Diary of early Treasury Department Agent Kenneth T. Brown, Jr., 1956

Binghamton, NY: N.p., 1956. Personal diary of Federal Treasury Department enforcement agent Kenneth T. Brown, Jr., dating from 1956. Holograph manuscript in blue and black felt ink, blue ink, and pencil in a black leather-bound 1956 Business Year Book with gilt titles.

The diary largely contains entries regarding on Brown's day-to-day professional life as a rookie Alcohol and Tobacco Tax agent, focusing predominantly on bootlegging operations, illegal gambling, and firearms, and also contains a scattering of information on his personal life throughout ("Eddie & Cathy up @ 8:00 p.m. for coffee & peach short cake"). An uncommonly detailed unofficial record, with information on investigations, suspects, surveillance, and confidential informants.

A typical account reads: "engaged in enfforcement observations and investigations, Binghamton, Endicott & vicinity, checking suspect premises & tailing suspect vehicles, conf. with citizen sources of info," with more detailed entries like "proceeded to Railway Express depot - mailed container with bottles of mash & untax paid liquor to Ger. Romig, Chief Chemist in charge for chemical analysis," and "upon examining ruins & adjoining area we noticed following: at 1:30pm 1-55 gal. metal can boiler 2-50gal. wooden barrel vats 1-25gal wood barrel receiving vat 1-55gal. vat storage tank with spigot 3- 12-5 sugar bags - DOMINO SEVERAL QUART JARS & OTHER BOTTLES. To Elmira checked out suspicious areas in negro section & contacted & conferred with "Steamboat" - info from Smitty."

Brown attends training in Washington D.C. for a month and a half in the spring, during which the diary becomes much less detailed ("Attending Treasury Law Enforcemenet Officer Training School"). The diary goes silent for two months in September through November, until he resumes it again on the anniversary of his first year of employment, though it is unclear whether the lapse is due to simple non-reporting or a possible absence from the job. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax unit of the Treasury Department rose to prominence during Prohibition through the work of agents like Elliott Ness, until it was established as a separate bureau in 1972, known today as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

8.25 x 5.5 x 1 inches (21 x 14 x 2.5 cm). Very good plus, with soft black leather-bound boards and gilt titles.


[Book #142841]

Price: $1,500.00