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    Description

    Letter regarding FDR's interest in the Boy Scouts of America.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as New York Governor.
    -July 27, 1929. Albany, New York. One page. 8" x 10.5". State of New York letterhead. Envelope of transmittal included.
    -To: W. S. Bailey, Jr., of Jamestown, New York.
    -Original folds, minor wear, else fine.

    FDR writes (in part): "I am happy to have the Patrol Arrow Head as a little souvenir of my brief visit with the Boy Scouts of the Jamestown Unit of the Arrow Head Patrol. I wish much that I could be with them at the Jamboree in England. At the first opportunity will you please tell them how delighted I was to have this memento and how much I appreciate their kind thought in sending it to me."


    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.

     

    Wonderful letter on State of New York, Executive Chamber, Albany stationery, dated July 27, 1929, to Mr. W. S. Bailey, Jr., of Jamestown, New York (the hometown of FDR's Attorney General and later United States Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson), concerning the Boy Scouts. FDR writes: "Dear Mr. Bailey:/ I am happy to have the Patrol Arrow Head as a little souvenir of my brief visit with the Boy Scouts of the Jamestown Unit of the Arrow Head Patrol. I wish much that I could be with them at the Jamboree in England./ At the first opportunity will you please tell them how delighted I was to have this memento and how much I appreciate their kind thought in sending it to me./ With every good wish to you,/ Sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." FDR's activities with the Boy Scouts of America may also have set the occasion for his contracting poliomyelitis in the summer of 1921, almost eight years to the day before this letter from FDR was written. In August 1921, FDR was summering in Campobello, New Brunswick, Canada. After returning from Washington and New York, he took his family sailing on August 10 and on the way home spotted on a nearby island a forest fire, which he and his son fought. When he returned to his cottage, he felt a chill and went to bed. The next morning he found that his left leg dragged and was too weak to sustain his weight. By night-fall his temperature had risen to 102 degrees, and he had considerable pain in his legs and back. FDR had not become exposed to polio at Campobello, since the incubation period for the virus ranges from three to thirty five days. He may have contracted the disease during the summer in Washington or at a Boy Scout outing in New York before going to Campobello. After initial misdiagnosis by the local family doctor, FDR's uncle Fred Delano consulted Dr. Samuel Levine at the Harvard Infantile Paralysis Commission, who in turn diagnosed the illness as poliomyelitis. They reached Dr. Robert Lovett, the foremost specialist on infantile paralysis (as polio was then called), and shortly Lovett was on his way to Campobello. FDR would keep a close association to the Boy Scouts of America. For example, the New York City Boy Scout Foundation which, in 1924, was headed by a man of great foresight as well as an abundance of Boy Scout training. His name was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who shortly thereafter became Governor of New York State and eventually guided the destiny of the United States as President throughout the Depression-era and World War II. On the thirty-first anniversary of the incorporation of the Boy Scouts of America, on February 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed members of the organization, praising their qualities of character and citizenship while emphasizing their importance in the struggle to preserve democracy in an uncertain time. The Boy Scouts movement began in England in 1908 with the publication of Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys, a nonmilitary field manual for teenagers interested in the outdoors. After leading several successful youth expeditions in which he taught camping and nature skills, Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts, and soon after the Girl Guides. The American version of the Boy Scouts has it origins in an event that occurred in London in 1909. Chicago publisher William Boyce was lost in one of the city's classic fogs when a Boy Scout came to his aid. After guiding Boyce to his destination, the boy refused a tip, explaining that as a Scout he would not accept payment for doing a good deed. This anonymous gesture inspired Boyce to organize several regional United States youth organizations, specifically the Woodcraft Indians and the Sons of Daniel Boone, into the Boy Scouts of America. The movement, which emphasized morality and good deeds along with outdoor education, soon spread throughout the country. In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of America in Savannah, Georgia. A terrific letter detailing FDR's ongoing interest in the Boy Scouts of America.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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