Signed George Washington books loaned to presidential library

Title page of book with George Washington's signature
Signed title page of Washington's
'Official letters'.
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Two books originally owned by the first President of the United States are being loaned by the National Library of Scotland to help recreate his original book collection.

Bearing George Washington's signature, the volumes were handed over by Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond at a ceremony at the President's former home at Mount Vernon, outside Washington.

They will be displayed at the Fred W Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington when it opens at Mount Vernon later this year.

Written during American War of Independence 

George Washington

The books are Washington's own copies of his two-volume 'Official letters to the Honorable American Congress'. Written during the war of independence between the United Colonies and Great Britain (1775-1783), they were printed in 1795.

In 1938 the family of wealthy jute manufacturer Hugh Sharp donated them to NLS.

Mr Salmond said he was honoured that Scotland could help 'realise the dream' of displaying all George Washington's papers at Mount Vernon. The books will be returned to NLS after going on display.

Scotland's National Librarian, Martyn Wade, said: 'Our US collections are the largest foreign collections we hold, demonstrating the strong links that have always existed between our two countries and which continue today. It is a great privilege to be able to support this new library in this way and we wish it every success.'

Read more in our Washington books press release


9 April 2013

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