Lopsided Legacy

This is an image of a deed signed in 1686, conveying Kiawah Island to a group of settlers from #Charleston. The deal was struck between those whose names are signed on the bottom left with the Cussoe Indians, who used the island for hunting grounds. The deal was almost as lopsided as the one up in Manhattan, and for beads, hatchets and mirrors, the entire island was conveyed. Today, Kiawah is a world-class golf resort featuring single homes valued at $15-20 million each, so the Cussoe descendants might be inclined to feel the deal was unreal. Note that the native signers on the lower right had no knowledge of alphabets, and made their marks with feathers and wings, and included both kings and queens of the tribe. To the natives, ownership of land was apparently meaningless, as it seemed so abundant and was shared by many prior to European settlement. Kiawah,  sold for hatchets, beads and  mirrors  in 1686,  is probably the  property that has appreciated most in the area, as the island  is likely in the billions of dollars in value today.

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