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end” in which he had become involved. At length, after Chap. II. spending a dreary winter of suffering and privation on the
1610. frozen coast, he was basely abandoned by his mutinous crew on midsummer's day, 1611, in a forlorn shallop, in 1611. the midst of fields of ice, to perish miserably in that sullen Hudson's and inhospitable Bay, the undying name of which perpetuates the memory of his inflexible daring. *
The Half Moon having, as we have seen, been detained The Half eight months in England, did not reach Amsterdam until turns to the summer of 1610, and the directors of the East India dam.
1610. Company, indisposed to continue efforts in a quarter which did not seem to promise the coveted passage to Cathay, and which was not strictly within the limits of their charter, took no further steps to make available the discoveries which their yacht had effected.
But, meanwhile, if the glowing account of the country Dutch enhe had visited, which Hudson sent from England to his cited. Dutch patrons, corroborated by his companions in discovery, on the Half Moon's return to Amsterdam, did not at once induce active efforts to transfer to those pleasant regions permanent colonies from the over-populated Fatherland, it did not fail to stimulate commercial adventure in a quarter which promised to yield large returns.
Toward the end of the sixteenth century, in the midst of their war with Spain, the Dutch had opened a prosper-Their fur ous commerce at Archangel ; and, in 1604, they had ob- Russia. tained from the Czar concessions of such a liberal character as to attract to that port from sixty to eighty Holland ships every year. From Archangel, their traders had intercourse with Novogorod and the great inland towns, and carried on a large traffic in the furs of ancient Muscovy. The wise simplicity of the first Russian tariff laid a duty of five per cent. on all imported goods, and allowed an
* N. Y. H. S. Coll., i., 146-188.
+ The subsequent career of the Half Moon may, perhaps, interest the curious. The small“ ship book," before referred to, which I found, in 1841, in the company's archives at Amsterdam, besides recording the return of the yacht on the 15th of July, 1610, states that on the 2d of May, 1611, she sailed, in company with other vessels, to the East Indies, under the command of Laurens Reael ; and that on the 6th of March, 1615, she was 66 wrecked and lost" on the island of Mauritius.
Another ship sent to
CHAP. II. equivalent amount to be exported duty free. Whoever ex
ported more than he imported, paid a duty of five per cent. on the difference. *
A new temptation was unexpectedly offered to the expanding commerce of Holland. Vast regions in North America, which Hudson had seen abounding in beaver and other valuable furs, and where native hunters, unrestrained by arbitrary regulations of excise, furnished ready and exhaustless cargoes, were now open to Dutch mercantile enterprise. The tempting opportunity was not neg
lected. Another vessel was immediately fitted out, and Manhattan. dispatched from the Texel in the summer of 1610, to the
great River of the Mountains, with a cargo of goods suitable for traffic with the Indians. The new adventure was undertaken at the private risk of some merchants of Amsterdam, † who, perhaps, as directors of the East India Company, had read Hudson's report to his Dutch employ
The Half Moon had now just returned to Amsterdam after her long detention in England. A part of her old crew manned the new vessel, the command of which was probably intrusted to Hudson's Dutch mate, who had opposed his early return;I and the experienced mariners
soon revisited the savages on the great river, whom they Tradition had left the autumn before. Tradition relates, that when
the Europeans arrived again among the red men, “ they her voyage. were much rejoiced at seeing each other."'S
Meanwhile, the occupation of Virginia by the English had become well known in Holland, and the States Gen
eral, through Caron, their ambassador at London, had even Overtures made overtures to the British government “for joining
with them in that colony.” A proposition had also been respecting made to unite the East India trade of the two countries.
But the statesmen of England would not favor either of
of the sav
by the Dutch to the English
* Richesse de la Hollande, i., 51; Mc Cullagh’s Industrial History, ii., 255.
+ De Laet, book iii., cap. vii. ; Albany Records, xxiv., 167. It is scarcely necessary to add, that the statements in Smith's History of New York, i., 2, 3, respecting Hudson having "sold the country, or rather his right, to the Dutch," &c., are utterly fabulous. # Muilkerk, A., 19.
Hol. Doc., i., 211; Heckewelder, in ii. N. Y. H. S. Coll., i., p.73 ; and in Yates and Moulton, i., p. 254. See also Appendix, note C.
the Dutch projects. They feared, they said, “ that in case Chap. II. of joining, if it be upon equal terms, the art and industry
1610. of their people will wear out ours.
The theory of a northern passage to China by way of The Dutch Nova Zembla had continued, in the mean time, to be again to exwarmly supported by many learned men in Holland. northern Among these was Peter Plancius, of Amsterdam, who, like China his contemporary Hakluyt, was distinguished no less as a clergyman than as a promoter of maritime enterprise. Plancius insisted that Heemskerk had failed in 1596, because he attempted to go through the Straits of Weygat, instead of keeping to the north of the island. In compliance with Plancius's opinion, the States General, early in 1611, directed that two vessels, the "Little Fox" and the 1611. "Little Crane," should be furnished with passports for voyages to discover a northern passage to China. But the ice arrested the vessels long before they could reach the 80th degree of latitude, to which they were ordered to proceed.t
About the same time, Hendrick Christiaensen, of Cleef, Christiaenor Cleves, near Nymegen, returning to Holland from a voy-voyage to age to the West Indies, found himself in the neighborhood of the newly-discovered river, which the Dutch had already begun to call the "Mauritius," in honor of their stadtholder, Prince Maurice, of Nassau. But deterred by the fear of losing his heavily-laden vessel, and remembering that a ship from Monichendam, in North Holland, had been cast away on that coast, Christiaensen did not venture into the river at that time, reserving the enterprise for a future occasion. On his arrival in Holland, Christiaensen, in com- Christiaen pany with another “worthy” mariner, Adriaen Block, ac- Block's cordingly chartered a ship, “ with the schipper Ryser, and age.
* Winwood's Memorial, iii., 239; Extract of a letter from Mr. John More to Sir Ralph Winwood (English ambassador at the Hague), dated London, 15th December, 1610. “So soon as the Hector (now ready to hoist sail) shall be set forth of this haven towards Virginia, Sir Thomas Gates will hasten to the Hague, where he will confer with the States about the overture that Sir Noel Caron hath made for joining with us in that colony. Sir Noel hath also made a motion to join their East India trade with ours; but we fear that in case of joining, if it be upon equal terms, the art and industry of their people will wear out ours."
† Hol. Doc., i., 12; Van Meteren, xxxii., 715 ; Davies, ii., 294, 743 ; Neg. de Jeannin, iii., 294.
tention in Holland awakened.
Chap. II. accomplished his voyage thither, bringing back with him
two sons of the chiefs there."* 1611.
The reports which the comrades made on their return to Holland, and the personal presence of the two young savages, named "Orson and Valentine," whom they had brought over as specimens of the inhabitants of the New
World, added a fresh impulse to the awakened enterprise Public at- of the Dutch merchants. Public attention in the Nether
lands soon became alive to the importance of the newlydiscovered regions in North America. A memorial upon the subject was presented to the Provincial States of Holland and West Friesland by “several merchants and inhabitants of the United Provinces ;" and it was judged of sufficient consequence to be formally communicated to the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hoorn, and Enck
huysen.t 1612. The experience which Christiaensen and Block had now
gained, naturally recommended them for further employ
ment. Three influential and enterprising merchants of Ships sent Amsterdam, Hans Hongers, Paulus Pelgrom, and Lamsterdam to brecht van Tweenhuysen-of whom Hongers was a di
rector in the East India Company- soon determined to avail themselves of the favorable opportunity thus offered to their enterprise. Equipping two vessels, "the Fortune" and "the Tiger," they intrusted the respective commands to Christiaensen and to Block, and dispatched them to the island of Manhattan, to renew and continue their traffic with the savages along the Mauritius River.
Other merchants in North Holland soon joined in the Other ships trade. The “Little Fox," under the charge of Captain
John De Witt, and the “ Nightingale," under Captain Thys 1613. Volckertsen, were fitted out by the Witsens and other prom
Manhattan under Christiaensen and Block.
inent merchants of Amsterdam; while the owners of the
* Wassenaar's “Historische Verhael," &c., viii., 85 ; Muilkerk, A, 21. Wassenaar's work has hitherto been unknown to our historians. In 1848, I was fortunate enough to procure a copy in London, from which a short “Memoir of the Early Colonization of New Netherland" was prepared and published in N. Y. H. S. Coll. (second series), ii., 355. A translation of some extracts from Wassenaar has just appeared in Doc. Hist. N. Y., iii., 27-48. The precise date of Christiaensen's first voyage is not given.
+ Hol. Doc., i., 14; Wassenaar, ix., 44.
of the isl
ship “Fortune,” of Hoorn---the city which was soon to give Chap. II. its immortal name to the southern Cape of America—dis
1613. patched their vessel, in charge of Captain Cornelis Jacobsen May, to participate in the enterprise of their metropolitan friends, on the Mauritius River. *
The admirable commercial position of Manhattan Isl- Commerand soon indicated it, by common consent, as the proper ance of point whence the furs collected in the interior could be perceived. most readily shipped to Holland. To secure the largest advantages from the Indian traffic, it was, nevertheless, perceived that inland depôts would become indispensable. Thus, cargoes of furs could be collected during the winter, so as to be ready for shipment when the vessels had been refitted, after their arrival out in the spring. Manhattan Island, at this time, was in a state of nature; herbage was condition wild and luxuriant; but no cattle browsed in its fertile and. valleys, and the native deer had been almost exterminated by the Indians. The careful kindness of the Dutch merchants endeavored to remedy, as well as possible, the want of domestic animals for the use of their solitary traders; and Hendrick Christiaensen, by his ship-owners' direction, took along with him, in one of his voyages, a few goats and rabbits to multiply at Manhattan. But these animals--the first sent from Holland to New York-were soon poisoned by the wild verdure, to which they were unaccustomed. i
Up to this time, the Dutch traders had pursued their The Dutch lucrative traffic in peltry, without question or interruption. quainted No European vessels but theirs had yet visited the regions North or around the Mauritius River. Their ships returned to Hol- River. land freighted with large cargoes of valuable furs, which
* Hol. Doc., i., 39 ; Muilkerk, A, 24. The "Little Fox" was probably the same vessel which had been sent to Nova Zembla in 1611.
† Wassenaar, ix., 44. It seems from Wassenaar's account, that the native species of dogs, in New Netherland, was quite small; for when Lambrecht van Tweenhuysen, one of the owners of Christiaensen and Block's ships, gave one of these captains a “large dog" to take out with him, the Indians, coming on board the ship, were very much afraid of the animal, and called him “the sachem of the dogs," because he was one of the largest they had ever seen. The translation in Doc. Hist. N. Y., iii., 40, is inaccurate. Van Tweenhuysen gave the dog to his schipper ; he was not a “schipper” himself, but a " reeder," or ship-owner, and he does not appear ever to have visited Manhattan.