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English explorer Henry Hudson embarked on multiple sailing voyages that provided new information on North American water routes.
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Traveling down the North American coast, Hudson went as far south as the Chesapeake Bay. He then turned around and decided to explore New York Harbor, an area first thought to have been discovered by Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524. Around this time, Hudson and his crew clashed with some local Native Americans. A crew member named John Colman died after being shot in the neck with an arrow,
and two others on board were injured.
After burying Colman, Hudson and his crew traveled up the river that would later carry his name. He explored the Hudson River up as far as what later became Albany. Along the way, Hudson noticed that the lush lands that lined the river contained abundant wildlife. He and his crew also met with some of the Native Americans living on the river's banks.
On the way back to the Netherlands, Hudson was stopped in the English port of Dartmouth. The English authorities seized the ship and the Englishmen among the crew. Upset that he had been exploring for another country, the English authorities forbade Hudson from working with the Dutch again. He was, however, undeterred from trying to find the Northwest Passage. This time, Hudson found English investors to fund his next journey, which would prove to be fatal.
Aboard the ship Discovery, Hudson left England in April 1610. He and his crew, which again included his son John and Robert Juet, made their way across the Atlantic Ocean. After skirting the southern tip of Greenland, they entered what became known as the Hudson Strait. The exploration then reached another of his namesakes, the Hudson Bay. Traveling south, Hudson ventured into James Bay and discovered that he had come to a dead end.
By this time, Hudson was at odds with many in his crew. They found themselves trapped in the ice and low on supplies. When they were forced to spend the winter there, tensions only grew more intense. By June 1611, conditions had improved enough for the ship to set sail once again. Hudson, however, didn't make the trip back home. Shortly after their departure, several members of the crew, including Juet, took over the ship and decided to cast out Hudson, his son and a few other crew members. Mutineers put Hudson and the others in a small boat and set them adrift. It is believed that Hudson and the others died of exposure sometime later. Some of the mutineers were later put on trial, but they were acquitted.
More European explorers and settlers followed Hudson's lead, making their way to North America. The Dutch started a new colony, called New Amsterdam, at the mouth of the Hudson River in 1625. They also developed trade posts along the nearby coasts.
While he never found his way to Asia, Hudson is still widely remembered as a determined early explorer. His efforts helped drive European interest in North America. Today his name can be found all around us on waterways, schools, bridges and even towns.
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