Lot 48 of 222:
Handwritten signed letter from Mohandas Gandhi, 1934  

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Lot closed - Sold For:$3,000
Estimate:
$3,000 - $5,000

Title:
Letter from Mohandas Gandhi to Professor Samuel "Sam" Higginbottom at the Agricultural Institute, Allahabad, asking for advice and aid in recovery efforts following the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake
Author:
Gandhi, Mohandas
Place:
Patna, India
Publisher:
Date:
26 March 1934
Description:

Autograph letter signed by Mohandas Gandhi (as "M. Gandhi"). 38 lines, in blue ink, on both sides of single sheet, with a portion of the original envelope, addressed in Gandhi's hand and with canceled stamp, affixed to the bottom of the letter. Together, the letter and envelope measure 29.5x16.5 cm (11¾x6½"). Set along with a typed transcription, an early photostatic copy, and related items in modern folding cloth case.

Significant letter from Mohandas Gandhi, written at the height of the independence movement in India, in response to the devastation of the Nepal-Bihar earthquake, and requesting help from a British friend. The 8.0 magnitude earthquake which struck on January 15, 1934, was one of the worst in the history of Nepal and the northern Indian state of Bihar, and over two months later the situation was still dire. Gandhi writes to Sam Higginbottom in response to an offer of aid: "Dear Friend: Your letter has given me great joy. I take you at your word. Come, see the afflicted area and tell us (1) how best and cheaply we can clean our choked wells, (2) how we can house the homeless, (3) how drain water-clogged areas, (4) how remove the sand which covers our fair fields. These are but samples of the work in front of us. Of course the gov't and the people are working in unison. But you know my regards for your expert knowledge. Even if you do not show us anything new, I personally will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have seen the area... I leave tomorrow morning with Rajendra Babu to visit balance of the area yet unseen by me. But you may come independently of me... I return to Patna on 4th prox. evening and leave for Purnea and thence for Assam on the 7th proximo... Very sincerely(?), M. Gandhi." Sam Higginbottom, to whom the letter is written, was an English-born Christian missionary in Allahabad, India, where he founded the Allahabad Agricultural Institute. While in India, he developed close friendships with Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. The letter was given by Professor Higginbottom to Ernst Gundlach at some juncture, and it has descended in the Gundlach family until the present time.

Lot Amendments
Condition:
There is some discoloration from the tape used to connect the letter to the envelope, and this is close to the signature, which in addition is faint in places; the writing itself is a little faint in places, old folds; overall very good.
 
Item number:
289221
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