George Washington racks up late library fees

Published 12:22 am Sunday, April 18, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) — If George Washington were alive today, he might face a hefty overdue library fine.

New York City’s oldest library says one of its ledgers shows that the president has racked up 220 years’ worth of late fees on two books he borrowed, but never returned.

One of the books was the ‘‘Law of Nations,’’ which deals with international relations. The other was a volume of debates from Britain’s House of Commons.

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Both books were due on Nov. 2, 1789.

New York Society Library head librarian Mark Bartlett says the institution isn’t seeking payment of the fines, but would love to get the books back.

The ledger also lists books being taken out by other founding fathers, including Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and John Jay.

The entry on Washington simply lists the borrower as ‘‘president.’’