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Peter Minuit Biography »
Peter Minuit, Pieter Minuit, Pierre Minuit or Peter Minnewit (1580 – August 5, 1638) was a Walloon from Wesel, in present-day North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, then part of the Duchy of Clèves. He was the Director-General of the Dutch colony of New Netherland from 1626 until 1633, and he founded the Swedish colony of New Sweden in 1638. According to tradition, Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from Native Americans on May 24, 1626 for goods to the value of 60 Dutch guilders, which in the 19th century was estimated to be the equivalent of $24 USD.