Herbert Hoover TLS to Grand Master of Masons in Missouri
1p typed letter signed by sitting 31st U.S. President Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) as "Herbert Hoover" at center. Written in Washington, D.C. on August 19, 1932. On watermarked cream bifold stationery with "The White House / Washington" letterhead embossed in cobalt blue at top. With adhesive residue along the top edge verso, and a few traces recto, else very good to near fine. Expected paper folds. 6.875" x 8.875". Accompanied by the original "The White House" transmittal envelope bearing a 3 cent violet Los Angeles Olympic stamp. Postmarked in Washington, D.C. on August 19, 1932. Letter-opened at top and with mounting traces verso. Ex Ray V. Denslow (see bio below).
President Hoover wrote this thank you letter to Ray V. Denslow (1885-1960), the Grand Master of Masons in Missouri.
"[typed] My dear Mr. Denslow:
I wish to thank you for your letter. I deeply appreciate the heartening support and the fine friendship of which it is evidence.
[signed] Herbert Hoover".
It is unknown whether Herbert Hoover was himself a Freemason. The recipient of Hoover's message, Ray V. Denslow, later attended a dinner party hosted by former Secretary of Agriculture Arthur M. Hyde in Trenton, Missouri in the early 1930s, where the ex-president was a guest. Denslow recalled a conversation from that evening suggesting Hoover had been interested in joining the Freemasons at one time. Later, Denslow speculated in his memoirs that Hoover desisted from joining the club out of fears that his motives would be misconstrued as "campaign propaganda."
Ray V. Denslow was a fourth generation Freemason and internationally renowned Masonic historian, having written over 20 full volumes and 62 booklets on Masonic subjects. He held extensive positions as a Freemason over his lifetime including Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter R.A.M. of Missouri and as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Missouri. Perhaps his greatest national honor was that of serving as General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, from 1942-46. He was Grand Master of the Knights of the York Cross of Honor in 1949; Grand Sovereign of the Red Cross of Constantine in 1943; Grand Chancellor of the Grand College of Rites; Great Prior of the Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte, U.S.A. in 1952; and Grand Abbot of the Society of Blue Friars at the time of his death. He held almost 100 honorary memberships in Masonic groups stretching from France to the Philippines.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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