Henry Hudson - An Englishman In Dutch Service

In the summer of 1609 the ship the "Halve Maan" (Half Moon) sailing under Captain Henry Hudson under the flag of the Dutch East India Company searched in vain for a western passage to the East Indies. Using the maps of the Amsterdam cartographer Jodocus Hondius he had been searching for a Northern route through the ice. He did not search very hard it seems, for he believed in the theory that there was a passage through the continent itself. Since the Venetian navigator Giovanni da Verrazano had seen New York Bay - well, what was later to be called New York Bay - in the middle of the 16th century a number of scientists believed that that bay offered the passage through the continent. After giving up searching for the Norhtern passage Hudson decided to try his luck here.

On the first of July 1609 he reached Newfoundland, from where he followed the coast southwards until he reached the bay in the beginning of September. The next day the Halve Maan sailed through the Narrows and in the afternoon sailed upstream on a river which would be named after the captain, the Hudson. After having sailed up as far as where later Albany was to be and seeing that the river was a river and not the desired passage to the Indies, Hudson gave up, completely disappointed. He did not even bother to sail to back Amsterdam, but went for England, which he reached in November. There another captain took over to bring the ship back to Amsterdam. But the Halve Maan was not a lucky ship: it perished later in the Indian Ocean on a trip to the East Indies via the traditional route around the Cape.