GANDHI, MOHANDAS K. 1869-1948.
Autograph Letter Signed (MK Gandhi), 2 pp (recto and verso), 8vo, [Yeravda Prison, Poona], June 21, 1930, to [Major Patrick OToole] Quinn, asking for food on behalf of a fellow prisoner.
Wonderful letter dating about 6 weeks after Gandhi's arrest for his leadership in protesting the British salt tax. The salt tax protest was the first act of organized, non-violent opposition to British rule after the goal of complete independence was declared. In full: Dear Mr Quinn / This is to tell you that if I had not divided my milk and fruit with my companion, he would have starved yesterday & the day before. / As it is we both starved theoretically during the two days, in practice we both had our fill because my need happened to be less than usual and my companion supplemented the milk or curds with bread & the ghee he has brought from the Sabarmati prison. But how long should this precarious existence go on and what will happen if I suddenly develop my normal appetite? Pardon this burst of humour.
do please think now of sending for my friend: cows milk 2 lbs, some vegetable, some salt / and arrange for a supply of cows milk butter as early as possible. His stock will soon be exhausted. / What about those letters of mine?"