Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

This book would not have been possible without the help and encouragement of many people. My deepest thanks go to Dale Bauer, who guided this work early on at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It was Dale who originally gave me the idea of investigating the Panic of 1837, and over the subsequent years her knowledge...

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Introduction: Defining a Genre, Recovering Panic Fiction

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pp. 1-21

In Caroline Kirkland’s fictionalized memoir of life on the Michigan frontier, A New Home, Who’ll Follow?, she regales her audience with many humorous stories about her attempts to set up housekeeping in primitive conditions—baking bread in the fireplace, trying to find room in a log cabin for her “delicate japanned tables”...

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One. Speculation and Failure: Panic Fiction’s Common Ground

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pp. 22-60

At the beginning of Hannah Farnham Sawyer Lee’s novel Rich Enough, published in 1837, two brothers, Howard and James Draper, discuss their divergent investment philosophies. Howard, a thriving farmer, has come to James, a wealthy Boston merchant, with a small surplus of money that he would like his brother to...

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Two. Domestic Constancy: Preserving Class Identity in 1830s Panic Fiction

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pp. 61-105

Hannah Farnham Sawyer Lee’s Rich Enough, discussed in the previous chapter, was just one of a series of short novels about speculation and failure that Lee produced in rapid succession in 1837 as the economic crisis worsened. Her first novel, Three Experiments of Living, published several months before the bank closings...

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Three. Female “Economists”: Expanding Women’s Financial Agency

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pp. 106-141

So far I have been discussing responses to and analyses of panic that are remarkable more for their placement of economic discourse within domestic settings than for any major differences in content from the responses of male writers. Both men...

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Four. Threats from Outside: Defending the Southern Economy

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pp. 142-184

Toward the end of her 1852 novel Marcus Warland; or the Long Moss Spring, the Southern author Caroline Lee Hentz depicts the financial failure of a wealthy Georgia planter named Bellamy. Mr. Bellamy had not speculated or been extravagant; in fact, he is a model landowner and slaveholder—benevolent, just, and...

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Five. Freedom and Order: Proposing Solutions to 1850s Labor Problems

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pp. 185-218

Early on in her novel Mabel Vaughan, published in the panic year of 1857, popular author Maria Cummins gives her readers an education in the realities of urban poverty. A young maid is fired by her wealthy employer for suggesting that some of the poor have better manners than the rich, and has her wages for the...

Notes

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pp. 219-232

Works Cited

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pp. 233-242

Index

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pp. 243-246