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Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 18821945.  32nd President of the United States, 19331945.  Historically significant archive of President Roosevelt's personal checks, together with his last check register, various bank statements, and the last check that he ever signed, all in extra fine condition.

In 2007, we handled the placement of this exceptional archive detailing the financial affairs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the last six months of his life. 

The archive included the following:

   A check register from Guaranty Trust Company covering the period from October 5, 1944, to April 11, 1945, containing descriptions of checks written on the bank account that the book represented in the handwriting of Franklin D. Roosevelt and others.  The register starts with check # 44 and ends with check # 189.  In addition, there are two blank checks that would have been check ## 190 and 191. All of the checks before # 178, which was dated April 9, 1945, have been removed from the register.  Check ## 178 through 189 are filled out but are unsigned and remain attached to the register, as do the two unnumbered checks.

   Bank statement page dated October 31, 1944, with 27 cancelled checks, ## 6, 34-44, 46-56, and 59-62, all signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, attached.

   Bank statement page December 30, 1944, with 16 cancelled checks, ## 75, 79-80, 82-85, 87-90, 92-93, and 95-97, all signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, attached.

   Check # 135 written to Kate Jennings, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and signed on the back by James Roosevelt.

   Bank statement page dated June 30, 1945, with three cancelled checks, ## 167, 170, and 177, all signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, attached.

   Original bank statements dated January 31, February 28, and March 31, 1945.

   Bank statement page send to the Audit Department upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, perhaps sent in lieu of an April 1945 statement.

   One unnumbered check dated July 11, 1945, signed by Basil O'Connor and Harry Hackett as executors of the Estate of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Deceased, that was used to close the account represented by the check register on July 11, 1945, with its attached statement page.

   An envelope, held together with a vintage paperclip, used by Guaranty Trust Company to mail material to the Estate.

The archive reveals much about FDR.  The checks include a $1,000 check to Eleanor dated December 7, 1944, for Christmas 1944.  Whether it was gift or was Christmas spending money, it was a large sum in 1944—particularly when an entry in the register shows that FDR paid his housekeeper, Anna McGowan, only $50 per month.

The register shows political and charitable contributions and dues of various sorts, including $1 for the membership dues for the President's Scottish terrier, Fala, in the Tail Waggers Club in Washington, D.C.

There are also entries and checks for routine matters such as payments for FDR's life insurance premium, his medicine, maintenance and licensing on his car, and household expenses such as electricity, gas, and telephone.  FDR also paid the New York State Tax Commission $52.50 in January 1945 because of an error on his 1942 state income tax return.

Finally, one poignant entry reveals that Roosevelt paid the Union Pacific Railroad for its fares to transport his grandchildren to Washington, D.C., for his 1945 inauguration.  Perhaps sensing the end of his life, FDR made a special effort to have his grandchildren present.

This archive provides a fascinating glimpse into the private life of one of America's greatest presidents.



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