let's make a Deal

According to legend, it was on May 24, 1626 that Peter Minuit aka Pete Midnight purchased the island of Manhattan for some $60 worth of trading goods from the original inhabitants. The 'deal', if indeed there was one, remains shrouded in mystery however.

Strangely, given the importance of the transaction, Mr. Minuit neglected to get a receipt. This may have something to do with the fact that no indigenous person had a concept of owning - let alone selling - land, anymore than they had of selling the water in a river or the wind.

It's possible what Minuit saw as a real estate deal was regarded by the parties of the second part as just a stranger in the hood trying to curry favour with warriors who could have bloodied their boney white butts.

There is also some question as to whether or not Minuit cut his deal with the Lenape people, whose traditional lands included Manhattan or with the Canarsee people, who lived on Long Island and just happened to be passing by on their way home.

Be that as it may, centuries later it's a fait accompli and that purchase price now will not even buy a pair of tickets to see Manhhattan Transfer live in Boise.


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