Earliest European Contact among the Neutral

Author(s): Martin Cooper

Year: 2014


This paper examines the evidence for the earliest European contact among the Neutral Iroquoians, who in the seventeenth century occupied a large portion of southern Ontario, from Milton in the northwest extending through the Niagara Peninsula into New York State. Despite five decades of contact with Europeans, we do not know by what name this large amalgamation of tribes called themselves yet the first Europeans called them the Neutral. This referred to their position both politically and economically to the surrounding Nations. The Neutral were involved in far reaching trade alliances with the Susquehannock, Seneca, Erie, Huron-Wendat, Tionontaté and Odawa. Through these spheres of interaction the Neutral had the opportunity to obtain European trade goods from multiple sources. The archaeological record will be examined to identify the genesis and nature of trade during the sixteenth century.

Cite this Record

Earliest European Contact among the Neutral. Martin Cooper. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436906)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-36,10