Item #7666 [Typed letter, signed, by Tom Mooney, famed political prisoner at San Quentin Prison, to a photographer, regarding court room images of his recent retrial.]. Tom Mooney.
[Typed letter, signed, by Tom Mooney, famed political prisoner at San Quentin Prison, to a photographer, regarding court room images of his recent retrial.]

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[Typed letter, signed, by Tom Mooney, famed political prisoner at San Quentin Prison, to a photographer, regarding court room images of his recent retrial.]

San Quentin Prison, 25 November, 1933. 1 p. (11” x 8.5”), with original envelope. CONDITION: Near fine.

A letter written by the labor movement leader falsely convicted of murder in the San Francisco Preparedness Day bombing of 1916, requesting his sister be allowed to access courtroom photos of him, as well as shots of California governor James Rolph and his “Advisory Pardon Board.”

After seventeen years in jail, Tom Mooney was granted another trial by California Superior Judge Louis H. Ward. This letter, written from San Quentin and gracefully incorporating Mooney’s inmate number into his autograph, requests Associated Press photographer “Mr. King” to grant access to his images to Mooney’s sister Anna: “The subjects of these pictures were Rolph and his Advisory Pardon Board, and also those many pictures that were taken in the Court Room at my recent trial. Will you be so kind as to permit my sister to see the copies of these photos that you have on hand, of the aforementioned pictures?” Mooney expresses his “keen” appreciation for King’s cooperation, and ends with the post script direction to “Communicate with my committee,” whose San Francisco address and phone number he provides.

Although Mooney’s 1933 trial was unsuccessful, he was at last released in 1939, thanks to the global media campaign, led by left-wing and labor organizers, that had worked since his initial incarceration in 1917 to prove that he had been framed.

Prior to his incarceration, Mooney had been an active labor organizer, making two trips to Europe through socialist organizations. Presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, who “liked Mooney’s forceful persistence,” made him “official party literature agent” in 1908 (“Tom Mooney Trial”). After his official pardon and release, Mooney was too sick to complete his planned lecture tours, and died in 1942.

REFERENCES: “Tom Mooney Trial: 1917,” Great American Trials on Encyclopedia online.

Item #7666

Price: $475.00

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