Lot 242 of 627:
Letters from Isadora Duncan's father to W.C. Chapman  

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Lot closed - unsold
$400 - $600

Two letters from San Francisco banker and mining engineer J.C. Duncan, father of ill-fated dancer Isadora Duncan, to William Chapman Ralston

Duncan, Joseph Duncan

San Francisco


March 26, 1874


Two autograph letters signed, two pages and one page, on 4-page lettersheets of lined paper, both written the same day. 22x12.7 cm (8x5").

Letters involving a dispute between Duncan and Ralston, bankers and businessmen with competing interests. In the first letter Duncan reprises an earlier conversation between the two, in part: "You said - 'I will give you $5,000, $10,000, not to raise the building.' I replied, 'Mr. Ralston, I think I have as good a business reputation as any one, and I do not buy buildings to black-mail my neighbors.' You answered - 'You buy them to make money, do you not?' I replied - 'Yes, legitimately by rents, not otherwise. If I have no right to raise the building I require nothing more..." The second letter refers to the first, insisting that Duncan's recollection of the conversation was accurate. Isadora Duncan was born three or four years later, and a few years after that J.C. Duncan was exposed in illegal bank dealings, and the family became extremely poor.

Lot Amendments

Very good with old folds.

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