Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 11th Visit to Georgia
February 28 - May 3, 1928
Roosevelt had finally convinced his mother to once again visit Warm Springs, and was having a cottage built especially for her. He even went on a shopping excursion to Atlanta to buy furniture. From there he wrote her on March 17:
“. . . I came up here last night with a party to buy furniture! Your cottage, Missy’s cottage, Mrs. Pattison’s and Mrs. Curtis’! They are all in the process of erection, and when you get here in April you will see yours up, though probably not finished till about the first of May.
“Kitty Gandy has come and swears at the weather and everything else, but her language is worse than she is! She looks forward much to your coming, and by that time I hope the rain will really be over. They have had a lot of it all over the South, even Florida, for this past month. . . . I’m so looking forward to having you and crazy to have you see all we’ve done,—53 patients with us now, and accommodations for 12 more will be ready in April. We have a ‘waiting list’ now, and we are coming out a little better than even on operating expenses. The Edsel Fords were with the Piersons for a week and I like them both very much. He gave me a fine checque for the Foundation yesterday. . . .” Source: Elliott Roosevelt (ed.), F.D.R.: His Personal Letters 1928-1945, (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1950), p. 633-4.
The Piersons, from Detroit, had taken over the cottage first occupied by Roosevelt on his initial visit to Warm Springs in 1924. There was good reason for Roosevelt to emphasize the word ‘fine’ in referring to Edsel Ford’s check—it was for $25,000! Ford sent with a note saying:
“Mrs. Ford and I are deeply impressed with the wonderful work which is being carried out here at Warm Springs and we would like to do something towards the development. I am sending herewith a check for twenty-five thousand dollars which I hope you will accept for the Foundation with our best wishes for its complete success. . . .” Source: F.D.R.: His Personal Letters 1928-1945, (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1950), p. 634-5.
The Ford donation was used to construct a glass enclosed pool for the use of Warm Springs patients and helped spur the Foundation on to greater growth. With the Foundation firmly established, Roosevelt was able to devote more thoughts to politics—and to the possibility of becoming actively involved again. On April 1 he wrote his mother:
“. . . [I]f Smith is nominated, as probably will be, I shall have to do a lot of organizing work in July and the first part of August, with little time at Hyde Park. . . . Those talked-of plans for the following summer are merely theoretical. I doubt very much if I go over [to Europe], for I cannot see the object of sitting around hotels in Europe while the others ‘sight see’ and I can get more good out of Warm Springs than any place like Nauheim. You will see a big gain when you come next week I think! . . .” Source: F.D.R.: His Personal Letters 1928-1945, (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1950), p. 634-5.
“Smith” in the letter above referred to Al Smith, then governor of New York and Democratic candidate for President. Smith was indeed the nominee at the convention in Houston, with Roosevelt putting his name into nomination.