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    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
    -November 8, 1916. Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9.25". Assistant Secretary of the Navy letterhead.
    -To: Joseph J. Murphy, Esq. of Troy, New York.
    -Folds, a bit crinkled at right edge, very light toning, else fine.

    November 8, 1916 was a day that Roosevelt described to his wife as "the most extraordinary of his life." The week before, he had been campaigning in New York for incumbent President Woodrow Wilson. The day before had been Election Day, the evening of which was spent at a dinner party in New York City's Biltmore Hotel, where the Democrats had their headquarters. Early election returns were discouraging for President Wilson, and when FDR went to bed in the early morning, on a Pullman bound for Washington, it was in the belief that his days as Assistant Secretary of the Navy were numbered. After learning that Wilson had squeaked out a narrow victory and his job was secure, FDR settles down to answer some backed-up correspondence. He writes, in part, "I have just returned to Washington after a week's campaign in New York State and find your letter of October 28th regarding William J. Godson, who wishes to enter the U.S. Military Academy./ I have taken the matter up with the War Department and find that the President will have about 40 appointments to make within the coming year from enlisted men in the service who have served at least one year... the matter is in the hands of the Commanding General of the young man's department, but if there is anything I can possibly do to help it will give me great pleasure to do so..." Joseph J. Murphy was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from New York in 1912, 1916, and 1932.


    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.

     

    FDR signature, signed as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, November 8, 1916 on Navy Department Assistant Secretary of the Navy Washington letterhead. FDR writes to Joseph J. Murphy, Esq., of Troy, New York: "My dear Mr. Murphy:/ I have just returned to Washington after a week's campaign in New York State and find your letter of October 28th regarding William J. Godson, who wishes to enter the U.S. Military Academy./ I have taken the matter up with the War Department and find that the President will have about 40 appointments to make within the coming year from enlisted men in the service who have served at least one year. Naturally, I should be most delighted to do anything I can to help the young man, but the War Department regulations require that every enlisted man who takes the examination must be recommended by the Commanding General of the territorial department in which he is serving, so that it will be necessary for Mr. Godson to get in touch with the Commanding General through his commanding officer. I am enclosing printed information regarding these appointments which contains all the data in detail./ As I said before, the matter is in the hands of the Commanding General of the young man's department, but if there is anything I can possibly do to help it will give me great pleasure to do so./ Very sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." Joseph J. Murphy was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from New York in 1912, 1916, and 1932. FDR writes this interesting letter to Mr. Murphy mentioning the fact that he has "just returned to Washington after a week's campaign in New York State." This reference is to FDR's active participation in President Woodrow Wilson's successful re-election campaign, FDR's letter to Mr. Murphy being dated the day after the election. The evening before FDR wrote this letter he was one of a large dinner party given by Henry Morgenthau, Sr. In New York's Biltmore Hotel, where the Democrats had their headquarters. Early election returns were discouraging for President Wilson, and when FDR went to bed in the early morning, on a Pullman bound for Washington, it was in the belief that his days as Assistant Secretary of the Navy were numbered. But on the very day this letter was written by FDR from his office in Washington, D.C. he learned that his Chief, President Wilson, had won a narrow re-election victory! In a letter to his wife Eleanor, FDR described November 8, 1916, the date of this letter to Mr. Murphy, as "the most extraordinary of my life." For that reason alone this letter written and signed by FDR on November 8, 1916, in the midst of President Wilson's re-election is an outstanding and historic letter, written on a day which FDR described as the most extraordinary of his life to that time.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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