Henry Hudson Lesson for Kids: Facts & Biography

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  • 0:05 Henry Hudson
  • 0:27 Trade Route
  • 1:01 Early Voyages
  • 1:34 Northwest Passage
  • 2:20 Final Voyage
  • 3:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Crystal Ladwig
Henry Hudson was a famed explorer who searched for a passage across the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean to Asia. He led four voyages, the final one ending in mystery and the loss of Hudson. Read on to find out about this mystery man.

Henry Hudson

Henry Hudson was born in the mid-1500s in England. Not much is known about his early life. Hudson became famous as an English explorer, traveling and mapping the Northeastern United States and Canada. His voyages provided valuable information that would help future explorers and settlers of North America until he met a tragic end on his final voyage in 1610.

Trade Route

Like other explorers, Henry Hudson sought a quicker route from Europe to Asia where valuable spices could be purchased. These spices made food taste better and last longer. In a time when refrigerators didn't exist, this was very important. A quicker route would give a country an advantage over others and make them more money.

Since the sun shines all summer long (night and day) near the North Pole, Hudson believed the sun would melt the ice in the summer. He thought this would allow him to get to Asia and the Spice Islands faster than if he used a normal route and sought this passage throughout his exploring career.

Early Voyages

Henry Hudson first set sail in search of a passage to Asia in 1607. His first voyage, along with others, included one of his sons as a crew member. They sailed north from England where they found whales, seals, and walruses, but not a direct passage to Asia. Eventually, they hit ice and returned home.

Hudson, his son, and his crew again set sail from England in 1608. This time, Hudson and his men sailed north over Russia. But, once again, ice prevented them from going any further. They returned to England without having found the passage.

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