This book, first published in 1989, is a valuable addition to the literature on the study of American business history. Most previous historians, however, have studied the management of business in a vacuum, separating the internal affairs of particular companies from the social and political environments in which corporations existed. From 1799 to 1842 the Manhattan Company had three distinct divisions: a water works, a main bank in New York City, and bank branches in upstate New York. To successfully manage this complicated and decentralised business, the Manhattan Company’s directors had to be particularly sensitive the social and political environments. This book traces the history of banking in New York, an examination of the nature and significance of the Company’s charter, and a detailed analysis of the Company’s three divisions.
1. Corporations and Banking Before the Manhattan Company 2. The Founding and Charter of the Manhattan Company 3. Managing the Water Works 4. Managing the Bank in New York City 5. Managing the Manhattan Company’s Bank Branches in Utica and Poughkeepsie, 1809-1819 6. Corporate Form and Career Patterns: The People of the Manhattan Company