Wednesday, March 20, 2013
FEBRUARY 6 1756 – BIRTH OF AARON BURR, POLITICIAN, BUSINESSPERSON, VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
1756 – BIRTH OF AARON BURR, POLITICIAN, BUSINESSPERSON, VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Burr and others convinced New York City council to charter the Manhattan Corporation in 1799. Its purpose was to raise dams and divert water throughout the city in response to the outbreak of yellow fever. A provision of the charter allowing the company to divert its excess capital in any activity “not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States.” This vague clause enabled the company to engage in banking activities. Alexander Hamilton (who later Burr killed in a famous duel) said, "He (Burr) has latterly, by a trick, established a bank -- a perfect monster in its principles, but a very convenient instrument of profit and influence." The Manhattan Corporation was the predecessor of what is now the J.P. Morgan Chase bank – one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S.