Autograph Typed Letter, Signed "Eleanor Roosevelt" to Louise Lazell, Policy Reader for the Women's Division of the Federal Writers Project. Eleanor Roosevelt.
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"I HOPE THAT WHEN 1940 COMES I CAN BE A PRIVATE CITIZEN"

Autograph Typed Letter, Signed "Eleanor Roosevelt" to Louise Lazell, Policy Reader for the Women's Division of the Federal Writers Project.

Washington, D.C: September 2, 1937.

1p. with postscript in holograph, on White House letterhead. 8vo. "I HOPE THAT WHEN 1940 COMES I CAN BE A PRIVATE CITIZEN" Old folds, else fine. Item #309416

Described as a “friendly, though not very close, acquaintanceship,” Eleanor Roosevelt and Louise Lazell, none the less, carried on regular correspondence between 1933 and at least 1941. In this letter, written during FDR’s second term, Eleanor Roosevelt hints at her desire to be free of her role as first lady when the term is over. Reading: “Thank you very much for your letter, but I certainly have no desire to lead anything, except as I get involved in things which I cannot avoid! [Exclamation mark in holograph.] You are most kind to feel that I have so much influence and I hope that when 1940 comes that I can be a private citizen again and entirely off the record.” Postscript in holograph, reading: "Your last letter came t-day & I will write Mrs. Jones”

At Eleanor Roosevelt’s behest, Louise Lazell was hired as a speech writer for the women’s division of the Democratic National Committee in 1935. She was later employed at the Good Neighbor League, which was incorporated in 1936, to aid in the re-election campaign of President Roosevelt by emphasizing social and economic progress achieved under the New Deal, before being hired by Ellen Woodward, head of the Women’s and Professional Division of the Federal Writers Project, as a Policy Reader, where she devoted herself to censoring actual or potential Communist propaganda, particularly in the WPA’s state guide books. In 1938, Lazell gave damning testimony against her boss, Henry Alsberg, and other national editors, naming states that turned in Communist and inflammatory material and claiming that Alsberg shaped propaganda that incited class hatred, condemned buiness and industry and were blatantly pro-labor.

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