3. 10 Wall Street

Wall Street-NYC-Vintage PhotographWall Street, photo via Library of Congress

Wall Street was a very influential force in the creative life of Herman Melville, and it also served as the vehicle in which Herman’s brothers tried to reclaim the family fortune lost by their father’s fur trading debacle. After Gansevoort helped each brother get started, Allan eventually found his first success on his own at 10 Wall Street. This is important because this address is where Allan became Herman’s literary agent and brought him his earliest success as a bestselling author by helping to get Typee published on both sides of the Atlantic. Wall Street must have also undoubtedly served as the inspiration for a certain forlorn scrivener named Bartleby of “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street” whose tendency to “prefer not to” in fulfilling his tedious office job was indicative of Melville’s own first-hand observations.

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