Tuesday, February 11, 2014

1615 - The Tarratine Wars

January 1, 1615 - Adriaen Block and a group of twelve merchants of Amsterdam get a three-year trade monopoly on the North American territories located between the 40th and 45th parallels, on behalf of the New Netherlands Company (Niew-Nederland Compagnie).

After Henry Hudson's journey in 1609, several Dutch merchants had sent boats to trade with the local Indian tribes and seek the famous Northwest passage. Fur trade proving particularly profitable, they had founded on October 11, 1614 the New Netherlands Company to put an end to this costly judged contest. Thus, they were awarded from the States-General, a charter guaranteeing them a 3-year monopoly on all trade between the 40th and 45th parallels. This one was not, however, renewed following the establishement of  the Dutch West India Company. After 1618, trading with New Holland was opened to all merchants.

Spring, 1615 - The murder of the Penobscot sagamore Bashaba by the Tarratines (Mi’kmaqs) marks the outbreak of a bloody war which will last until 1619 in Maine and Massachusett .

Bashaba - (? - 1615) reigned for several years over the Abenakis, a vast Algonquian federation that occupied a large part of present-day Maine (then called Mawooshen). He belonged himself to the Wawenock tribe, whose capital was located at Pemaquid. The Wawenocks attended the French for many years and established with them friendly relationship, even more if we refer to Baron Castine who had married the daughter of the Etechemin leader Madockawando and had the honor of becoming sagamore (prince) of the tribe. The Wawenocks had built a fortress at Mecadacut, northwest of Penobscot Bay, facing the Tarratines, their most fearsome enemy.
The conflict began when the Etechemin (name given to a nation under the Abenaki Confederacy which included the Passamaquody and Maliseet) decided to get rid of the Wawenock guardianship. They sought out for it the support of Tarratines who maintained since 1607 a dispute with the Penobscots since they raided Saco following the murder of the son-in-law of their leader Membertou. The shifting of alliances between tribes quickly engulfed the whole area. Undoubtedly the importance of issues related to furs trade and gradual scarcity of wild animals was likely to stir up a territorial merciless fight.

Tarratines (Mi’kmaqs) - This Indian nation from Nova Scotia gradually extended its territory to Maine, up to Penobscot Bay. Its country of origin had made it one of the first North American peoples to have been visited by European sailors. The Vikings, at first, then the Basque fishermen had anchored along their shore and in 1497, John Cabot had even brought back three of their representatives to England to present them to king Henri VII. During the 16th century, the area was mainly frequented by the French who settled there several trading posts. The Tarratines had naturally become their allies and were introduced to their methods and lifestyle. They had thereby acquired a good mastery of firearms. Converted to catholicism, their leader Henri Membertou (died 1611) had his residence next to Port Royal. The Tarratines, whose name means " monsterlike", had a considerable advantage over the Wawenocks, for they knew how to handle guns and to use gunpowder. They sowed panic among their enemies, leading them to a particularly deadly war.
After the death of Bashaba, the Massachusett leader Nanepashemet sent his warriors fight the Tarratines. They won several successes and captured number of women and children whom they brought back with them.

October 8, 1615 - French explorer Samuel de Champlain discovers Lake Oneida.

He returned from a summer expedition in the Huron country, led together with Etienne Brulé and Fr. Joseph Le Caron whom he had agreed to follow their warriors on the Iroquois territory.
They crossed the eastern end of Lake Ontario and gave up their canoes to pursue their trip on foot to an Iroquois fort located between lakes Oneida and Onondaga. The outcome of the assault remained undecided while Champlain was hit in the knee by an arrow enemy. The Hurons carried him in man's back up to their village Cahiagué (near present Lake Simcoe, Ontario) where he had to spend winter.

1615 - Jamestown, Ralph Hamor writes: " since the marriage (of John Rolfe with Pocahontas), we have friendly exchanges not only with the Powhatans but with all people around us. "

1615 - Sir Ferdinando Gorges funds a fishery on Damariscove Island, Maine.

Capt. John Smith
1615 - Captain John Smith publishes in London " A Description of New England " with a map of the area.

His book certainly had so much importance as it urged numerous British men and women to follow his footsteps to colonize the New World. Didn't he say about  New England that " any man can be master and owner of his work and his land".

Settlers gardening

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