Mormon History

Kirtland Mormon Money Schemes - 1837


  Cleveland Daily Gazette January 12, 1837


A NEW REVELATION -- MORMON MONEY. -- During the past two days an emission of bills from the society of Mormons, has been showered upon us. As far as we can learn there is no property bound for their redemption, no coin on hand to redeem them with, and no responsible individuals whose honor or whose honesty is pledged for their payment. They seem to rest upon a spiritual basis. -- Aside from the violation of the statute rendering them void, and of course the notes given for them, we look upon the whole as a most reprehensible fraud on the public, and cannot conceal our surprise that they should circulate at all. For instance, the large letters engraved on the bills appear, on a casual examination, to read like a Bank's bill, and the unsuspecting would in a hurry of business, take them as an ordinary Bank bill. But on scrutiny it will be found that previous to the word "Bank" in capital letters, the word "anti" in fine letters is inserted, and after the word "Bank" the syllable "ing" is affixed in small letters also, so as to read in fact, in stead of Bank, "antiBANKing." We do not object to private or company banking, as a system, provided it is done upon a system made safe, but we consider this whole affair a deception, that there is still in force a section of the statute affixing a penalty of $1,000 to the issuing or passing unauthorized Bank paper like the present. It is a kind of radicalism that would flourish better in Michigan than Ohio.

Note 1: The modern reader naturally wonders if the editor of the Daily Gazette had heard rumors of the impending Mormon buy-out of the decrepit Bank of Monroe, Michigan at this time? The Bank of Monroe had been chartered under the liberal laws of the Territory of Michigan -- laws that were at this time being rectified and strengthened under the newly constituted government of the State of Michigan. And, as events played out, the Kirtland Mormons bought the bank on Feb. 10th and soon thereafter were soon offering to exchange the worthless "antiBANKing" bills they had issued locally for equally worthless (but still temporarily reputable) money printed by the LDS-owned Bank of Monroe.
 


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