CHURCHILL, Winston S. and ROOSEVELT, Franklin D. Printed menu signed ("Winston S. Churchill"), as Prime Minister and ("Franklin D. Roosevelt"), as President, ABOARD THE U.S. FLAGSHIP AUGUSTA, 10 August 1941. Also signed by eight others. 4 pages, 12mo (7 x 5 1/8in.), printed in blue and gilt lettering.
"I WILL NOT FAIL THEE NOR FORSAKE THEE"
A wonderful association of Churchill and F.D.R. at the historic Argentia Conference, which produced the Atlantic Charter. In addition to FDR and Churchill, the menu is signed by Lord Cherwell, John M. Martin (Churchill's secretary); Commander C. R. Thompson, FDR's sons Elliott and Franklin Jr., his physician Ross McIntire, as well as aides Edwin Watson and John R. Beardall. Churchill and Roosevelt met for the first time the previous day, 9 August, when Churchill came aboard the Augusta, and handed the President a completely superfluous letter of introduction from the King. "I am sure you will agree," George VI wrote of the Prime Minister, "that he is a very remarkable man..." Churchill did indeed make a great if somewhat incongruous impression on F.D.R. "He is a tremendously vital person," Roosevelt wrote in his diary that night, adding that the Prime Minister was "in many ways...an English Mayor La Guardia." That first night Churchill gave his overview of the war, and the next morning hosted a divine service aboard the Prince of Wales. He selected both the hymns and the reading (from the book of Joshua): "...so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee nor forsake thee." After dispatching the roast turkey, buttered Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce served at this dinner on Sunday evening, the 10th, Churchill and FDR sat down to discuss their respective drafts for the Atlantic Charter. As finally agreed, the British and American leaders pledged themselves a set of liberal war aims that eschewed territorial ambitions and looked forward to the creation of a free and stable postwar order "which will afford assurance that all the men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want..." Provenance: Sotheby's, London, 14 July 1999, lot 190.