Before I ever heard of WOW, I had people ask me, what do you mean by a blog with “content”? So I thought I’d dig up one from last year.
First off – you’d think I’d have more important things to worry about – but you see, I’ve always thought it odd that kids in schools are taught that Henry Hudson discovered Manhattan, as well as the Hudson River. But he didn’t. Hudson wasn’t first…
There has recently 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 four hundred years ago that Hank Hudson – a replica of his ship is shown above – sailed up the river of the same name.
From a 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 Captain Henry Hudson.”
So 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, anchoring right there between what is now Staten Island and Brooklyn. Think of it – that’s 85 years before Hudson.
And when they showed up, Manhattan didn’t look much like this.
It looked like this.
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, where the Verrazano Bridge is today…
And the commander of the fleet, Verrazano, 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.
Kids 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.
As I said, you’d think I’d have something better to rant about, but for some reason I find this bit of history interesting.
1 year ago