HERBERT CLARK HOOVER (August,
10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was the 31st President of the
United States. Hoover was raised as a Quaker. He served as the Secretary
of Commerce under Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge in the
1920s, promoting partnerships between government and business. Hoover
easily won the Republican nomination in the presidential race of 1928.
He believed strongly in the Efficiency Movement, which held that the government and the economy were riddled with inefficiency and waste and could be improved by experts who could identify and solve problems. He also believed in the importance of volunteerism and the role of individuals in society and the economy. Hoover donated his presidential salary. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 struck less than eight months after he was elected. The economy eventually plummeted and unemployment reached 25%, setting the stage for his defeat in 1932.
CARROLL W. DOTEN was a Professor of Economics and Statistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when Hoover was Secretary of Commerce. Hoover appointed Doten to the Advisory Committee on Statistics to the Department of Commerce. He was also appointed to the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts State Recover Board of the National Recovery Administration.
Offered is a four-letter archive, spanning from 1922 to 1941, which ties in nicely with the history of Hoover’s philosophy, the National Recovery Administration, established during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration to aid the nation through the great depression and the unemployment crisis.
Hoover writes to Doten on June 5, 1922, in a one-page TLS:
“I have the pleasure of transmitting to you a letter from the President [not present] expressing his gratitude for the service that you have given to the Federal Government in the cooperative measures taken for the alleviation of unemployment. The business tide has turned and unemployment is decreasing so rapidly that we have safely passed the crisis. Many of the community committees inaugurated by the Conference have settled themselves into permanent bodies for the better care of employment and unemployment in industry. Furthermore, the studies in fundamental questions inaugurated under sub-committees by the Unemployment Conference are making good progress, and these measures together with the experience gained during this winter should all give continuing results of constructive character in dealing with these problems of the future.
Doten kept the communication going with public officials for many years.
On January 10, 1931, Congressman John Garner of Texas wrote a brief letter to him acknowledging a letter Doten had sent.
On December 11, 1933, Edward A. Filene, Chairman of the National Recovery Administration, a program of Franklin Roosevelt’s administration, wrote to Doten, on NRA letterhead:
“It is a pleasure indeed to inform you that the Executive Committee today appointed you the Washington Representative of the Massachusetts State Recovery Board.
“Your function, - and you can be of great service to us, - will be that of liaison agent between this Board and officials in Washington, which, we trust, will be as pleasurable to you as it will be useful to us.
“Yours very truly,
“Edward A. Filene”
On January 27, 1941, Sen. George D. Aiken of Vermont wrote to Doten:
“Custom here in the Senate decrees that new senators not make speeches or use the Congressional Record too often until they know their way around better and since I am the newest senator, I do not feel that I should insert your letter to the Times in the Record at this time. However, I appreciate your good wishes and your calling it to my attention and in the future if you have anything you wish to say of this nature, I will be very glad to give it my attention.
“Very sincerely yours,
“George D. Aiken”
Folds, toning. The NRA letter has deeper toning at a couple folds and minor foxing. Otherwise in very good condition and an archive tracking an important time in the nation’s history.
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