Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

New York in 1746 is a small town of 7,000 people, perched at the end of Manahatta Island, a place which  English and Dutch influences vie: the Bowery is still the Bouwerij, Brooklyn is still Breuckelen. Here a young Englishman, Mr. Smith, arrives bearing a promissory note for £1,000 – an impossible sum of money. He is…