Skip Navigation
USAO Home Page

United States Attorney's Office News Release

 

March 15, 2007 -

INTERN CHARGED WITH STEALING ITEMS FROM NATIONAL ARCHIVES IN PHILADELPHIA

United States Attorney Pat Meehan announced the filing today of a criminal information* charging 40-year-old Denning McTague of Philadelphia with stealing 165 documents from the National Archives at 900 Market Street in Philadelphia, where he worked as an unpaid intern during the summer of 2006. McTague sold the stolen items on eBay. To date, 161 documents have been recovered.

The stolen Civil War era documents included orders, letters, and telegrams relating to supplying guns, gun powder and swords to the troops, as well as an Order from the War Department announcing the death of President Abraham Lincoln to the troops, and a letter from James Ewell Brown Stuart, the most famous calvary man of the Civil War.

“These are pieces of American history to be preserved, not sold to the highest bidder,” said Meehan.

McTague is an avid and educated cultural and historical artifacts collector, having obtained a masters degrees in history and information systems with a concentration in archives. He was the owner and operator of Denning House, a business formerly located in New York and then in Philadelphia, which described itself on its Web site as a “Purveyor of: Rare and Unusual Books, Maps, Manuscripts, Interesting Paper and Americana.”

As an intern for the National Archives, McTague was responsible for arranging and organizing documents in a specific section of the archives in preparation for the upcoming Sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. The grouping assigned to the defendant included the records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance Administrative History and Letters, Telegrams and Endorsements Received between 1816 and 1907. Many of these documents related to the ordering and sending of supplies, the ordering of materials for arsenal construction, and the ordering of goods for munitions manufacturing.


DEFENDANT


ADDRESS


AGE [Date of Birth]

Denning McTague
Philadelphia, PA
40 years old

The case was investigated by the National Archives Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Susan L. Fields.


UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
EASTERN DISTRICT, PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Contact:
RICH MANIERI
Media Contact
215.861.8525

*An Indictment or Information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Benjamin Franklin Photo by B. Krist for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation