[Item #56165] Letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Requesting Assistance with a Bank Foreclosure. GREAT DEPRESSION, O. O. DONLEY.

Letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Requesting Assistance with a Bank Foreclosure

[Davistown, PA: n.d. ca 1935]. ALS, 18 lines (ca 75 words) on a single sheet of printed stationery, 10" x 7". Original mailing envelope included (unposted, addressed simply "Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt"). Printed return address has been elided on both stationery and envelope ("Beatrice Donley / Morgantown, WV"); mild toning and wear; envelope darkened - Very Good and complete.

Mrs. Donley writes asking President Roosevelt to intervene in a pending foreclosure by the Second National Bank of Morgantown (WV). After listing her and her husbands assets, which include a large candy factory, she concludes, "...Please make some arrangements with the Receiver of the Bank Mrs. Cassidy, Morgantown W.Va. so I will have some place to live / Yours Truly / Mrs. O.O. Donley." The author's husband, Orris Otto Donley, a Morgantown businessman, appears in contemporary newspaper accounts as the perpetrator of an $80,000 embezzlement against his uncle's estate, a fact not mentioned in Mrs. Donley's letter.

Millions of similar messages were sent by desperate citizens to the White House in the years of the Great Depression, often, as here, in a last-ditch attempt to forestall homelessness. A collection of such letters, edited by Robert McIlvaine, was published in 1986 by the University of North Carolina Press under the title Down and Out in the Great Depression: Letters from the Forgotten Man.

Price: $125.00

Go Back