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HELEN KELLER - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 11/09/1942 - HFSID 276817

HELEN KELLER Keller writes an impassioned plea for financial assistance. TLS: "Helen Keller" in pencil, 1p, 7¼x10¼. 15 West 16th Street, 1942 November 9. To "Miss Edwards". In full: "These are unprecedented days of sorrow and peril.

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HELEN KELLER
Keller writes an impassioned plea for financial assistance.
TLS: "Helen Keller" in pencil, 1p, 7¼x10¼. 15 West 16th Street, 1942 November 9. To "Miss Edwards". In full: "These are unprecedented days of sorrow and peril. Liberty throughout the world, even in our country, is at bay. But however great the darkness may become, we have a Light at our command --Faith in democracy. While we strive to curb the evil tides loosed by dictatorship, I beg you to reconsider the meaning of democracy -- your right to think, to choose a way of life and contribute your talents to civilization. In a real sense, we are All soldiers -- Soldiers of Humanity. Yet to fortify the people on our home front with health and power to produce is not enough. Those wounded on life's battle-fields must be given the chance, for which their thwarted manhood cries out, to take part in our war effort. Urged by these thoughts, I write to you in behalf of my blind fellows. At this critical time, their grief is not lack of sight but the hindrances which balk their longing to share in America's struggle for justice and decency. The American Foundation for the Blind is a national agency interested in all classes of the blind, and if it is to salvage some from the wreckage of darkness, it must have financial support. Knowing your fidelity to America's tradition of voluntary giving, I am earnestly hoping you will assist us to arm the courage of the blind with work. If you do, there will be an added sweetness for you in the victory of light over darkness and generous ideals over barbarism. Cordially yours,". Inspirational lecturer and author HELEN KELLER (1880-1968) had entered her dark, silent world as a result of illness while still a toddler. When she was about six years old, her parents sought help from Alexander Graham Bell, who had demonstrated his father's Visible Speech system at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes in 1871. Bell was instrumental in having instructor Anne Mansfield Sullivan (1866-1936) sent to teach Helen how to read, write and speak. With Sullivan's help, Helen learned the manual alphabet and graduated cum laude from Radcliffe in 1904. Devoting the rest of her life to the blind and deaf, Keller lectured and campaigned for improved services for the handicapped. In 1932, she and Sullivan helped make English Braille the standard. Keller, who wrote several books, was awarded membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1934, her film biography, The Unconquered, premiered, and Keller's life was later the basis for William Gibson's Tony Award-winning Broadway play (1959-1961) and the Academy Award-winning feature film (1962), The Miracle Worker. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Minor pinhead-size stains at upper margin. Ink note (unknown hand) on verso (light show through at upper right blank margin). Otherwise, fine condition.

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