The Bank of Albany

Established in 1792, the Bank of Albany was the city's first banking institution and the second bank founded in New York State.

The so-called "Albany Bank" began operations at the City Tavern on September 17, 1792. Shares of stock were sold - sold out within three hours.

The Bank of Albany was incorporated by the state legislature on April 25, 1792. It was capitalized at $260,000 in maximum total assets. Its first directors were elected in June.

The Bank of Albany about 1805The new bank building on the west side of Market Street was opened for business on July 20, 1795. In 1810, the bank moved to the northwest corner of Broadway and State Street.

Gerrit W. Van Schaick was the first cashier of the bank - serving from 1792 to 1814. John Van Zandt served as cashier from 1814 to 1832. Merchant Jellis Winne, Jr. was said to have been cashier from 1832 until his death in 1849. The cashier was charged with handling deposits and disbursements and keeping records of all financial transactions and assets. Attorney James Van Ingen was the bank's first clerk.

In April 1820, Barent Bleecker was elected to succeed Van Schaick as president.

Other banks followed making Albany a banking center. The Bank of Albany operated until 1861 when it "failed."

The "Albany Savings Bank" was incorporated in 1820 and survived for more than a century.



Sources: Basic bank histories appear in most historical works on Albany. See, in particular, Arthur J. Weise, History of Albany, pp 409-13. See also Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review presented online. The locations of the bank have been described in the "landmark" work of Amasa Parker.

Directors elected on June 12, 1792: Abraham Ten Broeck, Cornelius Glen, Stephen Van Rensselaer, John Maley, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Abraham Van Vechten, Henry Cuyler, John Stevenson, James Caldwell, Jacob Van Der Heyden, Goldsbrow Banyar, Daniel Hale, and Elkanah Watson. Abraham Ten Broeck was elected president on June 16.

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first posted: 8/30/02; revised 1/6/08