Pequot Library Special Collections A Journal of Travels
A Journal of Travels in England, Holland, andScotland and of Two Passages over the Atlantic, in the years of 1805 and 1806 by Benjamin Silliman Curated by Olivia Johnson
Benjamin SillimanA Journal of Travels in England, Holland, and Scotland and of TwoPassages over the Atlantic, in the years of 1805 and 1806T.B. Wait and Company, 1812In the early 1800s when travel was difficult and not as common as it is today,books helped the world understand what was beyond their home. BenjaminSilliman documented his own travels through England, Holland, and Scotland.Silliman was a local, born in what is now Trumbull, Connecticut. He studiedchemistry at Yale and delivered the first ever science lectures there. Sillimantraveled to England and Scotland to prepare himself to be a professor at Yale.He attended many lectures but devoted a great amount of time to traveling. Inhis journal, he recorded many observances of places and people and hisjournals got broad recognition.The book was included in the then-young Library of Congress under an act ofcongress titled “An Act for Encouragement of Learning, by securing copies ofMaps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of them, during thetimes then mentioned.” The Library of Congress was established by an act ofCongress in 1800 when President John Adams signed a bill transferring theseat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington.The legislation described a reference library for Congress only, containing"such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress - and for putting upa suitable apartment for containing them therein…"
Established with $5,000 appropriated by the legislation, the original library washoused in the new Capitol, and included Silliman’s Journal until August 1814,when invading British troops set fire to the Capitol Building, burning and pillagingthe contents of the small library.Student Curator: Olivia Johnson
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