Peter Minuit was born in Holland in 1580. In 1624 Dutch merchants established a settlement that became known as New Netherland. The Dutch government gave exclusive trading rights to the Dutch West India Company.
Minuit was one of those who decided to settle in America and in 1626 became director-general of New Netherland. Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from Native Americans for $24 worth of trinkets, beads and knives. Over the next few years other colonists arrived a large settlement was established on Manhattan Island. The chief port on Manhattan was named New Amsterdam (later changed to New York).
In 1638 the Swedish government employed Minuit to help them establish a colony in America. Soon afterwards two vessels owned by the Swedish West India Company arrived with 50 colonists and established a small settlement in Delaware Bay. They named the town Christina in honor of Sweden's young queen. Peter Minuit died at sea in 1638.