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    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -July 26, 1933. Washington, D.C. Two pages. 8" x 10.5". White House letterhead.
    -To: Mr. John Devane, Fayetteville, NC.
    -Mailing folds, overall toning and two pin holes in upper left corner, else very good.

    FDR writes, "I have just sent you the following telegram:/ 'I have appointed you member advisory committee of three for your state under public works organization. I hope you can accept.'/ The other two members are Dr. Herman G. Baity of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Mr. Frank Page of Raleigh, North Carolina. Your State is associated with West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Kentucky in the Tenth District. Mr. George L. Radcliffe of Baltimore, Maryland, will serve as the Regional Advisor./ All State and local projects for public works are to be submitted initially to the State Advisory Committee, which will be charged with the duty of carefully scrutinizing all proposals, rejecting those that in its judgment should be weeded out, and forwarding to the Federal Administrator of Public Works at Washington those that it is willing to recommend...". A significant letter, outlining the mechanics of one of the first major New Deal elements of economic stabilization with attention being paid to labor in America. Accompanying this long and detailed letter to Mr. Devane are three letters to Devane from Interior Secretary Harold L. Ickes. The first, dated February 17, 1934, states that the State Advisory Boards are to be terminated at the end of the month, and two dated in March, 1934 thank Devane for his letter to the President, the carbon of which is also present, advising him on steps which might be taken so that states get more of their promised allocations. Mr. Devane was engaged in the lumber business, and described as a leader in business and civic life in the community of Fayetteville, North Carolina.


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    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.

     

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt details a major element of his emerging New Deal during the first months of his Presidency in a two page letter, 4to, to John Devane of Fayetteville, North Carolina, whom he appoints as an advisor to the newly created Public Works Administration (PWA). This terrific and historic letter is signed "Franklin D. Roosevelt," Washington, D.C., July 26, 1933 on The White House Washington letterhead. FDR writes: "My dear Mr. Devane:/ I have just sent you the following telegram:/ ‘I have appointed you member advisory committee of three for your state under public works organization. I hope you can accept.'/ The other two members are Dr. Herman G.Baity of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Mr. Frank Page of Raleigh, North Carolina. Your State is associated with West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Kentucky in the Tenth District. Mr. George L. Radcliffe of Baltimore, Maryland, will serve as the Regional Advisor./ All State and local projects for public works are to be submitted initially to the State Advisory Committee, which will be charged with the duty of carefully scrutinizing all proposals, rejecting those that in its judgment should be weeded out, and forwarding to the Federal Administrator of Public Works at Washington those that it is willing to recommend./ It will be the duty of the Regional Advisor to keep in close touch with the State Advisory Committee within his regions. He will encourage these committees to consider, as soon as possible, and either reject or forward speedily to Washington, the projects submitted to them. He will be ready to advise with and help the State Advisory Committees at any time and he will keep the Federal Administrator advised of progress made. The Regional Advisor will have no veto power over the State Advisory Committees. His sole province will be to help them wherever he can and to see that the work in every State is kept moving./ I appreciate your willingness to help the Administration in this public works program, which we regard as so important for the economic welfare of the country. We want all public works to be considered and carried on strictly on their merits. We want to prevent waste and graft and see to it that an honest job is done in every instance at a reasonable profit to the contractor./ The purpose back of the Public Works Act is to give employment to labor, and the greater the number of public works that can be built economically, the farther the money will go toward the employment of labor. You have been selected to help in this Federal undertaking because of the confidence the Administration has in you, and because I believe that you will guard the public interest as carefully as you would protect your own private interests./ We are asking you to serve at a small compensation of $10.00 per day while actually engaged in the work of the Advisory Committee, so that in effect we are calling upon you for volunteer patriotic services. In addition to the $10.00 per diem compensation, you will be allowed your transportation expenses and $5.00 per day in lieu of subsistence as allowed by statute. It is believed that this arrangement will take care of your actual expenses./ If there is anything you do not understand about your duties, or if there are any questions that you want to ask, you may communicate with the Federal Administrator of Public Works, Harold L. Ickes, in the Interior Building, Washington, D.C./ Sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." A fine, historic, and at the time extremely significant letter, outlining the mechanics of one of the first major New Deal elements of economic stabilization with attention being paid to labor in America. Accompanying this long and detailed letter to Mr. Devane is the original Western Union telegram from FDR, as well as three letters to Devane from Interior Secretary Harold L. Ickes. The first, dated February 17, 1934, states that the State Advisory Boards are to be terminated at the end of the month, and two dated in March, 1934 thank Devane for his letter to the President, the carbon of which is also present, advising him on steps which might be taken so that states get more of their promised allocations. Mr. Devane was engaged in the lumber business, and described as a leader in business and civic life in the community of Fayetteville, North Carolina. The key early recovery programs of the New Deal were the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), the National Recovery Administration (NRA), and the Public Works Administration (PWA), all established in the legendary "One Hundred Days" of the 1933 special session of Congress. Unlike the relief agencies, these concerned themselves primarily with the longer-term goal of stabilizing and improving agriculture, business, and employment. The PWA, which had an initial appropriation of $3.3 billion, helped build scores of courthouses, sewage plants, bridges, hospitals, and city halls in the 1930s. In a limited fashion it constructed public housing for the poor. Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, its director, disbursed huge sums of money without causing a breath of scandal. Yet Ickes' caution in spending funds made the PWA a poor engine for recovery. Instead of pumping money quickly into the economy, he held it back until he was certain that it would be wisely used. Increased purchasing power, essential for prosperity, was therefore slow to develop. A truly fantastic letter written by FDR during the early struggle for economic reform in the United States.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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