From Buttonwood Agreement to the

Wall Street Sign

On May 17, 1792, the Buttonwood Agreement was signed by twenty-four stock brokers. The signing took place outside of 68 Wall Street, in lower Manhattan, New York City under a buttonwood tree. The meeting was to negotiate the conditions and regulations of the speculative market.


The result was the Buttonwood Agreement, a simple, two sentence contract.

Picture: Depiction of traders under the buttonwood tree.

Note: The buttonwood tree is also known as the sycamore tree.


The Document Agreement

In brief, the Agreement had two provisions:

1) the brokers were to deal only with each other, thereby eliminating the auctioneers, and

2) the commissions were to be 0.25%. It reads as follows:

Names and Addresses

The twenty-four brokers (also known as, Founding and Subsequent Fathers) who signed the Buttonwood Agreement were (including business location):-

• Leonard Bleecker - 16 Wall Street

• Hugh Smith - Tontine Coffee House

• Armstrong & Barnewall - 58 Broad Street

• Samuel March - 243 Queen Street

• Bernard Hart - 55 Broad Street

• Alexander Zuntz - 97 Broad Street

• Andrew D. Barclay - 136 Pearl Street

• Sutton & Hardy - 20 Wall Street

• Benjamin Seixas - 8 Hanover Square

• John Henry - 13 Duke Street

• John A. Hardenbrook - 24 Nassau Street

• Samuel Beebe - 21 Nassau Street

• Benjamin Winthrop - 2 Great Dock Street

• John Ferrers - 205 Water Street

• Ephraim Hart - 74 Broadway

Buttonwood Agreement

• Isaac M. Gomez - 32 Maiden Lane

• Julian McEvers - 140 Greenwich Street

• Augustine H. Lawrence - 132 Water Street

• G. N. Bleecker - 21 Broad Street

• John Bush - 195 Water Street

• Peter Anspach - 3 Great Dock Street

• Charles McEvers Jr. - 194 Water Street

• David Reedy - 58 Wall Street

• Robinson & Hartshorne - 198 Queen Street

The Buttonwood Agreement was the beginning of the New York Stock & Exchange Board (now called the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE).

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