Selected Letters of Nicola Sacco from the Charlestown State Prison

July 19, 1927


I would like that you should understand what I am going to say to you, and I wish I could write you so plain, for I long so much to have you hear all the heart-beat, eagemess of your father, for I love you so much as you are the dearest little beloved one.
It is quite hard indeed to make you understand in your young age, but I am going to try from the bottom of my heart to make you understand how dear you are to your father's soul.  If I cannot succeed in doing that, I know that you will save this letter and read it over in future years to come and you will see and feel the same heart-beat affection as your father feels in writing it to you.

I will bring with me your little and so dearest letter and carry it right under my heart to the last day of my life.  When I die, it will be buried with your father who loves you so much, as I do also your brother Dante and holy dear mother.
You don't know Ines, how dear and great your letter was to your father.  It is the most golden present that you could have given to me or that I could have wished for in these sad days.

It was the greatest treasure and sweetness in my struggling life that I could have lived with you and your brother Dante and your mother in a neat little farm, and learn all your sincere words and tender affection.  Then in the summer-time to be sitting with you in the home nest under the oak tree shade--beginning to teach you of life and how to read and write, to see you running, laughing, crying and singing through the verdent fields picking the wild flowers here and there from one tree to another, and from the clear, vivid stream to your mother's embrace.

The same I have wished to see for other poor girls, and their brothers, happy with their mother and father as I dreamed for us--but it was not so and the nightmare of the lower classes saddened very badly your father's soul.

 For the things of beauty and of good in this life, mother nature gave to us all, for the conquest and the joy of liberty.  The men of this dying old society, they brutally have pulled me away from the embrace of your brother and your poor mother.  But, in spite of all, the free spirit of your father's faith still survives, and I have lived for it and for the dream that some day I would have come back to life, to the embrace of your dear mother, among our friends and comrades again, but woe is me!

I know that you are good and surely you love your mother, Dante and all the beloved ones--and I am sure that you love me also a little, for I love you much and then so much.  You do not know Ines, how often I think of you every day.  You are in my heart, in my vision, in every angle of this sad walled cell, in the sky and everywhere my gaze rests.

Meantime, give my best paternal greetings to all the friends and comrades, and doubly so to our beloved ones.  Love and kisses to your brother and mother.   With the most affectionate kiss and ineffable caress from him who loves you so much that he constantly thinks of you.  Best warrn greetings from Bartolo to you all.

                   YOUR FATIHER

**Ines is Sacco's daughter.

August 4, 1927.


From the death cell we are just inform from the defense committee that the governor Fuller he has decided to kill us Aug. the 10th.  We are not surprised for this news because we know the capitalist class hard without any mercy the good soldiers of the rivolution.  We are proud for death and fall as all the anarchist can fall.  It is up to you now, brothers, comrades!  as I have tell you yesterday that you only that can save us, because we have never had faith in the governor for we have always know that the gov. Fuller, Thayer, and Katzmann are the murder.
My warrn fraternal regards to all,


[Note: "Katzmann" is Frederick G. Katzmann, the prosecuting attorney who tried Sacco and Vanzetti.]

August 18, 1927.


Since the day I saw you last I had always the idea to write you this letter, but the length of my hunger strike and the thought I might not be able to explain myself, made me put it off all this time.

The other day, I ended my hunger strike and just as soon as I did that I thought of you to write to you, but I find that I did not have enough strength and I cannot finish it at one time.  However, I want to get it down in any way before they take us again to the death-house, because it is my conviction that just as soon as the court refuses a new trial to us they will take us there.  And between Friday and Monday, if nothing happens, they will electrocute us right after midnight, on August 22nd.  Therefore, here I am, right with you with love and with open heart as ever I was yesterday.

I never thought that our inseparable life could be separated, but the thought of seven dolorous years makes it seem it did come, but then it has not changed really the unrest and the heart-beat of affection.  That has remained as it was.  More.  I say that our ineffable affection reciprocal, is today more than any other time, of course.  That is not only a great deal but it is grand because you can see the real brotherly love, not only in joy but also and more in the struggle of suffering.  Remember this, Dante.  We have demonstrated this, and modesty apart, we are proud of it.

Much we have suffered during this long Calvary.  We protest today as we protested yesterday.  We protest always for our freedom.

If I stopped hunger strike the other day, it was because there was no more sign of life in me.  Because I protested with my hunger strike yesterday as today I protest for life and not for death.

I sacrificed because I wanted to come back to the embrace of your dear little sister Ines and your mother and all the beloved friends and comrades of life and not death.  So Son, today life begins to revive slow and calm, but yet without horizon and always with sadness and visions of death.

 Well, my dear boy, after your mother had talked to me so much and I had dreamed of you day and night, how joyful it was to see you at last.  To have talked with you like we used to in the days--in those days.  Much I told you on that vist and more I wanted to say, but I saw that you will remain the same affectionate boy, faithful to your mother who loves you so much, and I did not want to hurt your sensibilities any longer, because I am sure that you will continue to be the same boy and remember what I have told you.  I knew that and what here I am going to tell you will touch your sensibilities, but don't cry Dante, because many tears have been wasted, as your mother's have been wasted for seven years, and never did any good.  So, Son, instead of crying, be strong, so as to be able to comfort your mother, and when you want to distract your mother from the discouraging soulness, I will tell you what I used to do.  To take her for a long walk in the quiet country, gathering wild flowers her and there, resting under the shade of trees, between the harmony of the vivid stream and the gentle tranquility of the mothernature, and I am sure that she will enjoy this very much, as you surely would be happy for it.  But remember always, Dante, in the play of happiness, don't you use all for yourself only, but down yourself just one step, at your side and help the weak ones that cry for help, help the prosecuted and the victim, because that are your better friends; they are the comrades that fight and fall as your father and Bartolo fought and fell yesterday for the conquest of the joy of freedom for all and the poor workers.  In this struggle of life you will find more love and you will be loved.

I am sure that from what your mother told me about what you said during these last terrible days when I was lying in the iniquitous death-house--that description gave me happiness because it showed you will be the beloved boy I had always dreamed.

Therefore, whatever should happen tomorrow, nobody knows, but if they should kill us, you must not forget to look at your friends and comrades with the smiling gave of gratitude as you look at your beloved ones, because they love you as they love every one of the fallen persecuted comrades.  I tell you, your father that is all the life to you, your father that loved you and saw them, and knows their noble faith (that is mine) their supreme sacrifice that they are still doing for our freedom, for I have fought with them, and they are the ones that still hold the last of our hope that today they can still save us from electrocution, it is the struggle and fight bewteen the rich and the poor for safety and freedom, Son, which you will understand in the future of your years to come, of this unrest and struggle of life's death.

Much I thought of you when I was lying in the death house--the singing, the kind tender voices of the children from the playground, where there was all the life and the joy of liberty--just one step from the wall which contains the buried agony of three buried souls.  It would remind me so often of you and your sister Ines, and I wish I could see you every moment.  But I feel better that you did not come to the death-house so that you could not see the horrible picture of three lying in agony waiting to be electrocuted, because I do not know what effect it would have on your young age.  But then, in another way if you were not so sensitive it would be very useful to you tomorrow when you could use this horrible memory to hold up to the world the shame of the country in this cruel persecution and unjust death.  Yes, Dante, they can crucify our bodies today as they are doing, but they cannot destroy our ideas, that will remain for the youth of the future to come.

Dante, when I said three human lives buried, I meant to say that with us there is another young man by the name of Celestino Maderios that is to be electrocuted at the same time with us.  He has been twice before in that horrible death-house, that should be destroyed with the hammers of real progress--that horrible house that will shame forever the future of the citizens of Massachusetts.  They should destroy that house and put up a factory or school, to teach many of the hundreds of the poor orphan boys of the world.

Dante, I say once more to love and be nearest to your mother and the beloved ones in these sad days, and I am sure that with your brave heart and kind goodness they will feel less discomfort.  And you will also not forget to love me a little for I do--O, Sonny!  thinking so much and so often of you.

Best fraternal greetings to all the beloved ones, love and kisses to your little Ines and mother.  Most hearty affectionate embrace.

P.S.  Bartolo send you the most affectionate greetings.  I hope that your mother will help you to understand this letter because I could have written much better and more simple, if I was feeling good.  But I am so weak.

Ed. Note: Celestino Maderios (sometimes Medeiros) was a fellow prisoner of Sacco and Vanzetti?s.  He testified that he was a part of the Morrelli gang and that they committed the hold-up and murder for which Sacco and Vanzetti were executed.