Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown

This special monthly feature to The Tidal Zone blog recounts the highlights that led to Henry Hudson’s sail past the tidal marsh of what is now Yonkers’ Beczak Environmental Education Center on September 13, 1609.

The compass on the Half Moon has been pointed west for over a month and it has led the ship to a fearsome place of ghostly white. The sailors have entered the foggiest place on earth, a place that would one day be called the Grand Banks of the island of Newfoundland, Canada.

When the sun breaks through, when they catch cod by the basketful and when their sounding line indicates that land is near, the men can put aside their worries. But when they hear the drums of this strange land’s people, or when the ship’s cat goes crazy, crying and running from one side of the ship to another, superstitions and distrust return like the thick fog.

By mid July the Half Moon has reached Penobscot Bay, in present-day Maine. Crewmen guardedly trade with natives. Robert Juet, Hudson’s first mate, records, “The people coming aboard showed us great friendship, but we could not trust them.” On July 25, anxiety flares into insanity. Juet takes an armed crew of six men to the native village and steals one of their boats. Later in the evening, a dozen armed men go back and drive the Indians away from their encampment, stealing everything they could, on the pretense the natives would have done the same to them. Fearful of an Indian counterattack, Hudson sails away at 5 a.m.

Lenore Person
Marketing and Communications Manager

Wind back the clock and follow the events that lead to the Half Moon’s sail up the Hudson River in 1609!

JANUARY Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
FEBRUARY Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
MARCH Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
APRIL Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
MAY Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
JUNE Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown