Commemorative issue New York City 300th anniversary
Dutch ship in New Amsterdam
The first Dutch settlers arrived on Manhattan island in 1624. A more permanent settlement was made the following year and named New Amsterdam. In 1626 Peter MInuit bought the island from the local natives for the equivalent of $24. New Amsterdam became the principal community of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. When the British seized New Amsterdam in 1664, they renamed both the city and the colony in honor of the Duke of York, later King James II, and replaced the governor. The city flourished as a major business center. New York was a focal point of resistance to royal authority, and in 1776 George Washington established his headquarters there. He was soon driven out by the British, who retained control until the end of the war. From 1785-1790 New York served as capital of the United States.