Captain Claiborne's Alliance
During the 1630s Isaac Allerton found himself increasingly at odds with his fellow Plymouth colonists, and the English colonial population of New England exploded. Historians have long noted that New England's colonies took firm root during the 1630s largely as the result of a massive immigration by English protestant refugees who were escaping persecution at home. Equally important for the web of Native American and intercultural alliances that encompassed the eastern seaboard from the Chesapeake to Iroquoia, this was also the decade in which the older English colonization in the Chesapeake finally took hold in far more successful fashion. As in New England, English expansion in the Chesapeake was driven in large part by an increase in the numbers of immigrants, along with reduced colonist mortality.
The story of the 1630s, then, is one of both colonial development and the growth of the intercultural fur trade. Just when New England colonists like Isaac Allerton sought to expand trade networks from their colonies, the Chesapeake settlements also included people who tried to develop networks between Virginia, other colonies, and Indian nations. The increasing number of trade networks during the 1630s depended on intercultural alliances, and establishing these connections was one of the primary reasons that native peoples and Europeans worked so assiduously to map one another.
Before tobacco, the fur trade not only gave Virginia its first major export product but also shaped many intercultural relations for the first thirty years of the colony's history, peaking in the 1630s.1 Indeed, throughout eastern North America, the 1630s witnessed a great increase in the fur trade.2 Native