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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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Change and Continuity

Change and Continuity

(p.143) Chapter 7 Change and Continuity
The Memory of All Ancient Customs

Tom Arne Midtrød

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes changes in Hudson Valley Indian populations in the eighteenth century. By the early 1700s, most Native groups disappeared as functioning polities due to loss of land, emigration to other areas, and death due to epidemic disease. After the first decades of the eighteenth century, the Mahicans, Esopus Indians, Wappingers, and Schaghticokes were the only large Native political organizations left in the Hudson Valley itself, but these groups continued to maintain networks and patterns of interaction from previous years. Whether the Matinnecocks or other western Long Island Natives participated in these networks is unknown. The ability of Hudson Valley peoples to uphold customary intergroup relations shows how it was possible for small groups living close to colonial settlements to preserve their own political traditions and their connections to a larger Native world.

Keywords:   Hudson Valley Indians, Native Americans, emigration, population change, land loss, Mahicans, Esopus Indians, Wappingers, Schaghticokes, Matinnecocks

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