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    An 1859 book signed by FDR and noted by him to be "very rare."

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Signed Copy of Charles L. Newhall, The Adventures of Jack; or, A Life on the Wave (Southbridge, Massachusetts: Chas. L. Newhall, 1859), first edition, 134 pages, brown cloth with embossed decorations and gilt titles, 16mo (4.5" x 6.75"), signed and annotated in full "Franklin D Roosevelt / Hyde Park / 1929 / Very rare" inside front cover. Very few copies exist of this rare autobiography by 19th-century Massachusetts whaler Charles Newhall. This copy from FDR's personal library is in very good condition with some wear and chipping on the binding, a replaced front endpaper, and some toning in the paper.

    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 rare book (as indicated by FDR himself in his own hand) from Franklin D. Roosevelt's personal Hyde Park, New York library at Springwood (his home estate, now part of the National Park Service in Hyde Park, New York). Entitled The Adventures of Jack; or, A Life on the Wave, by Charles L. Newhall, the text was printed by the author from Southbridge, Massachusetts in 1859. The book is an autobiography of a Massachusetts whaleman who pursued his prey around the globe, and is signed on the front paste-down: "Franklin D. Roosevelt/ Hyde Park/ 1927." Below FDR's signature and indication of ownership in his personal Springwood library, he writes: "Very rare" [underlined]. Charles L. Newhall's The Adventures of Jack represents a vintage non-fiction whaling narrative published in ante-bellum America. Such works are the product of an era in which the expanding, labor-intensive whaling industry recruited large numbers of young landsmen with somewhat more than rudimentary educations. Some of these were gentlemen to whom a whaling voyage seemed to promise romance and adventure. Others, like Charles L. Newhall, were intelligent, literate youngsters forced by circumstance into harsh trade. This book also represents a personal association with one of FDR's personal passions, as he adored the sea, and was himself an avid seafarer in many contexts (personally and politically). There is little doubt that this copy was much treasured by FDR. The book has been rebacked, with new front flyleaf, and the pastedown is slightly soiled, but the book is in excellent condition, and the signature and other notations in FDR's hand are excellent. A fantastic personal library edition of FDR.  Interesting to note that in 2001 this book is still in circulation as a hardback reprinted edition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 369

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