Henry Hudson Memorial Column

Hudson Memorial Column

Photo: Jim.hudson / Wikipedia

Hudson's career

My latest reading on Hudson was in The Life and Times of Pieter Stuyvesant by Willem van Loon: a charming historian of about a century ago who has the habit (all too rare these days) of giving big-picture overviews as well as facts and dates. He tells Hudson's story much better than I could do in this brief space!

Hudson's comment on America is one of the world's great understatements:

This land may be profitable to those that will adventure it.

Hudson's statue

The statue of Henry Hudson commissioned for the 300th anniversary of his trip up the Hudson River celebration wasn't dedicated until 1938. When Parks Commissioner Robert Moses requested City funds to illuminate it, Deputy Mayor Curran caustically replied,

I took a good look yesterday at the statue of Henry Hudson at Spuyten Duyvil ... It is the ugliest statue in New York, and that is saying a whole lot. The shaft is ugly, the figure is ugly, the whole thing is ugly. A barber pole would be nicer. Now just forget your idea of lighting it up at night. If you could dig a hole at Spuyten Duyvil and let the statue drop into it some night, and then cover it nicely, that would be the best way to handle it." (New York Times 8/21/1938)