George Washington: Library Deadbeat

washington-overdue-book

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you my debacle with the local library: fines and a lost book. Yikes! After doing a little reading this week, however, I don’t feel quite as loser-ish. Our first President has me beat:

Five months into his first term, George Washington borrowed two books from the historic New York Society Library. One of these was a legal manifesto, the “Law of Nations”, concerning international relations. The second tome was a volume of debates from Britain’s House of Commons.

The two books were due to be returned on November 2, 1789. Alas, they were not. Instead, they remained sequestered at Washington’s Virginia home. While library officials did not actively pursue locating the books, they did wonder if they would ever see them again.

Well, y’all, in 2010, after 221 years, the “Law of Nations” was returned to the New York Society Library by the Mount Vernon staff. Thankfully, late fees were waived. According to The Guardian, “At today’s prices, adjusted for inflation, he would face a late fine of $300,000.”

Suddenly I feel a little bit better about my lost book. Somehow I’m sure we’ll be returning The Diary of a Wimpy Kid in less than 221 years…

Have you ever returned a library book past its due date?

 

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