National Archives researcher confesses to forging date

January 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm Leave a comment

This is a non-cute shenanigan. From the press release: “Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced today that Thomas Lowry, a long-time Lincoln researcher from Woodbridge, VA, confessed on January 12, 2011, to altering an Abraham Lincoln Presidential pardon that is part of the permanent records of the U.S. National Archives. The pardon was for Patrick Murphy, a Civil War soldier in the Union Army who was court-martialed for desertion. Lowry admitted to changing the date of Murphy’s pardon, written in Lincoln’s hand, from April 14, 1864, to April 14, 1865, the day John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. Having changed the year from 1864 to 1865, Lowry was then able to claim that this pardon was of significant historical relevance because it could be considered one of, if not the final official act by President Lincoln before his assassination.”

My researchers sometimes wonder why we don’t like to have pens in the reading room. Now you know one reason. (There’s also the problem of pen explosions.) Thanks, Leah Davis Witherow!

Entry filed under: archives, perpetrated by students or patrons.

Monorail kitteh now stops @ library A hawk in the Library of Congress! An actual live hawk!

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