FDR, Book Collector

“A rather scarce little book, in fine condition with the map,” was how Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then governor of New York, described--and inscribed on the book’s pastedown--his first edition of William H. Colyer’s Sketches of the North River (1838), alongside his name and “Executive Mansion, 1930.”

FDR-book-intro.jpgAccording to its seller, the Raab Collection in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, the slim volume derives from the gubernatorial library of FDR, governor of New York from 1929 until he won the US presidential election in 1932. It is an uncommon book, made more uncommon by its provenance: “This is our first time offering a book from FDR’s personal library in many years.” It is priced at $4,000.

FDR famously hailed from Hyde Park, New York, where his presidential library and museum is now located. He was also a voracious collector. According to the FDR Library, “From an early age he gathered large collections of stamps, ship models, rare books, prints, coins, and drawings. By the time of his election as President, he had amassed one of the nation’s finest collections of naval art and impressive collections of Hudson River Valley art and historical prints.”

Looks like this is one that got away!  

Image courtesy of Raab Collection

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