Henry Hudson

THE distinguished English naval discoverer, Henry Hudson, sailed from London in the year 1607, in a small vessel, for the purpose of discovering a north-east passage to China and Japan, with a crew of only ten men and a boy besides himself, and, proceeding beyond the 80th degree of latitude, returned to England in September. In a second voyage, the next year, he landed at Nova Zembla, but could proceed no farther eastward. In 1609, he undertook a third voyage, under the patronage of the Dutch East India Company. Being unsuccessful in his attempt to find a north-east passage, he sailed for Davis' straits, but struck the continent of America in 44 deg. N. lat., and holding a southerly course, discovered the mouth of the river Hudson, which he ascended about fifty leagues in a boat. His last voyage was undertaken in 1610. He sailed, April 17th, in a barque named the Discovery, with a crew of twenty-three men, and came within sight of Greenland, June 4th. Proceeding westward he reached, in latitude 60 deg., the strait bearing his name. Through this he advanced along the coast of Labrador, to which he gave the name of Nova Brittannia, until it issued into the vast bay, which is also called after him. He resolved to winter in the most southern part of it, and the crew drew up the ship in a small creek, and endeavored to sustain the severity of that dismal climate, in which attempt they endured severe privations. Hudson, however, fitted up his shallop for farther discoveries; but, not being able to establish any communication with the natives, or to revictual his ship, with tears in his eyes lie distributed his little remaining bread to his men, and prepared to return. Having a dissatisfied and mutinous crew, he imprudently uttered some threats of setting some of them on shore; upon which a body of them entered his cabin at night, tied his arms behind him, and put him in his own shallop, at the west end of the straits, with his son, John Hudson, and seven of the most infirm of the crew. They were then turned adrift, and were never more heard of. A small part of the crew, after enduring incredible hardships, arrived at Plymouth, in September, 1611.