The Iroquois Confederacy (the Five Nations-Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Oneida) acquired a substantial number of firearms in trade with the Dutch at Fort Nassau along the Hudson River in 1614. After exchanging valuable furs for additional guns the following spring, the Iroquois mounted a large-scale offensive against neighbouring First Nations. They seized the Ohio Valley from the Cherokee and conducted raids as far south as the Carolinas against the Santee and Catawba. To the north, they subjugated the Delaware and virtually wiped out the Mohicans. At the conclusion of these operations, the Iroquois were in a strong position to expand farther north. Their objective was to gain access to the areas north of lakes Ontario and Erie-regions that were rich in fur-bearing animals-and control of the main St. Lawrence fur-trade route.


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Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre
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