Lot 337

Previous image preload Next image preload


Margaret Mitchell TLS "Gone With the Wind" Content With Arguments Against Lincoln & Grant "President Lincoln bore the blame for many things in the minds of Southern people"

A remarkable letter from "Gone With the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell, concerning the reputations of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. 2pp, measuring 7" x 9.75", Atlanta, Georgia, dated December 10, 1937. Signed "Margaret Mitchell Marsh" and addressed to Judge McMahan. Typed on personal letterhead, Mitchell muses on the negative reputations of Lincoln and Grant she found through her research in letters and newspapers. The two pages have been housed in sealed protective sleeves, which are easily removable. With flattened mail folds, faint soiling throughout, and wear along the upper edge. With a bold and attractive signature.

Highlights from the letter include:
"…In reply to your remarks about the blame for the failure to exchange prisoners being laid on President Lincoln -- that calls for an explanation of my method in handling the 'contemporaneous' angle of 'Gone With the Wind.' I attempted to write it not from the viewpoint of a person of this time looking backward into history but from the viewpoint of a person living in the sixties. To this end I put into the minds and the mouths of characters beliefs, rumors, and prejudices (some which have been proven right and some wrong in the light of history). I gathered from reading letters of that day, newspapers, memoirs et cetera, that President Lincoln bore the blame for many things in the minds of Southern people. Prejudice as well as death loves a shining mark and, rightly or wrongly, Southerners, for the most part, believed Lincoln responsible for the failure to exchange prisoners.

Your statement that your father spoke of General Grant as 'a butcher' interested me. I used that word in connection with him because I came across it frequently in Northern newspapers of the day. There was a time when Grant was very unpopular in the North because he seemed to be carelessly hurling thousands of Federal soldiers to their death and many of the newspapers criticized him venomously and called him a butcher. I have had some letters from Northern people who apparently did not know of this and they felt that my use of the word 'butcher' showed a Southern prejudice and hate. This, of course, was far from the truth. I, like most other Southerners, can never forget that, while Grant was a ruthless foe in battle, he was a generous and courteous man when the Surrender occurred. His thoughtfulness in permitting the Confederates to keep their side arms and the horses which they personally owned will never be forgotten…"

Margaret Mitchell's sweeping epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and is said to be the fastest-selling novel in the history of American publishing (50,000 copies in a single day). Mitchell, who was born in Georgia in 1900, undoubtedly was influenced by her upbringing and experiences in the South, and critics of the novel found her portrayal of the antebellum South to be romanticized and oversimplified. Despite her arguments to the contrary, Mitchell's characterization of Northern leaders exemplifies her Southern biases, and her depiction of black characters is equally problematic. White supremacy was deeply ingrained in Southern culture, and it is clear that she internalized many of these beliefs. While "Gone With the Wind" is undoubtedly a classic of American literature, it is important to acknowledge the harmful messages and prejudices it contains.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


Accepted Forms of Payment:

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


Unless otherwise indicated, we do our own in-house worldwide shipping!

Applicable shipping and handling charges will be added to the invoice. We offer several shipping options, and remain one of the few auction houses who proudly provides professional in-house shipping as an option to our clients. All items will ship with signature required, and full insurance. Most items are sent via Federal Express, with P. O. Box addresses being sent through USPS. We insure through Berkley Asset Protection with rates of $.70 per $100 of value, among the lowest insurance rates in the industry. Our shipping department cameras document every package, both outgoing and incoming, for maximum security. In addition, we compare our shipping and handling rates against those of other auction houses, to ensure that our charges are among the lowest in the trade.

Upon winning your item(s), you will receive an invoice with our in-house shipping and handling fees included. ***We will ship to the address as it appears on your invoice. If any changes to the shipping address need to be made, you must inform us immediately.***

International shipments: In order to comply with our insurance provider, all international shipments will be sent via Fed Ex and customs paperwork will show a value of $1.00. International buyers should contact our office directly with any questions regarding this policy.

Third Party Shipping Option: If a third party shipper is preferred, the buyer is responsible for contacting them directly to make shipping arrangements. For your convenience, we have provided some recommended shippers. For your protection, we will require a signed release from you, confirming your authorization for us to release your lots to your specified third party Please copy and paste this following link into your browser: http://universityarchives.com/UserFiles/ShippingInfo.pdf. At that point, our responsibility and insurance coverage for your item(s) ceases. Items picked up by third party shippers are required to pay Connecticut sales tax. Items requiring third party shipping due to being oversized, fragile or bulky will be denoted in the item description.

Please see our full terms and conditions for names of suggested third party shippers.

After payment has been made in full, University Archives will ship your purchase within 10 business days following receipt of full payment for item.

Please remember that the buyer is responsible for all shipping costs from University Archives' offices in Wilton, CT to the buyer's door. Please see full Terms and Conditions of Sale.

May 31, 2023 11:00 AM EDT
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 25% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000