The Kirtland Safety Society

The Stock Ledger Book and the Bank Failure



A previously unreported stock ledger book of the Kirtland Safety Society was recently discovered among the papers in the Mormon collection of the Chicago Historical Society. The ledger, which contains an alphabetical index of names and 287 account pages, is unquestionably authentic and carries the accounts of 205 members of the Church at Kirtland, including most of the Church’s leaders.

Whether the stock credited in the ledger was actually distributed is doubtful, because no specimen of such stock has come to light and no diaries report such. Whether the subscribers received bank notes in return for their subscriptions is also not known. This may have been the method by which the notes were placed in circulation, though the ledger does not tell us explicitly what the relationship was between bank payments and Kirtland Bank notes. It does, however, indicate that there was some relationship. Just how much Kirtland money was in circulation is still unknown.


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