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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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4727. LIBRARY, Sale to Congress.—
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4727. LIBRARY, Sale to Congress.—

is long since I have been sensible it ought not
to continue private property, and had provided
that at my death, Congress should have the
refusal of it at their own price. But the loss
they have now incurred, makes the present the
proper moment for their accommodation, without
regard to the small remnant of time and
the barren use of my enjoying it. I ask of your
friendship, therefore, to make for me the tender
of it to the Library Committee of Congress, not
knowing myself of whom the Committee consists.
Nearly the whole are well bound, abundance
of them elegantly, and of the choicest
editions existing. They may be valued by
persons named by themselves, and the payment
made convenient to the public. * * * I do
not know that it contains any branch of science
which Congress would wish to exclude from
their collection; there is, in fact, no subject to
which a member of Congress may not have occasion
to refer. But such a wish would not
correspond with my views of preventing its dismemberment.
My desire is either to place it
in their hands entire, or to preserve it so
here. [305]
To S. H. Smith. Washington ed. vi, 384. Ford ed., ix, 486.
(M. Sep. 1814)

See 1133.


Jefferson's library was purchased by the United
States Government for the use of Congress. The
price paid was $23,950.—Editor.