Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 245

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(1898 - 1972) Democratic congressman from Massachusetts (1943 - 1971). A large collection of letters, documents, telegrams, and retained correspondence (approx 300-400 pp.) dating between 1943 and 1950. Correspondents include J. EDGAR HOOVER T.L.S. 1p. 4to., Washington, July 1, 1947 thanking Philbin for his support of a bill "liberalizing retirement benefits for Special Agents of this Bureau..."; JAMES FORRESTAL, T.L.S., July 21, 1943; ARCHDUKE FELIX OF AUSTRIA, T.L.S., Jan. 10, 1948; Massachusetts governor, ROBERT T. BRADFORD T.L.S. Sept.2 3, 1948. Other correspondents include, J. E. RANKIN, DAVID WALSH, JOSEPH W. MARTIN, JR., JOHN W. MCCORMACK and numerous other congressmen and executive branch officials concerning a variety of matters of concern to Philbin's constituents including a good deal of correspondence relative to the downsizing of the Boston Navy Yard. On that subject, apart from letters from union officials and interested locals is a T.L.S. by Defense Secretary LOUIS JOHNSON, 2pp. 4to., Washington, Nov. 9, 1949 defending the department's actions noting that Boston was not the only port impacted by the cutbacks: "...I can understand and appreciate your sincere concern for the welfare of the naval civilian employees in the Boston Area. You may be assured that we have done and are doing the very best we can to adjust the desires and demands for employment among the various interested States... consistent with overall strategic requirements...". Of all the correspondence, one letter does merit an extended quotation here. On Apr. 3, 1945, a Wisconsin man wrote to Philbin complaining that he had been falsely imprisoned in a mental institution against his will and subjected to abuse. He writes, in good part: "Six years ago I was a postmaster in my home town... In the latter part of July , 1939, I went to Fort Snelling of my own free will for an examination for what I thought might possibly be gall-stones. Certain people from my home town, in collusion with a few at the Fort Snelling hospital fooled me into the psychopathic ward, by pretending that it was 'just for now', thus leading me to believe that all other space in the hospital was filled. After I undressed, the door was locked, my clothes having been taken to some other part of the building, and a gang started with what they termed a ku-kluxing. I was then subjected to every form of undescribable [sic] and immoral abuse that it was possible for depraved minds to devise. They even went so far as to get two prostitutes who practiced the most unspeakable filth with their mouths and transferred 'records' from them to me because, in their estimation, that would best describe my social standing. To this unspeakable filth I was subjected for more than a month. Then I was brought to this place and further abuse was heaped upon me. To my knowledge no legal action had been taken, as, of course there were no grounds for such. Recently I found out that the 'ku-kluxers' at Fort Snelling had had me 'committed' to this place by the Hennepin County, Minnesota, Probate Court. They entered on the record that I was 'unable to appear.' Of course that might be considered partly true, since I knew nothing of it... You certainly know what sort of places are these mental 'hospitals,'... I am in the position of not being able to prove that I am sane, and therefore cannot obtain my release from these 'mental experts,' and sex racketeers. The only treatment I get is what the doctors term a 'rowling' and I think I understand what that means. I do not have the time not to write a full description of the maltreatment administered to me, nor could I send it through the mails as it would be too obscene... " A superb collection worthy of further research. Overall condition very good with the usual folds, many pages stapled, some marginal tears etc.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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