Joseph B. Eastman: Servant of the People

By Claude Moore Fuess | Go to book overview

III
An Amherst Education

IN SEPTEMBER, 1900, as Amherst College was opening its eightieth year, a diminutive member of the incoming Class of 1904 struggled up the grassy slope leading to "Old South." Because a wagon had dumped his furniture in the road, he faced the job of carrying it to the third floor of his dormitory. Swinging a heavy mattress to his shoulders, he made his way awkwardly up the stairs. As he reached the top, almost completely smothered, he dropped his burden and looking up through the sweat pouring down his face, saw a taller young man who had just padded out of his room shoeless and stockingless and seemed to be amused at the spectacle. The small freshman took another glance and said, "You must be the first fellow to cross the Rocky Mountains in his bare feet." The other made no immediate response to this unexpected observation and seemed to be making up his mind. Then he replied in a pleasant drawling voice, "There are so many mountains," and picking up one end of the mattress, he added, "The young man who lifts up his bed and walks needs help." Together they dumped the mattress into a room.

Having performed this humanitarian act, the "barefoot boy" announced, "I'm Joe Eastman, from Pottsville, Pennsylvania." The smaller freshman was William I. Hamilton, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, who was to become one of Eastman's close college friends and has remembered the incident all these years. Eastman began his college career by helping someone else.

Fred E. Sturgis, another freshman, saw Joe first at church on the morning after the cane rush between the two lower classes. Eastman had managed to engage the college heavyweight champion in close combat, receiving as a consequence two shiny and much-

-19-

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Joseph B. Eastman: Servant of the People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • I - Yankee Background 3
  • II - Growing Up 8
  • III - An Amherst Education 19
  • IV - Apprenticeship in Public Service 37
  • V - Transition to Power 61
  • VI - From State to Nation 80
  • VII - The Independent Commissioner 96
  • VIII - The Prosperity Era 126
  • IX - Valuation Is Vexation 153
  • X - Problems and Policies 166
  • XI - Federal Coordinator of Transportation 180
  • XII - The Coordinator's Task and Achievements 211
  • XIII - Eastman and the New Deal 245
  • XIV - The Last Big Job 270
  • XV - The End of the Road 297
  • XVI - The Measure of a Man 312
  • Index 345
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