JANUARY 8, 1954
NEW YORK, Thursday—Monday evening at a dinner which Mrs. Dick Sporborg gave for me, I was presented by Dr. de Sola Pool with a most interesting volume called "Portraits Etched in Stone—Early Jewish Settlers, 1682 to 1831". This volume covers much of the early history of New York City.
The Jewish people have been among the earliest settlers in our country. On October 12, 1492, Luis de Torres was the first Jew to land from Columbus' caravel Santa Maria and he gave thanks to God for having safely crossed the uncharted seas. There were other Jews in the crew and from that time on their people were a part of all the settlements of this continent.
The history of New York City includes the story of many Jews and interwined with their story is that of many other New York families, among them my own Roosevelt ancestors.
Dr. de Sola Pool tells the story of the old Chatham Square Cemetery and in the book there is a picture of it in the early 20th Century. In presenting the book to me he told the story, too, of the friendliness that existed between some of the early Roosevelts, among them Isaac, who helped to ratify the Constitution of the State of New York and who was my husband's direct ancestor.
The Roosevelts owned farms and land in this area and were connected in this way with the acquisition of this first Jewish cemetery in Chatham Square. The tablet over the cemetery reads:
The First Jewish Cemetery
in the United States
consecrated in the year
When it Was Described As "Outside the City"
It was Fortified by the Patriots
As One of The Defenses of the City
The American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society
The American Jewish Historic Society
I was delighted to have a volume presented to the Library at Hyde Park because I know it will be a great addition. I knew that I was to receive this book before the dinner, but I had a surprise when Mrs. Sporborg presented me with a beautifully bound book containing the names of all those present who had made a contribution to the American Association of the U.N. because of my interest and work there at the present time.
Back at the Association office, I was glad to find that a great many chapters had complied with our request and made budgets for the coming year and plans to raise the budget. Only one chapter felt that the central office should carry some of their responsibilities. I feel that it is essential that all chapters raise their own budgets, since it is only as people feel personal responsibility that they will come to really study the United Nations and try to support it through the organization of which they are a part.