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Beverwijck (// BEV-ər-wik; Dutch: Beverwijck), often anglicized as Beverwyck, was a fur-trading community north of Fort Orange on the Hudson River in New Netherland that was renamed and developed as Albany, New York, after the English took control of the colony in 1664.
During the 1640s, the name Beverwijck began to be used informally by the Dutch for their settlement of fur traders north of the fort. In 1652, the Dutch West India Company took control of that area and made the name official.
By 1660, colonists built a palisade around Beverwijck, and it had become economically and politically successful, with large families residing in the community. Despite its isolation on the frontier, a sign of Beverwijck's success was that it was never attacked by Native Americans. The Dutch built a collaborative relationship with both the Algonquian-speaking Mahican of the Hudson Valley and the Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk people to the west through the Mohawk Valley. By 1660, the Dutch relations with these two different Native nations had taken on differing characteristics, reflecting their different patterns of settlement and culture.
The fur trade was very lucrative and, when the village of Schenectady was founded in 1661 beyond Rensselaerwyck, the traders of Beverwijck were successful in getting governor Peter Stuyvesant to declare that they had a monopoly on trade. The settlers in Schenectady were forbidden to trade. This prohibition was affirmed by orders of Governor Nicholls through 1670 and later after the English took over the colony of New Netherland.
- James W. Bradley, Before Albany: An Archaeology of Native-Dutch Relations in the Capital Region, 1600–1664, Albany: University of the State of New York, 2007, full text online, p.2
- Venema (2003), p. 12
Bibliography and further reading
- Venema, Janny (2003). Beverwijck: A Dutch Village on the American Frontier, 1652-1664. Hilversum: Verloren. ISBN 0-7914-6079-7.
- "Beverwyck". Colonial Albany Social History Project. New York State Museum. 2003-09-28. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- James W. Bradley, Before Albany: An Archaeology of Native-Dutch Relations in the Capital Region, 1600–1664, Albany: University of the State of New York, 2007, full text online
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