• Aaron Gurwitz
Part of the Palgrave Studies in American Economic History book series (AEH)


The profitability of buying beaver pelts in North America and selling them in Amsterdam provided the economic incentive which, along with geopolitical considerations, motivated the Dutch to establish New Netherlands as a permanent settlement in the Hudson River Valley with its capital, New Amsterdam, on Manhattan Island. This chapter, therefore, centers on the North American market for beaver pelts: the identities and situations of the sellers and buyers, the sources of demand and supply, the venues for and structures of transactions, the ancillary activities that developed to sustain the trade, its profitability, and that it was the settlement’s principal economic raison d’etre.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron Gurwitz
    • 1
  1. 1.New YorkUSA

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