Wall Street

   Wall Street, in New York City, a narrow street leading from Broadway to the East River. It occupies the former site of a stockade wall built across the island of Manhattan by the burghers of New Amsterdam as a defense against the Indians. A number of banks and trust offices are situ­ated on this street. The New York Stock Exchange has its own building at the corner of Broad and Wall streets. As the banking business, however, has outgrown the narrow accommodations of one short street, the term has been extended to include adjacent territory. In this larger sense Wall Street is applied to the entire financial district of New York City. It includes seven exchanges, the subtreasury, nearly forty banks, about thirty trust companies, and not less than five hundred rail-way, insurance, express, telegraph, mining, and manufacturing offices that handle funds on a large scale. Wall Street is one of the two greatest financial districts in the world, ranking in the magnitude of its operations with the corresponding financial district in London which centers about the Bank of England.
   At the old Federal Building on the place where federal offices are now located, George Washington was first inaugurated President in 1789, and there it was also that the United States Congress met for the first time.
   The origin of the name Wall Street may be traced to the year 1652 when Peter Stuyvesant ordered a blockade built to protect the town from the Indians and the British.