The Dutch and employees of the Dutch West India Company were the first to settle the New York area, which was called New Amsterdam at the time. The settlement originally started out on what is called Governors Island today, but moved to Manhattan where it quickly grew.
The island, called Nutten Island then, held around 30 families that were sent there by the Dutch West India Company in 1624. The island of Manhattan was bought from the Native Americans in the area 2 years later for trade goods like tools and farming equipment. The settlement continued to grow, but was overtaken by the English in 1664. It was at this time that the area was renamed New York.