Edward F. Goltra to Woodrow Wilson


Edward F. Goltra to Woodrow Wilson


Goltra, Edward F.




1913 December 20


Edward F. Goltra writes to Woodrow Wilson about the railway situation and the businesses it is affecting.


Wilson Papers, Library of Congress, Library of Congress, Washington, District of Columbia


Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924--Correspondence


The President,
The White House.

Dear Mr. President:

I am very sorry I did not have an opportunity to see you before returning to Missouri.
Industrial activities are halting and coming to a standstill in an alarming degree. This is not due to the tariff or the proposed currency bill, ( and the administration and the Democratic party are not being, as yet, held responsible for the same), but is by reason of two other causes.1st. The inability of the railways to make both ends meet under the present rates that obtain for transportation. All industries engaged in furnishing tools and implements to the roads are closing shop on account of lack of orders.2nd. The uncertainty in which business men, small and large, find obtains, as regards the Sherman AntiTrust Act, has caused them to halt. Lawyers, Democratic and Republican, tell their clients they cannot give them advice as to whether they are within or without the law, and tell them that they cannot inform them as to where they may go in order to obtain that information.
In calling on Assistant Attorney General Graham, to give him some information he sought relative to prospective appointees, he asked my opinion of a plan he had formulated. He wanted to know whether as a business man I thought his suggestion practical. In every instance where I have attempted to apply it I have found that from the business mans standpoint it would fill the bill. Mr. Graham seems not only fertile in ideas but I find them to be most practical. He has spent a great deal of thought on the matter, and has shown me a draft of his plan, which is certainly worthy of careful thought, and I want you to see it at once, and I do wish you would call him in without delay and request him to lay the draft of his plan before you and if you find nothing wrong with it I respectfully urge that you take steps to recommend it to the Congress.
I was more than pleased to see your communication in print this morning to Attorney General McReynolds, and it was quite interesting as I read to note that you were touching on the very thought which Mr. Graham had suggested to me some time ago, as I have stated, and of which he has drafted a plan. We will go very much further, if the slogan of the Government as regards its viseyeing business, is to be cooperation rather than compulsion.A number of your real friends engaged in business out west asked me to see you, when in Washington, to make sure that you appreciated the unfortunate gravity of the business situation. Personally I am not unduly alarmed, for I believe it has not gone so far but what it can be checked and righted before we go before the people in the primaries next summer, notwithstanding the fact that it is only six months away. If when you sign the currency bill next week you could make some slight reference to the railway situation and the industries directly dependent thereon, expressing the hope that the Interstate Commerce Commission would find the facts called for an increase in rates, and, at the same time, referring to your recent address to Congress, state that a plan looking to the solution of the perplexing and embarassing situation which obtains as regards business uncertainty due to the indefinite antitrust legislation, I believe the sentimental effect of such a procedure would revitalize business activities beyond expression.
Please be assured, Mr. President, in making these suggestions they are made most respectfully, and the impelling cause is simply an earnest desire to help.

Again regretting I could not see you personally and wishing you a very pleasant Christmas, believe me,
Sincerely and faithfully, yours,
Edward F. Goltra

Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924




Goltra, Edward F., “Edward F. Goltra to Woodrow Wilson,” 1913 December 20, WWP18236, First Year Wilson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.