This data set consists of individual bank balance sheets for the antebellum period in the United States compiled from reports of state banking authorities. The data set is updated periodically. For each state, data are available in two forms. The worksheet “detailed” contains the data in as detailed a form as in the original source. In the worksheet “standardized”, data are presented in a consistent set of asset and liability categories for each bank.
In the compilation, individual asset and liability categories have been preserved as much as possible. The data have also been modified in two primary ways:
•Where the original data have both differences between assets and liabilities for a given bank and corresponding differences in reported aggregated totals for individual asset/liability categories, the data have been changed to eliminate such differences.
•Where the original data have obvious inaccuracies (e.g., capital of $100,000 for several years in a row and then $10,000 for one year), such inaccuracies have been corrected.
Note also that for many dates, aggregate totals for individual asset/liability categories do not match reported data, presumably due to calculation and other errors by the original compilers.
Some of the downloadable Excel files that follow use Pre-1900 dates that Excel does not natively handle.
The financial assistance of the Financial Services Research Group of the Federal Reserve System in compiling this data set is gratefully acknowledged.
Warren Weber joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in 1981 and served as senior research officer in the Research Department from 1989 to 2012, when he retired. Before joining the Bank, he taught economics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Tulane University and Duke University. He also has been an adjunct economics professor at the University of Minnesota. Warren's M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are from Carnegie-Mellon University. His research agenda focuses on monetary and banking theory and history, with particular emphasis on banking in the United States before 1861. Weber is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and a Visiting Professor at the University of South Carolina.
The Warren E. Weber Historical Data Archives consists of data collected by Weber while at the Minneapolis Fed including banknote discounts, disaggregated call reports, census of state banks, railroad stock prices, international data, and antebellum U.S. state bank balance sheets.