Manhattan mănhăt´ən [key], indigenous people of North America of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages ). They were a small tribe of the Wappinger Confederacy. The Manhattan in the early 17th cent. inhabited N Manhattan Island and the east bank of the Hudson River; their principal village was on the site of present-day Yonkers, N.Y. The Dutch bought Manhattan Island from them (the sale was made final in 1626) and then practically destroyed them in the wars waged between 1640 and 1645. Thereafter they ceased to have a separate tribal existence.
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