Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Hoover, Herbert (1874-1964) to Henry L. Stoddard

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00782.10 Author/Creator: Hoover, Herbert (1874-1964) Place Written: s.l. Type: Typed letter signed Date: 8 July 1933 Pagination: 2 p. ; 26 x 18.5 cm.

A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00782.10 Author/Creator: Hoover, Herbert (1874-1964) Place Written: s.l. Type: Typed letter signed Date: 8 July 1933 Pagination: 2 p. ; 26 x 18.5 cm.

Summary of Content: In a letter marked "Personal," Hoover writes critically about President Roosevelt and the New Deal. Comments on an economic conference and going off the gold standard. Provides a list of "misrepresentations and illusions held out from Washington" about New Deal policies that the American public is being fooled by, most of them pertaining to economic matters. Decries a lack of "encouragement to individual prudence and thrift, any encouragement to any holding to moral anchors in all of this situation" and blames it on the New Deal, an era "where white rabbits please and thrill the audience." Typed on personal stationery.

Full Transcript: July 8, 1933
My dear Stoddard:
It seems like purely historical reminiscences apparently have no purpose in the world, but at least is an interesting exercise.
Had Mr. Roosevelt acceded to my ...strong recommendation, the Economic Conference would have been held much earlier, and had he adhered to his own promises and to my urging we never would have gone off the gold standard. The Conference would have been entered upon with the United States as a member of the Gold Bloc and able to force the other countries on the gold standard, with the corresponding rise in prices from a sound and enduring foundation.
I am filled with constant wonder as to how long the American people will continue to be fooled by the constant misrepresentations and illusions held out from Washington: the illusion that the currencies of the world were to be stabilized; the illusion of the tariff truce; the illusion of the reduction of the tariff; the illusion of the balancing of the budget; the illusion of Government economies; the illusion of the "emergency" character of this regimentation of men; the illusion that more cloth can be found in the bolt by changing the measuring stick; the illusion that the recovery which has not taken place is due to promises and not to fundamental forces which have been held back by Democratic political action in the spring of 1932 and again in the early winter of 1933; the illusion that the moral fibre of America can be maintained by repudiation of [2] contracts; the illusion that speculation means a gain in national wealth; the illusion that destruction of competition will make for progress; the illusion that to restrict production will increase national resources; and a thousand petty illusions promulgated through the press day by day.
Honesty and frankness in Government seem to have flown, because the American people shrink the fortitude necessary to face realities and have love of illusions.
I often wonder if anyone has stopped to consider today whether there is any encouragement to individual prudence and thrift, any encouragement to any holding to moral anchors in all of this situation. But we are in the new era - the era of a new deal where white rabbits please and thrill the audience.
A few days ago in a contemplative mood I dictated the enclosed note. I would be glad to know whether your vast experience in history and life would lead you to corroborate it. I would like to know.

Yours faithfully,
Herbert Hoover

Henry L. Stoddard, Esq.,
280 Broadway
New York City
See More

People: Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
Stoddard, Henry L. (Henry Luther)., 1861-1947
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 1882-1945

Historical Era: Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945

Subjects: New DealPresidentGreat DepressionEconomicsFinanceCoins and CurrencyBankingPoliticsMorality and Ethics

Sub Era: The Great Depression

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources