Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hudson Second; French First

This month there has been quite a to-do, not to mention a brouhaha – in other words, a fuss – over the fact that it’s an anniversary: it was in September four hundred years ago that Hank Hudson sailed up the river of the same name.

From the local paper: “A fleet of 18 Dutch boats sailed into the New York harbor on Tuesday to begin month-long celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of New York by Dutch Captain Henry Hudson.”

The claim is often made that it was Henry Hudson who was the first European to discover New York; that seems to be what is taught in schools.

But it’s wrong.

The score card should read like this: Hudson second; French first.

It’s simply a fact that not many people are aware that long before Hank H. showed up in New York in 1609, the French Navy had much earlier been there, done that.

It was in 1524 that the French arrived in what is now NYC. Think of it. That’s 85 years before Hudson!

With the warship La Dauphine leading the fleet, the French, who had been sent by the French King Frances I, arrived in New York harbor and gave what is now New York City the name New Angouleme (in honor of the French King, who came from there). It was New Angouleme long, very long, before it was New Amsterdam.

You learn almost nothing about this in schools. Most New Yorkers have no idea that New York was once New Angouleme. But that’s okay; I’ve been to Angouleme and asked around. Most people there don’t seem to be aware of it either.

So here’s a toast of cognac (from the Angouleme region) to Henry Hudson and his trip, 400 years ago, up the river that bears his name. But as far as what the local paper recently wrote – that he discovered New York – that is simply not true.

Vive la Nouvelle Angouleme!

10 comments:

Dedene said...

Hello! Let's start a movement to reclaim French territory. What do you say?
I didn't know that either but it's really interesting.

Thanks for coming by my blog.
Best to you, D.

Berowne said...

"Let's start a movement to reclaim French territory."
I'm all for it. Keep up the good work with your excellent blog. Yours, Berowne.

French Fancy said...

I've dragged myself away from your Profile which is fascinating and I have to say that I too had no idea that the French got to NY first. Could be a good idea for a film but how would you pitch it? (Did you like The Player? - was it true to life?)

Berowne said...

...how would you pitch it?
Doesn't matter how you pitch it, after a dozen or so rewrites, Liam Neeson would be the one fighting through to discover N Y C, then falling in love with a winsome Native American girl, Juliette Binoche.
The Player was great.
Thanks, FF, for visiting my blog. I'll keep visiting yours. Regards, Berowne.

Comedy Goddess said...

Most people have a hard enough time learning history in the first place, so getting them to add in the corrected version would be really difficult, oui?

Plus, it's always bothered me that people say "open sesame" when it's really, "open says me!"

Nice to meet you!

Berowne said...

A pleasure to meet you too, ComGod. Thanks for dropping by. Yours, Berowne.

French Fancy said...

I wonder why when I click on your thumbnail photo on my Followers button it does not lead me directly to your page. I think your settings could do with a little tweak but I cannot for the life of me (my, what a strange phrase that is) recall what needs to be altered.

How are you enjoying blogging? I hardly had any comments for about three years - you've done very well.

Berowne said...

"Your settings could do with a little tweak..."
Probably, but I'm a very non-techie sort of techie, should such a thing be possible, so tweakings will have to wait a bit. In the meantime, I'm just surprised that I'm able to reach people.
As for enjoying blogging, I do, very much. The comments have for the most part been friendly and positive. As Mme Buonaparte, Napoleon's mom (who had a strong Corsican accent) used to say: "Pourvous que ca doure!"

French Fancy said...

Hello again.

On your Blogger prepare posts page - if you go to the 'Basic' section, I think you need to have the following questions set to YES:

Add your blog to our listings

Let search engines find your blog

I'm really trying to see why I can't just click on your button and be led here. Neither do you have your own blog listed when I do so - just the ones you are following.

I do not like a mystery so I'm going to carry on trying to work out why this is.

byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Berowne said...

FF: I really appeciate your efforts on my behalf. In the basic section I have said yes to everything except adult content, since I am not yet an adult.
Is there an advantage to having a domaine? Would that help? For the newcomer, as I guess you know, one is surrounded by myriad terms and choices, few of which are completely understood. I don't seem to have figured out links yet. But I'll keep slogging, not to mention blogging, on. Thanks again for your help.

 
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