“I concur with you in opinion as to the expediency of an application to the Legislature to have the act authorizing suspension of payments by Banks extended to Insurance and Trust companies.”1 David Codwise, vice president of Farmers’ Loan and Trust, sent this message to William Bard, president of the New York Life Insurance and Trust Company, on May 12, 1837. Their mutual interest in an appeal to the legislature was prompted by the Panic of 1837. Economic historians have devoted considerable attention to the Panic of 1837. Much of this attention has been directed at determining the causes of the panic, especially the extent to which President Andrew Jackson’s policies were responsible for either inflating or bursting a speculative bubble. More recently, attention has turned to the causes of the second panic in 1839, and to the effects this extended downturn had on economic development in the long run.
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