Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -February 29, 1936. Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9". White House letterhead with original transmittal envelope.
    -To: Mobile Lodge No. 67, Knights of Pythias, Mobile, Alabama.
    -Overall browning, fold, else good.

    FDR writes "Dear Brethren: I want to assure you of my sincere appreciation of your kind message of February nineteenth. As one of the newer members of the Knights of Pythias I am grateful to you for the cordiality of your greeting as well as the spirit of brotherhood which prompted you to send it." FDR was a member of several fraternal organizations, including the Free Masons.


    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.

     

    Franklin D. Roosevelt. Typed Letter Signed. One page (quarto), The White House, Washington, February 29, 1936 (a "leap year" date!), to the Brethren of the Knights of Pythias in Mobile, Alabama, with original transmittal envelope. FDR writes: "Dear Brethren:/ I want to assure you of my sincere appreciation of your kind message of February nineteenth. As one of the newer members of the Knights of Pythias I am grateful to you for the cordiality of your greeting as well as the spirit of brotherhood which prompted you to send it./ Fraternally yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." FDR was a member of several fraternal organizations, including the Free Masons, and FDR's large signed lithograph to the Masonic Holland Lodge No. 8, in which he was inducted as a Master Mason, is also part of this FDR Collection. From his days as a Harvard University student, fraternal organizations meant something to FDR, and this letter is a fine example of his willingness to become initiated into fraternal organizations even after becoming President of the United States, his initiation into the Knights of Pythias occurring shortly before this letter by FDR was written, on February 19, 1936. The initiation ceremony was held in the Diplomatic Reception Room of The White House on the seventy second anniversary of the institution of the Order. During his initiation, FDR stated: "I now belong to fourteen organizations and I am fairly familiar with the work of all of them. I am more deeply impressed with the beautiful lessons and the high and lofty ideals of the Pythian Order than any to which I belong." The Knights of Pythias is a social brotherhood founded at Washington, D.C., February 19, 1864, by Justus Henry Rathbone and four others, to promote the principals of friendship, charity, and benevolence (FCB). The fundamental tenants of the order are "toleration in religion, obedience to law, and loyalty to government." Accepted candidates are advanced through the three ranks or degrees of Page, Esquire, and Knight. Justus Henry Rathbone, who had belonged to three other fraternities–the Sons of Malta, Red Men, and Masonic Lodge, initially prepared the ritual. In 1872, Right Reverend Bishop William Ussher of the Reformed Episcopalian Church, wrote an amplified version of the Knight Degree which featured a journey through Hades; by 1892, this otherworldly sojourn in the realm of Pluto had been translated into a philosophic discourse by Pythagoras. Local bodies are known as Lodges and meet in halls designated as Castles. The Governing body is the Supreme Lodge. Originally these were referred to as the Castle and Supreme Castle. The officers of the Lodge (or Castle) are: Chancellor Commander, Vice Commander, Prelate, Master of Work, Keeper of Records and Seal, Master of Finance, Master of Exchequer, Master at Arms, Inner Guard, and Outer Guard. The first Pythian Lodge was organized in California on March 25, 1869. A very interesting letter from FDR to his to fraternal brothers.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 610

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 November 2 Lincoln and His Times Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 June 9 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 June 9 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,101,256