Discovery of the Hudson River


This Site:

Discovery of America

The Explorers

Post Columbian Exploration

Thirteen Original Colonies

Colonization of America

Colonial Life

Colonial Days and Ways

Independence Movement

The Patriots

Prelude to War

Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War Battles

Overview of Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War Timeline


Civil War

American Flag

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Hudson River, DISCOVERY OF THE. The following narrative is from " The Third Voyage of Master Henry Hudson, toward Nova Zembla, and at his Returne, his Passing from Farre Islands to New found Land, and along to Fortie-foure Degrees and Ten Minutes, and thence to Cape Cod, and so to Thirtie-three Degrees; and along the Coast to the North-ward, to Fortie-two Degrees and an Halfe, and up the River Neere to Fortie-three Degrees," written by Robert Juet: (Since this article was written in 1609, you will notice many words spelled differently than today. It is somewhat tedious to read, but has very interesting content)

The first of September [1609], faire weather, the wind variable betweene east and south ; we steered away north northwest. At noone we found our height to bee 39 degrees, 3 minutes. Wee had soundings thirtie, twentie-seven, twentiefoure, and twentie-two fathomes, as wee went to the northward. At sixe of the clocke wee had one and twentie fathoms. And all the third watch, till twelve of the clocke at mid-night, we had sounding one and twentie, two and twentie, eighteene, two and twentie, eighteene, and two and twentie fathoms, and went sixe leagues neere hand north northwest.

The Half Moon in the Hudson

The second, in the morning, close weather, the winde at south in the morning; from twelve untill two of the clocke we steered north north-west, and had sounding one and twentie fathoms; and in running one glasse we had but sixteene fathoms, then seventeene, and so shoalder and shoalder untill it came to twelve fathoms. We saw a great fire, but could not see the land; then we came to ten fathoms, whereupon we brought our tackes aboord, and stood to the eastward east south-east, foure glasses. Then the sunne arose, and wee steered away north againe, and saw the land from the west by north to the north-west by north, all like broken islands, and our soundings were eleven and ten fathoms. Then wee bolt in for the shoare, and faire by the shoare we had seven fathoms. The course along the land we found to be north-east by north. From the land which we had first sight of, untill we came to a great lake of water, as wee could judge it to bee, being drowned land, which made it to rise like islands, which was in length ten leagues. The mouth of that land bath many shoalds, and the sea breaketh on them as it is cast out of the mouth of it. And from that lake or bay the land lyeth north by east, and wee had a great streame out of the bay; and from thence our sounding was ten fathoms two leaguesfrom the land. At five of the clocke we anchored, being little winde, and rode in eight fathoms water; the night was faire. This night I found the land to hall the compasse 8 degrees. For to the north-ward off us we saw high hils. For the day before we found not above 2 degrees of variation. This is a very good land to fall with, and a pleasant land to see.

The third, the morning mystie, untill ten of the clocke; then it cleered, and the wind came to the south south-east, so wee weighed and stood to the northward. The land is very pleasant and high, and bold to fall withall. At three of the clock in the after-noone, wee came to three great rivers. So we stood along to the northmost, thinking to have gone into it, but we found it to have a very shoald barre before it, for we had but ten foot water. Then we cast about to the southward, and found two fathoms, three fathoms, and three and a quarter, till we came to the souther side of them; then we had five and sixe fathoms, and anchored. So wee sent in our boate to sound, and they found no lesse water then foure, five, sixe, and seven fathoms, and returned in an hour and a halfe. So wee weighed and went in, and rode in five fathoms, oze ground, and saw many salmons, and mullets, and rayes, very great. The height is 40 degrees, 30 minutes.

The fourth, in the morning, as soone as the day was light, wee saw that it was good riding farther up. So we sent our boate to sound, and found that it was a very good harbour, and foure and five fathomes, two cables length from the shoare. Then we weighed and went in with our ship. Then our boate went on land with our net to fish, and caught ten great mullets, of a foote and a halfe long a peece, and a ray as great as foure men could hale into the ship. So wee trimmed our boate and rode still all day. At night the wind blew hard at the north-west, and our anchor came home, and wee drove on shoare, but tooke no hurt, thanked bee God, for the ground is soft sand and oze. This day the people of the countrey came aboord of us, seeming very glad of our comming, and brought greene tabacco, and gave us of it for knives and beads. They goe in deere skins loose, well dressed. They have yellow copper. They desire cloathes, and are very civill. They have great store of maize, or Indian wheate, whereof they make good bread. The countrey is full of great and tall oake.

The fifth, in the morning, as soone as the day was light, the wind ceased and the flood came. So we heaved off our ship againe into five fathoms water, and sent our boate to sound the bay, and we found that there was three fathoms hard by the souther shoare. Our men went on land there, and saw great store of men, women, and children, who gave them tabacco at their comming on land. So they went up into the woods, and saw great store of very goodly oakes and some currants. For one of them came aboord and brought some dryed, and gave me some, which were sweet and good. This day many of the people came aboard, some in mantles of feathers, and some in skinnes of divers sorts of good furres. Some women also came to us with hempe. They had red copper tabacco pipes, and other things of copper they did weare about their neckes. At night they went on land againe, so wee rode very quiet, but durst not trust them.

The sixth, in the morning, was faire weather, and our master sent John Colman, with foure other men in our boate, over to the north-side to sound the other river, being foure leagues from us. They found by the way shoald water, two fathoms; but at the north of the river eighteen, and twentie fathoms, and very good riding for ships; and a narrow river to the westward, betweene two ilands. The lands, they told us, were as pleasant with grasse and flowers and goodly trees as ever they had seene, and very sweet smells came from them. So they went irn two leagues and saw an open sea, and returned; and as they came backe, they were set upon by two canoes, the one having twelve, the other fourteene men. The night came on, and it began to rayne, so that their match went out; and they had one man slaine in the fight, which was an Englishman, named John Colman, with an arrow shot into his throat, and two more hurt. It grew so darke that they could not find the ship that night, but labored to and fro on their oars. They had so great a streame, that their grapnell would not hold them.

The seventh, was faire, and by ten of the clocke they returned aboord the ship, and brought our dead man with them, whom we carried on land and buryed, and named the point after his name, Colmans Point. Then we hoysed in our boate, and raised her side with waste boords for defence of our men. So we rode still all night, having good regard to our watch.

The eighth, was very faire weather, wee rode still very quietly. The people came aboord us, and brought tabacco and Indian wheat to exchange for knives and beades, and offered us no violence. So we fitting up our boate did marke them, to see if they would make any shew of the death of our man; which they did not.

The ninth, faire weather. In the morning, two great canoes came aboord full of men ; the one with their bowes and arrowes, and the other in shew of buying of knives to betray us ; but we perceived their intent. Wee tooke two of them to have kept them, and put red coates on them, and would not suffer the other to come neere us. So they went on land, and two other came aboord in a canoe; we tooke the one and let the other goe ; but hee which wee had taken, got up and leapt over-boord. Then wee weighed and went off into the channell of the river, and anchored there all night.

The tenth, faire weather, we rode still till twelve of the clocke. Then we weighed and went over, and found it shoald all the middle of the river, for wee could finde but two fathoms and a halfe and three fathomes for the space of a league; then wee came to three fathomes and foure fathomes, and so to seven fathomes, and anchored, and rode all night in soft ozie ground. The banke is sand.

The eleventh was faire and very hot weather. At one of the clocke in the afternoone wee weighed and went into the river, the wild at south south - west, little winde. Our soundings were seven, sixe, five, sixe, seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, thirteene, and fourteene fathomes. Then it shoalded againe, and came to five fathomes. Then wee anchored, and saw that it was a very good harbour for all windes, and rode all night. The people of the country came aboord of us, making shew of love, and gave us tabacco and Indian wheat, and departed for that night; but we durst not trust them.

The twelfth, very faire and hot. In the after-noone, at two of the clocke, wee weighed, the winde being variable betweene the north and the north - west. So we turned into the river two leagues and anchored. This morning, at our first rode in the river, there came eight and twentie canoes full of men, women and children to betray us: but we saw their intent, and suffered none of them to come aboord of us. A.t twelve of the clocke they departed. They brought with them oysters and beanes, whereof wee bought some. They have great tabacco pipes of yellow copper, and pots of earth to dresse their meate in. It floweth south-east by south within.

The thirteenth, faire weather, the wind northerly. At seven of the clocke in the morning, as the floud came we weighed, and turned foure miles into the river. The tide being done wee anchored. Then there came foure canoes aboord: but we suffered none of them to come into our ship. They brought great store of very good oysters aboord, which we bought for trifles. In the night I set the variation of the compasse, and found it to be 13 degrees. In the after-noone we weighed, and turned in with the floud, two leagues and a halfe further, and anchored all night; and had five fathoms soft ozie ground; and had an high point of land, which shewed out to us, bearing north by east five leagues off us.
The fourteenth, in the morning, being very faire weather, the wind south - east, we sayled up the river twelve leagues, and had five fathoms, and five fathoms and a quarter lesse; and came to a streight betweene two points, and had eight, nine, and ten fathoms; and it trended north-east by north, one league; and we had twelve, thirteene, and fourteene fathomes. The river is a mile broad: there is very high land on both sides. Then we went up north-west, a league and an halfe deepe water. Then north-east by north, five miles; then north-west by north, two leagues, and anchored. The land grew very high and mountainous. The river is full of fish.

The fifteenth, in the morning, was misty, until the sunne arose: then it cleered. So wee weighed with the wind at south, and ran up into the river twentie leagues, passing by high mountaines. Wee had a very good depth, as sixe, seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, and thirteene fathomes, and great store of salmons in the river. This morning our two savages got out of a port and swam away. After we were under sayle, they called to us in scorne. At night we came to other mountaines, which lie from the rivers side. There wee found very loving people, and very old men: where wee were well used. Our boat went to fish, and caught great store of very good fish.

The sixteenth, faire and very hot weather. In the morning our boat went againe to fishing, but could catch but few, by reason their canoes had beene there all night. This morning the people came aboord, and brought us cares of Indian corne, and pompions, and tabacco: which wee bought for trifles. Wee rode still all day, and filled fresh water; at night wee weighed and went two leagues higher, and had shoald water: so wee anchored till day.

The seventeenth, faire sun - shining weather, and very hot. In the morning, as soone as the sun was up, we set sayle, and ran up sixe leagues higher, and found shoalds in the middle of the channell, and small ilands, but seven fathoms water on both sides. Toward night we borrowed so neere the shoare, that we grounded : so we layed out our small anchor, and heaved off againe. Then we borrowed on the banke in the channell, and came aground againe; while the floud ran we heaved off againe, and anchored all night.
The eighteenth, in the morning, was faire weather, and we rode still. In the after-noone our masters mate went on land with an old savage, a governor of the countrey; who carried him to his house, and made him good cheere. The nineteenth, was faire and hot weather: at the floud, being neere eleven of the clocke, wee weighed, and ran higher up two leagues above the shoalds, and had no lesse water then five fathoms; we anchored, and rode in eight fathomes. The people of the countrie came flocking aboord, and brought us grapes and pompions, which wee bought for trifles. And many brought us bevers skinnes and otters skinnes, which wee bought for beades, knives, and hatchets. So we rode there all night.

The twentieth, in the morning, was faire weather. Our masters mate with foure men went up with our boat to sound the river, and found two leagues above us but two fathomes water, and the channell very narrow; and above that place, seven or eight fathomes. Toward night they returned: and we rode still all night. The one and twentieth was faire weather, and the wind all southerly: we determined yet once more to go farther up into the river, to trie what depth and breadth it did beare; but much people resorted aboord, so wee went not this day. Our carpenter went on land, and made a fore-yard. And our master and his mate determined to trie some of the chiefe men of the countrey, whether they had any treacherie in them. So they tooke them downe into the cabin, and gave them so much wine and aqua vitae, that they were all merrie: and one of them had his wife with them, which sate so modestly, as any of our countrey women would doe in a strange place. In the ende one of them was drunke, which had been aboord of our ship all the time that we had beene there: and that was strange to them; for they could not tell how to take it. The canoes and folke went all on shoare, but some of them came againe, and brought stropes of beades, some had sixe, seven, eight, nine, ten; and gave him. So he slept all night quietly.

The two and twentieth was faireweather : in the morning our masters mate and foure more of the companie went up with our boat to sound the river higher up. The people of the countrey came not aboord till noone: but when they came, and saw the savages well, they were glad. So at three of the clocke in the afternoone they came aboord, and brought tabacco, and more beades, and gave them to our master, and made an oration, and shewed him all the countrey round about. Then they sent one of their companie on land, who presently returned, and brought a great platter full of venison dressed by them-selves; and they caused him to eate with them: then they made him reverence and departed, all save the old man that lay aboord. This night, at ten of the clocke, our boat returned in a showre of raine from sounding of the river; and found it to bee at an end for shipping to goe in. For they had beene up eight or nine leagues, and found but seven foot water, and unconstant soundings.

The three and twentieth, faire weather. At twelve of the clocke wee weighed, and went downe two leagues to a shoald that had two channels, one on the one side, and another on the other, and had little wind, whereby the tyde layed us upon it. So there wee sate on ground the space of an houre till the floud came. Then wee had a little gale of wind at the west. So wee got our ship into deepe water, and rode all night very well.

The foure and twentieth was faire weather: the winde at the north-west, wee weighed, and went downe the river seven or eight leagues; and at halfe ebbe wee came on ground on a banke of oze in the middle of the river, and sate there till the floud. Then wee went on land, and gathered good store of chest-nuts. At ten of the clocke wee came off into deepe water, and anchored.

The five and twentieth was faire weather, and the wind at south a stiffe gale. We rode still, and went on land to walke on the west side of the river, and found good ground for come and other garden herbs, with great store of goodly oakes, and walnut-trees, and chest-nut trees, ewe trees, and trees of sweet wood in great abundance, and great store of slate for houses, and other good stones.

The sixe and twentieth was faire weather, and the wind at south a stiffe gale; wee rode still. In the morning our carpenter went on land, with our masters mate and foure more of our companie, to cut wood. This morning, two canoes came up the river from the place where we first found loving people, and in one of them was the old man that had lyen aboord of us at the other place. He brought another old man with him, which brought more stropes of beades and gave them to our master, and shewed him all the countrey there about as though it were at his command. So he made the two old men dine with him, and the old mans wife: for they brought two old women, and two young maidens of the age of sixteene or seventeene yeares with them, who behaved them-selves very modestly. Our master gave one of the old men a knife, and they gave him and us tabacco. And at one of the clocke they departed downe the river, making signes that wee should come downe to them; for wee were within two leagues of the place where they dwelt.
The seven and twentieth, in the morning, was faire weather, but much wind at the north; we weighed and set our fore top-sayle, and our _whip would not flat, but ran on the ozie banke at half ebbe. Wee layed out anchor to heave her off, but could not. So wee sate from halfe ebbe to halfe floud: then wee set our fore-sayle and mayne top-sail, and got downe sixe leagues. The old man came aboord, and would have had us anchor, and goe on land to eate with him: but the wind being faire, we would not yeeld to his request; so he left us, being very sorrowfull for our departure. At five of the clocke in the afternoone, the wind came to the south south-west. So wee made a boord or two, and anchored in fourteen fathomes water. Then our boat went on shoare to fish right against the ship. Our masters mate and boatswaine, and three more of the companie, went on land to fish, but could not finde a good place. They tooke four or five and twentie mullets, breames, bases, and barbils; and returned in an houre. We rode still all night.

The eight and twentieth, being faire weather, as soon as the day was light, wee weighed at halfe ebbe, and turned downe two leagues belowe water ; for the streame doth runne the last quarter ebbe : then we anchored till high water. At three of the clocke in the after-noone we weighed, arid turned downe three leagues, untill it was darke: then wee anchored.

The nine and twentieth was drie close weather; the wind at south, and south and by west; we weighed early in the morning, and turned downe three leagues by a lowe water, and anchored at the lower end of the long reach: for it is sixe leagues long. Then there came certaine Indians in a canoe to us, but would not come aboord. After dinner there came the canoe with other men, whereoff three came aboord us. At three of the clocke in the after-noone wee weighed, as soone as the ebbe came, and turned downe to the edge of the mountaines, or the northermost of the mountaines, and anchored: because the high land hath many points, and a narrow channel, and hath manie eddie winds. So we rode quietly all night in seven fathoms water.

The thirtieth was faire weather, and the wind at south-east, a stiffe gale betweene the mountaynes. We rode still the afternoone. The people of the countrey came aboord us and brought some small skinnes with them, which we bought for knives and trifles. This is a very pleas-ant place to build a towne on. The road is very neere, and very good for all windes, save an east north-east wind. The mountaynes look as if some metall or minerall were in them. For the trees that grow on them were all blasted, and some of them barren, with few or no trees on them. The people brought a stone aboord like to an emery (a stone used by glasiers to cut glasse) , it would cut iron or steele: yet being bruised small, and water put to it, it made a color like blacke lead glistering: it is also good for painters colours. At three of the clocke they de-parted, and we rode still all night.

The first of October, faire weather, the wind variable betweene the west and the north. In the morning we weighed at seven of the clocke with the ebbe, andgot downe below the mountaynes, which was seven leagues. Then it fell calme and the floud was come, and wee anchored at twelve of the clocke. The people of the mountaynes came aboord us, wondering at our ship and weapons. We bought some small skinner of them for trifles. This afternoone, one canoe kept hanging under our sterne with one man in it, which we could not keepe from thence, who got up by our rudder to the cabin window, and stole out my pillow, and two shirts, and two bandeleeres. Our master mate shot at him, and strooke him on the brest, and killed him. Whereupon all the rest fled away, some in their canoes, and so leapt out of them into the water. We manned our boat, and got our things againe. Then one of them that swamme got hold of our boat, thinking to overthrow it. But our cooke tooke a sword, and cut off one of his hands, and he was drowned. By this time the ebbe was come, and we weighed and got downe two leagues: by that time it was darke. So we anchored in foure fathomes water, and rode well.

The second, faire weather. At break of day wee weighed, the winde being at north-west, and got downe seven leagues; then the floud was come strong, so we anchored. Then came one of the savages that swamme away from us at our going up the river with many other, thinking to betray us. But wee perceived their in-tent, and suffered none of them to enter our ship. Whereupon two canoes full of men, with their bowes and arrows shot at us after our sterne: in recompence whereof we discharged sixe muskets, and killed two or three of them. Then above an hundred of them came to a point of land to shoot at us. There I shot a falcon at them, and killed two of them: where-upon the rest fled into the woods. Yet they manned off another canoe with nine or ten men, which came to meet us. So I shot at it also a falcon, and shot it through, and killed one of them. Then our men with their muskets killed three or foure more of them. So they went their way : within a while after wee got downe two leagues beyond that place, and anchored in the bay, cleere from all danger of them on the other side of the river, where we saw a very good piece of ground: and hard by it there was a cliffe, that looked of the colour of a white greene, as though it were either copper or silver lnyne : and I thinke it to be one of them, by the trees that grow upon it. For they be all burned, and the other places are greene as grasse; it is on that side of the river that is called Manna - hata. There we saw no people to trouble us: and rode quietly all night; but had much wind and raine.

The third, was very stormie; the wind at east north-east. In the morning, in a gust of wind and raine, our anchor came home, and we drove on ground, but it was ozie. Then as we were about to heave out an anchor, the wind came to the north north - west, and drove us off againe. Then we shot an anchor, and let it fall in fours fathomes water, and weighed the other. Wee had much winde and raine, with thicke weather; so we roade still all night.

The fourth, was faire weather, and the wind at north north-west; wee weighed and came out of the river, into which we had runne so farre. Within a while after, wee came out also of the great mouth of the great river, that runneth up to the north-west, borrowing upon the norther side of the same, thinking to have deepe water ; for we had sounded a great way with our boat at our first going in, and found seven, six, and five fathomes. So we came out that way, but we were deceived, for we had but eight foot and an halfe water: and so three, five, three, and two fathomes and an halfe. And then three, foure, five, sixe, seven, eight, nine and ten fathomes. And by twelve of the elocke we were cleere of all the inlet. Then we took in our boat, and set our mayne-sayle, and sprit-sayle, and our topsayles, and steered away east south-east, and south-east by east off into the mayne sea: and the land on the souther side of the bay or inlet did beare at noone west and by south foure leagues from us.

The fifth was faire weather, and the wind variable betweene the north and the east. Wee held on our course south-east by east. At noone I observed and found our height to bee 39 degrees, 30 minutes. Our compasse varied sixe degrees to the west.

We continued our course toward England, without seeing any land by the way, all the rest of this moneth of October: and on the seventh day of November, stilo novo, being Saturday, by the grace of God we safely arrived in the range of Dartmouth, in Devonshire, in the yeere 1609.



free web hit counter


Site Copyright 2003-2014 Son of the South.  For Questions or comments about this collection,


privacy policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.