Agreement with Ovid Pinney and Stephen Phillips, 14 March 1837
, agent, on behalf of JS and , Agreement, with Ovid Pinney and Stephen Phillips, possibly Beaver Co., PA, 14 Mar. 1837; handwriting of A. B. Hull; signatures of , Ovid Pinney, and Stephen Phillips; witnessed by A. B. Hull and James McConnel; two pages; JS Office Papers, CHL. Includes docket.Single bifolium, measuring 12¼ × 7½ inches (31 × 19 cm) when folded. The bifolium is ruled with thirty-eight horizontal, blue lines, nearly faded. After inscription, the agreement was ordered so the docket and second page were the exterior folio leaves. The document was then folded in a parallel fold twice and was docketed. Marked soiling is present on the page containing the docket.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 March 1837, , acting as an agent for officers JS and , signed the agreement featured here with businessmen Ovid Pinney and Stephen Phillips and their agents A. B. Hull and James McConnel. The agreement outlined Pinney and Phillips’s commitment to circulate the notes of the society in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.This agreement was one of several contracts the officers and managers of the Kirtland Safety Society made with their appointed agents between January and March 1837 to expand the reach of the institution and find financial support outside of the , Ohio, area. On 8 March, a week earlier, J. W. Briggs, a merchant from , Ohio, signed an agreement to act as an agent for the society in Painesville. Unlike the January agreement with David Cartter and the agreement featured here, both of which involved tens of thousands of dollars in Kirtland Safety Society notes, Briggs was given only one thousand dollars.Compared to the earlier agreements, the arrangement with Pinney, Phillips, and their agents gave them significant autonomy, more time to circulate the society’s notes, and a larger amount of capital from which to base their loans. The Kirtland Safety Society committed to provide $40,000 in the society’s notes to Pinney and Phillips over the next four years. The independence given to Pinney and Phillips suggests a different role than agents had previously played in the circulation of the society’s notes. Additionally, they were required to mark the Kirtland Safety Society notes given to them with their names and to deposit money with the society to redeem those notes.The arrangement appears to have been at least partially successful: several extant notes bear the names of Pinney and his agent Hull, suggesting that the notes held by the businessmen were put into circulation for a time, thereby extending the society’s access to western Pennsylvania and eastern . No further records of transactions between Pinney and Phillips and the Kirtland Safety Society exist. The closure of the society by August 1837 ended this arrangement long before the four-year period outlined in the contract was over.
Patterson, James. “Beaver County.” In An Illustrated History of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Civil Political, and Military, from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, including Historical Descriptions of Each County in the State, Their Towns, and Industrial Resources, by William H. Egle, 340–360. Harrisburg, PA: De Witt C. Goodrich, 1876.
Geauga Gazette. Painesville, OH. 1828–1833.
Adams, Dale W. “Grandison Newell’s Obsession.” Journal of Mormon History 30 (Spring 2004): 159–188.
Coin and Currency Collection, no date. CHL.