The Manhattan Transfer

spiceislandsblog

This is a story that never ceases to fascinate. Whenever I give a ‘Spice Islands’ book talk, I am always asked “Is it true that the island of Run was exchanged for Manhattan?”
Manhattan is often referred to as the ‘capital of the world’, this densely populated island on the Hudson River is home to the United Nations where the world’s political leaders decide the fate of nations and Wall Street is undoubtedly the financial capital of the world.

However, before Manhattan there was New Amsterdam.
And before New Amsterdam, there was the island of Run.
The island of Run?

40_Map of the Banda Islands showing Ai and Run

The island of Run, only 3 km long and 1 km wide, is a speck on the map of Eastern Indonesia. It is part of the six Banda islands which surround a central volcano in the middle of the Banda Sea. To reach these tiny islands we sailed overnight from…

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About ianburnet

Author of the book, Spice Islands. Which tells the History, Romance and Adventure of the spice trade from the Moluccas in Eastern Indonesia over a period of 2000 years. Author of the book, East Indies.Which tells the history of the struggle between the Portuguese Crown, the Dutch East India Company and the English East India Company for supremacy in the Eastern Seas. Author of the book 'Archipelago - A Journey Across Indonesia'.
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One Response to The Manhattan Transfer

  1. Grant says:

    Thanks Ian.

    I would have thought the great deal for Alaska from the Russians would have been the biggest coup.

    Cheers.
    Grant Platt

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