Secretary

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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.