ALS signed "FDR," one page both sides, 8.5 x 11, Roosevelt & O'Connor letterhead, stamp dated July 1, 1926. Letter to his friend and partner, Basil O'Connor, regarding $2,500 in escrow that FDR claims is his, but which Charles Peabody believes belongs to their family. In part: “Yes, you’re right about the $2,500. You remember when we were negotiating our contract early in April I insisted I was buying all the assets of the G. W. S. Corporation [Georgia Warm Springs Corporation] & that the corporation had deposited $2,500 in escrow in the Bank at W[arm] S[prings] to go toward paying for the lake property owned by Mr. Williams, who was seeking to clear his title. Chas. Peabody, thought the money in the bank was his Uncles, but G.F.P. said it was the Corporations & the bank & Mr. Williams also insist it was the corporation’s money & that title was to be given to the corporation. I, if you remember, only finally signed the contract with the Peabody’s on the definite understanding that Mr. George Foster Peabody would pass on this $2,500. It certainly belongs to me & I want now to take title to the Williams land.” Initialed twice by Basil O’Connor at the top of the letter. In fine condition, with two file holes to the left edge.
In 1924, FDR received a letter from George Foster Peabody, informing him about a young polio sufferer who seemed to have recovered his ability to walk by swimming in the buoyant waters of the Georgia. In April 1926, Roosevelt paid more than $200,000 for the Merriweather Inn, which included cottages, pools, and 1,200 acres of undeveloped land, and later acquired an additional 1,750 acres. After acquiring the necessary land, the future president established the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, later renamed the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, with O'Connor and Wall Street banker Peabody among his financial backers. This remarkable letter represents the building blocks of Roosevelt's center for the hydrotherapeutic treatment of polio victims and the not-for-profit foundation devoted to this work.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.