Historic letter from Grant to Lee to be sold August 4-5 A letter handwritten by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to Gen. Robert E. Lee on April 10, 1865, discussing terms of surrender of the Confederate Army, will be sold August 4-5 by Gallery 63 in Atlanta, Ga.
News-Antique.com - Jul 16,2007 - HANDWRITTEN LETTER FROM ULYSSES S. GRANT TO ROBERT E. LEE, DATED
APRIL 10, 1865, TO BE SOLD BY GALLERY 63 IN ATLANTA, AUGUST 4-5
(Atlanta, Ga.) - A letter handwritten by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to Gen. Robert E. Lee on April 10, 1865, discussing terms of surrender of the Confederate Army and originally penned at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, will be sold the weekend of August 4-5 by Gallery 63. The letter was consigned by a Texas woman and was authenticated by the late Civil War historian Shelby Foote.
“This may very well be the most important document to come on the market in the last fifty years,” said Paul Brown of Gallery 63. “It truly belongs in the National Archives. It was, in effect, the document that saved our great land. It is not in Washington, it is not in New York. Amazingly, it is at Gallery 63 and will be sold to the highest bidder.” Brown estimated the letter could bring $500,000.
It is believed the letter is a handwritten copy of the original document, presented by Grant to Lee the day after Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., on April 9, 1865. Grant wrote the copy, it is assumed, for posterity's sake. Mr. Foote, writing in 1991, remarked, “It is almost certainly Grant's. I incline to the belief he wrote it either on the train back to City Point or up the coast to Washington.”
Fittingly, the letter will be sold in Atlanta, a city closely linked to the Civil War, mainly because of Sherman's march through Georgia and the movie “Gone With the Wind.” Remarkably, it is not the only major Civil War item that will cross the block that weekend. Gallery 63 is also offering an original period steel engraving of Robert E. Lee, exceedingly rare and bearing General Lee's signature.
Another historical consignment has also been secured: a trove of over 20 original audio and video tapes of speeches, sermons, hearings and interviews originally aired in the 1960s and pertaining mostly to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (some of the tapes also concern John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy). They came from the estate of Jerry Tucker, a former newsman at WNOO in Chattanooga.
On one tape, Dr. King sits for an interview with Tucker, an event that was broadcast once, in 1960, and never aired again. It is the only reel of the interview that exists. Also, a letter, written on Southern Christian Leadership Conference letterhead, thanking an organizer of a banquet honoring Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, will be sold as a separate lot, along with an original invitation to that dinner.
Other noteworthy consignments include:
Fine art, a staple at Gallery 63 sales, will be served up in abundance. Leading the way will be an original watercolor by Montague Dawson (British, 1895-1973), titled “Sailing Ship in Rough Seas” and signed lower right; and a watercolor rendering of a Swiss landscape with figures and a cabin by