George Washington: War Hero, Father of Our Country . . . Book Scofflaw

It took over two centuries, but the truth has finally caught up with George Washington. For 220 years, Washington’s dark secret laid undiscovered in a ledger of The New York Society Library, but it is now public: George Washington is a book scofflaw with overdue charges piling up for over 220 years on two books.

It turns out that Mr. “I Cannot Tell a Lie” had little difficulty in absconding with hot books. As a representative of George Washington University (a school whose original charter was paid by George Washington himself), I can only express a sense of great shame and self-loathing.

One of the books was the “Law of Nations” and the other was a volume of debates from Britain’s House of Commons. Both books were due on Nov. 2, 1789.

The selection of Law of Nations is interesting since it was an early work on international law. Recently, there has been a backlash against the Supreme Court’s application of international law rulings. The selection of the work on the House of Commons also reflects the continuing interest and reliance on English legal customs.

Notably, on April 30, 1789, George Washington took the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York. On April 16, 1789 Washington left Mount Vernon to go to New York City, then the nation’s capital, for his inauguration.

These particular books were checked out on October 5, 1789. Notably, Washington was in New York on October 3, 1789, when he signed a Thanksgiving Proclamation — just blocks from the library. The proclamation gives thanks for “the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge.” Was this a taunt to the librarians hot on this trail or a subconscious cry for help?

The current fine has reached $300,000 according to one article, here, or roughly $4200 according to another article, here. Either way, they were even less likely to get the overdue charges in the eighteenth century. George Washington had to borrow money to go to New York for his inauguration.

For the full story, click here.

65 thoughts on “George Washington: War Hero, Father of Our Country . . . Book Scofflaw”

  1. You pissed off Fritz Hollings?

    That gets you two gold stars, Vince. One for a job well done and one for outstanding community service.

  2. Thanks, Mike, I appreciate it.

    The real names have been scarce here, and are even scarcer over at Doc Conspiracy and Native and Natural Born Citizen Explored. The trolls and sock puppets get rolled so effectively that it gets painful sometimes

    BTW, “sock puppet” is the term for the anonymous posters who keep popping up under difference nicknames. One, like Duh disappears, then Les comes and goes, and then we had Integrity. They all sound alike.

    Finally, I do not condemn the anonymous posters in general. A friend had to post that way because his job required him to be nonpartisan. I think Kevin is wise to use a penname, because he is a scientist. Word searches should only lead to professional papers.

    But these birthtrolla never give any good reason, and love to attack real name posters personally … and dabble in some cyberstalking.

  3. Hi, Vince. Anyone who pisses off Fritz Hollings can’t be all bad. BTW, why is it that not a single solitary birther who has fouled this site over the past two years has had the courage to stand behind his or her assertions with an actual name? That’s why I decided some time ago not to respond to the gutless wonders who pop up time and again to angrily repeat false statements supported by incoherent legal arguments cribbed from equally clueless and equally anonymous third parties. I would enjoy a rational discussion with at least one birther who was willing to take off the white hood and speak in his own name (excluding Orly Taitz). But that is as likely to happen as BVM’s coup d’etat.

  4. What makes you think that I don’t already know what the answer is Mr. Treacy. You know what they say, never ask a question that you don’t know the answer to.

  5. Send a self addressed stamped envelope with real name, and the answer will be sent by return mail.

  6. That was me, everybody.

    That wrinkled old senile racist redneck Hollings then went on to say that he’d like to wring my neck.

    He should have been careful about his empty threats. He might have found his own skinny little neck wrung right back.

    It was no problem for me then, and it is no problem for me now. I was doing my job, and doing it right.

    I told the truth and got the law right back then.

    He did not like it, so he flamed out intemperately (with full speech debate immunity).

    I’m telling the truth and getting the law right now.

    If a Senator could not scare me, why should I worry about a lot of anonymous trolls and sock puppets?

  7. Also was wondering if you had the chance to verify that richcares lives in Oregon. Maybe you could get Dr. C to get in touch with him if you haven’t already, seeing how he is your source and commenter on your blog.

  8. Top of the afternoon Mr. Treacy.

    Mr. Treacy I ran across an article a few days ago and was wondering if you are the Vince Treacy that is written about.

    From the 1996 Congressional Record

    “Now, Mr. President, there was reference made to the CRS. I am just amazed. I thought they always had a pretty good record. They ought to give the fellow who works over there for the Congressional Research Service weekend leave. And the reason I say that, they have a guy named Vince Treacy, legislative attorney, and he was asked on September 27, just a few days ago, to give an opinion with respect to the coverage, the Railway Labor Act coverage of Federal Express as an express company.

    “Now we see who comes in in the middle of the game trying to change the rules of the road. We see now who is trying to pull rugs out from under people. And they are using every gimmick in the book. This fellow will be looking for a job if I have anything to do with it, I can tell you that”.

    Page 10

    Those are some pretty strong words coming from a democratic member.

    Are you the Vince Treacy who Mr. Hollings is referring to?

  9. Edwin Montefiore Borchard.

    Nice name.

    Sounds like a Ray Bradbury story title, like “Icarus Montgolfier Wright.”

    I looked Borchard up to see what he had to say about citizenship at birth. Here is the link (scroll to section 269 on page 606):


    § 269. Citizenship at Birth.

    It is not within the purview of this work to discuss the municipal law of citizenship. Nevertheless, inasmuch as the international aspects of citizenship are often necessarily involved in the matter of diplomatic protection, it seems desirable briefly to notice some of the principal features connected with the acquisition of American citizenship and title to protection.

    Citizenship is acquired by birth or naturalization. Citizenship by birth may be acquired either by birth in the United States or by birth abroad to American citizens. The effects of a conflict with the law of other countries by which dual nationality ensues have already been, to some extent, considered.

    According to the civil rights Act of April 9, 1866,2 “all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States,” and according to the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1868, “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” These two definitions appear to be declaratory of the common law.

    Yet on several occasions the courts and the Department of State appear to have misinterpreted the clauses “not subject to any foreign power” and “subject to the jurisdiction” by construing them so as to exclude from citizenship the children born in this country of alien parents, according to whose national law their children became subjects jure sanguinis.3 The uniform construction of the law at the present time confers citizenship upon all persons (not tribal Indians) born in the United States, even of aliens, permanently or temporarily here resident,4 and interprets the clause “subject to the jurisdiction,” as excluding merely children born in places enjoying exterritoriality, such as foreign legations or public vessels.5


    2 R. S., § 1992.

    3 Dicta in Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 73, and in Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U. S. 99, briefly discussed by Van Dyne, op. cit., 12-15. See also Hausding’s case, For. Rel., 1885, 394, and Greisser’s case, For. Rel., 1885, 814. An account of the development of the American law of citizenship by birth in the TJ. S. is given by Van Dyne, 3 “. teq.

    4 Lynch t>. Clark, 1 Sandf. Ch. 583; McCreery v. Somerville, 9 Wheat. 354; In re Look Tin Sing, 10 Sawyer, 353, 21 Fed. 905, and the great case of U. S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), 169 U. S. 649. See Report of Citizenship Board, 73-74; Van Dyne, 17-24; and Moore’s Dig. IlI, 280.

    5 Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U. S. 258, 264; Act’g Sec’y Wharton in For. Rel., 1891, 21.


    So there is the quote and the link. It confirms what I have written since 2008.

    He says that the uniform construction confers citizenship at birth upon all persons born in the United States, even to aliens temporarily in the country. The doctrine is founded on the common law. The provision excluding persons not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is very limited. The law was “misconstrued” to exclude the children of aliens whose home country made them “subjects jure sanguinis.” He relies on the “great case” of Wong Kim Ark.

    So I think that Edwin Montefiore Borchard supports me, not the birthers.

    [Add on. The link to the book is a new product of google. It is terrific. The entire book is there with a photo of each page, and an option for text. It is indexed, and the index entries are linked to the text. I think this is the ground floor of a revolution in scholarship.]

  10. The diplomatic protection of citizens abroad by Edwin Montefiore Borchard (1915)

    § 258. Foreign-born American Citizens.

    According to §1993 of the Revised Statutes “all children . . . born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, whose fathers were or may be at the time of their birth citizens thereof, are declared to be citizens of the United States; but the rights of citizenship shall not descend to children whose fathers never resided in the United States.”

    When such foreign-born children of American citizens are born in a country by whose laws they become its subjects jure soti, a case of dual nationality also arises.2 While passports may be and are frequently issued to such foreign-born minors,3 their efficacy is qualified by the fact, unreservedly admitted, that it is not competent for the United States by its municipal legislation to interfere with the rights, obligations and duties which may attach to them under the laws of the country in which they were born and in which they continue to reside.4 In third countries no such limitation would apply.

    The question is frequently presented whether the foreign-born minor child of a naturalized citizen is entitled to American protection. If born prior to the naturalization of the father and never resident in this country, the child of course never became a citizen of this country. If born after the naturalization of the father, it becomes first necessary to determine whether the father had expatriated himself, at the time of the child’s birth. If so, the child is born an alien, and is not entitled to American protection. As already observed, if the father renounced or forfeited his American citizenship subsequent to the birth of the child and acquired a new nationality, this has been held to operate not as a renunciation, but merely as a suspension of the child’s right to American protection against a conflicting claim of the country of residence, notwithstanding the general rule that the minor child follows the status of the father. A passport may be issued to such a child until he attains majority, and becomes competent to elect his nationality. The American citizenship of such a minor may, however, be divested by his continued residence abroad after reaching the age of majority. So that, while protected as a minor, he must, in order to conserve his American citizenship and right to protection, manifest his election to assume the rights and duties of American citizenship, for upon reaching majority his citizenship is no longer derivative, but is a matter of personal election. When, therefore, the foreign-born child of an American citizen or the American-born child of foreign parents continues to reside abroad after reaching the age of majority, his right to American protection depends upon his having elected American citizenship in accordance with the law of the United States.

    As we can see, those born abroad, even those who acquire dual citizenship, are provided protection even though they had never set foot on U.S. soil.

    The author of the cited book received his LL.B. from New York Law School in 1905.

    Vince Treacy is either ignorant or he has no shame.

  11. Vince Treacy,

    Are you really going to come into a legal blawg and claim that the foreign-born child of U.S. citizens would be provided no protection from, let’s say, attack on the high seas until such time as the child sets foot for the first time on U.S. soil? Are you claiming that the U.S. would have no duty to protect that minor child?

  12. allegiance n. The duty of obedience owed to a head of state in return for his protection. It is due from all citizens of that state and its dependencies and also from any alien present in the state.

    Obama was never in Kenya to appeal to that nation for protection. You have to be in a nation to get its protection.

    Not in the country. No protection.

  13. From the Oxford Dictionary of Law (Fifth Edition-2001)

    allegiance n. The duty of obedience owed to a head of state in return for his protection. It is due from all citizens of that state and its dependencies and also from any alien present in the state.

    Vince Treacy likes to cite as his source.


    “When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.’s children:

    British Nationality Act of 1948 (Part II, Section 5): Subject to the provisions of this section, a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of the birth.

    In other words, at the time of his birth, Barack Obama Jr. was both a U.S. citizen (by virtue of being born in Hawaii) and a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (or the UKC) by virtue of being born to a father who was a citizen of the UKC.

    Obama’s British citizenship was short-lived. On Dec. 12, 1963, Kenya formally gained its independence from the United Kingdom. Chapter VI, Section 87 of the Kenyan Constitution specifies that:

    1. Every person who, having been born in Kenya, is on 11th December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December, 1963…

    2. Every person who, having been born outside Kenya, is on 11th December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall, if his father becomes, or would but for his death have become, a citizen of Kenya by virtue of subsection (1), become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December, 1963.

    As a citizen of the UKC who was born in Kenya, Obama’s father automatically received Kenyan citizenship via subsection (1). So given that Obama qualified for citizen of the UKC status at birth and given that Obama’s father became a Kenyan citizen via subsection (1), it follows that Obama did in fact have Kenyan citizenship after 1963. So The Rocky Mountain News was at least partially correct.

  14. From Obama’s own “Fight the Smears” website:

    “Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.”

    As a British subject by birth, Obama was subject to the protection of England as well as the United States. His character was one of dual nationality from the time of his birth.

    Let’s look at a SCOTUS ruling regarding one who is born with dual citizenship.

    Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717 (1952)
    Tomoya Kawakita was a dual US/Japanese citizen (born in the US to Japanese parents). He was in Japan when World War II broke out, and because of the war was unable to return to the US. During the war, he actively supported the Japanese cause and abused US prisoners of war who had been forced to work under him. After the war, he returned to the US on a US passport, and shortly thereafter he was charged with (and convicted of) treason for his wartime activities.

    Kawakita claimed that he had lost his US citizenship by registering in Japan as a Japanese national during the war, and as a result he could not be found guilty of treason against the US. Presumably, the reason Kawakita fought so tenaciously not to be considered a US citizen was that he saw this as the only way to escape a death sentence for his treason conviction.

    However, the Supreme Court ruled that since Kawakita had dual nationality by birth, when he registered himself as Japanese, he was simply reaffirming an already existing fact and was not actually acquiring Japanese citizenship or renouncing his US citizenship.

    Obama has admitted that he had dual citizenship at birth.

    Do I need to provide court cases in which a person with dual citizenship at birth can appeal to the nation of their choice for protection? Maybe I should just let Vince Treacy continue to bury himself.

    It really doesn’t matter if Obama’s dual citizenship was to the United Kingdom or Kenya, and the United States. It was plural citizenship at birth, and that’s all that matters.

  15. Pants cannot even read its own stuff: Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya.”

    Never sworn allegiance to Kenya.

    No allegiance to Kenya.


  16. Pants is totally confused, legally.

    Citizenship. Citizenship. Citizenship.

    Not one of the sources cites stated that Obama “owed allegiance” to Kenya or any other country other than the United States.


    They discussed “citizenship.”

    Allegiance is the obligation of fidelity and obedience owed by a person to a government in consideration for the protection that government gives, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Ed, 1968. It is not the same as citizenship. Noncitizens who are subjects of a country (like immigrants awaiting citizenship) can owe it allegiance without being citizens.

    A citizen is “a member of the political community, owing allegiance and being entitled to the enjoyment of full civil rights.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Ed, 1968. She must be a member of the political community AND owe allegiance. Obama never owed allegiance to Kenya.

    He was a potential, conditional “citizen” of Kenya, because that country would have accorded citizenship to him because of his birth to his Kenyan father in America, if he ever returned and claimed it, which he never did, ever.

    Obama never owed any obligation of fidelity or obedience to Kenya, because Kenya never afforded him ANY protection and never had ANY jurisdiction, power or authority over him.

    Many colonial countries, former colonial countries, and poor countries accord this conditional, potential citizenship to children born to their citizens overseas. It is not full citizenship. The children only become citizens if they return and claim their citizenship.

    They may hope that their people, like Obama senior, may return someday when economic conditions are better. They want to assure them that their children, IF THEY RETURN, will be eligible for citizenship without the burden of naturalization. That is the reason for it. They wanted to keep families together if the parent returned to the home country. That is how it works.

    If the children born outside Kenya and similar countries never return, then they do not regain or reclaim or retain that citizenship. They remain citizens of their country of birth. Their allegiance to the birth country is exclusive and continuing and unbroken.

    What is so hard about this?

    The child born in the US has no “allegiance” to Kenya or any other country. His “allegiance” is to the United States of America. Legally. Totally. Exclusively.

    Everyone, look at Pant’s citations. He, she or it cannot even read. They did not say anything about allegiance. Nothing.

    One more time. Citizenship. Allegiance.

    This is getting boring.

    What is really maddening is that this troll won’t even answer the information I posted about Vattel. Doc Conspiracy actually displays the exact images of the translations available in America in 1787. They never translated Vattel’s words as “natural born citizen.” How could they be the source of the Constitution?

    Not a peep out of Pants on that one.

  17. Vince Treacy will look straight into your eyes and tell you a lie!

    I asked “Did Barack Obama II owe allegiance to a foreign state at the time of his birth?”

    Vince Treacy responded; “No.” Vince Treacy then went on to try to convince (there’s that Con and Vince again) readers that he was telling them the truth. and Obama’s own “Fight the smears” campaign site disagree with Vince Treacy
    “In other words, at the time of his birth, Barack Obama Jr. was both a U.S. citizen (by virtue of being born in Hawaii) and a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (or the UKC) by virtue of being born to a father who was a citizen of the UKC.”

    Fight the smears:
    “When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.

    Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982.”

    Uncle Ernie was right to tell me to keep an eye on Vince Treacy.

  18. The New Englander and Yale Review said “…the term ‘natural born citizen’ is used, and excludes all persons owing allegiance by birth to foreign states;”


    The exclusion for persons owing allegiance by birth to foreign states means persons born to diplomats with diplomatic immunity, and persons born to members of hostile military forces occupying the country.

    That is the law.

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