J. Golden Kimball and the Financial Panic of 1893

J. Golden Kimball and the Financial Panic of 1893 This paper examines in some detail the far-reaching impact of the Panic of 1893, both on the Church and the personal resources of one of its most prominent leaders, J. Golden Kimball. I will present this material in two sections. The first examines how the Panic that sent land values spiraling downward affected J. Golden Kimball’s life in such a way that he had to deal with its financial impact for the rest of his life. The second section examines more general issues: the confrontation between the federal government and the Church that led to the ‘Great Accommodation” by the latter, how a lack of access to the national money supply led to the creation of an elaborate medium of exchange within the Church in the form of promissory notes or tithing scrip, and the Church’s uncertain survival in the depths of this financial crisis. Finally, I consider the serious long-term consequences for Mormonism of the accommodation the Church struck with the Federal Government.

James N. Kimball, Edward Leo Lyman