Half moon - Henry Hudson and the voyage that redrew the map of the New World
by Hunter, Douglas - 1959-
pub by Bloomsbury Books, NY, 2009 - - isbn 9781596916807 - - 330 p. Acknowledgmens p.299 - 301 - Maps scattered to where needed NE of Europe p.10 - E coast of N. America p.41 - Bibliography p, 303-309 - Index p.311-329 - p.330 A Note On the Author -
The authors previous book Gods Mercies - Rivalry, Betrayal, and the Dream of Discovery about Champlain segues into this book. Happily much of he research of the previous book was useful in writing this one. This book is the result of a tremendous amount of research, and is very welcome to come to an understanding in this latter part of the Age of Discovery
There are 29 chapters in this book. They are comparatively short and are packed with good dense and very readable informaion.
The chapters are in fair chronological order but internally jump time as needed to explain various things, and compare to earlier, and sometimes later voyages. There are some interesting sections which describe near misses between one exploraton and another which are very nearly at the same place at the same time, especially between Hudsons Half Moon, English ana also Spanish voyages - miss one another by a couple of days.
There are places where sailing directions are given in the older compass points system used for several hundred years before compass courses were given in degrees. Hunter also describes how the dipsey (deep sea) lead line is used to find the continental shelf or shallowing water as one approaches land long before it is seen. Very necessary before longitude could be accurately measured. Those lines were 900 to 1200 feet long.
The Half Moon visited north of Cape Cod traded with the natives, then stole from them, getting trade goods to trade with others much later when up the Hudson River. After that theft he sailed to the opening of Chesapeake Bay, got bad weather and headed back north re-discovering the area around New York and doing his most notable exploration going up river to where Albany, New York is. Then rather suddenly after irritating some of the locals near the southern part of the river there was some bloodshed. They crossed the Atlantic and arrived in Dartmouth, England where they recovered from their Atlantic crossing. They stayed a long time. Hudson communicated with English officials and they forbade hime to work (sail) for any country except England. The Half Moon did eventually return to Amsterdam with the Dutch crew.
There is a chapter describing Hudsons 1610-1611 voyage to what is now called Hudson Bay in the Discovery departing London in April 1610. They searched for the NW Passage sailing into Hudsons Bay and wintering there. The crew revolted and left Hudson, his son and 4 other crew members in the shallop and sailed back to England. Hudson was never seen again.
The final chapter tells What happened later 1665 and after - settlements ownership change back and forth between Netherlands and England -
All in all an interesting book which links many of the voyages of discovery and commercial activity in the NW part of the Atlantic Ocean. It opened my eyes to the amount of voyaging and discovery was going on, much to the consternation of the Spanish who knew that the area actually belonged to them. I wish that the book had included a simple chronological listing of all the various voyages.
~ 2017-12-30 ~
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