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Price Quotations in Early United States Securities Markets, 1790-1860 (ICPSR 4053)

Principal Investigator(s):


The dataset is a compilation of prices of public securities (equities and bonds) traded in nine United States securities markets and in London during the period between the United States Revolutionary and Civil Wars. The data were gathered by scanning early United States periodicals chronicling the period from 1786-1862. The data were concentrated on what were termed "runs" of securities quotations broken down by days, weeks, or months for each of the ten cities in the data set. Runs are series of bids and offer quotes for different securities and maturities. Within each part (market), the data were divided by issuer sectors or types. There may be some redundancy in the data, because when there was doubt about categorizing similar issues under a key code they were categorized under separate codes.

Access Notes

  • These data are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Because you are not logged in, we cannot verify that you will be able to download these data.


WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS1:  Alexandria Data - Download All Files (1.4 MB)
DS2:  Baltimore Data - Download All Files (10.2 MB)
DS3:  Boston Data - Download All Files (63.5 MB)
DS4:  Charleston Data - Download All Files (5 MB)
DS5:  London Data - Download All Files (8.2 MB)
DS6:  New Orleans Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
DS7:  New York Data - Download All Files (67.3 MB)
DS8:  Norfolk Data - Download All Files (1.3 MB)
DS9:  Philadelphia Data - Download All Files (30 MB)
DS10:  Richmond Data - Download All Files (3.9 MB)

Study Description


Sylla, Richard E., Jack W. Wilson, and Robert E. Wright. PRICE QUOTATIONS IN EARLY UNITED STATES SECURITIES MARKETS, 1790-1860. ICPSR04053-v1. New York, NY: New York University. Stern School of Business [producer], 2002. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-08-24. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04053.v1

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-9730692)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   banks, economic history, economic indicators, economic trends, market economy, price fluctuations, price indexes, price trends, prices, securities, stock market conditions, stock markets, stock prices, stocks

Geographic Coverage:   Alexandria, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston (South Carolina), England, London, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Orleans, New York City, Norfolk, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Richmond, South Carolina, United Kingdom, United States, Virginia

Time Period:  

  • 1790--1860

Date of Collection:  

  • 1997--2002

Unit of Observation:   Cities

Universe:   Ten cities in the United States and England considered major securities markets during the time period of 1790-1860.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The SAS and SPSS files replace the Microsoft Excel and Access files as the sources of data for this study. Microsoft Excel and Access files will not be released, so please ignore references to them in the documentation. (2) Some variables, for example, F2160a, contain no data but were included because they were in the original datasets. (3) Dates were formatted by the year followed by the month and then day. An example is 1798.0828 which would be read as August 28, 1798. (4) During data collection, if a price clearly indicated a fraction but either the numerator or the denominator was unclear, a fraction of one half, transcribed as 0.5, was assumed. (5) Quotations of equities may refer to price, in dollars, or percentage of par value. As a general rule, equities in the New York dataset were quoted as percentage of par value. (6) In the London dataset, most equity prices were quoted in pounds sterling. In some cases, like the Bank of the United States, prices were given in United States dollars. (7) Abrupt shifts in quoted prices may have been due to actual changes in stock market prices or may reflect changes in the stock's par value or in the basis of quotation.


Sample:   The data were compiled from reports about stock, equities, and bonds prices. Not every periodical and price was included. Instead, the included information chronicled price quotation trends and runs during the given time period.

Data Source:

Alexandria Advertiser, 1806-1808

Alexandria Gazette, 1808-1820

American Beacon and Commercial Diary, 1815-1833

American Price Current, 1786

Advertiser, 1799-1850

Baltimore Patriot Mercantile Advertiser, 1813-1830

Baltimore Sun, 1847-1859

Baltimore [Weekly] Price Current, 1803-1860

Boston Columbia Centinel, 1790-1840

Boston Courier, 1787-1841

Boston Daily Advertiser, 1823-1836

Boston Daily Centinel and Gazette, 1836-1840

Boston Daily Commercial Gazette, 1830-1831

Boston Daily Courier, 1852-1860

Boston Gazette, 1810-1815

Boston Patriot, 1815

Boston Shipping List, Prices Current, 1843-1850

Charleston Carolina Gazette, 1823-1840

Charleston City Gazette, 1800-1832

Charleston Courier, 1803-1849

Charleston Courier Lettersheet Prices Current, 1833-1841

Charleston Mercury and Morning Advertiser, 1822-1860

The Diary, or, Loudon's Register, 1792

Finlay's American Naval and Commercial Register, 1795-1798

Grotjan's Philadelphia Public Sale Report and General Price Current, 1816-1830

Hope's Philadelphia Price Current, 1805-1813

Howard's Prices Current, 1832

Louisiana Advertiser, 1820

Louisiana Gazette New Orleans Advertiser, 1804-1812

Lyford's Baltimore Price Current, 1839-1849

Massachusetts Magazine, 1789-1794

Merchants' Daily Advertiser, 1797-1798

New Jersey Telegraph McIntyre's Bank Note List and Prices Current, 1840

New Orleans Argus, 1824-1830

New Orleans Daily Delta, 1845-1863

New Orleans Louisiana Advertiser, 1826-1835

New Orleans Price Current and Commercial Intelligencer, 1824-1830

New Orleans Price Current, Commercial Intelligence and Merchants' Transcript, 1835-1860

New York Daily Advertiser, 1790-1795

New York Daily Gazette, 1791-1795

New York Journal, 1792-1799

New York Price Current, 1797-1830

Pelosi's Marine List and Price Current, 1791-1793

Philadelphia Commercial List, 1850

Philadelphia Public Sale Report a.k.a. Philadelphia Price Current, 1827-1849

Poulson's American Daily Advertiser, 1833

Richmond Enquirer, 1804-1860

Richmond Whig, 1837-1857

San Francisco Shipping List and Prices Current, 1852

Southern Intelligencer, 1822

Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, 1814-1843


Original ICPSR Release:  

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