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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
49   Franklin D. Roosevelt  $300 $533 $587 7 You must login to place a bid.

#49 - Franklin D. Roosevelt

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“I am asking your assistance in the very great necessity of restoring public confidence in the integrity of our Courts”

ALS, three pages, 7.25 x 10.5, personal letterhead, September 10, 1930. Letter to William D. Guthrie. In full: “Because you have always been so splendid in answering a call to service I am asking your assistance in the very great necessity of restoring public confidence in the integrity of our Courts—Mr. Rosenman, my counsel will give you the enclosed letter which explains itself and will tell you any details of the situation. I am not concerned with the politics of this, but the good reports of our judiciary and indeed of the Bar itself is at stake—I mean it when I say that no person in the whole country can command the respect and confidence which you can in sifting to their foundations the stories, innuendoes and allegations which are appearing. Obviously we cannot let these go on, but obviously also, we must proceed with dignity and in accordance with the constitution and the law—If you think my letter to you should in any way be altered will you tell Mr. Rosenman? I hope you will accept—for the great good of the State.” In fine condition, with a rusty paperclip impression to the upper left. Accompanied by Guthrie’s retained carbon copies of his response, declining the request. Roosevelt had become governor in 1929, inheriting what was left of the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine that had pervaded state politics for decades. This letter must have been spurred by the disappearance of Joseph Force Crater, an associate justice of the New York Supreme Court, who had gone missing in early August. No alarm was raised—he had said he was going on a trip—until August 25, when he failed to appear for the opening of the courts, but the police were not notified until September 3. The case immediately became front-page news and received widespread publicity, but no trace of Force was ever found. The suspicious circumstances of the vanished judge added to public disquiet about corruption in city government—and as FDR points out here, undermined the integrity of the state’s legal system. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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