"Waterman and Smith have not only given us this ledger that had lain inaccessible for nearly 300 years, they have been tireless in attempting to bring to life the individual Indians who appear in the ledger’s pages."—de Halve Maen
"An invaluable, detailed, intriguing primary source that raises as many questions as it answers, and that will undoubtedly serve as the basis for further studies."—New York History: A Quarterly Journal
"A valuable addition to the literature documenting the indigenous populations in the mid-Hudson region and their intersection with the colonial culture. It provides a wealth of information about commercial activities and daily life, and it is a source of fresh insights into the lives of individual Native Americans and their families."—The Hudson River Valley Review
"An invaluable, detailed, intriguing primary source that raises as many questions as it answers, and that will undoubtedly serve as the basis for further studies."—New York History Journal
This book offers the full, annotated translation of a recently discovered Dutch account book recording trade with Native Americans in Ulster County, New York, from 1712 to 1732. The ledger contains just over two-thousand transactions with about two-hundred native individuals. Slightly more than one-hundred Indians appear with their names listed. The volume and granularity of the entries allow for detailed indexing and comparative analysis of the people and processes involved in these commercial dealings in the mid-Hudson River Valley.
Waterman and Smith place this exceptional resource within its historical context, presenting figures and tables with aggregated data. They examine several key aspects of the intercultural exchanges, such as the high level of participation by Native American women and the growing importance of the deerskin trade in this region. In addition, the appendix contains individual profiles of forty Esopus and Wappinger Indians appearing in the Ulster County account book.
Kees-Jan Waterman is manager of KITLV Press in the Netherlands. He is the author of “To Do Justice to Him and Myself”: Evert Wendell’s Account Book for the Fur Trade with Indians in Albany, NY, 1695-1726.
J. Michael Smith is a Senior Media Specialist at Vermont Public Television. As an independent historian, he has documented the cultural histories of Munsee-Delaware peoples and the lives of individual natives in the mid-Hudson River Valley. His articles have appeared in the Hudson River Valley Review.
Series: The Iroquois and Their Neighbors
6 x 9, 352 pages, 9 black and white illustrations, 3 maps