My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON—Why does plowing begin so late in Virginia? Perhaps the majority of people along the River Road which we followed yesterday, are fishermen. In any case there were few people in the fields. We noticed that oysters are as much advertised as clams are along the New England roads. Beautiful as the countryside is, the land looked to me poor, except in the case of some of the big plantations which we passed where evidently more intelligent use of the land is being practiced.

Great strides have been made in Williamsburg since I was there before—the college campus with the beautifully restored Christopher Wren building, with its garden at the back where trees are planted giving promise of shaded walks in the future, the street itself with its stores and theatre all are most interesting. The Governor's Palace I think attracts me more than anything else because the garden is so enchanting and the kitchen with two old colored women sitting in it, and a fire burning the hearth gives one a sense of real living. How much luxury the rich had in those days and yet how much discomfort there was all about them! Even the Governor had to cross a courtyard to reach his bath which was sunken basin of brick in a little round house and how they ever got any hot food from the kitchen to the state dining room is a mystery but then it is also a mystery to me at Mt. Vernon.

The jail is one of the things I had not seen before and with a little age it will seem more real! We did our sightseeing before six o'clock and then Miss Dickerman, Miss Goodwin and five girls from Todhunter met us for dinner. We spent a pleasant evening together.

We breakfasted at seven-thirty this morning and started for Washington at ten minutes past eight. We came back via Richmond which is a little shorter and were back in plenty of time to dress and greet our luncheon guests, Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Hasbrouck and their two children from New York, and three young men who are working here in various departments.

This afternoon the Pen Women and Composer Group are to come to tea and give a program at four o'clock so the day is a busy one.

A huge basket of Bluebonnet from the Department of Information of the Texas Centennial Celebration has just arrived—they are lovely even in a vase, what must they be growing wild in the fields!

E.R.
TMsd 17 April 1936, AERP, FDRL