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Brothers Among NationsThe Pursuit of Intercultural Alliances in Early America, 1580-1660$
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Cynthia Van Zandt

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181241

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181241.001.0001

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Captain Claiborne's Alliance

Captain Claiborne's Alliance

(p.116) 5 Captain Claiborne's Alliance
Brothers Among Nations

Cynthia J. Van Zandt

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the importance of the intercultural alliance formed between the Susquehannocks and Virginia colonist William Claiborne in the 1630s, centered around Claiborne's base at Kent Island. It puts the alliance in context by considering the Susquehannocks' search for a suitable European ally and trading partner through the first three decades of the 17th century. The Susquehannocks sought European allies and trading partners as part of their strategy against the Five Nations Iroquois. In the end, the Susquehannock-Claiborne alliance was thwarted by intra-English colonial rivalries rather than by intercultural pressures. Maryland claimed Kent Island, expelled Claiborne, and unsuccessfully tried to ally with the Susquehannocks. Despite its relatively short life, the Susquehannock-Claiborne alliance held long-lasting and far-reaching consequences.

Keywords:   William Claiborne, Kent Island, Susquehannocks, 1630s, Iroquois, Maryland

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