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The Memory of All Ancient CustomsNative American Diplomacy in the Colonial Hudson Valley$
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Tom Arne Midtrod

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449376

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449376.001.0001

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Disaster and Dispersal

Disaster and Dispersal

(p.191) Chapter 9 Disaster and Dispersal
The Memory of All Ancient Customs

Tom Arne Midtrød

Cornell University Press

This chapter considers the fate of Hudson Valley Indians during Revolutionary era. In spite of continuing divisions among the Natives of the Valley, it was ultimately the unrelenting pressure of the European population, as well as the crucible of the Revolutionary War, that brought the long history of the Indian Hudson Valley to a close. Political and strategic disagreements during the long years of war were no doubt problematic, but the Valley Indians had weathered crises before. Were it not for new levels of hostility and land hunger on the part of their European neighbors, they might have managed to repair their weakened political and diplomatic arrangements. The Esopus Indians had gone quietly back to their Ulster County homeland after the end of the Seven Years' War, and many Wappingers, too, sought to return home. This latter group had seen their remaining Hudson Valley lands seized by New York grandees, and, over the following two decades, the Wappingers struggled unsuccessfully to regain their lost lands. By the early 1770s the Esopus Indians constituted the only readily recognizable Native political organization in the Valley, and, though clearly weakened, this group still showed signs of vitality until the catastrophe of the American Revolution.

Keywords:   Hudson Valley Indians, Native Americans, Revolutionary era, intergroup relations, Esopus Indians

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