Lot 141: Jack London telegrams from Johnson-Jefferies fight

PBA Galleries

2015-06-29 14:12:39


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Lot 141: Author: London, Jack. Title: Series of thirteen "night lettergram" telegrams sent by Jack London to Charmian London while Jack was in Reno covering the Jefferies-Johnson boxing match and Charmian was in Fabiola Hospital in Oakand recovering from childbirth. Place Published: Reno, Nevada. Date Published: June 23-July 5, 1910. Description: Approx. 17. 5x21 cm (7x8 ¼"). Jack London's commitment to cover the fight for the San Francisco came at a difficult time. Charmian was in the hospital, where she had given birth to a baby girl, Joy, on June 19th, only to have the child die forty hours later. Charmian suffered from the difficult birth, and was to remain hospitalized until July 23. The heavyweight championship fight between former champ James Jeffries and black champion Jack Johnson, originally slated for San Francisco, had been moved to Reno. Reluctantly, and at Charmian's insistence that he fulfill his obligation, Jack London went to Reno, sending a 50-word telegram to Charmian every day. London's telegrams are brief, but communicate his love and caring to Charmian, give some mention of the upcoming fight and other reporters covering it, requests that Charmian instruct Eliza to buy two copies of newspapers carrying his articles, etc. Also, in one telegram, he makes reference to a puzzling incident: ". . my double has popped up again. This time on a Hudson River Steamboat. The girl he made love to is now writing to me about it. She wants me not to forget. ." Jack concludes each telegram with the words "I do" or "I do I do," one of their secret code phrases of devotion. Formerly creased, on torn 2" along crease, else in very good condition. PBA Galleries' Sale 563: Fine Literature with the Wayne Martin Collection of Jack London Thursday, 25th June 2015 Estimate: $1500-2500
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