Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2013


This paper presents original primary research on mortgage lending in New Haven, Connecticut in the early nineteenth century. It observes a shift in the market at 1837: lending institutions abruptly began to make significant volumes of mortgage loans to non-elite individuals with less wealth and social standing. Before 1837, these institutions primarily made loans to the city’s social and economic elite. The paper uses this shift as a case study in local financial development, placing particular emphasis on the role of local political institutions in facilitating economic growth.