My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Wednesday—On the way through New York City this morning I went to the House of Harper and received a copy of my autobiography. It looks much more important than I had ever imagined it would be. Probably seasoned authors get no thrill out of the presentation of the first copy of one of their books, but I am still inexperienced enough to feel a real thrill and to be very proud when Mr. Canfield said that they considered it a good piece of work and were glad to be the publishers. I only hope as it goes on its way in book form that it may give some amusement and some help to those who have the interest and the patience to read it.

It did not require a late vigil last night to get election returns! As usual the Democrats in the village of Hyde Park came down with red fire to meet with my husband on the front porch of his mother's house. There was real cause for rejoicing for our young Democratic supervisor, Elmer Van Wagner, had been reelected and even more astonishing, he had carried four districts in our township, which proves that educating the public and yourself at the same time is a very good idea. I have never heard this young Democrat make a speech about his job as supervisor in which he did not state that he had started out by knowing very little about the job, but in the course of working at the job he had learned a great many things. Then he proceeded to tell his fellow citizens what he had learned which meant that they acquired knowledge with him.

There was great rejoicing too over the election of a Democratic highway commissioner in the township by one vote. Not much margin, but all that was needed!

It seemed as though the rest of the world was forgotten as the old line local Democratic workers rejoiced in their local victories, and a curious picture flashed through my mind of the days long ago about which my husband has told me. When Cleveland was elected the same type of procession visited my husband's father who was an ardent Democrat of his day, at that same spot. I do not remember Mr. James Roosevelt. From his portrait he must have looked very much like many an English country gentleman who loves his outdoor life, his horses and his dogs. At the same time, however, Mr. James Roosevelt was a business man of fine reputation, and he knew the value of knowing his neighbors. He gained through conversations with them many an insight into the problems which served him well in the wider world of business which he touched at many points. I often wish I had known him, for I think he must have had a certain homely philosophy which made some of the older men in the village always speak of him to me with deep appreciation. There must have been a human touch and an ability to pool his interests with theirs, a quality which belongs to no generation or period but is inherent in the man.

E.R.
TMsd 3 November 1937, AERP, FDRL