Late seventeenth-century map of the Northeast, 1682
A Spotlight on a Primary Source by Nicholas Visscher
Like many other explorers, Henry Hudson stumbled upon North America almost by accident. Employed by the Dutch Republic to find a sea passage to the Far East, Hudson and the crew of his ship the Halve Maen landed at what is today New York on September 11, 1609, claiming the region for the Dutch.
Efforts to map the region began almost immediately after Henry Hudson landed and culminated with this map, made by Nicholas Visscher and printed in 1682. This map depicts not only the former Dutch holdings of New Amsterdam (which had been taken over by the British), but also New England and New Jersey. The lower right-hand corner features a panoramic view of New Amsterdam and its harbor.