Robert A. Travis to Carl Byoir

Identifier

TI00248

Description

Letter proposing an "educational propaganda" program among African Americans.

Source

National Archives and Records Administration 130/68/3/00 box #3 entry #5 "Negroes" folder

Publisher

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library

Language

English

Text

473 Main Street,
East Orange, N.J.

Mr. Carl Byoir,
Bureau of Public Information,
Washington, D.C.

My Dear Sir:-

I regret very much that I was unable to keep my appointment for Saturday and wish to apologize for my not having done so. When you named four o'clock as the hour I knew at the time that I was interested in a Red Cross demonstration in our city but thought that I would be relieved of such duties as were mine and reach the hotel in time to see you.

I was in Washington last week and saw Mr. Creel, thru introduction by card of Mr. Tumulty. Mr. Creel instructed me that the subject matter of my call was under the sole supervision of yourself and Mr. Emmet Scott. I had a letter to Mr. Scott and intended to have seen him but was advised that he was in the west.

I called to talk over with someone in authority the desirability of starting an educational propaganda among the Negroes of the country for the purpose of bringing them to a clearer realization of the high ideals and purposes of the war; a fuller appreciation of the benefits we have already derived because of it from the present administration at Washington; the inevitable benefits that are yet to come to the race when the perpetuity of democracy has been assured by victory of the Allied Arms. The many other facts and truths that make the war of special significance to the race.

Let me be frank. There is no real lack of patriotism among Negroes of the country but an investigation will show a very large number in a perplexing whirl of uncertainty and questioning. What is needed is patriotic missionary work authorized and supervised by the Federal Government. The writer has been doing this in North Jersey and to some extent in New York for some time past on his own motion. He has seen the value of the work. In his own home town every Negro is a disciple of 100% Americanism. At a patriotic rally held here in our city high school, under the management of the writer on May 1st there gathered the largest and most enthusiastic audience ever seen in the building (See attached newspaper notice) The receipts from this affair netted over $1,000.00 for the 350 FA Band fund. The writer also arranged a rally in Newark which besides arousing a higher patriotic sentiment realized over 850.00 for the Negro hostage house at Camp Dix, NJ.

These affairs have done real constructive work and the thought came to the writer that the National Government might be interested and take up this particular phrase of publicity work - putting on the field men of ability as orators whose patriotism is unquestionable and who by past labors have demonstrated that they have the spirit as well as the punch.

I am at the present arranging with a joint committee of New York and New Jersey for a monster patriotic concert and demonstration with the 350 FA Band as the main attraction to be held, we hope, in the Manhattan Opera House, NY City.

I would be very glad to hear from either you or Mr. Scott on this proposition and besides those whose names I have left with Mr. Creel can refer you to Mr. Chas. W. Anderson, former Collector of Internal Revenue, of 156 West 132 Street, N. Y. City and Lieut. Joseph T. Johnson, now at 4th Officer's Training Camp, Artillery Section, 92nd Division, Camp Meade, Md. The latter was formerly stationed at Camp Dix and knows of my work in behalf of his regiment.

Again apologizing for my not having been able to keep my appointment, I am

Very respectfully yours,

Robt. A. Travis

CZ/RT.

Original Format

Letter

Files

TI00248.pdf

Citation

Travis, Robert A., “Robert A. Travis to Carl Byoir,” c. 1918 May, TI00248, Race and Segregation Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.