An Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of the U.S. for the Year 1810…, 1812
This ledger was the only book to survive the 1814 burning of the Library of Congress. British Rear-Admiral Sir George Cockburn took it as a souvenir and inscribed it to his brother. A.S.W. Rosenbach, a book dealer, acquired it and returned it to the library in 1940.
Taken in President’s room in the Capitol, at the destruction of that building by the British, on the Capture of Washington 24th August 1814 by Admiral Cockburn
Rare Book Division, Library of Congress
Rebuilding the Library of Congress
When British troops burned the U.S. Capitol in August 1814, they completely destroyed the Library of Congress, which was housed in the building. To help replace the lost books, maps, and other items, former president Thomas Jefferson offered to sell Congress his personal library of 6,487 volumes. Encompassing a broad range of subjects, it was the largest private book collection in North America. After debating the offer, Congress purchased Jefferson’s library for $23,950 in 1815. Jefferson’s collection is currently on exhibit at the Library of Congress.