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“George Washington” - Keith Carter Photograph

[GEORGE WASHINGTON]. KEITH CARTER, Photograph. Child holds his copy of Gilbert Stuart’s famous “Athenaeum” portrait of George Washington. 1990. Number 6 of 50, 15 x 15 in.

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Item #25394, $4,800

Alex Haley Signs Check to the Cornell University Black Alumni Association

ALEX HALEY, Signed Check, June 9, 1989. Drawn on the First Tennessee Bank in Knoxville. To “Cornell Univ. Black Alumni Assn.”. With “donation” in the memo field.

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Item #20432.04, $500

Alex Haley Signed Check

ALEX HALEY, Signed Check, September 20, 1988. Drawn on the First Tennessee Bank in Knoxville. To “Patricia Alexander”. With “Love!” in the memo field and on the back is her endorsement and a note that says “Thanks!”.

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Item #20432.02, $350

Arthur Ashe’s United Negro College Fund Benefit Silver Bowl Trophy

[ARTHUR ASHE], United Negro College Fund Silver Bowl, October 1977. Inscribed “UNCF- Arthur Ashe 3rd Annual Tennis Benefit / [sponsor] Burger King Corporation” 8 x 3¾ in.

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Item #25681, $3,400

Jackie Robinson says a talk radio host “needs to do a lot of soul searching.”

JACKIE ROBINSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Jon Anthony Dosa, ca. 1968-1969. Written on letterhead of St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco. 2 pp., 7¼ x 10½ in.

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He needs to do a lot of soul searching for he is the kind of guy we fear. His opportunity to spread his views and his cleverness will continue to be a stumbling block before we reach peace here at home.

Item #25009, $5,500

Jackie Robinson Explains Why He Cannot Support Nixon in 1968

JACKIE ROBINSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Ken Browne, ca. September 17, 1968. On “Jackie Robinson” stationery with stamped, postmarked envelope addressed by Robinson. 2 pp., 8½ x 7¼ in.

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This remarkable letter to an autograph collector reveals Robinson’s commitment to Civil Rights over his commitment to the Republican Party. Although he supported Richard Nixon in 1960, he refused to support Barry Goldwater in 1964. In 1968, Nixon’s pandering to South Carolina’s fiercely segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond (1902-2003) repelled Robinson. Although Robinson had supported New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller’s candidacy for the Republican nomination, Robinson declared in a television interview that the Nixon ticket was “racist in nature” and that Nixon had “prostituted himself out to the bigots in the south.” Robinson also declared that he would remain a Republican and urged African Americans to “stay in the Republican party and try to change it.”

Item #25679, SOLD — please inquire about other items

1966 Civil Rights Charge of Discrimination Form

[CIVIL RIGHTS], Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Blank Charge of Discrimination form, 1966, Washington, DC. 3 pp., 8½ x 14 in.

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The form outlines how to file a charge of discrimination, “pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” provides information on how the commission works, and explains how to fill out the form. It includes an attached blank form that could be removed along the perforated edge.

Item #26464, $350

Lyndon B. Johnson Signing Pen for Voting Rights Act of 1965

LYNDON B. JOHNSON, “One of the pens used by the President, August 6, 1965, in signing S. 1564, An Act to enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes,” per original printed slip in original box. Clear barrel pen, “The President-The Whitehouse” printed in white, with “Esterbrook” on the nib, 6⅜ in. long. With additional artifacts.

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This artifact came from Arnold “Pappy” Noel (1922-2009), a longtime news photographer who at that time was in the Public Affairs Office of the Secretary of Defense. Noel earned his nickname in World War II as a B-29 tail gunner. After the war and his retirement, he joined United Press International as a newsreel and still photographer, filming presidential and White House events, marches on Washington and Selma, fires and riots in Washington and Detroit, and early NASA events. At the 1968 Democratic Convention, he became part of the story when he was injured and arrested for refusing to hand over his film of “excessive abuse of law enforcement agents towards demonstrators.” He was president of the White House Press Photographers Association for two years, leaving the press corps to work as a public affairs assistant to President Ford.

Item #27655, $20,000

Selma, Alabama Hotel Albert Archive, Including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Freedom Day” Registration Filled Out Moments Before He was Violently Assaulted

[Selma Hotel Archive], More than 300 individual receipts printed with “Hotel Albert, Selma Alabama” heading, itemized with room rates, and charges for phone calls, meals, and other details, for Martin Luther King, Jr. and many Civil Rights leaders, advocates, opponents, and government agents. Each approx. 5½ x 8 in. Spanning roughly 20 months, from November 1964 through June 1966, and representing a “who’s who” of notable Civil Rights leaders, specifically centered around the Selma, Alabama campaign for voting rights. With eight Hotel Albert room keys on branded leather or plastic fobs, a late-19th-century brochure illustrating the hotel in its heyday, and an early-20th-century photographic postcard of the hotel taken during a fire.

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Relating to the events that led to Dr. King’s jailing and his famous essay in defense of nonviolent protest, “A letter from a Selma, Alabama jail”; the horrifying “Bloody Sunday” that ended on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7; the subsequent March to Montgomery on March 17; and the crucial events that culminated in the Voting Rights Act of August 1965.

The Civil Rights Act signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 6, 1964, prohibited the segregation of public facilities. Despite this law, concerted efforts continued to keep Jim Crow alive. On the day the Civil Rights Act became law, John Lewis led 50 Black citizens to the Selma, Alabama, courthouse to register to vote. County sheriff Jim Clark, whose posse of 200 deputies included members of the Ku Klux Klan and the National States’ Rights Party, arrested them. A few days later, a local court issued an (unconstitutional) injunction that forbade more than two people at a time to talk about civil rights or voter registration in Selma, which succeeded in suppressing civil rights and voting rights activity for the next six months.

It was against this backdrop that a local group, the “Courageous Eight” requested assistance from Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). On January 2, 1965, in defiance of the injunction, King addressed a large meeting held in Selma’s Brown Chapel. Preparations for mass voter registration commenced over the next two weeks. King called President Johnson on January 15; they agreed to plan a massive voting rights registration, which would also support the Johnson administration’s “War on Poverty.”

On the first “Freedom Day” of the new campaign, January 18, 1965, King returned to Selma. Arriving at the Hotel Albert, he signed in to room 202 as “Martin Luther King, Jr., 563 Johnson Ave., Atlanta, Ga.,” becoming the first African-American guest of the hotel which had been built by slave labor in the nineteenth century. He spent one night there at a $5 daily rate and was billed for three local phone calls and breakfast. (See image above.)

While checking in, King was assaulted by a member of the National States’ Rights Party. According to the Jim Crow Museum, James George Robinson “attacked King for trying to register at the Hotel Albert, a formerly whites-only business in Selma, Alabama. He punched King several times, and before black onlookers intervened, kicked him in the groin. King refused to press charges. Two months later, Robinson was arrested for beating a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) photographer.”

John Lewis, a member of the SNCC, later said, “It was the closest I’ve ever come to laying down my non-violence. I found out that day, even I have limits.” That same day, King and four hundred marchers set off from Brown’s A&E Chapel to the County Courthouse in Selma to protest illegal voting rights practices being committed against African Americans in the Southern United States.

Item #27578, $24,000

Senator Sprague of Rhode Island Writes About Fascinating Debates in Congress Involving Freedom for the Families of African American Recruits and the Limits of Free Speech in the Senate

[AFRICAN AMERICAN SOLDIERS], William Sprague, Autograph Letter Signed, to William D. Ely, January 28, 1864, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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a discussion upon a section of a Malitia bill freeing the wife & children of the slave that enlist will occupy most if not all the day.

Item #26531, $1,250

Martin Luther King’s Famous “I Have a Dream” Speech—Advance Text Given to the Press at the 1963 March on Washington

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Advance Text of Speech To Be Delivered By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference March on Washington August 28, 1963”. Original mimeograph, run off by March’s Press Office between 4-7 a.m. on Aug. 28th.

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“Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree is a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity….

… When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be granted the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check… But … we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation….

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

… There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwind of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our Nation until the bright day of justice emerges...

Item #26366, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail in Liberation Magazine

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in Liberation: An Independent Monthly, June 1963, New York. 32 pp.

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This issue of Liberation magazine includes the full text of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written on April 16, 1963, when King was jailed for disobeying a judge’s blanket injunction against “parading, demonstrating, boycotting, trespassing and picketing.” King and other civil rights protestors were arrested on April 12.

A supporter smuggled a copy of an April 12 newspaper to him, which included an open letter entitled “A Call for Unity.” Written by eight white Birmingham clergymen, representing Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish congregations, the letter opposed events “directed and led in part by outsiders” and urged local African Americans to negotiate and use the courts if they were denied their rights, rather than protest. These clergymen agreed that social injustices existed but insisted that the battle against racial segregation should take place in the courts and not in the streets.

Provoked by the letter from fellow clergymen, King began to write a response in the margins of the newspaper itself. He continued the letter on scraps of paper supplied by a supportive African American fellow inmate who served as a trustee and finished the nearly 6,000-word letter on a pad provided by his attorneys. Walter Reuther, the president of the United Auto Workers, arranged to pay $160,000 to bail out King and other jailed protestors.

Item #27490.01, $4,500

Jackie Robinson Reflects on the Importance of
“the Negro Vote” in Nixon’s Loss to Kennedy (SOLD)

JACKIE ROBINSON, Typed Letter Signed, “Jackie”, to Theodore L. Humes. [n.p.], November 15, 1960. 1 p., on personal letterhead.

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The negro vote was not at all committed to Kennedy, but it went there because Mr. Nixon did not do anything to win it.  I understand his view but felt he was making a mistake …

The famous retired baseball star – at that time an NAACP fundraiser and vice president of Chock Full O’ Nuts coffee – campaigned hard for Richard Nixon in 1960. Here, in the aftermath of defeat, he offers suggestions as to how the party of Lincoln might attract more future African-American voters in his (and Nixon’s) native California.

Item #20588, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Elmer W. Henderson – Who Defeated Railroad Dining Car Segregation – Congratulates African American Inventor for American Institute of Chemists Award

ELMER W. HENDERSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Lloyd Augustus Hall, January 15, 1958, Washington, DC. On “Congress of the United States / Committee on Government Operations / House of Representatives” letterhead. 1 p., 6 x 9 in.

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Congressional attorney Elmer W. Henderson, a hero of the early civil rights movement, congratulates African American chemist Lloyd A. Hall for a recent professional honor. In 1955, Hall also became the first African American elected to the National Board of Directors of the American Institute of Chemists (AIC). The following year, the AIC awarded Hall the Honor Scroll Award. On special occasions, the AIC invites a prominent chemist or chemical engineer to lecture to the Members and Fellows of the AIC on a topic of professional interest. In September 1957, Hall delivered a lecture on “The Chemist and the AIC,” likely the occasion for this congratulatory letter from Henderson a few months later.

Item #26468, $450

Martin Luther King Jr. Inscribes Stride Toward Freedom to Pioneer Civil Rights Leader A. Philip Randolph

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., Signed Copy of Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, first edition. Inscribed to A. Philip Randolph. With Randolph’s annotations. New York: Harper and Row, 1958. 224 pp.

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To my dear Friend A. Philip Randolph.

     In appreciation of the standards of loyalty, honesty, non-violence, and the will to endure that you have held before all people in the struggle for freedom justice, and democracy.

Martin

A remarkable association of two key leaders of the Civil Rights movement, highlighting not only their similarities but also areas of disagreement. It offers important insights into their views at a critical moment in the fight for African-American equality. King’s book, with a rich personal inscription, was transformed by Randolph into a sort of dialog between them by his copious annotations, making this volume one of if not the most important King-signed book in existence.

Randolph annotated or marked 69 of the volume’s 224 pages. He underlined passages he found particularly powerful, and commented in the margins, echoing or amplifying King’s words.

Item #27430, $200,000

Martin Luther King Forwards an Encouraging Letter to Rosa Parks (SOLD)

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, Autograph Note written on retained copy of a Typed Letter by Maude L. Ballou. March 6, 1957, [Montgomery, Ala.], 1 p., 8 ½ x 11 in.

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“Get this letter to Mrs Parks”

Item #23299, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Gerald Ford Defends His Early Commitment to Civil Rights

GERALD R. FORD, Typed Letter Signed, to Arthur F. Bukowski, January 28, 1950, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 8 x 10½ in. On Ford’s Congressional letterhead.

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This fascinating letter by freshman Congressman and future president Gerald R. Ford to a Catholic college president in Michigan defends his early record on civil rights legislation.

Personally, I have lived by and believe in the fundamental principle of equality of opportunity regardless of race, color or creed. I am in favor of such a policy for all citizens and will cooperate to accomplish that objective by the most practical and effective methods.

Item #26024, $1,200

Eleanor Roosevelt Stands
for Civil Rights – Her Four Freedoms (SOLD)

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed as First Lady, to Addie Frizielle. Washington, D.C., May 13, 1944. 1 p., 6 1/8 x 9¼ in. On White House stationery, with original envelope.

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The First Lady defends her advocacy of civil rights: “I doubt if it does any people anywhere any harm to tell them that you believe they are entitled to certain rights and you are willing to see them obtain those rights” and counters the writer’s fear of using mixed-race bathrooms at work: “if you have to use the same toilets and wash basins...[and] are nervous, there are certain precautions which you can always take.”

Item #22780, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Eleanor Roosevelt on the Meaning of Civil Rights

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, to “Harry,” Washington, D.C., February 19, 1944. 2 pp., 6¼ x 9¼ in. On White House stationery.

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“Something has to happen to people’s souls before they are going to give the rights of citizenship to all the people of our country, regardless of color or creed. That does not mean you have to ask them to dinner. It only means giving them the rights that go with citizenship.”

Item #23592, ON HOLD

Dewey Attacks FDR’s Running Mate Harry Truman for Alleged Ku Klux Klan Ties

[THOMAS E. DEWEY], Poster. Anti-Truman “Vote for Dewey: Kill the Klan” Presidential Election Poster, picturing Truman in a Ku Klux Klan robe with a lynching party in the background. 1944. 1 p., 28 x 41 in.

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I should be very happy to run with Harry Truman. He’ll bring real strength to the ticket!

This anti-Klan message would not have helped Dewey in the South; white southerners voted solidly Democratic from 1876 through 1964, while African Americans were prevented from voting. So, this poster was meant to appeal to Catholic and immigrant voters, whom the Klan targeted, as well as to black voters in northern cities.

Item #26053, $1,900
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