Return to Depression and Hard Times in Mississippi
Congressman 6th Miss Dist.
I seen in the Harold [Biloxi Daily Herald] where some one was going to oppose you in the next Election that will be held for that office.
Now I am the Same Old Negro that told you that you would be Elected to office out at the Barbecue at the City Park last year. You Remember the Old Man with long Beard and hair and after you were Elected I came to your hdqters that night and you gave me 50 cents.
Well do not fear. Just first trust in God then have Confidence in yourself and you will go back to Washington for a second term. Those that voted for you will vote for you again and new votes now will be given you. Some that other fellow got last year you will get them in the next election. You are all Right in Serving.
Now I am in worse shape than I was last year When you gave me the 50 cents. Physically broke Down. Cant do any kind of work. The Relief People has not had anything to give us in Gulf Port now for 5 weeks. Put out for back rent, Got hardly anyting to eat. Glad warm weather is here. On account of wood and out of use your Honor.
There is a bill there relating to a pension [Old Age Pension Bill] for all United States Citizens 60 years of age and over. I am 69, 5 months old Please favor the Bill with your influence and Should it go through Please Sir Personally advise me how to get my name on the Roll for I am Physically broke down from years of work and exposure and needs Rest and ... and real necisities of life the few more days that I am spared here and to not be old and only in the way.
If you live you are going back a second term
Hon Bill Colmer
I am writing you a few lines to see if you could use your influence in getting a little relief for me and my family some way Im a disabeled veteran had my pension cut out last July and since then have had no work at all to speak of and no relief what ever since Jan of this year I have a wife daughter and an aged invalid mother that had been sick with perlegra for the past 3 years and hasent been able to get any relief since last Sept or any attention from a Dr or any medicine and Mr. Colmer we are absolutely up against it we are all naked and are actually on starvation and cant seem to do a thing about it we have appealed to the local relief agent time after time with out avail and if we dont get help soon it will be too late there isnt any jobs to be had around here any way Im not able to do hard labor as I have my hospital records showing I have leakage of the heart a dislocated hop traumatism Pheumatic fever and several other things the matter I served one year 5 months and 28 days iln the service as linlisted man and now that is the appreciation shown me here on sufference and cant get help from any source tried to catch and sell fish but had to quit that as you cant sell fish without a license which cost $5.25 and I havent it.
My poor old mother is in a bad way and Miss Clark our local agent wont even talk to her because she lives here with me and knowing too that we havent a thing she is also a voter and none of the men she voted for seem to be the least interested in her now so if you could use your influence in getting help for us we surely would appreciate it and thank you a thousand times
Congressman W. M. Coalman
I am writing you for amformashion Please I am a world war veterand and I have retan to the tower building of Jackson Mississippi for work and they sent me a call bank for labor and then knock it out well I am a Black man that why they did so I thank well it have ben a white veteran left there sent thy kansol my letter and went and to the camp why I did not no that you all made any reseptson of any veterans about any thing like that I thought we was all a like in any line of working So I have no work no way to get non I have 3 in family to surport they wont give me no relief I am necket and my family So please se if you could help me some way
My dear Congressman and friend.
From our past relations and as your files will show that you have previously handled correspondence for me. As I am a disabled soldier not drawing anything a traveling preacher, that preaches somewhere in your district, and constantly meeting your friends and those who you want as your friends.
Being a traveling preacher and depending on free will collections and you know there is no money. I need to be rigged out with some clothes from hat to shoes. Being a traveler more than likely rules me out of local relief. But I should receive help someway or another. Perhaps through the Travelers aid Transit Bureau. But I need influence and that is why I am coming to you to cut througfh the red tape and get something done for me, as the millions are being spent for the needy. I am a needy preacher. Do not need lodging or transportation only need a few clothes and need them quick.
Please do what you can to get action for me Mister Bill. And if you can as a personal favor and gift contribution to God's cause at this time would appreciate a personal check from you of any small donation for even just a dollar or two. God will richly bless and reward you.
Congress W. M. Colmer
Dear Mr. Colmer I am a cripped man 44 years old I have a wife and five children on a little farm of my mothers but it is impossible for me to make a support for my self and family as I am disable to work at manually labor I am drawing a little direct relief I am mighy thankfull for what I get of it.
I have ben advised to write to the President to see if I could get him to give a pension but I thought I would take it up with you as I have got to have some other income besides the farm.
My children is interested in going to school and have got a good chance to go if I could get food clothine and books. I have a boy taking his second in high school but it is going to be mighty hard to keep him there if I cant get some help some way. You might think of some job that I could do and you could help me get it. If I could get some help some way and make what I could on the farm if I wan not handycapt by being crippled I would have had a good living. I am nearly near paralized from the same disease that crippled president Roosevelt. if you know any way to help me I will be very thankfuly to you.
I have always lived a clean and honest life. I would like to refer you to W. A. . M. Ellisville Miss RFD 4 U.G. L. Ovett Miss RFD 2 and W. R. of Ovett Miss RFD 2.
I was sure glad you were elected back to Congress.
I hope you will have a great success. Write soon
P.S. I would like also to refer you to J. C. Laurel Miss. I dont think I have been treated right about the relief and we have went mighty hungry and without cloths.
Mr. W. C. R.,
Dear Mr. R:
I have your letter of September 4th with reference to your need for assistance. I want to assure you that it would give me a great deal of pleasure to be of service to you and I only wish that there was something that I could do. However, I am sure you realize that I have very few jobs to hand out. In fact, I have none at this time.
It is possible that during the 74th Session of Congress an Old Age Pension Bill will be passed containing a provision that will take care of cases like yours. I hope so as I would like very much to be of help to you.
If you learn of anything that I can do or anyway in which I can be of service, please feel free to call on me.
With every good wish,
Hon William Colmer
Dear Sir--I am very much interested in Congress--especially in my own behalf as I am a cripple 57 years old and have not walked a step in 25 years-now they have taken me off the relief and Congress and the President is helping every human being but the cripples and disabled ones and they certainly are the ones that needs help-as for my self I can not work and have no way of making a living and no one to help me-so I am writing you to please let me know if it is any way Provided for crippled Destitute People like my self and many others-if it is not all I see in future is starvation-so please write me fully what is being or will be done with such as I am and others
Hon. Wm Colmer,
Am asking you for some assistance please. I am a citizen of Harrison co. 25 year. I Have 5 children the wife being dead 6 years. and I havent worked but 41 Hours since the month of May. was cut off the Relief last November and I have been trying to get a Relief card for four months. Have bin promised a card However for four months. but on the strength of those promises my things have been put out of the House and my children are any place I can keep them now. And these people in this beauro refuse to do anything. so if you have any idea you could bring about an investigation as to why my little children should suffer Why I would apprecieate it. I have strived to keep them this long and I hate like hell to have to part from them. Thanking you in advance for any countesy shown an servicibly your Resp
D. E. P. %Gen Del
Dr. Wayne Alliston
Dear Dr. Alliston:
I have interested myself in the case of Mr. D. E. P., General Delivery, Gulfport, Mississippi, who is a widower with five children to support.
I understand that he was cut off of the relief last November and has not been able to secure relief or employment, to any extent, since then. He has been put out of his house and has no way to take care of his children.
This seems to me to be a meritorious case, and I shall be grateful if you will have it investigated and do everything you possibly can for Mr. P.
Thanking you, I am
Mr. Bill Colmer;
I am writting you a few words inreguards of you sending me enough money to pay me and my wifes poll taxes. you no How I always stood 100 Per Cent for you. So now if I dont get my taxes paid we cant vote. So send me the money at once which will be $4.00. you see our taxes has got to be paid by the first of (Feb.) you no we have a hard time they are 5 of us in family I dont owne a cow a house are nothing. my wages only pay me $20.00 per month and this dont feed us. We need clothes and cant get them. So you see I am not able to pay my Taxes my children is going to school with out books.
So send me the money to pay our taxes so we can vote for you.
I am writing you a few lines to let you no I am in distress. I have been trying a long time to get some work. But when I ask for work they only put me off. I dont feel like I can stand this much longer. I am so worried until I am sick. But I have bad health. Here I am with three children, and they are necked for clothes, and have had to go to school all this term with out books are tablets are pencil. My husband only draws $20.00 per month, and we have to pay house rent, and buy my wood and ever thing I eat and wear out of that, and I have to pay for my furniture. I owe Woodruff Furniture Stores Hattiesburg Miss and Kirtwood Furniture Co, Hattiesburg so it looks like I am going to loose my stove and all my beds I even have to buy medicine. So now is a time for a friend in need, is a friend indeed. So I want you to send me $10.00 to buy me and my children some clothes, and I want you to help me get some work through that W.P.A.,[Works Projects Administration] for if I dont get some work and some help right away I dont see no way for us to pull through. So now I have always been your friend and all my folks. So now besure and send me some money I havent got no body to help me. this is from my heart. awaiting an early reply.
Dr. Wayne Alliston
Dear Dr. Alliston:
I am writing you in the interest of a constituent and friend of mine, Mrs. E. M. of New Augusta, Mississippi, who needs employment very badly.
Mrs. M. is the wife of a disabled veteran, who only draws a very small amount of compensation, and as they have three small children to support, it is imperative that she find something to do immediately. I understand that they are not getting the bare necessities of life, and I sincerely hope that you may be able to assist her in some capacity.
Thanking you, I am
Dear Mr. Colmer.
I am writing to you to ask you if you cant have something done for us.
Me and my husban is Bad sick, and we cant get medis Dr Ealie was here to see my husban last week and his fever was hunderd an 4 he is still in bed. we have not got the money to pay the Dr nor we havent fot the money to get medison. how can we live on 5 dollars a month when every thing is so hie. we have not got bread in our house nor nothing elce. why dont ther pay us a penchion like you all said you wood when tha was runen for offic. Mr Pat haris [Senator Bryan Patton Harrison] said at his speach at the Fair groung he was going to work on given us old pepol a penchion. eney one know we cant live on 5 a month my husband has kidney an blader an hart truble he cant make a dollar nor cant get what wood we burn our nabor Budy Yall has to get our wood we have tride to get M.. C. to give us some close and he dont do it but he gives to others we have not got hardely a changen nor he has not got a pair of Shues pleas have something done for us--
To the Hon Bill Colmer
I am writing you to see if you can help me to get some work on the WPA as I shore am in need of some work I have not got no home nor Eny thing else my husband is not able to work as he hase Kidny troble also ulcerated stumice I have 2 children an am trying to keep them in school I have been layed off from work since the 10 of Oct. an I have went an tryed to get work an have wrote an tryed to get work an they tell me that they will put me an at the first oping an they are puting them to work all around me and I cant get no work so one of your friends told me to write to you an you would help me so if you can help me I shure will think you I am allready certifide [for a job on a WPA project] all I need is just being put to work so help me if you can.
Honorable R. B. Wall
I have a letter from Mrs. B. S. Route 3, Ellisville, in regard to her need for employment.
It seems that she was formerly on the WPA, having been laid off on October 10th. She writes that she has tried to get work ever since and the local authorities tell her that they will put her on at the first opening. She states that others around her are being put back on, but that she cannot get work. Her husband is not able to work, and she has two children to support.
If you will have her case investigated to see if some help can be extended her I shall appreciate it.
With kindest regards, I am
Hon. Bill Colmer MC
Dear Mr. Colmer,
First I want to thank you for the stand you took in trying to secure an old age pension. If all the people concerned would see us old people as we really are I believe it would go thru without any conflict.
Old people like myself are just hanging over the deep chasm by a slender thread.
We have no income, no means of support, the only thing we can do is just sit and wait around like a poor off casted dog just take what crumbs fall from the other fellows table and as you know now these are so few.
We old people who live between wars seem to be a neglected people. We too are just as brave as those who went to war. We have fought our battles too but not on the bloody battlefield as our brothers but we are here and have done our best to carry on.
I am old and sick. My wife is most past the years of work too so what are we to do. We can not get help from any source they tell me they have nothing for me. I ask for help on old age assistance in my county (Stone) and I was turned away.
I am your friend and my people are your friends. When you started the trip to our capital I helped you on the way. Can you do any thing for a tried and true friend in need.
Dear Mr. Colmer,
Im writing you a few lines, begging you to help me and my family. My wife and I walked and voted for you. Now Im old, and crippled with Rheumatism I have a wife suffering with a Goitre and neuritis. Have 2 sweet little girls I want to educate but without help all will be in vain. I am 64 years old be 65 in Jan. and Im not able to work and support my family. Would to God you men up at Washington would take pity on us poor old farmers who has worked and tryed all our lives just for a scant living, would get busy and help us all by giving us an old age pension of from $15.00 or even $30.00 per month. We are not going to live long. And God knows we outht to share some conforts and pleasure in our last days. If we could draw a few dollars a month to but medicine and some good things to eat and some decent clothes to wear. It would be a blessing so please Mr. Colmer please do every thing in your power to pass the old age pension, right now. And I hope it will be passed from 55 years to one need of a pension. Write me right back you promise and when can I draw a pension. My wife and myself and 2 girls made 8 bales of cotton, but every bit of it went to the man that we rented from so theres the way things go somedays I would almost fall in the field at my plowhandles. Don’t you think I’ve worked long enough.
Hoping to hear from you at once
Your friend Respt. E. B.
P.S. there is a poor old lady lives near me. Mrs M. S. age 82 years don’t get any pension or relief. So I hope you will write her. If you can get a pension for her, poor old thing has reared 7 children and several of them is in need also, so if you could get a pension for her I would make the poor old soul happy and she could bey her some fruit and eats that would make her happy and probably prolong her life. She voted for you to, so write her and make her happy in her last days
Thanking you for anything you can do for us all
I am writting you in regard to WPA, work. I have tried every way I know and can not get work on W.P.A. nor any other job for some bit. I am a married man with wife and 4 children to support my children is between 14 and 6 yrs. old. My wife and one child is in bad health, My wife has been sick four years. that is reason why I am in such bad condition. Part of every thing I make goes for Dr. bills. but I tell you friend she has not had proper medical attention, my man I have had a time.
I am 38 years old able to work and want to, but can not get work. I just wish you could visit my home and see conditions. I have not recieved one bit of relief help, I have a place to live but no farm.
I was certified for WPA. June 1937 and never recieved an assignment card yet for WPA. work. I do not know reason and if you can possible help me will thank you so many times, I have supported you before and will do more for you in next campaign than ever if you will if in your power help me in this hour of need.
Jimmie Tims, assignment clerk at Hattiesburg has promised to assign me up as early as possible, but man my needs are so great I can not wait long or we will sure enough suffer. Trusting it lies in your power and you will be so kind to help me.
Hope to hear from you at an early date, and htanks for any thing you do in regard to helping me on WPA.
Mr, Wm.(Bill) Colmer
The first time I heard you Speak was at Sanford Miss. when you first ran for the office you now aspire at a W.O.E. picnic they were only a few stayed in thehouse to hear you and your opponent speak, but I was instered so I was one of the few that stayed and was very much impressed with your speach, so I have suported you from that day untill this.
Since-34-I have had nothign but bad luck, I lost a 6 year old girl in that year had two opperations and in, 36 had another opperation and big Dr's bills beside all this and lost my home by fire. During all this time I have had no work, only what I got out of my little farm. I have tried from every sourse to get work but have not gotten any It seems that you can-not get on the W.P.A. in our district if you have every worked, if you do you have to sign up you haven't every done anything and dont expect to and you can get work. I can't sign up like that. No longer than this after noon some of my good friends in Ellisville were trying to get me to help to remove you from your office.
Listen this is what I am striking at. if you will help me to get a Job I will still suport you as I have in the past, but if not I will help the other man to get the office.
I am 39 yrs. old and in good health can do most amy kind of work. so if you can help me to get work please let me hear from you at an early date.
Dear Sir Will write you to see if you will help me I am in need of work & I am willing to work if you will see that I get work some of your friends in Laurel Miss. recommended you to me they said you really would help me & I believe you will Mr Colmer. I have got a family to work for & we sure do need food & clothes & I have been to the wefare office & they want pay me no attention I have been to every one that is concerned in the Relief & they wont notice me & we havent got any thing to live on & we need help right quick I have been trying for the last two or three months to get a job & they wont help me & if you will help me it sure will be appreciated by myself & my family & my neighbors Mr. Colmer if you dont believe I need help just send some one to my house or come your self Mr Colmer Please help me at once
Mr. Bill Colmer
Dear Mr Colmer, I am glad to think that the voters of our district are in Greater majority in favor of keeping our Bill at the top of the hill.
So I am writing you just some jots concerning our people & goverment. in breif I believe that the Rosevelt, new Deal had bin a great favor in saving our nation.... so let us comment on the w.P.A. there are Thousands of people who depend on that alone and will not try to do any thing to help the government take care of themselves. That class are growing more & more all the time. That class should be restricted to Earning in some other way. Such as gardening, farming or wage labor. I know some who has asserted that they would not give their four day per week W.P.A. for two of the best farms to be found. You cannnot hire some of them to help on a farm without paying the wage and hour price of W.P.A. such is prohibit to the farm.
next let us look at old age Pension is it fair and justly Estribated (shurely not so) it seems that any old person who has a place to call home cannot get any compensation from this fund the class who gets this pension are mostly those who has never paid any Tax and would not work to own a home People of other nationalities are reaping from the worn out sons of toil who has supporrted the goverment all of their lives. Mr Colmer wouldent it be a just deal to make a national law for the goverment to Rebate all taxes paid by Each payer at the age of 60 years old up to $1,000 Each and no more. in Ohter words if a payer only Paid in 2 or 400 between 21 and 60 years his rebate would be just what he had paid in event of deceasure rebate to the widdow or orphan. Such would be a saving Policy, and Incourgions to Thrift and labor.
Mr. Colmer I approve the Mississippi home Tax Exemption Law in the past many poor has lost their homes for Tax many has sold their only milk cows and their last chicken off their yard to save home from Sherriff sales, now in conclusion this is my case at 21 years of age I began work for myself I worked hard for 50 cts Per day and bought me a 40 acre home place for $200 built my home and hav lived here 38 years, made a good living and reared 3 children.
I am debarred from any public work owing to health and age. two years ago I got hurt. hospittal and docttor bills has broke me. I am not able to work as a Result of my Injury. I am owing near $300 and have no income. all that I can do is to sit at home and Rehabittation program while being in hospittal. I am now 64 years Old but cannot get any old age Pension Because I wash my face Every morning let me hear from you (Bill)
Yours very truly
P.S. I lost my left Eye in Injury and am deaf in Right Ear. no One in good health can Realize this great and prescious Blessings.
I'm writing to you to try to get some kind of relief. I am in that rainly section of George County Miss. where there was not but little made. I did not make but just a little cotton and not enough corn to feed my team until plow time. My place is in debt. I borrow money to make this crop. I did not make enought to live on much less pay any of my dept. I have one arm broken and can only use it just a little. I got my leg broke in Jan.1939. that cause me to have to have to harrow all my crop work.
I have never been able to get any relief or work on W.P.A. for I am not able to do any work by the day. I never done nothing but farm. If we farmer in George Co. dont get some king of relief from the Government we cant live muchless farm. I hope and trust you do all you can.
Mr Bill Colmer
My husband has been off of the W.P.A. works since July he cant get back on and dont no why the last time he went the lady told him to come back Friday but he dosent have the money to get some one to carry him back and forth.
I have been down with T.B. for three years and seven month cant get the food that I hsould have to build my body am loosing weight but they are nothin we can do about it.
Mr Colmer Please help us in getting a work card are tell us why we cant get one. We will more than bee thankful for anything you can do for us.
We are in need for food and clothes. Please write us by return mail.
We have a neibor that are in the same shape they are on starve ashion no clothes cant get a work card she ask me to put their complaint in they want a hearing from you their adress is
Sumrall Miss RH2
Mr. Wm. M. Colmer:
Dear Mr. Colmer I am writting you as I am in bad need. I was burned about Seventeen Months ago and have been in bed all this time. I stayed in Hospital (12) months I was so badly burned I had to have one of my legs amputated near my hop the other leg is of little use to me it is not healed yet my left arm is of very little use to me. I have a family, a wife and two Babies, I feel that you will do something for me. You want heve to take my word for it. You can write Dr. Graham Leakesville Mississippi, and he will gladly tell you my condition.
If there is any way you can help me out or provide a way for me it will behighly appreciated.
I am hopeing to hear from you real soon.
Dear Mr. Colmar,
I see in the paper a cliping enclosed that ;you are seeking to more old age penshion for old People. I am 79 years old have high Blood Presure Asmay not abel to walk nearly Blind cant see to write or get about a nearly helpless Wife 65 years old no one to take care of us. I do all I can have a small garden a few chickens to see after I do all I can to help make a living but we need more help than we get now I have to thank you for what you are doing to do for the old and need people hope you get the Bill through as Planded I assure you I will voteand use all my enflluence for you when you run for office I have all wayes suported you for Office and Expect to keep it up I am needed to keep you in office you Will Pleas Excuse this Poley written letter as I cant see to write nearly Blind just gess it out hoping you good Luck in your undertakings
I Remain Yours Truly
Hon Wm Colmer
Dear Sir and Friend
Justo let you the conditions down Here There is Plenty of Work and Good Wages For Exery one That is able to work and will work But it is worst For The old age That Cant Work Because Everything is Thribled in Price and They Cant Make a Doller Very Depend on Don’t you Think The Old age should Be Taken Care of out of the social security Tax.
There is Lots of The old misforunate That is a going Hungry They are gitting a average of about 7.50 Pr Month Baarlely annuff to Buy There Bread and Lard Please See if you can git a Bill through That Will keep Them From suffering With Best Wishes
Hon. Bill Colmer M.C.
My Dear Colmer. I am a loyal citizen and a tax payer and also a supporter of yours. 75 years old and wife 71 years old eather one of us not able to work.
And I have no means of support. I am cripled with a broken hip and frequently attacked with heart trouble and have recently sold my last cow to get something to go on. A few years ago I sold my mule and old car to get something to go on. This is all about exausted and I don’t know what I will do. Am asking you to help me get on the old age pension. Am sure you can. I think I am intilled to it. Thare ar some on it that I know of that are not as disable as I am. Some few years ago I got burned out of house and home every thing but one trunk and one quilt.
Will appreciate it very mutch if you will assist in getting me on the old age pension. Am sure you fan and will.
Thanking you in advance for what you may do for me.
Hoping to hear from you at an early date. You supporter and friend.
Der M. Colmer.
As you have had the old helpless people at hart and made a hard fight for them you have the Prisident to help you in this Congress. I notice he sed he wanted Social Security extended from the cradel to the grave. Mr Colmer every body that can work can git work at a good wage. But the old that is not able to work is suffering they only get an average of 8.00 pr month [from Social Security] and the price of living has gone so high that they are going hungry and cold and if you can git a bill through that will give the old people one dollar a day that they can begin to draw by July god will surely Bless you. I thank you for you faithfull efforts for your people up there.
Hon Wm M. Colmer, Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr Colmer,
I saw in the Biloxi Daily Herald of Feb 1st where you was appointed Chairman of a committee for post war organization [House Special Committee on Postwar Economic Policy and Planning] . I hope that you and your committee will bring the country back to a better condition for the old people. Many who like myself have suffered much by this war.
I am 81 years old. I have to live by myself as I have no one to help me. I have to pay $11.00 a month for a place to stay. And I only get a small pension of $9.00 a month. I have been sick since the first of December, and I have been crippled in my feet for several months. My right leg and foot is swelled much larger than my left. It hurts me to walk. I am not able to make enough to live on in my present condition. If you committee really wants to do any good, why no sign the petition to bring the Townsend Bill HR 1649 to the floor for a discussion and a vote. It is the only post war plan that will do any good. By allowing the old people 60 years old and past a good pension, that will retire them from work. To be spent every 30 days will give the work to the younger people. I don’t see that any Congressman from Mississippi has signed the petition yet. Why not take the lead in doing so? All Congressmen from Florida have signed it. Many of us old people have voted for you, so that you have a good office in Washington, why not do something to help us.
The Townsend movement is a Christian movement. If the people of this country would all learn to co-operate together as the most of them have in this war. By doing so in time of peace, we would have the most prosperous country in the world. It would create so much wealth that none would have to live in poverty any more.