Your path =Home> Trade Beads or Uses of Beads> Beads and Manhattan

Beads and Manhattan Island

Every American (and many outside the USA) schoolchild knows the story. The Dutch bought what is now the world's most important piece of real estate from the Native Americans for a mere $24 in beads and related trinkets.

The problem is, there is no evidence whatsoever for this having happened. In 1987 the New York Historical Association gave me the Kerr History Prize for pointing this out. I got a thousand dollars, more than my share of 15 minutes of fame and my first poison pen letter.

My article The Beads That Did Not Buy Manhattan Island, has been reprinted several times and translated into other languages. It has also served as the basis for displays in two museums. It is for sale above.

Yet, old legends die hard.

On The Bead Site is the Beads and Manhattan story pictures of the presumed purchase,
follow-up story and a look at the story as portrayed in the popular media.

It is also invoked as one of two bead stories almost all
history books have wrong.


 Small Bead Businesses | Beading & Beadwork | Ancient Beads | Trade Beads
Beadmaking & Materials | Bead Uses | Researching Beads | Beads and People
Center for Bead Research | Book Store | Free Store | Bead Bazaar
Shopping Mall | The Bead Auction | Galleries | People | Events
The Bead Site Home | Chat Line | Contact Us | Site Search Engine | FAQ