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Mt Vernon, Virginia

Obscura Day 2016: The Famous Fakes, Forgeries & Frauds of George Washington

Prepare to enter the world of deception where fake, forged and frauduelnt George Washington artifacts can elude even the experts' eyes.

Robert Spring, Joseph Cosey, and Charles Weisberg were three well-known 19th- and 20th-century forgers of George Washington documents. But, did you know that spurious letters also appeared during Washington’s lifetime? How do you tell a real Washington signature from a forgery?

Join us for a visit to George Washington's Mount Vernon where we will spend time with experts at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington chronicling the fake, the forged, the fraudulent, and the spurious world of Washington’s words. Guests will have the opportunity to view manuscripts purported to be penned by George Washington, and other items with spurious Washington connections, side-by-side with authentic George Washington letters.

Your exploration of the estate will continue as your Mount Vernon guide provides rare access to the Mansion’s basement. Conclude your exciting day with the unique chance to interact with one of the 19th century’s most infamous forgers, who may even teach you the secrets of his fraudulent craft!

Ticket price includes exclusive Obscura Day library programming, estate admission for the entire day ($17 value), a special AO-curated estate tour and a 10% discount at Mount Vernon shops.

Details - 

Location: Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway

Cost: $40

Time: 10 AM - 12 PM 

Notes for this adventure:

- Due to the delicate nature of the artifacts and the library's collections, this adventure is open only to explorers over 10 years old. We apologize for the inconvenience.

- Mount Vernon is accessible by public transit and there's plenty of free parking available on site. Additional information about parking, driving directions, and public transit can be found on Mount Vernon's website.

- We'll be on our feet for a good portion of the visit, so wear comfortable shoes.

- Photography is encouraged in all areas except inside the mansion and in the museum. Flash photography is not allowed in the library.

- Leave your coffee at home! Food and beverages are not allowed (except bottled water). Additionally, bags larger than 16" x 16" x 8" are not allowed and all bags are subject to inspection.

- If you plan to spend the day at Mount Vernon, check out their list of "tips for your visit."

- Share photos on Twitter and Instagram with us @atlasobscura and with the hashtags #MountVernon & #ObscuraDay!

- After a day full of exploring, join us at Georgetown's Tudor Place for music, drinks, and merriment! Click here for information and tickets.

All ticket sales are final. Please direct any questions or concerns to Ashley Bowen-Murphy at ashley.bowen-murphy@atlasobscura.com.