Yearlong event featured scholarship and celebration, but also funding shortages and some disappointment
By Paul Grondahl
If you were a Native American living along the river in 1609, for instance, you might question a celebration of a trip in which Hudson and his Half Moon crew kidnapped and killed numerous native people and ushered in an era of Dutch colonization that exploited the river's natural resources and led to more slaughter.
The quadricentennial anniversary also presented an opportunity to revisit the reputation of Hudson, as Canadian author and sailor Douglas Hunter did in his 2009 book, "Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage that Redrew the Map of the World."
Instead of an iconic explorer lauded for his adventurousness, Hunter portrayed Hudson as a rascal going rogue. He described an Englishman who absconded with his Dutch-owned ship after failing to find an Arctic passage to Asia, essentially shipjacking the Half Moon rather than sailing it directly back to Amsterdam as called for in his contract with the Dutch East India Company.