Block, Adriaen, fl. 1610–24, Dutch navigator. Eager to establish a fur trade with the Native Americans, Amsterdam merchants sent (1613) Block and another Dutch navigator to explore the region discovered by Henry Hudson. After wintering near Albany, Block sailed from the Hudson into Long Island Sound (1614), which he may have been the first European to enter, coming in through the East River passage that he named Hellegat (Hell Gate). He discovered the Connecticut River, sailed past and named Block Island, and explored Narragansett Bay. Block made the Figurative Map of 1614, showing details of the southern coast of New England and showing (the first to do so) Long Island and Manhattan as separate.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.