“Manhattan was sold for $24”

Another excellent post from my favorite blogger ,-)

Abagond

Postcard showing Battery Park in 1626: Peter Minuit buying Manhattan for some worthless glass beads Postcard showing Battery Park in 1626: Peter Minuit buying Manhattan for some worthless glass beads

“Manhattan was sold for $24” worth of “trinkets” or “glass beads” by Native Americans to the Dutch. It is something taught to most American schoolchildren by age eight. That was true in 1911, in 1949 and in 2009. The $24 is never adjusted for inflation. Even in 1855 it was $24:

The story comes from historian Edmund O’Callaghan in 1855:

The island of Manhattan, estimated then to contain 22,000 acres of land, was therefore purchased from the Indians, who received for that splendid tract the trifling sum of 60 guilders, or 24 dollars.

O’Callaghan, in turn, got it from a letter written in 1626 by Pieter Schaghen, the Dutch colony’s representative in Amsterdam. Just months after the sale he wrote:

schaghen

They have purchased the Island Manhattes from the savages for the value of 60 guilders…

View original post 423 more words

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~ by Mbeti on March 25, 2014.

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