The Secretary's guide, or, Young mans companion

William Bradford

This all-purpose manual for spelling, writing, arithmetic and business matters was evidently used in the education of at least three of the five sons of James Brown, the great grandfather of John Carter Brown. Signed first by eldest brother James, who died on a voyage to Virginia in 1750, the book passed to second son Nicholas, the eventual leader of the family’s extensive business empire. Youngest brother Moses, who grew up to become a prominent abolitionist and co-founder of Slater Mill, also scrawled his name in the margins of a few pages. An example of the Brown family’s early book collecting, this item also evokes the Library’s remarkable resources for the study of early business history, including the records of the Brown family companies headed by Nicholas Brown and his descendants.

More From The Collection