My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I must say I admire the rapidity with which the National Sheriffs' Association looks into and tries to clear up any accusation against members of their group. I had been told by some members of Henry Wallace's third party that attendance at Wallace meetings had been interfered with by officers of the law, and that people had been intimidated. I mentioned this statement in a column because, it seems to me, in this country we must uphold the freedom of individuals to attend any meetings that are not subversive meetings.

Though I am opposed to Mr. Wallace, the rights of a third party in this country have always been protected. The right to speak against any ideas held by people in or out of office must remain one of the inalienable rights of every citizen, since it is only through hearing different points of view that our citizens can make up their minds as to what is best for the nations.

The Sheriffs' Association was so outraged at the suggestion that some of their members were not upholding these rights that they immediately started to investigate. They not only answered me, but they answered one of the Washington, D.C. newspapers, which had also printed the accusation made by members of the third party.

The sheriffs' group received a report from the sheriff of Logan County, West Virginia, stating that he had never prevented any meeting. He had disapproved of what was being said but had protected the speakers. He also stated that the names given as deputy sheriffs who had intimidated people were not the names of any deputy sheriffs under him.

I have known Logan County for a long while. In days gone by, it was a bad place for organized labor, and I would not be surprised to find that the average sheriff in that county thought along the lines that would be acceptable to the mine owners of the county. But I would also expect that they would stick very strictly to the letter of the law. Therefore, I think that the Wallace people possibly allowed themselves to be taken in by people who claimed authority that they did not have.

* * *

The last few days we have been having real summer weather here. After the cold spring, it seems unusually hot and the dampness adds to the heat, I think.

Though Monday began as a nice day we had a violent thunderstorm in the afternoon and everything in the woods, when I walked my dogs Tuesday morning, was dripping and puddles stood deep on the roads.

We picnicked by the pool Tuesday, so that everyone could stay as cool as possible up to the moment lunch was ready. I thought even the dogs could be trusted not to run away, but suddenly there was a wild yapping and down along the brook they went. Hours later I got a telephone message to come and get them. They had treed a cat in somebody's yard, two miles down the road.

How does one train Scotties to stay at home, or at least not to go beyond the radius of their own woods?

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL