Skip to main content

Image via Southern Methodist UniversityGeorge Washington's personal copy of Acts of Congress is currently on display at Southern Methodist University's DeGolyer Library in Dallas, TX. The leather-bound book was published by the official printer of Congress in 1789, Washington's first year as President of the United States. This copy was custom-printed for Washington and contains his signature and handwritten annotations. Copies of the book were presented to other key politicians of the time, like Thomas Jefferson and John Jay. There are only thirty known copies in existence.

The book is on loan from the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, which purchased the book for a whopping $8.7 million ($9.8 million including auction fees) last year at Christie's. The sale price broke the record as the highest for an American book or historical document.

The book will be on display for the public until July 27. It is part of a larger exhibit at SMU called "Hail to the Chief: American Presidential History in Word and Image", which displays presidential memorabilia from Washington onward to the present day. That larger exhibit will be open until October 4. After a national tour, Washington's Acts of Congress will be on permanent display at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, a new center opening at Mount Vernon in September.

‚ÄčRare volume from George Washington's library is on display at SMU