A letter written by Italian anarchist Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888-1927) on death row was among the highlights of day two of Alexander Historical Auctions' winter sale.
The lot realised $5,000 when it crossed the block on February 11.
Vanzetti, along with fellow anarchist Nicola Sacco, was accused of murder and armed robbery in Massachusetts in 1920. They were sentenced to death following a sensational trial in 1921, although many believed them to be innocent. Protests were held around the world in an unprecedented display of solidarity.
This was the era of the Red Scare and anti-leftist sentiments were running high.
The letter was written to a supporter in May 1927, four months before his execution. It reads in part: "We are hoping very little...we have never hoped in Courts and Judges�Ǫwe are still hoping only on what the comrades and the people will compel the State to give us.
"But as the evidence in our favor are so strong as the protest is universal the people hope again in a victory. Our case proved�Ǫthat a handful of men invested of power by the stupidity of the people and who call themselves public servants care a fig for the people [sic] wishes and pay no attention to the people claims."
The state governor later posthumously pardoned both men.
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