March 2019 Auction Ends Thursday, March 28th, 5pm Pacific


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/28/2019
Franklin D. Roosevelt letter signed from 26 May 1926, addressed to Helena Mahoney, Roosevelt's physical therapist who famously helped design and implement the polio treatment facility at Warm Springs, which was to launch a few short weeks of this letter. Helena Mahoney had worked under polio expert Dr. Leroy Hubbard, and was recruited by Roosevelt, along with Dr. Hubbard, after Roosevelt contracted the disease. Warm Springs was built under her guiding influence and she is credited as the person most instrumental in helping FDR transition to life post-polio, both physically and mentally.

In this letter, Roosevelt's excitement about launching the Institute is palpable. He provides an outline for Mahoney's new position as the chief physical therapist at Warm Springs, with detail showing his personal involvement. Written on Roosevelt's custom stationery, letter reads in part, ''...It is very good to know that you are going to be with us at Georgia Warm Springs this summer and I think that we really have a most interesting possibility down there of making the place do an immense amount of good...your salary is to be $200.00 a month...

I hope you are on the look-out for an assistant because if we get twenty to thirty cases down there during the summer, you will need one person to help you give the exercises in the pool, and for that you will need some fairly husky young lady. My own thought of the schedule of your work will be something like this: / First, you will have to see that the patients get measured up and properly charted on arrival. Dr. Hubbard is working on the form of charts to be presented. / Secondly you will have to keep a motherly eye on their diet - for instance, one of the patients now there weighs over 200 lbs., a young man of about twenty, and he continues to eat candy, etc. / Third, you will have to organize the patients so that they will be up betimes in the morning and get down to the pool on schedule time. / Fourth, most of your morning will be spent at the pool itself - costume, the most abbreviated bathing suit possible - because I think you will want to be in and out of the water with the patients. A great many of the patients can be organized and the general exercises given to them by classes. The worst cases, however, will actually require individual exercises...''

FDR continues in great detail regarding what the residents will be doing with their days, ''...If it is possible to get through with the work at the pool in the morning, so much the better. That would leave the afternoon for sun baths, walking with braces, walking between parallel bars on the lawn, etc. I think also that it would be well to organize games and other recreation for the patients in the afternoon as this will be better for their mental attitude. The richer ones will undoubtedly take the poorer ones out for automobile rides, etc.

I have written Mr. E.T. Curtis, the Manager, that you will arrive down there between June 5th and 10th...He writes me that they will be all ready for patients and guests on June 1st. / I will be in New York this week until Friday noon. Then I go to Hyde Park...I will be back here in New York June 1st and 2nd, and at Hyde Park for the next four days for my daughter's wedding. I do not know whether we ought to have a personal talk before you leave. If so, I shall be delighted to see you either here or at Hyde Park...[signed] Franklin D Roosevelt''. Two page letter on two separate sheets measure 7.25'' x 10.5''. Folds, else near fine. Accompanied by a photo of Helena Mahoney, famously portrayed by the actress Kathy Bates in the 2005 film, ''Warm Springs''.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter Signed From 1926 -- With Exceptional Content to Helena Mahoney Upon the Opening of the Warm Springs InstituteFranklin D. Roosevelt Letter Signed From 1926 -- With Exceptional Content to Helena Mahoney Upon the Opening of the Warm Springs Institute
Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter Signed From 1926 -- With Exceptional Content to Helena Mahoney Upon the Opening of the Warm Springs Institute
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,400
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,750
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Thursday, March 28, 2019.
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