HOOVER, Herbert (1875-1964), President. Autograph letter signed ("Herbert Hoover") as President, to Edith N. Rogers, Washington, 22 August 1930. 2 full pages, 4to (8 7/8 x 7 in.), written on pages one and four of a four-page sheet, first page imprinted "The White House Washington," very slight separation at vertical fold, chips to extreme edge of second page. [With:] Lithographic portrait inscribed and signed ("To Bettie Smith With the Good Wishes of Herbert Hoover"), n.p., [ca. 1933]. 6½ x 4¾ in. Together two items.
AN AUTOGRAPH RARITY: A FULL AUTOGRAPH LETTER WRITTEN IN OFFICE, ON WHITE HOUSE STATIONERY, DECLINING AN INVITATION TO LEXINGTON
A very rare Hoover presidential letter. Responding to an invitation to attend a celebration in Lexington, Massachusetts (probably an observance of the events of April 19, 1775), Hoover writes: "I have now had opportunity to consider the generous invitation of the Mayor and citizens of Lexington to visit that city during the forthcoming celebrations. Lexington has so high a place in the heart of every American that I should indeed like to attend, but the many pressing matters of public importance render it impossible for me to do so at this time." The President concludes: "I wish you would be good enough to transmit my regrets to the people of Lexington and my deep appreciation for the courtesy of their invitation."
VERY RARE. According to American Book Prices Current, only three autograph letters--each a one page example--written during Hoover's presidency have been offered at auction in the last thirty years (the most recent was an 8vo, 1 page example dated 23 October 1930 (sale, Swann Galleries, 10 February 2000, $26,000). "Hoover remains rare in ALS form. Even more than Woodrow Wilson, he was addicted to the typewriter...At one time Hoover himself claimed that he had not written more than a dozen autograph letters in his lifetime, and although this estimate was off the mark, his ALSs remain elusive" (J. Taylor, From the White House Inkwell, p. 176). (2)