The design on the Hudson New York Commemorative Silver Half Dollar includes part of the old city seal with Neptune riding a whale and a mermaid frolicking nearby.
Wonder if this note from Henry Hudson’s diary influenced their city seal?
During his second voyage to find a passage to the East Indies by the Northeast, Henry Hudson wrote:
“The fifteenth (of June 1608), all day and night clear sunshine. The wind at East, the latitude at noon 75 degrees 7 minutes. We held Westward by our account 13 leagues. In the afternoon the Seas was assuaged. And the wind being at East we set sail, and stood South and by East, and South Southeast as we could. This morning, one of our company looking overboard saw a Mermaid. And calling up some of the company to see her, one more came up. By that time she was come close to the ship’s side, looking earnestly on the men. A little after, a Sea came and overturned her. From the navel upward, her back and breasts were like a woman’s, (as they say that saw her) her body as big as one of us; her skin very white; and long hair hanging down behind, of color black. In her going down they saw her tail, which was like the tail of a porpoise, and speckled like a mackerel. Their names that saw her, were Thomas Hilles and Robert Rayner.”
The next year, Henry Hudson wrote during his third voyage as he went upriver,
“The first of September, fair weather, the wind variable between East and South, we steered away North Northwest. At noon we found our height to be 39 degrees 3 minutes. We had foundings thirty, twenty-seven, twenty-four, and twenty-two fathoms as we went to the Northward. At six of the clock we had one and twenty fathoms. And all the third watch till twelve of the clock at midnight, we had foundings one and twenty, two and twenty, eighteen, two and twenty, one and twenty, eighteen, and two and twenty fathoms, and went six leagues near land North Northwest.”
Just over two weeks later while near present-day Albany, New York, Hudson wrote,
“The nineteenth was fair and hot weather. At the flood being near eleven of the clock, we weighed and ran higher up two leagues above the shoals and had no less water than five fathoms. We anchored and rode in eight fathoms. The people of the Country came flocking aboard and brought us grapes and pompions (pumpkins), which we bought for trifles. And many brought us bear skins and otter skins, which we bought for beads, knives and hatchets. So we rode there all night.”
The Hudson New York Commemorative Silver Half Dollar shows against a background of an artist’s version of a mermaid.