Regular price: $27.99

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In the middle decades of the 19th century Jeremiah G. Hamilton was a well-known figure on Wall Street. He was reportedly the richest African American man in the United States, possessing a fortune of $2 million, or in excess of $250 million in today's currency.

In Prince of Darkness, a groundbreaking and vivid account, eminent historian Shane White reveals the larger-than-life story of a man who defied every convention of his time. He wheeled and dealed in the lily white business world, he married a white woman, he bought a mansion in rural New Jersey, he owned railroad stock on trains he was not legally allowed to ride, and he generally set his white contemporaries' teeth on edge when he wasn't just plain outsmarting them. An important contribution to American history, Hamilton's life offers a way into considering, from the unusual perspective of a black man, subjects that are usually seen as being quintessentially white, totally segregated from the African American past.

©2015 Shane White (P)2015 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to.

Well written. Great narration. Insightful look into early America, early American racial politics, and early American business culture.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good and helpful book

Well written and narrated. Interesting approach-expanding on newspaper articles. Thanks for insight into the life of a bold black man of the post-slavery, pre-civil war era.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Simply loved the story

Rich in historical and social content. Also, the storytellers voice is engaging. I could see this book making an excellent movie for it has all the elements, action, intrigue and the like.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • LH
  • 12-20-17

The Prince of Darkness

excellent! very well done. a revealing history of New York city. RIP Jeremiah G. Hamilton.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Moe
  • Oakland, CA, United States
  • 10-25-17

Dry, but informative. Wild times & a man of them

Ver text book vibe, but let you see a world of unregulated markets & an extraordinary man who worked his time to his advantage, despite obvious obstacles.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Casual Historian

I loved learning about this AMAZING African American titan. I am still amazed at how much adversity he overcame to be as successful as he was. Amazing book!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • AlTonya
  • DAVIDSON, NC, United States
  • 07-28-17

Not A Nice Man, But A Smart One!

I’d never heard of Jeremiah Hamilton, before coming across Prince of Darkness on the shelves at my library. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that none of the vast number of resources in the library of the HBCU (Historically Black College/University) where I worked, had no mention of a man who had amassed the kind of wealth and notoriety Hamilton had in a time when it was unheard of for a black man to claim such success. Moreover, I found little mention of Hamilton's existence referenced anywhere I'd have expected.

As I worked my way through this book, I came to understand why there has been little to no mention of Hamilton among other African American heroes. The fact was, Hamilton was not viewed as a hero and while reading ‘Darkness’, I understood-given the material presented-he had no desire to be. Nevertheless, Hamilton was an undeniable success. He crafted a remarkable life for himself and his family.

I found Shane White’s account to be exceptionally thorough. I had hoped the book would focus a little more on Mr. Hamilton-the man and his interests beyond making money or bringing to justice those who owed him. Given that there is so little information about Hamilton; outside of his financial wheelings and dealings, I suppose the author worked with what he had. I found much of the book to be more an account of the financial and racial climate of New York seasoned by Mr. Hamilton’s prowess and determination to carry out his personal agenda.

Though Jeremiah Hamilton’s methods were questionable; one might say selfish and corrupt, it can’t be denied that they were effective. While we as a people enjoy inspiring stories of those dynamos in our culture who have surpassed the literal and figurative chains geared to ‘keep us in our places’, I think it’s important to embrace the full range of these stories. Hamilton was not a hero in the usual sense, but his efforts as a mover, shaker and undeniable game changer; in the days of Wall Street’s infancy, make his story worth knowing. He was a man who didn’t allow his race to determine his station in life. This is perhaps the most valuable lesson from Hamilton's life story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Gregory
  • LOS ANGELES, CA, United States
  • 05-10-17

Prince of litigation

Shane White's research is impressive and John Lee's lilt is enjoyable but the tale of Jeremiah G Hamilton is less a whirlwind of wheeling & dealing and more a trail of skullduggery and litigation from which Hamilton somehow came out ahead. White notes a lack of primary sources so while readers learn what books Hamilton kept in his library we are left to speculate as to his reasons for reading them. Likewise there is no trove of personal journals to uncover Hamilton's thoughts on being a man of his station at this moment in history. The story provides a ton of context of life in antebellum NYC but without the subject's own voice much of the Prince of Darkness' life remains obscured.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Couldn't Stop Listening

Life...such an amazing adventure. Superbly written and narrated. The details painted a vivid portrait of Mr. Hamilton's life.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story and Consistent Performance

Great story and another great narration by John Lee.

He pronunciation of American English ran the gamut of Mid-Western, Southern and Texan accents which were almost amusing at times, he is still one of my favorite narrators.

Story is richly fascinating and the author has clearly done his research over the past years developing Jeremiah Hamilton.

Well done!