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Sale 1237 — American Free Franks and Historical Documents

Sale Date — Tuesday, 22 June, 2021

Category — Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald Reagan

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
109
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 109, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganTheodore Roosevelt, Theodore RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt. Free frank "Theodore Roosevelt" as ex-President on cover to James R. Garfield in Cleveland O., neat "Oyster Bay N.Y. Dec. 12, 1916" machine cancel

VERY FINE. ONLY A FEW COVERS EXIST WITH THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FREE FRANK AS EX-PRESIDENT.

Although Roosevelt was not authorized to frank mail as ex-President, evidently he and the Oyster Bay post office were under the impression he did. Only a few covers are known, all from Roosevelt's retirement home in Oyster Bay, Long Island.

Ex Kantor and Dr. Robertson

E. 3,000-4,000
5,000
110
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 110, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganWilliam Howard Taft, William Howard TaftWilliam Howard Taft. Signed "Wm. H. Taft C.J." as ex-President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on legal-size Supreme Court Official Business imprint cover to Detroit Mich., slightly reduced at right, Very Fine, an extremely rare cover bearing Taft's signature as Chief Justice -- Taft did not have franking privileges as ex-President or Chief Justice, ex Dr. Robertson

E. 1,500-2,000
1,200
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111
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 111, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganWilliam Howard Taft, William Howard TaftWilliam Howard Taft. Signature "Wm H Taft" at top right of legal-size "The White House" stationery, dateless Battle Creek Mich. postmark, unaddressed, Very Fine, reportedly one of only three signatures on White House stationery

E. 2,000-3,000
1,100
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112
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 112, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganWoodrow Wilson, Woodrow WilsonWoodrow Wilson. Free frank "Woodrow Wilson" as President on White House imprint cover to his Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, "Washington D.C. Nov. 19 11:30AM 1918" machine cancel

VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF WOODROW WILSON'S FREE FRANK.

Woodrow Wilson's free frank is exceedingly rare. No other example could be found in the collections formed by Hart, Hessel, Stern, Joyce, Grunin or doing a Google search.

Ex Kantor and Dr. Robertson

E. 10,000-15,000
7,500
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113
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 113, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganCalvin Coolidge, Calvin CoolidgeCalvin Coolidge. Free frank "Calvin Coolidge" as President on White House imprint cover to Philip Ward in Philadelphia, "Washington D.C. Nov. 15" duplex cancel, Very Fine and extremely rare

E. 1,500-2,000
1,300
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114
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 114, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganHerbert Hoover, Herbert HooverHerbert Hoover. Free frank "Herbert Hoover" as President on White House imprint cover to Philip Ward in Pa., neat "Washington D.C. Jan. 21 2PM 1930" duplex, typewritten "Free"

VERY FINE. ONE OF ONLY FIVE RECORDED COVERS FRANKED BY HERBERT HOOVER AS PRESIDENT.

The Stern and Hessel collections each contained one. One is known on a White House penalty envelope where the free frank was not required. A fourth was used to Iowa. Ex Kantor and Dr. Robertson

E. 4,000-5,000
3,000
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115
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 115, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganFranklin D. Roosevelt, Franklin D. RooseveltFranklin D. Roosevelt. Free frank "Franklin D. Roosevelt" at right of pale blue White House cover to Alden S. Condict in New York, neat "Washington D.C. Nov. 5 9AM 1940" postmark

VERY FINE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED LEGITIMATE FREE FRANKS OF FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, WHO NEVER HELD THE PRIVILEGE OF SENDING HIS MAILS FREE THROUGH THE POST UNDER HIS SIGNATURE.

The presidential office was of course allowed to send out mail free of charge for official business, using penalty envelopes. Roosevelt, a philatelist, signed a few penalty envelopes as favors but they did not serve as an actual free frank since the envelope would have been allowed thru the mails without his signature. Only two examples are recorded on non-penalty envelopes, which would have required postage. The other was sent Sept. 15, 1940 to Abe Schoenfeld in New York.

E. 3,000-4,000
2,400
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116
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 116, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganFranklin D. Roosevelt, Franklin D. RooseveltFranklin D. Roosevelt. Photograph signed Franklin D. Roosevelt", 190 x 252mm, some overall toning, Very Fine

E. 750-1,000
350
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117
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 117, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganHarry S. Truman, Harry S. TrumanHarry S. Truman. Free frank "Harry Truman" signed twice on cover with printed "Harry S. Truman, Independence, Missouri" at top left to John Fleming in Diamond Bar Cal., typed "Via Air Mail" below frank, no postal markings, Very Fine and very unusual with two Truman signatures

E. 500-750
250
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118
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 118, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganHarry S. Truman, Harry S. TrumanHarry S. Truman. Neat signature on bank of Kansas City check dated Oct. 11, 1924, made out to "Cash" for $20.00, perfin and purple handstamp both away from signature, fresh and Very Fine

E. 300-400
450
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119
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 119, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganDwight D. Eisenhower, Dwight D. EisenhowerDwight D. Eisenhower. Signature as censor's marking "Dwight D. Eisenhower" with typed "Censored by: General of the Army, U.S. Army", on legal size cover to Mrs. Eisenhower in Washington D.C., red "Passed by Examiner Base 1033 Army" handstamp, typed return address indicates Eisenhower was in New York, back with "Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, Office of the Supreme Commander", personal part of addresses crossed out, Very Fine and attractive use

E. 500-750
250
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120
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 120, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganDwight D. Eisenhower, Dwight D. EisenhowerDwight D. Eisenhower. Free frank "Dwight D. Eisenhower" as President on cover to El Paso Tex., "Washington D.C. Jun. 19, 1960" machine cancel, Very Fine, Eisenhower's autograph free frank as President is rare -- earlier military franks are more common and presidential franks are usually facsimile signatures, ex Dr. Robertson

E. 1,500-2,000
1,800
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121
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 121, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy, John Fitzgerald KennedyJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy. Signature "John Kennedy" on small White House card, accompanied by typed note on White House stationery dated March 25, 1961 stating in part "Enclosed is President Kennedy's autograph which you requested..." and signed by Priscilla Wear, Very Fine

Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 121, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy, John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Image 2
E. 500-750
0
Back to Top
122
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 122, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy, John Fitzgerald KennedyJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy. TLS, "John Kennedy" on White House stationery , typed correspondence dated October 2, 1962, to Rear Admiral Willard J. Smith at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, reads in part "Dear Admiral Smith: I have been thoroughly impressed with the Coast Guard officers and sailors which whom I have had contact while sailing aboard your yawl MANITOU in the waters of Maine and Rhode Island.", two filing holes at top, Very Fine

E. 400-500
1,700
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123
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 123, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganLyndon B. Johnson, Lyndon B. JohnsonLyndon B. Johnson. Two items, first is photo of Johnson with several other figures with "To Rear Admiral Willard J. Smith, with warm regards, Lyndon Johnson", second is TLS dated June 22, 1964 and addressed to Admiral Smith thanking him for hospitality during graduation exercises for the Class of 1964, Very Fine

Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 123, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganLyndon B. Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson
Image 2
E. 400-500
550
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124
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 124, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganJimmy Carter, Jimmy CarterJimmy Carter. Signature "Jimmy Carter" at top of cacheted cover depicting Jimmy and Rosalind Carter, with "Washington D.C. 20013 Jan. 20, 1977 Inauguration Day" machine cancel, Very Fine, accompanied by TLS from Tip O'Neill, Jr. to General Lewis Shull confirming that this cover was signed by President Carter on inauguration day and that only six were prepared (three were kept by President Carter)

E. 300-400
160
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125
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 125, Presidential Free Franks: Theodore Roosevelt thru Ronald ReaganRonald Reagan, Ronald ReaganRonald Reagan. Signature "Ronald Reagan" on cacheted Inauguration Day cover with "Washington D.C. 20013 Jan. 20, 1981 Inauguration Day" machine cancel, accompanied by copy of TLS from Tip O'Neill, Jr. noting that after his inauguration Reagan signed 15 such covers (some were also signed by Nancy) and were carried by General Lewis Shull to the post office where the covers were cancelled by authority of the Postmaster General, Very Fine

E. 400-500
850
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