the thinker

Kirtland Bank

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“Lining the shelves of the [Kirtland Safety Society] bank vault… were many boxes, each marked $1,000. Actually these boxes were filled with ‘sand, lead, old iron, stone, and combustibles' but each had a top layer of bright fifty-cent silver coins. Anyone suspicious of the bank's stability was allowed to lift and count the boxes. ‘The effect of those boxes was like magic;' said C.G. Webb. ‘They created general confidence in the solidity of the bank and that beautiful paper money went like hot cakes. For about a month, it was the best money in the country.”

- W. Wyl, Mormon Portraits, 1886, p. 36

"A writ was sworn out by authorities in Kirtland accusing Smith and Rigdon of “illegal banking and issuing unauthorized bank paper.”

- Dale W. Adams, “Chartering the Kirtland Bank,” BYU Studies, Fall 1983, v. 23, p. 472

“They were found guilty of violating state banking laws and fined $1,000 each, plus small costs. As Mormon historian B.H. Roberts concisely stated in his history of the church, ‘The “Kirtland Safety Society” enterprise ended disastrously.'”

- Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 139