SIGNED BY PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT AND ATTORNEY GENERAL CUMMINGS, SCARCE 1938 "FULL AND UNCONDITIONAL" PRESIDENTIAL PARDON FOR A MAN CONVICTED OF "POSSESSING AND SELLING INTOXICATING LIQUOR IN VIOLATION OF THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACT"
ROOSEVELT, Franklin D. Document signed. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1938. Folio, single sheet (measures 9 by 13-1/2 inches) partially printed and completed in typescript on recto and verso, embossed red paper seal. $6500.
Scarce 1938 official presidential pardon signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Attorney General Homer Cummings, granting a pardon to Louis Pettofrezzo (aka Louis Fritz), who pled guilty three times, from 1927-32, to charges of "possessing and selling intoxicating liquor in violation of the National Prohibition Act." Pettofrezzo's nephew by marriage, Albert Rosellini—a young "progressive cut from the same cloth as Franklin Delano Roosevelt"—led opposition in Washington state to Prohibition-era 'blue laws' and was elected to the state's senate in 1938, the same year FDR signed this pardon, serving until he became the state's 15th governor in 1957.
This scarce official presidential document, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his second term of office, pardons Louis Pettofrezzo, "also known as Louis Fritz," for the crime of "possessing and selling intoxicating liquor, in violation of the National Prohibition Act" on three occasions: in 1927, 1929, and 1932. Having paid fines and costs, and served a prison sentence from 1932 to 1933, in 1938 FDR signed this official pardon, additionally signed by his Attorney General, Homer Cummings. In 1932, the same year Pettofrezzo committed his third infraction and began his prison sentence, he married Fine Gasperetti Rosellini, widow of Seattle restaurant owner Vittorio Rosellini, whose brother Giovanni was the father of lawyer Albert Rosellini. Albert "went to work as an attorney in 1933. In that role, he forged lifelong ties to liquor distributors and tavern owners by representing them in challenges to Prohibition-era restrictions known as 'blue laws" (Seattle Times). He "considered himself a progressive cut from the same cloth as Franklin Delano Roosevelt," and was a senator in the Washington State Senate for nearly two decades before serving as the state's governor from 1957-65 (Washington Business Magazine).
This official signed document reads: (print) "Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States. To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Whereas [typescript] Louis Pettofrezzo, an alien, also known as Louis Fritz, pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington to possessing and selling intoxicating liquor, in violation of the National Prohibition Act, and on October fourteenth, 1927, was sentenced to pay a fine of One hundred dollars ($100.00) and costs amounting to Twenty-one dollars ($21.00); and Whereas the said Louis Pettofrezzo pleaded guilty in the District aforesaid to possessing intoxicating liquor, in violation of the national Prohibition Act, and on May sixth, 1929, was sentenced to pay a fine of Five hundred dollars ($500.00) and costs amounting to Thirty-one dollars and twenty cents ($31.20 [sic]; and Whereas the said Louis Pettofrezzo pleaded guilty in the District aforesaid to possessing and selling intoxicating liquor, in violation of the National Prohibition Act, and on April eighteenth, 1932, was sentenced to imprisonment for eighteen months and to pay a fine of Seven hundred dollars ($700.00); and Whereas the said Louis Pettofrezzo paid his fine and costs in the first case and the fine in the second case; and Whereas the said Louis Pettofrezzo began his sentence in the third case on April twenty-second, 1932, at the United States Penitentiary, McNeil Island, Washington, was transferred on June seventh, 1937, to Federal Road Camp No. 5, Dupont, Washington, served his term, less good time allowances, and an additional thirty days due to his inability to pay the said fine, and was released on August third, 1933; and Whereas it has been made to appear to me that the said Louis Pettofrezzo since his release from imprisonment, had been conducted himself in a law abiding manner and is unable to pay the said fine; [continued on document verso] [print] Now, therefore, be it known, that I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, in consideration of the premises, divers other good and sufficient reasons me thereunto moving, to hereby [typescript] grant unto the said Louis Pettofrezzo a full and unconditional pardon for the purpose of restoring his civil rights, thereby also remitting the unpaid fine and costs. [print] In testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name and caused the seal of the Department of Justice to be affixed. [Department of Justice red paper seal] [print] Done at the City of Washington this [typescript] twenty-fifth [print] day of [typescript] February [print] in the year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and [typescript] Thirty-eight [print] and of the Independence of the United States the One Hundred and [typescript] Sixty-second. [print] By the President [signed] Franklin D. Roosevelt [followed by] Homer Cummings [print] Attorney General." Document rector with printed "210" at upper corrner; verso printed at lower edge: "U.S. Government Printing office 134008."
Text and signatures fresh, faint foldlines, very light edge-wear, mild soiling. A highly desirable about-fine copy.