Jefferson-Gate!

By Plotnik, Art | American Libraries, December 1987 | Go to article overview

Jefferson-Gate!


Plotnik, Art, American Libraries


Jefferson-gate!

A FORMER LIBRARY OF CONGRESS executive has blown the lid off what might have been the biggest coverup in the history of LC funding. At stake is the integrity of the Library's very origins and the honesty of Thomas Jefferson's friends in Congress.

A good "gate' or "scam' is exactly what the library profession needs to liven up its literature. But alas, bibliographic fraud is small potatoes these days--nor did anyone seem to care much about it in 1815, when it happened, if it happened.

Charles Goodrum, retired assistant director of LC's Congressional Research Service, has revealed and partly documented the possible scam in his latest book, The Best Cellar (St. Martin's, 1987). Author Goodrum is the foremost popular chronicler of LC, and his passions for that institution brighten two earlier nonfiction works. He has also created a fictional alter-LC, the Werner Bok Library of Washington, D.C., as the setting for a series of light mysteries. The Best Cellar, part of that series, features one killing, and one particular collection of books that inspired the foul deed. The collection: Some 3,000 volumes constituting the original Library of Congress, ca. 1814.

Official Library of Congress history says these books--a well balanced group acquired over 14 years--were destroyed when British troops burned the Capitol in August 1814. Hearing of the loss, the story goes, Thomas Jefferson quickly offered to sell his 6,487-volume personal library as a replacement.

After some resistance in the House, Congress appropriated $23,950 to acquire the Jefferson library--a founding collection that affected the shape of LC for decades to come. Goodrum, however, suggests a different story. Basing his case on federal documents rediscovered in 1981, he argues that the Congress's original 3,000 volumes might never have burned! Instead, they might have been carted to a safe hiding place, where they survived the British invasion. Further, he theorizes that their survival was possibly covered up by Jefferson's old pals in Congress. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Jefferson-Gate!
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.