Buying Manhattan Monument.

White Man Buys Manhattan

Field review by the editors.

New York, New York

The monument is carved into the stone base of a flagpole. Its gilded inscription reads that it was a gift from the Dutch people to the city of New York in 1926, and marks the 300th anniversary of "the purchase of the Island of Manhattan."

Carved into the stone are life-size figures that reenact the legendary transaction. A shrewd Dutchman, wearing knee breeches and a big ruffed collar, hands over some beads and trinkets to an Indian. As with many older monuments in the Northeast, the Indian seems recklessly under-dressed. Both men wear expressions of smug satisfaction. Does the Indian know something that the White Man doesn't?

Check out these beads.

"Hope you enjoy this island with its limited real estate and impossible road access, Dutchy!"

Unlike the Wall Street Bull just up the street, this monument to deal-making is not rubbed for luck by today's brokers and financial czars -- another sign that its transaction may be viewed as a bad bargain.

White Man Buys Manhattan

Battery Park

Address:
Battery Park, New York, NY
Directions:
In the northeast corner of Battery Park, just southwest of the corner of Battery Place and State St.
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September 22, 2017

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