Keeper of the King's Stores
A True Tale of Philadelphia in 1776 - pocket book edition
by Catherine Loxely - edited by David Bindle
Benjamin Loxley of Philadelphia committed high-treason when he abandoned his post as "Keeper of the King's Stores" and joined with George Washington's Continental Army. Loxley had been placed in charge of all the British cannons, small arms and artillery which eventually fell into the hands of the rebels, thereby making Loxely and his family, targets of British soldiers who arrive to occupy the city. It's the story of a real family and their intimate conversations as they consider the ramifications of defection, tend to their gravely injured son, flee the city to a country hideout and are chased by the British after their secret location had been revealed.
The story is somewhat unique in that it appears to be told from the perspective of Major Loxley’s wife; Catherine.
Though the manuscript is not signed by the author, the depictions of home life and the dialogue between husband and wife lead us to believe that it is written by a proud wife and mother - telling a heroic tale of her family’s experiences during the American Revolution.
A variety of internet resources make reference to Loxley’s friendships with Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. There are many documents affirming his significant involvement in the building of Carpenter’s Hall, among many other landmark properties in Philadelphia, such as Loxely Court, which are still in use today.
Written with an abundant dose of melodramatic narrative, this early example of creative nonfiction provides a refreshing perspective to Benjamin Loxley, better known for his career as a prominent Philadelphia builder than for his military involvement in the American Revolution.
This book should be of interest to those who enjoy Philadelphia’s Revolutionary history, as well as the city’s rich architectural heritage and the builders responsible.
David's research interest involves Special Collections Librarianship; specifically, in how digital technologies and communication tools are transforming the former methodologies in which libraries can pursue and develop their Special Collections and Archives. As well as developing new collection strategies, David is also involved in making "hidden-collections" discoverable through digitization and publishing initiatives. Combining his interest in photography with his research interests, he continues to publish unique subject specific books as a way of disseminating rare and unique manuscripts and collections.