Mar 27, 2014 - Sale 2342

Sale 2342 - Lot 319

Price Realized: $ 3,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
GARVEY, MARCUS. Group of Eleven Typed Letters Signed; two "Open Letters Signed and one two page Typed Letter. All, with the exception of the last item, are on Black Man Letterhead or U. N. I. A. letterhead; all are addressed to or concern Thomas Harvey; condition generally very good. should be seen London, 1937-1939

Additional Details

An exceptional run of correspondence from Marcus Garvey, writing from his headquarters in London to Thomas Harvey, one of the key U.N.I.A. leaders in the United States, eventually elected President in 1950. These letters for the most part deal with Garvey's approval and blessing for Harvey who was in fact becoming one of the most powerful, men in the Association.
The bulk of the letters deal with reports and money collected for membership etc. However, in one, dated 14 June, 1937, Garvey alludes to some sort of problem Harvey is having: "I have noted with deep concern the statements you have made relative to yourself. I have been very much worried about you and the cause of the difficulties you have been having. I fully appreciate your embarrassment and it has been my desire to do something to relieve you, but as you know, things are generally flat and we are still hoping for improvement." The last letter dated 22 March 1939 hints at a serious problem and possible division within the Association in the New York City branch. This likely referred to the embarrassment over the U.N.I.A.'s association with the proposal of Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi. Bilbo, a Klan member advocated the repatriation of American blacks. While separatism and a "return" to Africa were planks in the U.N.I.A. platform, Bilbo's use of racist invective caused the U.N.I.A. and Harvey in particular to back away from Bilbo, but not before some serious damage had been done. Garvey himself was ill at this time (he died a year later), and Robert Hill does not cite any related correspondence to Harvey at this time. In fact, none of these letters are cited by Hill.