Seth Kaller, Inc.

Inspired by History

Other Women's History and First Ladies Offerings


Other Great Gifts Offerings


Eleanor Roosevelt Thanks Former State Senator for Article to Assist Women in Monitoring Polling Places
Click to enlarge:

Complete Transcript

                                                                        June 22, 1925.

Mr. John Godfrey Saxe,
30 Broad Street,
New York, N.Y.

Dear Mr. Saxe:

            Your article is exactly what we want. Do you want me to show the proff [proof] to Judge Olvaney,[1] or do you want me to send you the proof to go over it with him yourself. I will get it put up in type as soon as possible, and send you the printed proof for correction.

            I think the best time to run it will be in the September Number, as I do not want to run it until the campaign has aroused preliminary enthusiasm. With it I want to make a special appeal for volunteers to do the work you so clearly point out as necessary.

                                                                        Very sincerely yours,

                                                                        Eleanor Roosevelt

                                                                        (Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt)

[1] Judge George Washington Olvany (1876-1952) was a New York General Sessions Court judge, deputy New York City Fire Commissioner, and leader of Tammany Hall from 1924 to 1929.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT. Typed Letter Signed, to John Godfrey Saxe, June 22, 1925. On “New York State Women’s Democratic News, Inc.” stationery. 1 p., 7⅞ x 10⅞ in.6/22/1925.

Inventory #26795       Price: $1,250

Historical Background
As a member of the Women’s Division of the New York State Democratic Committee from 1922 to 1935, Eleanor Roosevelt served as editor and columnist for the Women’s Democratic News newsletter. She eventually wrote a monthly column entitled “Passing Thoughts of Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

On April 30, 1925, Roosevelt wrote to attorney and former state senator John Godfrey Saxe II, asking if he would write an article of approximately 1,500 words on the inspection and watching of polling places on both primary and general election days, or two or three shorter articles. She wanted him to explain what a woman who suspected fraud at the polling place should do about it. Her goal was “to educate the women workers in the party upstate who are as yet extremely timid and have very little knowledge of what kind of work they can do and what rights they have.” Because the Women’s Democratic News was not issued in July and August, she could place Saxe’s article(s) in the June, September, or October issues.

Saxe also served with Roosevelt on The Citizens’ Committee on Constitutional Amendments, which urged voters to approve all four state constitutional amendments on the ballot on November 3, 1925. The first two permitted the government to issue bonds for the construction of public buildings and the elimination of railroad grade crossings, respectively. The third reorganized several state departments and reduced the number of elective offices, and the fourth involved a reorganization of the state court system. All four amendments passed, with majorities ranging from 50.6 percent to 60.5 percent.

In elections in the state, Democratic candidate Jimmy Walker overwhelmingly defeated his Republican rival for mayor of New York City with 65.8 percent of the vote. Walker served as mayor for nearly seven years before being forced to resign in a corruption scandal.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was born in New York City into the prominent Roosevelt family. She was tutored privately and attended an English finishing school from 1899 to 1902. In 1905, she married her distant cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt, and they had six children, one of whom died as an infant. She actively supported her husband’s political ambitions, campaigning for him, and representing him when he was Governor of New York (1929-1932) and President of the United States (1933-1945). She redefined the position of First Lady into a much more activist one with a heavy traveling, speaking, and writing schedule. Her syndicated newspaper column, “My Day,” reached millions with her views on many issues, and she continued it for more than a decade after leaving the White House. After Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, his successor Harry S. Truman appointed Eleanor Roosevelt as the first U.S. Representative to the United Nations, where she served from 1947 to 1953. She also served as the first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed her as the first chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, a position she held until her death nearly two years later.

John Godfrey Saxe II (1877-1953) was born in Saratoga, New York, as the grandson and namesake of the poet John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887). He became an attorney, and in 1910, he won election to the New York State Senate by defeating incumbent George B. Agnew, a cosponsor of a law to shut down thoroughbred racing in the state. In 1915, Saxe was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention. He was also president of the New York State Bar Association and counsel for Columbia University. He was a member of Tammany Hall and in 1913 published A Treatise on the New York Laws Relating to Elections.

Add to Cart Ask About This Item Add to Favorites