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    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President with Holographic Addition.
    -October 26, 1943. Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9". White House letterhead.
    -To: Mr. Wentworth Bacon, Canoe Hill Farm, New York.
    -Central mailing fold, else fine.

    Marked "Personal" at the top, FDR writes, "I think all the arrangements were made by Morgenthau before he left for the sale of his cows and it would be too late to stop it now. I am not worried about his cows being sold for beef! I think we can be assured that the purchasers will continue to use them for milk production. Also, it is my personal thought that Henry Morgenthau is not selling his cows because he was making a loss in the milk business. I think it was solely because of the fact that with his work here he could not give as much attention to the farm as before. You are right that we need more milk. We are getting more but we need still more." A great personal letter to one Dutchess County, New York neighbor about another neighbor, who just happens to be his friend and his Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, Jr.


    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.

     

    In the midst of World War II FDR writes to a Dutchess County, New York acquaintance about a most interesting issue, the cows of his friend, Hudson River neighbor and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., dated October 26, 1943, a signed letter on The White House Washington stationery from FDR to Mr. Wentworth Bacon, Esq., of Canoe Hill Farm in Millbrook, New York. FDR marks the letter "Personal" in his own hand above the salutation, and writes: "My dear Bacon: –/ I think all the arrangements were made by Morgenthau before he left for the sale of his cows and it would be too late to stop it now. I am not worried about his cows being sold for beef! I think we can be assured that the purchasers will continue to use them for milk production. Also, it is my personal thought that Henry Morgenthau is not selling his cows because he was making a loss in the milk business. I think it was solely because of the fact that with his work here he could not give as much attention to the farm as before./ You are right that we need more milk. We are getting more but we need still more./ Always sincerely,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." What an interesting topic during the height of America's involvement in World War II, writing personally to one Dutchess County, New York neighbor about another neighbor, who just happens to be his friend and his Secretary of the Treasury,  Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and the need for more milk production in the United States of America during World War II. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to be the 52nd Secretary of the Treasury. He served from January 1, 1934 until July 22, 1945. In 1913, he purchased a large farm in Dutchess County, New York and specialized and dairy and apple growing. During World War I, he worked with Herbert Hoover's United States Farm Administration on a plan to send tractors to France. From 1922 to 1933, he served as Publisher of "American Agriculturalist." In 1929, as this letter from FDR implies, his long-time friend and then Governor of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt, appointed Morgenthau Chairman of the New York State Agricultural Advisory Commission. In 1930, he was appointed State Commissioner of Conservation, and directed a million-acre reforestation program.  He also was appointed to the Taconic State Park Commission. Upon FDR's election to the Presidency, Morgenthau was appointed Chairman of the Federal Farm Board and Governor of the Farm Credit Administration in 1933. On November 17, 1933, he was appointed Acting and Under Secretary of the Treasury, when Secretary of the Treasury William H. Woodin's ill health forced his resignation after the first year of FDR's New Deal Administration. Morgenthau served as FDR's advisor, Cabinet member, and Secretary of the Treasury for 11 years, in peace and war. During his term, Morgenthau is credited with exercising a stabilizing effect on Administration monetary policies. In that time, through taxation and loans he raised $450 billion for government programs and for war purposes. This was more than all of the previous 51 Secretaries. From 1934 through December 7, 1941, Morgenthau defended the dollar against devaluation by other competitive nations. This was accomplished by intervening in the world financial markets through buying and selling foreign currencies, gold and dollars. Protecting the dollar against the depredations of Nazi Germany which was using blocked currencies to produce anarchy in the foreign exchange markets, Morgenthau succeeded until after the Munich Pact of 1938, when a stabilization agreement was reached. As a result, the United States dollar became the strongest currency in the world. In 1939, with Poland overtaken by Germany, Morgenthau established a procurement service in the Treasury Department to facilitate the purchase of American munitions by Britain and France, and he geared the American economy to meet the enormously expanded requirements that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor. Morgenthau's major effort was financing the war effort, and he achieved remarkable success with his program for the sale of defense bonds (later known as war bonds). In 1942 alone, sale of these savings bonds amounted to a $1 billion distribution, which not only supported the war needs, but also prevented a serious inflationary threat by syphoning off excess funds. In 1944, he proposed the Morgenthau plan, under which post-war Germany would be stripped of its industry and converted into an agricultural nation. At the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, Morgenthau assumed a leading role in establishing post-war economic policies and currency stabilization. That had been one of his prime goals since depression days. In July 1945, three months after the death of President Roosevelt, Morgenthau resigned as Secretary, but remained in office until President Truman's return from the Big Three conference in Potsdam. From 1947 until 1950, he was Chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, which raised $465 million during that time, and from 1951 to 1954, he served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Financial and Development Corporation for Israel, which handled a $500 million bond issue for the new nation. Mr. Morgenthau was born on May 11, 1891, in New York City.  He was the son of Henry and Josephine (Sykes) Morgenthau.  He attended private schools including Exeter Academy. He studied architecture and agriculture for two years at Cornell University. He married Elinor Fatman in 1916. They had three children. Two years after her death in 1949, he married Mrs. Marcelle Puthon Hirsch of New York. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., died on February 6, 1967, in Poughkeepsie, New York. A wonderful and rare personal letter by FDR during the height of World War II, to one Dutchess County, New York neighbor about another.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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