On This Date In History:In the Alongonquian language, it was known as Manahatin which meant “Hill Island.” It was a rich land teeming with wildlife and game like beaver, deer, bison and bear. The river had sturgeon and oyster beds were common on its shores. The northern 2/3 part of the island was occupied by an Indian tribe called the Weckquasgeeks. The smaller remaining southern portion was where the Canarsees called home.
On May 4, 1626 the director-general of a new Dutch colony arrived on the shores of the island with instructions from home that, if the land was occupied by Indians, they were not to be forced off. Instead, they be persuaded by giving them something or with kind words. Well, the folks that occupied the island never claimed to own the land as they didn’t have the sense of ownership in their culture like the Europeans. And if they did, the Canarsees would have less claim than the Weckquasgeeks. Well, the Dutch didn’t know all of this and, on this date in 1626, gave the Canarsees what amounted to 24 American dollars in exchange for an island they didn’t own.
It must be noted that there are several sources that put the purchase on a different date in May and at least one that claims it was in November. Still, another source claims there is no proof that the purchase ever took place, Nevertheless, assuming the veracity of the story, I’ve always figured that the Canarsee chief must have been like Frank Pentangeli (Michael V Gazzo) in The Godfather Part II when he says “the FBI guys, they offered me a deal and I said, sure…why not?”
So, the Canarasees took the money and the Dutch thought they had a good deal. But, of course, the Dutch certainly didn’t hold on to the Island long enough to see the Hudson River polluted so that there are no more sturgeon and no more oysters. They never saw the hills flattened and the rich soil covered in concrete nor the disappearance of the bison, deer, beaver and bear. Nope…the Dutch paid $24 for an Island to people who didn’t even own it and then didn’t stick around to see it become all that it would become.
Meanwhile, the Indians…if they had taken that $24 and invested it at 6% interest compounded annually they’d be sitting on $35 Billion by 1988. If they continued that return on investment, it would be nearly $70 Billion by 2000. Now, if they had been really smart, then they would have put that $35 Billion (or perhaps a bit less) in 1986 at the initial public offering in a then-new company called Microsoft. If they had sold it at its peak just prior to 2000, they would have nearly $21.4 Trillion. Then, if they had invested it at 6% interest compounded annually for four years they would have just over $27 Trillion. If they took that money and invested it in 2004 in Google and then sold it at its peak in 2008, then they could have lived quite nicely on $189 Trillion. That is more than 14 times the entire US economy…I’m not sure if the government could tax that money since Indian Nations are considered to be sovereign nations, which is why they are allowed to have Casinos in states where they are otherwise prohibitited. Not bad for some guys from Brooklyn.
Weather Bottom Line: I’m gonna update this on Wednesday. The 00Z NAM for Wednesday claims two inches of rain on Wednesday with rain advertised almost all day long. It ends up with over 5 inches through Saturday morning. The GFS only has about a half inch of rain on Wednesday and features a little more than two inches through Saturday morning. Neither shows much in the way of veering winds at any critical time over the next few days but does indicate a lot of potential energy toward the end of the week with strong winds aloft. On Tuesday, the SPC put us in or near the slight risk area for severe weather for Wed 8am through Friday 8am. My guess is that they would be in line for strong winds and potential hail. We’ve got a main wave coming through on Wednesday. What is curious is that from that point forth, from time to time the models will pick up a small short wave or two rotating through the flow. For instance, the GFS develops one and brings it through on midday Friday but the indecies really don’t reflect it.
The general story is that we have a front to our South. The wave comes by and passes to our south but throws rain our way with some upper support near us. That is why I suspect that hail with gusty winds are probably in the noggins of the boys at the SPC on Wednesday but it seems most likely a general rain event. Then another front approaches on Thursday. Seems to me that one would expect a period of no rain for about 2/3 of Thursday with rain chances elevating in the afternoon. The increase in potential energy tells me that the models are grabbing on to the tail end of the old front and dragging it back through as a warm front prior to the arrival of the cold front. That will open up the Gulf Moisture into the Ohio Valley and give the front plenty of moisture to work with late Thursday night into Friday morning. Between the isolated short waves that are tough to pick up and time, as well as the timing of the main frontal features and their movement. its a tough call. I’d plan on a wet Wednesday, potential rain late Thursday and also for at least the first part of Friday. The risk of strongest storms would be Wednesday afternoon and also Late Thursday night or Friday morning. As I said, I’ll take another look at this toward midday on Wednesday.