The following questions are designed to test your ability to work with historical documents. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of the document and the author’s point of view.
Encounters between American Indians and European colonists in New York ranged from cultural exchange, trade, and alliance to conflict and outright war. While facing the reality of dominance by European powers and the loss of economic independence, many Indians nevertheless retained their core traditional values. They employed creative and at times unpredictable means to resist their colonial neighbors.
British colonial authorities mildly discouraged Indian slavery and on several occasions tried unsuccessfully to prohibit it. Early court cases and laws listing duties to be placed on Indian slaves imported into New York indicate that colonial authorities allowed enslavement of Indians to persist. Even freeborn American Indians had reason to fear being forced into slavery and petitioned the colonial council for protection as evidenced in the Sarah Robins case.
From the late seventeenth through the mid-eighteenth centuries, the French and English pressured the Iroquois to choose sides during frequent periods of imperial warfare. Iroquois leaders, distrustful of both powers, opted to maintain neutrality, often playing one side against the other. Still, individual Indian nations at times formed temporary alliances with one power or another.
The Oneida and Tuscarora Indians, influenced in part by the missionary work of Presbyterian
minister William Strickland, chose to fight alongside the patriot forces in the Revolutionary War. The Oneidas aided the rebels at the battles of Oriskany, Saratoga, and Barren Hill, in addition to sharing their corn with George Washington’s starving troops at Valley Forge.
Using the information from the following documents, and your own knowledge of history, answer the questions in Part A that follow each document. Your answers to these questions will help you complete the writing assignment given in Part B.
Deponent – a person making a deposition, or statement, especially in a court
Honorable fiscal –the fiscal in the Dutch colonies was like a prosecuting lawyer today
Declaration –a statement made in court
Part A: Instructions
Read and analyze each document and answer each of the questions in the space provided.
Part B: Essay
a. Using information and evidence from all of the documents to support your thinking, and using your own knowledge of history, write an essay that describes the ways that interactions between European settlers and American Indians changed over time. Your essay should be well organized and should include an introduction, at least three paragraphs, and a conclusion.
b. Using information and evidence from all of the documents to support your thinking, and using your own knowledge of history, write an essay describing the ways in which American Indians were able to use European colonial politics to their advantage. Your essay should be well organized and should include an introduction, at least three paragraphs, and a conclusion.