ON THIS DAY in 1524, Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island for $24.00. Conser­vative estimates put the current value of the land at at least twice that figure. (Update Note the comment, with correction, below.)

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 1:27 am  Comments (5)  

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  1. I hope that economic turmoil in the publishing industry has not caused Dr. Boli to lay off his fact checkers, or, inasmuch as this is a one-Boli operation (“one man” feels rather inadequate to describe the ostensibly mortal personage behind this media empire), to retire or reduce hours for certain of his faculties.

    As much as it pains me to draw attention to these matters, however, I believe that this feature is in error in several particulars, viz. —

    1. Manhattan was acquired in 1626, not 1524, which well predates Hudson’s exploratory expedition.

    2. Peter Minuit’s involvement in the transaction is traditional and perhaps apocryphal.

    3. The purchase price of sixty Dutch guilders has a present value well in excess of $24 USD.

    The estimate of the land’s current value does, however, seem more or less accurate.

  2. The date 1524 appears to have been an unusually clumsy misprint. Dr. Boli would hate to change it now, however, and render useless all the effort that went into this comment. Instead, the correction is noted now at the end of the text.

  3. I’ve heard it said that those same 60 guilders, if invested at 5% annual interest compounded monthly, would allow one to repurchase all of Manhattan at the current market prices.

  4. […] ON THE SUBJECT of Peter Minuit’s legendary purchase of Manhattan for 60 guilders, “RepubAnon” writes, […]

  5. It occurs to me that perhaps the finest, and clearest, commentary on this issue was provided by Messrs. Rodgers and Hart, in their piece “Give it Back to the Indians.” The glorious Ella, as I recall, has done it the greatest justice.

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