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.