RHOADES (Rhode seems to be the Dutch spelling), JOHN, New England trader instrumental in the Dutch conquest of Acadia; fl. 1674–76.
A Massachusetts resident thoroughly familiar with the fur trade on the coasts of Maine and Acadia, Rhoades not only persuaded Capt. Jurriaen Aernoutsz to attack the French posts there but also took the Dutch oath of allegiance and served as pilot for the expedition.
Rhoades was also a member of the group Aernoutsz appointed to maintain the Dutch conquest of the country and he probably arranged for the vessels and trade goods they secured in Boston on credit. This group sailed back to Acadia, where they proceeded to seize several New England trading vessels and their cargoes. Governor Leverett thereupon sent armed vessels against Rhoades, whom the Massachusetts authorities regarded as the leader of the group. Defeated in a naval fight in the Bay of Fundy, Rhoades and his companions were taken prisoner to Boston and tried as pirates. All but two of them were convicted of either piracy or theft. The two Dutch leaders of the group were pardoned but Rhoades was condemned to death. His execution was postponed because of King Philip’s war and he was released in October 1675 on condition that he leave Massachusetts forever.
In September 1676 the Dutch West India Company made a belated effort to capitalize on Aernoutsz’s conquest by granting Rhoades a commission to reside and trade in Acadia and by appointing Cornelis van Steenwijck, a Dutch merchant in New York, governor of Acadia. Rhoades attempted to use his commission, but was arrested on the St. George River by a lieutenant of Governor Andros for trespassing on the territory of the Duke of York. He was taken to New York but released after a brief imprisonment. In the Treaty of Nimwegen (1678), ending the war between France and Holland, the Dutch conquest of Acadia was not even mentioned.