My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

ASHEVILLE, N.C., [originally: :] Wednesday—Those wild flowers were as lovely as they said they would be! Mr. Eakin, who is superintendent of the Great Smoky National Park, drove us up a road made by the CCC boys where an old logging trail had once been, and we found whole hillsides carpeted with wild flowers—white and purple and pale blue. On the way back we stopped to look at quite an extraordinary stone bridge which the CCC boys are building, and one of Mr. Rowan's young WPA artists presented me with a charming pen and ink sketch for the President.

Back at the hotel we bade goodbye to our kind hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Andy Huff, and started on a longer drive to Clingmans Dome. As we climbed it got steadily colder, and soon we saw patches of snow under the trees and under the rhododendron bushes. By the time we reached the top it was beginning to cloud up, but we could still get the sweep of the mountain ranges rising one above the other as far as the eye could reach. We came down into the Cherokee Reservation, and I was reminded of the very lovely story which Mr. Lawrence, secretary of Cherokee Tsali Foundation, wrote me. They wish to erect a monument to Cherokee Tsali's memory. The only reason this tribe is still on this reservation is that Tsali with his sons came in to suffer the penalty of death because of the killing of a federal soldier, on condition that the rest of his people should be spared and allowed to remain in this territory. The whole story has, I believe, been told in Collier's Weekly of February 20 by Herbert Sass, but as I looked at some of their craft work today I thought that Tsali's spirit must be content that his sacrifice had brought at least some measure of security to his people.

We stopped only long enough for a cup of coffee, around 2:30, for we found that winding roads made our progress rather slow. I had very pleasant memories of the Grove Park Inn, in Asheville, so we went there for the night, getting in about 5 o'clock. The view from our windows out over the golf course is very pleasing, and the hotel itself is a most restful spot. This morning we went through the industries. This is being written before we start on our way further South, for, as usual, we are none too sure of our resting place or the hour when we shall stop driving. During the past three days I think we have been asked to visit at least a dozen places, and I only wish that I had the time to tarry along the way and see all the things that people are anxious to show us and accept all the hospitality which is offered with such true Southern warmth. Unfortunately, however, our time is limited, and there are just a few things that I had planned to do. If I tried to do everything, I am afraid this would cease to be a vacation and become a very strenuous journey.

E.R.
TMsd 14 April 1937, AERP, FDRL