logo Click BACK to return to basecamp
Lost Teachers
Search Info
White beveled edge

Nick Dispatch

Meet Nick

Nick Archive

Cool Links
Onondaga Lake Park

The Founding of New Paltz

The Role of the Dutch in the Iroquois Wars



Three Cultures Collide: The Iroquois, Dutch, French in the 17th century
September 30, 2000


Me and Indio all geared up in traditional warrior clothing
This morning, Kevin and I got up and headed for Onondaga Lake Park, near Syracuse, New York.

At the park, we went to the re-creations of Mission St. Marie. The mission is a living history museum. This means that in the museum, there are actors who dress and speak as though they live in the 1600s. There we met Indio Trensa. He was dressed like an Onondaga Indian from the 1600s.

Indio showed us different things that the Iroquois would wear. He let me wear a bear hide and a headdress made of turkey feathers.

Then we walked outside to the recreation of Mission St. Marie. There were two people acting as if it was still the 1600s. Because they never came out of character, you could only ask them questions that pertained to the mission. We walked into the front doors of the Mission where chickens and a hog ran free. The man who greeted us introduced himself as Pier. As he showed us around the Mission, he told us that the French and the local tribe Iroquois had made peace. The Iroquois and the French had been fighting for a long time, because of the fur trade. The Dutch and the French wanted beaver pelts to make hats. The Natives around the area wanted the metal tools of the Dutch and French to replace their old wooden and stone ones. So the natives would trade fur for tools. This fur trade led to warfare between some of the Native Tribes and the Europeans. So in 1653 the French and the Iroquois made a peace agreement. Because of this treaty, the Iroquois let the French build a Jesuit mission in the Onondaga territory. This was the first European settlement in Onondaga Territory.

The mission camp was very elaborate. They had a cookhouse where they prepared all the food. They also farmed corn and beans, so they had a good source of vegetables. The mission had a stockade around the outside for protection from enemies.

We move on down to New Paltz, NY approximately 200 miles from Onondaga Lake Park. There, we visit another settlement. The original settlers here were also French, but they are Protestant refugees who fled from France to escape persecution. So these Protestants from France came to New Paltz , NY to live where they could speak their own language, practice their own religion.. However, even though these French Huguenots were escaping persecution, that doesn't mean that they were little angels themselves. All most all of the families that lived in New Paltz owned slaves.

All in all the main reasons that the French Huguenots came to New Paltz, NY was to escape persecution and to have freedom, to live the type of life styles that they want to. This is still the case people come to America every year to live and be free.

Our ancestors came to this country for many different reasons but the over all reason was for freedom and exploration. So let's all stand up for our rights and explore the freedom that we have.


Please email me at: nick@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

Stephanie - How do you voodoo? The truth beyond the Hollywood myth
Kevin - The Huguenot History Rap
Rebecca - If Jamestown wasn't the first colony, what was?