by Steven Gilbert | August 27th, 2012
(Image courtesy of Washington State Library)
Every month this year, we’re doing a series of blog posts on three interesting, cool or rare items or collections found in the State Library. After we feature these “Library jewels,” we invite our blog readers to choose their favorite in an online poll.
It’s been 200 years since the conflict that inspired our national anthem. While the War of 1812 may be long forgotten, our State Library is keeping its history alive with numerous materials in its extensive collection. This month’s first Library jewel is a pair of books regarding the War of 1812.
The picture at the top comes from the first book, “The Pictorial Field book of the War of 1812” by Benson J. Lossing and published in 1869. It includes pen and pencil illustrations of the history, biography, scenery, relics and traditions of the last war for American independence with several hundred wood engravings from original sketches by the author. The other book is a geographical view of British possessions in North America published in 1814, with an appendix, containing a concise history of the war in Canada, to the date of the volume.
Here is a short list of some of the items in the State Library’s collection regarding the War of 1812. All of these documents predate the 20th century, with several stretching back into the 1810s, giving Library visitors the opportunity to see an unspoiled glimpse into details of the war.
This first installment in our August Library jewels will be followed by two others later this week.