SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (WTEN) – A stunning discovery at a college library in New York has everyone talking.
India Spartz, the head of collections and archives at Union College in Schenectady, knows it’s the kind of thing you have to see to believe.
“This is George Washington’s hair,” she said.
A lock of hair from the first President of the United States, whose face is on the dollar bill, was found inside an envelope tucked into an old book at the library.
The book was published all the way back in 1793.
“It’s a bit of a needle in a haystack,” Spartz said.
She and her staff did some digging – no CSI forensics needed. Just historians with a knack for finding clues, like an inscription on the inside of the book.
“Phillip J. Schuyler. Given to him by one of his friends,” Spartz explained.
Turns out Schuyler’s dad was a general who served with Washington. The two families were close.
“They were well connected, they had a good social standing,” Spartz said.
Back in those days, when someone died it wasn’t uncommon to give away a strand of hair as a token.
Flash forward to 2018 and the whole campus is buzzing.
“It’s pretty cool. I mean it’s a piece of history,” said one student.
“Who would have thought with all those books in the library?” said another.
Plans are already underway for the iconic hair to be on display soon at the college.