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    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
    -July 31, 1920. Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9.25". Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead.
    -To: Reverend John M. Hunter of East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
    -Folds, else fine.

    Less than a week before FDR would resign this position to run full-time as the Democratic nominee for vice president, he writes, in full, "My dear Hunter:/ Very many thanks for your awfully nice note. I don't need to tell you how much I appreciate the thought and support of all my old friends./ I am glad you have known George White and Governor Cox. I think that they are both splendid types of Americans, and that they will truly work for progress and for the splendid ideals embodied in the League of Nations./ I hope I shall get a chance to see you during the campaign, as I expect to get into Rhode Island in September./ Always sincerely..." Hunter, who has made ink notations in the upper right corner of the letter, was the rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church of East Greenwich, Rhode Island. The Governor Cox mentioned was, of course, James M. Cox of Ohio, the Democratic nominee for president; George White was Cox & Roosevelt's campaign manager.


    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 exceedingly rare and historic letter written by FDR, dated July 31, 1920, less than a week before FDR resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to run full time as the Democratic nominee for Vice President. FDR writes to the Reverend John Hunter in East Greenwich, Rhode Island on The Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead, one of the last times he did so: "My dear Hunter:/ Very many thanks for your awfully nice note. I don't need to tell you how much I appreciate the thought and support of all my old friends./ I am glad you have known George White and Governor Cox. I think that they are both splendid types of Americans, and that they will truly work for progress and for the splendid ideals embodied in the League of Nations./ I hope I shall get a chance to see you during the campaign, as I expect to get into Rhode Island in September./ Always sincerely,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." At the 1920 Democratic Convention in San Francisco, which had concluded on July 6, 1920, the delegates nominated Ohio Governor James M. Cox on the 44th ballot; Cox, in turn, selected FDR as his running mate. George White was the Cox/Roosevelt campaign manager. An ink notation in Hunter's own hand at the upper right provides a brief description of each man. FDR and Cox lost the election to Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge in 1920, one of only two ill-fated national political campaigns in his life, the other being his attempt to secure the Democratic nomination for United States Senator from New York in 1914. Six days after writing this letter to Reverend Hunter on The Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead, FDR resigned his office, writing to President Woodrow Wilson that he would "never fail to remember the unselfish service which you have given us as example." Reverend John Merritt Hunter was called to be rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church of East Greenwich, Rhode Island in 1918, and remained until 1925. During Revered Hunter's rectorship, the rectory received a new roof and a coat of paint in 1920, the time period in which this letter was written to Reverend Hunter by FDR. In 1922 a movie projector fire caused smoke and water damage to the parish house. In 1923, a spire was added to the church with a set of chimes given by the widow of former Rector Daniel Goodwin. A condition of the gift was that the chimes be played each Sunday. That same year an Austin organ was given to the church by Daniel Peirce.  At this time East Greenwich had no public kindergarten. St. Luke's agreed to let the town use the parish house. An agreement was reached concerning costs for coal and janitorial services and mutual use of the equipment. This arrangement lasted for several years. Reverend Hunter's rectorship was plagued by financial hardship.  In 1924,  the parish voted to cut back on coal and close the church during the coldest months. Financial cuts were made to many of the mission works performed by the parish. In October of 1925 the discouraged rector resigned as pastor. The Reverend Charles A. Meader then was asked to be rector. A rare and historic letter written by FDR in his last week as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, as the newly nominated Vice Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in 1920.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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