I found myself studying the facsimiles in Steven's project and in the prologue (page xvi) he notes that a prominent historian was against the project and even petitioned the Government to suppress it through legislation. This apparently leading to a passing vote in the Senate, with the matter finally dying in committee.

This giving of definite references, not only to the Archives but to the volumes where the originals are preserved, brought out the strong opposition of an eminent American historian to both my Catalogue Index and Facsimiles. The subject had been referred by the Secretary of State to Congress, and in the House it went in the ordinary course of legislation to the Committee of Appropriations. The Chairman of the Sub-Committee briefly repeated the historian's arguments to the effect that the history of the United States had been carefully written; that it was a pity to give the rising generation references to the chapter and verse of original authorities, as the simple fact of such references implied a possible absence of accuracy in the quotations or conclusions, and that the Government need not incur expense by adopting the plan. The matter never came to a vote in the House, as it was suppressed in Committee, though it had passed the Senate unanimously.

I've attempted searching out more information on this; who the historian was, the content of the petition, those involved in shepherding the legislation and voting on it, and etc.

Is there any documentation that can be found that provides this information and that can be of use in inferring the intent behind this legislation?

Edit: Found this original application for support for this project to the Government: https://books.google.com/books?id=JR0bj7EIlMMC


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .