Statement of Account from Hitchcock & Wilder, between 9 July and 6 November 1838
on behalf of Hitchcock & Wilder, Statement of Account, [, Geauga Co., OH?], [between 9 July and 6 Nov. 1838]; handwriting of ; two pages; JS Collection, CHL.Bifolium measuring 12½ × 8 inches (32 × 20 cm), with thirty-eight printed lines per page. The document was folded for transmission and filing. The upper right corner of the recto is missing, apparently from damage by a rodent.
Sometime between July and November 1838, of the law firm Hitchcock & Wilder, located in , Ohio, produced a statement listing the debts that JS, , and other church members owed to various individuals and businesses in and , including Hitchcock and his partner, . Some of the debts in the statement arose from promissory notes that New York merchants received from the , Ohio, mercantile firms and These two firms bought a large amount of wholesale goods on credit from merchants in and in 1836 and struggled to repay the debts when the promissory notes were due in 1837. Because some of the notes were now past due, the New York merchants could bring lawsuits against the Kirtland firms. The statement also lists fees, probably attorney’s fees, that JS and others owed Hitchcock & Wilder because of litigation the firm successfully brought against JS and his associates on behalf of other individuals in 1837. Further, the statement includes a judgment resulting from the lawsuits that brought against JS, Rigdon, and four other for issuing notes from the , an unchartered financial institution. JS and Rigdon personally incurred some of the debts listed in this statement; in other cases, they may have acted as sureties for fellow church members’ promissory notes, meaning JS and Rigdon were liable for the repayment of the notes.The statement is undated, but its entries suggest the time frame in which it was created. The statement lists three promissory notes that were part of a mortgage agreement with Mead, Stafford & Co., with the first payment due 8 July 1838. The notes were listed as unpaid on the statement, suggesting the statement was created after the 8 July due date. The statement also references a lawsuit initiated by Otis Eaton that was dismissed when it came to trial on 6 November 1838. Since the statement lists the lawsuit as a current case, the statement likely predates the November trial. Therefore, presumably prepared the statement between 9 July and 6 November 1838, likely at the request of , who was charged with settling the debts of JS, , and other Latter-day Saints.likely received the document while he was in in fall 1838. The document does not bear addressing or postal markings, suggesting that Granger did not send the statement to JS in . Granger likely kept the statement for use in his efforts to resolve the unpaid claims.
History of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its Pioneers and Most Prominent Men. Philadelphia: Williams Brothers, 1878.
Curtiss-Wedge, Franklyn. History of Goodhue County, Minnesota. Chicago: H. C. Cooper, 1909.
Painesville Telegraph. Painesville, OH. 1822–1986.
(aSee J. F. Scribner, Invoice, Buffalo, NY, for Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery, 16 June 1836, JS Office Papers, CHL; Rigdon, Smith & Co., Store Ledger, 1; “Mormonism in Ohio,” Aurora [New Lisbon, OH], 21 Jan. 1837, ; and Notes Receivable from Rigdon, Smith & Co., 22 May 1837. bSee Advertisement, Northern Times, 2 Oct. 1835, ; and Minutes, 6 June 1833.)
Aurora. New Lisbon, OH. 1835–1837.
Northern Times. Kirtland, OH. 1835–[1836?].
JS Office Papers / Joseph Smith Office Papers, ca. 1835–1845. CHL. MS 21600.
Walker, Jeffrey N. “The Kirtland Safety Society and the Fraud of Grandison Newell: A Legal Examination.” BYU Studies 54, no. 3 (2015): 33–147.
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.