December 26, 1929 – Peabody to FDR

  • December 26, 1929 – Peabody to FDR-

Dear Governor:

I presume the Reservation officials have not taken occasion to send you any photographs of the performance of the recent sleet storm in this territory where the State has so large an interest and where the people of the State have so great undeveloped service awaiting the proper action of your representatives.

I think possibly you and your children and your gracious mother as well as your ever alert Ladye may be interested to see these photographs of some of the conditions hereabout at Yaddo. We have many thousands of branches from many hundreds of trees wrecked and there will be work for many laborers during the Spring months when Jack Frost will be made to release his grip. I was puzzled to see in the paper they had a thaw which caused the Ausable to overflow on this [?plato] of ours. We would have been glad of a thaw.

I thank you for your word about the Apperson letter. I think our friend, Agar, is alas too legalistic in his state of mind about our great State Park and Forest. I think he should have given Godfrey Dewey a chance to talk with him of the subject in detail.

I think you will find this response from Mr. Rosenwald’s Secretary encouraging. Perhaps you will pass it on to Mr. O’Connor. I have not yet heard from him as to the matter of paying off the indebtedness. The notes with your endorsement bearing six percent interest, of course, are the best investment the Foundation can make. I confess I shall be very glad when all of these instruments with your personal endorsement are withdrawn from the too many holders who still have them. Perhaps, however, the cash so far received has not been sufficient to cover all the indebtedness.

I have deeply graven in my heart that you will do well to follow Charles Osborne much more closely than Mr. Kieb or Mr. Lawes. I cannot rid myself of the feeling that in this issue you have a great opportunity to make an undying reputation which I long for you to have for the sake of all the betterment it will be for the long future.

I think I this one case, as in the case of slavery that the whole citizenship is degraded by the unchristian and inhuman methods of dealing with the prisoners. Slavery was worse for the owners than for the slaves. This treatment of prisoners is worse for the citizens than the prisoners I feel. I cannot believe that Chandler in forty eight hours could justify any such opposition to Osborne’s life-long and profoundly interested observation.

May the Season’s fullest blessing abound to you and yours on this Eve of a Great New Year for New York State.