Manhattan Indians (‘the hill island,’ or ‘the island of hills,’ from manah ‘island’, –atin ‘hill.’ Tooker). A tribe of the Wappinger confederacy that occupied Manhattan Island and the east bank of Hudson river and shore of Long Island Sound, in Westchester County, New York.
Early Dutch writers applied the name also to people of neighboring Wappinger tribes. The Manhattan had their principal village, Nappeckamack, where Yonkers now stands, and their territory stretched to Bronx river. From their fort, Nipinichsen, on the north bank of Spuyten Duyvil creek, they sallied out in two canoes to attack Hendrik Hudson when he returned down the river in 1609. Manhattan Island contained several villages which they used only for hunting and fishing. One was Sapohanikan. The island was bought from them by Peter Minuit on May 6, 1626, for 60 guilders’ worth of trinkets1 . Their other lands were disposed of by later sales.
Martha J. Lamb, Hist. City of N. Y., I, 53, 1877 ↩