Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 29 Talk in Guilford: Adriaen Block and the Discovery of Long Island Sound

It's the 400th anniversary of the European discovery of Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River, and if you’re interested in the story of Adriaen Block and his fellow Dutch sailors, head to the Guilford Free Library on Tuesday evening, January 29, to hear my talk.

Block's story is a tale of mutiny, gun battles, fierce economic competition, burning ships, and explorations of uncharted harbors and bays.

Few people know the full story of Adriaen Block and the other Dutch sailors who first ventured into the Sound and the Connecticut River. And even while the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson’s first voyage up the Hudson was widely celebrated, little attention is being paid to the quadricentennial of the Sound and the Connecticut River.

In fact, we're not even sure when exactly Block made his voyage of discovery. It might have been in 1612, or in 1613, although it seems certain that it was not in 1614, as many books and websites claim.

I wrote about Block’s voyage in This Fine Piece of Water: An Environmental History of Long Island Sound and have expanded and adapted that chapter of the book for this talk.

This will be the third time I’ve given it. Previous occasions were at the New Haven Museum and in Essex for Potapaug Audubon, Essex Land Trust and the Essex Historical Society.

The Guilford Free Library is at 67 Park Street, right on the beautiful Guilford green. The organizer of the talk is the Falkner’s Light Brigade, a group that maintains the lighthouse on Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse. The talk is free, of course, and everyone is welcome.


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