Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BLOCK, or BLOK, Adriaen, navigator. Within three years after the discovery of Hudson River (1610) Block visited Manhattan (now New York) bay, making a successful voyage and bringing back to Amsterdam a cargo of rich furs and two sons of native sachems. In 1614, encouraged by an ordinance of the states-general favoring exploration, he brought out another ship, the "Tiger," one of a fleet of five equipped by merchants for trading, and again visited Manhattan. The "Tiger" was accidentally burned in port, but Block and his crew built a yacht of sixteen tons, named the " Unrest," with which he explored the neighboring waters. First of all Europeans, he dared the perilous passage of Hell Gate, and, sailing eastward through Long Island sound, discovered the "River of Red Hills" and the "Freshwater," known to us respectively as the Housatonic and the Connecticut. The latter he explored as far as the site of Hartford. Still pushing eastward, he named "Roode Eiland"*the red island, from the color Of the clay on parts of the coast. The island had, however, been previously discovered by English navigators. He discovered Block island, which bears his name. He sailed as far north as Nahant. and then, leaving the "Unrest," first of American-built yachts, at Cape Cod to be used in the fur trade, he returned to Holland in one of the ships that accompanied him in the westward voyage.
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