Italian born American
anarchists NICOLA SACCO and BARTOLOMEO VANZETTI were convicted of
murdering a guard and a paymaster during an armed robbery of the Slater and
Morrill Shoe Company on April 15, 1920, in South Braintree, Massachusetts. Seven years later after being found guilty of
first-degree murder, and exhausting a series of appeals, they were executed at
Charlestown State Prison on August 23, 1927.
Subsequent investigations throughout the 1930s and 1940s cast doubt on
their guilt. The case was further clouded later by ballistic tests and
incriminating statements by the men’s acquaintances. In 1977, then Massachusetts Gov. Michael
Dukakis issued a proclamation that the two had been unfairly tried and
convicted and “any disgrace should be forever removed from their names.”
Offering two post-execution pamphlets, the first – 6” x 9” -- being “There is Justice; A Summary of the Sacco Vanzetti Case, published by the Sacco-Vanzetti National League, a private advocacy group, c. 1927. 21 pp and signed in type by William Floyd. The second pamphlet, 46 pp, entitled “Outstanding Features of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case Together with Letters from the Defendants by Elizabeth Glendower Evans, was published by the New England Civil Liberties Committee in Boston, c. 1927.
Portions of Vanzetti’s impassioned letters of innocence, laced with broken English, are contained in the second pamphlet. In very small part, he wrote, “I did not spittle a drop of blood, or steal a cent in my life…I wish to convince my fellow-men that only with virtue and honesty is possible for us to find a little happiness in the world. I preached; I worked. I wished with all my faculties that the social wealth would belong to every umane [sic] creatures, so well as it was the fruit of the work of all. But this do not mean robbery for a insurrection.
“The insurrection, the great movements of the soul do not need dollars. It need love, light, spirit of sacrifice, ideas conscience, instincts. It need more conscience, more hope and more goodness. And all this blassing [sic] things can be seeded, awoked, growed up in the heart of man in many ways, but not by robbery and murder for robbery…”
Covers are loose and have been reinforced with archival tape. Expected toning and light soiling but overall very good and a wonderful combination record of one of the most notorious human injustices in the 20th century criminal justice system.
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