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Lot 133A: Stunning Truman Color Signed Photo on Matte to US Senate Secretary Edwin Halsey
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: TRUMAN, HARRY S. (1884-1972). Thirty-third president of the United States. SP. (“Harry Truman USANG”). N.p., N.d. (ca. mid-1940s). To Senate Secretary EDWIN A. HALSEY (1881-1945). A stunning color photograph of Senator Truman seated at his desk reviewing a telegram and holding a pen in his hand. Truman has added his inscription at the bottom of the matte: ********** “To Col. Edwin A. Halsey, the best secretary in the whole world with every good wish for his happiness…” ********** Truman served in the Missouri Army National Guard from 1905-1911 and reenlisted when America entered World War I. As a battery commander, he honed his leadership skills while leading an unruly artillery regiment in France. He was mustered out as a colonel with his military experience paving the way for a political career. After several appointments in Missouri, Truman was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1934 and served in that office until January 20, 1945, when he became vice president. Truman was sworn in as president upon FDR’s death on April 12, 1945. ********** Halsey’s career began at the age of 16 as a Senate page. During the next 16 years in the Senate’s press gallery he earned the nickname “Colonel,” which Truman affectionately uses in his inscription. He rose through the ranks serving as Democratic Party secretary, secretary-treasurer of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and finally, in 1933, as secretary of the Senate. He died in that office, just nine days after Franklin Roosevelt’s fourth presidential inauguration in 1945, which Halsey had planned and which also marked the beginning of Truman’s brief vice presidency. ********** Our framed photograph is darkly penned on the slightly creased photographer’s mount, which does not affect Truman’s signature (after which he has added “USANG,” standing for “United States Army National Guard”) or inscription. A richly toned, early color photograph, accompanied by an unusual form of Truman’s signature.