BARRY LEWIS: Who was Henry Hudson? Actually, we don’t know much about him. There is a famous portrait with his name on it, but we know that’s not him. So we don’t even know what he looks like. But we do know he was a native of London, he was a family man and he was an explorer for hire.
CHIP REYNOLDS: Hudson maintained a very strict discipline aboard ships, as did all the explorers of that period -- every 30 minutes you would find them taking measurements of everything in the world around them.
In fact, what we point out is they operated like natural scientists. They had a hypothesis that they were testing, that hypothesis was that there was an alternate route to the Indies. And Hudson set out very systematically to test this, in his four voyages of exploration.
LEWIS: In the early 1600s, an English company hired him to explore a Northeast passage to Asia, across the top of Russia. Well that didn’t work out. Henry was certain that passage was on the top of North America.
REYNOLDS: When Hudson set forth on his third voyage of exploration he really had two ways to make a Northwest passage. The whole coast of North and South America was known, in detail, from Tierra Del Fuego, at the tip of South America, all the way to the coast of Laborador, with two exceptions, a little area between the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and Cape Cod, that was virtually unknown and in the area north of Laborador.
When Hudson landed, he landed on the Coast of Maine. That put him well positioned to either sail to the North or to the South, as needed. He chose to sail to the south and he went off shore and sailed specifically to the latitude of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and only then did he sail very carefully up the Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Coast Line.
And then he came up the New Jersey Coast, and entered behind Sandy Hook. And there they lay for several days exploring lower New York Harbor. And on September 11, he entered what we know as the Hudson today, and followed it all the way to the height of navigation, approximately modern day Albany, by September 19th.