The Hudson River Valley Cookbook

Hudson Valley Faces and Places

The Romance of the Hudson, Part I, continued

turbulent sea between the North Cape and Nova Zembla, his bold and perilous voyage across the stormy Atlantic, with his prow turned toward the mysterious west, and his marvelous passage for about thirty days over the bosom of the beautiful Ma-hie-can-i-tuck of the Mohegans, which now bears his name. The terrible Thor never fought more valiantly with the heroes whose combats were sometimes shadowed to the minds of the Northmen in the pale flames of the aurora borealis; no old sea-king of the Norwegian coasts ever showed more luck than did Hudson with his little yacht of ninety tons, the Half-Moon, in his fierce conflicts with Fog and Frost, Wind, Hail, and Snow, the furious guardians of the open polar sea. He was vanquished, but not subdued. He withdrew, but did not retreat. He came to our fair land, and between the fortieth and forty-third parallels of latitude he won victories more beneficent in their results than king or kaiser ever achieved.

With what glowing colors does fancy fill the meagre outline of the picture of the discovery of the river and the voyage upon it, drawn by the quaint pen of Juet! The navigator and his crew were all alive to impressions of the novelty and beauty, the poetry and the prophecy, of the vision that burst upon them on that fair September day in the year 1609, when they anchored in the bay at the mouth of the great stream. Even the dull chronicler gives us hints of the scene and the emotions it created. Before them stretched into the azure haze far northward the strait of Hudson's dream, through which the Half-Moon should pass from sea to sea, and open a way to long-lost Cathay. Swift canoes shot out from the shaded shores filled with men clad in gorgeous mantles made of feathers or furs, and with women beautiful in form and feature, sparkling black eyes, and teeth like purest pearls, who were scantily clothed in colored hempen garments fringed with tinted deer's hair.

Bright copper ornaments were on their necks and arms, and braids of glossy black hair spangled with wampum fell gracefully from beneath broad scarlet fillets upon their

The First Great Tipple on New York Island

The First Great Tipple on New York Island.

Page 2

Books & articles appearing here are modified adaptations
from a private collection of vintage books & magazines.
Reproduction of these pages is prohibited without written permission. © Laurel O'Donnell, 1996-2006.