Ea­gle eyes

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Dean and Jim Thomas, brothers and book pub­lish­ers from Get­tys­burg, Pa., thought the Civil War doc­u­ments they spot­ted for sale on EBay looked familiar. In fact, Dean Thomas rec­og­nized them as ones he’d pho­to­copied two decades ago, while con­duct­ing re­search at the re­gional Na­tional Archives in Philadel­phia.

He im­me­di­ately con­tacted the Na­tional Archives, and a short time later for­mer Archives in­tern Den­ning McTague was ar­rested for steal­ing 164 doc­u­ments, 161 of which have now been re­cov­ered. He will be sen­tenced on July 12.

The Thomas brothers were hon­ored in re­cent days by Ar­chiv­ist of the United States Allen We­in­stein, who com­mented that the Na­tional Archives “has a great re­spon­si­bil­ity to keep the na­tion’s doc­u­ments safe and se­cure, but we can’t do this with­out the pub­lic’s help.”

He called the Thomas brothers’ catch “ex­tra­or­di­nary.”

John McCaslin, whose col­umn is na­tion­ally syn­di­cated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jm­c­caslin@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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