Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

They changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day over here. To celebrate, here is the 1657 deed in which Native Americans sold Manhattan to the Dutch for beads. The signatories drew a picture of themselves at the bottom.

We, the undersigned natives of North America, hereditary owners of Staten Island, Sackis of Tappaan, Taghkoppeauw of Tappaan, Temeren of Gweghkongh, Mattenou of Hespatingh, Waerhinnis Couwee of Hespatingh, Weertsjan of Hackingsack, Kekinghamme of Hackinchsack, Wewetackenne of Hackinghsack, Neckthaa of Hackinghsack, Minquasackyn of Hweghkongh, Terincks of Hweghkongh, Mikanis of Gweghkongh, Mintames Seevio of Gweghkongh, Acchipior of Hweghkongh, certify and declare for ourselves and our descendants in presence and with the knowledge of the underwritten witnesses, to have sold and conveyed as a free hereditable property now and forever without any further claims to be made by us or our descendants to Lubbertus van Dincklaecken, attorney for his right honorable Henrick van der Capellen tho Rijssel, the whole of Staten Island, by us called Eghquaons, for the goods hereafter specified, to be brought from Holland and delivered to us, the owners.

10 boxes of shirts; 10 ells of red checked cloth; 30 pounds of powder; 30 pairs of Faroese stockings; 2 pieces of duffel; some awls; 10 muskets; 30 kettles, large and small; 25 adzes; 10 bars of lead; 50 axes, large and small; some knives.

We further promise that if any other Indians or nations should commit insolence, molestation or force against the inhabitants of Staten Island at any time, we shall assist in preventing and resisting them.

In witness whereof we the owners have signed this with the witnesses in due form of law on the land of Waerhinnis Couwee at the Hespatingh near Hachinghsack in New Netherland the 10th of July 1657.

Source: New York State Archives

Map of New York, by a Dutch mapmaker c. 1635. Rotate it counterclockwise. NY used to have a lot of beavers and turkeys!

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