Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Paul F. Lutz

Second Advisor

Robert D. Sawrey

Third Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


In his 1842 report concerning the failure of the Bank of Gallipolis, Ohio Bank Commissioner Bela Latham blamed its demise on “overissue” stemming from an 1839 Board of Directors’ resolution giving carte blanche powers to M.B. Sherwood in consultation with E.E. Smith and A.H. Scoville.1 By passing the resolution, the Directors inadvertently opened the door to fiscal folly. In some respect, the Bank of Gallipolis was doomed to fail even before it began operations in August 1839.

The failure of the Bank of Gallipolis holds more significance than that of the greatest monetary loss to befall the citizens of Ohio due to a bank failure between 1831-1844.2 The Bank of Gallipolis serves as an example of an institution that generated the kinds of problems that could befall Americans because of the absence of the Second Bank of the United States. Without the restraining influence of the Second Bank, dishonest individuals, like the officers of the Bank of Gallipolis, could recklessly issue outrageous amounts of bank notes without limitations, leaving the citizens of the United States to suffer for want of a stable currency.


Bank failures – Ohio.

Banks and banking – Ohio – History.