University Archives

Lot 271

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Franklin Roosevelt Letter Re: The Sale of a Stock Exchange Seat During the Depression

Single page typed letter on bi-fold stationary, with letterhead of "The White House, Washington". Dated "May 31, 1935" and signed by Franklin Roosevelt as 'Franklin D. Roosevelt". Stamped to upper right corner with "Received O'Connor & Farber, 120 Broadway, N.Y." 7" x 9". Near fine.

A wonderful letter with intriguing references. Roosevelt discusses a check he received from the sale of a Stock Exchange seat. Prior to 2006, The New York Stock Exchange was private, and to become a member which allowed you to trade on the floor, required the buying of a "seat". Back when it was "members only," owning a seat was considered prestigious and prices on the exchange were determined by supply and demand. The cost of a seat ranged from $4,000 in the mid-1800s to $3.575 million at the end of its heyday as a private entity in 2005. However noting the date of this letter,  the economy would have been in the throes of the Great Depression. The stock market had tanked, and did not really make it way back for so long that many traders and investors.. most in fact .. threw in the towel if they had not already lost everything. 

With Roosevelt confused about why he was to receive any part of the proceeds, he jovially states "...Could I bother you to let me have it in simple language so that a mere Government official could understand!"

A fantastic letter accompanied by a lovely black and white postcard of the Roosevelt's with Fala at Hyde Park.

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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September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Wilton, CT, US

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