INSCRIBED BY FDR ABOARD THE “FLOATING WHITE HOUSE” TO HIS SON, ELLIOTT ROOSEVELT
(ROOSEVELT, Franklin D.) GOWANLOCH, James Nelson. Fishes and Fishing in Louisiana. Including Recipes for the Preparation of Seafoods. [New Orleans: Department of Conservation, February 1933]. Octavo, contemporary full limp black morocco gilt rebacked with the original spine neatly laid down, marbled edges. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $7500.
First edition of this report on the fresh and saltwater fish of Louisiana, presentation-association copy, specially bound for Franklin D. Roosevelt and inscribed by the president to his son Elliott, “For Elliott Roosevelt, on board the U.S.S. Potomac, May 1st, 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt.”
Gowanloch—"poet, stamp collector, a considerable researcher and a splendid teacher" and chief biologist of Louisiana's Department of Conservation (Waite, 39)—presents "this account of our fresh and salt water fishes… [to] emphasize the charm and pleasure that Louisiana affords the angler as well as the remarkable richness of the commercially important fish life of our State." This copy, as the front board states, was specially bound for Roosevelt's April 1937 fishing trip to Louisiana. "Roosevelt was an avid, lifelong fisherman. After his mobility became limited when he contracted polio in 1921, FDR spent a great deal of his leisure time either sailing or fishing. Dr. Ross McIntire, Roosevelt's personal physician when he was President, advised Roosevelt to go on as many vacations as possible to improve his health. McIntire later recounted, 'Despite our bargain about regular vacations, I doubt, however, if he would have kept the agreement except for his love of the water and fishing'" (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum).
Recipient Elliott—considered his mother Eleanor's favorite son—had a checkered career, during which he authored numerous books, including a mystery series in which his mother is the detective. Roosevelt described his experiences with his father during five important war conferences in his best-selling book As He Saw It; he also edited FDR: His Personal Letters, and wrote a highly personal book about his parents called The Roosevelts of Hyde Park: An Untold Story. With numerous black-and-white photographs and in-text illustrations, ten color plates and two large folding maps, printed in black and red: a 19 by 19-1/2 inch map of Lake Ponchatrain and its surroundings, and a 17-1/2 by 26 inch map of Louisana's fish and game preserve. Bulletin No. 23 from Louisiana's Department of Conservation.
Originally issued in wrappers, this copy includes the rear wrapper bound in at front, but not the front wrapper; without title page, the fly title has been bound in upside down and reversed; the front free endpaper is laid in loose. The front flyleaf (blank) with FDR's presentation inscription is intact. A very good presentation-association copy.