Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice



    [Southern Secession]. Edward L. Gordon Autograph Letter Twice Signed. Three pages of a bifolium, 8" x 10", Savannah [Georgia], November 27, 1860. Less than one month before the state of South Carolina seceded from the United States, Edward Gordon left New York for Georgia. Shortly after arriving in Savannah, he wrote this eerily prophetic letter to his mother, painting a vivid picture of Southern thoughts on the possibility of secession. He writes, in part:

    "Political affairs, Bank suspensions and the crisis generally engross much of public attention. The public sentiment of Savannah on political matters, is for immediate disunion, while the most intense excitement prevails throughout the State. All the political parties of last October, have been entirely obliterated & a new and only party - disunion - (up to the present time.) exists in its place. As much as I regret the breaking up of this glorious union, (if it can be averted in any honorable way,) I cannot but think the South is right, & that this is the time for her to make a bold & manly stand against the aggressive policy of the North. If the Southern conventions, shall by a majority favor secession you will as truly see Georgia following South Carolina out of this union . . . That being the case, I look upon civil war as inevitable, which will plunge not one or two States, but the whole United States into a bloody fratricidal war & will cast into the shade all preceding wars of a like event. . . . At any rate, if disunion comes let it be after mature deliberations of the best minds of the South. . . . Look at history & you will find that when great men are engaged upon topics of the deepest interest there is almost a solemn stillness in their operations. Such was the case when our forefathers declared war with G. Britain & when they drew up & signed the charter of their liberties."

    A religious man, Gordon then quotes Leviticus 25:44-46 (the command that slaves shall come from "the heathen that are around and about you") to counter "the assertions of the Republicans, who say, that slavery is against the commands of God. . . . If the Negro is a Christian & not a cannibal, Livingston & other travelers must be liars."

    The usual horizontal and vertical folds show spots of separation at the intersections which do not affect the text. Ink smudging can be seen in several places, but the text remains wholly legible. Ink bleedthrough.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2015
    12th-13th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 442

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 July 12 Vintage Guitars & Musical Instruments Musical Instruments Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search