In 1609, the VOC hired the British explorer Henry Hudson. He reached the North American coast, where he sailed up what is now called the Hudson River, hoping it might be a passage to the Pacific Ocean. When he discovered this was not the case, he gave up and went back home. In the following years, the Dutch began to colonize the area, calling it New Amsterdam.
In 1664, a treaty was signed to end one of the conflicts between England and the Netherlands. It put New Amsterdam in the hands of the English, which they renamed New York, while the Dutch gained control over Surinam in South America, with its valuable sugar plantations.