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Famous George Washington Spy Letter Goes On Display

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George Washington, First President of the United States of America, Engraving. (Photo by Photo12/UIG/Getty Images) | UniversalImagesGroup via Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — An original letter written by George Washington that initiated a spy network during the Revolutionary War is going on display for a limited time at the International Spy Museum in Washington.

The museum says Washington's letter, written on Feb. 4, 1777, launched the nation's first spy network. While then-Gen. Washington was commander in chief of the Continental Army, he wrote to confidant Nathaniel Sackett, commissioning him to spy for his country as Washington's "intelligence director."

Sackett was to be paid $50 per month to create a spy network in New York. He was given a $500 bonus up front.

The museum acquired the fragile document in 2002 from Sackett's family. It's usually kept in storage for preservation. The document will be on view from President's Day weekend through March.

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