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    FDR mentions the "...international situation" a week before the German invasion of Poland.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -August 24, 1939. Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9". White House letterhead.
    -To: Mr. Duncan G. Harris, New York City.
    -Ghostly trace of a fold, some fading to signature, else very fine.

    FDR writes, "It was good to get your note at Halifax last Monday and I sincerely hope you have not had as much fog as we had. I planned to go into Mahone Bay but the fog delay and the international situation made it impossible. I am delighted to see those 'Popular Mechanics' stories, and I am much interested in Gilbert Hadden's expedition. I do hope he succeeds. What a grand crew you had with you. I wish I could have joined up."/ As ever yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." FDR is writing about his last getaway before the beginning of World War II on September 1, 1939, mentioning the fact that the "international situation" made it impossible for the President to continue his vacation into Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

    FDR and Harris' relationship went back many years to an expedition FDR undertook in 1909, when he became interested in the treasure and tales of Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Tales of the "Money Pit" had spread all over Canada, including Campobello Island, the summer home of FDR. His group raised $5000 and Roosevelt, Duncan G. Harris, Frederick Childs, and Albert Gallatin sailed from New York on August 18, 1909. Their expedition included diving suits (which proved impractical) and test drillings at one hundred and fifty feet found the same cement-like material. Samples of it submitted to Columbia University were reported to be man-made. FDR's work on the island was brief but his interest continued for many years. In August, 1939, while he was visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia, he privately devised a plan to anchor his battleship off Mahone Bay and see the work then being conducted by Erwin T. Hamilton but, as mentioned in the letter, the impending war in Europe prevented him from following through on his plans.


    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.

     

    Franklin D. Roosevelt. Typed Letter Signed. One page, very historic content, The White House, Washington, August 24, 1939, one week before the beginning of World War II in which FDR mentions the impending international conflict! FDR writes to his old friend Duncan G. Harris, Esq, of New York City: "Dear Duncan:–/ It was good to get your note at Halifax last Monday and I sincerely hope you have not had as much fog as we had. I planned to go into Mahone Bay but the fog delay and the international situation made it impossible./ I am delighted to see those ‘Popular Mechanics' stories, and I am much interested in Gilbert Hadden's expedition. I do hope he succeeds./ What a grand crew you had with you. I wish I could have joined up./ As ever yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." FDR is writing about his last getaway before the beginning of World War II on September 1, 1939, mentioning the fact that the "international situation" made it impossible for the President to continue his vacation into Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. This letter is related to another letter written by FDR to Mr. Harris several years earlier, just after FDR was first inaugurated President of the United States. The reference to Mahone Bay relates to an expedition FDR undertook in 1909, when 27-year old FDR became interested in the treasure and tales of Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Tales of the "Money Pit" had spread all over Canada, including Campobello Island, the summer home of FDR. His group raised $5000 and Roosevelt, Duncan G. Harris, Frederick Childs and Albert Gallatin sailed from New York on August 18, 1909. Their expedition included diving suits (which proved impractical) and test drillings at one hundred and fifty feet found the same cement-like material. Samples of it submitted to Columbia University were reported to be man-made. FDR's work on the island was brief but his interest continued for many years.  In August, 1939, while he was visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia, he privately devised a plan to anchor his battleship off Mahone Bay and see the work then being conducted by Erwin T. Hamilton. Hamilton was informed of the secret scheme and had a sedan chair ready to carry the President up the hill to the site of the shaft. News of the imminent outbreak of war in Europe reached Roosevelt before he left Halifax and he was obliged to return immediately to New York, as FDR directly states in his letter to Mr. Harris. Interestingly, Duncan G. Harris was also one of the defendants when the Justice Department filed the antitrust suit against the United States film industry on July 20, 1938, in FDR's second term as President. A terrific and historic personal letter relating to the outbreak of World War II in the days immediately preceding the initiation of the world conflict.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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