Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -January 9, 1943, Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9". White House letterhead.
    -To: Postmaster General Frank C. Walker, Washington, D.C.
    -Fold, else fine.

    FDR writes "I realize that I have asked a great deal of you to take over the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. I understand that you can only do it for the next six months but, in that time, I am sure you will get the Committee reorganized and help us find a new Chairman."

    Perhaps as a result of the sentiments FDR expressed in this letter, walker retained the position of Chairman of the DNC for a full year. Walker, a lawyer and one-time Montana politician, had been an early supporter and successful fundraiser for FDR.


    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.

     

    A terrific personal letter signed January 9, 1943, with very significant content, on The White House Washington stationery, one page (conjoining leaves) to Frank C. Walker, obtained from Walker's estate.  FDR writes: "Dear Frank:/ I realize that I have asked a great deal of you to take over the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. I understand that you can only do it for the next six months but, in that time, I am sure you will get the Committee reorganized and help us find a new Chairman./ As ever,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." Actually, perhaps as a result of the sentiments FDR expressed in this letter to Walker, he retained the position of Chairman of the DNC for a full year, ending his chairmanship in January, 1944. Walker, a lawyer and one-time Montana politician, had been an early supporter and successful fundraiser for FDR. Later he played various behind the scenes roles for the New Deal, playing a role in each re-election campaign. After FDR's nomination for President in 1932, Walker had been named treasurer of the National Democratic Committee and served as its chairman from January 1943 to January 1944. A graduate of the law school at Notre Dame, Walker solicited support for Roosevelt in the Catholic community and was active in lay activities of the Church. This important letter to his Postmaster General and new Chairman of the DNC, conveys the importance of Walker's influences in government during a critical period for the DNC and America in the midst of World War II. One of FDR's last acts before his death on April 12, 1945 was to instruct Frank Walker (through his secretary William D. Hassett) to reserve for him (as Postmaster General) the first set of postage stamps commemorating the upcoming San Francisco meetings founding the United Nations. FDR died just 13 days before the commencement of the United Nations conference. His successor, President Harry S. Truman, in representing the United States at the conference, stated "Let us not fail to grasp this supreme chance to establish a worldwide rule of reason, to create an enduring peace under the guidance of God." That was FDR's vision. The influence of Frank C. Walker in choosing Truman as FDR's vice president in 1944 also cannot be underestimated. Together with his predecessor at the DNC Edward J. Flynn, and his successor at the time of the Democratic National Convention in July, 1944, Robert E. Hannegan (who would later succeed Walker as Postmaster General), and Chicago Mayor Edward J. Kelly (Chicago was again host to the Convention), Walker, himself a delegate to the Convention from Pennsylvania, helped shape FDR's decision to accept Truman as his running mate in 1944, over current vice president Henry A. Wallace, and aspiring vice president James F. Byrnes. A truly wonderful and important letter, direct written feedback from the President of the United States to the chairman of the DNC during a critical period for the country and the Democratic Party itself.



    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 291

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 August 18 Americana & Political - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 April 18 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2018 April 18 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,011,236