Dutch museum shows New York's 'birth certificate'

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AMSTERDAM – To see some of the most important documents in the early history of New York, you need to go to Amsterdam.

The Rijksmuseum, the Netherland's national museum, put those documents on display Friday, including early maps and the only report of the purchase of Manhattan by Europeans.

The exhibit marks the 400th anniversary of the departure of Henry Hudson in April 1609 on the expedition that would lead to colonization of the New York area...

The exhibition shows the first map of Manhattan as an island, dating from 1614...

The only record of the Dutch purchase, which is usually stored in the Netherlands national archives, is the so-called "Schaghen Letter," sometimes referred to as New York's "birth certificate."

It is a 1626 report by Dutch bureaucrat Pieter Schaghen, who interviewed a ship captain returning from the colony for government records. The captain told Schaghen colonists had purchased an island called "Manna Hatta" for 60 guilders worth of goods.

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