Scenes from a crisis:
“Results of today indicate immediate danger of general national bank panic,” a U.S. senator warned the president. “Government funds should not be drawn upon but should be increased.”
Reportedly, the country’s economy hung in the balance. “Without such action it is impossible to move western produce and we cannot hope to avoid universal panic throughout the country. Immediate action necessary,” the senator added. A leading New York financial official agreed. “Relief must come immediately or hundreds if not thousands of our best men will be ruined.”
Our leaders weren’t certain what was going wrong. But some seemed...