Henry Hudson's 1609 Voyage

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Unable to find anyone in England to back his proposed expedition, Henry Hudson turned to the Dutch - England's greatest trading rival - and was eventually hired to seek a Northeast Passage - the direction he had taken in his unsuccessful second voyage over the top of Russia. But after a short journey north, Hudson again faced a possible mutiny from his crew, possibly led by Robert Juet. He turned his ship, the Half Moon, around and - ignoring his contract terms - instead headed for the New World and warmer climate.

Hudson explored the northeastern coast of America, eventually sailing into the mouth of a wide river near today's New York City. He hoped the river - now named the Hudson River - would provide a passage west to the Pacific. But after 150 miles (240 km) - and reaching a location near where Albany sits today - he found the river had become too shallow to continue. Hudson had to turn around and head home, again proving unsuccessful at finding a way to the Orient.

The primary record of the voyage - and the only surviving English record - is the journal of Robert Juet, who had sailed with Hudson previously as mate, and would again in 1610. He noted numerous fights with the natives, killing, drunkenness, looting and even a kidnapping. The crew was generally negative towards native Americans, and somewhat afraid of them, which may have influenced later relations between native groups and European settlers. It was hardly a "glorious" expedition in terms of future diplomacy. The real importance of this voyage was in the explorations and its influence would come later, when the Dutch settled around today's Manhattan Island and founded their New World colony. Hudson's third voyage was the first to record the European discovery of today's New York State.


TitlePublication DateDescriptionLink
Henry Hudson (webpage from Wikipedia) A detailed article on Hudson Link
Henry Hudson's Third Voyage 1609: The New World (webpage) 2007 Very detailed article on Hudson's 1609 expedition Link


Henry Hudson's 1609 Expedition Sets Out from Amsterdam 1609-04-04
Henry Hudson's 1609 Expedition Arrested in England 1609-11-07


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North American Plate
Northwest Passage


Halve Maen Sea-going Vessel

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NameDate of BirthDate of DeathShort Biography
Henry Hudson 1565an English sea explorer and navigator during the early 17th century, best known for his explorations of present-day Canada and parts of the northeastern United States.