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Vol. 5, Iss. 6 Handwritten Letters






Handwritten Letters

Are handwritten letters an endangered species? If so, how much of our selves will we fail to leave generations to come? At University Archives, we value handwritten letters whether they originate from preeminent political and military leaders, the rich and famous, or from virtually unknown soldiers writing home from war. Letters are likely to be kept in attics, closets, or under beds; emails are likely deleted. Letters are slow to write and slow to read; emails are quick things.  Our impressive collection of documents and relics includes handwritten letters about small things and about big things, about secrets and about things that are known, always with the writer’s self inextricably interwoven.  Enjoy a 10% discount on the following letters until April 4, 2014.


Name Princess Diana of Wales ID# 56970
Headline Sexy Princess Diana thanks fashion designer Bruce Oldfield for “one extremely smart velvet dress” noting that “the ‘gap’ is in the right place too!”  
Date December 21, 1989 Price
Place London, England $5,000.00

Name Thomas Jefferson ID# 57061
Headline Thomas Jefferson explains why he refuses to publish his private correspondence with Benjamin Rush, "...preventing the publication of his letters, or their getting into hands which might expose him, living, or his character when dead to obloquies from bigots in religion, in politics, or in medicine..."  
Date August 17, 1816 Price
Place Monticello, [Charlottesville, VA] $75,000.00

Name Joseph P. Kennedy ID# 56471
Headline As the youngest bank president in America, in his late 20s, Joe Kennedy amiably berates a friend telling him that becoming a bank president “required only to put over that energetic, capable, pleasing young man Joe Kennedy … you suffer by comparison…”  
Date [1914-1917] Price
Place Boston, Massachusetts $1,400.00

Name Franklin D. Roosevelt ID# 55330
Headline Rare ALS as President! FDR changes his plans to celebrate his Uncle Fred’s 75th birthday to rush to his son’s bedside at the Mayo Clinic – five days later he quickly returns to Washington after Hitler demanded self-determination for 3.5 million Germans living in the Sudetenland in northwest Czechoslovakia and threatened to rescue them  
Date [September 9, 1938] Price
Place [Hyde Park, New York] $15,000.00

Name Theodore Dwight ID# 40810
Headline Financial difficulties caused by the great New York City fire of 1835 force Theodore Dwight, a leader of the Federalist Party and a member of Congress, to demand "payment of ... money advanced"  
Date December 31, 1836 Price
Place Hartford, CT $300.00

Name John Gotti ID# 53865
Headline From prison, Gotti writes to the daughter of mobster George DeCicco, longtime Capo in the Gambino crime family, mentioning the 20th anniversary of his 12-year-old son Frank’s death, giving his reaction to the recent arrest of “Sammy the Bull” Gravano (“As for that ‘yellow weasel,’ no I wasn’t surprised … the Government and him are ‘birds of a feather,’ and they deserve one another. I wont go any further on that punk)" and that “John is well, as is the other ‘Knuckle head’ my son-in-law…”  
Date [April 11, 2000] Price
Place [Marion, Illinois] $3,250.00

Name William H. Taft ID# 57705
Headline Displayable Rare White House ALS of Taft thanking Marjorie Ives, the daughter of his Minister to Spain, “for the beautiful blue tie you have made for me” – a year later, Miss Ives married Irish patriot Shane Leslie, Winston S. Churchill’s cousin  
Date May 19, 1911 Price
Place Washington, DC $6,000.00


Name Frederick Douglass ID# 54223
Headline Condolence letter signed and sent by Frederick Douglass to an abolitionist friend.  
Date November 14, 1880 Price
Place Washington DC $8,500.00

Name George Bush ID# 37407
Headline Highly important George Bush 2pp ALS to Daniel Patrick Moynihan  
Date Dec. 24, 1971 Price
Place n.p. $800.00


Name Francis Gary Powers ID# 57136
Headline Writing from a Russian prison on the day JFK is elected President, U-2 pilot Powers tells his wife “I personally hope Kennedy is elected.” – In 1962, Kennedy authorized a spy swap with Russia and Powers was released – he also writes of the “celebrations all day” Monday on the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution – with twice signed original envelope  
Date November 8, 1960 Price
Place [Moscow, USSR] $6,000.00


Name James Buchanan ID# 57708
Headline President-elect Buchanan advises “to let New York politicks alone for the present as I have resolved to do. It is a perfect chaos … I like Wood very much & always have liked him. He is a Napoleon of a fellow.” Fellow Democrat Fernando Wood was Mayor of New York City.  
Date December 16, 1856 Price
Place Lancaster, Pennsylvania $1,250.00


Name Martin Luther King ID# 57007
Headline Martin Luther King handwritten letter while in India, researching Gandhi's methods of nonviolent resistance.  
Date February 1959 Price
Place Bangladore, India $50,000.00


Name Napoleonic Wars ID# 34744
Headline Wonderful letter mentioning "...Bonaparte's invincibles..."  
Date August 21, 1808 Price
Place Alicante [Spain] $1,000.00


Name [Jefferson Davis] ID# 51444
Headline General Nelson A. Miles, in command of Fort Monroe, reports that“the prisoner ‘Davis’ is feeling quite comfortable this morning ... I do not think it possible for him to escape, even if the sentinels are taken out of the front room, he will still be under two locks, aside from the Guard in front of his cell.”  
Date August 22, 1865 Price
Place Fort Monroe, Virginia $4,500.00


Name War of 1812 ID# 33146
Headline Richard Plat writes to Aaron Burr about munitions necessary to conduct the War of 1812.  
Date June 2, 1813 Price
Place Arsenal $1,100.00


Name Harry S. Truman ID# 56923
Headline President Truman sends his Treasury Secretary Snyder a four page letter he received from a Stockton, California, inventor who “has the answer” to all America’s problems – he asks Snyder to read it and, since he will be “going to the nuts home state, you may see him”  
Date [April 1948] Price
Place Washington DC $3,650.00


Name James Edwin Campbell ID# 57706
Headline African American poet J. Edwin Campbell writes to a fellow poet inquiring about the suitability of stories and verses relating to the ”characteristic humor and pathos of the Negro...the younger part of the race are being educated away from the quaint dialect and that indescribable something which...distinguishes the Negro from all other Americans."  
Date November 26, 1895 Price
Place Pomeroy, Ohio $500.00


Name Phineas T. Barnum ID# 57631
Headline Rare mention of Bailey! P.T. Barnum orders 100 photographs of himself for his agent who is leaving for Europe in six days “without seeing my manager Mr Bailey who attends to & decides all details of show. When I see him we will decide whether or not to increase the order…”  
Date September 12, 1889 Price
Place Bridgeport, Connecticut $1,600.00


Name Princess Diana of Wales ID# 56975
Headline “There were screams of delight from the birthday girl!” Princess Diana thanks fashion designer Bruce Oldfield for her “most beautiful silk shirt … Far too smart to wear for the school run I think!” (driving her seven- and four-year-old sons to school)  
Date July 3, 1989 Price
Place London, England $3,900.00


Name Henry W. Longfellow ID# 56847
Headline Longfellow sympathizes with a young poet who is owed money by William R. Graham, editor of “Graham’s Magazine,” advising him to first speak with Graham in person then, if necessary, see a lawyer  
Date June 17, 1851 Price
Place Cambridge, MA $600.00


Name Lee Harvey Oswald ID# 56773
Headline Warren Commission Exhibit No. 187. Lee Harvey Oswald Twice Signed ALS showing a connection to New Orleans and his desire to come home and “settle in Texas.”  
Date December 13, 1961 Price
Place [Minsk, Russia] $12,750.00


Name Slavery ID# 57594
Headline A Tennessean writes to a Mississippi law firm that he sold a Negro woman who “was sound at the time we made the Sale” but now needs a lawyer because she died and as for the Negro man, “we gave no guarantee that he was a carpenter, we only gave a guarantee for soundness…”  
Date April 17, 1856 Price
Place Nashville, Tennessee $700.00


Name Robert F. Kennedy ID# 55812
Headline Just a few months after JFK’s assassination, RFK writes on a mourning card: “I just want you to know that I don’t want to be in Washington when you are no longer Secretary of Defense…”  
Date March 13, 1964 Price
Place [Washington, D.C.] $3,000.00

Many of these letters as well as other documents and relics will be available for viewing and purchase at the
New York Antiquarian Book Fair, held at the Park Avenue Armory April 3 – 6, 2014.
Please visit our booth A-34. Turn right at the entrance, then left at the end aisle.

If you would like personal assistance, please call our Director of Sales, Sandie Galaro at 203-454-0111,
or email her at Sandie@universityarchives.com

Please visit the University Archives website to access our inventory with more than 20,000 items available for purchase. 

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