- Graham Russell Hodges
Rodrigues was the first-known nonindigenous resident of Manhattan Island. His arrival in 1613 stemmed from the proprietary practices of early explorers of the New World. In June 1613Captain Thijs Volchertz Mossell, an experienced Dutch explorer, and the crew of his vessel, the Jonge Tobias began a journey from the West Indies along the eastern coastline of North America Mossell and his crew ventured up the Hudson River charted only four years before and sailed along the island of Montanges Manhattan After a brief sojourn on the island Mossell sailed away with all his crew but one Jan Rodrigues a Creole pilot Rodrigues may have stayed behind because of a wage dispute but it is just as likely that Mossell s leaving the pilot on the island was an example of a practice common among explorers as a means of claiming ownership of a coveted spot Rodrigues was ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895.