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New Netherland Institute Hosts Summer Conference

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June 9 and 10, the conference "The Dutch in Connecticut: Exploring New Netherland's Fresh River" will take place in Hartford, Connecticut. 

The conference will feature a Friday night keynote address by Russell Shorto titled "The Idea of New Netherland." Saturday morning and afternoon will feature talks by Len Tantillo, Charles Gehring, Janny Venema, Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward, and archaeologist Lucianne Lavin. 

Registration includes the reception on Friday, box lunch on Saturday, and a tour of the Old State House on Saturday.

If you would like to combine standard registration ($75) with student registration ($35), please add to cart for each. Questions? Contact us here.

You will receive more details via email shortly after registering. 

Last summer we took New Netherland to Rochester, New York. This summer we are visiting Hartford, Connecticut.

This summer's program will include a reception (cash bar) at the Black Bear Saloon on Friday night with a keynote address by Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World. Saturday's program at the Old State House in Hartford will feature talks from historical painter Len Tantillo, New Netherland Research Center Director Charles Gehring, New Netherland Research Center Associate Director Janny Venema, Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward, archaeologist Lucianne Lavin, and the New Netherland Institute's Associate for Educational Materials Jessica Maul. 

The history of the Dutch in Connecticut began in 1614, when Dutch explorer Adriaen Block became the first European to explore the Connecticut River, which he named the Versche, or Fresh River. In addition to studying the land and water (he found the river dangerously shallow in places), Block initiated contact with the Indians of the region. He discovered, perhaps by accident, that the polished shell pieces the Pequots made from local shells-called sewan or wampum-were highly prized by the Mohawks far to the north and west. The Mohawks, in turn, had plentiful beavers to trade. Thus, far before the English had even heard of wampum, the Dutch set themselves up as middle men in a three-way trade. The Pequots got European manufactured goods such as cloth and cookware; the Mohawks got the wampum they valued; and the Dutch got the furs that Europeans clamored for.

See Russell Shorto's Tour of New Netherland for more. 

Schedule (subject to change slightly)

Friday night (June 9)

5:00 – 6: Reception (cash bar) 

6 – 7: Russell Shorto, “The Idea of New Netherland”

Saturday morning (June 10) 

8:30 – 9: Registration 

9 – 9:15: Walter Woodward, Introductory remarks

9:15 – 9:45: Janny Venema, “Kiliaen van Rensselaer and Early New Netherland (Especially Rensselaerswijck)”

10:00 – 10:30: Charles Gehring, “An Overview of New Netherland from Connecticut to Delaware Bay”

10:30 – 11 Break 

11:00 - 11:45: Len Tantillo, "Painting 17th Century Watercraft: Colonial Vessels on the Connecticut, Hudson, and Delaware Rivers"

12 – 1:15: Lunch (box lunch included with registration) A tour of the Old State House is available during lunch to those interested. 

Saturday afternoon 

1:15 – 1:45 : Walter Woodward, “The Cost of Battles Not Fought: War and Rumor in early New England”

1:45 – 2:20: Lucianne Lavin, "Dutch-Native American Relationships in Eastern New Netherland (that’s Connecticut, folks!)"

2:25 – 3:00: Jessica Maul, “Everyday Life in a Dutch Colony: Instructional Resources for the Classroom”

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