Tag Archives: federal period

Federal Furniture: A Lady's Secretary and Bookcase Attributed to Thomas Seymour

Essay by Robert D. Mussey, Jr., Milton, Massachusetts

The lady’s secretary and bookcase was a cultural badge signifying a Boston lady of refinement and education during the Federal period. Mary Cleveland (Smith) Bryant (1784-1860) was such a lady. She had been well-educated as daughter of Rev. John Smith, a professor of Ancient and Middle Eastern Languages at Dartmouth College, and was widely read. It was probably purchased around the time of, or a few years after, her marriage in late 1807 to John Bryant III (1780-1865).… Read More