Before the arrival of Europeans Manhattan and the right bank of the Hudson River was inhabited by Indians of the Delaware (Lenape) from the group of Algonquin.

It is believed that New York Harbor was opened in 1524, Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazano, which consisted in the French service, and a few months later - on the Spanish service Portuguese Esteban Gómez. In fact, no evidence has been preserved of these findings: calculations of coordinates, observations or card records. The only evidence is the story that the sailors saw the river delta, which may have been the Hudson River. The ships did not come into the bay, and, accordingly, did not investigate it, and flows into the river, not yet done the Dutch in 1609; at least, it did not survive no written sources.

In 1602, the States-General of the United Provinces (the Netherlands) founded the United East India Company by placing its task to find a northwest route to Asia, and to attach to the territory of the Netherlands open. September 3, 1609 the English navigator Henry Hudson, who worked for the company, went on board the "Crescent" (niderl. Halve Maen) to the land that is now called New York. He studied the shoreline and 12 September 1609 went up the river that bears his name today. Hudson has announced the open land they owned their employer.

Although the way in Asia has not been found, the earth opened Hudson, were among the best in North America for the fur trade. The Europeans were not engaged in production of fur, for them it did the Indians, Europeans who exchanged it for various household items. Soon developed and negotiated trade, where the Indians finished goods to priplytiyu particular merchant, who, in turn, carry out specific orders of local residents. Gradually they began to bring not only the immediate household items, and tools for processing of fur on the spot by the hunters and their families. This trade was extremely profitable for both sides. For an Indian knife or a mirror of considerable value in comparison with the skins of beavers.

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