The Shady Characters of Manhattan

It was in 1626 when Native Americans granted the Dutch the right to cut trees on Manhattan Island. Manhates it was called back then. The Native Americans had no comprehension of “owning” land. They were probably “sharing” or “trading” the timber for something with the Dutch, particularly the West India Company and the Dutch Navy who built masts for their ships. Imagine, Manhattan thick with oak, pine and nut groves. The Dutch India Company put their slaves to work logging this beautiful forest, alongside the Dutch settlers who needed homes and barns. Later, in 1856 the city of Manhattan bought 843 acres of land to make a park. Today it’s known as Central Park. With all that goes on in that world-famous city, having a forested refuge has probably saved many from the brink of insanity. In the spring of 1863 someone let 14 European sparrows loose in the park and it’s believed that their descendants still reside in the park’s trees. I understand you can run across some shady characters in the park and that one needs to be cautious. It’s always been that way. In 1856 when the city bought the land, it was reported as “filthy, squalid and disgusting… its inhabitants… engaged in occupations which are nuisances in the eyes of the law and forbidden to be carried on so near the city.” So in 1857 the city destroyed 300 dwellings and several factories and hog-feeding establishments. But then again, looking back on history we see that the Indians probably didn’t “sell” Manhates to the Dutch. And two hundred years later, it was probably just poor hog farmers, trying to make a buck, who didn’t stand a chance against developers. Suellen Ocean is the author of the historical series, The Lion’s Trace Available here:

The Lies of the Lion (Book 1)

The Guild (Book 2)

The Last Quadroon (Book 3)

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

The Lies ot he Lion    NewCoverTheGuild    TheLastQuadroonFrontCover


Published by

Suellen Ocean

With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University, Suellen Ocean does her writing from the hills of Northern California. She began writing professionally for print and radio broadcasting in the late 1980's. Her first self-published book led to her becoming "officially" published, when in 1998 she was asked to participate in the anthology, "The Simple Life" through Berkley Books, New York. She is the author of sixteen books on diverse subjects.

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