Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Archive of Seven Typed Letters Signed to George E. Schryver.
    -1912 through 1914. All letters one page. Two letters on New York Senate letterhead; five on Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead. 8" x 10.5" and 7" x 9.25".
    -To: George E. Schryver of New York.
    -All letters with the usual fold creases, a few slightly toned, else all with strong FDR signatures and in at least very good condition.

    An archive of seven typed letters with beautiful FDR signatures to George E. Schryver. Though Mr. Schryver's relationship to FDR is uncertain it can be deduced that he had business interests in New York that involved the collector for the Port of New York. Six of the seven letters deal with this routine business matter. One letter amongst the group stands out, however due to its fine political content. The letter, dated November 19, 1912 (just after FDR's successful run for re-election to the Senate) on New York Senate letterhead reads: "My dear Mr. Schryver:/ I am just up after my illness [typhoid fever], and expect to return to Hyde Park tomorrow. I was very much pleased to get your letter, and it did much to encourage me before election. There were a few of the old fashioned professionals like our friend Cleary who do not seem to have played a fair game on election day, but the loss along those lines was more than made up by the increased vote I received from the Republican and independent farmers throughout the district, with the result that my majority seems to be considerably larger than two years ago. I am glad to say also that Herrick was elected County Clerk./ I hope everything is going all right with you, and I may see you after I return to New York, about December 15th." An incredible archive from early in FDR's political career.


    More Information:

    The extended description below was supplied by the consignor. We are making it available to our web bidders who are interested in more in-depth research and broader historical perspective. Please note that presentation (i.e. framing), lot divisions, and interpretations of condition and content may occasionally differ from our descriptions. Assertions of fact and subjective observations contained in this description represent the opinion of the consignor. These remarks have not been checked for accuracy by Heritage Auctions, and we assume no responsibility for their accuracy; they are offered purely to allow the bidder insight into the way the consignor has viewed the item(s) in question. No right of return or claim of lack of authenticity or provenance based upon this extended description will be granted.

     

    An extremely historic and extraordinarily rare typed letter signed "Franklin D. Roosevelt," November 19, 1912, written by FDR two weeks after his first re-election to political office on November 5, 1912 as a State Senator from New York, on The Senate of the State of New York, Albany/ Franklin D. Roosevelt, 26th District letterhead, sent from "49 East 65th Street, New York," with wonderful early FDR-related political content, in which FDR mentions his recent illness that kept him from campaigning for re-election, typhoid fever! FDR writes to Mr. George E. Schryver of New York City: "My dear Mr. Schryver:/ I am just up after my illness, and expect to return to Hyde Park tomorrow. I was very much pleased to get your letter, and it did much to encourage me before election. There were a few of the old fashioned professionals like our friend Cleary who do not seem to have played a fair game on election day, but the loss along those lines was more than made up by the increased vote I received from the Republican and independent farmers throughout the district, with the result that my majority seems to be considerably larger than two years ago. I am glad to say also that Herrick was elected County Clerk./ I hope everything is going all right with you, and I may see you after I return to New York, about December 15th./ Very sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." In June of 1912, FDR played a role at the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, supporting Woodrow Wilson's nomination for the Presidency. In July, he organized The Empire State Democracy with seventy other progressives to support Wilson's campaign and to oppose Tammany Hall's domination of the state ticket. On August 24, FDR was re-nominated for the State Senate, but he could not campaign because he contracted typhoid fever. Despite his illness and attacks from Tammany Hall, he was re-elected to the state senate on November 5, 1912. At this point, FDR must have seemed to be impervious to any obstacle. Without campaigning and battling an illness, he still managed to return to the State Senate for one more term, thanks in large part to the major role played by FDR's new strategist-in-chief Louis McHenry Howe. Interestingly, FDR also makes note of the support he received from Republicans and independents, a strategy he would successfully employ his entire political career, always taking caution to attack the Republican leadership, and not rank and file Republicans, or Republican voters, themselves. FDR believed, and benefitted from the knowledge that at least some Republican voters would support FDR's own progressive and liberal values and therefore would vote for him. Importantly, FDR also mentions the fact that his Republican opponents did not play fairly on election day in 1912. FDR was referring to an organized campaign by the Republicans launched just before election day in November, 1912 to label FDR as anti-Roman Catholic. FDR's Republican opposition spread abroad the charges that the fight FDR led as an "insurgent" member of the State Senate in early 1911 against Tammany Hall's choice for United States Senator, William F. ("Blue Eyed Billy") Sheehan, had been motivated by anti-Catholic bias on the part of FDR. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Syracuse, New York reiterated these unfounded charges against FDR in tandem with Cleary and the Republicans just before the election. FDR was furious, and as FDR stated at the time, the injection of "any question of religion into politics" was "un-American and un-Christian." George E. Schryver was born in 1862 in Jericho, New York and died on November 16, 1919. In this letter to his friend George E. Schryver two weeks after his re-election, FDR celebrates his political and personal triumph. FDR also celebrates his first re-election to political office on November 5, 1912, mentioning both the political tactics used against him, and his recovery from typhoid fever, a very rare and historically significant letter from FDR.

     

    An extremely historic and very rare typed letter signed "Franklin D. Roosevelt," March 7, 1913, ten days before he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by President Woodrow Wilson, on The Senate of the State of New York, Albany/ Franklin D. Roosevelt, 26th District letterhead, sent from "New York City, N.Y.," one of the last letters FDR sent as a State Senator from New York, with several corrections in FDR's own hand. FDR writes to Mr. George E. Schryver of New York City, and corrects the spelling of Mr. Schryver's first name "George" once and his last name "Schryver" twice in his own hand: "Dear Mr. Schryver:-/ I have your note with enclosed suggestions and think it good. I will keep it before me and assure you I will do everything I can as soon as the new collector is appointed./ Yours very truly,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." To the very end of his tenure in his first political office, State Senator from New York, FDR was following through on important State issues of political appointments and patronage. The New York customhouse was headed by the Collector of the Port of New York. Before income taxes, the chief sources of Federal revenue were the duties charged on imported goods. The busy Port of New York served as the point of deposit for many imports, and its customhouse became the largest Federal office in the Government, taking in more revenue and handing out more jobs than any other. Since the days of Andrew Jackson, the "spoils system" had prevailed in the hiring and retention of Federal employees. Each new Administration cleaned house, regardless of the ability of individual civil servants, making room for its own appointees. As was the case at the city and state level, these Federal jobs provided the glue that united political party organizations. FDR was focused on this important issue right to the end of his membership in the State Senate. Just ten days after FDR sent this letter to Mr. Schryver, on March 17, 1913, FDR's professional and political career took another giant step forward when President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He served under Secretary Josephus Daniels. Less than one month later, he made a speech before the Navy League in Washington, D.C. that stressed the need for a larger Navy. George E. Schryver was born in 1862 in Jericho, New York and died on November 16, 1919. This is an extremely rare FDR letter, one of his last as a New York State Senator before moving on to Washington, D.C. to become Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

     

    A terrific and historic item, FDR signature as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, April 3, 1913, just two weeks after becoming Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson, on The Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead to  Mr. George E. Schryver of New York City. FDR writes: "Dear Mr. Schryver:/ I have not had an opportunity before this to answer your kind letter of March 11th./ Much of course will depend upon the appointment of the new Collector of the Port. If Mr. Sague is appointed, I will of course send you a letter at once and will also speak to him about you./ Very sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt."    Even at the very beginning of his new Federal post in Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR was following through on important State of New York issues of political appointments and patronage. The New York customhouse was headed by the Collector of the Port of New York. Before income taxes, the chief sources of Federal revenue were the duties charged on imported goods. The busy Port of New York served as the point of deposit for many imports, and its customhouse became the largest Federal office in the Government, taking in more revenue and handing out more jobs than any other. Since the days of Andrew Jackson, the "spoils system" had prevailed in the hiring and retention of Federal employees. Each new Administration cleaned house, regardless of the ability of individual civil servants, making room for its own appointees. As was the case at the city and state level, these Federal jobs provided the glue that united political party organizations. FDR was focused on this important issue even after leaving New York for Washington, D.C. FDR's professional and political career took another giant step forward when President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He served under Secretary Josephus Daniels. Less than one month later, he made a speech before the Navy League in Washington, D.C. that stressed the need for a larger Navy. George E. Schryver was born in 1862 in Jericho, New York and died on November 16, 1919. This is an extremely rare and early FDR letter as the new Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

     

    A wonderful FDR signature as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, November 7, 1913, on The Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead to  Mr. George E. Schryver of New York City. FDR writes: "Dear Mr. Schryver:/ I was very sorry that I did not see you in Hyde Park, but you may feel assured that I have not forgot you and that I will speak to the new Collector about the matter in which you are interested as soon as he is appointed./ Very truly yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt."  Even while serving in his Federal post in Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR was following through on important State of New York issues of political appointments and patronage. The New York customhouse was headed by the Collector of the Port of New York. Before income taxes, the chief sources of Federal revenue were the duties charged on imported goods. The busy Port of New York served as the point of deposit for many imports, and its customhouse became the largest Federal office in the Government, taking in more revenue and handing out more jobs than any other. Since the days of Andrew Jackson, the "spoils system" had prevailed in the hiring and retention of Federal employees. Each new Administration cleaned house, regardless of the ability of individual civil servants, making room for its own appointees. As was the case at the city and state level, these Federal jobs provided the glue that united political party organizations. FDR was focused on this important issue even after leaving New York for Washington, D.C. FDR's professional and political career took another giant step forward when President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He served under Secretary Josephus Daniels. Less than one month later, he made a speech before the Navy League in Washington, D.C. that stressed the need for a larger Navy. George E. Schryver was born in 1862 in Jericho, New York and died on November 16, 1919. This is an extremely interesting and early FDR letter as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

     

    A terrific FDR signature as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, April 2, 1914, on The Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead to  Mr. George E. Schryver of New York City. FDR writes: "My dear Mr. Schryver:/ The Senate has not yet confirmed Mr. Sague's appointment and as I am leaving on a trip to the Pacific Coast tomorrow I am writing him about you and I think you had better go to see him after he takes office. I have also sent him your plan of reorganization which you sent me in February, 1913, as I think it will interest him./ Very sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt."  Even while serving in his Federal post in Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR was following through on important State of New York issues of political appointments and patronage. The New York customhouse was headed by the Collector of the Port of New York. Before income taxes, the chief sources of Federal revenue were the duties charged on imported goods. The busy Port of New York served as the point of deposit for many imports, and its customhouse became the largest Federal office in the Government, taking in more revenue and handing out more jobs than any other. Since the days of Andrew Jackson, the "spoils system" had prevailed in the hiring and retention of Federal employees. Each new Administration cleaned house, regardless of the ability of individual civil servants, making room for its own appointees. As was the case at the city and state level, these Federal jobs provided the glue that united political party organizations. FDR was focused on this important issue even after leaving New York for Washington, D.C. FDR's professional and political career took another giant step forward when President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He served under Secretary Josephus Daniels. Less than one month later, he made a speech before the Navy League in Washington, D.C. that stressed the need for a larger Navy. George E. Schryver was born in 1862 in Jericho, New York and died on November 16, 1919. This is an extremely fascinating and early FDR letter as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

     

    A wonderful and historic FDR signature as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, September 2, 1914, from Eastport, Maine (where FDR posted his letters while at his cottage on the island of Campobello), on The Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead to  Mr. George E. Schryver of New York City, with a rare mention of FDR's ill-fated 1914 campaign to run for United States Senator from New York, the first of only two ill-fated national political campaigns in his life, the second being his running as the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate in the election of 1920 with James M. Cox of Ohio. FDR writes: "My dear Mr. Schryver:/ I think the best thing to do would be for you to ask the Appraiser to speak to Mr. Thomas E. Rush about you. You can tell the Appraiser that I made the suggestion and I feel sure that he will do all that he can to help you./ Many thanks for your very kind offer to help me in my campaign. I feel sure that you will be of great assistance, as you know about me and the things I have stood for./ Very sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." In 1914 FDR revealed his ambitions for high elective office, keeping his hand in New York State politics, in his unsuccessful attempt to seize the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate away from the candidate of Tammany Hall. From that experience FDR concluded that, while hostility to Tammany Hall was good politics in Dutchess County, New York, it was a serious, perhaps insurmountable, obstacle to statewide and national success. From 1914 on FDR worked to develop cordial relations with Tammany Hall leaders. George E. Schryver was born in 1862 in Jericho, New York and died on November 16, 1919. This is an extremely fascinating and rare FDR letter as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy mentioning his ill-fated 1914 campaign for the United States Senate.

     

    A fabulous and historic FDR signature as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, October 31, 1914, on The Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead to  Mr. George E. Schryver of New York City, with a rare mention of FDR's ill-fated 1914 campaign to run for United States Senator from New York, the first of only two ill-fated national political campaigns in his life, the second being his running as the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate in the election of 1920 with James M. Cox of Ohio. FDR also shows his sustained attention to important State of New York issues of political appointments and patronage with reference to the Collector of the Port of New York. FDR writes: "Dear Mr. Schryver:/ In going over the correspondence which accumulated during my campaign I have found your letter of September 25th. I am sorry that your letter did not come to my attention before this, but I trust things are going well with you and that you will let me know what the situation is at the present time. I shall, of course, be glad to bear you in mind when I next see the Collector./ Sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." In 1914 FDR revealed his ambitions for high elective office, keeping his hand in New York State politics, in his unsuccessful attempt to seize the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate away from the candidate of Tammany Hall. From that experience FDR concluded that, while hostility to Tammany Hall was good politics in Dutchess County, New York, it was a serious, perhaps insurmountable, obstacle to statewide and national success. From 1914 on FDR worked to develop cordial relations with Tammany Hall leaders. George E. Schryver was born in 1862 in Jericho, New York and died on November 16, 1919. This is an extremely fascinating and rare FDR letter as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy mentioning his ill-fated 1914 campaign for the United States Senate, as well as FDR's continued attention being paid to important State of New York issues of political appointments and patronage with reference to the Collector of the Port of New York.



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