David Clarkson

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David Clarkson
Occupation Tenth President of NYSE (1837-1851)

David Clarkson was the tenth president of the New York Stock & Exchange Board, which in 1863 shortened its name to the New York Stock Exchange. Clark was the longest serving president of the exchange, 1837 to 1851, until G. Keith Funston served as president from 1951 to 1967.[1][2][3]

David Clarkson was born March 27, 1795 and died June 3, 1867.[4]


Clarkson was the first president of the exchange to be paid. His salary was $2000 per year, which is about $31,960 in 2003 dollars.[5]

In a memorial citing Clarkson's many qualities, it said: "By the amenity of his manners, his high sense of honor, and his great executive ability, he won the personal respect and deference of its members."

During Clarkson's tenure as president, Samuel F. B. Morse introduced the telegraph, which was quickly adopted by securities brokers and helped expand the stock market by making trades accessible to brokers and investors outside of New York.

After serving for 14 years as president of the exchange, Clarkson was chosen as president of the Gallatin Fire Insurance Company. He was involved with a number of charities, including as a governor of the New York Hospital, following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps.

Clarkson's father was General Matthew Clarkson, who served in the American Revolution in several major coflicts. General Clarkson served under General Benedict Arnold before his betrayal and later under General Benjamin Lincoln.[6] Matthew Clarkson also served as a president of the Bank of New York, which was founded by Alexander Hamilton.[7] General Matthew Clarkson is buried in the church yard of Trinity Church, the same resting place as Alexander Hamilton, just down the street from the New York Stock Exchange.[8]


  1. The New York Stock Exchange: its history, its contribution to national .... Google Books.
  2. Presidents and Chairmen of The New York Stock Exchange. New York Stock Exchange.
  3. King, Moses, King's views of the New York stock exchange. Columbia University Libraries.
  4. Americans of Royal Descent: A collection of geneologies of American Families. {{{org}}}.
  5. A Selected Wall Street Chronology. PBS.
  6. Clarkson, NY Online. Town of Clarkson.
  7. General Matthew Clarkson. Flickr.
  8. Honored Revolutionary Heroes. New York Times.