European Exploration of America

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Explain why Hudson didn't return to Europe after discovering Hudson Bay.

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In 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson set sail from Amsterdam on his ship the Halve Maene, having been commissioned by the Dutch East India Company to locate an eastern route through the Arctic Ocean north of Russia to the Pacific. As with previous such voyages he had attempted, he found the route obstructed by ice. But instead of returning to his point of origin, he decided to ignore his orders and seek a western passage through North America.

This voyage resulted in stops at LaHave, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, before he sailed down the eastern coast of the United States, entering Chesapeake Bay and exploring the Delaware River. Reversing directions, he was the first to sail up what was then known as the "North River," now the Hudson River, claiming all the territory for the government of his employer.

The following year, now funded by the British East India Company, and believing that he had looked too far south for a western passage across North America, sought to discover a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean. After reaching Hudson Bay in the late summer of 1610, he and his crew began probing its extensive eastern shore for a possible route to the west without success.

After Hudson's ship, the Discovery, became trapped in ice in James Bay in November, he decided to take his crew ashore for the winter. When warmer spring weather once again made sailing viable, Hudson declared his intention to return to the search for the northwest passage. But his crew, weary of this futile adventure, mutinied. They set Hudson, his son, and seven other crew members adrift in an open boat in Hudson Bay. They were never seen again.

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