The history of a Panic run on banks is much the same no matter what time period. However, in 1857 it was caused by a quick downward turn of the economy, embezzlement, fall of grain prices and land speculation. Sounds some what familiar to today's economic issues doesn't it?
Wikipedia has a nice article for fuller details about this panic.
America has prospered from the gold pouring into the economy from California, inflating prices and currency. The SS Central America a ship with 30,000 lbs of gold was lost at sea off the coast of NC during a hurricane in 1857 also contributed to people's fears and lack of confidence in the government. The ship and most of the gold was recovered in 1987. At that time the value of the gold was 100-150 million USD.
The panic itself was short lived but the recovery didn't fully happen until after the Civil War.
If you want even fuller details there are a couple of books at Google books. One is The banks of NY, their dealers, the clearing hous, and the Panic of 1857 by Robert Morris
Or something written many years later The Panic of 1857: an analytical study by George Washington Van Vleck.