, JS, , , , and , Agreement, with David Cartter, [, Geauga Co., OH], 14 Jan. 1837; handwriting of unidentified scribe and David Cartter; signatures of , JS, , , , , and David Cartter; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes docket.
Bifolium measuring 9⅞ × 7⅞ inches (25 × 20 cm) when folded. Pages are ruled with twenty-eight horizontal, watermarked lines and one watermarked margin line. A watermark placed at the bifolium fold reads “LOCo.” and is circumscribed by a faint circle. The scribe did not write on the watermarked lines. The first two pages are inscribed, the third is blank, and the fourth contains a docket in the handwriting of David Cartter. The document was folded in three patterns. The first pattern is a trifold with the agreement facing outward. The second pattern is a five-panel roll fold with the docket facing inward. Marked staining, soot, fingerprints, and fly specks on the third page suggest that the agreement was folded at one time so the third page was an exterior page.
The provenance of this document is unknown; however, given the pattern of extant Kirtland-era documents in possession of the Church History Library, this document was probably bundled and stored with other loose Kirtland financial material and was likely in continuous institutional custody.
On 14 January 1837, shortly after the opened for business, society officers and JS and managers , , , and entered into an agreement with David K. Cartter—a young lawyer who had recently moved to , Ohio—to become an agent of the society. Banks generally appointed agents to extend their influence to additional markets through loans and through a wider circulation of their notes. A broader distribution of notes and the contracting of local agents who were known in their own communities increased the likelihood that notes of distant or lesser-known financial institutions would be accepted outside of the issuing bank’s immediate vicinity. A later agreement between the Kirtland Safety Society and another agent stipulated that the agent should “use his influence at all times & in all places at home & abroad both directly and indirectly to sustain the above named institution & promote its interest, by putting into the hands of the Cashier of the Same all the Spices [specie] & Bankable money that comes into his hands.”
Cartter’s contract specified that he was to extend the influence of the Kirtland Safety Society to , a burgeoning town approximately forty-five miles south of . Cartter’s role involved making loans and exchanging the notes of the Kirtland Safety Society for the notes of other banks. To enable him to make loans and exchanges, the Kirtland Safety Society agreed to provide Cartter with up to $30,000 in society notes, for which Cartter would be held liable. Cartter would earn a commission of one and a half percent on the loans and exchanges he made. On the same day this agreement was signed, Cartter drew up a bond between himself and two other Akron residents, Eliakim Crosby and James W. Philips, binding the three men to the repayment of the $30,000 entrusted to him by the Kirtland Safety Society. In addition to making Cartter and his partners jointly liable for the repayment of the $30,000, the bond may have allowed Crosby and Philips to partner with Cartter and receive a portion of his commission.
Extant records give no further information about Cartter’s role as an agent or how the notes of the Safety Society were received in Akron. This is the earliest extant agreement made between the Kirtland Safety Society and an agent. By March the society had made at least two additional agreements establishing agents for the society outside of .
David Kellogg Cartter, born in New York in 1812, served as a representative from Ohio to the United States Congress, 1849–1853. Cartter moved to Cleveland in 1856 and continued to practice law. He served as U.S. minister to Bolivia from 1861 to 1862 and was appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia in 1863, serving in that capacity until his death in Washington DC in 1887. (Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 751; 1870 U.S. Census, 552686, M593_1187, p. 57A; 1880 U.S. Census, Washington DC, 56B.)
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989: The Continental Congress September 5, 1774, to October 21, 1788, and the Congress of the United States from the First through the One Hundredth Congresses March 4, 1789, to January 3, 1989, Inclusive. Edited by Kathryn Allamong Jacob and Bruce A. Ragsdale. Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989.
Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.
David K. Cartter, Bond, 14 Jan. 1837, JS Office Papers, CHL. Eliakim Crosby was born in Connecticut in 1779, trained as a physician in New York, and moved with his family to Ohio in 1820. He helped found the town of Cascade, which became Akron, and was one of its most prominent residents. James W. Philips was a member of a committee that unsuccessfully petitioned the Ohio legislature for a bank in Akron in December 1835. In February 1837, a new firm called the Portage Canal and Manufacturing Company was incorporated by the legislature and was granted permission to issue bonds. Eliakim Crosby was the first president of this company, and James Philips served as a “special agent” for its business in New York. David Cartter is not listed as an officer of the new firm, but he may have been a stockholder. (Lane, Fifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County, 41–45, 82–83.)
Lane, Samuel A. Fifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County. Akron, OH: Beacon Job Department, 1892.
This agreement made & entered into this fourteenth day of January A.D. 1837.— witnesseth that We the Undersigned Managers of the of the Township of , County of Geauga and State of Ohio hereby authorize, constitute and appoint David K. Cartter of the Village of , County of Portage & State aforesaid, our Banking Agent at aforesaid to loan and Exchange the Notes of said Bank.— And we hereby covenant and agree to furnish said Cartter with the Notes aforesaid from time to time as said Cartter may require, to the amount of Thirty Thousand Dollars, It is further stipulated by the parties of to these presents that said Cartter in loaning said money shall not receive notes or other obligations therefor made payable, at a longer period than ninety Days from the date thereof <and renew the same from time to time at his discression Except otherwise directed by said Managers>.— Also that said Cartter shall report and make a full exhibit of his business as such agent to the President of said Bank by letter or otherwise once in every two weeks.— Also that said Cartter shall be limited to and governed in the amount of his loans, by the amount of his Exchanges.—
Also that the amount of said Exchanges shall be subject to the order of said Managers.— [p. ]