Henry Hudson (15?? - 1611) was an English explorer. He was determined to find the fabled passage to China that led through the North American continent. In 1609, with the backing of the Dutch East India Company, Hudson sailed on the Half Moon to find this passage. Inclimate weather and ice forced Hudson to find safe harbor, and on September 2 of that year he anchored in what would ultimately become New York Harbor. He explored much of the area for ten days in rowboats, during which there were several raids by the native population, one of which killed crewman John Coleman. He eventually weighed anchor and sailed up the Hudson River (named after himself), reaching roughly where the town of Troy, New York is today. He engaged in a three day running battle with natives when he went back down the river to reach the Atlantic.
Hudson, of course, never found his passage to China. On June 23, 1611, he was set adrift in a small boat in Hudson Bay after a mutiny.
Jackson, Kenneth T. The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.
Kroessler, Jeffrey A. New York, Year by Year: A Chronology of the Great Metropolis. New York: New York University Press, 2002.