Archivists at a New York school library stumbled upon an intimate artifact of George Washington — a lock of his iconic gray hair, tucked in an 18th-century almanac.
The uncommon discover has Schenectady’s Union School revisiting its relationship with the primary president of america as historians marvel how the hair made it there.
Historic data undertaking archivist Daniel Michelson discovered the almanac atop a bookshelf on the school’s Schaffer Library. The leather-based-sure guide, titled Gaines Common Register or American and British Kalendar for the yr 1793, consists of inhabitants estimates of the American colonies.
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Contained in the e-book, the school stated, was an envelope, which learn “Washington’s hair, L.S.S. & (scratched out) GBS from James A. Hamilton given him by his mom, Aug. 10, 1871.” The hair was contained in the envelope, tied collectively by a thread.
The ebook belonged to Philip J. Schuyler, son of one of many school’s founders, Gen. Philip Schuyler, a good friend of Washington’s. Historians and authors recommend Martha Washington gave the hair to Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, spouse of Alexander Hamilton, who later handed it on to relations.
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A lock of hair was given as a souvenir, stated Susan Holloway Scott, writer of I, Eliza Hamilton.
The school concedes it may’t definitively show the hair was Washington’s and doesn’t know the way it got here to be on the library. Though, the school reported, manuscripts supplier John Reznikoff believes its “one hundred% genuine.”
It is probably value between $2,000 and $three,000, he added, and is “undoubtedly George Washington’s.”
The school now plans to protect the hair and put it on show.
“As an archivist, we come throughout fascinating materials all the time,” stated India Spartz, Union’s head of particular collections and archives. “However that is such a treasure for campus.”
Comply with Sean Rossman on Twitter: @SeanRossman
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