• First Lady of the World Eleanor Roosevelt Appreciated Gift of Scarfs from Mrs. Peabody

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    ELEANOR ROOSEVELT (October 11, 1884-November 7, 1962) was the longest serving First Lady of the United States.  Typically, the First Lady’s position is derivative of the President’s, but Mrs. Roosevelt took her office to new heights, acting as a diplomat, politician and activist.  President Truman referred to her as the “First Lady of the World.” She was the first presidential spouse to hold press conferences, write a syndicated column and speak at a national convention. 

    She persuaded President Roosevelt to stay in politics after his partial paralysis from polio and she frequently made speeches for him.  Mrs. Roosevelt sometimes disagreed publicly with her husband’s policies.  She launched an experimental community at Arthurdale, West Virginia, for families of unemployed miners, later regarded as a failure. She advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of African and Asian Americans and the rights of World War II refugees.

    After President Roosevelt’s death, Mrs. Roosevelt remained active in politics. She pressed the United States to join and support the United Nations and became one of its first delegates.  She served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights and oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  

    In this one page , 6” x 9 ¼” TLS on White House Stationary, December 31, 1937, Mrs. Roosevelt sends her thanks to Mrs. Peabody for scarfs.  She wrote: “I am delighted to have the beautiful scarfs and it was so kind of you to think of me. I am always so pleased with things which people make for me and I know I shall enjoy using the scarfs.

    “With many thanks, and all good wishes for the New Year, I am

    “Very sincerely yours,

    “Eleanor Roosevelt”

    Mrs. Peabody may have been Mrs. Endicott Peabody, who was an attendee at Mrs. Roosevelt’s wedding.  Endicott Peabody was an Episcopal priest who officiated at the wedding. He had been the headmaster for Franklin Roosevelt when he was a student at Groton School for Boys. 

    Folds. The letter is in excellent condition.

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