Author Archives: Doris OKeefe

About Doris OKeefe

Senior Cataloger for Rare Books, American Antiquarian Society

The only book you’ll ever need

According to its preface, A New Academy of Compliments: or, Complete Secretary “is a book full of variety, and many things not found in any other.”  Without a doubt, this is the most eclectic book to have crossed my desk during many years as a cataloger.  It begins with directions for composing letters using examples addressed ...

John Adams: Deadbeat, careless accountant, or the continuing victim of partisan politics?

Since last October, the project catalogers creating online rare-book level records for 1801-1820 imprints have been working on United States’ federal documents. Admittedly, some government documents are boring. But much more often than I imagined they have been a source of interesting, even surprising, information. Many documents, but especially Secretary of the Treasury Albert ...

The Embezzler Redeemed – Part 3

brower_manhattan_company_bank_note

Continued from Part 2 of the Embezzler Redeemed One possible answer to this question is suggested by an account published in the November 19, 1803 issue of the Morning Chronicle. We understand that the Manhattan Company have discovered a further fraud of about eight thousand dollars, committed by Benjamin Brower, previous to his elopements. It is said ...

The Embezzler Redeemed- Part 2

brower_wall_street

Continued from Part 1 of "The Embezzler Redeemed" A report that Benjamin Brower had been apprehended at Albany was refuted almost immediately as being “wholly without foundation.”  But on October 25, 1803, the New England Palladium (Boston) briefly reported he had been captured.  On the 29th the New York Morning Chronicle expanded upon the news of ...

The Embezzler Redeemed- Part 1

brower_columbian_speaker_preface

One of the great joys of cataloging is figuring out who the folks were who wrote, edited, illustrated, printed, published, or owned the books that cross our desks.  In most cases we don’t have time to delve into the lives of these people, and wistfully think that someone ought to write a dissertation on this ...