Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 311

Price Realized: $ 3,840
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,500 - $ 5,000
(EDUCATION.) WASHINGTON, BOOKER T. Autograph Letter Signed, to a Miss Jones, expressing his profound appreciation for a bequest of $3000 to Tuskegee from a Mrs. Baker. Single leaf of Tuskegee stationary, written on both sides and dated 30 January 1891; creases where folded; a faint "border" no doubt resulting from a mat, when this letter was framed. Tuskegee, 1891

Additional Details

"Dear Miss Jones: Miss Williams' letter with the note from you has been received and it would be useless for me to attempt to say how deeply they touch me, and it is so hard for me to realize that I am not going to see dear Mrs. Baker again in this life. The gift of $3000 for the benefit of my dear little children is more than a surprise to me. I do not know how to express myself regarding it. This unexpected and generous gift will permit me to give my life more fully than ever to the cause of my race. The conditions that my children would be left in were I to be taken from them has for some time been a burden on my mind. The bequest to the school will be of the greatest help." He continues and expresses regret at not being able to attend the funeral, and suggests that he might visit his correspondent when next in Boston. This letter is a sharp departure from the usual short typed acknowledgement of a donation. Washington was, and needed to be a tireless fundraiser for a school that was founded with only $2000 in 1881. Tuskegee was almost always functioning on the edge, and had it not been for Washington's ceaseless lecturing tours and fundraising efforts, the school might have failed. In the end, it was this grueling schedule that killed Washington. Doctors had repeatedly warned that if he did not slow down, his body would shut down-which it did on November 14th, 1915.