Oh, Henry! Hudson Found Diverse Cultures in NJ Four Centuries Ago

Highlands, NJ —   The promise of silk and spices lured Henry Hudson across the Atlantic. The ice-choked Arctic thwarted his plans, sending Hudson and his mutinous crew to New Jersey’s shores. Historian Kevin Wright will recount the historic voyage of the Half Moon—and open a window on the diverse cultures Hudson encountered when he arrived here in 1609—in Native World: Henry Hudson’s America.

Wright’s lecture is the first of four presentations in the 2010 Millicent Mercer Johnsen Sunday Afternoon Lecture Series at the Twin Lights in Highlands, NJ. The event will be held on April 25th at 4:00 p.m. in the Twin Lights Auditorium. A “Meet the Expert” reception will follow.

Wright is the author of the new book 1609: A Country That was Never Lost; The 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s Visit with North Americans of the Middle Atlantic Coast.

In Native World: Henry Hudson’s America, Wright will cut through the fog of 19th and 20th century mythology to present a vivid picture of the complex native cultures that existed at the time of Hudson’s arrival. Could their natural democracy lie at the root of what we think of as the American Spirit?

Tickets for this and other lectures in the series are still available. Each ticket includes a complimentary membership to the Twin Light Historical Society.

“Our membership numbers have doubled over the past three years, in part because of great programs like this one,” says Society president Mary Jo Kenny. “People in the Two Rivers area and beyond have rediscovered the Twin Lights as a beacon of culture, history and achievement. It’s not just about the view, it’s about getting connected.”

Wright has been involved in the preservation and promotion of New Jersey history since graduating from Rutgers University in the 1970s. He has served as President of the Sussex County Historical Society and Bergen County Historical Society. In 1985, Wright’s research brought worldwide attention to New Jersey’s claim of sovereignty over Ellis and Liberty Islands.