Royal Exchange (New York) facts for kids

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The-Old-Royal-Exchange-building
The Royal Exchange

The Royal Exchange building in New York City, later known as the Old Royal Exchange and the Merchants Exchange, was a covered marketplace located near the foot of Broad Street, near its intersection with Water Street. Originally a one story building in 1675, it was rebuilt with a meeting hall on the upper story in 1752, typical of the type of market halls found in England and Europe at the time.

The Royal Exchange building was the location of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York from 1770 until the Revolutionary War.

The New York State Legislature met for several sessions in the Royal Exchange building from 1785 to 1790, after the Congress of the Confederation started meeting in the legislature's previous location, the then New York City Hall which became known as Federal Hall.

On November 3, 1789, the federal court for the District of New York (later the Southern District of New York) sat in the building, the first federal court to sit under the new Constitution. The first District Court Judge was James Duane. The court's earliest business in the building included admitting local lawyers to the bar, including Aaron Burr. The court moved to Federal Hall in 1791.

The first meeting of the Supreme Court of the United States was held in the Royal Exchange building on February 1, 1790, although a quorum was not available until the following day. There were not yet any cases to hear at the first meeting. A second session was held in August 1790. The court met in New York for a total of twelve days before it moved to Philadelphia with the rest of the nascent federal government in 1791.

The Royal Exchange building was demolished in 1799.


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