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Gift of
Albert Small

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan, February 27, 1815

One 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.

 

 

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