Salem NY Town/village historian
Copyright @2015. All rights reserved by author.
The people of Salem, New York, like other people across the nation, were tossed about in the stormy sea of the Great Depression. Some people suffered more economic plight than others; some felt no hardship at all. One’s status in life at this time was often the result of Lady Luck who showed no bias in distributing both bad and good luck across all classes of society. Nevertheless, those who suffered the most emerged like hardened steel--tempered to a strong work ethic and loyal to family and neighbors in need. Born in 1936, this author was a Depression baby whose childhood days were filled with stories of the family hardships.
“Get a good job, keep it, and save your money,” my mother would admonish, and “If someone is in need--family, friend, or neighbor, help them out.” My mother wasn’t alone in her advice. My father who understood the importance of finding and holding a job said, “When you get a job, no matter how menial, do the best you can.” My parents and my siblings lived the Depression, this author heard about it--and often.
In Salem and throughout Washington County, it was not dust bowl winds of Oklahoma, like those described in John Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath, that blew away the future of the local farmers, it was low agricultural and milk prices and banks demanding the mortgage payments. In a way, people living in small towns in rural areas often faired better than their counterparts living in the cities or those who relied on industry for work and had no farms to go back to. With the exception of the “dust bowl,” farmers who lost everything to drought and to heartless banks who literally bulldozed them off their land, those with small family farms or a barn and a garden in the back yard, such as one finds in the village of Salem today, managed to get by without much money. Growing ones own vegetables and raising ones own animals for meat, sustained many a family through out the ten-year Depression. Being self-reliant and knowing how to work the land was an asset.
Thelma Mitchell was eight years old in 1930 and lived on the family farm in Perkins Hollow on a dirt road that ran into Vermont. “I was an only child, and don’t remember my family struggling during the Depression, even though the life of a dairy farmer was difficult. We managed to get along. The worst thing that happened to us was the fire that year. Our house caught on fire from a spark from the open-hearth fireplace and burned the house to the ground. I was almost trapped in my second floor bedroom over the fireplace. We were lucky to get out alive, thanks to my father who had gotten up in the night and smelled the smoke. We lost everything. My father sold the farm to John Perkins and we moved over the hill to Beattie Hollow to another farm.”[ 1]
Her future husband, Vincent “Bim” Pekins, on the other hand, lived in the village of Salem at the bottom of Riley Hill Road with his ten brothers and sisters. “Both my parents worked at the shirt shop, but were often laid off during the Depression when the shop closed. To get by, my father raised chickens and had a large garden to feed our family of thirteen. He grew large cabbages for us and for sale to the public. He also raised chickens, but not for public sale. For breakfast, we ate the eggs. For Sunday dinner we ate the hens that had stopped laying the eggs. Pocket money was scarce, and I used to help the local farmers pick their crops, like strawberries on the Braymer farm on the Rupert Road. My father seldom complained. He always said, ‘You do what you have to do.’ We were a big family, but we managed tosurvive.”
Despite President Herbert Hoover’s optimism in 1928 about the state of the nation, signs of coming economic and political strife were obvious before “Black Thursday,” October 13, 1929. As retold by historian Kenneth C. Davis, the farmers were in economic trouble and unemployment was high, but the corrupt Wall Street paper profiteers, like Ivan Kreuger and Samuel Insull, and the nation’s leaders ignored the underclass problems. President Hoover’s philosophy of “rugged Individualism” helped cloud the real plight of the nation. The “Crash” was only the last straw.
Locally, the failing economy was already causing social unrest. Although not as popular an organization in the northeast as in the south, the Ku Klux Klan, as early as 1926, took advantage of the social unrest and held a rally at the Carson Winning farm south of the village of Salem on State Route 22. According to the Salem Press news article of July 29, “Big Klan Meeting Held in Suburbs,” from around the county, “2,000 people attended” the rally, and “500 cars parked in a semi-circle facing the speaker stand.” “Two crosses burned during the evening.” Two years later in August, an advertisement in the Salem Press announced another KKK rally, but for men only. Monk John Lyons was to be the speaker, and the rally was to be held in the East Hebron Grange Hall. The Salem Press did not report on the proceedings or the attendance at this meeting.
Not officially known is whether the KKK successfully recruited anyone locally, but in 1966, Salem resident Barbara Barber told this author that she and her husband had found a KKK sword tucked away in a back shed cupboard in village home they bought a few years earlier. Her husband Jack also said that his mother told him that during the Depression, the KKK burned crosses on a hill at the west end of the village. He remembered his mother saying that, in addition to the Klan’s nationwide terror campaign against the “Black race,” the Klan targeted the local Roman Catholics--especially the Italian immigrants. The KKK presence foreshadowed a political unrest that would last throughout the Depression.
Unemployment began to hit home, despite the opening of the local Shapiro Chain grocery Store. Most of the Hudson Valley Railroad’s Saratoga and Washington county trolley system shut down due to a lack of riders, and the Victory Cotton Mills laid-off 200 workers and moved most of its business to Alabama.[8, 9]
By 1929, according to historian Davis, “1,300 banks failed” and “5,000 banks" closed across the country. “Without banks to extend credit and capital,” Davis said, “businesses and factories closed, forcing more workers onto unemployment lines.” The Salem Press again was full of local bad news starting in January when Shapiro’s Chain grocery store, opened in May of the prior year, closed, the Delaware & Hudson Railroad sold off the last of its trolley lines, the Granville slate quarries closed for an indefinite period, and Leary’s Shoe Store closed.[11-14] As if to add more confusion to the daily life of the farmers, the railroads and the local citizenry, Salem remained the only town in the county to reject Daylight Savings Time.
The national and local economies continued to spiral downward. In 1930 more banks and businesses failed. During the four years prior to 1930, five hundred Washington county farms went out of business, according to the September 4 edition of the Salem Press, and 884 people were out of work. More trolley lines throughout the state failed.[16-17] Stress of business failure and unemployment often was too great for some. The president of the Argyle Bank committed suicide, and the bank closed, indefinitely. One bright moment of the year occurred when the Salem residents finally voted to adopt Daylight Savings Time.
In 1931, following the Argyle Bank closing, the Salem People’s Bank announced that it was closing, also. Adding to the struggle to survive the terrible economy, the terrible polio epidemic disabled thousands across the country, including Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Salem Press announced that the polio epidemic, which took a local toll in nearby towns, would delay the Salem Central School opening one week. On the brighter side, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of then Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came to Salem to speak to the Salem Woman’s Club on March 26 about “Training in Citizenship.” Mrs. Roosevelt said, “The best training in citizenship is to learn local problems and this will lead to broader interests.” A large audience welcomed her. For better or worse, the Republican dominated town was becoming very familiar with the Roosevelt name.
Historian Davis wrote that in the midst of a political campaign, President Hoover in 1932 belatedly tried to revitalize the economy by introducing a series of federal programs for the banks and the railroads, specifically through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, but he refused to give direct aid, welfare, to those out of work. His “Rugged Individualism” theme and “his distain for anything that smacked of Socialism and Communism got in the way of initiating direct welfare programs.” Bread lines and soup kitchens popped up in the large cities and the Salvation Army and local churches bore the brunt of feeding the poor and homeless. Groups of hoboes and tramps, camping along side the railroad tracks traveled the rails in the never-ending search for work. Davis, added, “Henry Ford put 75,000 men out of work and on the road as ‘hoboes,’” and an estimated two million Americans were “on the road.”[24, 25]
Among these hoboes was Woody Guthrie who wrote songs about social and economic injustices. A nation of homeless, poor and an emerging labor movement took his song “This Land is Your Land’ as their anthem (Bound for Glory). Little did I realize in 1942 that the song “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You” my young cousins and I sang at the top of our lungs, while swinging from an old tire in the back yard, was written by the Depression’s most famous songster. President Hoover’s “trickle down” money from the nation’s wealthy never fully impacted on Salem or any other place in the United States. The concept did not work.
The Salem Press continued to report that businesses continued to fall and rise in the Salem area. The Salem People’s Bank--closed in September of 1931, reopened in March of 1932, but paid only 50 cents on the dollar to its depositors. Leary’s Shoe Store had a liquidation sale. The Greenwich and Johnsonville Railroad held an abandonment hearing, and in fiscal cutbacks, the county eliminated old age allowances, putting 1200 families on welfare, and cut county salaries by 10%.[30-32] The American Legion attempted to help the local citizens find jobs.
Banking closings continued. The Farmers Bank of Granville closed, following the Granville National Bank that had closed earlier in the year. On the other had, some of Hoover’s belated public works programs did work, as reported in the 1932 Salem Press. In the form of work relief money given to the county, men were hired to build storm sewers, curbs and to pave streets. Improved were the village of Salem’s Main Street and East Broadway to the Washington County Courthouse. Unfortunately, this program was hardly enough to stem the tide of the Depression, and recovery for local businesses was mixed. One of Salem’s largest employers, the Manhattan Shirt Company, closed for several months, reopened.
In 1933, the last railroad passenger service into Salem from Greenwich was eliminated when the Greenwich and Johnsonville Railroad stopped its passenger trains due to a lack of business. The federal government, as part of Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” placed all area banks on an eleven-day holiday. The Boston Store announced that it would close its doors, and County welfare rose to its highest level with 1555 families on the rolls.[38, 39] Sadly, another local suicide took its toll. Popular Salem resident, and out of work paperhanger William Lincoln, who often threatened to “end it all,” did just that.
To make matters worse, Salem residents couldn’t even drown their sorrows in a glass of cold beer. Although the 18th Amendment had been repealed, and Prohibition had ended in most communities, Salem voted to remain a dry town. Nevertheless, some small hope arose when the local newspaper noted that the Salem Slate Quarry continued to produce and was solvent, and the newly reorganized Battenville Mill resumed paper production. The Acme Machine Company reopened after having been closed many months. The new Hines Hardware Store opened, and the new Red Wood chain grocery opened up under the management of long time Salem baker, Charles Riley.[44, 45] The Civil Works Administration hired 200 unemployed men throughout the county and planned to spend $50,000 on improving county roads. In addition, the Civil Works Authority hired 29 local Salem men and anticipated hiring a total of 1000 men across the county for other projects.47 Milk prices increased, and the Boston Store reopened.[48, 49]
History shows that failure to solve the problems of the Depression proved the undoing of President Hoover who, despite promising to balance the budget and repeal prohibition, lost the 1933 election to New York State Governor, Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt, soon after his inauguration, initiated his plans to recover the economy. He first rebuilt the nation’s morale and confidence with his radio “Fireside Chats,” telling the nation “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself….” In response to Roosevelt’s promises and recovery programs, two Salem residents wrote him letters. Both letters are archived in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, Duchess County.
Prophetically, Mrs. L. Allen of Shushan wrote to Governor Roosevelt on March 1, 1932.
I saw quite [a] lot of your help in the paper to the poor people. I am asking a favor of you. Can’t you kindly help me out and send me $10.00 till spring work opens up. We have a large family and my school children is in need of some clothing and no work just at hand for my husband and he is willing to do work if he can get it so if you kindly help me out. Maybe when you come to need I can help you out on voting for you. That will help me get my childrens (sic) some clothing for school. I’ll be very thankful with anything. I saw that old home relief fund but I guess they are not going to kelp the poor people out if that goes through. I would like a share, or what they be willing to give one. If you feel as so you could help me out you can kindly send by mail. Thanking you very kindly. My address is Mrs. L. Allen, Shushan, Box 150.
Mrs. L. Allen
In 1933, a year after Mrs. Allen sent her letter, newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 “New Deal,” attempted to right what was wrong with the economy—including eliminating mass unemployment, estimated to be “15 million,” and stopping outrageous banking practices and unethical stock market manipulations on Wall Street. New banking laws, such as setting up the Federal Deposit system were set in place.[53, 54] Perhaps the sincerity of Mrs. Allen’s letter impacted on Franklin D. Roosevelt after all.
While Mrs. Allen’s letter documented for posterity her family’s plight and mirrored the hardship of millions of other Americans, other media, including the daily newspapers and motion picture news companies, were invaluable in recording the events of the day. In small towns, however, the weekly newspapers, like the Salem Press and the Greenwich Journal were more personal in tracking local seesaw economic events during the ten-year Depression. The newspapers tracked the coming and going of local businesses, including agricultural, small retailers, banks, slate mines, railroads, manufacturers and people.
Most railroads across the country were hurt by the Depression, especially the local railroads. For example, declining railroad income forced the Delaware and Hudson Railroad to cancel passenger trains from Eagle Bridge to Rutland in 1934. The railroad had been losing passenger travel for many years and claimed a net loss of “$55,000” for the prior year. Although some Salem people traveled to Granville to attend the public hearing, regarding the elimination of passenger traffic, their protests were silenced when the moderator asked, “How many of you came to Granville on the passenger train?” The answer was “None.” Henry Ford, in fact, had supplied their transportation.
The railroad did make one concession at the meeting. According to Shushan’s Mary Hamlin, the railroad agreed to keep the passenger service going until June 24 to accommodate the high school students from Shushan and Vermont, attending Salem’s Washington Academy. Furthermore, the earlier closing for months of the slate mines in Salem and Granville had added to the D&H Railroad financial woes. Ironically, thousands of unemployed men, women and children illegally hitched freight car rides throughout the nation, going from place to place looking for work. For many, life in a hobo camp or in a migrant camp was the only way of life left to them. On a more political and philosophical level, not everyone was happy with the way the “New Deal” was being administered.
One such person was the Rev. Thomas Stevenson, Pastor of the Salem Methodist Episcopal Church who sent the second letter from Salem, dated October 8, 1935, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In his letter, the Rev. Stevenson criticized the handling of the Roosevelt relief programs and revealed his own social, political and religious beliefs in the process.
Dear Mr. President:
As one of the clergymen in receipt of your recent letter asking direct, first hand information as to the effects of new legislation for the greater good of the people, I readily reply with such observations as have come under my notice.
Personally I am in full sympathy with every measure that is for its aim the bringing of social justice and security to all the people. But as no law, however excellent is of greater value that its enforcement and application, so no government measure, however praiseworthy and altruistic is of greater value than its administration.
Such relief measures as have been in operation in the locality have failed to do much good because of political, partisan and Romanist control.* While saloons have increased fourfold since the repeal of the 18th Amendment, in every case by members of the party of which you are the recognized head, and relief workers are their main patrons, which is the main reason for the perpetual destitution, the Protestant churches are all working on the smallest budges ever raised.
The influences of relief measured as applied is abusive to the moral and spiritual interests of the people, because the funds have been handled largely by those who live on the fringes of honest toil.
One half of my constituency are farmers, who without exception say their condition has grown steadily worse.
If all the good that is in your program could be honestly administered, without graft and favoritism, I feel much better results would be obtained, and, perhaps, your own high ideals realized.
Most sincerely yours,
Whether Mrs. Allen ever got her $10 or the Rev. Thomas Stevenson ever received an answer is not known. History, however, shows that most of the Roosevelt economic acts had some merit. The Civilian Conservation Corps, run by the United States Army, was intended to give unemployed men outdoor training and work skills, and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration was intended to pay farmers not to grow certain crops and to raise farm prices. Two important banking acts, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Home Owners Loan Corporation were intended to protect savings and protect personal loans respectively. The Federal Emergency Act allotted five hundred million dollars to help the destitute--a precursor to our welfare programs today, and the National Industrial Recovery Act was passed to stimulate industrial production. The Works Progress Administration, later known as the Works Project Administration, funded small and large municipal building projects, like the new Salem School and the Boulder (now Hoover) Dam, and jobs for writers, artists, musicians and craftsmen, while the Tennessee Valley Authority put thousands back to work building dams and hydroelectric plants.[61, 62]
Despite President Roosevelt’s detractors, The Salem Press recorded that some recovery plans did impact on the local area. Railroad freight business picked up as the Salem and Granville quarries and the Battenville Paper Mill reopened. Closed stores, like Avery’s Cash Store and Hines Hardware Store reopened.  Unfortunately, and regardless of its broad intent, The “New Deal” did not solve all problems. Banks continue to foreclose on farmers across the country. Additional new legislation was introduced nationwide: the Federal Securities Exchange Act was intended to protect investors from Wall Street Stock Market fraud, and the Temporary Relief Agency offered jobs to the county’s unemployed. 65 County welfare costs rose to $140,000.66
In 1935, a new and different safety net for all citizens was enacted. The Social Security Act was intended to allow workers to save money for retirement at age 65. The labor unions took the government to court over the National Recovery Act of 1933, and the act intended to stimulate and protect workers was found unconstitutional. The labor unions, like the United Mine Workers of America, American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, grew in membership, resulting in increased strife between unions and management over wages and working conditions.67 Labor unrest would not be a stranger to Salem. The Board of Education in Salem learned that it could build a new school with funds available from the WPA Act. The WPA employed 400 men on relief throughout the county. Unskilled laborers were paid $44 a month, and skilled laborers were paid $69 a month to work on roads and flood control.68
A year later, the 1936 March 23 edition of the Salem Press described how the government’s new agricultural act was applied to local farmers who were paid “$10 an acre not to grow certain soil depleting crops and $1 an acre for planting soil conserving crops and plants.” In December, the Salem Press published a story about local labor unrest, putting Salem farmers on strike against the local H. P. Hood and Sons Co. who tried to break the Dairymen of New England Milk Producers association.
Despite the continuing labor strife, 1937 saw the economy improving in Salem. In fact the WPA program was so successful that it caused a shortage of farm laborers who took the higher paying WPA jobs. For this reason the town of Salem offered no more WPA work. The Salem Slate Quarry was still being successfully worked, and Public Works Administrator Harold Ickes, announced that $200,250 was to be granted for the erection of the new school. The citizens of Salem were to raise the rest.[71, 72]
But by 1938, the fortunes of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad and some other Salem businesses were no better. The railroad declared that it was nearly bankrupt from having to pay both New York State and Vermont taxes. The Acme Machinery Company closed and was purchased by the village of Salem for $3,500 from Dallas E. Winslow Inc. Salem’s largest employer, the struggling Manhattan Shirt Shop, closed for good and would not reopen until 1940 when C. A. Baltz of Kingston leased and then purchased the building to produce ladies nightwear. On the other hand, plans to build the new school were completed, and the New York State Board of Regents approved bonding of $445,000. The building project was a boon to area contractors seeking work, and 50 companies bid on the project. Contract bids totaled $394,709, well under the anticipated cost.
The year 1939 brought another mixed bag of good and bad. When war broke out in Europe, the nation became the goods supplier for its allies, helping the economy to grow toward recovery. The bad side was that the United States faced the possibility of going to war itself. The Works Progress Administration changed its name to the Works Project Administration and “was responsible for 10 percent of the new roads in the United States as well as new hospitals, city halls, courthouse, and schools.”
In 1939, the newly completed school became the gemstone in the town and symbolized Salem’s emergence from the Depression. No attention to detail in the construction was spared. Included in the Greek revival architecture plans were stained glass windows, representing the subject taught in each room. Architect Carl W. Clark of Cortland, said to this author in 1968, “I always considered the Salem school building my flag ship.” The result was an exceptionally well-built, aesthetically pleasing and functional structure that continues to serve the community today.
Working at the Salem Central School in 1968 was Kermit White of West Hebron. Kermit was a former forester, and at this time a carpenter, custodian and grounds keeper at the school. In conversations with Kermit, this author learned that Kermit was a Depression survivor who had participated in the Civilian Conservation Corps, generally considered one of the more successful work training recovery programs initiated by President Roosevelt. County CCC camps were located in the area of Argyle and Fort Ann near the Adirondack Mountains where Kermit honed his conservation skills. By this time, the enlistment ages had been expanded beyond 25 years of age, but most of the recruits were 18 to 25 year olds who had never been away from home.
“I was 31 years old in 1935 with a wife and two children when I commenced my CCC experience. We CCC men logged, fished, built forest shelters, planted trees, stopped soil erosion, built public camping grounds and forest roads, and in general kept ourselves busy. Twenty-five dollars a month was our pay, and we were glad of it. We all got a place to sleep and three meals a day for up to a year if we wanted it. It was a steady job.”
Kermit never forgot his skills, and more than once while he and this author were bass fishing, he talked about his philosophy of stocking the local ponds and lakes with bass, northern pike and walleye, while pointing out the kinds of flora and fauna found in and around the lake. His CCC experience and work ethic permeated his life. He was a true conservationist. He never stopped advocating conservation.
Whether by 1939 the economy had turned the corner for everyone is debatable, but, without a doubt, out of the Great Depression came a generation that found the strength and self-reliance to make the best of what Lady Luck dealt them. This is the same generation, honed on the challenges of life, which two short years later came to the defense of their country in WW II. The people of Salem saw their duty in this crisis, too--but that’s another story.
About the author: William “Al” Cormier was born in Massachusetts where he earned his B.A. at the University of Massachusetts. He later earned his M. Ed. at Cornell University. In 1984 he became the Salem, NY town and village historian, writing books of local history and articles for the local newspapers.
- Conversation with Thelma Mitchell Pekins, May 2005.
- Conversation with Vincent “Bim” Pekins,. May 2005.
- Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About History, (New York: Avon, 1990), p. 271.
- Ibid. p. 276.
- Salem Press, July 29, 1926.
- Ibid., August 16, 1928.
- Conversation with Barbara and Jack Barber, May 2005.
- Salem Press, May 3, 1928.
- Ibid., June 21, 1928.
- Davis, p. 271.
- Salem Press., January 10, 1929.
- Ibid., March 27, 1929.
- Ibid., April 4, 1929.
- Ibid., July 11, 1929.
- Ibid., May 30, 1929.
- Ibid., September 4, 1930.
- Ibid., February 27, 1930.
- Ibid., August 14, 1930.
- Ibid., March 20, 1930.
- Ibid., September 10, 1931.
- Ibid., September 17, 1931.
- Ibid., April 2, 1931.
- Davis, p. 274.
- Ibid., p. 275.
- Guthrie, Woody. Bound For Glory. New York: E. P. Dutton. 1943.
- Davis, p. 269.
- Salem Press, April 28, 1932.
- Ibid., July 14, 1932.
- Ibid., April 28, 1932.
- Ibid., January 7, 1932.
- Ibid., July 28, 1932.
- Ibid., February 25, 1932.
- Ibid., January 7, 1932.
- Ibid., September 29, 1932.
- Ibid., February 9, 1933.
- Ibid., March 9, 1933.
- Ibid., February 2, 1933.
- Ibid., April 6, 1933.
- Ibid., January 12, 1933.
- Ibid., April 6, 1933.
- Ibid., August 3, 1933.
- Ibid., April 6, 1933.
- Ibid., November 23, 1933.
- Ibid., January 26, 1933.
- Ibid., November 30, 1933.
- Ibid., December 28, 1933.
- Ibid., July 13, 1933.
- Ibid., April 6, 1933.
- Davis, p. 275.
- Ibid., p. 277.
- Conversation with Patricia Niles, May 2005, copies of letters from FDR Library.
- “Depression, major.” Family Encyclopedia of American History, 1975 ed.
- Davis, p. 279.
- Salem Press, June 21, 1934.
- Conversation with Robert Thompson, Town Supervisor, 1980.
- Conversation with Mary Hamlin, 1990.
- Davis, p. 275.
- Fleischhauer, Carl, and Beverly W. Brannon, eds. Documenting America. Berkley: University of California Press, 1988. p. 188-190.
- Niles conversation.
- Davis, p. 281.
- Ibid., p. 278.
- Salem Press, August 3, 1933.
- Ibid., November 23, 1933.
- Davis, p. 279.
- Salem Press, December 6, 1934.
- Davis, p. 279-280.
- Salem Press, July 25, 1935.
- Ibid., December 14, 1936.
- Ibid., June 10, 1937.
- Ibid., July 8, 1937.
- Ibid., August 8, 1937.
- Ibid., December 12, 1938.
- Ibid., May 19, 1938.
- The Village of Salem. p. 348-349.
- Salem Press, January 31, 1938.
- Ibid., March 10, 1938.
- Davis, p. 281.
- Conversation with Carl W. Clark, Architect, 1980.
- Salem Press, May 2, 1935.
- Hoyt, Ray. “We Can Take It” A Short Story of the CCC. New York: American Book Company. 1935. p. 21.
- Conversation with Kermit White, July 1970.
Cormier, William A. Personal recollections.
Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About History. New York: Avon. 1990.
“Depressions, major.” Family Encyclopedia of American History. Pleasantville: The Reader’s Digest
Association, Inc. 1975.
Fleischhauer, Carl and Beverly W. Brannon, eds. Documenting America. Berkley: University of California
Guthrie, Woody. Bound For Glory. New York: E.P Dutton. 1943.
Hoyt, Ray. “We Can Take It” A Short Story of the CCC. New York: American Book Company. 1935.
Niles, Patrick. Private collection. Copies of letters from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.
Original papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.
Letter, Mrs. L. Allen to Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 1, 1932..
Letter, The Rev. Thomas Stevenson to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, October 8, 1935.
Salem Press. 1926-1939. Bancroft Library, Salem, New York.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Viking Press. 1939.
Terkel, Studs. Hard Times. An Oral History of the Great Depression. New York: Pantheon Books. 1986.
Tomasi, Katharine, The Village of Salem, 1761-1994. Glens Falls: Conico Litho Graphics. 1995.
* Clergyman Stevenson’s use of the term “Romanist control” appears to be a throwback reference to the Al Smith presidential campaign slogans opposing him. The slogans said, “Rum, Romanism, and Ruin” and “A Voter for Smith is a Vote for the Pope.” New York State Governor Smith was a Roman Catholic Democratic presidential candidate who ran on a platform to drop Prohibition. Republic incumbent President Hoover rode to victory on the back of his “rugged individualism” and the continuation of Prohibition platform.