Kirtland Safety Society

church-sponsored anti-bankfinancial scandalKirtland financial crisisMormon Moneythe church's bank
The Kirtland Safety Society (KSS) was first proposed as a bank in 1836, and eventually organized on January 2, 1837, as a joint stock company, by leaders and followers of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.wikipedia
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Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith, Jr.Joseph Smith Jr.Joseph
In the aftermath, Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, was fined for "running an illegal bank," though he was employed as the institution's Cashier. Church president and founder Joseph Smith attributed the lack of sponsorship to disfavor toward the Mormons.
The collapse of the church-sponsored Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company and violent skirmishes with non-Mormon Missourians caused Smith and his followers to establish a new settlement at Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became a spiritual and political leader.

Mormons

MormonLDSMormon community
According to KSS's 1837 "Articles of Agreement", it was intended to serve the financial needs of the growing Mormon community in Kirtland, Ohio.
The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after the failure of a church-sponsored anti-bank caused widespread defections, and Smith regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, Missouri.

Warren Parrish

Warren ParishChurch of Christ (Parrishite)Parrishite
Sidney Rigdon served as the KSSABC's chairman and president, Warren Parrish as signatory, secretary and teller; Joseph Smith was cashier.
Parrish and other leaders became disillusioned with Smith after the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society and left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Oliver Cowdery

Oliver H. P. Cowdery
After some discussion by the leadership of the Church, church apostle Orson Hyde went to the Ohio legislature to request a bank charter while Oliver Cowdery went to Philadelphia and acquired plates to print notes for the proposed Kirtland Safety Society bank.
When the church created a bank known as the Kirtland Safety Society in 1837, Cowdery obtained the money-printing plates.

Sidney Rigdon

Elder RigdonNancy RigdonRigdon, Sidney
Sidney Rigdon served as the KSSABC's chairman and president, Warren Parrish as signatory, secretary and teller; Joseph Smith was cashier.
When the church founded the Kirtland Safety Society, Rigdon became the bank's president and Smith served as its cashier.

Larry T. Wimmer

Although the church held considerable real estate, estimated at approximately $60,000 in equity by historian Larry T. Wimmer, it also needed liquidity to repay outstanding loans.
He also had written several works on the Kirtland Safety Society including The Kirtland Economy Revisited with Marvin S. Hill and C. Keith Rooker.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS ChurchLatter-day SaintChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
According to LDS Church scholars, "Four of these suits were settled; three were voluntarily discontinued by the plaintiffs; and ten resulted in judgments against Joseph Smith and others. Of these ten judgments, three were satisfied in full, three were satisfied in part, and only four were wholly unsatisfied."
The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after a financial scandal rocked the church and caused widespread defections.

Frederick G. Williams

counselor
Parrish and Frederick G. Williams assumed management of the KSSABC until the institution closed its doors in November with about $100,000 in unresolved debt.
In 1837, Williams was elected a justice of the peace in Kirtland, appointed an officer in the Kirtland Safety Society, released from the First Presidency, and moved to Far West, Caldwell, County, Missouri.

Thomas B. Marsh

Thomas Baldwin MarshThomas Marsh
On July 28, Smith, Rigdon and Thomas B. Marsh headed to Upper Canada on church business and returned in late August.
Meanwhile, in Kirtland, the financial situation of many of the Mormons unraveled with the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society bank.

Joint-stock company

joint stock companyJSCjoint stock
The Kirtland Safety Society (KSS) was first proposed as a bank in 1836, and eventually organized on January 2, 1837, as a joint stock company, by leaders and followers of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

Church of Christ (Latter Day Saints)

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day SaintsChurch of ChristChurch of the Latter Day Saints
The Kirtland Safety Society (KSS) was first proposed as a bank in 1836, and eventually organized on January 2, 1837, as a joint stock company, by leaders and followers of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

Kirtland, Ohio

KirtlandKirtland 0.9 SWKirtland cult killings
According to KSS's 1837 "Articles of Agreement", it was intended to serve the financial needs of the growing Mormon community in Kirtland, Ohio. By late 1836 many recent Latter Day Saint converts had gathered in Missouri and Kirtland, Ohio.

Latter Day Saint movement

Latter Day SaintLatter-Day SaintsLatter-day Saint movement
In the aftermath, Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, was fined for "running an illegal bank," though he was employed as the institution's Cashier.

Oliver Granger

While Smith appealed the fine and made arrangements to have Oliver Granger settle the affairs of the quasi-bank, many bankrupted Mormons left the church because they believed Smith had established the bank in order to enrich himself and the Mormon leadership.

Missouri

MOState of MissouriMissouri, USA
By late 1836 many recent Latter Day Saint converts had gathered in Missouri and Kirtland, Ohio. Underlying causes of the nationwide financial panic included speculative and inflationary selling of public lands in western states like Michigan, Ohio and Missouri.

Orson Hyde

After some discussion by the leadership of the Church, church apostle Orson Hyde went to the Ohio legislature to request a bank charter while Oliver Cowdery went to Philadelphia and acquired plates to print notes for the proposed Kirtland Safety Society bank.

President of the Church

presidentProphet-PresidentProphet–President
Church president and founder Joseph Smith attributed the lack of sponsorship to disfavor toward the Mormons.

Speculation

speculatorland speculationspeculators
Due to their influence, the legislature refused all applications for bank charters but one during 1836 and 1837, in part because of endemic nationwide problems with land speculation, wildcat banking and counterfeiting.

Wildcat banking

wildcat bankwildcat banksstate-chartered bank
Due to their influence, the legislature refused all applications for bank charters but one during 1836 and 1837, in part because of endemic nationwide problems with land speculation, wildcat banking and counterfeiting.

Counterfeit

counterfeitingcounterfeiterbootleg
Due to their influence, the legislature refused all applications for bank charters but one during 1836 and 1837, in part because of endemic nationwide problems with land speculation, wildcat banking and counterfeiting.

Whig Party (United States)

WhigWhig PartyWhigs
Whigs went so far as to encourage businesses to operate as quasi-banks.

Typeface

fonttypefacesfonts
"Anti" and "ing" were engraved before and after "Bank"—in smaller typeface—on the printing plates Cowdery had previously purchased in Philadelphia.

Panic of 1837

financial panic of 1837financial crisis of 18371837
The KSS failure, although unique in some ways, was part of a national bank crisis known as the Panic of 1837 that began in May of that year.

Michigan

MIState of MichiganMich.
Underlying causes of the nationwide financial panic included speculative and inflationary selling of public lands in western states like Michigan, Ohio and Missouri.

Ohio

OHState of OhioOhio, USA
Underlying causes of the nationwide financial panic included speculative and inflationary selling of public lands in western states like Michigan, Ohio and Missouri.