HALLIBURTON, RICHARD.  1900-1939.

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Lot 3224
HALLIBURTON, RICHARD. 1900-1939.

Sold for US$ 1,527 inc. premium
HALLIBURTON, RICHARD. 1900-1939.
LETTERS FROM HALLIBURTON'S LAST ADVENTURE.
3 Mimeographed Letters Signed ("Richard Halliburton"), 10 pp, folio, Hong Kong and Canton, January 19, 1939 to February 16, 1939, to P.L. Williams, with 10 pp of typed copies, all with original transmittal envelopes postmarked January 25, February 18, and July 11, 1939, pages creased, toned, some soiling to envelopes.

Richard Halliburton was an immensely popular travel writer and adventurer during the 1920s and 1930s. His books and his popular lecture tours both assured his fame and drove him to seek ever more dangerous adventures. In his final trek, he hoped to sail a Chinese Junk from Hong Kong to San Francisco, braving rough waters, pirates, and the Japanese Navy along the way. The expedition got off to a rough start, as Halliburton had a tough time securing a junk, and had to have one built (the first letter in this lot vividly describes this process). The Sea Dragon set sale in late January, only to return to port immediately for repairs. During repairs, Halliburton traveled to Canton, describing what he saw there in his letter of January 27. The third and final letter in this lot, dated February 16, is again written from Hong Kong, with the Sea Dragon again in port having been buffeted so badly by storms that two crewmen were injured and had to leave the expedition. Halliburton writes: "On the late afternoon of the sixth day, bearded, exhausted and dejected, we caught sight, far in the distance, of the mountains rising behind Hong Kong. In the darkness we crept through the treacherous confusion of reefs and islands that surrounds the harbor, and found our way to the old familiar dock. We were glad it was midnight and that no one was on hand to see our ignominious return. Before going ashore I glanced at our good-luck god, still sitting and smiling in his little temple. I decided he was a fake and a hoax." Soon after this letter was written, the Sea Dragon again departed into the Pacific, where it was lost in a typhoon on March 4. This last letter bears a July postmark, indicating it was not mailed until all hope of Halliburton's recovery was lost.

Saleroom notices

  • With two 2x2in black and white snapshots of "The Sea Dragon."
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