University Archives

Lot 329

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FDR's Son Jimmy & Daughter-in-Law Betsey Gain Entrance to Elite Parisian Country Club

A membership card issued to James "Jimmy" Roosevelt II (1907-1991), the oldest son of sitting 32nd U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and his wife Betsey Cushing Roosevelt (1908-1998). The pass granted one month's access to the amenities of the Saint-Cloud Country Club, located on the outskirts of Paris. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

The partly printed membership card was signed at Buzenval, France on October 14, 1933 by the club secretary. "The Committee of the St.-Cloud Country Club has the honour to extend to Mr. J. Roosevelt and to Mrs. Roosevelt the privileges of the Club for October." Lightly age-toned with some scattered wrinkles, else very good to near fine. 5.625" x 4.25."

In the fall of 1933, Jimmy Roosevelt had accompanied Joseph Kennedy, Sr. to Europe on business. Jimmy was a recent college graduate who had just co-founded his own insurance agency, Roosevelt & Sargent; Kennedy was a veteran wheeler and dealer who had befriended the new President's son. Kennedy wanted to secure exclusive contracts with several British liquor concerns in advance of the probable repeal of Prohibition, and Jimmy's new insurance company would safeguard the transatlantic shipping and cargo. While on this European trip--which included a visit to Winston Churchill's Chartwell Manor--Jimmy ventured south to Paris.

The Saint-Cloud Country Club (today the Saint-Cloud Golf Club) was established by Henry Cachard, an American lawyer of French heritage, in 1911. The club was built on the grounds of the Buzenval Estate, which Empress Josephine had acquired to expand her estate of Malmaison. Cachard's country club promised its members exemplary croquet, tennis, golf, squash, and tennis. It has been heralded as one of the 1,000 best golf courses of the world.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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March 3, 2021 10:30 AM EST

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