Washington’s personal copy of the Constitution touring the country

A rare book containing President George Washington’s personal copy of the Constitution and other important documents is touring the country. Photo: Todd DeFeo

AUSTIN,  May 5, 2013 – A rare book containing President George Washington’s personal copy of the Constitution and other important documents will be displayed at the LBJ Presidential Library as part of a nationwide tour.

The book, titled “Acts of Congress,” has been touring presidential libraries since March and will be on display at the Austin library from May 6 until May 17. During its run at the LBJ Presidential Library, visitors will have the opportunity to leave their personal reflections as part of “The Acts of Congress and You.”


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The 106-page “Acts of Congress” includes copies of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other laws passed by the first session of Congress. Next to Article Two of the Constitution, Washington wrote the words “President,” “Powers” and “Required” in the book’s margin.

Francis Childs and John Swaine printed the book, which Washington acquired at the end of the Congressional session on Sept. 29, 1789. Washington brought it home with him after he left the White House in 1797, and it remained in the hands of the Washington family, even after they sold his estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia, in 1859.

The book, eventually sold to a collector, passed through the hands of various owners before the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association purchased it on June 22, 2012.

Following its tour, the “Acts of Congress” will be permanently housed at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington. The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is currently constructing the Smith library on Washington’s estate in Mount Vernon.


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Following its run at the LBJ Presidential Library, the book will head to the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston from May 20 until June 1. Future tour stops are:

– Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, June 7-21

– William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, June 30-July 12

– George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, July 14-27

– Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa, July 30-Aug. 11

– Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, Aug. 13-23

– George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, Aug. 26-Sept. 9

– Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence Missouri, Sept. 12-21


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Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo jouned The Washington Times Communities in May 2012. He covers travel and Georgia. A marketing professional who never gave up his award-winning journalistic ways, DeFeo revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He also serves as editor of The Travel Trolley.

 

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