James Evans to Eleanor Roosevelt

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James Evans to Eleanor Roosevelt

7 May 1946 [Haverford, PA]

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

Your reply of April 18th to my letter of March 28th looks a good deal like an evasive "brush off".2 Whether you think my letter sounded very Christian or not has little to do with the case discussed. But since you question the Christianity of my motive it might be well to remember that Christ never dodged an issue.

I naturally supposed that as a Columnist you would be prepared unequivocally to defend your published opinions. As the opinions you expressed in "My Day" of March 7th, seemed to warrant certain inferences which were not clearly expressed although they seemed fairly deductable and which are definitely related to a question which you yourself characterized as one of primary importance to the people of the United States, I felt at liberty to suggest to you a clarification of your meaning and an explicit declaration as to where you stand on the problem of interracial marriage in this country—particularly as between Negroes and Whites. Instead of frankly replying to this question you preferred curtly to question the sincerity and morality of my purpose in asking it.

That the problem is acute is amply evinced by the incidents frequently publicized in the daily press of which the enclosed clipping is an illuminating instance.3

If you wish to avoid an explanation of your position on this acute problem to the public whom you venture to criticize so harshly and whom you so confidently presume to instruct in your widely published utterances, that of course is your own affair.

                                        Very truly yours,

                                        James D. Evans

TLS AERP, FDRL

ER replied six days later, in a letter she dictated, to make it clear to Evans that she "had made the declaration before in two articles at least."4