Book that shaped GW’s presidency returns home

Dick Uliano,

WASHINGTON – With a final bid of $8.7 million plus auction fees, the Mount Vernon Ladies Association (MVLA) bought a little book that packs a lot of history.

The 106-page book was once owned by the first U.S. president and includes his personal copy of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

“It’s an absolutely pristine book and we are thrilled to bring home George Washington’s original copy of the Acts of Congress,” says Ann Bookout, regent of MVLA.

“What’s so amazing about this particular book is that it has his personal annotations in the margins … documenting what are the powers of the president,” she says.

Washington received the book in 1789, his first year in office as president, and brought it with him to Mount Vernon upon his retirement from public office in 1797.

The ladies association bought the book with private funds and it will become the centerpiece of the Fred W. Smith National Library of the Study of George Washington, which is currently under construction at Mount Vernon.

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