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Chase Manhattan Bank

The Chase Manhattan Bank was formed by the merger of the Chase National Bank, which was named for but never connected to former United States Treasury Secretary and Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, and the Bank of the Manhattan Company, which had been founded in 1799 by Aaron Burr.

At the time of the merger in the 1950s, Chase National, which the Rockefeller family had exercised strong influence over since its merger with the Equitable Trust bank that had been owned by John D. Rockefeller Jr., was led by John J. McCloy. As Chase was much the larger of the two banks,it was first intended that Chase acquire the "Bank of Manhattan", as it was nicknamed, but it transpired that Burr's original charter for the Manhattan Company had not only included the clause allowing it (originally a water company) to start a bank with surplus funds, but another requiring unanimous consent of shareholders for the bank to be taken over. Therefore, the deal was structured as an acquisition of Chase National by the Bank of the Manhattan Company, McCloy becoming chairman of the merged bank.

Under his successor George Champion,the antiquated 1799 state charter was relinquished for a modern one,and under his successor David Rockefeller the bank became part of a bank holding company, the Chase Manhattan Corporation.