Wall Street in History
By Martha J. Lamb
Wall Street is more than just the crossroads of money and power. It is also the location of a long and interesting history of revolutionary decisions, political events, and financial growth. Historian Martha Lamb looks at Wall Street "in all its primitive, picturesque, political, social, and monetary aspects." She begins with the development of the site by Manhattan settlers, a site she describes as a "tangle of underbrush, wild grape-vine and tree, animated with untrained bears of a shining pitch-black color, hungry wolves, noisy wild-cats, and sly raccoons." A primitive fence was built along what is now Wall Street, and the place has become "one of the most widely known and remarkable localities in the civilized world." Lamb also examines personalities such as John Jay and political events such as the American Revolution and the adoption of the Constitution.
MARTHA J. LAMB was a historian who was also active in charitable organizations. Best known for the two-volume History of the City of New York, published in 1877-81, she also published children's books, novels, short stories, and magazine articles. She was the editor of the Magazine of American History as well. In Chicago, where she lived for eight years, she founded the Home for Friendless and Half-Orphan Asylum, and was secretary of the first Sanitary Fair in 1863.