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Washington expert comments on GW library fine

April 20, 2010

After the recent findings by New York City librarians that George Washington checked out two books from the NY Public Library and never returned them, thereby racking up $300 large in fees, I heard from my friend and Washington expert, E.G. Portobello. Prof. Portobello holds the Dandridge Chair of History and Exculpation at Custis College in Virginia.

He insists that these recently discovered Washington records could be just the beginning of a great awakening in Washington studies. “Today, a library ledger, tomorrow, you can’t imagine. People were always burying things back then.” When I pressed him as to what he meant by this, he was guardedly optimistic about the real possibility of perhaps revealing some elements of supposed secret documents only recently discovered. He said he could well say something more substantial on this matter sometime soon.

I have certainly never found Prof. Portobello to be entirely unreliable, so there could undoubtedly be something big here. I pressed him one more time during our phone conversation. “Give me a tidbit, Professor.”

There was a pause before he said, “It might be a document from early in his life. Possibly quite remarkable.”

“Some sort of diary?” I pressed.

He just smiled a Cheshire cat smile before the phone connection faded away.

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