“American Treasures” is a permanent exhibition that features some of the most interesting or significant items relating to America's past drawn from the Library’s very own collections. Of the approximately 250 items on display, rare and remarkable items include a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets on the night he was assassinated, an entry from Alexander Graham Bell’s notebook describing the first successful attempt with the telephone and Charles Dickens’ walking stick.
An active federalist, Webster became a pamphleteer for centralized government and was critical of the politics of self-aggrandizement. Clearly setting himself with the nation’s founders, he believed that if a man was dependent financially on someone, he could not serve the public good, but would only be concerned about his dependent relationship. A politician had to be independent – owning his own land and not directly involved in the marketplace. To Webster, George Washington was the epitome of this disinterested leader. You can find several letters written between the two in the online collection of the Library’s collection of the George Washington Papers. His support of the founding fathers led him to maintain correspondence with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, both of whose papers are also held at the Library.