17th Century

The Quequechan Trading Post is a recreation of one of the trading posts prevalent along the many rivers of New England during the early 17th century. Quequechan means falling water in the Wampanoag language, named for the many rapids that were on the river at that time. The trade in furs was mutually beneficial to both the Native Americans and the English settlers.

The Native Americans brought their furs to be traded for such items as iron ax heads, hoe heads, knives and other tools. Household items were also bartered for the valuable fur pelts. Sewing needles, cloth, shirts and blankets were in great demand by the local tribes. The English settlers used these furs to purchase manufactured goods from England as well pay their debts to England.

In the trading post you will find pelts of otter, beaver, raccoon, fox and muskrat. As well as manufactured trade goods, there are fathoms ( a unit of measurement equal to six feet) and belts of wampum , glass beads, mirrors and other sundry items which were in high demand by the Native Americans. Using the concept of the trading post, students will be introduced to the early relationships between the English colonists and the Native Americans.

Included will be the topics of land ownership and use, the effect of European diseases on the Native Americans as well as the conflicts between them. (The Pequot and King Philip Wars of New England). Also discussed will be the different goals among the different colonies of America and the influence of other European nations (Netherlands, France, Spain and Russia) in colonizing the New World.

Links of Interest:

Plimoth Plantation
Jamestown Settlement
Pilgrim Hall
Smith’s Castle Museum
Roger Williams
English Fur Trade
East India Trading Company