The Summer of Henry Hudson


Henry Hudson portraitFour hundred years ago Henry Hudson, an English sea captain flying a Dutch flag, departed Amsterdam looking for a northwest passage to the Orient. It would be his third and most important voyage.

According to a journal kept by shipmate Robert Juet, Hudson and his crew on the Half Moon sailed into New York Harbor on September 11th, 1609. From there they sailed North up the Hudson River stopping briefly in the cove created by the Spuyten Duyvil, a then small waterway now spanned by the Henry Hudson Bridge.

Hudson and the Half Moon sketch From Robert Juet’s journal: “This morning, at our first anchorage in the river, 28 canoes full of men, women and children came to us, but we saw their intent of treachery and would not allow any of them to come aboard. They brought with them oysters and beans, some of which we bought. They have large tobacco pipes of yellow copper, and pots of clay to prepare their meat in. At 12 o’clock they departed.”

Hudson’s encounters with the Native Peoples were brief and fraught with tension, mistrust and violence. The native Lenape people would see their way of life destroyed, but for Hudson’s employers, the Dutch United East India Company, his discovery represented a major coup.

For much of the 17th century Manhattan, or New Netherland, would be a Dutch outpost and trading colony.

Henry Hudson Manhattan 400th Anniversery Euro coin

And while MyInwood can’t mint a coin, like the new Henry Hudson four-hundredth anniversary five Euro piece, or host a grand celebration complete with battleships like they did on the 300th anniversary in 1909, we can break down Hudson’s impact and lasting legacy.

Hudson Fulton Celebration 1909 New York lightship postcard

In the months leading up to the 400th anniversary of New York’s Dutch incarnation, we’ll shine a light on Henry Hudson and the mark he left on the globe.

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  1. Thank you so much for this terrific historyof Inwood. I was 4 years old in 1942 when we moved there so I saw a lot of changes.We really had everything there. Three movie houses, ice cream parlors,and the best parks any child could have. The history of New York City has been a passion of mine so, to see this history of my old neighborhood is wonderful. Thank again,Patricia


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