From Homeland to New Land


From Homeland to New Land

A History of the Mahican Indians, 1600-1830

William A. Starna

The Iroquoians and Their World Series

320 pages
3 illustrations, 11 maps


June 2013


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

March 2020


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eBook (PDF)

June 2013


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About the Book

This history of the Mahicans begins with the appearance of Europeans on the Hudson River in 1609 and ends with the removal of these Native people to Wisconsin in the 1830s. Marshaling the methods of history, ethnology, and archaeology, William A. Starna describes as comprehensively as the sources allow the Mahicans while in their Hudson and Housatonic Valley homeland; after their consolidation at the praying town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts; and following their move to Oneida country in central New York at the end of the Revolution and their migration west.

The emphasis throughout this book is on describing and placing into historical context Mahican relations with surrounding Native groups: the Munsees of the lower Hudson, eastern Iroquoians, and the St. Lawrence and New England Algonquians. Starna also examines the Mahicans’ interactions with Dutch, English, and French interlopers. The first and most transformative of these encounters was with the Dutch and the trade in furs, which ushered in culture change and the loss of Mahican lands. The Dutch presence, along with the new economy, worked to unsettle political alliances in the region that, while leading to new alignments, often engendered rivalries and war. The result is an outstanding examination of the historical record that will become the definitive work on the Mahican people from the colonial period to the Removal Era.

Author Bio

William A. Starna is professor emeritus of anthropology at the State University of New York, College at Oneonta. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Gideon’s People: Being a Chronicle of an American Indian Community in Colonial Connecticut and the Moravian Missionaries Who Served There (Nebraska, 2009) and Adriaen van der Donck’s A Description of New Netherland (Nebraska, 2008).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments   000

Introduction      000

Prologue    000

1.    Landscape and Environment     000

2.    Natives on the Land     000

3.    Mahican Places    000

4.    Native Neighbors  000

5.    The Ethnographic Past   000

6.    The Mahicans and the Dutch    000

7.    The Mahican Homeland    000

8.    A Century of Mahican History  000

9.    Stockbridge and Its Companions      000

10.   New Stockbridge and Beyond    000

Afterword   000

Notes 000

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