Why is September 12th So Important for the Hudson River Valley?
I am a lifelong Hudson Valley resident. My parents are lifelong Hudson Valley residents. Their parents settled here in the Hudson Valley. My cousins, aunts and uncles live in the Hudson Valley. No, this is not a poor attempt to write a John Mellencamp-esque song. I am trying to say that the Hudson Valley and River run deep in my family. One side of my family even dates back to the American Revolution! Supposedly, we are related to Commodore John Barry, Father of the American Navy. Someone needs to do Ancestry.com and figure that out!
September 12th is a day that all Hudson Valley residents should recognize and honor. Why is that? It's because without this day, many of us may not even be here!
Henry Hudson Claimed New York Harbor for the Dutch This Day in 1609
I can't believe it's been 414 years since the Hudson River was "discovered." I say "discovered" loosely because many indigenous people lived on this land for generations. What I am saying is that on this day in 1609, the first steps were being made to turn the Hudson Valley into what it is today.
A quick history lesson for you: The Dutch East India Company hired English sailor Henry Hudson to find a northeast passage to India. This came two years following the English's settlement of Jamestown, Virginia. After a failed attempt to find a route above Norway, Hudson turned the ship west and sailed across the Atlantic. The goal was to find a "northwest passage" that would allow a ship for sail the entirety of North America, gain access to the Pacific Ocean, and then be able to reach India.
In regard to seeing the valley that would one day be named after him, Hudson said,
It is as beautiful a land as one can hope to tread upon.
It was on September 12th, 1609 that Hudson sailed into the moth of the Hudson River and making it as far as present-day Albany. Hudson returned to Europe and cliamed the entire Hudson River Valley for his Dutch employers. The Dutch would return in 1614 to establish Albany and in 1624 to establish New York as posts to trade with the Native Americans.
If you're looking to feel like Henry Hudson a little bit this September while the weather is still good, I'd recommend hopping on a river cruise or ferry at one of these places below!