Business: New York's Oldest

Grass was literally growing in Wall Street when Bank of New York & Trust Co. was founded in 1784. The little city of 23.000 souls which sprawled across the lower tip of Manhattan Island was just beginning to recover from the scourge of British occupation. One-eighth of the town was a blasted waste of charred ruins. Orchards and fences had all been burned for fuel. Cows browsed in the weedy thoroughfares. Wharves were decaying. The city treasury was empty.

But Manhattan's bewigged merchants had bestirred themselves in the short half-year since War had officially...