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04-090

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1882-1945.  32nd President of the United States, 1933-1945.  Autograph Letter Signed, Affectionately your / Father, one page, 7¾” x 9¾”, Marion [Massachusetts], Thursday [October 29, 1925], on personal stationery from Hyde Park, Duchess Co., N.Y.  With original envelope.

This is a fantastic association letter in which Roosevelt, writing to his son, James, makes an uncommon reference to his paralysis.  He writes that he plans to attend James’ football game at Groton School and, since he obviously could not climb the bleachers, asks him to tell the Police Force to let me have a parking space where I can see from the car!

In August 1925, although his doctors had said that nothing more could be done for his paralysis, FDR began treatments with Dr. William McDonald, whom his uncle Fred Delano had recommended, in Marion, Massachusetts.  Roosevelt stayed through the fall.  In October, the month in which he wrote this letter, Roosevelt was able to stand with only his left leg brace and the support of McDonald and valet Roy Jones.  By December, he walked several hundred feet with crutches and only the left brace.  But McDonald had promised more than he could deliver.  For the remainder of his life, Roosevelt wore leg braces and was able to walk only with assistance or with crutches or canes.  He spent most of his time in a wheelchair. 

The original envelope accompanying this letter is imprinted with the name of Roosevelt’s New York law firm, Roosevelt & O’Connor.  It is postmarked Marion, Massachusetts, October 29, 1925.  Roosevelt has addressed the envelope to “James Roosevelt  /  Groton School  /  Groton  /  Mass.”

This letter is a superb piece for any serious presidential or Roosevelt collector.  Aside from normal mailing folds, it is absolutely pristine. Roosevelt’s writing is bold and sharp.  The envelope, which is addressed in Roosevelt’s hand, is torn at the top where it was opened, but otherwise it is in fine condition. 

Unframed.

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