Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Benjamin Brower - "The Embezzler Redeemed"

A few weeks back Mark Fortini sent me an e-mail with a link to a story about Benjamin Birdsall Brower (1776-1818). The three-part post was published at Past is Present.org, a blog page of the American Antiquarian Society in 2009.

In "The Embezzler Redeemed," by Doris O'Keefe, the author recounts how while attempting to confirm the death date for a certain Benjamin Brower of New York City, she discovered a interesting account of some prior criminal activity.

Benjamin Birdsall Brower was born on March 1, 1776, probably in the vicinity of Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County, New York. He was the son of Capt. Nicholas Brouwer (1747-1814) and Mary Birdsall; the grandson of Nicholas Brouwer (1714-1777) and Mary Dutcher; the great-grandson of Adolphus Brouwer (1692-1742) and Jannetje Verdon; the great-great-grandson of Nicholas Brouwer and Jannetje Caljer, and the great-great-great-grandson of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon. Benjamin B. Brower was married to Mary Rogers in 1799 and the couple had five children. Benjamin died on May 6, 1818 in New York City.

In 1803, Benjamin was accused, and apparently guilty of, embezzling $10,000 from his employer, the Manhattan Company. In Part 2, the author discovers Benjamin Brower's family. In Part 3, we have an unexpected ending.

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