185 years ago today - Nov 2, 1836

Joseph Smith helps to organize the Kirtland Safety Society in Kirtland, Ohio, a venture undertaken to serve the banking needs of the growing community of Latter-day Saints in Ohio. Technically a joint stock company -- the state of Ohio refused organizers' request to be chartered as a bank -- the society was dramatically weakened by the Panic of 1837 and eventually collapsed. (The Panic of 1837 was a five-year depression that began when New York City banks ended the practice of exchanging bank notes for gold and silver coinage.)

The failure led to resentment and accusations and was a factor in the worsening mob violence that caused Smith to abandon Kirtland in January 1838.


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