CARTER, James Earl ("Jimmy," 1924- ), President. Autograph letter signed ("Jimmy Carter") as President, to T. J. White, Washington, D.C., 8 March 1977. 1 page, 8vo (8 7/8 x 6¾ in.), White House stationery, pale circular stains on verso with some pale show-through (see photo).
A VERY RARE AUTOGRAPH LETTER FROM PRESIDENT CARTER IN OFFICE
President Carter pens a rare handwritten letter to the author of an editorial: "Thank you for your editorial comment March 1st on the human rights issue. I've also been surprised at the timidity of some leaders, but at the same time cautious myself about possible adverse affect on those who already suffer." The call for the protection of basic human rights around the world was one of the cornerstones of Carter's administration. He denounced the trials of Soviet dissidents Anatoly Shcharansky and Alexander Ginzburg, condemned racism in South Africa and criticized the repressive regimes of Castro in Cuba and Idi Amin in Uganda.
Handwritten letters of President Carter while in office are exceedingly rare. The handful that are known are brief, usually penned on small 8vo stationary and most are signed "Jimmy" or Jimmy C.," rather than in full as in this example. Only two autograph letters as President have appeared at auction in the last 20 years: a one-page letter of thanks for a supportive note, signed "Jimmy C." (Christie's New York, 21 April 1997, lot 77, $9,000) and the best-known Carter autograph letter signed of Presidential date, to his brother Billy (Christie's New York, 16 October 1996, lot 9, $26,000, Alvin R. and Marjorie Kantor Collection). Regarding Carter's Presidential correspondence, see John M. Taylor, From the White House Inkwell: American Presidential Autographs, Santa Monica, 1989, pp. 223-225: "Carter in the White House proved to be the quintessential 'detail man,' and it should come as no surprise that he continued to use the labor-saving devices employed by his predecessors in their correspondence. Even as governor of Georgia, Carter had employed several proxy signers; as president, he not only made extensive use of the Autopen but had the most skillful proxy signer employed by a president."