LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF ROOSEVELT'S PRIVATELY PRINTED TRAVEL LOGBOOKS, INSCRIBED ON THE TITLE PAGE BY PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT
(ROOSEVELT, Franklin D.) [WATSON, Edwin]. Log of the Cruise of President Franklin D Roosevelt in the Gulf of Mexico. (Washington): [The White House], 1937. Quarto, original half cloth, original buff paper wrappers. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box . $12,500.
Limited first edition, one of an unnumbered limited, of this privately printed travel logbook about FDR's cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, inscribed on the title page: "For Paul Hart from Franklin D. Roosevelt."
According to Roosevelt bibliographer Ernest J. Halter, at least 17 of these presidential cruise logs were issued between 1934 and 1945. Because they were all planographed or mimeographed to maintain their homemade appearance, their production didn't require a formal publisher and thus the exact number remains unknown. All, however, were issued in restricted editions for private distribution. The present log concerns FDR's Gulf of Mexico cruise on the U.S.S. Potomac. It also includes details of a condolence letter sent from Roosevelt to Hitler about the Hindenburg. It is believed to have been written entirely by Colonel Edwin M. Watson, Roosevelt's close friend and favorite advisor. Indeed, their friendship was even stronger than their professional association. During his administration, Roosevelt adopted Watson's Virginia estate as his Camp David-esque presidential retreat. Watson was also essentially the White House Chief of Staff at a time when the position had not yet been formally created. Notably, when Roosevelt wanted to stand at public appearances, Watson was one of only two people (the other being Roosevelt's son) that Roosevelt trusted enough to use for physical support. Watson served Roosevelt faithfully, until his tragic death from a hemorrhagic stroke while returning from the Yalta Conference. These pre-war logbooks are quite rare; we know of only two examples appearing for public sale. Halter, 191. From the private estate of Paul M. Hart of Missouri City, Texas.