July 21, 2010
We owned Manhattan
1580 - 1638
my great 9 times grandfather
A Walloon who moved around Germany, Netherlands and Belgium escaping the Catholic Church, Peter Minuit worked for the Dutch West Indies Trading Company, and became the governor general of New Netherlands (West Indies).
On May 24, 1626, Minuit was credited with purchasing the island of Manhattan from the natives (most likely the Lenape tribe) in exchange for trade goods valued at 60 guilders.
On his return from New Sweden (Wilmington, Delaware that he helped found) in 1638, his ship and he made a side trip to the Caribbean to pick up a load of tobacco. Unfortunately, at that time there existed no hurricane tracking methods. While having dinner aboard a Dutch ship a hurricane forced all ships out to sea. Minuit and 't Vliegende Hart were never seen again; however, his ship the Kalmar Nyckel did make it back to Sweden without him.
Peter Minuit is remembered to this day with a number of public mementos. In Manhattan there is a Peter Minuit Plaza, which is a small park in lower Manhattan, a Peter Minuit marker in Inwood Hill Park commemorating the purchase of Manhattan from the Indian, and a Peter Minuit Flagstaff Base in Battery Park. School children in Public School 108 in Manhattan every day attend the Peter Minuit School. And the Manhattan Chapter of the DAR has called one of their chapters the Peter Minuit chapter of the DAR. Finally, in Wesel Germany, there is a Peter Minuit Memorial on Moltkestrasse, Wesel , Germany.
at 4:03 PM