Financial History Issue 116 (Winter 2016) - Page 41

claimed that Hamilton owned at least part of the Sun, but White could not substantiate those claims. White also points to the intriguing possibility that Hamilton was intimately involved in the rise of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Again, however, the evidence is thin and bound to be controversial. It is also not clear if Hamilton was merely a stockbroker, as some described him, or if he was really what today would be considered a hedge fund manager. A business or financial historian ought to build on White’s work to see if he or she can find new sources or reinterpret the ones that White has already (painstakingly) discovered. White is a fine cultural historian, but clearly his grasp of business and financial concepts is lacking, as repeatedly shown by his clumsy language in sections dealing with insurance and banking in an otherwise extremely wellwritten book. The cultural components of the book, from New Yorkers’ attitudes toward interracial marriage to beliefs about hair texture and skin complexion, are absolutely fascinating and well worth the price of admission.  Robert E. Wright is the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana University in South Dakota and a member of the magazine’s editorial board. He is the co-author, with board chairman Richard Sylla, of Genealogy of American Finance (2015) and the author of several hundred other articles, books, reviews, and talks about business, economic, financial and policy history. HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT FINANCIAL HISTORY? TRIVIAQUIZ By Bob Shabazian  1. The Museum’s “Worth Its Weight” exhibit features the world’s oldest known gold coin. From when does the coin date?  2. Why was Lillian Vernon’s listing on the American Stock Exchange groundbreaking?  3. Alexander Hamilton’s portrait currently appears on the face of the $10 bill. What image is depicted on its reverse?  4. What was the outcome of t H