the Chamber of Commerce; but business and pro- E
fessional men, a little while back so generous, g
now were cold and unsympathetic. There is rec- *
ord of legislative permission in 1847 to change
the name of the defunct Mercantile Library As-
sociation to "the President, Directors, and
Company of the Louisville Library, authorized
to carry a capital stock of $25,000 in 1,000
shares of $25 each."(2l)
Durrett relates that ThomasAnderson,Wil1iam
B. Belknap, Isaac Everett, and Grandison Spratt
endeavored to place the shares in the enter-
prise, but with only partial success; and "it
was not long before the books began to be a
burden to the stockho1ders." Toward the close
of 1849 a committee composed of ChapmanColeman,
former member of the Mercantile Library Associ-
ation, and James Traube sought a conference
with representatives of the city government
about what should be done with the library.
The city was petitioned to erect a library
building, sixty feet long and thirty feet wide,
on the northeast corner of the Courthouse lot.
Historically this is significant--it was the L
first agitation in Louisville of the idea that
a library, like schools, should be a municipal
' The city refused to put up a new building;
but subsequent conferences led toits agreement,
on July 1, 1850, to accept conveyance of the
library and house it in the old Courthouse
building at Sixth and Jefferson Streets, or in
some other suitable building, and keep it open
to shareholders, subscribers, and visitors on
payment of reasonable assessments.
The city first appointed as directors of the