NOVEMBER 15, 1938
CINCINNATI, Monday—We left Albany last evening. Not having had time all day to read the papers, we spent some going through what news one can assimilate from the voluminous metropolitan press. We woke to the sunny Ohio countryside and the first Ohio paper I looked at while I waited for breakfast in the diner, carried Dorothy Thompson's column.
I cannot somehow believe that under any circumstances in any country it can be good for human nature to deal cruelly and oppressively with any group of people. It seems to me to show such a woeful lack of imagination not to be able to achieve legitimate objectives of orderly government without a procedure which in the end harms most those who carry it out. Dorothy Thompson is right, I think, what is done to people is never so harmful as what people do.
We were greeted in Cincinnati by the Mayor and our lecture sponsors. The press conference was through in record time, and we were driven along the river over a most beautiful road which WPA labor has just made possible. It is such a sleepy, quiet river, one can hardly imagine that it ever gets out of hand. Today, the sun shining on it and the warm autumn air made it seem particularly placid.
We passed the country club and reached what looked like real country places. At first, no one could find the way to my cousin, Mrs. Nicholas Longworth's house, so we drove around aimlessly. Finally, we found a closed gate and there before us was the old house built in 1848. There are still extensive grounds around it and Paulina, who is apparently a born horsewoman and loves animals, showed us a Jerusalem donkey, her own horse and a fat little pony whose usefulness is long past. These animals wander around the grounds entirely free, so that the closed gate really had a reason back of it.
I judge the inside of the house has not been changed since the Eighties. There are many good pieces of furniture of that period and the woodwork is beautifully carved. It is a comfortable house and now it has been made bright and liveable with light walls and chintzes. I am sure there was a period when dark reds and greens predominated and then it must have been very gloomy, but that is no longer the case.
Open fires burned in every room and, though the period of the Eighties is not at present our ideal of architectural beauty, still we must acknowledge that it had quality and real comfort and I enjoyed the house very much. I always enjoy my cousin, for while we may laugh at each other and quarrel with each other's ideas or beliefs, I rather imagine if real trouble came that we might be good allies. Fundamental Roosevelt characteristics gravitate toward each other in times of stress. Now we are back at the hotel and there is apparently no clamor for me to visit anything, so I shall have a lazy afternoon.