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    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -August 23, 1938. Hyde Park, New York. One page. 7" x 9". White House letterhead.
    -To: Gertrude Ely of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
    -Multiple folds, minor wear, else fine.

    In this letter to Gertrude Ely, FDR writes (in part): "Thank you for your note and the interesting memoranda of Raymond Buell. I think the talks in Canada did good, especially in Europe, and incidentally, even the New York Herald Tribune has to go along, though it thinks that an obvious fact need not have been stated. I do hope to see you soon." Ms. Ely added a handwritten notation at top: "For your information-G.E. Need not return." Ely served with the Pennsylvania Works Progress Administration. Raymond Buell was a conservative author, lecturer, and professor. FDR wrote this letter following his return from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where, five days earlier, he had delivered an important foreign policy statement while receiving an honorary degree from the school.


    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.

     

    Letter signed August 23, 1938 on The White House Washington stationery, one page (conjoining leaves), to Gertrude Ely. FDR writes from Springwood, his home in Hyde Park, New York: "Dear Gertrude:-/ Thank you for your note and the interesting memoranda of Raymond Buell./ I think the talks in Canada did good, especially in Europe, and incidentally, even the New York Herald Tribune has to go along, though it thinks that an obvious fact need not have been stated./ I do hope to see you soon./ As ever yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." Ms. Ely has also written in her hand a note in ink at the top margin: "For your information/ G.E./ Need not return." Gertrude Ely served with the Pennsylvania Works Progress Administration. Raymond Buell was a conservative author, lecturer, and professor. FDR wrote this letter to Gertrude Ely right after his return from Canada. It was a great day for Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, five days before FDR wrote this letter to Gertrude Ely, when the President of the United States arrived to deliver an important foreign policy statement, to receive an honorary degree from Queen's, and to open the new international bridge at Ivy Lea. His private train from Niagara Falls pulled in to the Canadian National Railroad Outer Station on Montreal Street at 10 a.m. on August 18, 1938. At the station, FDR met Lieutenant Governor Matthews, the Right Honorable W.L. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, Principal Wallace, the Rector Norman Mcl. Rogers, and other dignitaries. Thousands lined the route as the cavalcade glided down Montreal Street to Brock, along Sydenham to Union to Alfred, and into the old Richardson Stadium on Union Street. Dr. Wallace presented President Roosevelt to Chancellor J. A. Richardson for laureation. Dr. McNeill placed a black silk hood, bordered with blue, on the president's shoulders, and the Chancellor presented Dr. Roosevelt to the audience. CFRC radio at Queen's University broadcast FDR's speech to Canada and the United States. Charles Millar, engineer at CFRC, remembers: "This was a big day for the University, the first time that any privately-owned radio station was able to feed every network in the United States and Canada simultaneously. And you can well imagine that there was a nervous operator at the switchboard that day--me! I watched the clock and knew I had to "punch in" [make the connection] on time, and that every major network on the whole continent was listening. And I imagined all kinds of squeaks and howls and everything else. But it went very well indeed. So that was quite a feather in the cap of CFRC." Of course, tremendous plans had to be made because here was one of the First Men in the world, more or less a house guest at Queen's University, and they had to make special provision for him due to his disability. After much discussion, the university purchased a special lectern. As this was long before the advent of the idea of wheelchair accessible buildings, the university also had to build ramps in all the locations the President would visit. Alex McDonald was the stadium technician for the Roosevelt broadcast: "It was outdoors, and the stage was set up in the playing field. I remember him saying in his broadcast that, if Canada were attacked, the United States would not stand idly by. Afterwards, he and Mackenzie King had lunch at Ban Righ Hall, and they went from there to open the Ivy Lea Bridge." According to Professor Harold Stewart "President Roosevelt gave quite a stirring address to the assembled crowd. In the course of his remarks, he referred to principalities and power--Biblical quotations--and he said, ‘Well, now, we know that Queen's University is not a principality, but is certainly is a power.' Big cheers from the crowd." A curious outcome of the convocation is the story that a special gown was given to the President for the occasion. He took it for granted that he could take this home with him for free. Reports are that he was quite annoyed when he was asked to pay for it. This letter to Gertrude Ely represents an early appraisal by FDR of his recent trip, and the current state of Canada–United States relations, a very interesting and historic letter.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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