Buttonwood Agreement

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Depiction of traders under the buttonwood tree

The Buttonwood Agreement, which took place on May 17, 1792, started the New York Stock & Exchange Board now called the New York Stock Exchange. This agreement was signed by 24 stockbrokers outside of 68 Wall Street New York under a buttonwood tree. The organization drafted its constitution on March 8, 1817, and named itself the "New York Stock & Exchange Board". In 1863, this name was shortened to its modern form, "New York Stock Exchange".

Document agreement[edit]

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:

Source Document[edit]

The document is housed at the Museum of American Finance.[2] The Virtual Museum and Archive of the History of Financial Regulation of The Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society does have this image.

Names and address[edit]

The twenty-four brokers (also known as, Founding and Subsequent Fathers) who signed the Buttonwood Agreement were (including business location):[3]

The Buttonwood Agreement is honored by the name of the financial markets column in The Economist.

Tontine Coffee House[edit]

Later in 1793, they conducted their business inside the Tontine Coffee House.[1]


  1. ^ a b Richard J. Teweles, Edward S. Bradley, and Ted M. Teweles (1992). The Stock Market (6th Edition). p. 97. 
  2. ^ "Buttonwood Agreement on display". www.moaf.org. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Peter Wyckoff (1972). Wall Street and the stock markets: A chronology (1644-1971). p. 145. ISBN 0-8019-5708-7.