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George Washington finally gets his books back from Scotland

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A reminder that the nation’s capital remains a historic region, as opposed to a welter of tweeting pundits and grimacing politicians. Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland, will soon arrive on these shores to return a pair of George Washington’s books long held by the National Library of Scotland.

It’s all part of an effort by Mount Vernon to recreate a collection of Washington’s favorite reading materials, to be ultimately housed in the spiffy Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, set to open in September.

The two volumes date from 1795 and come under the grand title “Official Letters to the Honorable American Congress, Written, During the War between the United Colonies and Great Britain, by His Excellency, George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Forces.”

The books were donated to Scotland’s national collection 75 years ago by the family of one Hugh Sharp, a bibliophile and jute manufacturer who lived in Dundee, and had a mighty big collection of books himself.

Mr. Salmond returns them to Mount Vernon at a formal ceremony Monday with a flourish, and bagpipe music.

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