Hoover, Herbert


1953 TLS in which the Quaker-raised Hoover declines a Friends Academy invitation as he is overburdened with new tasks


Type: Letter

(1874-1964) Mining engineer in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia1 895-1913, Secretary of Commerce 1921-28 (Harding-Coolidge), President of the US 1929-33 (Republican), his administration most noted for The Great Depression.

Although raised a Quaker, as an adult he rarely attended Meetings, but he held fast the Quaker tenets: the power of the individual, the importance of freedom, and the value of charity. He strongly believed in public service. In 1914, he helped organize the evacuation of 120,000 Americans stranded in Europe. When Germany invaded neutral Belgium, by October 1914, food supplies in Belgium were nearly exhausted. Hoover was asked to lead the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB). By mid-November, food supplies reached all occupied Belgium, and there was no catastrophic famine from that point forward. Hoover gained global fame as the “Great Humanitarian” for creating an unprecedented organization that fed 10 million civilians for 5 years in the midst of a war. In 1917, he was named to head the US Food Administration which guided efforts to conserve resources and supplies and feed our European allies: to “Hooverize” meant to economize on food. Within a year, the US doubled its food shipments to Europe. After the November 1918 Armistice, President Wilson appointed him to head the European Relief and Rehabilitation Administration; Hoover channeled 34 million tons of US food, clothing and supplies to war-torn Europe.

TLS on 10 ½ x 7 ¼ personal letterhead from his Waldorf-Astoria Towers residence, NYC, November 28 1953, to James Rieger, Friends Academy, Locust Valley, New York. Hoover has Rieger’s letter and appreciates his cordial invitation which he regretfully declines: “…I am even now so overburdened with my new tasks that I cannot undertake any additional obligations.”  Hoover returned to public service in the 1950s, serving on commissions aimed at increasing government efficiency for presidents Truman and Eisenhower. With stamped envelope.

Friends Academy is a Quaker, independent college preparatory school serving students from nursery school through 12th grade, located in Locust Valley, New York. It was founded in 1876 by 78-year-old Gideon Frost for “The children of Friends and those similarly sentimented”. Originally named Friends College, Friends Academy teaches Quaker Values and believes that in teaching Quaker Values, students will mold their minds and personalities to match the values they teach. Quaker Values mainly reflect on truth, morality, and conscience as believed by the Quakers themselves. Students and faculty attend the Matinecock Meeting House weekly to attend “Meeting for Worship”, a Quaker tradition where the students and faculty sit silently to reflect.

Condition: Very good, 2 mail folds


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