In 1609 when Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson, there were about ten thousand Indians living on either side of the Hudson. According to E.M. Rutterber in Indian Tribes of Hudson's River to 1700, on the East bank the Mahicans held land from north of Albany to the sea including Long Island and east toward Connecticut. On the west bank, they occupied from the Catskills west to Schenectady where the territory of the Mohawks began. South of the Catskills there were the Minsis or Munsees, a tribe of the Lenni Lenapes whose territory extended south to the sea and west to the Delaware River. The Lenni Lenapes were also known as the Delawares.
In 1609 Henry Hudson was hired by the Dutch East India Company to explore a route around Siberia to the Orient. Unsuccessful there, he disobeyed orders to return and headed westward to investigate the possibility of a passage through North America. Hudson and his sailors discovered the Delaware Bay, and did not find the desired passage. He continued northward and sailed up the New York Bay and into the Hudson River and again found that there was no strait to be found. However, Hudson encountered his first Native Americans after anchoring along the Hudson River. He and his crew fished and bartered with the indians, the natives offering no violence. Hudson made his way back down the river cautiously trading with the natives that they encountered. When news reached Amsterdam of the high quality of furs that Hudson had traded with the Indians of the Hudson Valley, officials there sent more ships to trade these furs with the Natives and the fur trade in the Hudson Valley began.
Once the Dutch began to settle the Hudson Valley, competition for land became fierce. By the end of the 1600's all of the tribes living near the Hudson had been decimated by small pox, which the settlers brought with them and wars with the Dutch. Many who survived moved west. By the end of the eighteenth century there were so few Indians, their villages were no longer noted on the maps.