This playground, adjacent to P.S. 108, also known as the Peter Minuit School, is named after one of the most important figures in the history of New York City. Peter Minuit (1580-1638), born in Wesel, Germany, was a French-speaking Protestant (his name means “midnight” in French) whose family had fled to the Netherlands to escape the persecution of the Spanish Army. Minuit worked for the Dutch West India Company, a powerful corporation that had monopolized all Dutch trade with North and South America and West Africa. In 1626, Minuit landed at the mouth of the Hudson River to begin his position as the third director of the New Netherland Colony. New Netherland, the Dutch settlement established two years earlier in 1624 around Manhattan’s southern tip, was then populated by Mohican and Lenape Native Americans as well as Dutch farmers.