The story of Burr’s maneuverings to found a bank (now JP Morgan Chase) by pretending to meet New York City’s urgent need for clean water is one of the more colorful sidebars of our water supply history. In this 175th anniversary year of the Old Croton Aqueduct, learn how Burr pulled it off, Alexander Hamilton’s ambiguous role, and the consequences of Burr’s ruse for the emerging metropolis.

GERARD KOEPPEL has written widely about aspects of New York history and infrastructure and is a popular speaker and panelist on these topics. His books include the highly regarded account of the Old Croton Aqueduct, Water for Gotham: A History, and, most recently, City on a Grid: How New York Became New York.