A common account states that Minuit purchased Manhattan for $24 worth of trinkets. A letter written by Dutch merchant Peter Schaghen to directors of the Dutch East India Company stated that Manhattan was purchased for “60 guilders worth of trade,” an amount worth approximately $1,143 in 2020 dollars.
What is the story of the $24 Manhattan Purchase?
In 1626, the story goes, Indigenous inhabitants sold off the entire island of Manhattan to the Dutch for a tiny sum: just $24 worth of beads and “trinkets.” This nugget of history took on such huge significance in the following centuries that it served as “the birth certificate for New York City,” Paul Otto, a
“Document: The Purchase of Manhattan Island, 1626.” Dutch New York.
On May 24th 1626, Peter Minuit (also spelled ‘Minuet’) purchased the island of Manhattan for the equivalent of $24 worth of beads and trinkets. Even adjusted for inflation, this is probably the real Greatest Trade Ever, with apologies to John Paulson.
An often-repeated story throughout History is that the Dutch bought the island of Manhattan from the Native Americans. The price paid was $24 worth of beads, trinkets, a jar of Mayonnaise, two pair of wooden clogs, a loaf of wonder bread and a carton of Quaker oats.
In May of 1626, Dutch West India Company rep Peter Minuit met with local Lenape Native Americans to purchase the rights to the island of Manhattan for the value of 60 guilders.
As part of their settlement of Manhattan, the Dutch purportedly purchased the island from the Native Americans for trade goods worth 60 guilders. More than two centuries later, using then-current exchange rates, a U.S. historian calculated that amount as $24, and the number stuck in the public’s mind.
France reaped its profit in the fur trade from the sale of fermiers – monopolies granted to companies of merchants on the export of furs from New France. In other words, the French crown would buy their furs and only their furs. 25 Thus the health of the overall fur trade was most important to French officials.
To legitimatize Dutch claims to New Amsterdam, Dutch governor Peter Minuit formally purchased Manhattan from the local tribe from which it derives it name in 1626. According to legend, the Manhattans–Indians of Algonquian linguistic stock–agreed to give up the island in exchange for trinkets valued at only $24.
On a trading expedition soon after to the island of Saint Christopher (now Saint Kitts and Nevis) in the West Indies, Minuit was lost at sea in a hurricane. This article was most recently revised and updated by Jeff Wallenfeldt.
The Lenape, Manhattan’s original inhabitants, called the island Manahatta, which means “hilly island.” Rich with natural resources, Manahatta had an abundance of fruits, nuts, birds, and animals.
According to a letter by Pieter Janszoon Schagen, Peter Minuit and Dutch colonists acquired Manhattan on May 24, 1626, from unnamed native people, who are believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Manhattoe, in exchange for traded goods worth 60 guilders, often said to be worth US$24.
Of all the encounters between Captain John Smith and the Indians of the Chesapeake, none was more important than his contact with Powhatan, the paramount chief of many tribes in the vast area of Tsenacomoco, which his people called their part of Virginia.
Further, we estimate the entire amount of developable land on Manhattan to be worth approximately $825 billion. This would suggest an average annual return of 6.3% since the island was first inhabited by Dutch settlers in 1626. Zaleski for their help with data collection and processing.
The Fight for Nutmeg European powers were vying for control of the spice trade, and the valuable spice at the center of it all was nutmeg. The Europeans valued nutmeg for more than its distinct taste. Nutmeg was considered an aphrodisiac and hallucinogen.
In 1625 the Dutch West Indian Company appointed Peter Minuit as director-general of New Netherland. He traveled to the New World under the Dutch West India Company in 1625 with two ships full of colonists.