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    Description

    Eleanor Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed on 1933 Move to White House.
    -February 9, 1933. Three pages. 6" x 7". Personal letterhead.
    -To: Ike Hoover, Chief Usher at the White House.
    -Original folds, minor creases, light paper clip rust marks on first page, else fine.

    Irwin H. ("Ike") Hoover (1871-1933) was a White House usher for 42 years, ultimately becoming Chief Usher in charge of day-to-day operations. He already had served during the administrations of Presidents Harrison, Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Taft, Coolidge, and Hoover before he received this fascinating letter from Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Writing less than one month before FDR's first term began, ER informs Ike Hoover about the living accommodations to be used by the President, First Lady, and their immediate family. In an interesting paragraph, the current state of race relations in the highest quarters of the American republic can be witnessed in the prose of Mrs. Roosevelt, who would concern herself with civil rights throughout her lifetime. She writes (in part): "I will also have my maid and my husband's valet, both colored. They sleep in the house but I think could go to friends for a night or two or until the other changes in servants are made. They will, however, come to The White House and bring all of our bags, etc., on the afternoon of Inauguration Day. Will you let me know which will be the best door for them to enter by?" In the following paragraph, she adds (in part): "Many thanks for your kindness to me the other day. It is a great comfort to know that you will be there to help me get started and see me through the next few years." The letter is signed (in full): "Eleanor Roosevelt".

    Unfortunately Ike Hoover died soon after the Roosevelts moved in. Following a typical workday at the White House, he suffered a fatal heart attack. Prior to this sudden event, however, he had completed a large portion of a unique memoir with an "insider's view" of his lengthy tenure serving America's First Families.


    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 one of a kind and very important letter written by Eleanor Roosevelt on 49 East 65th Street, New York City stationery, dated February 9, 1933, to Irwin H. "Ike" Hoover, the Chief Usher at The White House, concerning the arrangements for the Roosevelt family to move into The White House, and the goings on at The White House on FDR's Inauguration as President of the United States, March 4, 1933!  ER writes: "My dear Mr. Hoover:/ Luncheon on Inauguration Day will be for between four hundred and fifty and five hundred. I think there will be about a thousand for tea and between sixty and seventy for dinner./ We will have the Governors and their wives for buffet luncheon on Monday the sixth, and I think we can count on between seventy and seventy-five./ The people moving into The White House on Inauguration Day are my husband who will take the room on the right of the circular sitting room and myself who will take the bed room next to that on the right. My mother-in-law, Mrs. James Roosevelt will take the small center room facing Pennsylvania Avenue, with the double bed. My daughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Dall, and their little girl will take the room and dressing room facing Pennsylvania Avenue on the Treasury Building side. My son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. James Roosevelt will take the double room facing Pennsylvania Avenue nearest to the State Department building. My son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Roosevelt will take the small double room in the center of the building facing Pennsylvania Avenue. My two youngest sons, Franklin, Jr., and John, will take the two single rooms on the left hand side of the corridor leading out to the covered porch on the third floor./ I will also have my maid and my husband's valet, both colored. They sleep in the house but I think could go to friends for a night or two or until the other changes in servants are made. They will, however, come to The White House and bring all of our bags, etc., on the afternoon of Inauguration Day. Will you let me know which will be the best door for them to enter by?/ If there is anything else you would like to know, please let me know. Many thanks for your kindness to me the other day. It is a great comfort to know that you will be there to help me get started and see me through the next few years. I hope that Colonel Grant and you will feel that the reductions which I have made in the staff are possible./ I will have everybody' s work written out for them so that there should be no confusion after the change is once accomplished./ Very sincerely yours,/ Eleanor Roosevelt." What a rare and fantastic multi-page letter written by ER, giving full instructions to Ike Hoover about the Roosevelt family moving into The White House, and laying out the schedule for Inauguration Day events on March 4, 1933. It is also interesting to read ER's comment about her and her husband's servants being "colored." Most interesting is ER's statement to Ike Hoover concerning being comforted to know that he will help her in The White House the "next few years." The next few years indeed, times four! Irwin H. Hoover (1871-1933), known as Ike Hoover, was a White House usher for forty-two years, ultimately becoming Chief Usher in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Presidential mansion. An absolutely wonderful and historic letter, ushering in the era of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in The White House.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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