Lot 11: Franklin D. Roosevelt ALS
9th August 2017
Draft ALS as president in pencil, signed “Roosevelt,” one page, 8 x 10.5, no date but circa early 1939. Letter "For Secretary of State," marked "Restricted" at the top, pertaining to the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth scheduled for June 1939. In full: "I hope that Secretary Lascelles will return to Washington from Ottawa after I get back as some of the plans spoken of in press dispatches do not seem wise. This relates especially to a visit to the battery in New York." In fine condition, with paperclip-related rust marks to the top. As the personal secretary of King George VI, Alan ‘Tommy’ Lascelles spent the early months of 1939 shuttling across the Atlantic and finalizing the itinerary for the king and queen’s forthcoming royal tour of North America. While the bulk of the month-long trip was limited to Canada, the royal party toured the United States from June 7–12, making stops at Mount Vernon, the New York World's Fair, and a much-publicized picnic dinner at Roosevelt's Hyde Park estate. The president's objection to including Battery Park as a potential destination was apt; the site had long served as the center for celebrations commemorating the departure of the last British troops after the American Revolutionary War. Additionally, Roosevelt sought to ingratiate the royal couple to the American people, a preparatory step to mobilize American support in the likely event of a conflict with Nazi Germany. Less than three months later, Britain and France declared war on Germany in response to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.
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