Explain how the Pequot War and especially the massacre at Mystic exemplified the way Europeans and later EuroAmericans would deal with American Indians who were in the way of white man’s expansion.
Massacre at Mystic
(I have an introduction with a thesis, a body with paragraphs supporting the thesis, and a conclusion.
My post is longer than yours needs to be, but it has the format you need. Remember, your post for this assignment must be at least 250 words long and have an introduction, middle and conclusion.
I have presented three ways Native Americans experienced or reacted to the Dutch and Portuguese. Diseases, increased warfare, dependence on European trade goods. You should always think of answering the question in concrete terms. What three or four things can I include to answer this question?”)
Dutch & Portuguese First Cultural Contact
Native Americans received the Dutch and Portuguese with curiosity and, according to author Colin Calloway, if not open arms, at least they welcomed them somewhat.1 This was the case until the Dutch and Portuguese proved that they had come to the Western Hemisphere not to befriend the Amerindians but to control them. Though the experiences of the widely separated colonies of the Dutch and the Portuguese were drastically different, still, Native Americans had no reason to react positively to the outcomes of their first contacts with these two European countries.
The Dutch did not survive long as colonizers of the New World that was Amerindians’ old home. Yet in the short forty years of Dutch imperial intrusions in North America Hudson River Valley Amerindians would demonstrate a combination of typical Native American reactions to, and unique experiences with, Dutch mercantile culture.
According to Jack Campisi at State University College in New Platz, New York, the Indigenous Peoples who first encountered Hudson in 1609 greeted him amiably. These Amerindians, probably of the Lenape (Delaware) tribe, wished to trade with the newcomers, and had a veritable grocery list of items to ask for in trade. The Delaware had not encountered the Dutch before the arrival of Hudson but they had carried on a lively trade with the French and therefore knew what to ask for in exchange for furs.2 For these Indians the Dutch were merely a continuation of a profitable relationship with Europeans.
Though it is true that tribes on the coast had had intermittent contact with Europeans long before Dutch attempts at colonization contact that was limited to short stays off-shore while trading with the local tribes and this contact was welcomed by coastal tribes, the same was not true for the tribes living inland along the Hudson River — the Mahicanituck River to the Indigenous Peoples of the area. It is unclear who initiated the first fight, but soon after Hudson began his exploration up the river, hostilities commenced between Wappinger (an affiliation of tribes living along the Mahicanituck) warriors and the Dutch sailors.3 It might have been simple misunderstandings flaring into something bigger and darker, or it might have been born of racial distrust, as was so commonly the case in encounters between Europeans and Indians.
The experiences of Hudson River Amerindians with the Dutch were a reflection of the same kind of experiences and reactions other tribes were undergoing in their encounters with other Europeans. Lenape and Wappinger quickly developed a hunger for European trade goods which meant the tribes had to craft methods of dealing with the European propensity to lie and even commit violence to obtain what they (the Europeans) wanted (as the furs in the immediate vicinity were depleted due to over-trapping, the Dutch looked at Wappinger land as the next item to obtain. The resulting war almost annihilated the tribe).4 Therefore, like the situation with the Hurons and the French to the north, the Hudson River Valley became a cauldron of seething rivalries as various tribes vied with each other to obtain the furs that would then allow them to trade for such valued manufactured goods as firearms, which the Dutch were willing to trade for furs. War among the many Hudson River Valley Amerindians intensified due to Dutch contact.5 The Wappinger and the Lenape were not unusual in their interactions with Europeans, they were just the first in their locales to experience those common occurrences.
A unique feature of Amerindian encounters with the Dutch was the Dutch discovery of wampum. Author Ted Morgan, in his account of the Dutch colony, describes how having access to wampum was like owning a bank.6 Wampum are shell beads strung together that originally were a memory aid that recorded special events in Eastern Woodland Indian history. When the Dutch discovered that the Amerindians used them as a kind of currency, they adopted the wampum as a medium of exchange for furs among the Hudson River valley tribes. At that point the tribes were not even getting manufactured goods from the Dutch any longer, but rather, they were trading for wampum.
And, of course, the Dutch brought diseases. As unintentional as it might have been, European diseases, such as smallpox especially smallpox devastated the Hudson River valley tribes. According to R. G. Robertson in his study of the impact of smallpox on Native Americans, the fur trade was the avenue used by the disease to travel throughout the Amerindian world, destroying that world as it went.7 Approximately 90% of the Hudson River valley tribes were wiped out by disease during the short life of the Dutch colony.8 This devastation, like the fur trade itself, was not confined to the Hudson River Valley, but rather, was merely a harbinger of what other tribes would endure when white men invaded their respective territories.
Portuguese arriving in their corner of the New World, that South American geographic bulge known now as Brazil, encountered a semi-sedentary people who (unlike the Lenape of the Hudson River Valley thousands of miles north) sustained themselves on what they grew more than what they killed in the hunt. These people were the Tupi and despite being a warlike people who engaged in intertribal fighting to acquire captives for sacrifice and ritualistic cannibalism,9 they initially accepted the Portuguese because the Tupi believed that the Europeans had arrived in the land magically — which meant the tribes had to be generous to these powerful new men.10 The same type of cultural misunderstandings that had resulted in the Wappinger attacking the Dutch along the steep banks of the river that bears Hudsons name now benefited the Portuguese who the Tupi identified as magical.
The magic faded for the Tupi as the Portuguese began to enslave them to work plantations while diseases brought from the European mainland began to decimate them. The Tupi reacted by turning their already endemic warfare toward the newcomers.11According to Kicza, in his book Resilient Cultures: Americas Native Peoples Confront European Colonization, 1500-1800, a religiously inspired insurgency called santidade combined elements of Christianity andindigenous beliefs attracted runaway black slaves who fought alongside the Tupi against their Portuguese masters.12 The Portuguese were ruthless in striking back and by 1700 there were no more Tupi on the coast of Brazil.
The Dutch were not successful in their imperial designs on the New World. Their stay was relatively short, but in that time Native Americans reacted to, adjusted, and ultimately collapsed under the weight of the Dutch invasion of the Mahicanituck River valley. The Portuguese stayed longer and had a more lasting impact, destroying the coastal peoples and putting their own roots down in the jungles of Brazil. In both cases, failure and success, the Indigenous Peoples who initially greeted these Europeans were the great losers.
1 Colin G. Calloway, First Peoples: A Documentary Survey of American Indian History. (Boston, Bedford/St. Martins, 2008), 79.
2 Jack Campisi, The Hudson River Valley Indians through Dutch Eyes accessed 12/13/09
3 Robert W. Venables, American Indian History: Five Centuries of Conflict & Coexistence, Volume I: Conquest of a Continent, 1492-1783 (Santa Fe, Clear Light Publishers, 2004), 99.
4 Native American Tribes of the Hudson River accessed 12/13/09
5 R.G. Robertson, Rotting Face; Smallpox and the American Indian, (Caldwell, Idaho, 2001) 108-109.
6 Ted Morgan. Wilderness At Dawn: The Settling of the North American Continent, (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1993) 154.
7 Robertson, XI.
8 The Lenapes: A study of Hudson Valley Indians, accessed 12/13/09
9Julie Buettner, The Tupi
10Portugal in America, to 1600 Macrohistory and World Report, accessed 12/13/09
11 John E. Kicza, Resilient Cultures: Americas Native Peoples Confront European Colonization, 1500-1800 (Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall, 2003) 158-159.
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