Lot 199: Small archive of five letters concerning William Dudley Pelley, a fascist agitator who founded the far-right Silver Legion in the 1930s, consisting of replies to a doctoral student's requests for information about the individual and organization. These TLSs are by Charles Lindbergh, J. Edgar Hoover, Norman Thomas, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Virginius Dabney. Lindbergh's letter, in part: "In regard to the Pelley trial, in 1942, I was subpoenaed as a witness. Why, I do not know. After taking the stand, I was not questioned by the defense and not questioned by the prosecution. In other words, sworn in, and then not questioned at all. To the best of my knowledge, I had never met Pelley or any member of his organization, or had any contact with or letters from any of them." Thomas writes that he had little contact with Pelley but did play a role "in the breakup of the Khaki Shirts of America and the conviction of its leader, Art Smith, for manslaughter." Hoover advises that "information in the files of the FBI is held confidential." Schlesinger refers the student to his book, and Dabney encloses two brief articles published by his newspaper. In overall very good to fine condition, with a large area of dampstaining to the Lindbergh letter.Pelley was charged with twelve counts of high treason and sedition in April 1942, and Lindbergh was called to testify. Here he denies being asked anything, but according to some sources he did testify, taking the stand for just twelve minutes and making no meaningful comments Like Pelley, Lindbergh was an outspoken isolationist and faced public suspicions of anti-Semitism and Nazi sympathies. However, their relationship—if one existed at all—remains largely a mystery.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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