Archives intern pleads guilty in theft of Civil War documents

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PHILADELPHIA -- A 40-year-old intern with the National Archives pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing 164 Civil War documents, including the War Department's announcement of President Lincoln's death, and selling most of them on eBay.

Denning McTague, who worked at a National Archives and Records Administration facility in the city last summer as an unpaid intern, pleaded guilty to one federal count of stealing government property.

The stolen documents are valued at about $30,000 and all but three have been recovered, prosecutors said. McTague put about 150 of them for sale online and had shipped about half of them before he was caught, prosecutors said.

McTague, who holds master's degrees in history and library science, told investigators that he took the documents out of the building hidden inside a yellow notepad.

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