mark meuwese on the dutch west indies company

04Aug11

Mark Meuwese, ‘The Dutch Connection: New Netherland, the Pequots, and the Puritans in Southern New England, 1620–1638’, Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 9, 2 (2011).

Although most historical studies of the Pequot War acknowledge the existence of a trade alliance between the Pequots and the Dutch preceding the outbreak of the English-Pequot conflict, scholars have neglected to examine Dutch-Pequot relations in detail. Following a decade of material exchange between private traders and the Pequots, the Dutch West India Company (WIC) established a mutually beneficial trade alliance with the Pequots in 1626. When the relationship broke down in the early 1630s, WIC officials in New Netherland, distracted by personal and political feuds in the Dutch colony, were remarkably slow to repair the alliance. The inability of the WIC to restore stable relations with the Pequots drew the attention of the neighboring Puritan colonies, who coveted the fertile lands of the Connecticut Valley. By highlighting the complex role of the Dutch, this essay complicates our view of the Pequot War as an inevitable conflict between Puritans and Pequots.



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