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    "I must thank you for your kindly mention of Uncle Remus. Somehow or other, nobody approaches the old man in a critical spirit, and for this I am grateful."

    Joel Chandler Harris Autograph Letter Signed "Joel Chandler Harris," one page, 5.25" x 8.25". Atlanta, Ga., January 6, 1883. To Prof. J.A, Harrison. In full, "Pray accept my sincere thanks for your kindness in sending me your article on 'The Creole Patois of Louisiana.' It is wonderfully interesting. Miss Calinda, I presume, is the Miss Meadows of the Creole negroes - There is an allusion in Dr. Mercier's Specimen to the fact that the terrapin, upon a previous occasion has beaten the rabbit in a trial of speed. Can this be a reference to Aesop? If so, it has been injected, for a negro myth-story is a negro myth-story, whether it be told in Portuguese, French or English. The creole patois is certainly picturesque and full of humor. I must thank you for your kindly mention of Uncle Remus. Somehow or other, nobody approaches the old man in a critical spirit, and for this I am grateful. It has saved me a good deal of mortification." He adds, "P.S. - Do you have the 'joree' in Virginia? And is it the starling? In Putnam county, Ga., I have heard the negroes use the name adjectively, as 'Whar John?' 'Don't ax me; dat n***** done gone joreein.' This may mean anything or nothing." "The Creole Patois of Louisiana" by J.A. Harrison appeared on pages 285-296 of Volume 3, No. 11 of The American Journal of Philology. A photocopy of the article is included with this lot. Dr. Alfred Mercier is a New Orleans physician. In his article, Harrison notes that "Tchiak is the name given by the Creole negroes to the starling, which, Dr. Mercier tells me, is applied adjectively to express various states of spirituous exhilaration." Harrison mentions Uncle Remus in this passage on page 286: "Illiterate white folk and Africans of the purest blood, catching by ear the more or less indistinct utterances of the landed and commercial aristocracy around them, have reproduced in their own way, otographically, so to speak, the message delivered in their far from fastidious sensorium, producing a dialect resembling French in a fashion that suggests the relation between the Æthiopica of Uncle Remus and current English." Featuring Br'er Rabbit, the Uncle Remus stories by journalist Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908) first appeared in the Atlanta Constitution in 1879 - this letter was written on the newspaper's red-imprinted stationery just four years later. It was followed by stories in book form, including Uncle Remus; His Songs and His Sayings: The Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation (1880), Nights with Uncle Remus (1881, 1882), Uncle Remus and His Friends (1892), and Uncle Remus and the Little Boy (1905). The 1946 part live-action, part animated film Song of the South introduced the movie-going public to Uncle Remus and featured the Oscar-winning song, "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah." Letters of Joel Chandler Harris mentioning Uncle Remus are scarce and extremely desirable. This letter, in very fine condition, concerns the language used by Creoles in Louisiana; the words uttered by Uncle Remus was a vital part of Harris's stories. This letter would make a magnificent addition to any autograph collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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