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Eleanor Roosevelt

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Virtually pristine free frank signed with Mrs. Roosevelt’s full name

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884–1962.  First Lady, 1933–1945.  Free franked envelope signed Free / Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Hyde Park, New York, February 24, 1949.

This is a beautiful free frank signed by Mrs. Roosevelt with her full name, which she rarely used except in free franks.  She evidently signed it for a collector in Texas, to whom she mailed it.

Mrs. Roosevelt had the franking privilege for 17 years following the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945.  Most of the time, she used a rubber stamped franking signature.  According to Dr. Walter Ostromecki, whose seminal work on First Ladies’ autographs is still the standard reference, most of Mrs. Roosevelt’s handwritten free franks date from the period from 1945, when she left the White House, to 1949, although occasionally in later years she would hand frank an envelope for a collector.  Walter A. Ostromecki, Jr., The First Ladies of the United States: An Historical Look at Each and Their Autograph Materials, 1789–1989, at 175 (1989).  This frank, which is postmarked February 24, 1949, dates from that period.

Mrs. Roosevelt has franked this envelope in black fountain pen.  She had a tendency to run her signature to the edge of the paper, but this one stops short of the right edge of the envelope.  The signature is fully legible, even though the Hyde Park postmark lies across portions of it.  The envelope is toned with age but is clean, and it is sealed with nothing inside.  It shows a bit of handling, as one would expect because it was mailed, but it is as close to pristine as a piece of this age can get.  It is in very fine condition.

Unframed.  Click here to ask us about custom framing this piece.






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