(c. 1580-1638) Dutch colonial administrator in America. As a founder of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island 1626 and its director general, he negotiated with the local Indians and supervised the construction of Fort Amsterdam. Ousted from his post 1631 by the Dutch Reformed Church, he helped found the Swedish colony of Fort Christina at the modern site of Wilmington, Delaware, 1638.
Born in Prussia, Minuit took part in the colonization activities of the Dutch West India Company in America. He was lost in a hurricane in the West Indies.