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    Oswald writes home to Texas: "I shot a couple of birds with my single barrel 16 gauge shotgun..."

    [John F. Kennedy Assassination]. Lee Harvey Oswald Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages of a bifolium (now detached), 5.25" x 8"; [Minsk]; August 23, 1963. Oswald writes to his brother sending details of his daily life in Russia. He writes: "I got your letter today in which you say you hurt your back, I'm glad to hear you are all right now. Although I did not say anything about the pictures of Robert, Jr., we did receive them, didn't you get a 'thank you' note from Maria [Marina] for the necklace and also for those pictures of Jr.? It's hard for me to tell weather [sic] you get all my letters, they have a lot of censorship here. I went hunting last week end, we have a lot of pine forest here, I shot a couple of birds with my single barrel 16 gauge shotgun, but I couldn't find them..." Signed, "Lee".

    Upon final discharge from the Marines, Oswald immediately began to plan his migration to the Soviet Union. Unable to apply for a visa in the United States to the Soviet Union, he submitted applications to European universities. He boarded a ship for France on September 20, 1959.

    Once in France, Oswald immediately set upon getting to the Soviet Union. He first made his way to England, and then to Finland where he applied for a visa at the Soviet embassy. Oswald received his Soviet visa on October 14, and promptly departed Finland the next day, arriving in Moscow on October 16. Oswald made immediate his intentions to renounce his American citizenship. The Soviets must have been suspicious of his zeal, because on October 21, Oswald's application for Soviet citizenship was denied. Oswald did not bear the rejection well, and made a half-hearted attempt to take his own life. Soviet authorities cautiously kept him under psychiatric observation at a hospital following this event.

    Lee's writing that there was censorship shows an awareness that the authorities did keep track of his whereabouts. Lee's tone remains positive, but that would soon turn. Once eager to cut ties with American, he would now work tirelessly to return home.

    The letter was originally sold at a Charles Hamilton auction on September 18, 1969; and the lot includes a copy of the original description. Hamilton notes, "Interesting letter, evidencing Oswald's expert familiarity with weapons."

    Condition: Light age toning, with a single mail fold. The second page has a bit of paper loss along the left margin, which matches perfectly with the irregular edge of page 1.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 703

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