"Europeans Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 and

Henry Hudson in 1609 sailed into the Manahatta

harbor. Hudson went back to Europe and spoke

of the large numbers of beaver in what is now the

northeast coast of the United States. By the early

1600s, the Lenape were actively trading furs and

other items with the Europeans. In 1624, as the

Dutch settled in what is now Lower Manhattan, the

Lenape of Manahatta began to lose their homeland.

It has been said that in 1626 the Lenape “sold”

Manahatta to Peter Minuit, director of the Dutch

settlement, for sixty guilders (about $24 at that

time) worth of trade goods. However, the Lenape

didn’t see the transaction as the official handingover

of one thing for another. They saw it as a

chance to share the land with the Dutch. Minuit,

however, saw the transaction as a sale, and

assumed the Dutch had become the owners. The

Dutch called their settlement at the southern tip

of Manahatta “New Amsterdam.”

During the early years of Dutch settlement in Manahatta, the Lenape helped the Dutch

settlers get used to their new environment and the two groups lived peacefully together. By the

mid-1600s, however, the Europeans had learned how to take care of themselves in Manahatta

and conflicts began..."

Manhatta to Manhattan, Native Americans In Lower Manhattan,

2010 NMAI, Smithsonian


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