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Judian Tribes of Hudson's River;
ORIGIN, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS; TRIBAL
WARS, TREATIES, ETC., ETC.
N. A.SOC. R 938 h
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1872,
By E. M. RUTTENBER, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
T H E pioneer in new fields of historic inquiry
or encounters many obstacles from which those Gra who follow the more beaten paths of investigation are exempt, and especially so if the inquiry involves conclusions differing materially from those which have been generally accepted. The experience of the author in prosecuting the investigations, the results of which have been embodied in the work which is now submitted to the public; have been no exception to this rule. Not only had the history of the Indians who occupied the valley of Hudson's river never been written, but the incidental references to them, in the histories of nations more prominent at a later period treating them as mere fragmentary bands without organization or political position among the aboriginal nations — being regarded as erroneous, the inquiry involved the rejection, to a very great extent, of the conclusions of others, and the investigation and analyzation of original sources of information. To extract the truth and embody it in consistent narrative, has involved no little labor and research, and the careful weighing of words; and, although the results
may not be stated in the clearest terms or the most flowing rhetoric, nor entirely without error, they are nevertheless believed to fully sustain the conclusion that the tribes in question have a history which entitles them to a high rank in the annals of aboriginal nations, and which assigns to them native abilities as distinguished, eloquence as pure, bravery and prowess as unquestionable, as was possessed by those who, preserved for a greater time in their national integrity by their remoteness from civilization, became of more esteem in their relations to the government but less noble in their purposes.
It has been the object of the author to trace the history of the Indians from the earliest period; to show their original position in the family of nations, and that which they subsequently maintained; the wrongs which they suffered, and the triumphs which they won'; their greatness and their decay. In the narrative, liberal use has been made of current histories, so far as their statements were found to be in accordance with the facts. Acknowledgment, it is believed, has been fully made, and even to an extent which is not customary. Very full notes have been introduced for the purpose of explaining the text and enabling the reader to judge of the correctness of the conclusions drawn therefrom. As far as possible the narrative has been divested of the recitation of events which do not pertain to it, and though necessarily running beyond the limits of the territory regarded as the valley of the Hudson, has been as closely confined to it as possible, too closely perhaps, as it is believed that the eastern
Indians have the same claim to consideration as a confederacy as the western.
The work is submitted to the judgment of the public, with a desire that the author may be lost in the theme which he has presented, and the truth of history vindicated in behalf of a people that have left behind no monuments to their memory save those erected by their destroyers.