President Hoover's Views on the Depression

In February 1933, shortly before leaving office, President Hoover wrote a letter to Senator Simeon Fess (R-OH). Senator Fess was the Republican Whip in 1933, but was defeated for re-election in 1934. President Hoover provided a kind of thumbnail history of what he identified as the five phases of the Depression up to that point. The letter also makes clear his continuing disagreements with President-elect Roosevelt and the New Deal. It is interesting to note that Hoover included a separate cover letter to Fess with instructions that his letter not be released unless " . . .at some future time the Democratic leaders should endeavor to mislead the public about the causes of the present situation."

photo of FBI letter

page 2 of Hoover letter

photo of letter

another page of letter

final page of letter

All images courtesy National Archives