An artist/writer/lecturer Ross Browne also shares the distinction of being one of the earliest SPECIAL AGENTS of the TREASURY.
Ross Browne's earliest federal appointment was in 1849, when Treasury Secretary R.J. Walker assigned him to investigate financial irregularities in the offices of the Customs Collectors at ports along the west coast. He was also tasked with investigating problems with the captain and crew of the revenue cutter of Conelius W. Lawrence in Astoria, Oregon. Being advised that he should avoid the delay and expense of crossing overland to the Pacific through Panama. It took Browne 6 1/2 months to sail from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horne, including Treasury business stops in Lima, Peru and Rio de Janerio.
In August 1853, Browne was appointed as Special Agent of the Treasury by Secretary James Guthrie. For the next two years, Ross Browne's assignments, to investigate the financial operations of the Collectors' offices, took him to ports of entry throughout the U.S.