I don't know about you but when I hear the word Depression, I think of the Great depression of the 1929. But the 19th century wasn't without it own share of economic depression. A while back I wrote a post about the Panic of 1873
In google books I came across a periodical called "Commercial and Financial Chronicle, Vol. 17" There is an article written there about the two possible causes for the panic. Click Here to read the prevailing thoughts of the day regarding the cause of the 1873 Panic and Depression.