Lot #7080
Franklin D. Roosevelt Autograph Letter Signed as President

FDR settles 'the shortest coal strike on record' in a "a splendid example of the usefulness of the principles of collective bargaining"
 
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Estimate: $20000+

Description

FDR settles 'the shortest coal strike on record' in a "a splendid example of the usefulness of the principles of collective bargaining"

ALS as president, one page, 8 x 10.5, White House letterhead, [September 1935]. Handwritten letter by President Roosevelt, evidently to Assistant Secretary of Labor Edward F. McGrady, who represented the executive office in wage negotiations with coal miners and other unions. In full: "Dear Mr. Secretary-As I prepare to go to the train I am made happy by your good news. Will you tell the hundreds of thousands of coal miners and the many operators that tonight's agreement will make my long deferred vacation a greater pleasure-and also that this is a splendid example of the usefulness of the principles of collective bargaining to which we are all committed." In fine condition, with light staining, and thin paper, along the top edge. Accompanied by a handsome custom-made finely bound full morocco leather case.

On September 27, 1935, the Piqua Daily Call quoted this letter while reporting on the end of a strike by soft coal miners in Appalachia, which described the labor dispute as 'one of the strangest strikes in American history,' while being 'the shortest coal strike on record, and also the most peaceful.' An agreement was reached at a wage conference in Washington, DC, ending the strike after just five days. The column reported that miners won increases of 50 cents per day for workers, 9 cents per ton for piece-workers, and a 10% increase in pay for those doing 'deadwork,' while operators were given rearrangements of differentials between competing districts designed to put them on an improved status in marketing operations. McGrady read this letter before the conference, which 'brought enthusiastic applause from the miners but only lackadaisical acclaim from the operators.' A photocopy of the newspaper article is included. Handwritten as president, this is a fantastic testament of Roosevelt's commitment to labor as he enacted his New Deal policies.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: U.S. Presidents
  • Dates: #630 - Ended February 17, 2022





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