The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers


Eleanor Roosevelt to Cass Canfield

Dear Mr. Canfield:

I have gone over your letter very carefully and I have also gone over the transcript of Senator Kennedy's radio appearance with Mr. Madigan.[1] I know the Senator was away when the original Senate vote was taken but I am also aware of the fact that the Senate vote was a censure of McCarthy's conduct toward the Senate rather than on the fundamental question of McCarthyism,[2] and I have never seen a statement from Senator Kennedy on this very fundamental question. He has now asked to see me and I have suggested that he do so next Tuesday in Washington in the early morning.
I am very glad to dictate a footnote. It might read as follows:
In 1958 after I had written about the above question in one of my articles in the Saturday Evening Post I began to be visited by a number of people[3] who told me that the Senator felt I had misquoted him or incorrectly understood his position. I certainly had not intended to misquote him and I usually understand people and at least am able to gather what they mean but in this case I may well have misunderstood the Senator. He has recently stated that he had made statements before upholding the vote of the Senate[4] but this is not exactly what I think is called for because I believe that a public servant must clearly indicate that he understands the harm that McCarthyism did to our country and that he opposes it actively, so that one would feel sure he would always do so in the future. This is, however, of minor importance as what I have said is purely a record of the past which the Senator himself can correct.
If this is satisfactory to you, then you may use it as is.
I would like a very warm note of appreciation for Mr. Morris'[5] help and an acknowledgement that he helped me with the writing of the book though I was responsible for all the subject matter and for the opinions expressed therein.
For dedication, if it is not too long, I would like to say the following:
Now that I near the end of my active life, I would like to dedicate this book[6] to all those who have worked with me some of whom are no longer living, except as they live in my memory. But I am grateful to them and to my children for allowing me to live freely, and to my close friends. I list them here below in the hope that this book will bring them a few interesting hours:

Very sincerely yours,

TL carbon, AERP, NHyF
     [1.] John Madigan, a CBS newsman, was moderator of "Face the Nation".
     [2.] The censure motion did not specifically call into question Senator McCarthy's anti-communist activities but rather declared that his conduct during the Army-McCarthy Hearings prevented the Senate from carrying out its duties and reflected badly on the dignity of the Senate. (See ER, "On My Own," 3/8/58, n2) [David M. Oshinsky, A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy (New York: The Free Press, 1983), p. 402.]
     [3.] ER never revealed the identity of these people.
     [4.] On the March 30, 1958, "Face the Nation" broadcast, Kennedy stated that, before the convention of 1956, he had made a clear statement on an earlier "Face the Nation" broadcast, that he considered the censure to have been "a reasonable action and a proper one, and one that I approve of." [Oshinsky, A Conspiracy So Immense pp. 490-92; 561, n47.] See Excerpt, "Face the Nation," 3/30/58.
     [5.] Joe A. Morris was an editor at Harper & Brothers, publisher of ER's autobiography.
     [6.] ER is referring to On My Own, published by Harper & Brothers in 1958.