The following is a list of reviews I did of a number of smaller writings on the early explorations of the New World.  The goal here was to learn more about when the first knowledge came to be about certain plants considered valuable back then.  The modern interpretation of plants, ecology and plant remedies is much different that it was 400 years ago.  This review helps to define a small portion of these differences that exist, mostly pertaining to plants.

The following writers were reviewed:

MEDICINES NOTED BY THE EARLIEST EXPLORERS OF NORTH AMERICA: 1600-1700.

REVERENDS & SETTLERS–CHRONOLOGICALLY, BY REGIONS

New World-North America [1600-1700]

  • Baron de Lahontan (1683-1694) [New France]

New Netherland [1610-1665]

  • Robert Juet, 1610.
  • Emanuel Van Meteren, 1610.
  • Nicolaes Van Wassanaer, 1624-1630.
  • Reverend Jonas Michaelius, 1628
  • Isaack de Rasieres to Samuel Blommaert, 1628.
  • Johan de Laet, 1625, 1630, 1633, 1640.
  • David Pietersz De Vries, 1630-1633, 1643, (1655).
  • General James Grant Wilson, 1634-5.N
  • Reverend Johannes Megapolensis, Jr., 1644
  • Adriaen Vander Donck, 1650.
  • Cornelis Van Tienhoven, 1650.

New York [1666-1700]

  • Daniel Denton, 1670.

East New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware [1640-1700]

  • Governor Johan Printz, 1644, 1647
  • Governor Johan Rising, 1654.
  • William Penn, 1681, 1683, 1685
  • Thomas Paschall, 1683.
  • Doctor Nicholas More, 1686.
  • Gabriel Thomas, 1698.

Western New Jersey [ca. 1630-1700]

  • David Pietersz De Vries, 1633-1643.
  • Maryland [ca. 1630-1700]
  • George Alsop, 1666.
  • John Hammond, 1656
  • Lord Baron of Baltimore, 1633
  • Father Andrew White, 1634, 1635.

REFERENCES

George Alsop.  A Character of the Province of Maryland, by George Alsop, 1666.  In Narratives of Early Maryland. Clayton Colman Hall, Ed.  (New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 1910.)  pp. 340-387.

Alsop’s writings express his feelings of strong ethnocentricity towards England.  He notes the Native American religious practices as demonic in form, calls the women “butchers” and men “beast-killers,” and, pertaining to their devil worship, he claimed that once in four years “they sacrific a Childe to him”  (p. 369).  Of their “Herbes and Roots,” he reflects back upon the herbal of Nicolas Culpeper in his discussion.

Daniel Denton.  A Brief Description of New York. 1670.  Reprinted by University Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, 1966.

David Pietersz De Vries.  From the “Korte Historiael End Journaels Aenteyckeninge.” 1630-1633, 1643, (1655). IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 7-31.  [No entries.]

David Pietersz De Vries.  From the “Korte Historiael End Journaels Aenteyckeninge.” 1633-1643, (1655).  In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed.  pp. 181-234.

Makes a number of brief ethnobotanical comments on food, “Turkish Wheat” and hemp-flax like mulberry fibers.  Burial of the dead.  Dance of Feast.

George Fox.  From the Journal of George Fox, 1672, 1673.  In Narratives of Early Maryland. Clayton Colman Hall, Ed.  (New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 1910.)  pp. 393-406.

Bears some of the trinity writing style.

John Hammond.  Leah and Rachel, or, the Two Fruitfull Sisters Virginis and Maryland, by John Hammond, 1656.  In Narratives of Early Maryland. Clayton Colman Hall, Ed.  (New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 1910.)  pp. 281-308.

Robert Juet.  From “The Third Voyage of Master Henry Hudson,” by Robert Juet, 1610.  In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed.  pp. 21-28.

Johan de Laet.  From the “New World” by Johan de Laet, 1625, 1630, 1633, 1640.  In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed.  pp. 29-68.

Baron de Lahontan (1683-1694).  New Voyages to North-America.  Reuben Gold Thwaites, Ed.  Burt Franklin, N.Y., 1970. 2 vols.

Lahontan travelled from 1683 to 1694.  His text was published as two volumes in 1703 by a London printer.  It is considered one of the most accurate renderings of Native American traditions, with notes taken very early in Canadian history, at a time when European influence was minimal.  Creole populations and Coureurs de Bois had already established themselves in the Midwest by then [see pp. 391, 402, and 403].  Their healing faith and practices represent the earliest new forms of medicine born in North America.  The spiritual bases underlying these French and French-Canadian [Metis] healing faiths are what later gave rise to what is commonly called alternative medicine.  Parts of the definitions used by parts of the Old World and the New World match when defining the causes for disease.  Other parts of the two belief systems differed substantially, enough to provide each [Indigena and Pangea healing traditiona] with different names due to differences in their underlying philosophies.  [For more on North America’s see footnote on page 36.]  Most of the flora descriptions given in this section on medical history can be found in this book in the sections entitled “A Description of the above-mention’d Tree and Fruits” (pp. 366-9), and “A Description of the Trees and Fruits of the Northern Countries” (pp. 370-2); the medical anthropology descriptions are from the second volume.

Lord Baron of Baltimore.  An Account of the Lord Baron of Baltimore, 1633.  In Narratives of Early Maryland. Clayton Colman Hall, Ed.  (New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 1910.)  pp. 5-10.

Lord Baron of Baltimore.  Instructions to the Colonists by Lord Baltimore, 1633.  In Narratives of Early Maryland. Clayton Colman Hall, Ed.  (New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 1910.)  pp. 16-23.

Page 20 bears the instructions given by Lord Baltimore regarding instructions for converting the “savages” to Trinity.  No Materia Medica or ethnobotany was noted.

Reverend Johannes Megapolensis, Jr.  A Short Account of the Mohawk Indians, by Reverend Johannes Megapolensis, Jr., 1644.   In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed.  pp. 168-180.

Reverend Jonas Michaelius.  Letter of Reverend Jonas Michaelius, 1628.   In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed.  pp. 122-133.

Doctor Nicholas More.  Letter of Doctor Nicholas More, 1686. IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 279-293.

Send to dismiss the claim of famishment which were previously made to the Lords.

Thomas Paschall.  Letter of Thomas Paschall, 1683. IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 250-254. 

This letter is to his friend JJ or Chippenham.  In this writing, Paschall notes Garden herbs, trees, fruit, and snakes.

William Penn.  A Further Account of the Province of Pennsylvania, by William Penn, 1685. IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 255-278.

William Penn.  Letter from William Penn to the Committee of the Free Society of Traders, 1683. IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 217-244.

Makes note of various natural products, but especially trees and shrubs expected by the colonists, and therefore repeatedly mentioned in most natural history recounts of different regions inhabited along the northern half of the Atlantic Coast.  See “Trees and Shrubs” for list.

[William Penn.]  The Present State of the Colony of West-Jersey, 1681.  IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 189-196.

Makes note of Flax, Hemp, Tanning, Oak, Cedar, etc.

William Penn.  Some Account of the Province of Pennsilvania, by William Penn, 1681.  IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 197-216.

Makes note of Tobacco industry.  Commodities noted include Silk, Flax, Hemp, Wine, Sider, Woad, Madder, Liquorish, Toabacco, Potashes, Iron.  (p. 207).   Comparable with Cadwallader Colden’s similar but more detailed accounts of natural products shipping which appeared in the seven volume New York Colonial and Province History set, by O’Callaghan.

Governor Johan Printz.  Report of Governor Printz, 1644.  IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 93-116.

      Has account of sickness.

Governor Johan Printz.  Report of Governor Johan Printz, 1647.  IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 120-129.

      Has account of sickness.

Isaack de Rasieres.  Letter of Isaack de Rasieres to Samuel Blommaert, 1628.   In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed.  pp. 97-121.

Of the “River Hellgate” (East River) area, along Manhattan Island.  Made a comment about the local ecology: “exhausted by the wild herbage,” probably referring to the algae, pond weeds, bulrush, etc.

Governor Johan Rising.  Report of Governor Johan Rising, 1654.  IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 132-151.

Has account of sickness.  Makes mention of “nearby Savages” and the reliance of his township on fish and ale houses.

Gabriel Thomas.  An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of Pensilvania….  1698.  IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 313-337.

Gabriel Thomas.  An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of West-New-Jersey in America.  1698.  IN Narratives of East Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware.  1630-1707. Albert Cook Myers, Ed.  Charles Scribners’ Sons, NY, 1912.  pp. 338-352.

Gives description of Turpentine, Whayle Oyl and Whayle Bone industries.

Adriaen Vander Donck. The Representation of New Netherlands, 1650.  In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed. pp. 293-354.

On page 293, gives the Natives’ recollection of the first arrival of the ship Half Moon with Henrik Hutson, 1609: “they did not know what to make of them, and could not comprehened whether they came down from Heaven, or were of the Devil.”  The natives imagined this ship to be a fish, or “a monster of the sea.”

Emanuel Van Meteren.  On Hudson’s Voyage by Emanuel Van Meteren, 1610.  In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed.  pp. 5-9. 

Cornelius Van Tienhoven.  Answer to the Representation of New Netherland, by Cornelis Van Tienhoven, 1650. In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed. pp. 359-377.

Nicolaes Van Wassenaer.  From the “Historisch Verhael” by Nicolaes Van Wassanaer, 1624-1630.   In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed.  pp. 69-96.

Father Andrew White.  A Briefe Relation of the Voyage unto Maryland, by Father Andrew White, 1634.  In Narratives of Early Maryland. Clayton Colman Hall, Ed.  (New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 1910.)  pp. 24-45.

[Father Andrew White?]. A Relation of Maryland, 1635.  In Narratives of Early Maryland. Clayton Colman Hall, Ed.  (New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 1910.)  pp. 70-112.

General James Grant Wilson.  Narrative of a Journey into the Mohawk and Oneida Country, 1634-5.    In Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664. J. Franklin Jameson, Ed.  pp. 134-162.

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