In the year 1609 a hand full of sturdy sailors watched with amazement the shores they were approaching. Their ship, the Halve Maen, came from The Netherlands. Amsterdam, their place of origin, was the world's commercial center. The captain of the ship was named Henry Hudson, he was British. The ship was small, it had a crew of only 16 men. Some 15 years later a few clever businessmen from Amsterdam established a permanent basis at the mouth of the Hudson River: New Amsterdam.