Henry Hudson ?, ?, 1565 - June 6, 1611

On January 15, 2009, an airplane flew into a flock of Canadian geese and proceeded to crash in the Hudson River. Miraculously, everyone on the plane survived. Below is a picture from the crash. The Hudson River flows North and South in the state of New York and passes through New York City. Are you curious about who the Hudson River was named after? Read on!

The plane crash on the Hudson River

Henry Hudson was an English explorer who was determined to find a Northern route from Europe to Asia, through the Arctic Ocean. He was born in London, England in 1565, although his real birth date is unknown. Not surprisingly, little is known about Hudson's early life. We might guess that he learned about sailing from living around sailors and fisherman.

London, England in the 1600's

At the age of 42, Henry Hudson became the captain of a ship. He made four voyages total as captain from 1607-1611. He was hired by an English company called The Muscovy Company to find a Northern passage to Asia. Although he left on his first journey in the spring of 1607, he was still thwarted by icy waters. Before they had to go home, they had a chance to explore islands near Greenland. Around Greenland, they saw a lot of whales which opened up the area for hunting whales. His second voyage did little more than the first. He did find a group of islands north of Russia known as Novaya Zemlya. After which, he was blocked by giant chunks of ice and had to return home. For his third voyage in 1609, he joined the Dutch East India Company and took position as the captain of the Half Moon. He was stopped by ice again but this time, he sailed west to find a passage to Asia. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached a part of eastern Canada known as Nova Scotia. He and his crew ran into some local Native Americans that they made a couple of trades with. He sailed south and went as far as Chesapeake Bay in the mid-Atlantic before turning around and exploring what is now the New York Harbor. Around that time, Hudson fought with some local Native American tribes. A few men were injured and one even died. Afterwards, Hudson and his crew proceeded to travel up the Hudson River. While traveling, Hudson noted the bountifulness of wildlife. As they headed back to the Netherlands, they were stopped at an English port by well... the English men. They weren't happy about Hudson working with the Dutch. They told him not to explore for any other country besides England. So, for his fourth expedition he found Englishmen to support his journey. He departed for his last journey in June of 1610. He and his crew passed by the southern part of Greenland then found Hudson Bay which is around the Northeastern part of Canada. They then ventured south to James Bay where he found a dead end. Hudson and his crew were low on supplies, and they were stuck in the ice. They had to spend winter on the ice. In June of 1611, Hudson set sail again. However, he didn't head home like a lot of the men wanted to. He was determined to find the passage to Asia. As a result, most of the crew members agreed to cast Hudson, his son, and a couple other crew members into a small boat with no oars, then sail home. It is believed that Hudson died of exposure to the cold.

In contrast with all that is known of his voyages, there isn't too much information on what Henry Hudson was like. However, we can try guessing his traits. We might be able to tell by the fact that he made 4 attempts at finding the Northern passage to Asia, that he was a determined man. This fact is also supported by the fact that even after being stuck in ice for 3-5 months, he was still attempting to find a Northern passage to Asia. He could have also been a little selfish as shown after the mutiny, his crew members found 200 biscuits, 9 liters of barley/wheat, and a whole 126 gallons of beer, in his cabin.

Was Henry Hudson a selfish man? Maybe, but he did succeed at finding at finding the Hudson River and the Hudson Bay. Not only did he do that but he also may have inspired other English explorers to hunt for the Northern passage. He may not have found the passageway to Asia, but he was successful nonetheless.

Created By
Levi Lao

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