“The framers were wise in their generation and wanted to do the very best possible to secure their own liberty and independence, and that also of their descendants to the latest days. It is preposterous to suppose that the people of one generation can lay down the best and only rules of government for all who are to come after them, and under unforeseen contingencies. At the time of the framing of our constitution the only physical forces that had been subdued and made to serve man and do his labor, were the currents in the streams and in the air we breathe. Rude machinery, propelled by water power, had been invented; sails to propel ships upon the waters had been set to catch the passing breeze–but the application of steam to propel vessels against both wind and current, and machinery to do all manner of work had not been thought of. The instantaneous transmission of messages around the world by means of electricity would probably at that day have been attributed to witchcraft or a league with the Devil. Immaterial circumstances had changed as greatly as materials ones. We could not and ought not to be so rigidly bound by the rules laid down under circumstances so different for emergencies so utterly unanticipated. The fathers themselves would have been the first to declare that their prerogatives were not irrevocable.”
The Congressional and Political Research Center provides access to materials from national, state, and local lawmakers, politicians, activists, and researchers. Our collections include correspondence, photographs, oral histories, memorabilia, and more. The Congressional and Political Research Center was founded on November 12, 1999. U. S. Senator John C. Stennis (an MSU alumnus) and U. S. Congressman G. V. "Sonny" Montgomery contributed the Center's cornerstone collections. These collections are still the largest of the Center's holdings. The Center is a member of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress.
The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library contains 15,000 linear feet of correspondence, research notes, published monographs, artifacts, photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia, by and about the United States’ 18th president, covering his early life, Civil War triumphs, presidency, and beyond. The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library was founded in 2012, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. On November 30, 2017, the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Museum was officially unveiled on the fourth floor of Mississippi State University’s Mitchell Memorial Library. The USGPL contains the collections of the USGA, the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana, and the Congressional and Political Research Center.
The Special Collections Department contains manuscripts, rare books, and other unique historical materials documenting the history of Mississippi State University, Mississippi, the South, and beyond. These materials are preserved and organized for the use of students, faculty and other researchers, and include correspondence; photographs; films; audio recordings; personal, family and business records; architectural drawings; maps; newspapers; literary manuscripts; artifacts and memorabilia; and MSU publications and records.