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THOMAS DIXON JR. - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 04/23/1903 - HFSID 297067

THOMAS DIXON, JR. Dixon declines a speaking engagement while finishing his first novel, The Leopard's Spots, conceived as a rebuttal to Uncle Tom's Cabin. Autograph Letter signed: "Thomas Dixon, Jr.", 2 pages (integral leaf), 5½x7. Elmington Manor, Dixondade, Virginia, 1903 April 23.

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Reg. $540.00

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THOMAS DIXON, JR.
Dixon declines a speaking engagement while finishing his first novel, The Leopard's Spots, conceived as a rebuttal to Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Autograph Letter signed: "Thomas Dixon, Jr.", 2 pages (integral leaf), 5½x7. Elmington Manor, Dixondade, Virginia, 1903 April 23. On personal letterhead to J. W. H. Grim, Williamsburg, Virginia. In full: "Please accept my thanks for the honor contained in your invitation. I regret my literary work is so pressing I have been compelled to decline all engagements to speak this summer anywhere. We sail for Europe late in the summer and it will push me to the utmost to finish my new novel and [?] 'The Leopard's Spots' as I have promised before sailing. I often drive over to take the train at Sea Hall & Williamsburg and hope to visit the College before long, but I can't make an engagement to speak as I am back & forth every few days to New York & it may be necessary for me to be there the very day I have dated with you. With best wishes, Sincerely". Thomas Dixon, Jr. (1864-1946) dabbled in acting, law and politics (one term in the North Carolina legislature) before becoming a Baptist minister, leading congregations in Boston and New York. An eloquent orator, he was soon in demand as a public speaker. Dixon was a strong critic of Reconstruction, and a firm supporter of racial segregation. While condemning some of its excesses, he also viewed the Ku Klux Klan as a positive defender of the southern way of life. Emerging angrily from a performance of Uncle Tom's Cabin, he vowed to write a novel in rebuttal. The result was the first of his 22 novels, The Leopard's Spots, which portrayed many of the characters from the Harriet Beecher Stowe account in a very different light. His most successful novel was The Clansman, the basis for D. W. Griffith's film Birth of a Nation (1915). All of Dixon's novels and essays romanticized the old South, and are quoted approvingly by white supremacists of the present day. Toned. Multiple mailing folds. Corners creased. Minor notches at center folds. Otherwise, fine condition.

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