Henry Hudson’s First American Adventure
On September 3, 1609, Henry Hudson and the English and Dutch men on the 80-ton Halve Maen (Half Moon) came within sight of the coastline where New York meets New Jersey today. The view of the sandy white beach backed by forest must have appeared Edenic to the perhaps 20 gaunt and exhausted men, who had endured most of the past five months crammed inside the 85-foot vessel, savaged by storms, frigid weather, and an oppressive diet.
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.
The Indians who sold Manhattan were bilked, all right, but they didn’t mind—the land wasn’t theirs anyway
By now it is probably too late to do anything about it, but the unsettling fact remains that the so-called sale of Manhattan Island to the Dutch in 1626 was a totally illegal deal; a group of Brooklyn Indians perpetrated the swindle, and they had no more right to sell Manhattan Island than the present mayor of White Plains would have to declare war on France.