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    Martin Luther King Jr. Autograph Letter (Draft) Unsigned. The four page letter, with an additional page of notes, is found on the first five pages (recto only) of a stenographic notebook measuring 6" x 9.5", dated circa 1960. Dr. King had left Montgomery and the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church earlier in the year to be closer to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of which he was president. While in that capacity, he penned this short appeal for financial aid. Addressed simply to "friend", King begins by acknowledging that this is both a form and personal letter as he is writing to gain monetary support for the movement. He cites three incidents which have led to a predicament in the movement.

    The first was the expulsion of students following a non-violent, student led protest (sit-ins) for which many had been jailed. The second was a campaign by the SCLC to register black voters. The combination of protest and voters' campaign led to an attack on Dr. King by the State of Alabama. King was charged with perjury and so were his fellow clergymen when they came to his assistance, leading to them all being sued for libel by the City Commission of Montgomery and the governor of Alabama. The above difficulty, so King says, has placed a financial burden on the organization (SCLC). Here the letter ends.

    What follows is a one page (also in King's hand) list with reminders to send a telegram to the NAACP, to check for flight schedules, to call Bayard Rustin with regard to a party, etc. The remainder of the notebook is filled with flight information, telephone messages, reminders to write letters, and pages of notes written in shorthand. From the Maude Ballou Civil Rights Papers.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 886

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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
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