Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Ray, James Earl (1928-1998) to Jack Kershaw

Order a pdf of this item here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09759 Author/Creator: Ray, James Earl (1928-1998) Place Written: Nashville, Tennessee Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 14 June 1977 Pagination: 3 p. 24 x 20.9 cm.

Summary of Content: One letter to Jack Kershaw dated June 14, 1977 from James Earl Ray. Ray writes from prison pertainng to a transfer between prisons. He was opposed to transferring to a federal prison believing that he would be assaulted or murdered. Relays statutes and laws that would be in his favor to prevent a transfer.

Background Information: James Earl Ray was responsible for the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. This letter was written the day after he had been recaptured for escaping prison. His sentence after ...this recapture was life imprisonment. See More

People: Kershaw, Jack, 1913-2010
Ray, James Earl, 1928-1998

Historical Era: 1945 to the Present

Subjects: PrisonerAssassinations

Sub Era: The Seventies

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources