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The Hudson River is a 315-mile (507 km) watercourse that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York State in the United States. The river originates at Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York, in the Adirondack Park, flowing southward past the state capital at Albany, and eventually forming the boundary between New York City and the U.S. state of New Jersey at its mouth, before emptying into Upper New York Bay. The official hydrologic source of the Hudson River is Lake Tear of the Clouds in the Adirondack Mountains. The lower half of the river is a tidal estuary occupying the Hudson Fjord, which formed during the most recent period of North American glaciation, estimated at 26,000 to 13,300 years ago. Tidal waters influence the Hudson's flow from as far north as Troy, New York.The river is named after Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, who explored it in 1609. It had previously been observed by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano sailing for King Francis I of France in 1524, as he became the first European known to have entered the Upper Bay, but he considered the river to be an estuary. The Dutch called the river the "North River" â€“ with the Delaware River called the "South River" â€“ and it formed the spine of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Settlement of the colony clustered around the Hudson, and its strategic importance as the gateway to the American interior led to years of competition between the English and the Dutch over control of the river and colony.During the eighteenth century, the river valley and its inhabitants were the subject and inspiration of Washington Irving, the first internationally acclaimed American author. In the nineteenth century, the area inspired the Hudson River School of landscape painting, an American pastoral style, as well as the concepts of environmental conservation and wilderness.