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To Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt
January 5, 1943 Washington, D.C.
My dear Mrs. Roosevelt:
I have had the question of Mrs. Crystal Bird Fauset’s proposed trip to Liberia investigated and I find that the difficulty is one of air transport.1 I see no objection to her going, and think it might be quite helpful. However, the transportation problem is the difficulty.
At present the backlog of people who should be sent overseas for important war work has reached tremendous proportions. Actually we are some three months behind schedule in providing transportation for those whose services are urgently needed in North Africa, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and other combat zones. Under the circumstances I do not think it would be wise to have Mrs. Fauset sent to Liberia at this time. If an opportunity arises for her to go by convoy I shall have it in mind but even so this probably would not give her time to do useful work there without our providing for the return trip by already overcrowded air transport.
It occurs to me that Mrs. Fauset’s services might be valuable in England and she could be sent there on a convoy if air accommodations were limited. This might be done in connection with the Red Cross or on some other basis. I should appreciate your having your secretary give me your reaction to this suggestion before I go any further in the matter.
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Fauset had been race relations adviser to the head of the Office of Civilian Defense since 1941. She had previously been active in Democratic party politics for many years, had held an administrative position in the Roosevelt administration, and in 1938 had become the first black woman elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (New York Times, March 30, 1965, p. 47.) The Liberia Task Force, which was primarily made up of black units, had been established in early 1942 to build, operate, and defend various facilities in Liberia. (Ulysses Lee, The Employment of Negro Troops, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1966], pp. 619-22.)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 504-505.