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The Federal Court ( 1789 - 1791 ).  The United States District Court for the District of New York held its first session in 1789 in the Royal Exchange Building near the foot of Broad Street. At the time, New York State comprised a single judicial district. This was the first federal court to be organized and it preceded by several weeks the organization of the Supreme Court of the United States, in this same building, in February, 1790.  [ Continued ]

REFERENCES:  Royal Exchange BuildingU.S. Supreme Court

"The second home of the Chamber [ of Commerce ] was in the Royal Exchange, a building that stood upon brick stilts, or arches, at the lower end of Broad Street in a line with Water Street.  * * *  [ It was ] a very curious structure, for its ground floor was open on all sides, and in tempestuous weather the merchants who gathered there for business found it extremely uncomfortable. It had a second story which was enclosed and consisted of a single room."

[ Quote from Joseph Bucklin Bishop, A Chronicle of One Hundred & Fifty Years - The Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, 1768 - 1919, p. 149 ( New York: Charles Scribner;s Sons, 1918 ) ]
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The Royal Exchange Building
[ Image from Vol. 2, Martha J. Lamb, History of the
City New York
, p. 634 ( Valentine's Manual, 1921 ) ]

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Click on the thumbnail to the Left for an 1899 New York Times article, with photos, on the history of the Southern District Court. A letter to the Editor from admiralty lawyer Robert D. Benedict ( name sound familiar? ) says the Times got a few things wrong.