Watterston was born to Scottish immigrants on a ship in New York Harbor . The Watterstons had lived in Washington since he was eight . He later worked as a lawyer in Hagerstown and Washington; at the same time he was active as a writer and published his first novella The Lawyer, or Man As He Ought Not to Be in 1808 . In 1813 he became editor of the Washington City Gazette .
After the War of 1812 , Watterston was named Librarian of Congress by President James Madison . He was the first to take on this role full-time. Under his leadership, the library was expanded primarily through the takeover of the collection of former President Thomas Jefferson .
After President Andrew Jackson's election victory , Watterston, who was politically active in the Whig Party , was replaced, but he resisted unsuccessfully. He became editor of the National Journal and published numerous books on a wide variety of subjects, including agriculture .
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||US Congress Librarian|
|DATE OF BIRTH||October 23, 1783|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||New York City|
|DATE OF DEATH||February 4, 1854|