Jefferson to Joseph Milligan, February 27,
of the most important documents in the history
of the Library of Congress, this letter describes
the arrangements Jefferson made for shipping
his library from Monticello to Washington, after
Congress agreed to purchase it to reconstitute
its library, burned by the British in the Capitol
conflagration of August 24, 1814. In this letter
Jefferson is arranging for his agent, the Georgetown
bookseller and binder, Joseph Milligan, to come
to Monticello and oversee the packing of the
library and its safe delivery to Washington.
Jefferson is especially concerned that his books
will be damaged by the "joultings of the waggons"
and gives directions to Milligan about packing
them so that no damage will occur. Jefferson
estimates that his library, the foundation on
which the Library of Congress now rests, will
fill eleven wagons.