Second Bank of the United States and Ohio (1803-1860). A Collision of Interests

Author: Brown, Marion
During its existence from 1816 to 1836, the Second Bank of the United States engendered controversy. Chartered to serve as the national government's fiscal agent, this private stock corporation soon came into conflict with those Americans who feared its potential power to undermine their freedom. This study examines the experience of Ohioans with the branch banks of the BUS in Ohio. Using state-level documents and incorporating papers from BUS leadership, this study adds to understanding the complex nature of early 19th century banking.

“The study breaks new ground in two ways. First, with a broad time frame, the book considers Ohio’s banking history from its territorial period to the Civil War; and second, it provides much greater detail on the BUS branches in Ohio. . . . Brown’s use of sources ably suppers her study of the BUS from both the national and local perspective. . . . Based on this rich variety of source material, Brown builds an effective analysis of the tempestuous relationship between the BUS and the state of Ohio.” – The Annals of Iowa


"Marion Brown's insightful and very readable account of the Second Bank of the United States in Ohio is a significant contribution to the historiography of banking in antebellum America. Using numerous sources, including some that historians have seldom used, Brown offers an important state-level perspective on the operations and problems of the BUS in Ohio. . . . Her account provides significant insights into the BUS management's failure to select competent people, to implement proper policies, and to recognize the complexity of a national corporation." - Steven E. Siry "All students of early Ohio banks and politics will find useful information and well-considered judgments in Brown's work. Scholars interested in other states will also find it a useful frame of reference in comparing their findings with other places. On a micro level, this is a solid and thoughtful piece of research." - Andrew R. L. Crayton

“. . . exceptionally valuable when it comes to detailing the interactions between the BUS and its branches, pointing out the critical value of honesty in branch managers. Brown’s careful discussion of several scandals shows that trust was a ‘symbol of safety’ in antebellum banking. She also does a fine job of showing the difficulty of evaluating talent – aside from honesty – of the BUS administrators, who had to deal with distant employees in an era when communications were, by our standards, primitive.” – Larry Schweikart in H-Net Reviews

"This important book by Marion Brown fills a gap in our understanding of the role of banking in early America." - Giustificativo

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Preface, Introduction
1. From Territory to Statehood: A Tradition of Controversy
2. All Things are Changed: An Unsettled Relationship, 1816-1823
3. A Good Man is Hard to Find: The Search for Competence, 1817-1823
4. Ohio Taxes the Bank, 1819: A Hostile Act
5. Nicholas Biddle to the Rescue
6. Policies and Politics in the Bank War: Preparing for Battle, 1830-1832
7. The Battle Commences: The Impact on Ohio's Banking, 1832-1836
8. BUS Time Runs Out: Ohio Reacts, 1837-1841
9. The BUS Closes: Its Memory Lingers On, 1842-1863
10. Reflections on the Second Bank of the United States
Bibliography, Index