II. The Dutch Town under the First Three Directors. 1626-1647.
WITH the arrival of Director Minuit, the settlement at the mouth of the Hudson first took on permanent form and became an organized community. He bought Manhattan Island from its Indian owners for the sum of sixty guilders, or about twenty-four dollars, and during the summer founded thereon a little town, christened New Amsterdam. It soon grew to contain some two hundred souls. Even at the beginning, the population was composed of peoples diverse in race and speech; not only were there Dutchmen and Walloons, but also even thus early a few Huguenots, Germans, and Englishmen.
The island was then a mass of tangled, frowning forest, fringed with melancholy marshes, which near the present site of Canal Street approached so close together from either side that they almost made another small island of the southern end. The settlers staked out a fort on the southernmost point, and huddled near it in their squalid huts; while they closely watched their cattle, which were in imminent danger from wolves, bears, and