Mr. Jefferson's library: "a necessity of life"

Part three in a series

“I cannot live without books,” Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams in June of 1815. The former president had just packed his personal library—some 6,700 volumes—into a wagon train and shipped it north to the nation’s capital. He’d sold the collection to Congress for $23,950 to replace the collection burned by the British during the War of 1812.

His collection was, Jefferson rightly believed, “the choicest collection of books in the United States.”

And now he was left virtually bookless. Continue reading