Hope Farm Press Publisher of New York Regional History, Folklore. Nature, Military History and Genealogy Books
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from the ebook:THE CONCISE HISTORY OF ULSTER COUNTY
In the territory now covered by the city of Kingston, the combination of converging Indian trails, a safe harbor for sloops, river valleys and fertile, cleared lands, brought traders and settlers during the seventeenth century; brought also the liquor traffic, flashing tomahawks and fire brands, and two wars which nearly wiped out the early settlements."
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Chapter I -- THE RED MEN
The Indians, inhabiting Ulster County and the adjacent regions, belonged to the Munsee (at the place where stones are gathered together) tribe, one of the principal divisions of the Delawares. They occupied the head waters of the Delaware and the west bank of the Hudson from the Catskills to the borders of New Jersey. Their principal band was the Minisinks (the place of the Minsi), who occupied the southwest part of Ulster and Orange counties and the adjoining parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The other bands were the Catskills, Mamekotings, Warwarsinks, Waoranecs, and
They were called the five tribes of the Esopus country. These were the "Esopus Indians," whose war-whoops terrified the Dutchmen at Esopus; who laid Wildwyck in ashes and who battled for their hunting grounds against the troops of Martin Cregier.
Each of these bands had its main village where their forts were erected. These were defended by three rows of palisades and the houses in the fort encircled by thick cleft palisades with port holes in them, and covered with the bark of trees. During the summer and fall they roamed over the surrounding country in search of game and built their temporary huts wherever trade, the chase or fancy called them.
They did not subsist upon the chase alone. They
cultivated their fields. They raised large quantities of corn and vegetables, which they
stored in the ground for winter use. Monianac (Indian corn of Maize) was their main food
Martin Cregier, who destroyed their villages after the burning of Wildwyck in 1663, states that his troops cut down, near one of their forts, about two hundred and fifteen acres of growing maize and burnt above a hundred pits full of corn and beans.
For many years an old Indian lived in a shanty on the bank of the Rondout creek, a mile or so above the city of Kingston. He died there in 1830. He was buried beside his hut. He was the last of the Esopus.
Why should not a monument be erected to the memory of the Indians? To perpetuate the names of Preumaecker; Seweckenamo; Ankerop; and that old baldhead, Kaelcop. They were pure Americans. They were the first settlers. They owned the land. They battled for their homes, though they were but wigwams. They fought for their wives, though they were but squaws. With dauntless courage, they faced death for their children, though they were but papooses. All honor to them. To every one of them.
"A History of Ulster Under the Dominion of the Dutch" with good two chapter overview of the Indian way of life in Esopus. 146pp P $13.95
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To read an excerpt from The Delaware Indians or the Indian Tribes of Hudson's River.
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Copyright © 1995 by Richard Frisbie -- All rights reserved.