The Dutch Among the Natives

American Indian-Dutch Relations, 1609–1664

"Thereupon the savages handed to the English a bag with wampum and promised [them] the land of the Esopus." Report of English intrigues among the Esopus Indians, August 27, 1664.

"I cannot refrain from informing you of our present condition, viz.: that we are now brought under the government of the King of England." Rev. Samuel Drisius to the Classis of Amsterdam, September 15, 1664.

"In discharge of my duty I cannot but repeat over againe the importance of employing merchant shipps with a great proportion of merchandize suitable to the trade with the Natives." Richard Nicolls to the Secretary of State, October 1664.

On May 15, 1664, the Esopus Indians and the Dutch concluded a treaty of peace ending once and for all their wars in the lower Hudson Valley. On September 6, 1664, Petrus Stuyvesant transferred the colony of New Netherland to Richard Nicolls, commander of English forces and governor-designate of what would become the colony of New York. Within days, Mohawk, Oneida, and Onondaga headmen met with Colonel George Cartwright, acting on behalf of Nicolls, at Fort Albany, the renamed Fort Orange. There, the transition from the Dutch to the English administration took place. Importantly, assurances were given the Indians that the fur trade and access to trade goods would continue as before. In addition, offences committed by any "English Dutch or Indian (under the proteccôn of the English)" would receive "due satisfaccôn" on all accounts and for all parties. Although no other Indians were present that day, Cartwright extended the "Articles of Agreement and Peace" to include the Wappinger and Esopus Indians—the Munsees—and "all below the Manhattans." With the end of the Dutch administration of  New Netherland, Native people prepared themselves to deal with another European partner, but also an adversary, while in the future loomed the destructive French and Indian War, the Revolution, and finally, migration from the region.

Richard Nicoll’s Esopus Treaty, 1665

"That no Act of Hostillity shall at any time bee committed on either part, or if any damage shall happen to bee done by either Party, to the Corne, Cattle, Horses, Hoggs, Houses, or any other Goods whatsoever, of the other Party, full satisfaction shall be given upon demand for the same.

That if any Christian shall wifully kill an Indyan, or any Indyan a Christian, hee shall bee put to death. And the said Sachems do promise on their parts to bring any such Indyan to ye Officer in charges at the Sopes, to receive his punishment there."

Digitized document and transcript here.


About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

The New Netherland Research Center

Housed in the New York State Library, the NNRC offers students, educators, scholars and researchers a vast collection of early documents and reference works on America's Dutch era. More


find_us_on_facebook_logo.gif Twitter_logo_blue.png   Marcurius_Heading_Linear.jpg 

Subscribe Now

Subscribe to NNI's  e-Marcurius and DAGNN-L to receive information about New Netherland-related events, activities, conferences, and research. 

Support NNI

By supporting NNI you help increase awareness of the 17th century Dutch colony of New Netherland and its legacy in America.