United States Secret Service Company. Three 1877 Ephemeral Items for Membership and Rules and Regulations of a Private Detective Force.
Not that Secret Service
The private United States Secret Service Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio was the publisher of the American Criminal Gazetteer. The circular, here offered, outlines the Rules and Regulations of the company, and dnotes they solicited men to join a “corps of Officers” to observe and report crime. The third requirement listed on the circular states:
All Murderers, Burglaries, Embezzlements and Thefts of an important nature, where rewards are offered (or not), must be reported at this office immediately by the officer to whom it is first made known. The importance of these reports are manifest, for upon them depend the apportionment of rewards.
Crime is always to be reported, but the real motive for getting involved is the reward. The company, no doubt, got its share of the reward too. The partially printed letter reinforces the duty to report crime to lawful authorities and reminds the newly appointed officer that, despite his badge (not here offered), the officer has no authority to make arrests “…we being a strictly independent detective agency having no connection either with National, State or Municipal Secret Service.”
The certificate appoints H. H. Saunders as a member of the force and is signed by H. H. Kimball as Secretary of the company. The circular, entitled Rules and Regulations, outlines the necessary qualifications for appointees, requirements of officers, and general rules of being a private detective: cool, collected, discreet, and disinterested.
Description: United States Secret Service Company. Three 1877 Ephemeral Items for Membership and Rules and Regulations of a Private Detective Force.
Cincinnati, 1877. Three items: Partly printed letter in blue and black ink, dated in manuscript, approximately 10 x 8 inches; printed circular approximately 11 x 8 inches; and a partly printed certificate of membership with embossed red seal with blue ribbon and with a name, signature, and date written in manuscript, approximately 11 x 17 inches. All three items with fold lines. Very good.