Author of the Month

Henry Hudson in a Time of Prophecy (cont.)
By Evan Pritchard

Sometime around high noon on Monday, September 7, Hudson took the ship to Wards Point, where the deep channel (now the Ambrose Channel) comes closest to the land, to bury Colman’s body there. It is just below the bluff where lay the famous Native American burial grounds of Tottenville and a Raritan Unami village. The rowboat arrived quickly at the shore, they dragged Colman’s body from the boat, frantically dug a hole, and then dragged his body into the hole, and just as quickly covered it up. They put up waist-boards on both sides of the rowboat, fearful of an attack from above, and then were hauled safely back to the Half Moon. They declared the point of land, now the southernmost tip of New York State, “Colman’s Point,” and named the river that emptied into Raritan Bay at that spot, “der Rivierten acheter Kol,” which is Dutch for “The River Named After Kolman.” A later generation of sailors mispronounced this as the Arthur Kill, but the previous name stood on maps of the New World for a hundred years, in (bungled) memoriam.

The Half Moon then traded with the Canarsie again and on Wednesday, September 9, tried to capture some of them possibly as slaves and dressed them in red uniforms; but after a while the Canarsie men escaped, quite angry. The Half Moon made its getaway, probably up the “Rivierten achter Kol,” and then eastward through the Kill Van Kull, which pointed them towards lower Manhattan, visible in the distance.

On September 11, 1609, the Half Moon anchored at the far landing of the great crossing place of the Tulpehoken (Turtle Island) Trail, where they were greeted by a great throng eager to trade. Hudson and others rowed to shore in their small boat and stepped onto Manhattan opposite Kamunipaw, which itself means “on the opposite side.” It was apparently an important spot for greeting and exchanging trading goods with foreigners. This was the site of the future World Trade Center, which fell exactly 392 years later, on the last day of the year following the end of the Seven Fire cycles. He presented the people of Turtle Island with a crossroads, a time of decision, as had been predicted so many centuries before.

Those who knew of the prophecies greeted the Half Moon voyagers royally. Although the native people of New York did not generally share their prophecies with whites, some of them relating to Hudson were revealed in the letter from Munsee descendants to Zachary Taylor in 1849. In addition, many links have been revealed over the years between the Midewiwin, holders of the Seven Fires prophecies and the Lenape, and there is reason to believe the Delaware (ie. Lenape) were leading proponents of that tradition…..[see Henry Hudson and the Algonquins, page 49-51,and also read The Tammany Legend by Joseph White Norwood published in 1938, page 118-119.]

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