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Chap. I. on both sides were “as pleasant with grass, and flowers,
and goodly trees, as ever they had seen, and very sweet, 1609. smells came from them.” Six miles up this river they
open sea,” now known as Newark Bay. In the evening, as the boat was returning to the ship, the exploring party was set upon by two canoes full of savages; and one of the English sailors, John Colman, was killed by an arrow shot in his throat. The next day Hudson buried, upon the adjacent beach, the comrade who had shared the dangers of his polar adventures, to become the first European victim of an Indian weapon in the placid waters he had now reached. To commemorate the event, Sandy Hook was named “Colman's Point.” The ship was soon visited by canoes full of native warriors; but Hudson, suspecting their good faith, took two of the savages and “put red coats upon them,” while the rest were not suffered to approach.
Cautiously sounding her way through the lower bay, Moone pass the Half Moon at length “went into the river” past the
Narrows, and anchored near the mouth of the Kills in "a very good harbor for all winds.” The native savages came at once on board, “making show of love ;" but Hudson, remembering Colman's fate, "durst not trust them." The next morning twenty-eight canoes, "made of single hollowed trees," and crowded with men, women, and children, visited the yacht. But none were suffered to come on board, though their oysters and beans were gladly purchased. In the afternoon the Half Moon ran six miles further up; and the crew were enraptured by the loveliness of the surrounding country. “It is as beautiful a land as one can tread upon,” said Hudson, “ and abounds in all kinds of excellent ship timber.»*
The first of Europeans, Hudson now began to explore gins to as- the great river which stretched before him to the north, North Riv- opening, as he hoped, the way to the Eastern Seas. Slow
ly drifting upward with the flood-tide, he anchored over night just above Yonkers, in sight of “ a high point of
* "Is soo schoonen landt als men met voeten betreden mach."-Hudson's Report, quoted by De Laet, cap. x.
land, which showed out” five leagues off to the north. * Chap. I. The next day, a southeast wind carrying him rapidly up
1609. Tappan and Haverstraw Bays, and beyond the “ strait" between Stony and Verplanck's Points, Hudson sailed onward through the majestic pass guarded by the frowning Donderberg, and at nightfall anchored his yacht near West Point, in the midst of the sublimest scenery of the “ Matteawan”+ Mountains.
The next morning was misty until the sun arose, and 15 Sept. the grandeur of the overhanging highlands was again revealed. A fair south wind sprung up as the weather became clear; and while the Half Moon was getting under way, the two savages who had been detained captives on board at Sandy Hook, watching their opportunity, leaped out of a port-hole and swam ashore, scornfully deriding the crew as the yacht sailed onward. A bright autumnal day succeeded the misty morning. Running sixty miles up along the varied shores which lined the deep channel, and delighted every moment with the ever-changing scenery, and the magnificent virgin forests which clothed the river banks with their gorgeous autumnal hues, Hudson arrived, toward evening, opposite the loftier “mountains The Hair which lie from the river's side,"I and anchored the Half Catskill. Moon near Catskill landing, where he found a “very loving people and very old men.”
The friendly natives flocked on board the yacht, as she 16 Septremained lazily at anchor the next morning, and brought the crew
ears of Indian corn, and pumpkins, and tobacco," which were readily bought“ for trifles.” In the aft
* The North River schippers afterward named this well-known landmark, just north of Nyack, in Rockland county," Verdrietig Hook," or Tedious Point. It is about seven hundred feet high, and obtained its name because it was generally so long in sight of the slow-sailing sloops of former days. The name, formerly so expressive, is still retained ; though our flitting modern conveyances hardly allow it now to tire the eye.
+ The Indian name for the Highlands, according to Spafford, and Moulton, i., p. 240.
# The “ Kaatsbergs," or Catskill Mountains, the most elevated range along the river, are about eight miles inland from the west bank, and extend northward from back of the town of Saugerties, in Ulster county, to the town of Durham, in Greene county. ACcording to Captain Partridge's measurement, in 1818, “Round Top,” the highest point in the chain, is 3804 feet above tide water; “High Peak,” the next in altitude, is 3718 feet. “Pine Orchard," the famous summer resort of tourists, is a level tract of about seven acres, on the edge of a precipice about 2214 feet above the river, of which it commands a magnificent view for sixty miles.
CHAP. I. ernoon, Hudson went six miles further up the river, and
anchored over night near the marshes which divide the 1609.
channel, opposite the flourishing city which now bears his name. Early the next morning he set sail again, and slowly working his way through the shoaling channel and among the "small islands" which embarrassed navigation, anchored, toward evening, about eighteen miles further up, between Schodac and Castleton.
Here the Half Moon remained at anchor all the next day. In the afternoon, Hudson went ashore with an old savage, a governor of the country, who carried him to his house and made him good cheer.” The visit is graphically described in the original Journal preserved by De Laet. “I sailed to the shore," says Hudson, “in one of their canoes, with an old man who was the chief of a tribe consisting of forty men and seventeen women. These I saw there, in a house well constructed of oak bark, and circular in shape, so that it had the appearance of being built with an arched roof. It contained a great quantity of maize or Indian corn, and beans of the last year's growth; and there lay near the house, for the purpose of drying, enough to load three ships, besides what was growing in the fields. On our coming into the house, two mats were spread out to sit upon, and some food was immediately served in well-made red wooden bowls. Two men were also dispatched at once, with bows and arrows, in quest of game, who soon brought in a pair of pigeons which they had shot. They likewise killed a fat dog, and skinned it in great haste, with shells which they had got out of the water. They supposed that I would remain with them for the night; but I returned, after a short time, on board the ship. The land is the finest for cultivation that I ever in my life set foot upon, and it also abounds in trees of every description. These natives are a very good people; for when they saw that I would not remain, they supposed that I was afraid of their bows; and, taking their arrows, they broke them in pieces and threw them into the fire."*
Hudson lands at Schodac.
* Juet, in his account of the voyage, says that the person who went ashore with the old savage,” was the “master's mate," or onder schipper, who, according to Van Meteren, was a Dutchman. On the other hand, De Laet expressly states that it was IIudson himself, and he quotes, from Hudson's own Journal, the passage which I have inserted in the text. The place where Hudson landed is stated by De Laet to have been in latitude 420 18. This would seem to fix the scene of the event at about five or six miles above the present city of Hudson, which is in 42° 14'. But latitudes were not as accurately determined in those days as they are now; and a careful computation of the distances run by the Half Moon, as recorded in Juet's log-book, shows that on the 18th of September, when the landing occurred, she must have been“ up six leagues higher" than Hudson, or in the neighborhood of Schodac and Castleton,
19 Sept. The Hall
With the early flood-tide on the following morning, the Chap. I. Half Moon "ran higher up, two leagues above the shoals,"
1609. and anchored in deep water, near the site of the present city of Albany. The people of the country came flocking Moon at Alon board, and brought grapes and pumpkins, and beaver bany. and otter skins, which were purchased for beads, knives, and hatchets. Here the yacht lingered several days. The carpenter went ashore, and made a new foreyard; while 21 Sept. Hudson and his mate, “determined to try some of the chief men of the country, whether they had any treachery in them,” took them down into the Half Moon's cabin, and
gave them so much wine and aqua vitæ that they were all merry.” An old Indian, stupefied with drink, remained on board to the amazement of his simple countrymen, who 66could not tell how to take it.'' The traditions of Revel on the aborigines yet preserve the memory of this first revel, * which was followed, the next day, by another visit from the reassured savages, one of whose chiefs, addressing Hudson, "made an oration, and showed him all the country round about."
Every thing now seemed to indicate that the Half Moon End of the had reached the head of ship navigation. The downward voyage. current was fresh and clear, the shoaling channel was narrow and obstructed ; yet Hudson, unwilling, perhaps, to abandon his long-cherished hope, dispatched the mate, with 22 Sept. a boat's crew, to sound the river higher up. After going
eight or nine leagues” further - probably to some distance above Waterford-and finding “but seven feet wa
* “It is very remarkable that, among the Iroquois or Six Nations, there is a tradition, still very distinctly preserved, of a scene of intoxication which occurred with a company of the natives when the first ship arrived."--Rev. Dr. Miller's Discourse, in N. Y. H. S. Coll., i., p. 35; Heckewelder, in Moulton's N. Y., i., p. 551-254 ; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., 1., 71-73. See Note A, Appendix.
Hudson returns down
Chap. 1. ter, and inconstant soundings,” the exploring party return
ed late at night, and reported that they had “ found it to 1609.
be at an end for shipping to go in."**
Hudson now reluctantly prepared to return. His ascent the river. of the river had occupied eleven days; his descent con
sumed as many more. Bidding adieu to the friendly savages among whom he had tarried so pleasantly, and slowly descending the difficult channel for nine or ten leagues, he ran aground again, the next afternoon, on the “bank of ooze in the middle of the river," opposite the present city of Hudson. Here he remained wind-bound for two days,
which were occupied in wooding the vessel, and in visit26 Sept. ing the neighboring shores. While the yacht was lying at
anchor, two canoes full of savages came up the river six miles from Catskill, where the crew had “first found loving people” on their upward voyage. In one of these canoes was the old man who had reveled on board the Half Moon" at the other place," and who had followed by land the yacht's progress down the river. He now brought "another old man with him," who gave "stropes of beads" to Hudson, and “showed him all the country thereabout, as though it were at his command." The visitors were kindly entertained ; and as they departed, made signs that the Europeans, who were now within two leagues of their dwelling-place, "should come down to them."
But the persuasions of the friendly old chief were of no avail. Weighing anchor the next day with a fair north wind, Hudson ran down the river eighteen miles, past the wigwams of the “loving people" at Catskill, who were "very sorrowful” for his departure, and toward evening anchored in deep water near Red Hook, where part of the crew went on shore to fish. The next two days were consumed in slowly working down to the lower end of the long reach” below Pokeepsie, where the yacht was again visited by friendly Indians; and then proceeding onward,
* De Laet, in cap. vii., states that Hudson explored the river “to nearly 430 of north latitude, where it became so narrow and of so little depth, that he found it necessary to return." As Albany is in 42° 39', the boat must, therefore, have gone above that place "eight ar nine leagues" further--the distance given in Juet's Journal.