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Lecture Spotlights Library of Allen Brothers' Ally

By Prudence Doherty Article published April 11, 2002

Kevin Graffagnino, executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society, and Jeffrey Marshall, acting director for research collections, Bailey/Howe Library, will present "Treasures Found: The Bradley Family Books and Papers," April 18, at 4 p.m., in the Special Collections reading room.

The presentation will introduce a remarkable collection of books and papers, the legacy of Stephen Rowe Bradley (1754-1830) and his son William Czar Bradley (1782-1867). The elder Bradley, of Westminster, Vt., and Walpole, N.H., was one of the first lawyers to settle in Vermont, where he became an ally of the Allen family in the struggle for Vermont's independence. After Vermont was admitted to the United States in 1791, he was the state's first U.S. senator. His son, William C. Bradley, followed in his father's footsteps and practiced law in Westminster for the better part of six decades. William served twice in Congress, and later switched parties to become one of Vermont's leading Jacksonian Democrats.

The library established by the elder Bradley and expanded by his son contains works of Roman poets, printed in the 16th century, to the latest European novels of the mid-19th century. Comprising some 1,600 volumes, the collection embraces history, biography, religion, and textbooks in half a dozen languages. Also included is the law library of Daniel Kellogg, William C. Bradley's son-in-law, containing more than 200 volumes from the 1790s to the 1840s. The Bradley papers offer a fresh look at topics of interest in Vermont's early history, including the turbulent years of the Vermont Republic and the War of 1812. An extensive series of papers documents William C. Bradley's work as U.S. agent for the U.S.-Canada boundary survey from 1817 to 1821.

Refreshments will follow the lecture; please RSVP 656-2138.