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SECRETARY. An officer who, by order of his superior, writes letters and other instruments. He is so called because he is possessed of the secrets of his employer. This term wag used in France in 1343, and in England the term secretary was first applied to the clerks of the king, who being always near his person were called clerks of the secret, and in the reign of Henry VIII. the term secretary of state came into it.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
On the other hand, the Secretary was discerning, discreet, and silent, though as zealous as if the affairs had been his own.
The secretary bowed and withdrew, after a glance at the piece of paper which he held in his hand.
John made no answer, but looking straight before him, as his custom seemed to be when the secretary spoke, bade Hugh push on, and followed close behind him.
"Thus, by the great friendship of the secretary, the whole affair was compromised.
The sallow secretary went first; the sequins glittered at his heels, and I must own that for one base moment I was on the brink of bolting through the street door.
The assistant secretary wondered if Nobs still was with her, and then we both smiled at this tacit acceptance of the truth of the whole uncanny tale:
Almost at the same moment in which the Secretary of Marine, the vice-president of the Gun Club, and the sub-director of the Observatory received the dispatch from San Francisco, the Honorable J.
She was told that he had not yet gone out, but was busy with his secretary. She sent word to her husband that she had come, went to her own room, and occupied herself in sorting out her things, expecting he would come to her.
"Which should it be," said the secretary, "but he who is seated in the chair?"
The secretary hesitated a moment and laughed in a conciliating fashion.
By the first ferry boat of the morning half a dozen San Francisco detectives arrived, and several hours later the secretary, in high excitement, erupted on Peter Winn.
He was accompanied in his travels by his private secretary, Mr.