Jefferson - I Can't Live Without Books Glass

This rocks glass commemorates Jefferson's sale to Congress of his 6,487-volume personal library.
created by

Brian Johnson


Brian Johnson created by

Brian Johnson

read more about the maker

Pursue Happiness

Brian Johnson's 11 oz. rocks glass commemorates Thomas Jefferson's 1815 sale to Congress of his personal 6,487-volume library, collected on two continents over 50 years. Anyone with that many books qualifies as a serious bibliophile, so why did he do that? Because, dear reader, on the evening of August 24, 1814, British forces set fire to the unfinished United States Capitol, destroying the Congressional Library. Jefferson offered Congress a deal: his book collection, the largest and most comprehensive in the US at the time, for a price. After some controversy, Congress OK'd it.

The handwriting and signature on the glass, facsimiles of Jefferson's own, are from a letter he sent to John Adams after the tenth and final book-laden wagon left Monticello for Washington. "I cannot live without books," he wrote. The letter's original wax seal is replicated in red, giving the glass a pop of color. As for Jefferson, Congress paid him $23,950 for his books, part of which he spent to buy more. Made in Virginville, Pennsylvania.

Sold individually.

Brian Johnson

created by

Brian Johnson



“I hope my glasses serve as conversation pieces and fun ways to bring people together.”

By day, Boston-based designer Brian Johnson creates high-performance composite products for the medical and military industries. By night, his passion for creating modern, functional home goods takes over. He enjoys working with simple, sustainable materials in striking ways and applying novel approaches to everyday objects. With eco-friendly manufacturing in mind, he selects recyclable and repurposed materials whenever possible and makes every effort to source materials and services locally through other small businesses in the United States.

Made in the USA
Made from
3.5" H x 3.25" diameter; 11 fl. oz. capacity
Hand wash recommended
Item ID

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