Destroying the Library

Destroying the Library (HM1J70)

Location: Washington, DC 20003
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 53.243', W 77° 0.135'

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— Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail —

The original Library of Congress occupied a room in the U.S. Capitol. When British troops burned the Capitol in 1814, the collection was destroyed. After the war Thomas Jefferson helped re-establish the library by selling to Congress at a discount some 5,500 of his own books. President James Madison appointed local editor and writer George Watterston as his first full-time Librarian of Congress.
Returned Souvenir
In 1940 a collector sent the Library of Congress a book titled, RECTs and EXPENDs [receipts and expenditures] U.S. FOR 1810. It survived the British burning of the library in 1814 because British Rear Admiral Cockburn took it for a souvenir. He inscribed it, "Taken in President's room in the Capitol of Washington 24th August 1814."

In the summer of 1814 the United States had been at war with Great Britain for two years. Battlefronts had erupted from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. On August 24, following their victory over the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland, British troops marched on Washington with devastating results.

The Star-Spangled Banner Historic Trail reveals sites of the War of 1812 in Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. Visit or download the Chesapeake Explorer App.
HM NumberHM1J70
Series This marker is part of the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail series
Placed ByCultural Tourism D.C
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 at 5:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 326339 N 4306184
Decimal Degrees38.88738333, -77.00225000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 53.243', W 77° 0.135'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 53' 14.58" N, 77° 0' 8.1" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 245-299 Independence Ave SE, Washington DC 20003, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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