SEEKING THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE
The Explorations and Discoveries of Champlain and Hudson
by Don and Carol Thompson

Explorers Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson lived about the same time and had many things in common. They were born around 1570, although the exact dates are not known. Both were sons of sea captains involved in trade. The two future explorers grew up learning navigational skills from an early age. Eventually each sailed west to search for a northwest passage that would provide a shorter route from Europe to the spice trade in Asia. They both found unexpected natural resources in North America. Both traded successfully with Native Americans, but both also had armed conflict with them. The conflicts often resulted in loss of life.

While they were born around the same time and both explored North America, one important difference is the length of time during which their explorations took place. Champlain had a much longer career as an explorer and outlived Hudson by about twenty-five years. Hudson's brief career as an explorer lasted only about four years, from 1607-1611. His explorations and life ended abruptly and tragically when his crew mutinied and set him adrift in Hudson Bay in 1611.

This book first will give background on what little is known of the two explorers' early lives, and their explorations before 1608. The main focus will be on their journeys during the summer and fall of 1609, when their routes took them into what is now New York State. Samuel de Champlain traveled south on Lake Champlain to help his Indian allies fight their enemies, the Mohawk Iroquois, part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Henry Hudson sailed his Half Moon up the River of Mountains (as he called the Hudson) hoping it would lead to the Northwest Passage. Although both men explored present-day New York State in 1609, they never met. However, each had an important role in the history of New York.

From the "Introduction" in Seeking the Northwest Passage by Don and Carol Thompson. Four hundred years ago Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson sailed from Europe to a place that later became New York State. They were searching for a northern route from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This book, for young readers 9 to 12, is about the two explorers and their adventures.


About the authors
Don Thompson is a retired high school social studies teacher who does first-person historical interpretations of Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson for schools, civic organizations, and historical associations. He previously published The Golden Age of Onondaga Lake Resorts, a history of early amusements and resorts around Onondaga Lake near Syracuse, New York. He is currently working on a history of the hotels around Lake Bomoseen, Vermont.

Carol Thompson is a retired elementary teacher who became interested in the explorers while teaching fifth grade social studies. She is currently working on her first juvenile novel. The Thompsons divide their time between Vermont and Florida.


88 pages, illustrated, full color, 5.5 x 8.25, 2008
$8.50 paperback--A Purple Mountain Press original


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