Scholar Charged in Theft of Letter by Henry James

Associated Press

Scholar Charles Merrill Mount was arrested today on a charge that he stole a valuable letter signed by American author Henry James from the Library of Congress, the FBI said.

The three-page letter signed by the noted 19th-Century author was found last week during a search of a safe deposit box rented under an alias by Mount, the FBI said in an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.

The James letter was part of the material that had been shown to David Wigdor, the acting head of the library's manuscript collection. Wigdor identified the letter as property of the library and said it had once been loaned to Mount for research purposes, the affidavit said.

Mount, who was arrested last week in Boston on a separate charge that he transported stolen historic records across state lines and was released on bond a day later, was being held in the lockup at the U.S. Courthouse awaiting a bail hearing.

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