Burning of Washington, 1814 Give me the Deed you your Colony, or I'll burn your Capitol down. Senate Chamber too!
"However?" It was an act of war! "During the War of 1812, records were lost." - TommyPaine
'During' the pillage & plunder of the US White House, 'War of 1812, "records' incinerated. - Editor's note. Why do you suppose this important historical archive was burnt to the ground? Why would the British Army wish to burn books & records?
Capitol in Flames. On August 24, 1814, as the War of 1812 raged on, invading British troops marched into Washington and set fire to the U.S. Capitol, the President's Mansion, and other local landmarks. The ensuring fire reduced all but one of the capital city's major public buildings to smoking rubble, and only a torrential rainstorm saved the Capitol from complete destruction. The blaze particularly devastated the Capitol's Senate wing, the oldest part of the building, which was honeycombed with vulnerable wooden floors and housed the valuable but combustible collection of books and manuscripts of the Library of Congress, then located in the Capitol building. Heat from the intense fire reduced the Senate chamber's marble columns to lime, leaving the room, in one description, "a most magnificent ruin." Quickly, President James Madison arranged for Congress to meet temporarily at Blodgett's Hotel when it returned to session in September, and the business of Congress continued uninterrupted. The following year, the Senate moved to the Brick Capitol, a large red-brick structure built to accommodate Congress temporarily. Not until 1819, after a major reconstruction project, did the Senate again meet in the historic Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol.
1801-1850 October 10, 1814 The Senate Buys a Library
When the invading British army burned the Capitol in August 1814, they fueled the fire with 3,000 books from a small room that served as the congressional library. Among the Senate's first orders of business, as it convened in temporary quarters 10 blocks from the gutted Capitol, was to obtain a new library. In September, former Vice President and President Thomas Jefferson had written to offer his own library—the largest personal collection of books in the nation. "I have been fifty years in making it, and have spared no pains, opportunity or expense, to make it what it now is. While residing in Paris I devoted every afternoon . . . in examining all the principal bookstores, turning over every book with my own hands, and putting by everything which related to America . . . ." Recognizing that the nation lacked spare funds during the war emergency, Jefferson explained that he would accept whatever price Congress wished to pay and would take his payments in installments. Appraisers valued the nearly 6,500 volumes at $23,950.
Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul ☑
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