The City of Holyoke

The Pioneer Valley Reader

wars fierce and terrible were breaking out among the several tribes, and to the colonists dreaming of new lands beyond their seashore homes the forests seemed peopled with savage beasts of prey and scarcely less savage men lurking for their savage foes.
      Hendrick Hudson had explored the Hudson river in 1609, and in 1613 a small Dutch colony occupied New York, whence, two years later, traders coasted along the enchanting shores of Long Island Sound, ascending the Connecticut river as far as Hartford, named it Dutch Point, and built a fort there, doubtless as headquarters for fur trading; but no permanent settlement was effected, although a prosperous trade was carried on six or eight years longer without competition.

Captain Miller Place, Crafts Tavern, Rand House, Old Brown Homestead
From the top: Captain Miller Place, Crafts Tavern,
The Rand House, The Old Brown Homestead.

The first intelligence of this traffic and of the Connecticut or "Long River" was borne to Governor Winthrop by three sachems from the region of Springfield, or Agawam, April 4, 1631, the year after the establishment of the colony of Massachusetts Bay. One of these Indians had for a time been in the service of Sir Walter Raleigh, in England. The purpose of the visit was to induce the Governor to send white settlers to plant the inviting fields of the valley; and seed corn and skins and other gifts were promised to the settlers. Although the Governor sumptuously entertained his guests, he, lacking faith in them, permitted no one to return with them. Nevertheless their story of abundant crops of corn and hemp and of the streams overstocked with bass, shad, sturgeon and

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