The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK—I have a letter from a devoted daughter who wants me to remind the many friends of Mrs. Eliza Barchus (Mrs. John H. Barchus) of Portland, Ore., that her mother will be 100 years old on December 4 of this year.

All over this country there are paintings, she tells me, done by her mother who reached the peak of her artistic career between 1888 and 1920. She says:

“In those days, becoming a career woman was fraught with many disadvantages and hardships, and becoming a nationally known famous artist, without the present-day help afforded by art societies and art museums, was a rare achievement. Besides raising her family, painting and selling her own pictures, she instructed others, some of her students going on to make names for themselves in the art world.”

One of Portland's leading artists of today took his first art instruction from her as a young man in his teens.

We are so apt to forget pioneers who have made future conquests easier for other people, and since living to 100 years of age is exceptional, I thought I would tell this little story so that those who remember Mrs. Barchus or own one of her pictures will send her some word of greeting during this month.

To turn from art to business, I have received in the past, as many of my readers know, many letters from women over 40—and even from some men—complaining about the difficulty of getting jobs. This week I got a letter from a man who says:

“After more than a decade of research and testing, the writer, a business and merchandising consultant, former executive of a national economic research organization, has developed a formula for increasing employment. It is known as 'Jobs Unlimited.'

He claims through his methods to have helped several hundred people, even handicapped people, to find jobs, and he feels sure his approach could be extended to meet the needs of thousands. His name is William George Fagan and his address is 13001 Marty Lane, Garden Grove, Calif.

It would seem to me that some enterprising newspaper or radio or TV show might start an interesting feature showing how his methods can be made to work. At least, it might be worth the investigation, for I am only too well aware of the many, many people who need help in finding their proper niche for production.

On November 13 a conference will be held under Dr. Frank Graham at the Sheraton McAlpine Hotel in New York City on the subject of what can be done to help migratory labor and low-income farmers of this country. The conference is under the auspices of the National Sharecroppers Fund and I think it should be attended by many farm organizations and labor representatives as well as the general public throughout the country.

We have reached a point where it is of interest to see that these people receive decent living conditions and some kind of security. Our migratory labor covers not only U.S. citizens who move from South to North and back again but often includes imported labor—Mexicans, Japanese, Filipinos and people from the British West Indies.

It is not just a question of laws; it is a question of awareness on the part of labor unions, farm organizations and the general public to prevent exploitation of groups that alone are helpless to demand fair labor standards and decent living conditions.


(Copyright, 1957, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]
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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 6, 1957

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.