Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: March 15-21

March 20, 1941

“WASHINGTON, Wednesday —…Sometimes I think a few people are becoming a trifle hysterical. To bear this out, I shall quote here a few lines from a letter which I have just received from a lady. There is nothing peculiar about this letter. The writer just assails the President and the present Administration and, incidentally, me, for starving the little children of the democracies of Europe. It demands a negotiated peace with Hitler and says it is no more possible to restore the conquered nations in Europe to their freedom than it would be to restore to England her original Thirteen Colonies.

She assures me that she is of British descent, with Huguenot blood running in her veins, that she is a Colonial Dame, and a member of the Order of the Descendants of Colonial Governors. She even dares to identify herself further as having four Colonial Governors of Carolina on her badge.

All this to prove that she is no Nazi-lover, but for America first and that she does not wish to police the world. She ends with her personal, not very flattering, appraisal of the President.

Nothing in this letter, of course, is very odd. Just from my point of view, it is untrue. There is no reason in the world, however, why she should not express her opinions, no reason why she should not write the letter and no one would question her right to do so. But here comes the hysterical line: “I dare not sign my name for fear of a concentration camp.” I haven’t yet heard of any, have you?”