Otto - Chapter 02 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Otto - Chapter 02

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"[The Indians'] trade consists mostly in peltries, which they measure by the hand or by the finger. ... In exchange for peltries they receive beads, with which they decorate their persons; knives, adzes, axes, chopping-knives, kettles and all sorts of iron work which they require for house-keeping."— Nicolaes van Wassenaer, Historisch Verhael1
Just as word of Hudson's arrival must have spread among the Indians, so too did news of his discovery spread in Europe. Motivated by the ideals of material acquisition and driven by economic forces in Europe, Dutch merchants in Amsterdam wasted no time in dispatching trade expeditions after learning of the newly discovered lands and the valuable supply of furs in the Hudson River region. The Munsees, already engaged in trade with other native peoples throughout northeastern North America, welcomed the new source and availability of goods and provided a nexus through which Europeans would have access to Indian markets in the interior. From 1610 to 1623, a new stage of the frontier developed in which the Indians of the Hudson River and the surrounding region met and traded with a variety of Dutch captains, sailors, and traders.2 Contact was never extensive; the period was not marked by the immigration of European settlers, a demand for native land, or the imposition of Dutch rule. Nevertheless, contact through trade led to broad crosscultural interaction. What would happen when the two groups learned more of one another? Would violence again erupt as it had between the Munsees and Hudson's men? "[The Indians'] trade consists mostly in peltries, which they measure by the hand or by the finger. ... In exchange for peltries they receive beads, with which they decorate their persons; knives, adzes, axes, chopping-knives, kettles and all sort
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