Document Type


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Journal Title

Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Publication Date

Summer 2015


This essay uses treaty records, council minutes, personal correspondence, and travel narratives to argue that Hudson Valley Indians seized on the 1664 English conquest of New Netherland to try to position Natives and newcomers as independent members of an extended community sharing a common past and landscape. Formulating a history emphasizing peace, preserving the memory of that past through ritual actions, and involving English colonists in processes that rested on that history, Native Americans sought to integrate the newcomers into their existing network of social relations and a physical landscape that manifested those relations. Meanwhile, English colonists seeking to secure the colony and confirm individual land titles participated in rituals, agreed to treaties, and recorded land purchases in ways that acknowledged Indians’ memories regarding lands and the communities that inhabited them. Though the project ultimately failed, the English conquest of New Netherland briefly introduced the possibility of integrating the newcomers into a larger community of diverse, autonomous peoples connected by a common history embedded in the Hudson Valley’s regional landscape.


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