United States Returns Stolen Rare Books to the National Library of Sweden

July 24, 2013 – Media Mention
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News

Herrick's work to help facilitate the return of two rare books to our client, the National Library of Sweden, is noted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News. The books, a priceless part of Sweden's cultural heritage, were part of a larger theft of 62 rare or one-of-a-kind volumes, stolen by the former chief of the Library's Manuscript Department.

The two newly-recovered books are actually closely related to American history. One, written in 1683 in French by Louis Hennepin, contains the first printed record of the Louisiana territory and the first description of Niagara Falls. A copy of the book was owned by Thomas Jefferson, who consulted it in connection with his eventual decision to have the U.S. make the Louisiana Purchase. The other book, a 19th century volume by Henry Louis, includes numerous hand-colored lithographs and texts from the author's exploration of the Mississippi River between 1846-1849.

The successful return of the two books is the result of an ongoing investigation and recovery effort launched by the Library in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the F.B.I., and members of Herrick's Art Law Group. This recovery follows last year's successful return of the 415-year-old Wytfliet Atlas to the National Library.