"Squanto and the Pilgrims," December 2005--PDF file
A recent Smithsonian article about the first East Coast settlements.
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Local Native History...
Excerpts from a Hope Farm Press 1992 reprint of E. M. Ruttenber's 1872 "Indian Tribes of Hudson's River, their origin, manners and customs,; Tribal and sub-tribal organizations; wars, treaties, etc., etc., to 1700"

Page 93...

"V. The Chieftancies of the Minsis were:
...The Waoranecks...The Warranawonkongs...The Mamekotings...The Warwarsinks... The Katskills... (the Mahicans are mentioned)...The Minisinks.

"VI. The Iroquois.
...The Mohawks... The Oneidas..."

Page 165...

"...In consideration of the premises, the said Richard Nicholls doth farther give and pay to the said Sachems and their subjects, forty blanketts, twenty Pounds of Powder, twenty knives, six Kettels, Twelve Barrs of Lead, which payment we acknowledge to have received in full satisfaction for the premises, and do bind ourselves, our heirs and successors forever, to perform every part of this agreement, without any fraud or reservation of mind; and further , that we will maintain and justify the said Richard Nicholls, or his assigns, in the full and peaceable Possession of the said Tract of Land, Royaltyes and Privileges for ever, against any Nation of Indyans whatsoever, pretending right to the same.

"...In testimony whereof we have sett our markes to two several writings, the one to remaine in the hands of the Sopes Sachems [think this is Esopus] the other upon record, this 7th day of October, 1665."

"...The parties to the treaty on behalf of the Indians were sachems Onackatin,1 Naposhequiqua, Senakonoma (Sewakanamo), and Shewotin. The signature of Nicholls and of the sachems was witnessed by "Jeremias Van Rensleiar, Philip Pieterson Schuyler, Robert Nedham, S. Salisbury and Edw. Sackville," and by the following "Esopus young men": Pepankhais, Robin Cinnaman "A Pekoct sachem," Ermawamen, and Rywackus. One of the chieftaincies was apparently with a sachem; the full number was completed in 1670, when, on the 11th of April, "a new made sachem of the Esopus Indians, named Calcop," appeared before the justices of Ulster and confirmed the agreement."

 

"1 Oghgotacton; his lands were near the present village of Walden"

 

An excerpt from "Peter Stuyvesant, the Last Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam," by John S. C. Abbott, Dodd, Mead & Company, New York; 1873 gives a picturesque view of life in 1679.

Page updated 7-28-07

From page 334

"In the summer of 1679, but five years after the final accession of New Netherland by the English two gentlemen from Holland, as the committee of a religious sect, visited the Hudson river to report respecting the condition of the country, and to select a suitable place for the establishment of a colony. They kept a minute journal of their daily adventures. From their narrative one can obtain a very vivid picture of New York life two hundred [note: now well over 300] years ago."

From pages 338, 339

"...The next morning they threaded their way through the forest, and along the shore to the extreme west end of the island where fort Hamilton now stands. They passed through a large plantation of the Najack Indians, which was waving with corn. A noise of pounding drew them to a place where a very aged Indian woman was beating beans out of the pods with a stick, which she did with amazing dexterity. Near by was the little cluster of houses of the dwindling tribe. The village consisted of seven or eight huts, occupied by between twenty and thirty Indians, men, women and children.

"These huts were about sixty feet long and fifteen wide. The floor was of earth. The posts were large limbs of trees, planted firmly in the ground. The sides were of reeds and the bark of trees. An open space, about six inches wide, ran along the whole length of the roof, for the passage of smoke. On the sides the roof was so low that a man could not stand under it.

"They build their fire in the middle of the floor, according to the number of families which live in the hut; not only the families themselves, but each Indian alone, according as he is hungry, at all hours morning, noon and night. They lie upon mats with their feet towards the fire. All in one house, are generally of one stock, as father and mother, with their offspring. Their bread is maize, pounded by a stone, which is mixed with water and baked under the hot ashes.

"They gave us a small piece when we entered; and although the grains were not ripe, and it was half-baked and coarse grains, we nevertheless had to eat it, or at least not throw it away before them, which they would have regarded as a great sin, or great affront. We chewed a little of it with long teeth, and managed to hide it so that they did not see it."