Agreement with David Cartter, 14 January 1837
, 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 .
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