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dutch - The Dutch Arrive on Manhattan Island An Indian...

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The Dutch Arrive on Manhattan Island: An Indian Perspective Henry Hudson, employed by the Dutch India Company, anchored off of Manhattan in 1609 and traded with local Indians. Hudson then headed up the river (later named the Hudson River) seeking Northwest Passage to Asia. Other Dutch settlers soon followed. Delawares and Mahicans, who had been living along the coast of New Jersey and up the Hudson River when the Dutch arrived, were driven westward by expanding European settlements. The Reverend John Heckwelder, a Moravian missionary in the Ohio Valley, took down this particular narrative in the 1760s “as it was related to me by aged and respected” Delawares and Mahicans. Indian stories of the first encounters between Indians and Europeans often depicted the Europeans as “the great Mannitoo” or Supreme Being. This account went on to describe the trading and hospitality that followed the first encounter and the Europeans’ eventual desire for land above all else. A long time ago, when there was no such thing known to-the Indians as people with a white skin ,(their expression,). some Indians who had been out a-fishing, and where the sea widens, espied at a great distance something remarkably large swimming, or floating on the water, and such as they had never seen before. They immediately returning to the shore apprised their countrymen of what they had seen, and pressed them to go out with them and discover what it might be. These together hurried out, and saw to their great surprise the phenomenon, but could not agree what it might be; some concluding it either to be an uncommon large fish, or other animal, while others were of opinion it must be some very large house. It was at length agreed among those who were spectators, that as this phenomenon moved towards the land, whether or not it was an animal, or anything that had life in it, it would be well to inform all the Indians on the inhabited islands of what they had seen, and put them on their guard. Accordingly, they sent runners and watermen off to carry the news to their scattered chiefs, that these might send off in every direction for the warriors to come in. These arriving in numbers, and themselves viewing the strange appearance, and that it was actually moving towards them, (the entrance of the river or bay,)
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