By Charles Gehring
In 1634, the Dutch West India corporation was once fearful to understand why the fur exchange from New Netherland have been declining, so the corporate despatched 3 staff some distance into Iroquois state to enquire. Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert led the excursion from castle Orange (present-day Albany, NY). His is the earliest identified description of the internal of what's this day big apple kingdom and its seventeenth-century local population.
Van den Bogaert used to be a willing observer, and his magazine isn't just an everyday log of the place the day trip social gathering traveled; it's also a close account of the Mohawks and the Oneidas: the settlements, modes of subsistence, and therapeutic rituals. Van den Bogaert's striking wordlist is the earliest identified recorded vocabulary of the Mohawk language.
Gehring's translation and Starna's annotations supply imperative fabric for anthropologists, ethnohistorians, linguists, and someone with a distinct curiosity in local American stories. Michelson's present additions to the wordlist of Mohawk equivalents with English glosses (wherever attainable) and his professional research of the language within the local American passages supply a beneficial new size to this variation of the journal.
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Extra resources for A Journey Into Mohawk and Oneida Country 1634-1635: The Journal of Harmen Meyndertsz Van Den Bogaert Revised Edition
The woods through which we traveled were at first mostly oak, but after 3 or 4 hours underway we encountered mostly birch. It snowed the entire day so that it was very difficult to climb over the hills. After an estimated seven miles, we came to a bark hut in the woods where we kindled a fire and stayed the night. It continued to snow with a strong north wind. It was extremely cold. THE JOURNAL 13 Dec. 27. Early in the morning we continued on with great difficulty through 2 1/2 feet of snow in some places.
We assume, therefore, that shortly after Van den Bogaert’s return to Fort Orange, a copy was made at the request of officials in Rensselaerswijck. Although during this period of time Kiliaen van Rensselaer was prohibited by the “Freedoms and Exemptions” from engaging in the fur trade, he did monitor it carefully and would have been extremely interested in the negotiations Van den Bogaert had conducted with the Iroquois. Any intrusions by the French in the fur trade, he knew, would have had a direct impact on his properties along the Hudson, not to mention his considerable INTRODUCTION xxxv investments in the colony.
Xxxviii INTRODUCTION is further strengthened by the presence of the initials “W. A. ” pencilled in the lower right corner of the otherwise blank verso of the title page of the journal. Sometime after 1908, Henry E. Huntington (1850– 1927), the railroad executive and financier, procured the original manuscript. Today it is in the collections of his library in San Marino, California, cataloged as HM 819. There are no acquisition records regarding the journal, nor is there any other information as to how it was obtained.