November 1, 2013
A Dutch Massacre of Our Lenape Ancestors on Manhattan
Condensed by Native Village
New York: In August, a Haudenosaunee delegation commemorated the 400th year of the Two Row Wampum. The event followed a remarkable 380-mile canoe trip down the Hudson River from Haudenosaunee territory to Lenape territory in Manhattan.
The Two-Row Wampum was made in 1613 between the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch government of Holland. For some members of the Lenape tribe, however, the event brought to mind the bloody experience their ancestors faced at the hands of the Dutch government.
In the 1640’s, Dutch Governor William Kieft tried to impose a tax on the Lenape. The Lenape refused to pay for the ‘privilege’ of living in their own territory.
Governor Kieft judged the “relatively nonbeligerant Hackensack Indians at Pavonia to be in a weakened position.” He vowed to force them into submission.
David Pietersz de Vries, who documented the events, tried to talk Kieft out of slaughtering the Lenape. The governor would not be dissuaded. De Vries gave the following first-hand account of the atrocity which occurred in February, 25, 1643. It makes for very difficult reading:
Thirty more Lenape were murdered elsewhere in Manhattan. The Dutch raiders then “returned to Fort Amsterdam with thirty prisoners and the heads of several Indians.”
Village © Gina Boltz
Thank you to ALL the wonderful individuals, friends,
organizations, groups, news services and websites who share or donate their research, work, time and
talents to make Native Village possible