December 20, 1929 – Peabody to JSA (copy to FDR)

  • December 20, 1929 – Peabody to JSA (copied to FDR)

Dear Mr. Apperson:

Thank you for your letter of December 14th which I find upon returning from New York.

I appreciate the kind suggestion of Dr. Langmuir and yourself but I must get out of things and not get in. In spite of my not feeling it, I have to remember my physician’s counsel of caution as a proper basis in my near approach to my eighth decade and I must decline to be tempted by too many interests and sympathy.

I note your report to the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks in my copy of their minutes. I fear I cannot go with you in your opposition to my friend Godfrey Dewey’s plans for a suitable provision to welcome the international winter sports group. I think it would have been worthwhile to have had a personal interview with Dr. Godfrey Dewey before you took this stand. I have been sorry to have been unable to attend any of the meetings of the Association during the period of the discussion of this subject.

I think my friend, Mr. Agar, is legalistic in this as was my friend, Louis Marshall, to my mind. I think the Constitutional provision is too drastic in the matter of the forests and while it has held so far, I have the feeling that there are some permanent sources of damage to the State as a result. For instance, I think it was a misfortune that the Supreme Court of the United State held that the railroad connection between North Creek and Tupper Lake, which was proposed for the Ottowa and New York Railroad, could not be made. As a consequence, the New York Central bottled up that outlet from Tupper Lake to Ottowa and the development of a short line has been apparently permanently prevented. I am confident it would have had advantages from many points of view and no real hindrance with oil burning locomotives. It has, also, made more expensive the future development of the very valuable iron mines which would have been opened up to the markets by the construction of this road.

I believe winter sports of very important value to the general industrial and financial leadership of the country and I think the coming of the international contest would have helped the country as against the unfortunate tendancy, as I think, to keep soft by going to Florida and Southern climes.

Of course you believe in winter sports and practice them but Lake George does not make them known and develop their popularity. Lake Placid has and does. As far as I understand it, you are wrong in your judgment as to the alternative possibility on private lands. If you had talked with Dr. Godfrey Dewey, I believe you would have had a clearer concept of the situation. It is my opinion that the Governor has been right in his sympathies respecting this legislation. I think it was a mistake legally to make the test on this issue.

I am

Very truly yours,

George Foster Peabody