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6 December 2013
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Autograph letter signed ("Winston S. Churchill"), to James B. Pond, Russia House, Toronto, 29 December 1900. 1 page, 8vo.
CHURCHILL GOES ON A SPEAKING TOUR OF NORTH AMERICA in this early letter to the great lecture circuit empresario, Major James B. Pond. A Civil War veteran, Pond managed lecture tours for practically every major public and intellectual figure of the late 19th century: Oscar Wilde, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Ward Beecher, Mark Twain, and scores of others. Churchill's overnight fame for his daring escape from the Boer prisoner of war camp made him a fitting new client of Pond's Lyceum Theatre Lecture Bureau. "I shall be obliged," Churchill writes, "if you will come to see me this morning at 10:15, as it is necessary that our relations should be placed upon a proper footing." Relations between the two men did not stay proper. They fell out over money and Churchill would later describe Pond as that "vulgar Yankee impresario."
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