Rigdon, Smith & Co., Ledger, 23 September 1836–2 August 1837
Rigdon, Smith & Co., Ledger, , Geauga Co., OH, 23 Sept. 1836–2 Aug. 1837; handwriting of and ; eighty-three pages; JS Collection, CHL.The book was later inverted and repurposed as a JS letterbook; see Source Note for Letterbook 2.
Rigdon, Smith & Co. was a mercantile company composed of , JS, and possibly . The firm began operating a store in , Ohio—located six miles south of the main settlement of Latter-day Saints in , Ohio—in September 1836. The company was likely connected to a mercantile partnership established earlier that year, called Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery, which purchased wholesale goods from merchants in .The only extant record for the firm’s store in is a ledger book, consisting of basic accounts with no detail about what was sold. Each entry begins with a subscripted number before the amount of the transaction, and entries are often combined on the same line and separated by commas. This record was kept initially by , who worked as a clerk in the store; later accounting was done by , who finalized entries and closed accounts.The ledger demonstrates that the store had consistent business from September 1836 to March 1837. A significant decrease occurred after this period, likely related to the financial panic of 1837, outstanding debts, and increasing opposition toward Joseph Smith and the church. The store closed in May 1837, and JS appears to have withdrawn as a partner of both Rigdon, Smith & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery at the same time. Accounts in the extant store ledger were still being settled in June and July 1837. After the store closed, the record book used for the ledger was repurposed as a letterbook to record copies of JS correspondence. Two slips of paper in 's handwriting were found in the record book. The first appears to be handwriting practice. The second is a promissory note to a merchant in Denmark, Lewis County, NY, that appears to be a personal debt of 's and unrelated to his clerking for Rigdon, Smith & Co.