Although he supposedly never told a lie, it turns out the late President George Washington has quite a debt on his hands. The reason being? Looks like he checked out a couple of books from the New York Society Library in 1789 and has yet to return them. This also makes him somewhat of a thief.

Adjusted for inflation the fines would equate to nearly $300,000…and that’s not even computing interest. Could you imagine 221 years of even simple interest? The books are “Law of Nations,” a dissertation on international relations, and a volume of debate transcripts from Britain’s House of Commons.

The library says they are not going to pursue the fines but would still like to get the books back. The books were checked out by his aide on October 5th, 1789 with a simple “president” in the ledger and were due back in one months time. While recently auditing their ledgers a librarian came across the unreturned items.


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  • Jack Vermicelli says:

    Except that fines are assessed in face-value dollars, never adjusted for inflation. And what does "$300,00" even mean? Three hundred dollars, in weird European comma-not-period decimal notation? Or based on your title, did you slip a zero? The difference of a missing zero makes it hardly a trivial mistake.