William f zeil in 1981 compiled and published a

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William F. Zeil, in 1981 compiled and published a Catalogue of Girard's personal library. 17
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In 1950, historians began to realize the importance of the Girard papers, especially when studying the economics of colonial America. The papers were examined by state historians and a Harvard professor. Ten more large footlockers full of ships’ records, that had never been opened, were discovered. The following year an air conditioned vault was constructed in the basement of Founder’s Hall and in 1954 safes containing Girard’s papers were moved into it. A court decree in 1953 placed the original Girard Will under the care of the College. It was delivered to the College on May 20, 1954 by the Philadelphia Register of Wills and placed in the basement vault. In 1962, data on the papers was submitted for inclusion in the Library of Congress Manuscript Catalog. Between 1950 and 1963, the Board often discussed microfilming the papers. Nothing happened until 1964. Harry C. Schad, a 1920 graduate, Vice President at the Atlantic Refinery Company, and a member of the Board believed that false impressions of Stephen Girard could be eliminated by making the papers public. Schad discussed the papers with the American Philosophical Society, and they became interested in obtaining the papers so that students and scholars could examine them at their library. At a considerable expense to their Society, they arranged the estimated million papers and generated 650 microfilm reels. During the process they found thirty-seven chests of unopened papers and approximately two thousand bound volumes that had never been examined. Filming was concluded in 1967. Two copies of every reel were made, one filed at the College, the other at the Society.Marvin McFarland, a graduate of the College and at one time the curator of the papers, wrote, "It seems that the vast bulk of the Girard papers lay gathering dust for many years, safely preserved but unused. Girard papers are endless; so could talk about them be. A few things should be stressed: the papers exist; they are voluminous; they are complex; they are incomplete; they are a matchless source for the history of the United States and much of the world in the last quarter of the eighteenth and the first quarter of the nineteenth century." In 1981 Girard’s effects were moved to the second floor of Founder’s Hall. Adjacent to the museum, in a room with controlled atmospheric condition, the papers and ledgers were shelved in an orderly manner to be used by future historians. 18
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THE MYTH A myth persists that the foundation of Girard's wealth involved two million dollars he supposedly swindled from Toussaint L'Ouverture during the 1789-1802 slave uprisings in Saint- Domingue. The originator of the myth, 34 perpetuated by people claiming Girard to be a racist, claims that Toussaint gave Girard the money to purchase arms and ammunition that Girard never delivered and this money became the foundation of Girard's wealth. Although Le Cap, the major
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  • Fall '19
  • Test, Second Bank of the United States, Stephen Girard, Marie Antoinette Girard

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