TWO FASCINATING 1938 LETTERS ON FBI LETTERHEAD TO A YOUNG MAN INTERESTED IN ACQUIRING FBI PUBLICATIONS, EACH SIGNED BY J. EDGAR HOOVER
HOOVER, J. Edgar. Two typed letters signed. Washington, June 18 and July 2, 1938. Two sheets of FBI/DOJ letterhead, each measuring approximately 7 by 9-1/2 inches. $2200.
Two typed signed letters written by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on FBI letterhead, the first in response to a request by a young man named Clarence Schudel for an autographed copy of an FBI personnel manual and the second responding to Schudel's "thank you" note and enclosing more booklets and pamphlets about crime-fighting as well as the name of a prominent journalist contact at a magazine capable of offering further assistance, accompanied by one of the original enclosures (unsigned), a manual on FBI training schools and personnel selection.
This collection of material stems from the correspondence between J. Edgar Hoover and a young admirer, Clarence Schudel of Defiance, Ohio. The first letter, dated June 18, 1938, reads: "Dear Mr. Schudel: Your communication postmarked June 12, 1938, has been received in which you have requested a copy of the Bureau booklet 'The Selection and Training of Personnel.' I was very much pleased to know that you are interested in the Buckeye Boys' State Program in Ohio and that you enjoyed Mr. Clegg's address last year. Your continued interest in the work of the FBI is sincerely appreciated, and I am glad to comply with you request in enclosing an autographed copy of 'The Selection and Training of Personnel' together with several other pamphlets and copies of my addresses which I thought you would find interesting. Sincerely yours, [signed] J. Edgar Hoover." An unsigned copy of the mentioned booklet is included here. The second letter, dated July 2, 1938, reads: "Dear Mr. Schudel: It was thoughtful of you to write to me to express your appreciation for the booklets which I recently forwarded to you, as indicated in your communication postmarked June 22, 1938. I have noted your desire to obtain a copy of the bulletin, 'Uniform Crime Reports,' which I am glad to enclose. There is also enclosed a copy of a pamphlet entitled 'How to Fight Crime,' published by Mrs. William Brown Meloney, Editor of 'This Week' Magazine, which I am sure will offer you a number of suggestions concerning crime prevention work. Additional copies of this booklet may be obtained by communicating directly with Mrs. Meloney at 420 Lexington Avenue, New York City. Sincerely yours, [Signed] J. Edgar Hoover." At the time of these letters, Schudel had likely just graduated high school and may have been in the process of planning to enter some form of government service. Hoover refers to the Buckeye Boys State, a week-long program run by the American Legion intended to foster democratic ideals and foster leadership in high school students. Evidently, Hoover's Assistant Director, Hugh Clegg, appeared to speak at the program. Schudel's plans to join the FBI or a similar organization appear not to have been realized as he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in January 1941, just shy of a year before Pearl Harbor. He survived the war and moved to Wichita, where he evidently wrote a book concerning Communism. Whether he ever contacted Marie Meloney is unclear, but the connection through Hoover would have been invaluable to an aspiring journalist. Meloney, a close friend and confidante of Eleanor Roosevelt, was widely recognized as one of the leading American journalists of her time. She was responsible for securing four interviews with Mussolini, breaking the scoop of Admiral Dewey's wedding, and interviewing Marie Curie before deciding to lead a campaign to buy radium for her research. Clearly, Schudel's respectful regard for Hoover inspired the man to uncommon generosity.
Light foxing and original creases to both signed letters. A bit of soiling and staining mainly to wrappers of booklet. A most desirable archive.