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George Washington's Hair Found in New York College Library

George Washington's Hair Found in New York College Library
A lock of George Washington's hair was found in a book at Union College in New York. (Union College)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 February 2018 03:31 PM

A small lock George Washington’s hair has been found in a college library during an inventory review of old books.

Union College in Schenectady, New York, said in a news release the hair was found inside n envelope in a 1793 almanac called “Gaines Universal Register or Amercian and British Kalendar for the Year 1793.”  

“This is a very significant treasure,” Head of Special Collections and Archives India Spartz said in the release. “It’s a tremendous testament to history and our connection to some of the most important historical figures.” 

Historical records project archivist Daniel Michelson discovered the hair while looking at the book, which was believed to have belonged to the son of General Philip Schuyler, a founder of the college.

Schuyler was a U.S. senator from Albany who served under Washington in the Revolutionary War and was a close friend and supporter of the first U.S. president.

The envelope was marked “Washington’s hair” and said it was a gift from James Alexander Hamilton’s mother (General Schuyler’s daughter) to him. The envelope also had the initials L.S.S. and GBS (scratched out), which correspond to Hamilton’s granddaughters Louisa Lee Schuyler and Georgina Schuyler, to whom he may have given the hair as a gift.

The six strands of hair are held together with a single thread. Officials do not believe DNA testing would be able to show the hair is Washington’s, but they believe it is authentic. 

The writing on the envelope matches another note at the Massachusetts Historical Society that accompanies strands of Washington’s hair, the news release said.

Contrary to popular belief, Washington did not wear a wig but powdered his reddish-brown hair white in accordance with fashion dictates until it turned gray-white some time before his presidency. 

The college said it plans to display the hair publicly at some point.

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A historian found a small lock George Washington’s in a New York college library during an inventory review of old books.
george washington, hair, found, college, library
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 03:31 PM
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