Mahicans & Early Native Americans at the Van Alen Property
in Columbia County
Fourth Grade Program
of Columbia County
at the Van Alen Property
COVID-19 is not our geographic region's first brush with an illness of epidemic proportions.
We now know that the "conquest" by Christopher Columbus (1492) of native people was not due to guns nor weapons, rather to the fact that Columbus and his crew of invaders brought disease pathogens--carried invisibly--to indigenous communities of the Americas. These diseases had evolved over hundreds of years across the ocean in Europe--to which Europeans had become immune, but to which native populations of the 'New World' had no resistance or immunity .
Mahicans lived communally; women had equal rights as men, there was no slavery, all group members were cared for equally. Village or group elders managed activities of daily life, restricting overuse of resources so as to preserve them for the next seven generations.
Records show the Van Alens purchased this land from the Mahicans in 1666, while the discovery of a small Native American campsite on the property points to occupation of the land for at least 4,000 years prior to this transaction.
Contact Educator@cchsny.org for scheduling and information about future 'Day of History' Field Trips and transportation reimbursement.
Curriculum: 4th Grade -
Mahicans in Columbia County
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Columbia County Historical Society is Chartered in the first instance (Absolute Charter) by the Board of Regents, State Education Department, The University of the State of New York