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    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Autograph Letter Signed as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
    -December 12, 1913 (incorrectly penned as "1912"). Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9.25". Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead. Docketing handstamp by recipient.
    -To: New York Governor Martin H. Glynn, Albany, New York.
    -Mailing fold, else fine.

    FDR writes, " While I may be a little previous, I want to suggest to you the name of Harry Keith of Long Island for one of the Workmen's Compensation Commissioners if the bill goes through successfully. He has real ability and doesn't mind hard work, and I think his selection would be well received throughout the State. I am glad everything seems to be going so well and you will have accomplished much by getting those bills through before the new Assembly comes in./ Don't bother to answer this-just take it as an informal but sincere indorsement (sp) of Keith." Martin Glynn (1871 - 1924) replaced William Sulzer as New York's Governor upon the latter's impeachment and removal on October 18, 1913.


    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.

     

    In FDR's own hand in its entirety, an autograph letter signed, two pages (facing pages), quarto leaf joined at the center vertical fold, on The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Washington letterhead stationery, designed by FDR himself with a four-star printed admiralty flag at upper left, dated incorrectly by FDR in his own hand as December 12, 1912 (it was in reality 1913), marked as Received in the Executive Chamber in Albany, New York on December 13, 1913 (with an additional date stamp on the side of the letter of December 29, 1913). FDR writes to the newly installed Governor (and former Lieutenant Governor) of New York Martin H. Glynn, on the heels of the impeachment and removal of Glynn's predecessor, Governor William Sulzer, on October 18, 1913 (a handwritten letter to Governor Sulzer from FDR is also part of this collection). FDR writes in his own hand: "Dear Governor-/ While I may be a little previous, I want to suggest to you the name of Harry Keith of Long Island for one of the Workmen's Compensation Commissioners if the bill goes through successfully. He has real ability and doesn't mind hard work, and I think his selection would be well received throughout the State. I am glad everything seems to be going so well and you will have accomplished much by getting those bills through before the new Assembly comes in./ Don't bother to answer this–just take it as an informal but sincere indorsement of Keith./ With my warm regards/ Very sincerely/ Franklin D. Roosevelt."  Martin H. Glynn was born on September 17, 1871, to Martin and Ann Glynn, Irish immigrants who had settled in the mill town of Valatie, New York. His Irish ancestry was a matter of considerable pride to the future governor, and in later life he would make important contributions to his parents' homeland. Graduating from Valatie's public high school, Glynn went on to attend Fordham University graduating with top honors in 1894 at the age of twenty three. He later studied at Albany Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1897. He served as Valatie Postmaster, in the United States House of Representatives, as New York State Comptroller, as Lieutenant Governor of New York, and was elevated to be Governor of New York in 1913 upon the impeachment and removal of Governor William Sulzer. Impressive as his political career was, Martin H. Glynn was also highly regarded as a journalist. Writing first for the Hudson Weekly Record and the Hudson Evening Register, he became a reporter for the Albany Times-Union in 1896.  Eventually he rose to become the Times-Union's owner and publisher.  From his position at the helm of the Times-Union, Glynn built a reputation as one of the premiere editorialists of the time. Calling upon his extensive knowledge of the arts and sciences, as well as his first-hand familiarity with the political world, Glynn turned out an impressive body of editorial writing. He was also in great demand as a public speaker.  Whether speaking to a fraternal organization, a scholarly society, a professional association, or simply to his fellow citizens, he was noted for his ability to charm and inspire. Substantial as these accomplishments were, however, they pale in comparison with Glynn's most important achievement.  Martin H. Glynn came to be known as the "Father of the Irish Free State." All was chaos and bitterness in 1921 when the former Governor went to Europe and held conferences with Eamonn D. DeValera, Michael Collins, and Arthur Griffith, leaders in Ireland, and then consulted Premier David Lloyd George of Great Britain.  These conferences led to a meeting of both sides, to suspension of hostilities and agreement on which was laid the foundation of the Irish Free State. Martin H. Glynn died by his own hand.  As recorded in Dominick C. Lizzi's Governor Martin H. Glynn: Forgotten Hero, Glynn suffered all of his adult life from chronic pain caused by a spinal injury sustained in his youth.  Returning from Boston after an unsuccessful attempt to relieve his great suffering, Glynn took his own life on December 14, 1924. This letter from FDR to Governor Glynn, a clear attempt by FDR to promote his political friends and allies and stay connected to New York politics at a time when he sought to simultaneously advance his own political career, is a true jewel, and showcases a very significant issue. FDR was in his first year as Assistant Secretary of the Navy when he wrote this letter in his own hand to Governor Glynn. The preceding year as a New York State Senator, Roosevelt began evidencing very progressive tendencies as a politician, and himself actively supported a workmen's compensation bill, as well as also personally investigating the work hazards of Adirondack iron mines and strove to establish improved safety standards for them. At a legislative hearing, FDR gave strong testimony in favor of the complete package of thirty-two bills which the Factory Investigating Commission proposed. Therefore, this handwritten letter by FDR to Governor Glynn shows first hand Roosevelt's continued interest in local New York state issues of a progressive nature even after he began his tenure as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the Woodrow Wilson Administration. A fabulous personal letter from FDR to Governor Glynn.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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