The Dutch West India Co. explored the New York area as early as 1614, but they did not settle until 1624 when Dutch settlers arrived at Governors Island.   In 1626, Peter Minuit arrived on Manhattan Island and, with other Dutch settlers, bought the island from the local Indians for 60 gilders ($24.). The fort on the island became known as New Amsterdam and eventually the City of New York. 

However, the Dutch did settle New York.  Instead it became a home for Germans, Swedes, and English as well.  Settlers from these diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds were in search of profitable trade.  They invested in crops (mostly wheat and corn) shipbuilding, and cattle.

Peter Minuit

Manhattan before colonialization and after.  Notice the effects of settlement on the land of the city!

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