The Buttonwood Agreement was signed on May 17, 1792 by twenty-four traders who gathered under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street to negotiate the conditions and regulations of the speculative market. They had found the former system, in which securities were bought and sold at irregularly scheduled gatherings, too haphazard. The agreement, a simple, two sentence contract, established a more formal operation, in which they traded with one another and established minimum commission rates. 
The New Yorkers dedicated the Tontine Coffee House in Wall Street as their exchange in 1793. In 1817, they formed the New York Stock & Exchange Board with its own constitution and bylaws; its name was changed to the New York Stock Exchange in 1863.