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Mercy Otis Warren. History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution, Vol. 2, 1805

Among the volumes in Jefferson’s collection was this master work on the historical origins of American independence by Mercy Otis Warren. A talented political activist and intellectual, Warren counted several leaders of the Revolution in her social circle. She was a strong advocate for Constitutional protection of civil and religious liberties.

Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Mercy Otis Warren. History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution, Vol. 2, 1805 Mercy Otis Warren. History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution, Vol. 2, 1805

Establishing a Library for Congress - 2

The Library of Congress was established in the act that provided for relocating the federal government to Washington, D.C. That act also authorized purchasing $5,000 worth of books “. . . as necessary for the use of Congress.” Most of these books were destroyed when British troops burned the Capitol in 1814. To replenish its holdings, Thomas Jefferson sold to the government his personal library of more than 6,000 volumes. The Library of Congress was housed in the Capitol until 1897, when the Library moved to its own building.