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On November 8, 1800 the War Office experienced a fire which destroyed the papers, records, and books contained there. The history of the War Department from 1784-1800 was thought to have been lost for two centuries. The Papers of the War Department has brought together these once lost documents into one freely accessible online collection.
Without the Papers of the War Department, these documents which constitute the first archive of the Unted States, would have remained scattered accross hundreds of archives and collections. With the original leadership of Ted Crackel and later the staff at RRCHNM, these important documents which help researchers discover the country's beginning are now easily accessible.