This treaty of 1613 laid the foundation for future relations between the Whites and the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois, say the Onondagas. Parmenter examined the extent to which the oral tradition of Haudenosaunee is confirmed and observed by surviving documentary (written) recordings, that «documentary evidence, considered in sum, shows a striking degree of coherence over time in expressing the fundamental principles of the Kaswentha tradition of Haudenosaunee Spokesperson,» with «the most complete single written source that appear the origins of the early 17th century of a Kaswentha relationship between the Iroquois nations and the Dutch [ing] in […] 1689».  And the first mention of the Kaswentha tradition before the Anglo-American and French colonial public dates more than 30 years earlier, 1656 (43 years after the presumed origin of treaty 1613).  When dating the first formal commercial relations between the two groups, historians of that time generally cite a Dutch commissioner`s statement of 1659 that sixteen years ago the Europeans and the Iroquois were bound «by an iron chain». The first formal agreement between the two cultures took place in 1643, during a visit by Arendt van Curler, an archaic Dutch merchant whom the Iroquois so honoured to call the future governors named «Corlaer». (10) One of the fundamental questions posed by scientists in the continuation of the history of Haudenosaunee`s relations with the Dutch is: what is the date of the first treaty? Responses include 1613, 1618, 1623, 1634, 1643 or later. (George T. Hunt, The Wars of the Iroquois: A Study in Intertribal Trade Relations, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1940, 25-30; GSF 1987: 383). The date does not matter for the Haudenosaunee, because the Two Row Wampum is their balance sheet of the contract. The importance of the treaty is its most important component. The second series highlights the long peaceful trade and political relations that Haudenosaunee had with the Dutch and then the English.
This long alliance continued until a civil war among the white settlers, known as the American Revolution, plunged this unwavering friendship into chaos. The Treaty of 1613 reflects the communication capacity of the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch. This may be an obvious statement, but both the 1613 treaty and the two-line wampum describe concepts beyond «I`m going to trade you for that.» The text of the treaty indicates a sophisticated understanding of the languages of both the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch. This was possible because the Dutch have traded with Indian nations along the Hudson River Valley since 1598. (The date of 1598 is in «Report of the Board of Accounts,» The Hague, Netherlands, 15 December 1644, in E.B. O`Callaghan, note, documents relating to the colonial history of New York State, 15 volumes; Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons, and Co., 1854-1883, I, 149). Thus, the date of 1598 marks the beginning of the development of language and translation skills among the Dutch, the Haudenosaunee Mohawks and other indigenous nations such as the Mahicans. Since the Dutch had been in the Hudson River Valley since 1598, Mohawk translators and Dutch translators had undoubtedly obtained more than the basic vocabulary of other languages until 1613.
The incentive to learn languages to trade was stimulated in 1609, when Henry Hudson sailed on the river that bears his name. He and his crew from the Dutch ship Half-Moon met locals near the present-day Albany. These Indians, including the Mohawks, but certainly the Mahicans, approached Henry Hudson with hides that the Indians had already prepared because these Indians had traded with the Dutch for more than a decade.