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name Mannahattanink, or Mannahachtanink, which is to this day applied to York Island, which is said by the Delawares to have been given to it in consequence of the intoxication which took place on the arrival of the whites among them, the word in their tongue meaning the place of general intoxication. On the other hand, however, the Mahicanni or Mohiggans, and the Monseys, ascribe a different origin to the name; the former ascribing it to a particular kind of wood growing there, and the latter from the circumstance of the Indians stringing the beads the whites had given them, the term signifying, in the language of the Monseys, “the place of stringing beads."
On the 17th April, 1610, Hudson sailed from the Thames, on that voyage from which it was his fate never to return. Sir John Wolstenholme, Sir Dudley Digges, and others who were persuaded of the existence of a north-east passage, fitted out a ship called the Discovery, of fifty-five tons, at their own expense, the command of which was given to Hudson. He touched at the islands of Orkney, Färoe, and Iceland, and, on the 15th June, “raysed the Desolations," where he found the sea full of whales, of whom they stood somewhat in fear. From this, he pursued a north-westerly course, and about the end of the month, met with an island, which Davis had laid down on his chart, now known as Resolution Island. Hudson not being able to go to the north of it, therefore took a southerly course, and fell “into a great rippling, or ouerfall of current, the which setteth to the west.' This was the entrance of the great strait, now known by his name, into which he pushed his way, notwithstanding the icy obstacles which were continually placed in his course. But a far greater obstacle to his progress was the increasing dissatisfaction of his crew. In vain did he call them together, and show them his chart, representing that he had sailed more than a hundred leagues further than any other Englishman ;-his consideration for their opinions had the usual effect in such cases;—" some were of one minde, and some of another; some wishing themselves at home, and some not caring wher, so they were out of the ice.” However, they were all forced by dire necessity to assist in freeing the ship from her perilous position; and, after several days of harassing weather, on the 11th July, in latitude 62° 9', he reached some islands, which he named the Isles of God's Mercy. A few leagues further, and Hudson beheld that vast sea open before him, which seemed to be the completion of his most sanguine wishes. He made no doubt but that it was a portion of the mighty Pacific, and feelings of exultation filled his breast at the thought of his having succeeded in accomplishing that which had baffled so many before him.
Hudson named the cape which formed the south-western extremity of the strait, Cape Wolstenholme, and to another cape on the nearest of a group of islands lying off the main, he assigned that of Cape Digges. It was now the 3rd August, a period at which it became imperatively necessary to look for a more genial climate wherein to winter, which, after wandering about for three months, "in a labyrinth without end," they at length found, though no precise locality can be assigned to it. The 10th found them quite frozen in, and the provisions being nearly all gone, the crew had nothing but the prospect of starvation, through cold and hunger, during a long and dreary winter. Hudson endeavoured, by every means in his power, to stimulate his crew to exert themselves in aiding to enlarge their scanty stock, by “propounding a reward to them that killed either beast, fish, or
fowle;” and providentially they killed a great number of white partridge, but when these disappeared, and the sea also no longer yielded any of its denizens, they were reduced to great necessity, and food of the most disgusting description became acceptable. Thus things went on, until at length the ice began to break up,
and these poor famished men weighed anchor from the scene of their terrible sufferings. But terrible though those sufferings had been to all, it had taught some of them no lesson of thankfulness for their release; a plot of the most horrible nature was brewing, which, as soon as they had arrived at the entrance of the bay in which they had passed the winter, broke forth. It appears from the Journal of the Voyage, by Abacuk Pricket, printed in Purchas (vol. iii. p. 597), that Hudson had, before sailing from England, taken on board a young man named Green, with the hope of retrieving him from the bad habits into which he had fallen. This wretch, owing to some sharp words which had been used by his commander to him, vowed to have the most deadly vengeance, and, as unfortunately there were not wanting others of a similar unprincipled character to his own, his plan met with ready support. On the morning of the 22nd July, as Hudson came out of his cabin, he was seized from behind by the malcontents, who immediately, and with eight sick men, who were driven from their beds, inhumanly thrust him forth from the ship, and hoisting sail, fled from them as from an enemy.
Thus miserably perished a man, of whom it has been truly said, that he was, “in point of Skill, inferior to few, in regard to Courage surpassed by none, and in point of Industry and Labour hardly equalled by any."4 As may be expected, as
as they had Ellis's Voyage to Hudson's Bay,” 8vo. 1748. Preface, p. 26.
executed this barbarous deed, the crew fell to plundering the vessel, breaking open chests, and committing all those acts of riot and excess which are usual in such cases, where all control is at an end. Green however, who doubtless was possessed of talent, although so lamentably perverted, endeavoured to restore order. After having been embayed for more than a fortnight among fields of ice, they at length had skill enough among them to guide the ship back to Cape Digges,—the longdesired breeding place of fowls,—to reach which, such was their impatience, that they ran on a rock, where they stuck fast for some hours. But, whilst they were in some measure recruiting their exhausted strength, an unlooked-for catastrophe happened. They had met with a large party of natives, “who, to all appearance, were the most simple and kind people of the world.” One day when the boat went ashore for the purpose of collecting the eggs and birds, which now formed their whole sustenance, and when all her people were scattered in this duty, they were suddenly individually set upon by their cunning friends, whom, after a struggle, in which several received their death wounds, with great difficulty they succeeded in repulsing, and then regained the ship. “ Thus perished the chief perpetrators of the late dreadful tragedy, visited by Providence with a fate not less terrible than that which they had inflicted on their illustrious and unfortunate victim.” The remainder of the mutineers, after enduring the most dreadful privations, arrived off the coast of Ireland, when their last bird was in the steep-tub. They afterwards found means, by mortgaging their vessel, to proceed to Plymouth, when, probably because they had been made to suffer so much already, they were allowed to go unpunished for their dreadful crime.
Captain Thomas Button sent out under the Patronage and In
structions of Henry Prince of Wales—The Muscovy Company renew their Endeavours-Want of Zeal in their Commander - Merchant Adventurers fit out an Expedition, in the hope of finding the Precious Metals on the Coast of GreenlandMurder of Hall, the Commander-Second Enterprise of the same Company, and Total Failure-Fotherby's Two Voyages - The Muscovy Company persevere in their ExertionsBaffin, sent out under Bylot, signalizes himself - Baffin's second Voyage, his Zeal and Energy–Violent Death of the great Navigator-Letter to Sir John Wolstenholme.
Hudson's sad fate doubtless excited great commiseration at home, and it has been thought probable that the next expedition to the northern seas was partly undertaken with a view to ascertain any particulars of his ible end, for which reason we notice it, although it does not follow chronologically, but from the
little that is known of it, there is no positive evidence to support this charitable supposition. The opening of Hudson's Strait into a vast sea to the westward, was, however, of itself quite sufficient to justify another voyage, and accordingly the Adventurers fitted out two vessels, named like those of the great Cook, the Resolution and Discovery, the first of which was commanded by Captain Thomas Button, an officer in the service of Prince Henry, who is said to have been a man of great skill in maritime matters, as well as, generally speaking, highly talented; and who was subsequently knighted for his eminent services. The Discovery was commanded by Captain Ingram. Button had with him also two volunteers,