Sale of Manhattan

Sale of Manhattan

The so-called Sale of Manhattan occurred in 1625 when the local natives known as the Canarsie sold access rights to a Dutch Trader named Peter Minuit. The sale was recorded historically in a 1626 letter by Peter Schaghen that is now in the Rijksarchief (Archives in Dutch) in The Hague. The sale involved goods in trade, most likely durable iron goods such as axe heads and knives as well as ploughs, such items have been noted in other similar land trades around that era. A common myth is it was for only $24.00 dollars worth of beads and trinkets. This myth started in the middle 19th century and is false. The actual value of the goods was recorded in the 1626 Schaghen letter as having a value of 60 Dutch Guilders.

For almost two centuries historians have confused the value of 60 Dutch Guilders from 1625 to a Gulden in the middle 19th Century. In 1625 Dutch Guilders were approximately 1/3 of an ounce of GOLD and not silver. [1] all the historical articles since around 1850 have been inaccurate in using 20 ounces of silver instead of 20 ounces of gold as to the trade value of the deal.

20 Ounces of gold in 1625 would have been worth almost 20 times what the same amount of silver was worth. Gold has been traditionally 16 or 20 to 1 more valuable than silver over the centuries.


1626 Peter Schaghen Letter (Archives Hague)


1625 GOLD Dutch Guilder 1/3 Oz. Gold


1847 Dutch Gulden 1/3 Oz. Silver



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