Jamie's Blog

Monday, March 19, 2007

Intern selling stolen Civil war documents on Ebay



Denning McTague, an antiques and rare books dealer was interning for the national Archives in Philadelphia last summer. It seems that while he was working there, he walked out with at least 165 civil war documents. Including the official War Department's announcement of President Lincoln's death. He then sold them on Ebay to private collectors. It seems that one of the items he sold, aroused suspicion and got the FBI involved in an investigation. McTague was working with the Archives arranging and organizing documents for the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
He's now been caught and arrested, but has been cooperating with law enforcement on retrieving the items he stole. Most of the documents have been retrieved already.

What caught me about this story, was how he was able to simply walk out of the archives taking the documents. He wasn't caught stealing them, he was caught after the fact when he was selling them. Seems like the Archives should have had better security and accounting of it's documents.

The guy has a website where he sells books, but the site seems to be down. I'm not sure if that is because of the extra traffic this story has generated, or because he took the site down himself.
Check out his site here assuming that it ever comes back up,
and the story here

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