Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Few Trinkets

In a remarkable transaction, the Dutch West India Company bought what is now Manhattan-all 22,000 acres- for the Native Americans living there for a few trinkets worth about $24. Imagine that you are a journalist present during the transaction, and write a short article about it.

The Manhattan Transaction
By Benyamin Soto

When the Dutch West India Company bought Manhattan for a few trinkets, I was shocked. That transaction is unfair in so many ways. First of all, a few trinkets isn’t worth anything! Even a Indian should know that. Second, the island of Manhattan is worth MUCH more than a few trinkets.

If you knew what happened, you’d be as shocked as I was. The Company and the Manhattan Indians met, they talked a bit, and the Indians, having a weak sense of monetary value, picked 6 trinkets: A small wooden bicycle, a nutcracker, a toy boat, a little rhinoceros, a wooden doll, and a toy bird. They then signed the papers, as did Peter Minuit, president of the Company. Then all left the room. Little did the Indians know that those trinkets were old and breaking.

I feel sorry for those Indians, and mad at Mister Minuit.

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