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World War I and II

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FBI Director Warns Polaroid to Guard against Espionage and Sabotage before American Entry into World War II

J. EDGAR HOOVER, Typed Letter Signed, to Officers of Polaroid Company, on FBI letterhead, marked “Personal and Confidential,” Washington, October 22, 1940. 1 p., 7¼ x 9¼ in. #23917.01

Typed Letter Signed, to Edwin H. Land, on FBI letterhead, Washington, January 10, 1941. 8 pp., 7¼ x 9¼ in. #23917.02

Book. “Secret” booklet published by the FBI Suggestions for Protection of Industrial Facilities, April, 1941. 50 pp. #23917.03

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In these two letters, J. Edgar Hoover offers general and specific advice to the Polaroid Company of Massachusetts to protect it against “foreign espionage and sabotage” as America tries to stay out of the world war ravaging Europe and Asia.

Item #23917, $1,500

Theodore Roosevelt Supports World War I Draft, and Criticizes Wilson for Preventing His Volunteers from Preparing and Going to Aid of France

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, to Otis Henderson Cutler. [New York, NY], April 25, 1917. 3 pp., 8½ x 11 in. Extensively annotated in black ink by Roosevelt, on Metropolitan Magazine stationery. With: A typed fair copy of Roosevelt’s April 25 letter incorporating his corrections (possibly prepared by the recipient), 3 pp.; With Cutler’s retained carbon copy of his May 14 response to Roosevelt, offering himself as a volunteer, 1 p.; With a follow-up letter from Roosevelt to Cutler discussing in detail Wilson’s refusal to deploy the divisions, consisting of a printed cover letter, May 25, 2 pp., with stamped signature, and its original attachment, a circular letter informing the volunteers that President Wilson had refused to deploy them, signed in type by Roosevelt, May 21, 3 pp.

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“I ask that our country’s record in this war be kept in line with the heroic deeds of the past. Let us, for our own sake, at once send troops to France”

A remarkable letter of support for universal military service, for immediate involvement in World War I, his willingness to aid the effort by raising troops with Congressional authorization, and his reaction to President Wilson’s refusal to allow Roosevelt’s volunteer troops to be deployed in France before the draft army was ready. With three related documents.

Item #23954.01-.04, $6,500

Abraham Lincoln and Archduke Franz Joseph:
A Unique Link Between Our Martyred President and the Assassination That Started WWI

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Partially Printed Document Signed “Abraham Lincoln,” Washington, D.C., February 18, 1864. 1 p. 8 x 10 in.

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President Abraham Lincoln directs Secretary of State William H. Seward to attach the seal of the United States to the envelope for a letter to the Austrian Emperor. This remarkable document forms an extraordinary connection between two important world events—the American Civil War and World War I.  In the letter to which this order relates, Lincoln congratulated Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria on the birth of his nephew Archduke Franz Ferdinand.  The assassination of this archduke fifty years later in Sarajevo sparked World War I.

Item #24501, $12,500

Theodore Roosevelt Advocates American Entry into World War I and Revisits His Foreign Policy Maxim:
“Speak softly and Carry a big stick”

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Printed Document with Autograph Endorsement Signed and 42 corrections in Roosevelt’s hand. “Address Delivered to the Illinois State Bar Association.” Chicago, Ill., April 29, 1916. With Roosevelt’s note at the top of the first page: “Dear Mr. McCh’ny [MacChesney?], Here is the speech, with a few merely verbal corrections, sincerely, Theodore Roosevelt.” 8 pp., 7 x 24 in. (the last page is 7 x 8 in.).

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The complete text of an address by Theodore Roosevelt at a dinner given in his honor at the Hotel La Salle, Chicago, by the Illinois Bar Association on April 29, 1916. These proof sheets were sent to TR for his approval, and returned with 42 autograph corrections in pencil.

“I once used the phrase, to sum up our proper foreign policy:— ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’  There was a good deal of laughter over that phrase. But it expresses a pretty sound policy all the same. Remember, that I was President seven years and a half and that I never spoke with wanton harshness of any nation. I always spoke softly, I was always just as nice and polite as any man could be. But I carried a big stick!”

Evoking applause and laughter, Roosevelt also references the need for national preparedness considering the world situation, referencing Pancho Villa and Mexico, Germany and the war in Europe, the sinking of the “Lusitania,” and the need for national unity, paraphrasing Lincoln, “nowadays America can not endure half hyphenated and half not.”

Item #24383, $75,000

Eisenhower Signed D-Day Message

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, Broadside Signed in dark blue ink. Statement to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force on June 6, 1944. Document is approx. 5¾ x 9½ in., archivally framed to approximately 22 x 14 in.

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From a limited edition of Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe, (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1948), limited to 1,426 copies. The war had ended only three years earlier, and Eisenhower must have been looking towards politics - he was elected to the Presidency in 1952.

Item #24122, $6,500

President Harry S. Truman’s Presidential Proclamation Announcing the End of the War in Europe

HARRY S TRUMAN. [WORLD WAR II], Printed Document Signed as President. Washington, D.C., May 8, 1945. 1 p., 15 x 21½ in.

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“The Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God’s help, have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender … The victory won in the West must now be won in the East. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed…”

Item #24220, $20,500

Woodrow Wilson Protests the Sinking of Lusitania & Threatens to Break Diplomatic Relations – About a Year Before America Enters WW I

WOODROW WILSON, Signed Pamphlet. Address of the President of the United States Delivered at a Joint Session of the Two Houses of Congress, April 19, 1916.Washington, D.C., ca April 19, 1916. Bound in blue cloth boards with titled spine with several blank leaves. Spine cracked but binding intact, very minor marginal tear to title page, other pages lightly toned with a light vertical crease but clean overall. 7 pp., 5¾ x 9 in.

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Item #24100, $2,500

J.R.R. Tolkien Writes his Proofreader with a Lengthy Discussion of the Lord of the Rings, Including Criticism of Radio Broadcasts of his Work

J.R.R. TOLKIEN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Naomi Mitchison. Headington, Oxford, England, December 8, 1955. 4 pp on 2 leaves of wove paper with Pirie’s/ Crown Bond watermark. 5 5/16 x 7 1/8 in. (13½ x 18 cm). The first page is embossed “76 Sandfield Road/ Headington/ Oxford.” With original autograph addressed envelope.

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In a letter peppered with references to Middle Earth and its inhabitants, an exhausted Tolkien takes his first lengthy holiday in four years—in Italy. He returns and writes to Naomi Mitchison, a fellow novelist and his proofreader, for failing to provide feedback for her novel, To the Chapel Perilous. Tolkien discusses the demands on his time, ranging from his teaching load, thesis advising, and publishing, to reading critical reviews. Tolkien’s dissatisfaction with radio adaptations of Lord of the Rings occupies a prominent place: I think poorly of the broadcast adaptations. Except for a few details I think they are not well done... I thought that the dwarf (Gloin not Gimli, but I suppose Gimli will talk like his father...) was not too bad if a bit exaggerated. I do think of the “Dwarves” like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the language of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue. The balance of the letter discusses literary critics, reviews of Mitchison’s book, and anachronisms in her latest offering as contrasted to Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Item #23221, $22,000

Harding’s Return to Normalcy – and Isolationism – after World War I

WARREN G. HARDING, Typed Letter Signed as President, to Senator Joseph Medill McCormick, Washington, D. C., August 29, 1921. With autograph emendations in two different secretarial hands. 8 pp.

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Key political circular from the first-year Republican President written to influence off-year elections in New Mexico and other places. Harding justifies, and praises, the rapid postwar dismantling of America’s military by Congress, while backhandedly criticizing the inattention of his predecessor – Woodrow Wilson – to the peacetime transition. “Vast expenditure without proper consideration for results, is the inevitable fruit of war.”

Item #21124, $2,600

Haim Laskov Writes to His Future Wife during WWII

HAIM LASKOV, Autograph Letter Signed, to Shulamith Chen. Italy, Nov. 19, 1943. 2 pp. Heading in English, body in Hebrew.

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“Night after night I watch (the stars) and read your regards.”

Item #20756, $400

William K. And Harold Vanderbilt Signed
World War I Veterans Bonus New York State Bond

[WILLIAM K. VANDERBILT], Partially Printed Document Signed. $50,000 World War Bonus Bond, issued to William K. Vanderbilt, Harold S. Vanderbilt, and Frederick W. Vanderbilt as trustees for Anna H. Vanderbilt, signed by first two. Certificate #64, with engraved vignette of the state seal. October 16, 1944.

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Item #23087, $750

Albert Einstein Supports Supranational Authority to Avert Another World War

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Typed Letter Signed, in German, January 18, 1945, 1 p, 4to, Princeton, to Dr. Isidore Held, on blindstamped letterhead. 8½ x 11 in.

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when one stops mid-stream, the next world war is certain already today. This is all the more the case when modern technical development is leading more and more to a pre-emptive war by the fact that a surprise attack is extraordinarily superior to the defense.

Einstein writes to his friend Dr. Isidore Held, whom he had known since at least 1938, to thank him for sending a “little book” apparently about the creation of the United Nations, which had been formulated at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference the previous year and which would officially come into existence in October 1945.

Item #24333, $10,000