), 13; Robert E. Funk, Recent Contributions to Hudson Valley Prehistory, N.Y.S. Museum Memoir 22, Albany (1976), 7.
21. Variations included Kajingahaga, Kaniengehaga, or just Kayenga. Morison, ed., The Parkman Reader, 41, n. 1; Sylvester, Historical Sketches, 19; Parker, The Constitution of the Five Nations, 25; Johannes Megapolensis Jr., "A Short Sketch of the Mohawk Indians in New Netherland, Their Land, Stature, Dress, Manners, and Magistrates, Written in the Year 1644... ," in Collections of the New-York Historical Society, Second Series: Volume III-Part 1, New York (1857), 153. The term "Mohawk," according to Charles T. Gehring and William A. Starna, is an Anglicized version of an unflattering Narragansett or Massachusetts word, Mohowawog ("man-eater"), cognate with a Unami Delaware term, mhuwé-yek, "cannibal monsters." A Journey into Mohawk and Oneida Country, 16341635: The Journal of Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, Syracuse (1991; 11988), 23, n. 1. Alexander F. Chamberlain termed the Algonquian word (which he spelled mowak or mowawak) a "nickname" representing the third person plural form of mowa, "to eat," in this context meaning "they eat them" or "those who eat men." "Algonkian Words in American English: A Study in the Contact of the White Man and the Indian," in Journal of American Folklore, 15 (1992), 249. This etymology hints at the richness and variety of Indian language.
22. Cassedy, et al., Iroquois Gas Transmission System, 19113, 19221, 19711, 19811, 19832, 21011, 21111, 23031, and on Funks comment, III8; Stuart J. Fiedel, "A Unique Decorated Bone Artifact from Southeastern New York," in The Bulletin: Journal of the New York State Archaeological Association, 1718; Ritchie and Funk, Aboriginal Settlement Patterns in the Northeast, 177 (see Dean R. Snow, "Late Prehistory of the East Coast," in Handbook of North American Indians, 64, and The Archaeology of New England, 320); Bender and Curtin, A Prehistoric Context for the Upper Hudson Valley, 44; Ceci, The Effect of European Contact and Trade, 93; Hartgen Archeological Associates, Stage I Literature Review of the Town of Rosendale, Hamlet of High Falls [Marbletown], and Hamlet of Rifton [Esopus], Ulster County, New York [C361204], February 1981, 6. The comment on the Winston Farm is my own. Despite this record, the lack of Hudson Valley domicile by Ongweoweh/Haudenosaunee/Iroquois was masterfully demonstrated in Hetty J. Brumbach and Susan J. Benders "Winneys Rift: A Late Woodland Village Site in the Upper Hudson River Valley," Bulletin and Journal of Archeology for New York State, 92 (Spring 1986), 18.
23. Mahican dialects resembled those of their eastern Algonquian neighbors, the Abenaki, and also shared characteristics with Lenape (Delaware), whose Munsee tradition extended into the Hudson Valley as far as the Sawyerkill late in the prehistoric period. Brasser, Riding on the Frontiers Crest, 2; Ives Goddard, "Eastern Algonquian Languages," in Trigger, ed., Handbook of North American Indians, 7476. Morison likened the difference in language among Algonquians "to the difference between French and Italian, or Italian and Spanish. Each of these languages, again, had its dialects, like those of difference provinces of France." The Parkman Reader, 25, n. 1. See Ives Goddard, "Delaware," in Handbook of North American Indians, 213. Sir William Johnson in the eighteenth century remarked on the radical difference in language between Iroquois and Algonquian: "In particular the letters M and P which Occurs so frequently in the Languages of the rest, cannot be pronounced by the 5 nations without the utmost difficulty, & are not in their language." OCallaghan, ed., DCHSNY, IV, 435436.
24. The utilization of fish resources may have been as simple as a brief appearance from the mountains to trade for smoked shad in the spring. Iroquois were not attracted to the seasonal Hudson River fishing in the same way as Algonquian and Laurentian cultures because Iroquoia had extensive fish resources of its own. See Michael Recht, "The Role of Fishing in the Iroquois Economy, 16001792," in New York History, LXXVI:1 (January 1995), 79. However, a Mahican war or hunting party, or an individual crossing the Valley to the Housatonic, would have traveled more swiftly, perhaps at a run. The movement of these Indians over vast territories, to Long Island Sound, for instance, should not seem surprising. Matthew Dennis noted their trade avenues through the Ohio Valley and into Cahokia (mid-America), so why not easterly as well? Cultivating a Landscape of Peace: Iroquois-European Encounters in Seventeenth-Century America, Ithaca (1993), 48. On Algonquian travel habits, see Bourne, The Red Kings Rebellion, 29; Dunn (The Mohicans and Their Lands, 56) reports that Wekquaesgeeks in 1671 Westchester County averaged less than thirty-six miles per day, which seems reasonable for a family or movement in coastal areas.
25. A classic description of the Susquehanna route is found in the capture, abduction and removal to Buffalo of Jeremiah Snyder and his son by Tories and Indians in 1777, in Benjamin Myer Brink, The Early History of Saugerties: 16601825, Kingston (1902), 168176.
26. On the Waghkonk, Alf Evers, Woodstock: History of an American Town, Woodstock (1987), 89. The Bakoven was an important mini-valley between the Kalkbergs and the Hooge Bergs that connected the Pine Orchard trail with the Beaverkill and Esopus watersheds in colonial Saugerties; it resembles an inverted Dutch bahk-ohfen, or "bake-oven." See George H. Chadwick, Geology of the Catskill and Kaaterskill Quadrangles, N.Y.S. Museum Bulletin No. 336, Albany (1944), 16. On the Mamakating trail, Alphonso Trumpbour Clearwater, "Introduction," in Gustave Anjou, Ulster County, N. Y.: Probate Records in the Office of the Surrogate, and in the County Clerks Office at Kingston, N.Y., Bowie, Md. (1992; 1906), 6; and the papers of Rev. Charles Scott, Ulster Historical Society, Hurley, New York. The Mamakating trail began at the Neversink (or Mahakemack) at Port Jervis and reached the Rondout at Napanoch and the Esopus at Marbletown. Another trail, called the Shawangunk, crossed the mountains at Minnisink and followed the Shawangunk, Wallkill, and Rondout to the Hudson at Kingston.
27. The Catskill Indian Footpath is shown in J. B. Beers, History of Greene County, New York, with Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men, New York (1884), 157, and mentioned in Cassedy et al., 19331. Bender and Curtin, A Prehistoric Context for the Upper Hudson Valley, 33, mention several of these waterways as corridors for Mahicans traveling westwardbut that is a less likely scenario, except for hunting, until after the subjection of the Mahicans in the historic period. The Esopus valley route was suggested by probable Owasco pottery shards in a rockshelter near the Ashokan Reservoir aerators; John Bierhorst (reporting to the N.Y.S. Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation on a site investigated by James Burggraf of Olive Bridge in 1957), SIF No. A11111.000003Olive, March 3, 1995.
28. Saratoga county was covered with arrowheads, pottery shards, and other aboriginal evidence early in the twentieth century, to such an extent that, had it been carefully examined by archaeologists, it probably would have yielded more extensive Owasco information than currently known; see Carpenter, The Summer Paradise in History, 77. Swanton, The Indian Tribes of North America, 34, lists Mohawk villages at Saratoga and "Schaunactada, at and south of Albany"; but even if they existed, neither should be considered formal villages. A rendition of the White Dove story is found at Charles Hayes, ed., From the Hudson to the World: Voices of the River, n. p. (Beacon; 1978), 26; the Lansingburgh, at Harold W. Thompson, Body, Boots & Britches: Folktales, Ballads and Speech from Country New York, New York (1967; 1939), 125126. (In Sylvesters 1887 version, the lightning kills the mother and son when they are reunited; Historical Sketches, 214220.)
29. See Sylvester, Historical Sketches, 283; Merwin, The Battenkill: An Intimate Portrait of a Great Trout RiverIts History, People, and Fishing Possibilities, New York (1993), xii, 42.
30. Parker, "The Capital District of Indian Days," in Albanys Tercentenary: Historical Narrative Souvenir, Albany (1924), 17, claims the Algonquians established their council fire at Albany, but more reliable Algonquian tradition establishes the setting at Oka near Montreal (as reported by Evan Pritchard, Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources, July 28, 1997). Although there is no evidence of an early Indian presence at Albany (but see Ritchie and Funk, Aboriginal Settlement Patterns in the Northeast, 190, where a small Early Woodland fishing village is reported near there) there was an element of the genuine in Parkers romantic view: the Mahican council fire was established in the immediate vicinity, at Mskatak (Schodack). See Lewis Henry Morgan, League of the Iroquois, Secaucus, N. J. (1962; 1851, under the original title League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee, Iroquois), 415. In 1683, Albany officials were shocked to learn that Iroquois leaders would have much preferred travelling the watersheds to the Susquehanna to trade furs with William Penns people, rather than the tiresome overland route to Albany. DCHSNY, I, 259; see Gary B. Nash, "The Quest for the Susquehanna Valley: New York, Pennsylvania, and the Seventeenth-Century Fur Trade," in New York History, LXX:4 (October, 1989), 1011.
31. Robert Juets journal, in Hall, ed., Fifteenth Annual Report, 1910, of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, 341. Although the Indians are not named, the gifts (shell beads, according to Llewellyn Powys, Henry Hudson, New York , 110), oration, and platter of "Venison" are ceremonial traits of Mohawks. The event was preceded by a night of drinking in which a Mahican lord was left on board Hudsons ship. An Iroquois tradition or legend that was "long preserved" included a scene of intoxication with the arrival of the first European ship. See OCallaghan, History of New Netherland, I, 39, n. 1, and Nelson Greene, ed., History of the Valley of the Hudson: River of Destiny 16091930, Chicago (1931), I, 190; Greene felt a Mohawk visit "probable."
32. See Patrick Frazier, The Mohicans of Stockbridge, Lincoln, Neb. (1992), 3. Samuel de Champlain, who found Algonquian huts in 1603 at the spot where Cartier found Owasco in 1535, seemed to think that the Algonquians started these hostilities; E. B. OCallaghan, ed., DCHSNY, III, 4. See D. Lenig, "Of Dutchmen, Beaver Hats and Iroquois," 7576. On the Cartier Indians, see Morison, ed., The Parkman Reader, 25; Sylvester, Historical Sketches, 252.
33. Irving Powless Jr., "The Sovereignty and Land Rights of the Haudenosaunee," in Christopher Vecsey and William A. Starna, eds., Iroquois Land Claims, Syracuse (1988), 159. See also Snow, The Archaeology of New England, 4, 259; Jennings, The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire, 43, n.39.
34. Beth Wellman at the Anthropological Survey reported evidence of a small camp in the Cohoes falls area, but its nature or age could not be determined. Generally, historians and anthropologists need to loosen up when it comes to New York Indian tradition and myth. Bender and Curtin, A Prehistoric Context for the Upper Hudson Valley, 45, felt that "legendary sites" like this one "need to be questioned," yet they also seemed skeptical of the existence of Unawats Castle, the seventeenth-century Mahican site at Peebles Island, even though an extensive Dutch record of its existence is extant and Beauchamp and Parker were there and saw artifacts.
35. Robert Steven Grumet, Native American Place Names in New York City, New York (1981), 22, correcting Sylvester, Historical Sketches, 95, 37, who claimed that "Ca-ho-ta-te-a" was an Algonquian term from which Hudson derived his term "river of mountains." Sylvester wrote that the Mohawks called the river Ska-neh-ta-de, although later, 276277, he correctly noted that that was the Mohawk name for the site of Albany, "the place [or "it is"] through the open woods." Morgan gives the Iroquois name for the Hudson Skä-neh-ta-de Ga-hun-da, "river beyond the opening," from his interpretation of the Seneca. League of the Iroquois, "Table Exhibiting the Dialectical Variations of the Language of the Iroquois," after 395, and 415. (Ska-neh-ta-de was a term that worked in both directions; hence, modern Schenectady.)
36. See George E. Hyde, Indians of the Woodlands: From Prehistoric Times to 1725, Norman, Okla. (1962), 87. This opens one of the most fascinating aspects of pre-contact scholarship, the dating of the formation of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois confederacy. Moravian missionary J. Christopher Pyrlaeus, in 1743 the first to refer to the Deganawidah myth, reported that the Five Nations were established "as near as can be conjectured, one age (or the length of a mans life) before the white people (the Dutch) came into the country." The average natives lifespan at that time was slightly over forty years. Dennis, Cultivating a Landscape of Peace, 82; E. M. Ruttenber, History of the Indian Tribes of Hudsons River, Albany (1872), I, 39; I used the 1992 Saugerties facsimile reprint. Dennis remarks, however, that "archaeological evidence" suggests the Five Nations were formed "in the mid-sixteenth century or earlier," but the only evidence he cites, 63, is that European goods began to appear in Iroquois artifacts in the second quarter of that century. In another context, 85, he suggests that Deganawidah appeared in the mid-fifteenth century, the time-frame cited by archaeologist James Tuck ("Regional Cultural Development," 53, n. 17; 59, n. 23). Dean R. Snow, The Archaeology of New England, 141143, refers to a Seneca legend that an eclipse at the time of last corn tilling coincided with the decision to join the confederacy. He came up with twenty-one eclipses between 13501650, the last in 1585. He feels that the League was completed by 1536 at the latest, but I had trouble following his final skein of logic. Peter P. Pratt concludes: "We may never know the date of the formation of the League but on the basis of the international contact and trend toward pan-Iroquoianism evident in the archeological record, it would appear likely that the League came into existence toward the end of the 16th century ." "A Perspective on Oneida Archeology," in R. E. Funk and C. F. Hayes, eds., Current Perspectives in Northeastern Archaeology: Essays in Honor of William A. Ritchie, Rochester (1977), 64. In the same volume ("Of Dutchmen, Beaver Hats and Iroquois," 71), D. Lenig shares this view; he cites, 73, an archaeological record of Mohawk trade with the French starting around 1550. Ceci, The Effect of European Contact and Trade, 1819, noted the presence of shells at some Oneida and Seneca sites circa 1550, but onekoera (the Mohawk term for strung sewan), according to Wilcomb E. Washburn, does not appear among the Iroquois before 1600. The Indian in America, New York (1975), 99. The strung beads took on mythic status in the time of Hiawatha, who was recruited by Deganawidah after the Cohoes falls incident and who first discovered his power as a royaneh ("lord") when he caused the water of a lake to rise and gathered shells from it that Deganawidah later strung into the thirteen "condolences" of Iroquois myth. Parker, "The Constitution of the Five Nations, 2024; see Gehring and Starna, eds., A Journey into Mohawk and Oneida Country, 52. Although Deganawidah preached peace only among the tribes of the Ongweoweh, there seems to be no time lapse between the formation of the league and their subsequent aggressions against other tribes, which suggests that an underlying need for internal unity was external pressure, developed over a period of years, by Algonquians bent on keeping the Iroquois tribes out of the trade with the newcomers at Tadoussec. Using Pyrlaeus estimate, the prospect of a Deganawidah visit to Cohoes around 1570 is logical and consistent with a process that resulted in the organization of the confederacy fifteen years later (at the time of the Seneca eclipse). This also seems consistent with the likely later historythe evolution of military alliances among various Algonquian tribes, the removal of Ongweoweh traces at Montreal, and finally Champlain and the Algonquian victory over the Mohawks near Point Peninsula a month before Henry Hudson arrived. Gretchen Green emphasizes the internal nature of the Deganawidah plea in her review of Dennis Cultivating a Landscape of Peace in New York History, LXXVI:1 (January 1995), 9798. She also recommends, in terms particularly useful for New York State, where public policy frequently is at odds with traditional Iroquois views, that authors ought to have "dialogued with Iroquois thinkers or sought their critical attention. In the practice of enthnohistory, this is past due and increasingly necessary."
37. Parker, The Constitution of the Five Nations, 68, n. 4, defines royaner as "excellent, noble, good, exalted, pure. Thus as a title the name is translated Lord."
38. Parker, The Constitution of the Five Nations, 1416; 21, n. 2. Parker, 73, n. 1, embellished the second visit by claiming that the tree stood at the doorway of a woman named Desiio and that Deganawidah sang the six songs of the pacification hymn while he climbed. In a July 9, 1885, letter to Harriet Converse, Parker gives the Onondaga version of this story, where he says it was Hiawatha who came to Cohoes, and that he played with shell beads in a way that the Mohawks interpreted as showing the need for a confederacy. See Converse, Myths and Legends of the New York State Iroquois, ed. Arthur C. Parker, N. Y. S. Museum Bulletin No. 125, Albany (1974 ), 188190.
39. The idea that Mohawks were not likely to have good access to European goods at the Hudson at this time, because it was Mahican territory, is based on an incomplete understanding of Iroquois activities in the Hudson Valley; the earlier supposition was expressed by Alan W. Trelease, Indian Affairs in Colonial New York: The Seventeenth Century, Ithaca (1960), 1819, 3233, 46. An early presence of Iroquois traders, and their dislike by Mahicans on the east side of the river, is documented in Wassenaer ("From the Historisch Verhael," in J. Franklin Jamesons Narratives of New Netherland, New York , 68, 70, 72) and Laet (in Jameson, ed., 47). D. Lenig argues from archaeological evidence that Mohawks traded here very early in the Dutch period: Wagners Hollow, a central Mohawk nation site, displays a sudden increase in European-derived refuse prior to 1620. "Of Dutchmen, Beaver Hats and Iroquois," 78. Wassenaer had access to Christiaenszs journals, now lost; although less of a historian than Laet, he was a learned man, a physician, and son of an Amsterdam minister; he compiled and published historical materials from 162131 under the title Historisch Verhael alder ghedenck-weerdichste Geschiedenissen die hier in daer in Europa, etc. ("Historical Account of all the most Remarkable Events which have happened in Europe, etc."). (See Hart, The Prehistory of the New Netherland Company, 18.)
40. DCHSNY, III, 775. Critics of the Tawagonshi agreements authenticity have offered no explanations for several references to "Jaques" and the ships anchor in later colonial documents, nor have I found any alternative explanations for these references. Copies of Iroquois traditional speeches that seemed to refer to this event (and a "Govr Called Jacques") were explicated by Daniel K. Richter in Rediscovered Links in the Covenant Chain: Previously Unpublished Transcripts of New York Indian Treaty Minutes, 16771691, Worcester (1982; reprinted from the American Antiquarian Societys Proceedings [92:1] of April 1982). Richter analyzed the covenant in detail at 5153, and argued its provenance at 51, n. 13. Although Richter later (after contact with a van Loon critic) rejected the Tawagonshi hide as authentic, he nevertheless concluded (personal communication) that an agreement probably involving Jacques Eelkens was made.
41. Beauchamp, Aboriginal Place Names of New York, 8.
42. Quoted in Richter, Rediscovered Links in the Covenant Chain, 49.
43. Charles T. Gehring, William A. Starna, and William Fenton, "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," in New York History, 68:4 (October 1987), 373393. The Holland Society quote is found at p. 382; the demurring committee member was Dr. Fenton. Dr. Gehring is the director of the New Netherland Project, Dr. Starna an anthropologist at Oneonta.
44. "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," 382, 384.
45. "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," 382.
46. "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," 381382.
47. "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," 386.
48. "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," 388.
49. "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," 388, n. 29.
50. "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," 391392.
51. "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," 376377.
52. Charles T. Gehring and William A. Starna, "A Case of Fraud: The Dela Croix Letter and Map of 1634," New York History, 66 [July 1985,] 249261. Although the authors are adamant that van Loon was a forger, all this article proves is that the letter he produced was not authentic; he may have been duped into purchasing it.
53. "The Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613: The Final Chapter," 385.
54. Paltsits, Inventory of the Rensselaerswyck Manuscripts: Edited from the Original Manuscript in the New York Public Library, New York (1924), 3.
55. Trelease, Indian Affairs in Colonial New York, 34, felt there was "no foundation for this story" and suggested that later history "mitigated against it," but did not explain how; he had no explanation for the Jacques references in that later history. Francis Jennings, The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire, 167, attributed the "silver" chain concept to Governor Edmund Andros in 1677, even though the Onondaga chief who spoke of that agreement termed it a renewal. Among numerous other highly-qualified Dutch-American era scholars, the only one supporting the agreements authenticity was T. J. Brasser, "Early Indian-European Contacts," in Trigger, ed., Handbook of North American Indians: Volume 15 Northeast, Washington (1978), 202. One historian told me a "consensus" opinion among scholarsapparently based on Treleasewas his reason for not exploring the subject in detail.
Indian Treaties Index