Book #73441
Autograph Letter, Signed "L.H.", New York, NY, April 16, 1959. Manuscript, Learned Hand, Gertrude Sumner Ely.
Autograph Letter, Signed "L.H.", New York, NY, April 16, 1959.
Autograph Letter, Signed "L.H.", New York, NY, April 16, 1959.
Autograph Letter, Signed "L.H.", New York, NY, April 16, 1959.

Autograph Letter, Signed "L.H.", New York, NY, April 16, 1959.

"Of Course it is Pleasant to Have Folks Gather and Tell You That You are a Hot Potato..." [Manuscript]. Hand, Learned [1872-1961]. [Ely, Gertrude Sumner (1876-1970)]. [Autograph Letter, Signed "L.H.", On Hand's U.S. Court House Letterhead, New York, NY, April 16, 1959]. 6-3/4" x 5-3/4" bifolium, text to recto of first leaf and verso of second leaf. Light toning, single horizontal and vertical fold lines. Letter housed in handsome 12-1/2" x 9-1/2" quarter morocco clamshell case with gilt-edged raised bands and lettering pieces. $1,500. * One of the most significant American jurists of the twentieth century, Hand was a judge of the U.S. Southern District of New York, later a judge of the Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. He was renowned for his judgments, which were also admired for their lucidity and elegance. This letter is addressed to a "Gertrude," most likely Gertrude Sumner Ely [1876-1970], who was a longtime friend of the family and particularly of Hand's wife Frances. She corresponded with Hand frequently and had apparently written to congratulate him on the fiftieth anniversary of his appointment to the federal bench. A celebration of that anniversary was held on April 10, 1959. The letter typifies Hand's occasional insecurity and reluctance to accept praise. He remarks: "Of course it is pleasant to have folks gather and tell you that you are a hot potato; but, even when they do it as well as those gents did, who gathered here last Friday, there is a kind of unreality about it, that is disconcerting...I felt as if it was all about someone I didn't know." Hand continued to hear special cases on senior status until his death in 1961. He had previously published two books while in semi-retirement: The Spirit of Liberty (1952) and The Bill of Rights (1958).

Price: $1,500.00

Book number 73441