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Brooklyn Indians Scammed Us Out of Manhattan!


RUSH: Okay, one of the great myths of Thanksgiving is that we swindled the Indians when we bought Manhattan Island from them. "We swindled them." How many of you grew up thinking that, that we got Manhattan for twenty-four bucks is the equivalent? It was bad enough we were killing the buffalo and making fun of their headdresses, but then we had to screw them out of Manhattan. It turns out, according to a book about Teddy Roosevelt, that that's not true. It turns out that the Indians are the ones that ran the real estate scam when they sold Manhattan. The Book is "Commissioner Roosevelt: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt and the New York City Police, 1895-1897," by H. Paul Jeffers. Here are the relevant paragraphs about this:

"A persuasive case can be made that the City of New York began with a swindle. For generations school children have been taught that a slick trick was played on unsuspecting Indians by the director of the Dutch West India Company, Peter Minuit. In 1626 he purchased the island of 'Manna-hatin' for sixty gilders worth of trinkets, about twenty-four dollars. What Minuit did not know at the time, however, was that his masterful real estate deal had been struck with the Canarsie tribe, residents of Long Island; they held no title to the land they sold to the Dutch. In due course, the intruders from Amsterdam who thought they had pulled a sharp one on the locals were forced into negotiating a second, more costly deal with the true landlords of Manna-hatin," which is what it was called then: Manna-hatin. But it was the Canarsie tribe that pulled one over on us. The Canarsie tribe has since located to Brooklyn.

At any rate, first the original story of Thanksgiving -- we'll set that straight later today -- and now we find out that the Dutch got swindled. (laughing) The Indians can't catch a break. Well, they are catching a break in Seattle. It turns out all of these years your kids, and probably you, were taught that the eeevil white settlers really shafted the Indians by buying Manhattan from them for $24 bucks, when in fact... (laughing) I actually love this! (laughing) The Canarsie tribe... (laughing) the Canarsie tribe sold the land and they didn't have a title to it! (laughing) Fake paperwork! They sold the land and then they went back over to Brooklyn, and Minuit had to buy it again! I don't know the price he paid the second time, but it was certainly more than twenty-five bucks!



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