On September 2, 1609, Henry Hudson approached the Navesink Highlands area. A crew member, Robert Juet, kept a daily journal of this famous exploration, and entered in his journal his impression: ‘This is a very good land to fall with, and a pleasant land to see.”
Hudson (1565-1611) was an English mariner who explored coastal North America on several voyages in search of the so-called “Northeast Passage” to China, believed to be an ice-free navigable route above the Arctic Circle. Little is known about Hudson prior to his first journey as a ship’s commander in 1607. He may have learned about the seafaring life at an early age, and he must have had a talent for navigation to merit becoming a commander before he was 30 years old.
In the spring of 1607, on a voyage sponsored by the Muscovy Company, Hudson, his son John, and ten crewmembers set forth to discover the Northeast Passage to Asia. Much of what we know about this and his subsequent explorations of our region comes from the diary of his crewmember Robert Juet. Hudson failed to find the passage then, and again failed on a subsequent voyage in 1608.
On April 6, 1609, Hudson set sail from Holland, now on behalf of the Dutch East India Company in search of a Northwest passage to Asia. Aboard his ship Halve Maen (“Half Moon”), Hudson came across the Navesink highlands six months later. He sailed up the river that was later named after him, and laid the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region.
Henry Hudson. (2023). Biography. Available: https://www.biography.com/history-culture/henry-hudson.
Henry Hudson. (2023). Encyclopaedia Britannica. Available: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Henry-HudsonEnglish navigator and explorer.
Robert Juet’s Journal of Hudson’s 1609 Voyage, from the 1625 edition of Purchas His Pilgrimes. (2017). New Netherland Museum. Available: http://halfmoon.mus.ny.us/Juets-journal.pdf.
Image of Hudson’s ship Halve Maen created by Matt H. Wade, copyrighted. Used under Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia).