Eleanor Roosevelt to Frances Perkins

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Frances Perkins

4 October 1948 [Paris]

Dear Frances:

I haven't actually endorsed Mr. Truman because he has been such a weak and vacillating person and made such poor appointments in his Cabinet and entourage, such as Snyder and Vaughan, that unless we are successful in electing a very strong group of liberals in Congress, in spite of my feelings about the Republican Party and Governor Dewey, I can not have much enthusiasm for Mr. Truman.4 Though there are many people in the government that I would hate to feel would not be allowed to continue their work, I still find it very difficult to give any good reasons for being for Mr. Truman.

That is why I told him the last time I saw him, that I was keeping completely inactive in partisan politics, though I would say in my column that I am a Democrat and voting the Democratic ticket, and I would write what I could that would help the Democratic Party.5

Nevertheless, since you asked me to send you the enclosed letter, I am doing so because you are quite right, if we are going down to defeat, we probably should go down having done what we could for the candidate and we should try for a good vote. I have addressed my letter to the President as being the most effective way.



Once Truman received ER's letter, he sought her permission to make it public. She telegraphed "glad have you use any way you wish." Within a week, the letter was prominently incorporated into his print advertising campaign. For example, New York City's Liberal Party made it the focus of its advertisement in the November 1 New York Times.6

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Frances Perkins

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Frances Perkins