Raab Acquires Final Thing Gandhi Ever Wrote to Reach the Market; Research Discloses No Later Piece He Wrote In Private Hands
He was assassinated on January 30, 1948; this manuscript sheet was for his prayer speech of January 22, 1948
The Raab Collection announced today that it has acquired an important piece of history related to the life of Gandhi, a document he signed mere days before his assassination. This rare document, which has never been offered for sale, is valued at $110,000.
Autograph manuscript fragment, written on scrap paper, being edits Gandhi was making for publication of his January 22 speech. It is undated but it is after January 22, so in the last 8 days of his life. Gandhi said that a friend had written to him that although Pandit Nehru and other ministers and the officials might lodge some refugees in their houses, that would not even touch the fringe of the refugee problem. The speaker agreed that the ministers and the officials together could not house more than a few thousands at the most. The virtue of the offer consisted not in the “number so to be accommodated, but in the fact that the example of the leaders doing the act was proving infectious.” All civilized people, Gandhi went on to say, would appreciate and value such acts of leaders of men.
8 days later, he was killed by an assassin.
Our research cannot find any example in Gandhi’s hand, whether letter, manuscript, or document, dated after this one having reached the public market. This may well be the last thing Gandhi ever wrote in private hands.
For one week, the manuscript will be on display at Raab offices.
This year Raab is celebrating 30 years in business, an anniversary that will coincide with the publication of Nathan Raab’s first book, a hard cover, color work on the meaning of history: The Hunt for History (Scribner, March 2020).