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The Committee on Alleged Abstraction of Books from the Library of the House was a select committee of the United States House of Representatives that existed from February 14-28, 1861.[1]

The committee was charged with investigating rumors that several members of the House of Representatives from several states that had seceded from the United States had taken books from the House Library for personal use, or, alternatively, to help start a congressional library for the Confederate States of America.[2] The allegations were first made public by the New York Times in an article published February 13, 1861, that accused Members of Congress of taking "some of the most valuable volumes in the collection.[3]

The select committee's investigation determined those rumors to be in error, finding that the supposed missing books had instead not been properly credited back to the representatives' accounts after being returned.[4][5]


Members[2] Party State
Template:Party shading/Democratic | Democratic Virginia
Template:Party shading/Independent |
  • Horace Maynard
Independent Tennessee
Template:Party shading/Republican |
  • Thomas M. Edwards
Republican New Hampshire


  1. [citation needed]
  2. 2.0 2.1 U.S. House Journal. 36th Congress, 2nd session. 14 February 1861, 314.
  3. "Providing a Library for the Southern Confederacy" (PDF). New York Times. February 13, 1861. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  4. House Report 90. 36th Congress, 2nd session. 28 February 1861, page 1101
  5. Congressional Globe. 36th Congress, 2nd session. 28 February 1861, 1282-1283.