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    Description

    FDR writes to "Doc" O'Connor about selling his Warm Springs land to the foundation at cost.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President with Holographic Addition.
    -February 7, 1941. Washington, D.C. Two pages plus two pages of addenda. 8" x 10.5". White House letterhead.
    -To: Mr. Basil O'Connor, New York City.
    -Mailing folds, even toning, numerous pencil notations, docketing with handstamp by recipient. Overall fine.

    A fascinating overview of Roosevelt's land being made available to the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation at cost. The letter's recipient, "Doc" O'Connor, was Roosevelt's former law partner. FDR writes, "I enclose a list of my purchases of land at Warm Springs, taken from my checkbook, together with the dates of purchase. I am willing to sell this land to the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation or the Meriwether Reserve, Inc., for the original purchase cost to me. I am willing to see such portion of it as the Foundation may be able to afford at this time, and to hold the balance for a reasonable time until the Foundation is able to pay for it./ In regard to the title to three of the pieces of property on this list, check should be made by you...". Attached to this two page letter is a two page addendum, entitled "Memorandum of Cost of Land Bought By Franklin D. Roosevelt At Warm Springs, GA." Listed are fifteen properties, including dates of purchase, property descriptions, and amounts of purchase, forming a very detailed analysis of FDR's activities in the 1920s acquiring land in Warm Springs, Georgia.


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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.

     

    A fabulous and very historic four page signed letter with addenda dated February 7, 1941, on The White House Washington stationery, to FDR's former law partner Basil O'Connor, docketed to the law firm of O'Connor & Farber on February 8, 1941.  FDR makes arrangements to sell his remaining personal property in Warm Springs, Georgia! FDR writes: "Dear Doc:-/ I enclose a list of my purchases of land at Warm Springs, taken from my checkbook, together with the dates of purchase. I am willing to sell this land to the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation or the Meriwether Reserve, Inc., for the original purchase cost to me./ I am willing to see such portion of it as the Foundation may be able to afford at this time, and to hold the balance for a reasonable time until the Foundation is able to pay for it./ In regard to the title to three of the pieces of property on this list, check should be made by you./ 1. I cannot from memory place the Colbert property of three acres, for which I paid $3,000 on May 12, 1926. It may be part of the Foundation property already but I cannot be certain./ 2. The Smith property, purchased on August 11, 1927 for $3,000, is, I think, the triangle northwest and across the main highway from the pool, already sold to Foundation [‘, already sold to Foundation' written in FDR's own hand]./ 3. The Shepherd cottage, purchased Feb. 23, 1928 for $3,000, is, I think, near Georgia Hall and has already been deeded to the Foundation./ Two other items call for explanation. The item of March 25, 1927, for the building of the access road from the Farm to the Knob, at a cost of $1,950.58, was a necessary expenditure to give the patients access to the Knob. It was, as you know, used for many years before the recent scenic highway was built./ The item of farm equipment from F. B. Doyle, purchased on July 30, 1927 at a cost of $500.00, was in effect a part of the purchase price of the Doyle farm and buildings purchase on December 31, 1927, and if the Foundation buys this farm it would receive this equipment, or newer equipment which has replaced it./ I would suggest purchase at this time of the following property which is all on the mountain and is continuous property, with the exception of the Hudson lot on the way to the Knob. I list this property by dates and have made a check against the items in this copy:/ [Seven properties, dates, and monetary amounts which total $9,639.23 are then listed]./ Excluding the items which I have questioned above, there would still be left the following for future purchase by the Foundation:/  [Five properties, dates, and monetary amounts which total $8,707.66 are then listed]./ Always sincerely,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." Attached to this two page letter to Doc O'Connor is a two page addendum, entitled "Memorandum of Cost of Land Bought By Franklin D. Roosevelt At Warm Springs, GA." Listed are fifteen properties, including dates of purchase, property descriptions, and amounts of purchase, forming a very detailed analysis of FDR's activities in the 1920s acquiring land in Warm Springs, Georgia.  Doc O'Connor evidently gave this document serious attention and study, for there are several notations and checkmarks in Doc's own hand on the margins of the letter and addenda from FDR indicating that Doc was attempting to verify the information that FDR provided him in the letter and addenda. A wonderful document of great personal significance to FDR, the document that led to the final disposition of FDR's personal stake in his properties at Warm Springs, which would all thereafter become part of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation which FDR founded to combat polio.  The Center is in Warm Springs, Georgia, about 40 miles northeast of Columbus; established in 1927 by Franklin D. Roosevelt for the treatment and care of polio patients. This lengthy signed document, with several words in FDR's own hand, with attachments, is a most significant item in which the President, inaugurated just a couple weeks earlier for an historic third term, tends to important personal affairs. One can imagine that FDR a year or so earlier was planning to use these first weeks after the ending of his second and last term in office, to enjoy his properties in Warm Springs, Georgia and Hyde Park, New York. It may very well be the case that due to the outbreak of war in Europe and Asia, the imminent entry of America into what would become known as World War II ten months to the day after this letter is written to Doc O'Connor, and the fact that FDR would have at least four more years in The White House, led him to decide to transfer his remaining Warm Springs properties to his beloved Foundation at no benefit to himself financially, similar steps he would also take in giving the Government of the United States much of his Hyde Park property. A very significant, personal letter relating to an important aspect of FDR's life and attempted recovery from polio, the disposition of his properties in Warm Springs, Georgia, and the transfer of his property at cost of decades earlier to the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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