JULY 8, 1946
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Yesterday was one of those busy days which this quiet country life sometimes brings! Among others, Judge and Mrs. Samuel Dickstein came up from New York City to lunch. They brought me a very lovely painting which I wish with all my heart my husband were here to enjoy. The artist, who gave it to Judge Dickstein, left a little legend pasted on the back. This tells that the picture was painted on order in 1870 for Mr. Edward Delano by an artist in Antwerp, Belgium, and that in 1872 he brought it home to "Algonac," Newburgh, N. Y., which was the home of my husband's grandfather, Warren Delano, whose brother, Edward Delano, lived with him when he was not traveling in different parts of the world.
It is a little mysterious to me how it found its way back into the artist's possession, but I am certainly glad to have it, for as a painting I like it very much. I shall lend it to the library now and then, but for the most part I think I will keep it hanging here and enjoy it for a time at least.
I am most grateful to Judge Dickstein for bringing this painting up and for wanting it eventually to find its home in the library among the other family possessions. Other gifts which the judge presented to my husband are already in the library.
In going through some of my mother-in-law's "stored away in the attic" possessions, which I am gradually unpacking, I found yesterday some of my husband's father's old English-made tweeds. I shall give these to the library also, because there is a date on the maker's label inside the pocket. These handmade tweeds have been in existence more than 50 years! I wonder how many of the materials we are buying today will be found in old trunks, and still have good wear in them, 50 years from now!
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I woke early this morning and was happy to see blue sky and the sun just coming over the trees and shining on my sleeping porch. It seemed a peaceful time to finish reading Howard Fast's "The American." As I closed the last page in the book, I found myself sorry to say goodby to Peter Altgeld1. A truly American product, he developed slowly. He searched all his life for inner satisfaction and, finally, found that when he fought for other people he was fighting the only fight that was really worthwhile.
It is good for us to read this story of the control, through money, that was so completely in the hands of a few people in those earlier days. The government and the people in government positions responded in that era to the strings held by the men of great wealth. Human nature being what it is, and education having to take place all over again in every generation, it is well to read this record—so interestingly presented in this book. The people may not be as easily fooled today as they were then. But their freedom depends on their constant vigilance and understanding, and on their courage.