Born in 1565 and the grandson to the founder of the Muscovy Company, Henry Hudson became famous for discovering Staten Island. From a very young age, Henry Hudson studied navigation, mathematics and seamanship. Like da Verazzano, Hudson was funded money to make voyages to discover a passage to Japan and China.
The Dutch East India Company provided Hudson with a ship, The Half Moon, to carry him and his small crew on their voyage. The original plan was to sail towards Russia. However, due to freezing weather and ice blockage, Hudson refused orders to return to Amsterdam. He decided to change route and travel west, leading him towards the New World. There was no other European before Hudson that decided to travel as far west and north than him.
Months into the journey, Hudson found a large waterway - what is now known as New York, the modern Hudson River. Hudson sailed into The Narrows and named the island after the States General of Holland, Staaten Eylandt. Staaten Eylandt was named in honor of the Dutch parliament.
What Became of the Hudson?
In 1775, Americans decided they must secure New York by protecting the Hudson that was used to transport troops and supplies. If the British been successful in gaining control of the river, it would have literally broken apart the American forces. After years of military and strategic importance, the Hudson River gained another use when the steamboat became popular in 1807. About fifty years later, there were approximately 150 steamboats making their way up and down the river for leisurely traveling.
The Hudson River became one of the nation's main prominance of trade, forming a gateway to the west, courtesy of Henry Hudson's accidental discovery.