Frances Perkins: The Woman Behind the New Deal

Immigration & Impeachment > Immigration

Felix Frankfurter

Letter, with clipping, to Frances Perkins

Typescript, signed, Cambridge, Mass, 27 April 1933

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 4

In this heart-breaking letter sent by her dear friend concerning the Jews of Europe, Felix Frankfurter wrote: “For once in my life I wish that, for a brief period, I were not a Jew. Then I would not have even the appearance of being sectarian in writing you as I have written.”

Gift of Frances Perkins

Letters Received by Frances Perkins

Examples of correspondence concerning Emma Goldman’s admittance to the United States

Various places, 1934

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 73

Of the many letters of support and of outrage received by Perkins in relation to the case of Emma Goldman, these two will serve: a telegram in favor of extending her visa, signed by many members of the University of Chicago faculty, and one in protest (below) to her being admitted to the United States.

Gift of Frances Perkins

Letter from George Rosneberger to Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, January 15, 1934

January 15, 1934

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 73


Edwin I. Stearns

Typed letter, one of many received in the “Whispering Campaign” against Frances Perkins

Caldwell, New Jersey, 13 April 1936

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 104

In this “Personally Written” letter to Perkins, the Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Caldwell, New Jersey, asks “Why have you stopped alien deportations?” calling for her to give a “full biographical statement,” and asking “Why is your official family so filled with subversive jewish personalities?”

Gift of Frances Perkins

“Whispering Campaign” letter

Boston, April 8, 1936

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 104

An anonymous letter to Perkins concerning anti-Semitism, “From One Who Knows.”

Gift of Frances Perkins

Mary E. Wooley

[Testimony on behalf of Frances Perkins]

Typescript with manuscript corrections and additions, [South Hadley, Mass., April, 1936]

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 107

Mount Holyoke President Mary Wooley presented this statement, probably to the House Judiciary Committee, writing: “As a believer in fair play I respectfully request that your committee investigate … who is responsible for the widespread distribution of these false and evidently maliciously intended statements, which for some unknown reason have been directed at an able, honorable and patriotic public official who has made an exceptional record as an administrator and is generally recognized as the most capable Secretary of Labor in the history of that department.”

Gift of Susanna Perkins Coggeshall, 1973


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