22 February, 1816 – Ohio legislature passes a law that any entity engaged in banking activities is a bank, and must therefore have a charter
1816 – Total money supply in U.S. $67.3 million, mostly due to creation of Second Bank of the United States
1818 – Total money supply in U.S. $94.7 million, 41% increase since 1816
1819 – “Due to the second bank trying to contract the money supply, a panic is created resulting in business bankruptcies, defaults, and liquidation of unsound investments” (Rothbard, Murray N. A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II. Auburn, Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2002. 89-90. Google Book Search. 25 Apr 2010)
1820 – “As early as 1820, the assets of U.S. commercial banks equaled about 50 percent of U.S. aggregate output, a figure that the commercial banking sectors of most of the world’s nations had not achieved by 1990”
1828 – Andrew Jackson elected president. Murray N. Rothbard said, “Out of the bitter experiences of the panic of 1819 emerged the beginnings of the Jacksonian movement, dedicated to hard money, the eradication of fractional reserve banking in general, and of the Bank of the United States in particular . . . all [his followers] were converted to hard money and 100-percent reserve banking by the experience of the panic of 1819 . . . Far from being the ignorant bumpkins that most historians have depicted, the Jacksonians were steeped in the knowledge of sound economics, particularly of the Ricardian Currency School” (A History of Money, p. 91)
26 May,1830 – Inidan Removal Act relocates the Indians east of the Mississippi River
1830 – Number of banks in all of U.S. is 382, 54 created in previous 10 years. Second Bank embarks on policy of expanding money supply, which continues until 1837. January 1830 to January 1832 goes from a total of $29 million to $42.1 million notes and deposit increase
On route to Kirtland – Joseph preaches the end of the world, Sidney preaches from the bible to gain converts (The Book of John Whitmer, typescript, [Provo: BYU Archives and Manuscripts], chap. 1). Parley Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, Jr., and Ziba Peterson had been remarkably successful in “northeastern Ohio… The missionaries baptized approximately 130 converts, organized the new members into small ‘branches,’ and appointed leaders over each group. Approximately thirty-five of these members lived in Kirtland, Ohio.” — (Daniel H. Ludlow (Ed.). (1992). Encyclopedia of Mormonism. vol. 1-4, p. 604. New York: Macmillan)
2 January, 1831 – Joseph Smith receives revelation about going to Ohio in front of members questioning the move. Some people were reluctant to leave farms and comfortable circumstances for the uncertainties of the Western Reserve in Ohio. There was the prospect that many would lose money and some might even be unable to sell their property. “Newel Knight said that this entailed the sacrifice of their property. Newel sold 60 acres, Freeborn DeMille 61 acres, Aaron Culver 100 acres, and Father Knight 140 acres, with ‘two Dwelling Houses, a good barn, and a fine orchard.’ Led by Newel, sixty-two Knight kin moved to Ohio as part of the first gathering” (William G. Hartley. The Knight Family: Ever Faithful to the Prophet. Ensign, Jan. 1989, 46). Lord says the land is:
[A] land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh; And I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts. And this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever, while the earth shall stand… let every man esteem his brother as himself… I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high… go ye out from among the wicked. Save yourselves (D&C 38)
6 January, 1831 – Joseph Smith accused of using the sacrament to administer a visionary substance (Jan. 6, 1831 edition of the Palmyra Reflector)
9 February, 1831 – Law of Consecration given. The land dedicated to Joseph becomes the physical asset the Kirtland Safety Society (KSS) is dependent upon. In this way, the KSS is similar to the City Creek Mall. Just as the City Creek Mall never used tithing funds, but was paid for by using interest on those funds for a for-profit venture, so too, the KSS was set up based on consecrated land holdings that never intended to be sold in order to turn a personal profit. When FAIR says that Joseph had land holdings to cover the debts of the KSS, they mean the consecrated lands of the church. His personal holdings were not sufficient.
19 March, 1831 – First bank robbery in United States history at City Bank of New York
Spring 1831 – Ohio membership hits 300. Two hundred travel from New York (Jill Mulvay Derr, Janath Russell Cannon, and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher. (1992). Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society. p. 13. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co.)
May 1831 – Revelation given to sell 144 acre farm and buy up land in Kirtland. “What shall the brethren do with the moneys? Ye shall go forth and seek diligently among the brethren and obtain lands and save the money that it may be consecrated to purchase lands in the west for an everlasting inheritance. Even so, Amen” (Kirtland Revelation Book, pp. 91-92, Joseph Smith Collection, Church Historians Office); (Fred C. Collier, Unpublished Revelations of the Prophets and Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1:56-57)
10 January, 1832 – Commandment to build temple in Kirtland
1832 – Price per acre in Kirtland: $7. Central Council created, controlling the United Order. Headed in Kirtland, Joseph Smith, Newel K. Whitney, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris were members of this board. Election centers around rechartering the Second National Bank
26 April, 1832 – Prophet and Sidney in Independence, Missouri to calm complaints of Missouri Saints
26 May, 1832 – Oliver Cowdery tried for proposing marriage to a second woman in 1830 in Ohio. Oliver had married the first in 1832. He confessed and the issue was dropped
July 1832 – Andrew Jackson vetoes the recharter of the Second Bank. Reasons cited include: “‘Monopoly privileges’ at the expense of the public,” and, “Dangers to American liberties since the bank “has so little to bind it to our country.” In fact, “more than a fourth part of the stock is held by foreigners and the residue is held by a few hundred of our own citizens, chiefly of the richest class.” “Artificial distinctions” that were granted to the “rich and powerful” at the expense of “the humble members of society the farmers, mechanics, and laborers who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves” (President Jackson’s Veto Message Regarding the Bank of the United States; July 10, 1832. The Avalon Project – Yale Law School. 15 May 2011)
Fall 1832 – Edward Partridge leases land back to members of United Order. This arrangement provided that if participants left the church their land would return to the church, and thus apostates would have little ability to seriously harm the church by leaving it
7 November, 1832 – Joseph Smith writes letter scolding Edward Partridge for use of leases. Becomes D&C 51. Apostates who leaves can retain property. Edward Partidge said to be struck dead if he is not successful
December 1832 – Andrew Jackson re-elected president by wide margin
1833 – Ohio Canal reaches Cleveland, pushing economic prosperity in Kirtland (which lies on the Eerie Canal). Wheat and flour sold tenfold
1833-1837 – “Total money supply rose from $150 million at the beginning of 1833 to $276 million four years later, an astonishing rise of 84 percent, or 21 percent per annum” (Rothbard, Murray N. (2009). The Mystery of Banking. p. 210. Auburn, Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute)
27 February, 1833 – Word of Wisdom received
1 June, 1833 – Endowment first mentioned in conjunction with Kirtland Temple
23 July, 1833 – Cornerstone of temple laid
September 1833 – Secretary of the Treasury Roger B. Taney removed $10 million from the Second Bank and placed this money in state banks: “The transfer of the Government funds to the State banks created great agitation in political and financial circles. The State banks, under this favorable turn of Government patronage, quickly assumed a thriving condition and began to expand their loans and circulation.” This made having a state bank, or local bank, a lot more profitable and appetizing for those needing money (Clews, Henry. (1888). Old Time Panics. Twenty-Eight Years in Wall Street. p. 176. New York: Irving Publishing Co.)
1 November, 1833 – Saints driven from Jackson County Missouri. Funding for temple cut off. Missionaries sent out to raise funds for temple building
February 1834 – Andrew Jackson’s “Too big to fail” speech: “I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the Bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the Bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out and, by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out.”
28 March, 1834 – Andrew Jackson censured by Senate for defunding the Second Bank of the United States
21 April, 1834 – Oliver Cowdery writes that Sidney Rigdon defined the endowment: “Elder Rigdon gave an account of the endowment of the ancient apostles (on the day of Pentecost) and laid before the conference the promise to the Elders in the last days which they were to realize after the House of the Lord was built”
April 1834 – The House of Representatives voted to not recharter the bank and confirmed federal deposits should remain in state banks
1 May, 1834 – Zion’s Camp
6 May, 1834 – Oliver Cowdery: “Within that house, God shall pour out his Spirit in great majesty and glory and encircle his people with fire more gloriously and marvelously than at Pentecost” (Letter of Oliver Cowdery to John F. Boynton at Saca, Maine, written May 6, 1834). Note: How did they know what would happen before it did?
1834 – Walls of temple were 4 ft high. Attempts to damage temple by “mobs.” “[W]ere not permitted to take off our clothes, and were obliged to lay with our fire locks in our arms.” (Elder Kimball’s Journal, Times and Seasons, 15 Jan. 1845, p. 771; or History of the Church, 2:2)
1 August, 1834 – Prophet returns to Kirtland from Zion’s Camp
(About this time) Truman O. Angell relates Carpenter Rolph’s conversation with Joseph Smith, in which Smith states that he and his counselors saw the temple in vision, “to a minutia”
Prior to 1835 – Edward Partridge deeds Titus Billings his land back to him. The document is not dated. This is the sum total documentation of the argument that the United Order was not communism is based on
30 January, 1835 – Assasination attempt by Richard Lawrence on Andrew Jackson
February 1835 – First member of Quorum of 12 apostles appointed and ordained in Kirtland Schoolhouse where Joseph held the “School of the Elders.” The twelve were chosen by the three witnesses as promised in 1829
2 June, 1835 – P.T. Barnum starts his first circus tour of the United States
28 June, 1835 – Warren Parrish leaves for Kirtland after ordaing Wilford Woodruff an elder. Baptized 40 persons. He is key to the Kirtland Safety Society’s history
17 August, 1835 – Warren Parrish ordained to the first Quorum of the Seventy
29 October, 1835 – Warren Parrish begins working for Joseph Smith as his scribe for $15/month (Joseph Smith’s Diary)
12 November, 1835 – Joseph Smith promises the twelve that, if they see are faithful, they will see face of God at the endowment (again, he knows what will happen on dedication before it happens, and if anyone does NOT, they will lose their permission. Similar to the “Emperor has no Clothes” fable). The New York Herald publishes that Sidney Rigdon was indicted for solemnizing marriages without a license and tried at the Court of Common Pleas. Rejected because there was no record of the Campbelites dismissing him (New York Herald, Thursday Nov 12, 1835)
14 November, 1835 – “Verily thus saith the the Lord unto my servant Joseph, concerning my servant Warren Parrish. Behold his sins are forgiven him, because of his desires to do the work of righteousness. Therefore, inasmuch as he will continue to hearken unto my voice, he shall be blessed with wisdom, and with a sound mind, even above his fellows. Behold, it shall come to pass in his day, that he shall see great things show forth themselves unto my people; He shall see much of my ancient records, and shall know of hidden things, and shall be endowed with a knowledge of hidden languages; And if he desire and shall seek it at my hands, he shall be privileged with writing much of my word, as a scribe unto me for the benefit of my people; Therefore this shall be his calling until I shall order it otherwise in my wisdom, And it shall be said of him in time to come, Behold Warren, the Lord’s scribe for the Lord’s Seer, whom He hath appointed in Israel” (Unpublished Revelations of the Prophets and Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. vol 1, p. 81)
3 December, 1835 – Warren Parrish marries Martha H. Raymond
30 December, 1835 – “[Joseph] spent the day in reading hebrew at the council room, with his scribe, in whose company he delighted, & who had sufficiently recovered his health. to attend to his usual avocation” (Kenny, Scott. Mormon History 1830-1844)
1836 – Kirtland Population hits 3,000
1 January, 1836 – “Joseph exclaimed at ‘Jubilee Year!’ ‘The day is nearing to obtain the endowment and the solemn assembly'” (Williams, Nancy B. (1951). After 100 Years. p. 92 Zion’s Press)
6 January, 1836 – Black Rock Advocate, paper in New York, questions solvency of Bank of Monroe
21 January, 1836 – Father Smith receives room in temple for Patriarch blessings. Blesses many of the saints with super powers. Instigates “Washing of the Feet”
28 January, 1836 – “Visions by regular members were in large number.” “Elder Roger Orton saw a mighty angel riding upon a horse of fire, with flaming sword in hand.” “Sylvester Smith saw a pillar of fire rest down on the heads of the quorum. President William Smith, one of the Twelve, saw the heavens opened, and the Lord protecting the Lords anointed. President Zebedee Coltrin, one of the seven presidents of the seventy, saw the Savior extended before him, as upon the cross, and a little after, crowned with glory upon his head above the brightness of the sun.” “Zebedee Coltrin related a vision in the temple in Kirtland after the School of the Prophets was organized. He said while sitting in council, a personage passed through the room dressed in usual clothing. Joseph said that was the Savior.” John Murdock: “During the winter of 1833 we had a number of prayer meetings in the Prophet’s chamber. In one of those meetings the Prophet told us, if we could humble ourselves before God, and exercise strong faith, we should see the face of the Lord. And about midday, the visions of my mind were opened, and the eyes of my understanding were enlightened, and I saw the form of a man, most lovely.” (The Journal of Wilford Woodruff, October 11, 1883; and others easily found)
February 1836 – Brigham Young directs the interior of the Kirtland Temple being completed, total cost for temple, between $40-60,000, or 800-1.2m in today’s currency. Average farmer earns less than $400 a year
22 February, 1836 – Warren Parrish assists in translation of Egyptian Scrolls (BOA). Helps put together the grammar, with W. W. Phelps. FAIR still blames him for the grammar, and not Joseph for the translation issues (History of the church 2:298)
23 February, 1836 – Battle of the Alamo begins
24 February, 1836 – Colt pistol receives patent
27 March, 1836 – Kirtland Temple dedication. Warren Parrish is scribe of the dedication
1836 after temple dedication – Smith writes, “there are many causes of embarrassment, of a pecuniary nature now pressing upon the heads of the Church.”
Quorums of priesthood taught washing of feet in Solemn Assembly. George A. Smith began to prophesy and all heard a mighty rushing wind, prophesy, tongues, glorious visions and the temple filled with angels. The people of the neighborhood came running together, seeing a bright pillar of fire, and hearing an unusual sound. Meeting closed at 11 PM.
Wine is always administered as part of the sacrament before meetings, including School of the Elders, temple meetings, etc.
31 May, 1836 – Warren Parrish ordains Wilford Woodruff to the high priesthood (note, Elder was an office in the Aaronic priesthood at this time)
About this time – Lucy Mack Smith: “At the time a certain young woman, who was living at David Whitmer’s uttered a prophecy, which she said was given her by looking through a black stone that she had found. This prophecy gave some altogether a new idea of things. She said the reason why one third of the church would turn away from Joseph was because that he was in transgression himself; that he would fall from his office on account of the same; that David Whitmer or Martin Harris would fill Joseph’s place. The girl soon became an object of great attention among those who were disaffected. Dr. Williams became her scribe and wrote her revelations for her. Jared Carter soon imbibed the same spirit, and I was informed that he said in one of their meetings that he had power to raise Joseph Smith to the highest heavens, or sink him down to the lowest hell. They still held their secret meetings at David Whitmer’s and when the young woman who was their instructress was through giving what revelation she intended for the evening, she would jump out of her chair and dance over the floor, boasting of her power, until she was perfectly exhausted. Her proselytes would also, in the most vehement manner proclaim their purity and holiness, and the mighty power which they were going to have. They made a standing appointment for meetings to be held every Thursday in the Holy Temple the House of the Lord” (Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, pp. 242-243)
19 June, 1836 – Warren Parish is convicted on trial for promising the gift of the Holy Ghost while on a mission. He is not allowed to speak or produce witnesses (Wilford Woodruff Journal, 1:83)
11 July, 1836 – The Specie Act issued by Andrew Jackson, leading to the panic of 1837. Silver drastically increases coming in from Mexico, and silver exports to Orient fall
18 August, 1836 – Monroe Times beings defending the reputation of the Bank of Monroe stating the stability
10 September, 1836 – Robert T. Bicknell Esq. writes that, the notes of Bank of Monroe are no longer recevied by banks in Philadelphia (New York Herald. September 14, 1836)
13 September, 1836 – The Bank of Monroe said to be “Cut up tomorrow” in the New York Herald (New York Herald. Tuesday, Sept 13, 1836)
14 September, 1836 – Bank of Monroe holdings: 2,000 shares, 1,600 are held by Christmas, Livingston, Prime and Coster of New york and the residue 400 shares by citizens of Michigan. $50,000 have been saved. Less than $100,000 of notes are in circulation. Deposits in the bank ranged from 30k to 80k. The Specie and available funds belonging to the instution are much more than sufficient to meet liabilites. George B. Harlston, the cashier said to be honest man
18 October, 1836 – Sidney Rigdon pays $12 for 2,000 shares of stock with 1,000 shares added and $818 in payments made by 16 November. Joseph Smith, Edmund Bosley and John Johnson together each held 3,000 shares of stock. Ten others held 2,000, and sixteen others 1,000 shares. 30 people holding 48,000 of the 69,636 shares outstanding
1 January, 1837 – Orson Hyde returns from Columbus, Ohio with news that it will be difficult to obtain a bank charter from the legislature. The legislature was now dominated by the hard money wing of the Democratic party, the “Jacksonian Democrats.” 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. Oliver Cowdery arrives with printing plates for bank notes; Orson Hyde reports that the state legislature will not grant them a charter. Their inability to receive a charter leads them to form a joint-stock company, the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company (KSS)
2 January, 1837 – KSS opens for business. “Anti” and “ing” were engraved before and after “Bank” –in smaller typeface– on the printing plates Cowdery had previously purchased in Philadelphia. Sidney Rigdon served as the KSSABC chairman and president; Warren Parrish as signatory, secretary and teller; Joseph Smith was cashier. Its organizers launched, instead, a gigantic company capitalized at four million dollars when the entire capitalization of all the banks in the state of Ohio was only nine and one third million. Warren Parrish is secretary at the meeting. He is the banks’ first teller and maintains the ledger book. Two thirds of subscribers vote to annul the Nov 2 Constitution and adopt the linked agreement in its place
6 January, 1837 – Notes from the KSS begin circulating, first given to Brother Bump, in exchange for other notes from other banks. Wilford Woodruff records: “I also herd [sic] President Joseph Smith, jr., declare in the presence of F. Williams, D. Whitmer, S. Smith, W. Parrish, and others in the Deposit office that HE HAD RECEIVED THAT MORNING THE WORD OF THE LORD UPON THE SUBJECT OF THE KIRTLAND SAFETY SOCIETY. He was alone in a room by himself and he had not only [heard] the voice of the Spirit upon the Subject but even an AUDIBLE VOICE. He did not tell us at that time what the Lord said upon the subject but remarked that if we would give heed to the commandments the Lord had given this morning all would be well” (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, January 6, 1837; as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, p. 296)
17 January, 1837 – Wilford Woodruff records that David Whitmer was warning that people were prosperous like the Nephites, warns them to humble themselves and a scourge was coming, especially the heads of the church
19 January, 1837 – “It is said they have a large amount of specie on hand and have the means of obtaining much more, if necessary. If these facts be so, its circulation in some shape would be beneficial to community, and sensibly relieve the pressure in the market so much complained of” (Painesville Republican, vol. 1, no. 10, Thursday, January 19, 1837)
about this time – The law of 1816, defining a bank, is called into question
23 January, 1837 – The KSS announces it can redeem notes with land, but was unable to redeem its notes in specie (gold). I believe this is what is commonly referred to as the “run” on the bank by exmormons, although no one ever lists the actual date of the run. The ledger book indicates that there is specie on hand to deal with the current issue on this date
31 January, 1837 – Sidney and Joseph preach in the temple about the importance of a charter for the KSS
About this time – Brigham Young marks some notes from the bank and is surprised to find them circulating, leading him to believe that something was fishy at the bank. He either didn’t understand fractional reserve banking OR was a hard-money democrat of Andrew Jackson’s persuasion and expected the KSS to be run on such principles
10 February, 1837 – A second attempt is made to get a bank charter. Some non-Mormons are part of this application, including Joseph Smith’s lawyer and Samuel Medary, a future governor of two states. Orson Hyde succeeds in getting two legislative sponsors, and the request was added as an amendment to another bill. The bill is defeated. Grandison Newell, a professed antagonist to the LDS church in general and its president in particular, instigated several lawsuits against the Mormons in Ohio. Newell was close to three legislators who had taken the LDS charter requests under consideration and used his influence to dissuade them
10 February, 1837 – Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Hyrum Smith attend meeting at Bank of Monroe to buy out the bank, possibly buying it with KSS notes (not supported by the ledger, these would have been off the books notes created if so)
15 February, 1837 – Bank of Monroe questioned in Cleveland Weekly Gazette
19 February, 1837 – Joseph silences his critics (meeting notes in Kirtland)
February 1837 – Samuel D. Rounds, acting on Newell’s behalf, files a complaint against Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon for illegally purchasing the Monroe, Michigan bank. State law provided that only corporations could own banks. The matter was scheduled for the fall session of the court. Samuel D. Rounds, at the behest of Newell, swears a writ against Smith and Rigdon for illegal banking and issuing unauthorized bank paper. Eventually, Rounds voluntarily dropped all of the cases in his suit except those against Smith and Rigdon. KSS continued issuing notes through June, but eventually failed due to insolvency, as most of the KSS reserves were tied up in land rather than silver as some erroneously believed
13 March, 1837 – Bank of Monroe closes its doors for the last time
23 March , 1837 – Bank of Monroe does not redeem notes when presented but requires 60 days
29 March, 1837 – Kirtland high council trial for Warren Parrish, David Whitmer, Frederick Williams, Lyman Johnson and Parley P. Pratt. Warren objects that the the complaint is “not in accordance with the copy of which they received of the charge preferred against them.”
March 1837 – Hearing on illegal paper held. Trial postponed until autumn
March-April 1837 – Joseph Smith increases his financial investment in the KSS in an attempt to save it
6 April, 1837 – The leadership of the seventies are put into the quorum of the traveling high priesthood. Significant change of leadership. Joseph addresses the importance of sending money ahead to Zion to purchase an inheritance
April 1837 – Joseph Smith twice warns the Saints that the KSS will fail if the members do not accept the notes as payment for goods and services. Importance of KSS mentioned. Joseph goes into hiding without seeing Emma before he leaves (Mormon Enigma, p. 62)
May 1837 – All banks in Ohio suspend specie payment as a banking panic spreads west from New York. Known as the Panic of 1837. This was based on the assumption by former president, Andrew Jackson, that the government was selling land for state bank notes of questionable value. The Panic was followed by a seven-year depression, with the failure of banks and then-record-high unemployment levels. The Second Bank of the United States had just ended. The KSS is in severe difficulty by this point, and the effect on the KSS is not small, but was not the central cause of failure. The Bank of England, in retribution for Andrew Jackson’s policies, throws out all U.S. paper in one day, creating the panic. of the 850 banks, 343 closed entirely, 62 failed partially and the system of state banks never fully recovered
Newell charges Joseph with a conspiracy to have S. Wilbur Denton and Marvel C. Davis murder him.
28 May, 1837 – Spirit of Mutiny, Joseph and Sidney address congregation persuasively
3 June, 1837 – Preliminary hearing held in Painsville Methodist Church, Justice Flint presiding, regarding attempted murder charge from May 1837. Denton testifies that in “April or May 1835,” while he was living in the Smith home, Davis approached him about killing Newell for the prophet. After he borrowed a pistol from Sidney Rigdon, Joseph told Denton, know where you are going and what your business is” and then encouraged him that it is a “good work. then spoke of Newell, said he had injured the society, and that it was better for one man to suffer than to have a whole community disturbed; that it was the will of Heaven that Newell should be put out of the way.” Orson Hyde testifies that when rumors circulated that Newell might sue the floundering Kirtland Safety Society, Joseph “seemed much excited and declared that Newell should be put out of the way, or where the crows could not find him; he said destroying Newell would be justifiable in the sight of God, that it was the will of God, &c.” Luke Johnson also heard him say, “if Newell or any other man should head a mob against him, they ought to be put out of the way and it would be our duty to do so.” Like his fellow apostle, however, Luke described Joseph as, “a tender-hearted, humane man.” Teller Warren Parrish testifies that Newell’s name had been mentioned several times at the bank. Sidney heard Denton and Davis planning to murder Newell in 1835, but he had no reason to believe Joseph was involved, adding that Davis had, “never been strictly subservient to the rules of the society.” Cahoon supports Rigdon’s testimony. Judge Flint binds Joseph over for trial. Bail is set at $500, which is promptly paid
4 June, 1837 – As Joseph, Sidney, and Hyrum are setting apart Heber C. Kimball for his mission to England, Orson Hyde enters the room. Upon listening to what was passing, his heart melted within him, (for he had begun to drink of the cup filled with the overflowings of speculation), he acknowledged all his faults, asked forgiveness, and offered to accompany President Kimball on his mission to England. His offer was accepted, and he was set apart for that purpose
June 1837 – Joseph Smith, Jr. transfers all of his holdings over to Oliver Granger and J. Carter. Warren Parrish and Frederick G. Williams assume management of the KSS until the institution closes its doors. Smith seeks warrant accusing Parrish of embezzling $25,000 from KSS, warrant is denied
8 June, 1837 – Joseph Smith resigns from KSS, as he is convinced the bank is not viable. Frederick G Williams and Warren Parrish left in charge. Up until this point, Smith family holds about 1/6th the stock of the KSS. At this point Joseph transfers his entire holdings to O. Granger and J. Carter as did nine other stockholders. Others would do the same in the next few days
Joseph Smith: “Some time previous to this I resigned my office in the ‘Kirtland Safety Society,’ disposed of my interest therein, and withdrew from the institution; being fully aware, after so long an experiment, that no institution of the kind, established upon just and righteous principles for a blessing not only to the Church but the whole nation, would be suffered to continue its operations in such an age of darkness, speculation and wickedness. Almost all banks throughout the country, one after the other, have suspended specie payment, and gold and silver have risen in value in direct ratio with the depreciation of paper currency. The great pressure of the money market is felt in England as well as America, and bread stuffs are everywhere high” (Roberts, Brigham H., (ed.). (1965). History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 2:497. Salt Lake City: Deseret News)
9 June, 1837 – Trial is held for Joseph Smith, Jr. on attempted murder, Justice Humphrey of the Court of Common Pleas presiding. Result: the entire acquittal of Joseph Smith, Jr. of the charges alleged against him. This is said to be the thirteenth prosecution which has been instituted against Joseph Smith, Jr. For the prejudice against him, he has never in a single instance been convicted on a final trial
20 June, 1837 – 20,000 shares, or about 1/5, are tranferred to O. Granger and Jared Carter
June 1837-1839 – “Thirteen suits were brought against him between June 1837 and April 1839, to collect sums totaling nearly $25,000. The damages asked amounted to almost $35,000. He was arrested seven times in four months, and his followers managed heroically to raise the $38,428 required for bail. Of the thirteen suits only six were settled out of court-about $12,000 out of the $25,000. In the other seven the creditors either were awarded damages or won them by default. Joseph had many additional debts that never resulted in court action. Some years later he compiled a list of still outstanding Kirtland loans, which amounted to more than $33,000. If one adds to these the two great loans of $30,000 and $60,000 borrowed in New York and Buffalo in 1836, it would seem that the Mormon leaders owed to non-Mormon individuals and firms well over $150,000” (No Man Knows My History, p. 199-202)
July 1837 – John Boynton withdraws his wife’s account in the KSS, worth about half what she paid (Kirtland Ledger Book)
2 July, 1837 – Final entry in the KSS ledger
28 July, 1837 – Smith, Rigdon and Thomas B. Marsh headed to upper Canada on church business and returned in late August
July 1837 – Extant note for $100 with Warren Parrish’s signature
August 1837 – Joseph Smith denounces the new leadership of the KSS since Parrish, at least, was continuing to issue new scrip even though the bank was failing. Joseph Smith: “I am disposed to say a word relative to the bills of the Kirtland Safety Society Bank. I hereby warn them to beware of speculators, renegades and gamblers, who are duping the unsuspecting and the unwary, by palming upon them, those bills, which are of no worth, here. I discountenance and disapprove of any and all such practices. I know them to be detrimental to the best interests of society, as well as to the principles of religion” (Messenger and Advocate, August 1837 issue)
September 1837 – Oliver Cowdery, now an assistant president in the First Presidency, has transgressed and should be excommunicated if he doesn’t repent. There is hope for David Whitmer and Leonard Rich. Beware dissenters. Do not accept any changes not authorized by the First Presidency or their representatives (Thomas B. Marsh and David W. Patten)
3 September, 1837 – Joseph Smith: “had always said that unless the institution was conducted on righteous principles it would not stand” (B.H. Roberts, 1930)
25 September, 1837 – Frederick Williams resigns as Justice of the Peace in Kirtland
October 1837 – Joseph and Sidney found guilty at trial of illegal banking and issuing unauthorized bank paper currency (a civil, not criminal offense). They are fined $1,000 each, and appeal. Under 1853 court case, it is apparent that the 1816 law stands, and their appeal would have failed
November 1837 – Final failure of the KSS. Joseph is left with debts of $100,000. He has goods and land, but these are unable to be converted into ready cash. Warren Parrish begins talking openly about how Joseph ran the bank
Eliza R. Snow recounts in a book much later of Warren Parrish taking over the Kirtland temple via pistol and Bowie knife. No other account of this very remarkable event seems to be written. Thomas B. Marsh letter mentions attempt to take over the church, but lack of knifes/pistols mentioned
In Joseph’s absence, Warren Parrish, three apostles, and a member of the high council tried to seize control of the church. When Joseph returns from Canada, they publicly renounce the church. William Parrish is a deist
10 December, 1837 – Joseph and Sidney return to Kirtland
December 1837 – Assistant President John Smith: “I called the [Kirtland] High Council together last week and laid before them the case of disserter [dissenters]; 28 persons where upon after mautre [mature] discussion proceeded to cut them off from the Church: the leaders were Cyrus Smalling, Joseph Coe, Martin Harris Luke S. Johnson John F. Boynton and W. W. Parrish. We have cut off between 40 and 50 from the Church since you left thus you will see the Church has taken a mighty pruning and we think she will rise in the greatness of her [strength], and I rejoice for the Lord is good and He will cut his work short in righteousness. … I will rejoice for the Lord will purify His Church.”
22 December, 1837 – Brigham Young flees Kirtland for Missouri, convinced that his life is in danger from apostates because of his staunch defense of Joseph Smith
6 January, 1838 – Samuel Morse demonstrates the telegraph machine
12 January, 1838 – Joseph Smith, having returned to Kirtland, leaves with Sidney Rigdon to escape the risk of prison and mob action (FAIR entry). Faced with a warrant for his arrest on a charge of illegal banking, Smith fled with Rigdon to Clay County, Missouri just ahead of an armed group out to capture and hold Smith for trial (Wikipedia entry). According to Smith, they left “to escape mob violence, which was about to burst upon us under the color of legal process to cover the hellish designs of our enemies.”
15 January,1838 – Schoolhouse seized and sold at auction to pay fine from Grandison Newell trial
16 January, 1838 – Schoolhouse burned down. LDS member Benjamin F. Johnson later recounted that his brother-in-law, Lyman Sherman, had burned the building in order to prevent enemies of the church from gaining access to printing press
5 February, 1838 – Warren Parrish publishes synopsis of banking methods in Painsville Republican. Parrish claims that Martin Harris had never seen the plates, except in vision. This claim is backed up in Book of Covenants, page 170. The newspaper declaration is signed by Luke Johnson, John Boynton (apostles), Sylvester Smith, and Leonard Rich (Presidencies of the Seventy)
22 February, 1838 – Warren Parrish publishes, “I have listened to him [i.e. Smith] with feelings of no ordinary kind, when he declared that the AUDIBLE VOICE OF GOD, INSTRUCTED HIM TO ESTABLISH A BANKING-ANTI BANKING INSTITUTION, who like Aaron’s rod SHALL SWALLOW UP ALL OTHER BANKS (the Bank of Monroe excepted) and grow and flourish and spread from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and survive when all others should be laid in ruins.” (Painesville Republican, February 22, 1838, as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, page 297). The apologists try to discredit Parrish, because if he is an honest man, this statement is enough to condemn Joseph as making a false prophesy, and then the actions of the apostates actually make sense. They saw him as a fallen prophet, because he actually failed on a prophesy. Remember that a lot of Joseph’s credibility came from finding pins in haystacks (like with Martin Harris), and the idea that a prophet could be right about some things, and wrong about others was a new thought. Until this time, the only false prophesy they knew about from Joseph was trying to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon, and Joseph declared that to be either of man, or of the devil. This becomes David Whitmer’s watch cry, that the Kirtland Safety Society, the Book of Abraham, etc. were “Of man or of the Devil, but not of God”
22 February, 1838 – Methodist meeting house burns down in Kirtland. Accusations of arson backed up by the bucket at the local well having been cut off prior to the fire. Attempted arson of Kirtland Temple
12 April, 1838 – Oliver Cowdery’s trial in Far West. Frederick testifies that Oliver told him [Marvel C.] Davis could make counterfeit currency dies. Three men came to him (Williams) for a writ to arrest John Boynton (h), Warren Parrish, and Burton H. Phelps for passing bogus bank notes. Note that the bank notes are no different from when Joseph was passing them
15 April, 1838 – In a letter to Lyman E. Johnson, Stephen Burnett excoriates Joseph and Sidney for deceiving church members, “filching” their money, and squandering funds. Martin Harris said the Book of Mormon witnesses saw the plates “only in vision or imagination,” but later recanted. Stephen renounces Mormonism in the “Stone Chapel” (House of the Lord). Kirtland property is worthless. Joseph blamed Lyman for the Safety Society failure. Martin Harris, others reject Joseph but still believe the Book of Mormon
Sometime in 1838 – The Church of Christ is established by David Whitmer and Warren Parrish. Warren claims the Kirtland temple as property in repayment of the KSS failure. This one would fail, and William E. McLellin would start again in 1847. David Whitmer would start a third in 1870. The Church of Christ, Temple Lot, that exists today is based on the same principles as these previous versions, but was started at a later date
June 1838 – Sidney Rigdon writes a scathing letter to the newspaper attacking Oliver Cowdery as a Justice of the peace. Revelation to Oliver Granger given for cleaning up Kirtland mess. Smith was named in seventeen lawsuits with claims totalling $30,206.44 over debts incurred in the failure of the KSS. 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” (Brodie, No Man Knows my History). The LDS church also raised and put up $38,000 in bail money for Smith at the Geauga County Court which was to be held to satisfy any judgment that might be rendered against Smith. Frederick G. Williams and W. W. Phelps have lost their standing, but may be ordained elders and serve missions abroad (Saints without Halo’s entry on Frederick G. Williams)
16 August, 1838 – Announcement that the Kirtland temple to be leased by Mr. Slater to be used as a Temple of Science. When the man backs out of the lease, Oliver Cowdery fills it, being opposed to Joseph Smith at this point
18 August, 1838 – Attack published on exmormons
18 October, 1838 – Gallatin is burned by “Captain Fearnot” (David W. Patton) and the Church takes exmormon’s belongings after driving them off (wiki page for Thomas B. Marsh)
19 October, 1838 – Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde leave the church (wiki page for Thomas B. Marsh)
24 October, 1838 – Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde affidavit stating that the Mormons burned the store in Gallatin and drove exmormons out of houses. A serious lack of milk strippings mentioned. Both are excommunicated on the 26th
25 October, 1838 – Battle of Crooked River, start of Mormon War
27 October, 1838 – Lilburn Boggs issues expulsion/extermination order. 2,500 state militia called up to put down the threat
December 1838-April 1839 – Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail
1839 – Price per acre in Kirtland is $17.50. Jackson, Mississippi first law allowing women to own property passes
17 March, 1839 – Frederick G. Williams excommunicated in absentia with George M. Hinkle, Sampson Avard, W. W. Phelps, Thomas B. Marsh (h), John Corrill, and others. It appears they were charged with leaving the church “in the time of our perils, persecutions and dangers, and were acting against the interests of the Church.”
1844 – Heber C. Kimball meets Warren Parrish while on a mission. Parrish is a baptist minister. Heber claims that Warren Parrish admitted embezzling $20,000 from the bank when the bank only had $21,000 in specie. FAIR still banks on this claim despite it being years after the fact, and sourced from a single account, without written back up
1846 – United States Treasury System created by the James K. Polk Administration. This leads to far greater stability with banks until 1873
1862 – Legal Tender Act of 1862 creates “Greenbacks,” mandating paper money be issued and accepted in lieu of gold and silver coins
25 February, 1863 – National currency established as part of the National Banking Act. This unifies the local currencies and paper bills into one federally offered currency
3 June, 1864 – National Banking Act of 1864 provides for federal chartered banks
15 November, 1864 – George A. Smith accuses Warren Parrish, from the pulpit of the Ogden Tabernacle, of taking $100,000 out of the vault, buying up everything, and putting the money back before Joseph was aware. Given that $100,000 KSS would only be worth $1,250 of goods at the time (or $2,650 at the best of times), Warren could have done it. This claim is dubious, and odds that someone else would have noticed and mentioned it are high.
1873 – Quasi-banks operated as banks (sometimes in conjunction with other business activities) although they had no formal bank charter. These corporate institutions were not uncommon in Ohio at the time as banking regulations were limited. Whigs went so far as to encourage businesses to operate as quasi-banks. Even after the national bank failure in 1837, there was no widespread opposition to quasi-banks in Ohio until 1873
1878 – “Jesse Moss ‘became fully satisfied the wine was medicated’ and one night attempted to steal a bottle but was caught. Immediately after his attempt was discovered, Moss made a public statement about how with drugged wine ‘angels could be manufactured & strange wonders made to appear in the night'” (letter from J. J. Moss to James T. Cobb, December 17, 1878).
Although Jesse Moss’s memory is years after the fact, so too is George A. Smith’s memory. Perhaps FAIR should accept them both as credible, or reject them both, as both have very little contemporary evidence
1880 – “In the 1880s, the Reorganized Church became interested in restoring it [The Kirtland Temple] as nearly as possible to its original simplicity and beauty.”
Sometime later – Half of The Quorum of Twelve Apostles accused Smith of improprieties in the banking scandal, and LDS Apostle Heber C. Kimball later said that the bank’s failure was so shattering that afterwards, “there were not twenty persons on earth that would declare that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.” Apostates included: Lyman Johnson, John F. Boyington [Boynton], William E. McLellin, Hazen Aldrich, Sylvester Smith, Joseph Coe, Orson Johnson, W. A. Cowdery, M. F. Cowdery
1886 – Eye witness recounts: “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).
This recollection is also most likely a fabrication. There is no evidence of it. The KSS did have 21,000 in specie, according to the ledger, and it did put out $21,000 in specie. Any fraud of this level should have been easily detectable and noticeable in the ledger books, whether committed by Warren Parrish or Joseph Smith, Jr.
1888 – McWhitney complained that the wine consumed was actually “mixed liquor” and that “the Mormon leaders intended to get the audience under [its] influence” so that visions experienced were believed to be of “the Lord’s doings” (Demming. (1888). Naked Truths. April, p. 2-3; as found in Petersen, Lamar. (1975). Hearts Made Glad. p. 135. Salt Lake City Utah).
A second witness that the wine was spiked in the Kirtland era, also 50 years after the fact.
1957 – Robert Kat Fielding, historian, publishes a book on Kirtland: “the members, to be sure, pledged themselves to redeem the notes and bound themselves individually by their agreement under the penal sum of one hundred thousand dollars. But there was no transfer of property deeds, no power of attorney, no legal pains and penalties. To a banker, the articles fairly shouted: ‘this is a wildcat, beware!'” (Fielding, Robert Kent. (1957). The Growth of the Mormon Church in Kirtland, Ohio. Ph.D. Diss., Indiana University. OCLC 6043664).
FAIR Rebuttal: Wildcat banks were banks where the main office was out in the forest (where the wild cats are). Everyone knew where Joseph’s office was, so this was not a wildcat bank.
Actual definition of a wildcat bank, as per Wikipedia: “unusual practices of banks chartered under state law during the periods of non-federally regulated state banking between 1816 and 1863 in the United States, also known as the Free Banking Era.” The KSS was clearly an unusual state bank, that was not regulated during the free banking era.
“According to some sources, the term came from a bank in Michigan that issued private paper currency with the image of a wildcat. After the bank failed, poorly backed bank notes became known as wildcat currency, and the banks that issued them as wildcat banks. However, according to others, wildcat meant a rash speculator as early as 1812, and by 1838 had been extended to any risky business venture.”
In that the KSS issued private paper currency that was poorly backed (its assets were not liquid) and that it was a risky business venture, it still fits the definition of “Wildcat.” In fact, it fits every definition of “Wildcat Bank” in the wiki article, but not the made up definition by FAIR that is not cited and no source can be found via in-depth Google searches.
Closing notes and thoughts
Published in the 20th century – “It was natural that blame for the entire situation should be charged against the Prophet. They had gathered to Kirtland at his command; the idea of purchasing housing lots in the great subdivision scheme had his full support; he had inferred that the bank would not only succeed, but would one day be the most powerful institution of its kind….the Church populace was genuinely disillusioned when the bank failed. It was difficult for them to comprehend that a man who claimed to have divine revelation in religious matters could fail so miserably in economic affairs… No amount of shifting of blame could obscure the fact that a prophet had failed in a grand project… As the Sheriff appeared ever more regularly with summons and as the fortunes and anticipations of one after another of the leaders faced the humiliating prospect of publicly acknowledged incompetence and bankruptcy, the discipline and sense of responsibility, which are the heart of all organizations, broke completely and plunged Mormondom into ecclesiastical anarchy” (The Growth of the Mormon Church in Kirtland, Ohio. typed copy, p. 233, 234; 237 & 238, as it appears in Mormonism – Shadow or Reality? p. 533).
“During the summer of 1837, Joseph spent much of his time away from Kirtland to avoid these lawsuits… Apostles Luke S. Johnson, Lyman E. Johnson, and John F. Boynton were rejected and disfellowshipped. The blame of the bank failure fell heavily on Joseph. He had issued a formal invitation to his followers to take stock in the venture and the institution had been organized outside the law. Heber C. Kimball later was to comment that at this moment, ‘there were not twenty persons on earth that would declare that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.’ Six of the apostles came out in open rebellion… Joseph first established the bank by revelation and then had to later admit that because of poor management and other internal and external conditions the project was a failure” (Joseph Smith As An Administrator. M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, May 1969, p. 80-82, 85, 86 and 88; as it appears in Mormonism – Shadow or Reality? p. 533).
1830s banking norms
FAIR often lists what typical banks were like in a rebuttal that “Joseph’s Bank,” or the KSS, was not that unusual. Here is a non-biased source that lists what a typical bank was like in the 1830s.
“Investment in real estate was minimal, usually simply to provide the bank with an office in which to conduct business. Commercial banks used specie, i.e. gold and silver (usually minted into coins but sometimes in the form of bars or bullion), and their claims on other banks (notes and/or deposits) to pay their creditors (liability holders). They also owned public securities like government bonds and corporate equities. Sometimes they owned a small sum of mortgages, long-term loans collateralized by real property. Most bank assets, however, were discount loans collateralized by commercial paper, i.e. bills of exchange and promissory notes ‘discounted’ at the bank by borrowers.”
“In order to reduce the risk of default due to information asymmetry, lenders must create information about borrowers. Early banks created information by screening discount applicants to reduce adverse selection and by monitoring loan recipients and requiring collateral to reduce moral hazard. Screening procedures included probing the applicant’s credit history and current financial condition. Monitoring procedures included the evaluation of the flow of funds through the borrower’s checking account and the negotiation of restrictive covenants specifying the uses to which a particular loan would be put. Banks could also require borrowers to post collateral, i.e. property they could seize in case of default. Real estate, slaves, co-signers, and financial securities were common forms of collateral.”
“Lending decisions of early banks were politically motivated and skewed in favor of rich merchants.”
“Early banks were extremely profitable and therefore aroused considerable envy. Critics claimed that bank dividends greater than six percent were prima facie evidence that banks routinely made discounts at illegally high rates. In fact, banks earned more than they charged on discounts because they lent out more, often substantially more, than their capital base.”
“Early banks also caused considerable political controversy when they attempted to gain a charter, a special act of legislation that granted corporate privileges such as limited stockholder liability, the ability to sue in courts of law in the name of the bank, etc. ”
“Because early banks were lucrative, politicians and opposing interest groups fought each other bitterly over charters. Rival commercial factions sought to establish the first bank in emerging commercial centers while rival political parties struggled to gain credit for establishing new banking facilities. Politicians soon discovered that they could extract overt bonuses, taxes, and even illegal bribes from bank charter applicants.”
I leave it to the reader to consider if the “average bank” presented by FAIR matches this definition.
Warren Parrish: evil, evil man or faithful accountant
Warren Parrish is a very interesting figure. He is accused of any number of misdeeds by the latter day saints, from taking over the temple with bowie-knives, to admitting embezzlement, to counterfeiting. And yet he kept an absolutely honest ledger book for months after even Joseph had abandoned the KSS (from June 1838-Nov 1838). There is no indication of wrong doing.
How the apologists can say that the ledger book vindicates Joseph’s honesty (Trumen G. Madsen tapes on Joseph Smith) and yet not also vindicate the man who kept the books long after Joseph ran off, is a mystery to me.
But if Warren Parrish is honest, then Joseph gave a failed prophesy and accused someone of crimes when he was a good, honest faithful man. And then that man apostatized… how strange.
I find it especially strange that the FAIR papers cite all the apostle quotes about Warren Parrish, with no investigation to their actual credibility, whereas they spend endless amounts of time investigating similar accusations against Joseph Smith by (sometimes the same) apostles. Perhaps it would be fair for them to investigate any claims made with no evidence, and not just the ones that they perceive as attacks, otherwise they might condemn honest people with justifiable complaints.
What caused the KSS failure
I have tried to find the date of the “bank run” caused by exmormons and conspiring persons on the KSS. To date, I’ve found no article, anti or FAIR/FARMS that actually gives the date. I’m going to assume it was the date that the KSS stopped handing out specie.
To me, it seems that the Kirtland Safety Society was built during the end of a “Dot com bubble” style growth, caused by rapid inflation of the money supply from the forming of the Second National Bank. The collapse of the Bank of Monroe just before, and half the nation’s banks after, shows a boom-bust cycle very similar to the mortgage housing and dot-com booms and busts of our own era.
That said, if Joseph Smith, Jr. was alive today, and started a church as part of a dot-com, I’m not sure that could be held against him. Unusual, sure, but he pulled unusual religious situations and ideas out constantly. Basing the bank on the lands donated to him by members as part of the Law of Consecration is questionable, but not terribly dissimilar from the Modern Church building a mall based on investment returns of tithing money.
In other words, I don’t think he was corrupt. He had a huge need for money and a way to turn donated land into liquid capital. With millions of dollars in state banks as part of a boom cycle, the incentives were there.
But as with any inflated currency, the bust comes, and it hit in May 1837. Perhaps the lawsuits of Grandison Newell tipped people to pull their money out a bit sooner than the full panic, but it’s not terribly different than the first sued Dot-coms collapsing before the rest of the wave. I see a serious lack of conspiracy either on the part of Joseph Smith, Warren Parrish, or the evil exmormons in the case, but simply a boom-bust cycle. More on that from a faithful member here.
Frivolous lawsuits and persecution-edit
Grandison Newell had many frivolous lawsuits against Joseph during this time period, more or less because he had money and didn’t like the new kid coming into town with power and influence. He reminds me of Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.
The persecution during this period is real, and it is unwarranted. The claims that Joseph was, “always acquitted from any wrong doing,” are based mostly on this period’s lawsuits, sometimes wholly made up.
Grandison boasted at spending $1,000 on lawsuits just to annoy Joseph. However, it seems the lawsuit against the KSS was based on an actual case, and his $1,000 fine against Joseph and Sidney each made up for it.
One could say that Mr. Newell’s lawsuits changed the United Order and consecration forever. It altered Joseph’s perception of friends and loyalty and kept him on his toes. In what would start a long tradition of the church only changing when lawsuits were presented, he flexed his power and influence to try and silence the upstarts, not dissimilar from the current legal department of the LDS church in the ways they alter Main Street and try to limit protesting and sharing of ideas that are different from their own faith.
Joseph Smith, Jr. was trying to help people, but didn’t mind breaking the law to do it. There is no evidence of wrong doing, that I could find, of Warren Parrish other than church leadership statements flung out with no evidence.