Mohawk Frontier: The Dutch Community of Schenectady, New York, 1661-1710 (Excelsior Editions)

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9781438427065: Mohawk Frontier: The Dutch Community of Schenectady, New York, 1661-1710 (Excelsior Editions)

A history of Dutch Schenectady.

This is the fascinating story of the Dutch community at Schenectady, a village that grew out of the wilderness along the northern frontier of New Netherland in the 1660s. Drawing upon a wealth of original documents, Thomas E. Burke Jr. renders an engaging portrait of a small but dynamic Dutch village in the twilight years of the New Netherland colony. Despite the proximity of the Mohawks, Schenectady’s residents—when they were not quarreling amongst themselves—made their living more from farming and raising livestock than trading. Due to a scarcity of labor, Schenectady became one of the most diverse and energized communities in the region, attracting servants and tenant farmers, and paving the way for slavery. Its northern frontier location, however, made it a vulnerable target during the many conflicts between the French and English that erupted in the late seventeenth century. Bringing Schenectady fully out of the historical shadow of its larger neighbor Albany, Burke reveals both the intricate depths of a small Dutch village and how many aspects of its story mirrored the broader histories of New Netherland and New York. This second edition of the classic history features a new introduction by William Starna, which updates key research and issues that have arisen since its initial publication.

“Early New York’s frontier emerges in all its fascinating complexity in this classic account of Schenectady’s first half-century. Deftly interlacing the stories of Native Americans, Dutch, English, and Africans to show how each played a part in the community’s evolution, Thomas Burke pioneered the kind of shared history that is now prized by those who study colonial America.” — Joyce D. Goodfriend, University of Denver

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From the Back Cover:

This is the fascinating story of the Dutch community at Schenectady, a village that grew out of the wilderness along the northern frontier of New Netherland in the 1660s. Drawing upon a wealth of original documents, Thomas E. Burke Jr. renders an engaging portrait of a small but dynamic Dutch village in the twilight years of the New Netherland colony. Despite the proximity of the Mohawks, Schenectady's residents--when they were not quarreling amongst themselves--made their living more from farming and raising livestock than trading. Due to a scarcity of labor, Schenectady became one of the most diverse and energized communities in the region, attracting servants and tenant farmers, and paving the way for slavery. Its northern frontier location, however, made it a vulnerable target during the many conflicts between the French and English that erupted in the late seventeenth century. Bringing Schenectady fully out of the historical shadow of its larger neighbor Albany, Burke reveals both the intricate depths of a small Dutch village and how many aspects of its story mirrored the broader histories of New Netherland and New York. This second edition of the classic history features a new introduction by William Starna, which updates key research and issues that have arisen since its initial publication.

"Early New York's frontier emerges in all its fascinating complexity in this classic account of Schenectady's first half-century. Deftly interlacing the stories of Native Americans, Dutch, English, and Africans to show how each played a part in the community's evolution, Thomas Burke pioneered the kind of shared history that is now prized by those who study colonial America." -- Joyce D. Goodfriend, University of Denver

About the Author:

Thomas E. Burke Jr. works for the New York State Division of the Budget. He has taught courses on early American history and New York State history at the University at Albany–SUNY, the College of Saint Rose, and Russell Sage College.
William A. Starna is the author or editor of many works, including an annotated edition of Adriaen van der Donck’s A Description of New Netherland. He is the coeditor of the SUNY Press series, Experiencing New Netherland.

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