Two rare early 19th century notebooks, that had been taken more than ten years ago from the Stephen Girard Collection at Girard College, were returned to Girard College today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office, announced Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen. These 1809 and 1811 notebooks are two of four account books that had been kept by H.J. Roberjot, Stephen Girard’s clerk and right-hand man, to document expenditures by Girard. At that time, Stephen Girard was the richest man in the United States.
Girard College President Clarence Armbrister has described the notebooks as painting a picture of the daily life of Stephen Girard, the founder of Girard College, particularly in terms of Girard’s generosity and charitable nature. According to President Armbrister, Girard’s best known act of philanthropy was the endowment of Girard College in his will in 1831. Girard College opened its doors on its 43-acre campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1848 and has educated children for over 168 years. Today, Girard College is a five-day boarding school, grades 1 through 12, for students from families headed by a single parent or guardian and with limited financial resources. All accepted students receive full scholarships for the length of their enrollment at Girard College.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Art Crime Team and was handled by Assistant United States Attorney K.T. Newton.