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Henry Hudson A Brief Statement of His Aims and His Achievements   By: (1849-1913)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: SAINT ETHELBURGA'S CHURCH, INTERIOR]

HENRY HUDSON

A BRIEF STATEMENT OF HIS AIMS AND HIS ACHIEVEMENTS

BY

THOMAS A. JANVIER

TO WHICH IS ADDED A NEWLY DISCOVERED PARTIAL RECORD NOW FIRST PUBLISHED

OF

THE TRIAL OF THE MUTINEERS BY WHOM HE AND OTHERS WERE ABANDONED TO THEIR DEATH

1909

TO C.A.J.

CONTENTS

PART I A Brief Life of Henry Hudson

PART II Newly discovered Documents

PREFACE

It is with great pleasure that I include in this volume contemporary Hudson documents which have remained neglected for three centuries, and here are published for the first time. As I explain more fully elsewhere, their discovery is due to the painstaking research of Mr. R.G. Marsden, M.A. My humble share in the matter has been to recognize the importance of Mr. Marsden's discovery; and to direct the particular search in the Record Office, in London, that has resulted in their present reproduction. I regret that they are inconclusive. We still are ignorant of what punishment was inflicted upon the mutineers of the "Discovery"; or even if they were punished at all.

The primary importance of these documents, however, is not that they establish the fact until now not established that the mutineers were brought to trial; it is that they embody the sworn testimony, hitherto unproduced, of six members of Hudson's crew concerning the mutiny. Asher, the most authoritative of Hudson's modern historians, wrote: "Prickett is the only eye witness that has left us an account of these events, and we can therefore not correct his statements whether they be true or false." We now have the accounts of five additional eye witnesses (Prickett himself is one of the six whose testimony has been recovered), and all of them, so far as they go, substantially are in accord with Prickett's account. Such agreement is not proof of truth. The newly adduced witnesses and the earlier single witness equally were interested in making out a case in their own favor that would save them from being hanged. But this new evidence does entitle Prickett's "Larger Discourse" to a more respectful consideration than that dubious document heretofore has received. Save in matters affected by this fresh material, the following narrative is a condensation of what has been recorded by Hudson's authoritative biographers, of whom the more important are: Samuel Purchas, Hessel Gerritz, Emanuel Van Meteren, G.M. Asher, Henry C. Murphy, John Romeyn Brodhead, and John Meredith Read.

T.A.J. New York, July 16, 1909.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS

No portrait of Hudson is known to be in existence. What has passed with the uncritical for his portrait a dapper looking man wearing a ruffed collar frequently has been, and continues to be, reproduced. Who that man was is unknown. That he was not Hudson is certain.

Lacking Hudson's portrait, I have used for a frontispiece a photograph, especially taken for this purpose, of the interior of the Church of Saint Ethelburga: the sole remaining material link, of which we have sure knowledge, between Hudson and ourselves. The drawing on the cover represents what is very near to being another material link the replica, lately built in Holland, of the "Half Moon," the ship in which Hudson made his most famous voyage.

The other illustrations have been selected with a strict regard to the meaning of that word. In order to throw light on the text, I have preferred to the ventures of fancy reproductions of title pages of works on navigation that Hudson probably used; pictures of the few and crude instruments of navigation that he certainly used; and pictures of ships virtually identical with those in which he sailed.

The copy of Wright's famous work on navigation that Hudson may have had, and probably did have, with him was of an earlier date than that (1610) of which the title page here is reproduced. This reproduction is of interest in that it shows at a glance all of the nautical instruments that Hudson had at his command; and of a still greater interest in that the map which is a part of it exhibits what at that time, by exploration or by conjecture, was the known world... Continue reading book >>




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