Chartering the Kirtland Bank | BYU Studies

Chartering the Kirtland Bank

Chartering the Kirtland Bank
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Chartering the Kirtland Bank

Author Dale W. Adams,

Few events have rocked the LDS Church more severely than the failure of the Kirtland Bank in 1837. In less than a year the acrimony caused by this affair split Church leadership and fragmented the Mormon community in Kirtland. Explanations for the bank's collapse range from condemning to absolving those involved; critics often change speculation and fraud, while apologists stress prudence and events beyond the control of honorable men. In a recent study Hill, Rooker, and Wimmer shed considerable light on events surrounding the failure of the bank. They correctly conclude that the lack of a state bank charter was the key factor leading to the quick demise of the bank and to much of the bitterness that followed. In this article I explore the bank founders' attempt to obtain a charter and the reasons they were rebuffed in their efforts.