Question: What is the timeline of the Kirtland Safety Society?

FairMormon Answers Wiki Table of Contents

Question: What is the timeline of the Kirtland Safety Society?

Timeline of events

27 March 1836
Kirtland Temple dedication
August 1836
Oliver Cowdery investigates the production of bank notes, so consideration of a bank underway by this date.
2 November 1836
The Kirtland Safety Society Bank’s constitution is drafted. Sidney Rigdon made president; Joseph Smith made cashier.
1 January 1837 
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.
6 January 1837 
Notes from the KSS begin circulating
23 January 1837
The KSS announces it can redeem notes with land, but was unable to redeem its notes in specie (gold)
1 February 1837
KSS notes circulating at only 12.5 cents per dollar face value
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.[1]
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
May 1837
All banks in Ohio suspend specie payment as a banking panic spreads west from New York.
8 June 1837 
Joseph Smith resigns from KSS, as he is convinced the bank is not viable
June 1837 
LDS newspaper Messenger and Advocate reports that Kirtland land prices have increased 800% during the past year alone.[2]
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.
27 September 1837 
Joseph and Sidney Rigdon go to visit Missouri; in their absence, the Kirtland Church is rent by strife and apostasy
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.
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
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
12 January 1838 
Joseph Smith, having returned to Kirtland, leaves with Sidney Rigdon to escape the risk of prison and mob action


  1. Dale W. Adams, "Chartering the Kirtland Bank," Brigham Young University Studies 23 no. 4 (Fall 1983), 477–478.
  2. ?, "?," Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate 3 no. 9 (June 1837), 521.