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Lot #118
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“A SENSE OF PATRIOTISM THAT MIRRORS A LOVE OF COUNTRY”: Superb 1930 FDR letter on “ideal citizenship”

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“A SENSE OF PATRIOTISM THAT MIRRORS A LOVE OF COUNTRY”: Superb 1930 FDR letter on “ideal citizenship”

TLS, one page, 8 x 10.5, State of New York letterhead, February 3, 1930. FDR writes to an Illinois woman in search of some wisdom to impart to her son. Roosevelt responds, in full: “I have your letter of January 25th and note your request that I send you a bit of philosophy or proverb for your son. Disclaiming any attempt to delve into philosophy, I would venture the suggestion, and it may merit some reflection by your son, that ideal citizenship involves three requisites: A sense of patriotism that mirrors a love of country; A sense of morality that impels obedience to the laws of country; A sense of academic inquisitiveness that prompts a study of the history of the country. The first consideration embraces the will to do anything honorable for this splendid land of ours; the second comprehends the will to refrain from doing anything that might tend to dishonor the country; the third involves the will to know the facts surrounding the foundation, the upbuilding, the development, the ideals and aims of the founders and subsequent contributors to the greatness of these United States.” Written only a few months after “Black Monday,” as the nation was sinking into the Great Depression, the letter eloquently expresses Roosevelt’s upbeat attitude and optimism for America’s future. Roosevelt’s great success as governor of New York made him the obvious choice as the Democratic presidential candidate two years later, and though he was vague about what he would do about the economic depression, he easily beat his unpopular Republican rival, Herbert Hoover. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope. In fine condition, with small mounting remnants to tips of bottom corners and side margins near top corners. A truly remarkable statement—and certainly one of the finest letters on citizenship written by any president! Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #331 - Ended March 12, 2008