Ed Renehan: Pleads guilty to stealing GW and Lincoln letters

Historians in the News

A sticky-fingered historian has 'fessed up to lifting two prized letters by George Washington and another by Abraham Lincoln and selling them for nearly $100,000.
Edward Renehan, former director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association in Oyster Bay, LI, is facing 24 to 30 months in federal prison after pleading guilty yesterday to transporting stolen goods across state lines.

The letters by Washington, dated 1778 and 1791, and Honest Abe, written in 1840, sold for $97,000 at a Manhattan gallery, according to court papers.

The Lincoln letter was handwritten and signed more than 20 years before he became president. The Washington documents just carried his signature.

While the contents of the letters have only minor historic significance to the presidents, they are rare and valuable, defense attorney Peter Brill said.

Renehan, who has written six books, is also facing state charges in Nassau County for stealing a fourth letter from the association he once headed - this one by Roosevelt.

Related Links

  • NY Newsday News Story About Renehan
  • Read entire article at NY Post

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