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Classroom Activities 1 2 3

Activity 1

Analyzing Historical Primary and Secondary Documents: Developing Journal Entries
• Ask students to conduct preliminary research on the life of Henry Hudson and his third voyage of exploration. Be sure that students balance their research using both primary and secondary resources and use the appropriate citations. While conducting their research, students should consider the following:

  • Who wrote the source?
  • Who was the intended audience?
  • Why was the source written?
  • What was the context in which the source was written?
  • What were the basic assumptions made by the author?
  • How might the author have been biased?
  • To what extent do other sources corroborate this source?
  • Is the source credible?
  • What can the student conclude about the society that produced the source?


Teachable moments stress that documents should be analyzed from the perspective of their original, historical and cultural contexts, but they can also be viewed from contemporary perspectives. It is important that our students develop the ability to interact and engage with a broad range of instructional materials. Please exercise discretion as you create your commemorative lessons.

The Journal of Robert Juet should be among the primary sources that students examine. As students explore they should:

  • Highlight or underline entries.
  • Examine the voice or point of view of Juet's entries.
  • Pay attention to the details presented by the source.
  • Think about Robert Juet's point of view regarding native peoples, the impact of geography and climate, and the relationship(s) between the crew and Henry Hudson.

The morning misty until ten o'clock, then it cleared, and the wind came to the south-south-east, so we weighed and stood to the northward. The land is very pleasant and high, and bold to fall withal. At three o'clock in the afternoon, we came to three great rivers. So we stood along the northernmost, thinking to have gone into it. So we weighed and went in, and rode in five fathoms, ooze ground, and saw many salmons, and mullets, and rays very great. The height is 40 degrees 30 minutes.

Sept 4: A very good harbor
In the morning as soon as the day was light, we saw that it was good riding farther up. So we sent our boat to sound, and found that it was a very good harbor; and four and five fathoms, two cables length from the shore. Then we weighed and went in with our ship. Then our boat went on land with our net to fish, and caught ten great mullets, of a foot and a half long a piece and a ray as great as four men could haul into the ship. So we trimmed our boat and rode still all day. At night the wind blew hard at the north-west, and our anchor came home, and we drove on shore, but took no hurt, thanked be God, for the ground is soft sand and ooze. This day the people of the country came aboard of us, seeming very glad of our coming, and brought green tobacco, and gave us of it for knives and beads. They go in deer skins loose, well dressed. They have yellow copper. They desire clothes, and are very civil. They have great store of maize or Indian wheat, whereof they made good bread. The country is full of great and tall oaks.

Sept.5: Dried currents, mantles of feathers, furs, hemp, and red copper
In the morning as soon as the day was light, the wind ceased and the flood came. So we heaved off our ship again into five fathoms water, and sent our boat to sound the bay, and we found that there was three fathoms hard by the southern shore. Our men went on land there, and saw great store of men, women and children, who gave them tobacco at their coming on land. So they went up into the woods, and saw great store of very goodly oaks, and some currants. For one of them came aboard and brought some dried, and gave me some, which were sweet and good. This day many of the people came aboard, some in mantles of feathers, and some in skins of divers sorts of good furs. Some women also came to us with hemp. They had red copper tobacco pipes, and other things of copper they did wear about their necks. At night they went on land again, so we rode very quiet, but durst not trust them.

September 9: Treacherous Savages
Fair weather. In the morning, two great canoes cam aboard full of men; the one with bows and arrows, and the other in show of buying of knives to betray us; but we perceived their intent. We took two of the one of them to have kept them, put red coats on them, and would not suffer the other to come near us. So they went on land, and two other came aboard in a canoe: we took the one and let the other go; but he, which we had taken, got up and leapt overboard. Then we weighed and went off into the channel of the River, and anchored there all night.

Sept.11: Good Harbor
Was fair and very hot weather. At one o'clock in the afternoon, we weighed and went into the river, the wind at south-south-west, little wind. Our soundings were seven, six, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, thirteen and fourteen fathoms. Then it shoaled again, and came to five fathoms. Then we anchored and saw that it was a very good harbor for all winds, and rode all night. The people of the country came aboard of us, making show of love, and gave us tobacco and Indian wheat, and departed for that night; but we durst not trust them

Sept.12: Canoes Full of Men, Oysters and Beans and Copper Pipes
Very fair and hot. In the afternoon at two o'clock we weighed, the wind being variable, between the north and the north-west; so we turned into the river two leagues and anchored. This morning at our first rode in the river, there came eight and twenty canoes full of men, women and children to betray us; but we saw their intent, and suffered none of them to come aboard us. At twelve o'clock they departed. They brought with them oysters and beans, whereof we bought some. They have great tobacco, I pipes of yellow copper, and pots of earth to dress their meat in. It flow southeast by south within.

Sept.14: Very High and Mountainous Land
In the morning being very fair weather, the wind south-east, we sailed up the river twelve leagues, and had five fathoms and five fathoms and a quarter less, and came to a strait between two points, and had eight, nine and ten fathoms; and it trended north-east by north one league, and we had twelve, thirteen and fourteen fathoms; the river is a mile board; there is very high land on both sides. Then we went up north-west, a league and a half deep water; then north-east by north five miles; then north-west by north two leagues and anchored. The land grew very high and mountainous; the river is full of fish.

Sept.15: Very Loving People
The morning was misty until the sun arose, then it cleared; so we weighed with the wind at south, and ran up into the river twenty leagues, passing by high mountains. We had a very good depth, as six, seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, and thirteen fathoms, and great store of salmon in tne river. This morning our two savages got out of a port and swam away. After we were under sail they called to us in scorn. At night we came to other mountains, which lie from the river's side; there we found very loving people, and very old men, where we were well used. Our boat went to fish, and caught great store of very good fish

Sept. 19: Grapes, Pumpkins, Beaver and Other Skins
The nineteenth was fair and hot weather. At the flood, being near eleven o'clock, we weighed and ran higher up two leagues above the shoals, and had no less water than five fathoms we anchored and rode in eight fathoms the people of the country came flocking aboard, and brought us grapes and pumpkins, which we bought for trifles; and many brought us beavers' skins, and otter skins, which we bought with beads, knives and hatchets. So we rode there all night.

Sept.25: Oaks, Walnut, Chestnut Trees, Ewe Trees, Cedar Trees
The five and twentieth was fair weather, and the wind at south a stiff gale. We rode still, and went on land to walk on the west side of the river, and found good ground for corn, and other garden herbs, with great store of goodly oaks, and walnut trees, and chestnut trees, yew trees, and trees of sweet wood in great abundance, and great store of slate for houses, and other good stones.

Sept. 30: Small Skins, a Pleasant Place to Build a Town On.
The thirtieth was fair weather, and the wind at south-east a stiff gale between the mountains. We rode still the afternoon. The people of the country came aboard us, and brought some small skins with them, which we bought for knives and trifles. This is a very pleasant place to build a town on. The road is very near, and view good for all winds, save an east northeast wind. The mountains look as if some metal or mineral were in them; for the trees that grew on them were all blasted, and some of them barren with few or no trees on them. The people brought a stone aboard like to emery, (a stone used by glaziers to cut glass,) it would cut iron or steel; yet being bruised small, and water put to it, it made a color like black lead glistening; it is also good for painters' colors. At three o'clock they departed, and we rode still all night

Thursday, Oct.1: October
The first of October, fair weather, the wind variable between west and the north. In the morning we weighed at seven o'clock with the ebb, and got down below the mountains, which was seven leagues; then it fell calm and the flood was come, and we anchored at twelve o'clock. The people of the mountains came aboard us, wondering at our ship and weapons. We bought some small skins of them for trifles. This afternoon one canoe kept hanging under our stern with one man in it, which we could not keep from thence, who got up by our rudder to the cabin window, and stole out my pillow, and two shirts, and two bandoleers. Our master's mate shot at him, and struck him on the breast, and killed him. Whereupon all the rest fled away, some in their canoes, and so leaped out of them into the water. We manned our boat and got our things again. Then one of them that swam got hold of our boat, thinking to overthrow it but our cook took a sword and cut off one of his hands, and he was drowned. By this time the ebb was come, and we weighed and got down two leagues-by that time it was dark; so we anchored in four fathoms water, and rode well.

Oct.2: Treacheries of the Savages; A Skirmish and Slaughter of the Savages
The second, fair weather. At break of day we weighed, wind being at northwest, and got down seven leagues then the flood was come strong, so we anchored. Then came one of the savages that swam away from us at our going up the river, with many others, thinking to betray us. But we perceived their intent, and suffered none of them to enter our ship. Whereupon two canoes full of men, with their bows and arrows, shot at us after our stern, in recompense whereof we discharged six muskets, and killed two or three of them. Then above a hundred of them came to a point of land to shoot at us. There I shot a falcon at them, and killed two of them, whereupon the rest fled into the woods. Yet they manned off another canoe with nine or ten men, which came to meet us; so I shot at it also a falcon, and shot it through, and killed one of them. Then our men with their muskets killed three or four more of them. So they went their way. Within a while after, we got down two leagues beyond that place and anchored in a bay clear from all danger of them on the other side of the river, where we saw a very good piece of ground; and hard by it there was a cliff that looked of the color of white green, as though it were either a copper or silver mine; and I think it to be one of them by the trees that grow upon it; for they be all burned, and the other places are green as grass; it is on that side of the river that is called Manna-hata. There we saw no people to trouble us, and rode quietly all night, but had much wind and rain

Oct. 4: The Great Mouth of the Great River
The fourth was fair weather, and the wind at north north-west we weighed and came out of the river, into which we had run so far. Within a while after, we came out also of the great mouth of the great river, that runs up to the northwest, borrowing upon the more northern side of the same, thinking to have deep water, for we had sounded a great way with our boat at our first going in, and found seven, six, and five fathoms. So we came out that way, but we were deceived, for we had but eight feet and a half water; ad so to three, five, three, and two fathoms and a half; and then three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten fathoms; and by twelve o'clock we were clear of all the inlet. Then we took in our boat, and set our mainsail and spritsail, and our topsails, and steered away east south-east, and south-east by east, off into the main sea; and the land on the southern side of the bay or inlet did bear at noon west and by south four leagues from us.

Oct. 5: The Half Moon Sets Sail to England
The fifth was fair weather, and the wind variable between the north and the east. We held on our course south- east by east. At noon I observed and found our height to be 39 degrees 30 minutes. Our compass varied six degrees to the west. We continued our course toward England without seeing any land by the way, all the rest of this month of October;

Nov. 7: The Half Moon Arrives in Devonshire
Stilo novo, being Saturday, by the grace of God, we safely arrived in the range of Dartmouth in Devonshire, in the year 1609.

Purchas, Samuel. Purchas His Pilgrims…. 1625. London: Printed by William Stansby for Henrie Featherstone.

Courtesy of the New York State Library

Robert Juet’s Original Journal

Students should, work in pairs, to discuss their over all impression of Hudson's encounter with Native Americans along the Hudson River in 1609 and complete the graphic organizer provided below.

Henry Hudson's Journey Through Native Territory

After students have read excerpts from Robert Juet's journal, have them write parallel dairy entries. Students should write at least ten journal entries.

Date Entry

Primary source documents humanize history for students by enabling them to empathize with historical figures. Have students examine this brief excerpt from the Journal of Robert Juet.

Sept. 19: Grapes, Pumpkins, Beaver and Other Skins
The nineteenth was fair and hot weather. At the flood, being near eleven o'clock, we weighed and ran higher up two leagues above the shoals, and had no less water than five fathoms we anchored and rode in eight fathoms the people of the country came flocking aboard, and brought us grapes and pumpkins, which we bought for trifles; and many brought us beavers' skins, and otter skins, which we bought with beads, knives and hatchets. So we rode there all night.

September 21: Native Board the Half Moon
The one and twentieth was fair weather and the wind all southerly; we determined yet once more to go further up river to determine the depth and breadth of the river, but many people came aboard…our captain and his mate decided to determine if the Iroquois chiefs were treacherous, so the captain and his first mate took them down into the cabin, and gave them some wine and liquor that made them merry; one of the chiefs had his wife with him, who sat modestly as one of our country women would do in a strange place. In the end one of them was drunk (because they had no experience with drinking alcohol). The canoes and folk went ashore, but some of them came again and bought strings of beads.

  • What kinds of goods were traded between Hudson's crew and the Native Peoples?
  • Why did Hudson and his Mate give wine and liquor to them?
  • How did the chiefs react to the alcohol?
  • Why did Hudson want to test them?
  • What does Robert Juet say about the wife of one of the chiefs?
  • How did Juet think the behavior of the chief's was comparable to the behavior of a European wife under similar circumstances?

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Activity 2

Geographic Portfolio Compare and Contrast Images of New York City and Albany Then and Now.

• Using the maps and images below, have students discuss the human and physical geography of New York Harbor and the Hudson River Valley. You can do this by presenting students with a series of New York City and Albany images across time.

  • How did New York and Albany change in terms of settlement patterns, land use, and architecture?
  • Why did the names of the two cities change over time?
  • Why did the two cities grow?

17 th Century Drawing of New Amsterdam

17th Century Drawing of New Amsterdam

First Slave Auction in New Amsterdam 1655

First Slave Auction in New Amsterdam 1655

New Amsterdam 1655

New Amsterdam 1655

Aerial photograph of New York City Harbor from Jersey City

Aerial photograph of New York City Harbor from Jersey City

New York City Airports

New York City Airports

1630 Rensselaerswijck Map Library of Congress

1630 Rensselaerswijck Map Library of Congress
Source: Library of Congress

Albany 1686

Albany 1686

Settled by the Dutch in 1614, Albany New York was named in honor of James, Duke of York and Albany, Earl of Ulster and Lord High Admiral of England, Scotland, and Ireland. In 1686

L.F. Tantillo, '85

1790 Simon De Witt, State Surveyor - General - Map

1790 Simon De Witt, State Surveyor - General - Map

Skyline of Albany, New York, Capital of New York State

Skyline of Albany, New York, Capital of New York State

• Research Project

Have your research and media specialists put together a collection of reference books and primary and secondary sources for students to research the topic of the Dutch West India Company and the role that it played in the development of the trade and commerce of New Netherland. This research assignment should start by having small groups of students analyze and discuss Stages of the North American Fur Trade and Growth of Trade and Commerce in New Netherland Timeline below.

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Activity 3

Stages of the North American Fur Trade

The Growth of Trade and Commerce in New Netherland Timeline

  • 1609 – The Englishman, Henry Hudson explored the northeast coast of North America for the United East India Company exploring the Hudson River as far as present-day Albany.
  • 1613 – A Dutch fur trading post was established on Manhattan.
  • 1614 – Dutch sailors built fort Nassau; Dutch officials used the name “New Netherland” for the first time.
  • 1621 –The Dutch government bestowed a charter and trade monopoly on the Dutch West India Company.
  • 1624 – Dutch West India Company sent settlers to New Netherland
  • 1626 – Peter Minuit, director-general of the Dutch West India Company, bought Manhattan island from Native American Indians and established New Amsterdam on the tip of Manhattan; the first African slaves were bought to New Amsterdam
  • 1629 – Under the urging of Kilian van Rensselaer, the Dutch government established the patroon system.
  • 1630 – Kilian van Rensselaer was granted a patroonship near Fort Orange.
  • 1640 – Governor Willem Kieft began a series of wars with Native American Indians killing more than a thousand Indians and destroying Dutch farms.
  • 1655 – The Dutch gained control of New Sweden.
  • 1664 – Charles II granted New Netherland to his brother, James Duke of York. New Amsterdam was surrendered to the English; New Amsterdam became New York and Beverwijck became Albany, New York.

• After researching at least five different sources, have students write a short story about the fur trade. Each story should focus on the theme of trade, commerce, and conflict. The stories should address the questions:

  • What goods and services were exchanged in the fur trade?
  • How did the St. Lawrence/Hudson River corridor facilitate the development of trade and commerce in the region
  • Why did royal governments ultimately take over the fur trade?
  • How did fur trade monopolies develop in North America?
  • How did the fur trade lead to conflict among the Dutch, the French, and Native American Indians?

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