Conflict with Europe ans and Other Indians Alcohol presented a serious threat to Munsee communities, which were disrupted and demoralized by the violence of drunkards. But the threats posed by guns and alcohol paled in comparison to the devastation caused by deadly epidemics of smallpox, measles, and malaria, which struck Indian communities every five to 10 years throughout the colonial era and may have killed nine out of every 10 Munsees. Weakened by losses from disease, alcohol abuse, and warfare, Munsees found themselves caught between powerful rivals desiring control over their lands. Armed with Dutch guns, such powerful interior nations as the Mohawks and Mahicans denied Munsee hunters access to trapping grounds; they also extorted wampum and other commodities. Desiring their land, Dutch settlers quickly came to regard the impoverished Munsees as unwanted neighbors, and an increasingly violent struggle ensued in which insults, thefts, and assaults gave way to a series of unpunished murders. War fi nally broke out in 1640 when Governor Willem Kieft sent a military detachment to Staten Island to investigate the theft of a pig. Instead, the soldiers attacked a Raritan Indian community. This set off what became known among Eu ro pe ans as Governor Kieft’s War, part of a wider struggle sparked by the Eu ro pe an invasion of the Northeast and often pitting Indians against each other during the seventeenth century. The fi rst phase of the war ended when Munsee warriors from Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley attacked and defeated the Raritans. A Mahican attack on Wiechquaesgecks and Hackensacks during the winter of 1643– 44 set the stage for the war’s second and more violent phase. Seizing the opportunity to avenge several settlers’ murders, Kieft ordered an attack on the more than 120 Wiechquaesgeck and Hackensack refugees sheltering among the Dutch in camps at Pavonia (in what is now Jersey City) and Corlear’s Hook (in lower Manhattan); most of the refugees were killed during a surprise attack on the night of 23 February 1643. Munsee warriors united by hatred of the Dutch soon attacked outlying settlements throughout New Netherland, where they killed or captured scores of colonists, among them the well- known Puritan dissenter Anne Hutchinson and most of her family; they also drove colonists from Staten Island and much of the adjacent mainland. The Dutch retaliated quickly, killing hundreds of Munsees in Westchester County and Long Island in 1644. Despite devastation on both sides, the struggle remained indecisive, and a peace treaty was signed on 30 August 1645. But the peace proved uneasy, and Munsees resentful of Dutch encroachments on their lands attacked settlements in and around Manhattan in 1655. The renewed hostilities became known as the Peach War, after a Dutch settler who was alleged to have murdered an Indian woman for picking peaches in his orchard, and dragged on for several years. The outbreak of war with Esopus Indians living farther upriver in 1658 further weakened the Dutch colony, which was denied adequate support by the Netherlands and fell easily to an En glish squadron in 1664 after years of almost continual Indian warfare. Eager to avoid these mistakes, the English quickly signed treaties of friendship with Indian leaders.