First Encounters

The journeys 400 years ago of a French and Dutch explorer would forever alter the history of North America

Four hundred years ago, at almost exactly the same historical moment, two intrepid European explorers came near to meeting in the wilderness of today’s New York State. Each left his name on the waters he visited, but the impact of their journeys left a far larger shadow on America’s history. This year, from New York City up the Hudson and along the shores of Lake Champlain, dozens of towns, cities, and museums will celebrate the quadricentennial of the arrival of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain.Read more »

The Dutch Door To America

“One nation is a copy of the other,” said John Adams on his first visit to the Netherlands; two centuries later an American visitor to Holland can still trace the connection

We are well weaned from the delicate milk of our mother country, and inured to the difficulties of a strange and hard land,” wrote John Robinson and William Brewster in 1617. They were negotiating a land grant in the New World with England’s Plymouth Company, for their followers, the Pilgrims. The strange and hard land they spoke of was Holland, where the Pilgrims were living. Read more »