Black History Fact Of The Day: How NYC’s Wall Street Got Its Name

Written By: Elsie Law - Nov• 10•15

Wall Street 1600sIn March 1653, Peter Stuyvesant, the director of the slave-trading Dutch West India Company and the Director-General of New Netherland, now known as New York, ordered slaves to build blockades to serve as protective barriers for the area of lower Manhattan.

Stuyvesant reportedly demanded that the log-made barricade be “12 feet long, 18 inches in circumference, sharpened at the upper end,” and stretch from “river to river across Manhattan Island.

The slaves were burdened with the task of building “The Wall” to help shield the Dutch settlers from New Netherland’s native inhabitants.

After the construction of “The Wall,” the area on which the wall was located was called Wall Street.

[Bibliography: Slavery In New York]

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