Those who would study history, as well as understand current events, would do well to pause and take note of Run. Although it is no longer significant, the impact of the shot and shell fired to capture and retain it still echo today. This tiny island was the center of a war between Britain and the Netherlands. In settling this war, the Dutch ceded Manhattan to the English, thus establishing the beginning of the British Empire and setting in motion the events that would culminate in the creation of the United States.
How could this infinitesimal spot of land in the middle of an ocean on the other side of the world have such significance. Well, it was the most productive of the Spice Islands. Each pound of Run's harvest of nutmeg yielded a 3200% profit. It's price was inflated by inflated claims that it could cure the plague and other dread diseases. At the very least, it could render putrid meat palatable. And, it was rare. Indeed, its source was a mystery to all but a very few.
Nathaniel's Nutmeg is the story of Nathaniel Courthope who was sent by King James I in 1616 to discover its location. In addition to the perils of navigating his way through uncharted waters to an island located more than six hundred miles from the nearest landmass, Courthope had to elude the massive armed fleet of the Dutch East India Company that was hellbent on preventing him or anyone else from encroaching on their profits.
Once there, Courthope also had to deal with the indigenous natives, cannibals who guarded their home fiercely from all but the Dutch with whom they had trade agreements. Also, the island was ringed with razor sharp corral reefs and the shattered remains of others who had been lucky enough to find the place but not skilled enough to land on it.
Despite all these obstacles, Courthope and his band of adventurers arrived and took hold of the island. Even more incredibly, they fought off every attack by the Dutch for more than four years until the peace agreement with the British was negotiated.