Guess who founded Wall Street?


A 1600’s sketch of the Dutch wall. Source: William & Mary Barrett Dyer.


Guess who founded Wall Street?

Comment posted under “Sombart – Why America is Steeped in Jewishness”

Dan said (May 2, 2012):

Some fascinating American history…

The first group of Jewish settlers of North America arrived at the Dutch colonial town of New Amsterdam in 1654.

The journey of the group of 27 began as immigrants from Spain to Holland, where they were recruited by the Dutch East India Company to set up banking and commerce in the Dutch colony at Brazil. The Dutch however were losing control of Brazil to the Portuguese, so the Jewish bankers were transferred to New Amsterdam.

Shortly the captain of the French ship that brought them filed suit for not having been paid the fare. He won the suit, and the city council asked Governor Peter Stuyvesant to ban Jews from the colony. He wrote a letter to the Hague requesting deportation of the Jewish arrivals and not to permit any more Jews to come to the colony because he already had his hands full with a half dozen schismatic Christian sects who hated each other.

In reply, Stuyvesant was informed that the Company sent the Jews to establish competent international banking and commerce in the Americas, so under no circumstances were they to be deported or interfered with – on the grounds of religious tolerance.

Stuyvesant posted a decree, “No man shall raise or bring forward any question or argument on the subject of religion on pain of being placed on water and bread for three days in the ship’s galley and if any difficulty shall arise out of such disputes, the authors shall be arbitrarily punished.”

At the time the Jewish bankers were backed only by the Dutch government. By the time the English took over the colony, Jewish bankers occupied the same role under aegis of the British Empire. On a hunch I looked up the date when Oliver Cromwell repealed Edward Ist’ banishment of Jewish lenders from England, and found the date was 1657 – three years after the contingent of Jewish traders arrived at the Dutch Colony. The Anglo-Dutch wars ensued, resulting in the transfer of colonial power from the Hague to London.

It is interesting that once the Jewish bankers were operating in London, colonial power shifted from Holland to Great Britain. It may be coincidental, though it makes one wonder who was really running the show in these kingdoms.

I would say money was running the show. Politicians and kings like Cromwell and Charles 1st came and went.

Here’s the fascinating trivia part:

The settlement occupied the southern tip of Manhattan island. Beyond the northern boundary was open forest, so an earthen wall was erected to protect against English or Native attack. The Jewish bankers and retailers settled on the street at the wall, called “de Waal Straat”. Wall Street.

For the first forty years merchants and traders transacted business there, later dividing into two classes; auctioneers and dealers. The Dutch gave up Manhattan after losing the Third Anglo-Dutch War in 1674.

The wall was leveled in 1699.

In 1792 informal outdoor bonds and securities trading was formalized by the Buttonwood Agreement which laid the foundation for the New York Stock Exchange.