180 years ago today - Apr 18, 1842
A month and a half after the federal Bankruptcy Act becomes effective Joseph Smith and his brothers Hyrum and Samuel declared themselves insolvent before the county commissioner's court on Apr 18, 1842, and filed petitions to be certified bankrupt by the United States District Court for Illinois. Joseph's listed debts totaled $73,066.38, with a U.S. government obligation of $4,866.38 for purchase of a steamboat which had run aground listed first. Concurrently other leading Mormons filed similar petitions, including President Sidney Rigdon, Bishop Vinson Knight, "Judge" Elias Higbee, Reynolds Cahoon, Henry G. Sherwood, John P. Green, Arthur Morrison, George Morey, Jared Carter, Amos Davis, Charles Warner, William P. Lyon, William Niswanger, and John Fullmer. They were joined by at least one prominent gentile businessman of Nauvoo, Hiram Kimball.