JOHN L. "THE GREAT JOHN L" SULLIVAN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 280340
In this rare undated typed letter, heavyweight boxing champ John L. Sullivan touts his touring boxing show, saying "There is no question of a doubt but what I can break all records both in way of attendance and financial matters as well."
Special Sale Price $3,400.00
JOHN L. SULLIVAN In this rare undated typed letter, heavyweight boxing champ John L. Sullivan touts his touring boxing show, saying "There is no question of a doubt but what I can break all records both in way of attendance and financial matters as well." Typed letter signed "John L. Sullivan". 1 page, 8½x12¾, thin paper. In full: "My Dear Sir: I should be very much pleased, indeed, to play at your house. There is no question of a doubt but what I can break all records both in way of attendance and financial matters as well. During my present tour, which started on the 18th of February last, I have made greater successes than in my earlier days. Whether it can be attrib-uted to my boxing turn with sparring partner, or that times are better or money easier, or that my popularity is increasing instead of decreasing, I don't know. But the old saying is 'Results tell the story'. We have played the 10 and 20 cent houses, and then we have gone into the big theatres and played from 25¢ to $2.50 for a seat, and it seems to make no difference. I am truthful in my statement when I say that the patronage of these 10 and 20 cent houses far excells [sic] the ordinary theatre patronage, and it is giving the ladies and the children an opportunity of seeing me such as they have never had before, for in my touring of the country it has generally been with a quartette [sic] of boxers or burlesque houses, thus denying the ladies and children the privilege of seeing me; and I find in these 10 and 20 cent houses my audiences are composed one-half of ladies, for I think you are quite well aware of the fact that there are hundreds and thousands of ladies who would be only too pleased to see a boxing exhibition conducted under proper auspices. Now you may say you have not the capacity or cannot get enough people in your house to pay my salary. All you have to do is to take a pencil and paper and figure it out. In the first place, by playing me you can cut down some of your show. In the next place, we can give you three or four shows a day, if necessary; and then again, we can make your house better known during our engagement than you can possibly make it know in a year's time, for the press are devoting to my present tour not only columns, but page. Now, for instance, suppose you have a seating capacity, we will say of 600 people. Now then, if you give four shows a say, that means 2400 people a day, which is $240. a day at 10 cents, and that would amount to $1680 a week. We certainly can play to capacity at each show, for we have done it wherever we have been. Now then, if one have of your house is sold at 20 cents, you would have receipts amounting to $2520 for the week, and if necessary we could run an extra show or two on Saturday and Sunday. If your house is larger, of course, you would do more. We have simply turned people away everywhere we have been. In the afternoon I present my monologue, which covers 23 minutes, and can be made less if necessary. My stories consist of incidents that happened during my travel around the world, and it keeps the audience in a roar of laughter. In the evening I give an exhibition with my sparring partner, Jim McCormick. So you get them both ways: Those who come in the afternoon to hear my monologue come in the evening to see the boxing, and vice versa. This is the first time I have had the boxing gloved on in nine years, and many thousands of people have paid from $5 to $50 a seat to see an exhibition such as I am now giving at popular prices. Kindly let me hear from you by return mail or wire and make me your best offer and I will see what I can do. I do not wish to throw any boquets [sic] at myself, but I know I am a better drawing card, and have proven so this season, than Corbett, Jeffries and Fitzsimmons put together, and have played to larger houses than Nelson or Britt. Awaiting your reply, believe me to be, Very truly yours,". Sullivan (1858-1918), AKA "The Boston Strong Boy" and "The Great John L.", was an American heavyweight boxer. A blustery man of great strength, Sullivan was one of the most popular heavyweight boxers of his time. A bareknuckle boxer, Sullivan was also the first heavyweight champion of gloved boxing (1882-1892) and the last heavyweight champ under bareknuckle "London Prize Ring" rules. Sullivan's 75-round fight with Jake Kilrain in 1889 was the last heavyweight title fight under London Prize Ring rules; Sullivan won the fight with a knockout. Lightly toned and creased. Signature had bled slightly but is legible. Random ink stains. Tears at left edge and in top left corner. Folded once horizontally and twice vertically; comes folded once. Otherwise in fine condition. Accompanied by PSA/DNA LOA.
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