Antique engraving of a view of the State Street, Boston. Mid 1800s.

The Birth of the Modern American Debt Collector

In the 19th century, farm loans changed from a matter between associates into an impersonal, bureaucratic exchange.
credit cards on dollars

How Credit Reporting Agencies Got Their Power

Early credit reporting companies urged people to “Treat their credit as a sacred trust” and argued that keeping a good credit record was a moral concern.
Benjamin Franklin

A Nation Built on Debt

What is debt and where did it come from?

Debtors’ Prisons, Class, and Patriotism in 18th Century Ireland

In a paper for Eighteenth-Century Ireland, Martyn J. Powell discusses the politics that seem to have limited the use of debtors' prisons in Ireland.