The nucleus of the city of New York City, which began in the south tip of Manhattan Island in 1624 is the most southerly of the island, the main island and business and government hub of New York.
The most common word in Downtown Manhattan is 14th St. on the north and Hudson Rivers to the west, the East and New York Harbour to the south (also known as Upper New York Bay). Lower Manhattan is the most frequent description. In particular, the northern boundary is generally identified as a mile and a half south of 14th Street and a mile north of the southern tip of the island, from nearby Chambers Street east of Brooklyn Bridge entrances and a road. When referring to the Lower Manhattan Business District and surrounding areas, it is typically designated by thoroughfares.
The business district of Lower Manhattan is the center of the city under Chambers Street. This includes the Financial District and the World Trade Center site (often referred to as Wall Street). At the southern tip of the island is Battery Park; the City Hall is just to the north. The proposed Battery Park City and the historic South Street Seaport district are just to the south of Chambers Street. On the west side is TriBeCa neighborhood, where the massive Manhattan Municipal Building is located. The most ancient Chinatown area in New York is located north of Chambers and Brooklyn Bridge and south of Canal Street. Within this area there are also several court buildings and other government offices. Canal Street is located in the Lower East Side neighborhood. The neighborhoods of SoHo, the Meatpacking District, the West Village, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Nolita and the East Village are located to the north of Canal Street and to the south of 14th Street. The lower Chelsea, Union Square and Flatiron District are situated between 14th and 23rd streets and Gramercy, with the large residential development known as Stuyvesant Village, on the eastern side of this area.
The Lenape people were living in the area that eventually would include modern New York City. Such communities of Native Americans who are culturally and linguistically equal spoke the Algonquian language now known as Unami. The establishment of the Dutch fur trading post at Lower Manhattan, then New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw-Amsterdam), started in the year 1626 as a European settlement. In The Battery, New Netherlands was built as the first fort.
The Dutch West Indies Company later recruited African slave people to act as workmen and helped build the wall to protect against British and Native attacks. In 1626, the construction of Fort Amsterdam was most likely started. Willem Verhulst and Peter Minuit were among the early directors. Willem Kieft became the director in 1638, but was engaged in the Kieft War against the Americans five years later. In February 1643, 80 native people were killed in the Pavonia massacre in present-day Jersey City across the Hudson River. The Algonquian tribes joined hands after the uprising and nearly defeated the Netherlands.
Peter Stuyvesant was introduced as General Manager upon his arrival on 27 May 1647. The colony was granted autonomy in 1652, and on February 2, 1653 New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city. During that year, the first mayors, Arent van Hattem and Martin Cregier of New Amsterdam (Burgemeester) were chosen.