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1609: Henry Hudson Comes to Coney Island
Landing on the sandy finger of shoreline that stretched out into the Atlantic Ocean, Henry Hudson and his men thought that they'd found a friendly place to trade as they sailed the seas in search of Asia. They were half right. The Canarsie Indians who greeted Hudson and his men were willing to trade at first and everything seemed to be going juuuust fine. Well, that quickly ended when the Canarsie tribe attacked Hudson's men, killing officer John Colman with an arrow through the throat. As dire as this sounds for Canarsie-Hudson relations, the next day the Canarsie attempted to trade again with Hudson, who responded by taking two Indians hostage and sailing away. And that was the beginning of the European incursion into what would later be known as Coney Island. Not an incredibly auspicious way to start off, but what can you do? Maybe what you can do is not invade someone else's land? I don't know. Just a thought!
Anyway. Henry Hudson's name is inescapable in New York, but do you know what wasn't inescapable? Hudson's horrible fate. Two years after reaching the shores of Coney Island, Hudson's crew would mutiny on a trip to the far north (in an icy area off the coast of Canada that would later be dubbed Hudson Bay) and Hudson, his son, and a few other crew members would be set adrift aboard a small vessel, while the mutineers sailed south. Hudson was never heard from again.