Elgin R. L. Gould to Woodrow Wilson


Elgin R. L. Gould to Woodrow Wilson


Gould, E. R. L. (Elgin Ralston Lovell), 1860-1915




1913 December 4


Elgin R. L. Gould writes to Woodrow Wilson about the passage of the Currency Bill.


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


Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924--Correspondence


My dear Mr. President

The passage of the Currency Bill is a great political achievement, and I think the chief credit should go to you. There are many who, some time ago, professed to think that much credit should not be given to anybody for the passage of such a measure, but I have sound reasons for believing that this number is rapidly diminishing, at least, in New York and Chicago. I went to Chicago a week ago Saturday to address the Commercial Club of that city on my pet theme the union of business and philanthropy and while there I had the opportunity of talking with a number of prominent men in the world of finance. I had talked previously to many of these same men during the month of May last, and it was of great interest to me to note the change in mental attitude. I believe there are very few inveterate opponents to the banking and currency system as financially provided in the bill you signed last evening, and that the number of those who assumed a waiting attitude is largely made up of those who formerly opposed it. Moreover, a very large majority of bankers and financiers and business men, with anything like a general outlook, I believe are now favorably disposed. My personal experiences during the last few months have afforded me a good deal of amusement, as I recall them. So many of my friends and acquaintances connected with large business and finance, were fearful and suspicious at the beginning, inclined to think that you were not regardful of business interests, or that you were tainted with financial heresy. Yesterday one of these a man of great prominence in this city, told me with an apologetic preface that every man had a right to change his mind, that he had grown to admire you and to regard you as a great political strategist, who at the same time was sincerely working for the welfare of the country. This same man was at the Baltimore Convention while I was there, working strongly against you, while I was doing all I could to promote your nomination. So, I must say it gave me great pleasure to be able to suggest the I told you so.What I like about your policy, as indicated in the Tariff and Currency measures, is your evident purpose to bring about greater business stability. I believe that the high tariff and the banking system we have just changed were largely responsible for those extreme oscillations which meant practically unrestricted opportunity for the man of superior business shrewdness to take advantage of situations which inevitably hurt the smaller man who was slower to act. and who, perhaps felt greater patriotic responsibility. I believe it is a great deal better to have business conditions stable and operating on a smaller basis of profit, such as one finds in England, for example, than to have these alternations of extreme prosperity and adversity. I hope sincerely that your well merited rest may be of physical benefit to you. Considering the influence of the mental upon the physical I should think that the satisfaction which you must derive from your seven months of presidential experience, should give you a good basis for recuperation.

Please accept my very hearty good wishes, with compliments of the season.
ERL Gould

Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924




Gould, E. R. L. (Elgin Ralston Lovell), 1860-1915, “Elgin R. L. Gould to Woodrow Wilson,” 1913 December 4, WWP18249, First Year Wilson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.