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    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed on White House Letterhead. One page of a bifolium, 7" x 9"; Hyde Park, New York; February 24, 1936. Roosevelt writes to Florida Senator Duncan U. Fletcher concerning the controversial Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. FDR writes: "I have carefully checked all the figures and it is really impossible to go ahead with the Canal project very much further under the Work Relief Act of 1935. Therefore, Congressional action is really necessary. Do not forget that the amount was included in the Budget." Marked "Personal" at top and signed, "Franklin D. Roosevelt."

    The "Canal project" referred to in the letter is the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, which stretched through the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas. Originally proposed in the nineteenth century for barge traffic, the canal was strongly opposed by powerful railroad companies who saw it as competition. Work on the canal became important when the Great Depression hit and construction jobs were needed. In August 1935, Florida Senator Duncan Fletcher and other canal boosters asked President Roosevelt for funding. The president compiled and allocated $5 million from the Work Relief Act of 1935 for the canal.

    Opponents of the project, however, turned public opinion against the canal in late 1935, causing President Roosevelt to distance himself from the controversy. He decided not to allocate additional funds from the Work Relief Act of 1935; and asked Congress to fund it. In this letter, the president notifies Fletcher of his decision, which certainly dismayed Senator Fletcher. Fletcher, Florida's longest senator, died four months later. After his death, Congress refused to allocate money to the project and work was halted. The canal was eventually completed in 1949.

    Condition: Horizontal folds, very light toning along top edge, soiling along central fold on verso. Otherwise very fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    18th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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