Page images

party from


Chap. III. the terror of the French arms to the Iroquois castle at

Onondaga. 1616.

Anxious to explore the unknown regions, of which only a vague idea had been gathered from the imperfect explanations of the Mohawks, three traders in the service of the

New Netherland Company seem to have adventurously set Exploring out from Fort Nassau, on an expedition into the interior, Fort Nas- and downward, along the New River, to the Ogehage," or

the Minquas, "the enemies of the northern tribes.* The route of the party is not accurately defined; but they, perhaps, followed the trail of the Esopus Indians to the sources of the Delaware, the waters of which they descended to the Schuylkill. At this point of their progress, they appear to have been taken prisoners by the Minquas; and the news reaching the Dutch on the Mauritius River, arrangements were promptly made to ransom the captives, as well as undertake a more thorough examination of the country where they were detained.

Accordingly, the yacht “Restless," which Block, on his explores the return to Holland, had left in charge of Cornelis Hendrick

sen, was dispatched from Manhattan southward, along the coast of New Jersey, to explore the 5 New River” from its mouth to its upper waters. The voyage was entirely successful. Sailing into the bay which Hudson had first discovered seven years before, Hendricksen explored the adjoining coasts, and discovered “ three rivers, situated between the thirty-eighth and fortieth degrees of latitude." The fertile land was full of majestic forest trees, " which in some places were covered with grape-vines;" and turkeys, partridges, harts, and hinds abounded along the pleasant shores. The climate of the country, which was "the same as that of Holland,” delighted the crew of the Restless, as they trafficked with the natives for seal-skins and sables. Proceeding up the channel of the main river, beyond the confluence of the Schuylkill, Hendricksen opened

The yacht


* Hol. Doc., i., 59; Paper Map. See Appendix, note I.

+ These three rivers" were probably the Delaware itself, the Schuylkill, and perhaps the Hoarkill, or Broadkill Creek, in the State of Delaware, upon which Lewiston now stands.

the Dela

a friendly intercourse with the Minquas who inhabited its Chap. III. banks; and ransomed from these savages his three cap

1616. tive countrymen, giving in exchange for them "kettles, beads, and other merchandise."'*

To Cornelis Hendricksen unquestionably belongs the Hendrickhonor of having been the first to explore the bay and river explorer of which now unjustly bear the name of Lord Delawarr. The ware. light draught of the Restless enabled her to penetrate very easily where Hudson did not venture to pilot the Half Moon, and where Argall made no explorations. Hendricksen seems to have coasted up along the western shore of the bay, and to have been the first European navigator who set his foot on the soil of Delaware and Pennsylvania. He probably ransomed the Dutch captives near the very spot where Philadelphia was founded, just sixty-six years aft- 1682. erward. The river above now received the name of the “New," or "South River," to distinguish it from the Mau-South Rivritius, which soon became better known as the North Riv

Before long, the southern cape of the bay was named 6.Cape Cornelius,” after its first discoverer ;” and anoth- Cape Corer point, about twelve miles to the southward, was called Cape Hinlopen, probably after Thymen Jacobsen Hinlo- Cape Hinpen, of Amsterdam, and also Cape Inloopen, because it seemed to vanish on being approached.

On the return of the Restless to Manhattan, Hendrick - Hendricksen proceeded to Holland, to assist his employers in ob- to Holland. taining a separate exclusive charter to trade to the newlyexplored territory, which extended two degrees south of the limits assigned to New Netherland in the grant of October, 1614. The associated merchants dispatched him immediately to the Hague, accompanied by an Amsterdam notary, to report his discoveries to the States General, and procure for them the desired special trading privilege. Taking with him a manuscript map, he explained, orally, 18 August.





* Hol. Doc., i., 59,

† See ante, pages 27 and 51, and Appendix, note D. $ Samuel Hazard's Annals of Pennsylvania, 579, 594.

De Laet, book iii., cap. ix. ; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., i., 303, 315 ; Wassenaar, ix., 124 ; ante, p. 59; see also Visscher's and Montanus's Maps. The name of Hinlopen seems to have been first applied to False Cape, just south of Rehoboth Bay; but it has since been transferred to the original Capo Cornelius. See Des Barre's chart; Breviat, 56, 91, 98.

Vew charter for the

er refused.

Char. Ili. to their High Mightinesses the situation and nature of the

newly-explored regions. The States General, however, 1616.

requiring a formal report in writing, Hendricksen submit9 August. ted, the next day, a short statement of his proceedings on

the South River, and asked, on behalf of his employers, a special charter for trading there.*

But the Dutch government hesitated to comply with the South Niv- application of the Amsterdam merchants for new special

privileges. Their original trading charter of October, 1614, which specifically defined New Netherland as “ situated between New France and Virginia,” had yet a year and a half to run.

The grantees of that charter now desired a similar monopoly for the territory between the thirty-eighth and fortieth degrees. But this region seemed to be within the acknowledged limits of Virginia, 'according to the boundaries which, the States General had themselves assigned to New Netherland. If, under these circumstances, they were now to pass the new special charter for which their subjects had applied, it might give rise to difficulties with James, which, in the present condition of public affairs, would be extremely embarrassing. The States General, accordingly, after two more deliberations upon the subject, sostened their adverse decision by adopting the mild form of an indefinite postponement.t

The Amsterdam “ Directors of New Netherland," finding that the States General were unwilling to countenance their project of seeming encroachment upon Virginia, now confined their attention more particularly to the regions drained by the North River. Fort Nassau, which

Christiaensen had originally built on Castle Island in 1614, Fort Nas- having been several times overflowed by the waters from

the upper country, was almost swept away by a freshet

3 Nov

sau de


* Hol. Dor., i., 53, 59. See also Appendix, note 1.

† lol. Doc., i., 63, 64. The year 1616 will ever be memorable in the annals of the world, as that in which William Cornelis Schouten, a merchant of IIoorn, in North IIolland, first sailed around the southern promontory of America, which, in honor of his native city, he named “Cape IToorn." Before Schouten's voyage, the only known passage to the Pacific was through the Straits of Magellan. Schouten also discovered the Straits of Le Maire, which he so called after Jacoh le Maire, of Amsterdam, one of his partners: Staten Land was thus named, in honor of the States of Holland. Few, probably, of those who nowadays talk of "the Horn," know the origin of the name

on the Ta

on the breaking up of the ice, in the spring of 1617.* The Chap. 111. company's traders were, therefore, obliged to abandon it,

1617. and seek a more secure position on the west bank of the river, at the mouth of the “Tawasentha," or Norman's Kill.f The new situation was well chosen. The portage path of the Mohawks, coming from the west, terminated about two miles above, at Skanektadé, “ beyond the pine plains," or " beyond the openings," on the North River the site of the present city of Albany. It was important to keep the trading-house of the company as near as possible to the eastern termination of this great Indian thoroughfare; and, on the commanding eminence which the Mohawks called Tawass-gunshee, overlooking the river at New post the mouth of the Tawasentha, a new fortified post was wasentha. erected by Eelkens. Here, tradition alleges, was soon afterward concluded, with the chiefs of the Five Confederated Nations of North American Indians, the first formal treaty of alliance between the red man and the Hollander ; and which, after its renewal by Kieft in 1645, was observed with general respect, until the surrender of Fort Orange to the English. A new league of friendship was then en- 1664. tered into between Colonel Cartwright and the sachems of 24 Sept. the Iroquois, which continued without violation on either side until the commencement of the Revolutionary war.

At the time of the treaty of the Tawasentha, the fairest regions of North America were inhabited by the Romans of the Western World.”| Around the elevated table-lands

* Wassenaar, vi., 144. Stuyvesant, in writing to the General Court of Massachusetts on 20th April, 1660, says that from the small fort which the Dutch originally built there,

an island near Fort Orange yet bears the name of Castle Island, and the monuments of which can yet be shown; which small fort was three years afterward seriously injured by high water and ice, so that at length it decayed entirely.”—Alb. Rec., xxiv., 167.

† Moulton, 346. The original and beautifully-expressive Mohawk name of this stream was “ T'awasentha," meaning the place of the many dead. It was an ancient Mohawk village, and the burial-place of many of the tribe.--Schoolcraft and G. F. Yates. The Dutch appellative of the “Norman's Kill" is said to have been derived from Andries Bradt, a native of Denmark, and therefore surnamed "the Norman," who settled himself there in 1630.-O'Call., i., 78, 433, 434.

# Schoolcraft, in Proc. N. Y. H. S., 1844, p. 91,111; L. H. Morgan's “League of the Iro

quois,” 415.

& Colden, i., 34; De Witt Clinton's Address, in N. Y. H. S. Coll., ii., 62 ; Smith's Hist, N. Y., i., 33 ; Moulton, 346 ; Schoolcraft, 91; O'Call., i., 78; Lond. Doc., i., 188 ; N. Y. Col. MSS., iii., 67, 68 ; post, p. 744.

!! Volney, 476 ; Clinton, 44. F

The Iroquois con

Chap. III, whence flow waters which discharge themselves through

the Hudson, the Delaware, the Susquehanna, and the Saint 1617.

Lawrence into the Atlantic, and through the Alleghany, the Ohio, and the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico, were then clustered five nations of warlike savages, whose forefathers, expelled from Canada by the Adirondacs, in early days, had penetrated into the centre of New York. There they multiplied ; were subdivided into tribes or nations; and then formed themselves into a Federal Repub

lic of independent cantons. Of the precise period of this federation. confederation history has no record. But modern research

into conflicting tradition places the event about the year 1539; forty-seven years after Columbus's first voyage; four years after Cartier ascended the Saint Lawrence to Hochelaga ; and seventy years before Hudson discovered the North River. *

The Iroquois, or Five Nations, preserving their several specific names of Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, when they formed their confederation, took the name of "KONOSHIONI,"* the “cabin makers," or "people of the long house." That long house reached from the banks of the North River to the shores of Lake Erie. The eastern door of the sky-canopied abode of the Iroquois

was guarded by the Kayingehagas, or Maquaas or MoTraditional hawks ;f the western door by the Senecas. Poetical trathe front dition, recorded by one of their own people, I deduces their

origin, like that of the Athenian " Autochthones," from the “ earth itself.” In remote ages, they had been confined


* Smith's Hist. N. Y., i., 64 ; Schoolcraft's Notes on the Iroquois, 118; Clark's Onondaga, i., 20; L. H. Morgan's “League of the Iroquois,” 5-8. G. F. Yates thinks that the period of the Iroquois confederacy was still more remote.

+ Clinton's Address ; Schoolcraft's Notes. The common French orthography of this term is “ Aquinoshioni," or Agonnonsionni, which, according to Charlevoix, i., 271, signified Faiseurs de Cabannes; see ante, p. 67, note. In their own language, the Five Nations also called themselves "Hotinnonchiendi”--that is, La Cabanne Achevée; Relation, 1653-4, p. 54. Morgan, p. 51, however, says that the Iroquois, after their league, called themselves 66 Ho-de-no-sau-nee," which signifies “the people of the long house."

“We commonly call them Maquaas, but they call themselves Kayingehaga.” Letter of Domine Megapolensis to the Classis of Amsterdam, 28th September, 1658 ; Moulton, 338. Morgan, p. 52, writes the word “ Ga-ne-ga-ha-ga,” meaning "the possessor of the flint.” According to M. de Joncaire, the device of the Mohawks, in 1736, was a steel and flint. Paris Doc., viii., 187 ; Doc. Hist. N. Y., i., 22 ; Ibid., iii., 902, where the name is given as Ganingehage.

6 Cusick.

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