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Lot # 1237 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1932 Clarence Darrow Signed Letter Regarding Prohibition

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,160.00

One-page typed letter signed by Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), American lawyer. In this letter, dated January 5, 1932 and written upon his personal letterhead, Darrow contacts Donald Freeman of Vanity Fair magazine regarding legal issues relating to the repeal of prohibition (which occurred the following year). Darrow writes in full: "My Dear Mr. Freeman: You may use the enclosed if you wish. I am interested in getting the discussion started, and the article seems to have attracted some attention. There is no doubt that I am right. How would it do to invite a few contributions on whether there is a better way to get rid of prohibition than the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment? Mr. Forrest R. Black, who is head of the law department of the University of Kentucky is an excellent lawyer and thinker and writer, and is entirely on my side of this question. I am sure that he would write something on the subject, and I think the Hon. James Reed would help; and if you wanted me to, I would be glad to work out the problem in further detail, etc. This question is going to have a full and free airing as fast as the people find out the impossibility of repeal." The letter is flawlessly signed "Clarence Darrow" in bold, black fountain pen ("10"). Clarence Darrow was one of the most prominent attorneys of the early twentieth century and a champion of the "underdog." Among his most memorable cases were his defense of Leopold and Loeb in 1924 and of Tennessee school teacher John Scopes, who was accused of teaching evolution in the classroom in 1925. That latter case, often referred to as the "Scopes Monkey Trial," remains one of the most famous trials in U.S. history and featured a dramatic courtroom battle between Darrow and famed orator William Jennings Bryan, who was acting as an aid for the prosecution. The letter (7.25 x 10.5 inches) displays two horizontal fold lines, a slight paper clip indentation at the top and a red-pencil check mark in the upper right corner. Excellent to Mint condition overall. Accompanying the letter is an 8 x 10-inch black-and-white print (Ex-Mt) of Darrow that would ideal for display with the letter. LOA from Steve Grad & John Reznikoff/PSA DNA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $1,160.00


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