The Journal of Economic History


Early State Banks in the United States: How Many Were There and When Did They Exist?

a1 Senior Research Officer, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401. E-mail: wew@minneapolisfed. org.


This article describes a newly constructed data set of all U.S. state banks from 1782 to 1861. It contains the names and locations of all banks and branches that went into business and an estimate of when each operated. The compilation is based on reported balance sheets, listings in banknote reporters, and secondary sources. Based on these data, the article presents a count of the number of banks and branches in business by state. I argue that my series are superior to previously existing ones for reasons of consistency, accuracy, and timing. The article contains examples to support this argument.