Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bank of New York Founded: 1784 (1)

The Bank of North America had its original charter from the Congress of Confederated colonies, and contained a provision preventing it from establishing branches within the several colonies without their consent. The act of the New York Legislature of 1782 was simply confirmatory of the charter granted by the Congress.

In 1784 the Bank of New York was founded under articles drawn by Alexander Hamilton, but was unable to secure a charter for seven years. This third oldest organized bank in the United States was authorized to have a capital of $1,000,000 and could contract debts, including those on account of circulating notes, to three times the amount of the capital.

The first home of the Bank of New York was in the old mansion of William Walton, at 67 St. Georges (now Franklin) Square. This was a three story house built of old yellow Dutch brick with hewn stone lintels, having been erected in 1752, and remained standing until 1881.

he first officers were: General Alexander MacDougal, president; William Seton, cashier; Samuel Franklin, Robert Bowne, Comfort Sands, Alexander Hamilton, Joshua Waddington, Thomas Randall, William Maxwell, Nicholas Lowe, Daniel McCormick, Isaac Roosevelt, John Vanderbilt and Thomas B. Stoughton, directors.

In 1791 the Legislature was induced to relent, and give the Bank of New York a charter, and it began its corporate existence on May 2 of that year. This charter was extended several times until 1852, when it was reorganized under the Free Banking Law with a capital of $2,000,000. On January 5, 1865, it became a national bank with a capital of $3,000,000. The charter under which this bank was incorporated was a sample of those granted during the next few decades, which were notable for what they forbade than for what they permitted.

To be continued: Bank of New York Founded: 1784 (2)

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