"No one will ever erect a statue honoring Jeremiah Hamilton. He was no saint. He was more aggressive and more ruthless toward his competitors than most businessmen. But it’s understandable: for a black man to succeed he had to be at least as cavalier about such niceties as keeping within the law as his white contemporaries. Wall Street has never been a place for the faint of heart, but, in the antebellum era, with remarkably few rules of any sort yet established, New York businessmen played hardball and, at least initially sensing an easy mark, they lined up to play with Hamilton."
Shane White in The New York Times discusses "Gotham’s Only Black Millionaire" of the mid-nineteenth century.