George Washington’s long and sordid history as a book scofflaw has come to an end. The library book borrowed by by Washington and never returned to the New York Society Library has been returned 221 years overdue.
“The Law of Nations” by Emer de Vattel on October 5, 1789 is not the only book on Washington’s overdue list, but it is a meaningful start for the man who “would not tell a lie” but it appears would never return a book. One calculation puts the overdue fee at $300,000.
Of course, that book is now worth considerably more due to its overdue patron. For those of us serving at the institution founded for Washington (and chartered personally by Washington) allow me to express relief at this cloud being (partially) removed from over our school. Those long stares and whispers that we experienced on the streets may now finally end.
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