Alexander Hamilton’s One Share in the Bank of New York Stock

Many people know that Alexander Hamilton was the founder of the Bank of New York in 1784. A topic of less regular discussion is the fact that neither Hamilton nor his estate benefitted substantially from his magnificent creation as Hamilton only held one share in his name.

Despite working tirelessly to launch the Bank of New York, which exists today as BNY Mellon, Alexander Hamilton did not furnish or demand any capital in the bank and did not gain riches from it.

How did this come to be?

In 1783, New York attorney Robert Livingston—who was one of the five Founding Fathers that drafted the Declaration of Independence alongside John Adams, Roger Sherman, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin—wanted to create a “land bank.”

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