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Panics, Depressions and Economic Crisis Prior to 1930
The Panic of 1819
Panic and Depression 1832

Panic and Depression 1836

The Panic of 1837

Six Year Depression 1837-1843

The Panic of 1857

Panic and Depression 1869-1871

The Panic of 1873

The Panic of 1893-Financial World

The Panic of 1893-Presidential Papers

The Panic of 1901-Market Fails, Panic Reigns-Part I

The Panic of 1901-Market Fails, Panic Reigns-Part II

The Panic of 1901- At The Stock Exchange

Panic and Depression of 1929

Brief Financial Notes based on 1875-1907

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European settlers who brought seeds to New York introduced apples in the 1600s.




Gold was scarce, and the scarcity resulted in high interest rates. By 1869 the federal treasury held in reserve $95,000,000 in gold, but only $15,000,000 worth of the precious metal circulated throughout the country. Even at that time the fact that it did not deal in gold as a commodity threw a great part of the community's highly speculative business over to the Gold Exchange, which was formed for that purpose exclusively.
The Gold Exchange was established in 1864 on the corner of Broad Street and Exchange Place. The dramatic incident of this period was the gold panic on Black Friday in September, 1869, when a combination of several unscrupulous speculators, among them James Fisk, Jr., and Jay Gould, attempted to corner and put to extravagant figures the gold supply of the market. Operations on the Stock Exchange proper at that time were largely made up of the personal struggles of rival capitalists, notably in connection with the Erie and New York Central railroads.
The completion of the Pacific Railway (1869) caused extensive speculation in shares of the two transcontinental railways, and as capital increased and the railway mileage of the country extended the transactions of the Exchange became of a national rather than provincial character. The leading operators of that time were Gould, Fisk, Daniel Drew, Cornelius Vanderbilt and their associates. None of the capitalists named was accustomed to trade personally on the Stock Exchange; indeed, such a practice has always been the rare exception among active financiers.
The term is often used to designate a dark financial day. September 24, 1869, is sometimes referred to as Black Friday in the United States. On this day a syndicate of New York bankers advanced the price of gold to 162 1/2, causing a panic. It sold at 143 1/8 the previous evening. The Grant Administration dumped $4,000,000 in gold on the market, the price falls in fifteen minutes from 162 to 133, and many investors were ruined. Fortunes were lost. Wall Street brokerage houses failed. Railway stocks shrank. The nation's business was paralyzed. Another such day was Friday, Sept. 19, 1873, when Jay Cooke & Co., leading American bankers, failed. A great crash ensued in Wall Street, the center of financial operations in America, and the historic panic of 1873 began. Credit generally was impaired and many financial institutions were forced into bankruptcy.
During the term of Ulysses S. Grant while in office as President March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877.
 Volume: VII Page: 7 (extract)"
A great debt has been contracted in securing to us and our posterity the Union. The payment of this principal and interest, as well as the return to a specie basis as soon as it can be accomplished without material detriment to the debtor class or to the country at large, must be provided for. To protect the national honor, every dollar of Government indebtedness should be paid in gold, unless otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract.
Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., December 6, 1869
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
 Volume: VII Page: 29 (Extract) "
Among the evils growing out of the rebellion, and not yet referred to, is that of an irredeemable currency. It is a duty, and one of the highest duties, of Government to secure to the citizen a medium of exchange of fixed, unvarying value. This implies a return to a specie basis, and no substitute for it can be devised. It should be commenced now and reached at the earliest practicable moment consistent with a fair regard to the interests of the debtor class. 
Immediate resumption if practicable, would not be desirable. It would compel the debtor class to pay, beyond their contracts, the premium on gold at the date of their purchase, and would bring bankruptcy and ruin to thousands. Fluctuation, however, in the paper value of the measure of all values (gold) is detrimental to the interests of trade. It makes the man of business an involuntary gambler, for in all sales where future payment is to be made both parties speculate as to what will be the value of the currency to be paid and received. I earnestly recommend to you, then, such legislation as will insure a gradual return to specie payments and put an immediate stop to fluctuations in the value of currency.
The methods to secure the former of these results are as numerous as are the speculators on political economy. To secure the latter I see but one way, and that is to authorize the Treasury to redeem its own paper, at a fixed price, whenever presented, and to withhold from circulation all currency so redeemed until sold again for gold.
Executive Mansion, December 4, 1871
 Volume: VII Page: 148 (extract) "
Continued fluctuations in the value of gold, as compared with the national currency, has a most damaging effect upon the increase and development of the country, in keeping up prices of all articles necessary in everyday life. It fosters a spirit of gambling, prejudicial alike to national morals and the national finances. If the question can be met as to how to get a fixed value to our currency, that value constantly and uniformly approaching par with specie, a very desirable object will be gained."



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