Where in The World Is Fort Orange?
A Long Time Democracy Already Inhabited Manhattan
After several Native American Nations had lived in the territory that became New York State for 8,000 - 10,000 years or more, Europeans sailed to the New World to claim lands for their home empires. However, a league of several tribes had already formed a democratic government long ago, and it exists to this day.
The site of Albany, New York was a location for much activity and interaction among diverse peoples and cultures. Interactions proved interesting.
The Iroquois Confederation was recognized as a governmental entity by the British and the French as well as by Eastern Native American Nations at Albany NY in 1722. This is important to the establishment of Fort Orange, New York.
The Iroquois Confederation was the first democracy in the New World. It initially formed circa 1570 AD, its Six Nations and a few other members writing and upholding their own Constitution and government, plying agriculture and the fur trade, and enjoying family life and nature.
The Confederation joined together the nations of Mohawk (the most eastern native nation and Keepers of the Eastern Gate), Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. under one government and a constitution.
Fort Orange in New Albany
Imposters actually sold Manhattan to the Dutch settlers.
New Amsterdam Was Sold by Imposters
When the land that is Manhattan in NYC was purchased from the "Indians for 24 dollars worth of beads", it was bought by a Dutchman, the Dutch being ardent explorers and settlers of what became New York. This was New Amsterdam.
This Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan from a group of Native Americans that did not live on the land, but who were simply passing through, because they lived on land next to Manhattan. This was the Canarsie Nation.
The price was paid in more than beads, however. Minuit paid for Manhattan in European cloth, some beads, and a number of hatchets in 1626, together worth 60 Dutch Guilders. This was equivalent to 1.5 pounds of silver in 1626, over $24 in 2009 currency.
Moreover, the $24-mark was established back in the 1800s. Today, estimates range from $100 to $1,000, depending on silver values by Troy or English weight per pound and other factors.
Still, this purchase was the beginning of the end of Iroquois and other Eastern-Tribes' civilization in America as they new it. In research circles, there is laughter over the fact that another native group sold what became Staten Island at least 6 times.
Today, the Six Nation Reserve and one other straddle the borderlands of New York and Canada. The New York peoples migrate increasingly across the border to Canada, with the Iroquois people - especially Mohawk - as a Canadian First Nation, existing as its own active political party.
Note: basic data extracted from native oral histories and from history and anthropology courses at Ohio State University, 1970 - 2009.
There is laughter over the fact that another native group sold what became Staten Island at least 6 times.
Staten Island was sold at least 6 times at once to whites by natives who did not own it.
Trading Posts and Forts
Author David T. Valentine offers a substantial article about Dutch exploration and settlement of New York from 1614 forward. Much of it may not yet be taught in high school American History courses.
What we do already know is that the Dutchman Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River in New York. He found an agricultural society among the natives that made up the Confederacy of the time as well as a quite successful fur trading business among local nations. Hudson took news of this to the Netherlands. Dutch merchants subsequently traveled to New York and took over Manhattan island (where the Manhattan Nation lived), although they struggled with the British that also claimed it. In fact, there were three Anglo-Dutch Wars to 1667. Meanwhile, at least a dozen "Indian tribes" lived there and traded with the Dutch peacefully. In fact, relations were very good. (Read Mr. Valentine's article for other events).
Peter Minuit finally purchased Manhattan in 1626 for the West India Company.
Fort Nassau was built in 1614 by the Dutch as a trading post and fortification near what is now Albany NY, naming the fort and fur trading post for the royal House of Orange-Nassau that was affiliated with the European House of Nassau, in turn affiliated with Germany, Luxembourg, and the Dutch. Fort Nassau operated until 1924, one decade.
House of Orange-Nassau, Netherlands, and Fort Orange, USA
Five Names for the New Albany Star Fort
The Dutch trading post and fort in question developed into these entities over time:
- Fort Nassau (1614 - 1624) - Built on the North Hudson River on Castle Island. Likely abandoned after 1618, however, for up-river sites, because of constant summer flooding.
- Fort Orange - A replacment for the former Fort Nassau (on Castle Island). First permanent Dutch settlement in the New World. In a Mohawk - Mohegan war, Fort Orange joined with the Mohegans. Mohawks won and drove the Mohegan out of the region.
- Fort Albany - Under British control.
- Albany, New York -- The Fort Orange Archeological Site in Albany was named a National Historic Landmark in 1993. Albany and its forts were important in the French and Indian War (Mohawk and Seneca nations played instrumental parts in this war), and the American Revolution. Albany is the oldest surviving city from the Original 13 Colonies.
Related Historic Information about Fort Orange
- Albany Museum - Albany Institute of History and Art
Founded in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art is one of the oldest museums in the United States. It also is the major repository for the region's heritage, with nationally significant collections.
- ChrisHarrison.net - Archaic People and Early Dutch Settlers in NY
- Fort Orange Archeological Site
Search for "Fort Orange" in "New York."
Wars Around Fort Orange
Fort Nassau and Fort Orange were involved in a number of conflicts that occurred between the Dutch and the British, amounting to at least three wars.
At least one local war occurred between two Native American Nations. Unfortunately, the Dutch sided with the losing tribe and lost some men of their own in that conflict.
If interested in further details, you might read for more specific dates and island names on which the forts were built and how they became the City of Albany in the links at right.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Patty Inglish MS