Why a Fourth Grader Knows More About Henry Hudson Than You Do

A Fourth Grader Knows More About Henry Hudson Than You Do 1

The Granger Collection

Hudson lands in New York Harbor in 1609 (steel engraving, after a painting by Robert Walter Weir)

When the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's landing in New York takes place this month, there is a good chance that an elementary-school student will know more about the man than you do. Why? Simply put, explorers fascinate children (and other nonacademic readers) but rarely make their way inside the walls of the university. Academic historians tend to analyze the forces that shaped earlier societies, such as colonialism or imperialism. We train our graduate students to investigate new