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    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as Acting Secretary of the Navy.
    -October 22, 1917. Washington, D.C. Two pages. 8" x 10.5". Navy Department letterhead.
    -To: [Albert Sidney Burleson], Postmaster General.
    -Paper slightly toned with two small filling holes at the top edge, else near fine.

    As Postmaster General under President Woodrow Wilson, Albert Burleson established U.S. airmail service in 1918. In this letter to Burleson, FDR refers to the Military Governor of Santo Domingo and the transfer of the Postal Inspector of San Juan to Washington, D.C. With a fine, bold FDR signature.

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    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 wonderful and historic item, FDR signature as Acting Secretary of the Navy, October 22, 1917, two pages, on Navy Department, Washington letterhead to Albert Sidney Burleson, Woodrow Wilson's Postmaster General.  FDR writes: "Sir:/ I have the honor to forward herewith a message received from Rear Admiral Knapp, Military Governor of Santo Domingo, relative to Mr. Hathaway, Postal Inspector at San Juan./ ‘The terms of the Postmaster General are acceptable to the Military Government. It is requested that Mr. Hathaway be promptly advised as it is absolutely necessary that he be here not later than November 1, and therefore must leave San Juan on or before the 25th instant.'/ The terms cabled to Admiral Knapp are as follows: The assumption of Mr. Hathaway's salary of $1,900 per annum and the entire expenses from the time of leaving San Juan until return./ It is requested that it be noted that the date set for Mr. Hathaway's departure from San Juan is October 25./ The above message has been telephoned to the office of the Chief Inspector in order that as much time as possible might be saved in transmitting this dispatch./ It is requested that the Department of the Navy be informed of the action taken./ Sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt/ Acting." Albert Sidney Burleson (1863–1937) was the United States Postmaster General (1913–1921). He was born in San Marcos, Texas, the grandson of Edward Burleson. He was a lawyer of Austin, Texas, and a member of the United States House of Representatives (1899–1913) before resigning to take a cabinet post under President Woodrow Wilson. Burleson's methods of administering communications in World War I angered many: businessmen, who charged him with inefficiency and interference with private business; labor unions, because he forbade strikes of postal employees; and liberals, whose antiwar periodicals he banned from the mails. Burleson continued to exercise strict control and to advocate government ownership of communications. In 1918 he established airmail service. A high level letter from the Acting Secretary of the Navy regarding the Military Governor of Santo Domingo and the transfer of the Postal Inspector of San Juan to Washington.

    Auction Info

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