In the Across the USA section of USA Today a recent item from Athens, Georgia conjured up some past emotions about my alma mater. It mentioned that millions of items were in the process of being moved from The University of Georgia’s main library to a new building which will house special collections. I hope that my original, handwritten manuscript of The Millionaire Next Door which I donated at Georgia’s request will be placed in a more modest setting.
The manuscript was initially placed in a glass case in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library (see Timeline). For several months, it was there all by itself, and I was feeling pretty “chipper” about this. But then another item, a handwritten letter, was added to the case. In the letter, President Abraham Lincoln directs the head of a Union prison to release a young Confederate captain. It seems that the captain’s brother, a Confederate surgeon, had saved the life of a seriously wounded, imprisoned Union officer.
It was indeed humbling to have my 477 pages of a college ruled, handwritten manuscript sitting next to a letter from Abraham Lincoln. But what was especially illuminating was the fact that Lincoln, while carrying the weight of the Civil War, had such great compassion and respect for the good deeds of others.