Friday, March 13, 2009

Ian Chadwick's Henry Hudson Site

The thing that surprised me about this photo of the replica of the Half Moon was its size. It must have been a real accomplishment to sail across the Atlantic in something like this---->

This is a big year for history buffs in New York State. Henry Hudson sailed up the river that was later named for him in 1609. So he 'discovered' the Mohican Indians 400 years ago this (coming) September.

A few years ago, during a visit to the Arvid E. Miller Memorial Library/Museum on the Stockbridge Mohicans' reservation in Shawano County [WI], I overheard a tribal member read an account of the arrival of European ships from an Indian perspective. The phrase I remember was "winged canoes." That was the Native way of describing a ship with sails. I was trying to locate that account on the net, but now I'm doubting that it was about Henry Hudson's appearance, because Steve Comer just told me that Hudson came in only one boat.

For Algonkians, the 400th anniversary of Hudson's arrival really isn't anything to celebrate, but it is, nevertheless, something to commemorate. Anyway, what I have for you in this post is not from a Native perspective, it is from the perspective of the whites or invaders, explorers, or whatever you want to call them.

Ian Chadwick has created an excellent website on Henry Hudson. I encourage you to read his timeline of the 1609 voyage yourself, but the following quotes (and the map below them) are a preview:

September 18th: Hudson accepted an invitation from a chief to eat with him and went ashore. The natives "killed a fat dog and skinned it in great haste" for dinner. Hudson was invited to stay overnight, but was suspicious. Sensing his discomfort, the natives broke their arrows and threw them into the fire to indicate their good intentions. But Hudson returned to the ship anyway. He wrote, "The land is the finest for cultivation that I ever in my life set foot upon."
September 21st: The crew got some natives drunk on wine and Aqua Vitae -"hooch," from the Indian word "hoochenoo" for the hard liquor Hudson and his crew plied them with. One passed out and slept aboard the ship. The natives returned the next day and were relieved to find him unharmed.
You can read more about the Half Moon replica at the Hudson River Maritime Museum site.

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