Mount Hope Bank, Bristol
The Mount Hope Bank was founded in 1818 by James DeWolf, patriarch of one the wealthiest slave trading families in early America. DeWolf family members purchased 60% of the institution’s original stock offering. James, a rather notorious and brutal figure, was made president and his protégé, Byron Diman, was cashier. Diman had entered DeWolf’s counting house as a young man and later engaged in whale fishing and manufacturing businesses. He was also a one-term Governor of Rhode Island from 1846 to 1847 (gubernatorial terms were then only two years in length).
In 1829 it was reported that the bank was winding up its concerns, but it appears to have continued in business beyond that date. Roger Durand notes that it failed in 1850, but did not forfeit its state charter until 1919.