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April 2007


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David Allen <[log in to unmask]>
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A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 10 Apr 2007 16:28:47 EDT
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One advantage of this phrase is that it allows lazy  writers to duck the more 
difficult question of how these eponymous places  got their names.  Hudson 
almost certainly did not name the river after  himself.  The Dutch used the 
equivalents of "North River," "River of  Orange," or "Great River of New 
Netherland."  The English started calling  it the Hudson River at a fairly early date 
as a way of asserting their claims to  the area.  It is not known for certain 
whether Champlain or Block named the  geographic features that now bear their 
names.  As I recall, Lake Champlain  appears on Champlain's 1632 map of New 
France, which makes it possible that he  named the lake after himself, but he was 
a modest man, and perhaps he was just  going along with somebody else's 
suggestion.  The case of Adriaen Block is  also a bit problematic.  "Adrian Blox 
eyland" appears on the 1614 "Adriaen  Block Chart," which is a copy of a chart 
by Cornelis Doetsz that Block  apparently modified.  It is certainly possible 
that Block named the island  after himself, but the name could have been added 
by the person who copied the  map.  Incidentally,  Long Island appears on the 
Block chart as  "Matowacks."  The Dutch did not start calling Long Island 
"t'Lange Eylandt"  until later.
David Allen
Encinitas, CA

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