Sunday, December 2, 2012

Beaver Wars

English: An Iroquois longhouse.
English: An Iroquois longhouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)














 
 

The Iroquois lived in the area that had the St. Lawrence as its northern
border.
From there they spread south throughout what we would

identify today as New England.

 
Although not exactly happy with the arrival of smelly, hairy white people
they took advantage of the opportunity to obtain the interesting new

goods that the fur trade brought them.

Unfortunately the smelly, hairy people also brought guns which the
Iroquois quickly learned  to use and soon beavers were in short supply.

 
So the Iroquois started to look north at land along the
St. Lawrence River where their traditional enemy the

Huron tribe lived.
 

The Hurons were, if you remember, allied with the French.

They were also vulnerable because in 1639 a small pox epidemic
had killed at least half of them.

 
And pretty much the rest of them were gone after the Mohawk and other

Iroquois tribes got through with them.

 
Leery of the Iroquois, the French then started doing business with the

Algonquian speaking tribes - the Cree, the Mi'kmaq, etc. 


Fearful for their own survival and angry at the loss of this potential market
the Iroquois started to attack the French settlers.

This is the time of the horrific Indian raids which included scalping and killing
the men and carrying off the women and children.

Things got so bad that eventually the King of France sent in the troops
and the Iroquois decided to negotiate a peace.

 
And that is where we are as the 17th century ends.

 
The English* are in New England, the French are in New France
and the Iroquois are in the land between them.

 

Like this is going to last.

 

 

New England was settled mostly by Puritans and Pilgrims who left England after the English civil war in order to find a safe place to practise their faith.

 

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8 comments:

Introverted Art said...

I always feel very much for native peoples who had their land taken from them and then were portrayed in history like savages...

Jane said...

I agree with Ana, in that I feel badly the natives had their land stolen from them. Having said that, it's obvious with all the warring going on between different tribes, they also suffered from the same human frailties as the rest of this world. I'd like to think the native tribes all got along in a peaceful co-habitation of this land - but they didn't!

The Episcopagan said...

Human frailties is right, Jane.

And if they had had any immunity to European diseases and/or had the tolerance for alcohol the French/English/Dutch had developed over the years things migfht have been very different.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

A terrible cliffhanger that you know will just include more bloodshed. We learn about this in our peaceful world, but things were pretty nasty back then as everyone fought to steal land, or hold onto it. The white man portrayed the natives as savages...talk about calling the kettle black...

Magaly Guerrero said...

I feel for the Iroquois. The middle is always the hottest place. And that is not always a good thing...

momto8 said...

I hope my children learn history the way it really was..seems now they take out the bad stuff so they do not offend anyone

Doug Jamieson said...

So I gather from this that the Iroquois invented cross-border shopping.

Pandorah's Box said...

Who knew our history was so bloody interesting? And bloody?