Description

    Raymond C. Moley, Leader of Franklin Roosevelt's "Brain Trust": Personal Archive. This is a major collection, over one hundred hand-written letters penned by the man who coined the term "New Deal," Raymond C. Moley, as well as numerous newspaper clippings, and Western Union telegrams concerning Moley's activities and policies, including a first person report to his wife Eve from the 1932 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where Moley discusses his activities in support of FDR, the political intrigue, and his writing of the convention nomination acceptance speech where FDR first proclaimed, "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people" as well as first person reports from the 1936 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

    The letters span a period between 1932 and 1937, as well as letters and other materials from later in Moley's life in the 1950s, and report on many aspects of Moley's work on behalf of FDR, and his personal opinions about the President and his policies, of whom and which Moley became increasingly critical in his handwritten correspondences to his wife.

    Among the letters is an original carbon of his 17 page typewritten letter to FDR dated November 30, 1935, which accompanies a handwritten letter to his wife about the conditions that brought about the letter. Moley writes in his own hand: "It is really the most carefully written thing I ever did. If anything will straighten him out it will-if not I must live with my conscience and continue to criticize him. This European business is too terribly serious for anyone to hesitate if as it seems to me our foreign affairs are being bungled. I will break completely before I go along with another futile and mistaken war. My suspicion is that in a sort of irresponsible mood of wanting to play high politics he wants an entente with England over this Italian business in order to get England's help in a Japanese war and my indignant reaction to that is that we are not going to have any war with Japan unless we get ourselves into England's game in China. We have nothing to gain or protect there and we had better mind our business...You can well realize that this is taking a lot of thought and courage but I feel so deeply on it that I am willing to give up the very pleasant intimacy with this F.D.R. for the much more important job of awakening people to the dangers in the conduct of the diplomats of late." As a postscript, Moley writes to his wife: "p.s., Better burn this letter and the letter to F.D.R. The Japanese reference is pretty bad and the whole thing should not get out." Eve Moley did not burn this letter or the 17-page carbon, and in so doing saved it for posterity. In the last paragraph of the 17 page typewritten letter to FDR, the original carbon of which accompanies Moley's handwritten letter to Eve, he states to the President: "When I must disagree with any of them I share a feeling that the V.P. expressed to me on one occasion last winter. He said, 'I love this man in The White House because he is for so many things that I have always hoped for and believed in. And when he does things that I don't believe in I love him enough to tell him the truth.'"

    This collection was obtained directly from the person who bought the home in Berea, Ohio where Raymond C. Moley was born and raised. According to the source of this historic document, "it was up in the rafters of a long deteriorating garage that is leaning way to one side, an eyesore for years to the neighbors in that Berea neighborhood who tried and tried to have it razed. There was a wooden crate that had been broken into by mice, squirrels and raccoons who at one time or another had all built nests in the papers and books inside. Because of its placement in the crate, [the papers] survived. When I emptied everything out of there, fully one quarter of the crate was filled with finely-chewed pieces of wood and newspaper."

    Raymond Charles Moley (1886-1975) was an American political economist. He was born in Berea, Ohio, and graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College, 1906, Ph.D. Columbia, 1918. He taught at Western Reserve University (1916-1919) and at Columbia after 1923, becoming professor of public law (1928) and an expert on the treatment of criminals. He was an economic adviser to New York Governor Alfred E. Smith and became a central figure in the Brain Trust, a group of advisers to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. After FDR was elected President, Moley served (1933) as Assistant Secretary of State and delegate to the World Economic Conference at London, resigning because he felt that FDR did not support him. As editor of Today (1933-1937) and later associate editor of Newsweek, he energetically criticized Roosevelt's administration. He wrote much on government, the treatment of criminals, and politics. His writings include After Seven Years (1939), which deals with the Roosevelt administration, 27 Masters of Politics (1949), The Republican Opportunity (1962), and The First New Deal, with E. A. Rosen (1966).

    Moley's began close association with Franklin Roosevelt while the latter was Governor of New York. Moley first attained national prominence through the Cleveland Foundation's sponsorship of a survey of the city's administration of justice. He gave prestige to the project by recruiting the services of Roscoe Pound and Felix Frankfurter of the Harvard Law School. The resulting Cleveland Crime Survey (1922) served as a model for other cities and states for a decade. Moley's developing reputation, and probably also his interest in the political education of women, brought him to the attention of the dean of Barnard College, Virginia Gildersleeve, and in 1923 he was appointed to the faculty of that institution. Moley directed crime surveys in Missouri and Illinois in the 1920s, resulting in the publication of Politics and Criminal Prosecution (1928) and Our Criminal Courts (1930). Appointment in 1926 as research director of the New York State Crime Commission resulted in his acquaintance with Louis McHenry Howe, FDR's political mentor, who was then serving as executive secretary of the National Crime Commission. Moley's first encounter with Roosevelt came in connection with Moley's authorship of an address on the administration of justice delivered during FDR's 1928 gubernatorial campaign in New York. The political scientist's reputation in the field led to his appointment as research director in the investigation of New York City's magistrates' courts and their enforcement of the criminal law, the first of the famous Seabury investigations.

    Moley was convinced that Roosevelt would be the Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 1932, and he offered his services to the Governor in early January. Their collaboration, soon after, on a statement explaining the third Seabury investigation, demonstrated Moley's talents as a writer. Taciturnity and the ability to organize and simplify technical material also added to the academician's appeal to Roosevelt, who was facing a heavy speaking schedule in the Presidential campaign.

    Moley recruited fellow Columbia professors to form the "Brain Trust" to advise Roosevelt during his presidential campaign of 1932. Despite ridicule from editorial and political cartoonists, the "Brain Trust" went to Washington and became powerful figures in Roosevelt's New Deal. Indeed, Moley claims credit for inventing the term "New Deal," though its precise provenance remains open to debate. Praising the new president's first moves in March 1933, Moley concluded that capitalism "was saved in eight days." He wrote the majority of Roosevelt's first inaugural address, although he is not credited with penning the famous line, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

    He broke with Roosevelt in mid-1933 and became a Republican. As a columnist for Newsweek magazine, he became one of the best-known conservative critics of the New Deal and liberalism in general. For example, he likened Roosevelt to "the fairy-story prince who didn't know how to shudder. Not even the realization that he was playing ninepins with the skulls and thighbones of economic orthodoxy seemed to worry him." Moley's After Seven Years (New York: 1939) was one of the first in-depth attacks on the New Deal and remains one of the most powerful.

    He established a lifelong friendship with Herbert Hoover and then published After Seven Years (1939), an acerbic memoir of his association with Roosevelt. Intended to forestall a third-term bid, it argued that there had been a mid-course shift in the New Deal years from economic coordination to business hostility. Moley endorsed Wendell L. Willkie in 1940. In subsequent years he served as an occasional adviser to Republican Party aspirants, including Robert A. Taft, Barry Goldwater, and Richard Nixon. In 1964 he authored The Republican Opportunity in 1964, an attack on enlarged federal power, which was followed in 1966 by The First New Deal, a detailed analysis of his public service. In his twilight years, Moley published a biography of the Irish patriot Daniel O'Connell (1974), a lifelong hero, and retired to Phoenix, Arizona, where, just prior to his death, he penned a memoir of his early career, which was published posthumously in 1980.


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    The extended description below was supplied by the consignor. We are making it available to our web bidders who are interested in more in-depth research and broader historical perspective. Please note that presentation (i.e. framing), lot divisions, and interpretations of condition and content may occasionally differ from our descriptions. Assertions of fact and subjective observations contained in this description represent the opinion of the consignor. These remarks have not been checked for accuracy by Heritage Auctions, and we assume no responsibility for their accuracy; they are offered purely to allow the bidder insight into the way the consignor has viewed the item(s) in question. No right of return or claim of lack of authenticity or provenance based upon this extended description will be granted.

     

    A magnificent historic collection, over one hundred hand-written letters penned by the man who coined the term "New Deal," Raymond C. Moley, as well as numerous newspaper clippings, annotated books from his personal library, and Western Union telegrams concerning Moley's activities and policies, including a first person report to his wife Eve from the 1932 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where Moley discusses his activities in support of FDR, the political intrigue, and his writing of the convention nomination acceptance speech where FDR first proclaimed, "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people" as well as first person reports from the 1936 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The letters span a period between 1932 and 1937, as well as letters and other materials from later in Moley's life in the 1950s, and report on many aspects of Moley's work on behalf of FDR, and his personal opinions about the President and his policies, of whom and which Moley became increasingly critical in his hand written correspondences to his wife. Among the hand written letters is a special box with an original carbon of his 17 page typewritten letter to FDR dated November 30, 1935, which accompanies a handwritten letter to Eve about the conditions that brought about the letter. Moley writes to his wife, in his own hand: "Dearest: I am terribly sorry to have neglected to write these past few days but the enclosed [original carbon of 17 page typewritten letter to FDR] will explain. Tuesday I had to give my speech on housing which was a national broadcast and it was a very difficult thing to prepare–figures, etc. The reception was very good./ Then on Wednesday I received a letter from F.D.R. complaining about my editorial on the Canadian treaty. He hadn't seen the editorial itself but our A.P. dispatch about it. I thought it over very carefully and decided that the time had arrived to make myself clear about the whole question of foreign affairs about which I feel so much concern. So I spent fifteen hours on Thanksgiving day writing the enclosed in long hand from a lot of editorials, notes, letters, etc. Then on Friday I drove up to Rhinebeck to talk it over with Vincent Astor who knows FD's psychology very well. (My purpose is not to break with him but to try and win him over). I also sent a copy to Felix Frankfurter to get his point of view on it. My editorial which is in today for Dec. 7 and which I quote I sent to Borchard to check. So Saturday I drove down from R'beck and after very carefully amending it after talking with Frankfurter and Borchard I sent it. It is really the most carefully written thing I ever did. If anything will straighten him out it will–if not I must live with my conscience and continue to criticize him. This European business is too terribly serious for anyone to hesitate if as it seems to me our foreign affairs are being bungled. I will break completely before I go along with another futile and mistaken war. My suspicion is that in a sort of irresponsible mood of wanting to play high politics he wants an entente with England over this Italian business in order to get England's help in a Japanese war and my indignant reaction to that is that we are not going to have any war with Japan unless we get ourselves into England's game in China. We have nothing to gain or protect there and we had better mind our business./ This Canadian editorial was heralded in Washington as a "break" as is shown by this enclosed cartoon, but I gave out an A.P. interview denying any such thing. The big fight over neutrality will come when Congress meets and I feel certain the Congress will be overwhelmingly on the side of strict neutrality, i.e., the thing they did in the Revolution of August. If I think it wise I shall make more speeches on it when I go west for Christmas with you./ Geo Peek a really fine fellow is here at the Hotel for the weekend and I talked with him this morning. He is at the point of resigning on the issue which will be a terrible blow to FD because Peek is very strong in Iowa and Illinois./You can well realize that this is taking a lot of thought and courage but I feel so deeply on it that I am willing to give up the very pleasant intimacy with this F.D.R. for the much more important job of awakening people to the dangers in the conduct of the diplomats of late." Moley then goes on to discuss personal family issues with Eve, and ends his letter "I am thinking about you a great deal and looking forward to seeing you before long. I shall write the boys today./ Love,/ R."As a postscript, Moley writes to his wife: "p.s., Better burn this letter and the letter to F.D.R. The Japanese reference is pretty bad and the whole thing should not get out." Eve Moley did not burn this letter or the 17 page carbon, and in so doing saved it for posterity. In the last paragraph of the 17 page typewritten letter to FDR, the original carbon of which accompanies Moley's handwritten letter to Eve, he states to the President: "When I must disagree with any of them I share a feeling that the V.P. expressed to me on one occasion last winter. He said, ‘I love this man in The White House because he is for so many things that I have always hoped for and believed in. And when he does things that I don't believe in I love him enough to tell him the truth.'" This collection of handwritten letters from Moley to his wife spanning the entirety of his association with FDR as President is a major historic archive in its own right. Also added to this major Raymond C. Moley collection from another source is a signed signature card and signed photograph measuring 8 x10" of Moley. This major historic collection was obtained directly from the acquaintance of the person who bought the home in Berea, Ohio where Raymond C. Moley was born and raised. According to the source of this historic document, "it was up in the rafters of a long deteriorating garage that is leaning way to one side, an eyesore for years to the neighbors in that Berea neighborhood who tried and tried to have it razed. There was a wooden crate that had been broken into by mice, squirrels and raccoons who at one time or another had all built nests in the papers and books inside. Because of its placement in the crate, [the papers] survived. When I emptied everything out of there, fully one quarter of the crate was filled with finely-chewed pieces of wood and newspaper." Raymond C. Moley (1886-1975), professor of public law and Presidential adviser, was born in Berea, Ohio, the son of Felix James Moley, proprietor of a "gent's furnishings" store, and Agnes Fairchild. With the onset of the 1893 Depression, the family moved to the nearby hamlet of Olmsted Falls. After graduating from Cleveland's Baldwin-Wallace College obtaining a bachelors degree in philosophy in 1906, he became a teacher and superintendent of schools at Olmsted Falls (1906-1910). Stricken by tuberculosis in 1909, Moley sought a cure by moving to New Mexico and Colorado. Upon his return to Ohio in 1912, he pursued an M.A. in political science at Oberlin College (1913) while teaching at West High School in Cleveland. He then earned a Ph.D. at Columbia University (1918) while serving as instructor and then assistant professor at Western Reserve University (1916-1919). Moley married Eva Dall in 1916, to whom he writes in this vast primary source letter collection; they had two sons. In 1946, after divorcing Eva, he married Frances S. Hebard, with whom he had one daughter. Born to a traditionally Democratic family, Moley admired William Jennings Bryan and the progressive spirit that dominated the city of Cleveland during the reform mayoralty of Tom L. Johnson. Like Johnson, he was profoundly influenced by the works of Henry George (1839-1897). He believed that the author of Progress and Poverty had touched on concerns that had later fired progressivism, especially concentrated economic power and the need for regulation of public utilities. Drawn at an early age toward involvement in the political arena, he modeled his preparation on that of Woodrow Wilson, focusing on political science and administrative law. Moley wrote his doctoral dissertation under the direction of Charles A. Beard. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Sons of the Midwest, they shared the view that eastern creditor interests exploited agrarians, and they opposed American involvement in the two world wars of the twentieth century. Moley's The State Movement for Efficiency and Economy, published by the New York Bureau of Municipal Research in 1918, dealt with growing pressures on state government for administrative efficiency and set the stage for the next step in his career. An address on the necessity for a stronger federal presence in the spheres of social and industrial planning caught the attention of social reformer Belle Sherwin, who proved instrumental in securing Moley's appointment as director of the Cleveland Foundation in 1919. The nation's first community trust, a fact-finding agency and funnel for business-sponsored civic improvement projects, it revived the reform spirit embodied in the mayoralties of Tom Johnson and Newton D. Baker. Moley attained national prominence through the Cleveland Foundation's sponsorship of a survey of the administration of justice in the lake city. He gave prestige to the project by recruiting the services of Roscoe Pound and Felix Frankfurter of the Harvard Law School. The resulting Cleveland Crime Survey (1922) served as a model for other cities and states for a decade. Moley's developing reputation, and probably also his interest in the political education of women, brought him to the attention of the dean of Barnard College, Virginia Gildersleeve, and in 1923 he was appointed to the faculty of that institution. Moley directed crime surveys in Missouri and Illinois in the 1920s, resulting in the publication of Politics and Criminal Prosecution (1928) and Our Criminal Courts (1930). Appointment in 1926 as research director of the New York State Crime Commission resulted in his acquaintance with Louis McHenry Howe, FDR's political mentor, who was then serving as executive secretary of the National Crime Commission. Moley's first encounter with Roosevelt came in connection with Moley's authorship of an address on the administration of justice delivered during FDR's 1928 gubernatorial campaign in New York. The political scientist's reputation in the field led to his appointment as research director in the investigation of New York City's magistrates' courts and their enforcement of the criminal law, the first of the famous Seabury investigations. There followed service in Judge Samuel Seabury's (1873-1958) investigation of the District Attorney's Office and publication of Tribunes of the People (1932), a summary of Moley's research findings. Moley was convinced that Roosevelt would be the Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 1932, and he offered his services to the Governor in early January. Their collaboration, soon after, on a statement explaining the removal from office of Sheriff Thomas ("tin box") Farley, a consequence of the third Seabury investigation, demonstrated Moley's talents as a writer. Taciturnity and the ability to organize and simplify technical material also added to the academician's appeal to Roosevelt, who was facing a heavy speaking schedule in the Presidential campaign. In March, Judge Samuel I. Rosenman, a Roosevelt intimate, proposed recruiting Moley and other Columbia University academics to serve in an advisory role. The initial Roosevelt-Moley effort, the "Forgotten Man" address of April 7, 1932, caused a sensation by arguing that rural poverty and collapsed commodity prices were the principal causes of the Great Depression. Moley and Roosevelt recruited two other Columbia University professors, Rexford Guy Tugwell, an expert in agrarian economics, and Adolf A. Berle, Jr., a member of the law faculty who was about to publish a definitive work on corporate structure and finance. Dubbed the "Brains Trust" initially by Louis McHenry Howe, and a term popularized by New York Times reporter James M. Kieran, the group of academicians was enamored of planning or enlarged federal management of the economy. In a series of memoranda, especially one dated May 19, 1932, Moley distilled for FDR much of the basic content of the early New Deal program, screening a mass of material and ideas solicited from Berle, Tugwell, and other academic sources. Moley's proposals, reflecting views long held by Roosevelt, included liberalization of the Democratic Party as a vehicle for progressivism; the necessity for business-government cooperation; legislation of the social minima, such as unemployment reserves and old-age insurance; massive spending for public works; regulation of securities issuance; the separation of commercial from investment banking; federal oversight of private utilities; restoration of predepression price and wage levels; and federal capital investment in regional power development as a yardstick for the fair pricing of private electric power. A gifted phrasemaker, Moley authored the "Concert of Interests" speech, which pointed to growing interdependence of sectors and sections, and he coined the term "New Deal," which Roosevelt used in the Chicago convention address accepting his party's Presidential nomination. Also demonstrating a capacity for political compromise with party's elders, Moley drafted statements on the tariff, budget balance, industrial controls, and acreage allotment in the 1932 campaign. During the 1932-1933 interregnum, Moley's role as adviser included foreign policy matters, particularly when the defeated Herbert Hoover sought to commit Roosevelt to international remedies for the Great Depression. Hoover's agenda included World War I debt reduction and maintenance of the United States on a deflationary gold standard. Moley insisted on Roosevelt's adherence to domestic priorities, believing that recovery required insulation from international economic pressures that would vitiate the New Deal program. This Roosevelt pledged as they jointly drafted his first inaugural address. As Assistant Secretary of State from March 4 to early September 1933, Moley served as the President's contact with powerful Democratic Party legislators in the fashioning of the Hundred Days program. But conflict with his nominal superior, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, was inevitable. Hull was a free-trader, committed to tariff reciprocity agreements at the World Monetary and Economic Conference, scheduled to meet in London in June 1933. Moley and Roosevelt, convinced that overseas trade constituted a relatively small percentage of gross national product, believed that reduction of trade barriers would jeopardize artificially high domestic prices for the products of farmers and manufacturers induced by agricultural and industrial recovery legislation. To secure dollar depreciation and reflation of domestic price levels, the president was equally determined to take the United States off the gold standard, which he accomplished in April 1933. He sent Moley as an emissary to affirm these views to treasury and central bank negotiators in London. But when Moley, in fact, agreed on June 29, 1933 to a de facto currency stabilization agreement with British and French representatives, Roosevelt dispatched his "bombshell" message of  July 2, 1933 in which he condemned the proposed stabilization of the pound, dollar, and franc as an attempt to restrain his options, including, by inference, possible dollar devaluation. The conference, he protested, was not called to discuss the monetary policy of one nation. The gathering was brought to a standstill, with Moley's standing as FDR's principal economic adviser undermined. Hull, who headed the delegation, was convinced he had been undercut by his subordinate, and on his return to Washington, he insisted on Moley's removal. Roosevelt complied, shifting Moley to the Justice Department. But Moley was already negotiating for the creation of an organ of New Deal opinion, founded as Today magazine and subsequently merged with Newsweek, and he resigned from the Administration. Though the Roosevelt-Moley relationship lasted until the early stages of the 1936 campaign, it sundered on ideological grounds. From the President's perspective, the magazine editor was increasingly responsive to conservative, anti-New Deal business opinion; from Moley's perspective, the President was becoming the captive of the anticorporate views of Felix Frankfurter's protégés, notably Thomas G. Corcoran, and the Democratic Party was becoming overly responsive to the newly empowered labor movement. A typewritten letter dated November 4, 1939 in this Raymond C. Moley collection makes disparaging remarks about Tommy Corcoran. In the late 1930s Moley edged toward the Republican party. He established a lifelong friendship with Herbert Hoover and then published After Seven Years (1939), an acerbic memoir of his association with Roosevelt. Intended to forestall a third-term bid, it argued that there had been a mid-course shift in the New Deal years from economic coordination to business hostility. Moley endorsed Wendell L. Willkie in 1940. In subsequent years, opposed to the eastern internationalist wing of the GOP, he served as an occasional adviser to Republican Party aspirants, including Robert A. Taft, Barry Goldwater, and Richard Nixon. In 1964 he authored The Republican Opportunity in 1964, an attack on enlarged federal power, which was followed in 1966 by The First New Deal, a detailed analysis of his public service. In his twilight years, Moley published a biography of the Irish patriot Daniel O'Connell (1974), a lifelong hero, and retired to Phoenix, Arizona, where, just prior to his death, he penned a memoir of his early career, which was published posthumously in 1980. Truly a one of a kind historic collection.





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