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Lot 73: Very Rare Autograph Letter Signed F.D.R. as President
29 October 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
Very Rare Autograph Letter Signed "F.D.R." as President
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (1882-1945). Thirty-Second President of the United States (1933-1945) and a dominant leader of the Democratic Party being the only American President elected to more than two terms in office.
(September 9, 1938), Autograph Letter Signed, "F.D.R." as President, 1 page, 7" x 9", on official "The White House" Stationery, Washington, Crisp Extremely Fine. An urgent and written in a hurried hand, being a brief, yet highly important Letter to Frederic Delano, his mother's brother. With its original White House envelope, addressed by FDR to "Hon. F. A. Delano." No postmark (probably hand-delivered), no date on the Letter itself. This Letter reads, in full:
"Friday --- Dear Uncle Fred -- All my nice plans for going to Algonac tomorrow for your Birthday are off - for I go to Rochester to night & Jimmy's operation is Monday. Meanwhile ever so many Happy Returns - You are the grandest person I know - in every way. -- Affectionately - FDR."
Frederic Delano's sister was Sara Delano, FDR's mother. The Delano family estate was Algonac, about 25 miles south of Hyde Park. Frederic Delano celebrated his 75th birthday at Algonac on Sat., Sept. 10, 1938.
James Roosevelt, accompanied by his mother, entered the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., on Tues., Sept. 6. He had been at the Mayo Clinic twice earlier in the year for treatment of a small gastric ulcer. On Wednesday, the Clinic announced that "the results of treatment were rather disappointing" and that Roosevelt would have an emergency operation on Mon., Sept. 12. FDR left Hyde Park by rail on Friday evening. As soon as the President arrived at the hospital on Sunday morning, his son's operation was moved ahead by 24 hours. On Wed., Sept. 14, after receiving assurances from the doctors that his son was "making satisfactory progress," the President announced that he was returning to Washington because "having read the papers, the condition of affairs in other parts of the world is extremely serious..."
On Sept. 12, Hitler demanded self-determination for Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia, threatening to "rescue" Sudentens. The Czechs invoked military law in the Sudeten and on Sept. 13, announced they would never "voluntarily sacrifice any part" of her territory.