During the War of 1812 the British invaded Washington and burned the Capitol building in 1814. They also burned the 3,000 volumes in the Library of Congress, which was then housed in the Capitol. While Jefferson was president from 1801 until 1809, he took a strong interest in the Library of Congress and its collection, personally recommending books and appointing the first two Librarians of Congress. In fact, he said, "I cannot live without books." By the time the war happened, Jefferson was retired and living at his home in Monticello. There he had his own private library, known as the largest and finest in the country. What do you think Jefferson decided to do for Congress?
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