The American Fund for Public Service: Charles Garland and Radical Philanthropy, 1922-1941

By Gloria Garrett Samson | Go to book overview

28
We Did Quite a Lot of Good

On June 18, 1941, less than a week before Germany ended the non- aggression pact by invading Russia, the board of directors of the American Fund for Public Service announced that it had voted to liquidate the Fund and turn over the "few remaining assets" to Charles Garland. The press release stated that the fund had been "comparatively inactive in recent years, having given away most of the principal, in accordance with the wishes of the donor." A remaining $24,626.18 in outstanding loans was assigned to Garland, who also received the cash balance of $1,619.13. Garland had been present at the final meeting and "expressed his satisfaction with the way the Fund had been handled, stating that he felt the Board had done a wiser and better job than he himself could have done." By then living quietly in Mt. Vernon, New York, with his second wife and four children, he told a reporter, "I don't give away money anymore." 1 Blessedly free from media scrutiny, he lived in anonymity another thirty-three years, dying in October 1974.

The Garland Fund had contributed almost $2 million to nearly one hundred "enterprises of pioneer character directly or indirectly related to building up the power of the unorganized working class." Although "none of us would give unqualified approval to our work," Baldwin believed "we did quite a lot of good despite our errors and failures" and "considering the odds." The situation looked promising when the fund began. The directors believed that the impact of the Russian Revolution on the left wing of the labor movement could be extended into the mainstream of labor. However, two factors, according to Baldwin, put labor and radical movements "in a slump" during the 1920s, the period of the Fund's maximum operation. The economy bred support of capitalism, Baldwin said, and the left had fragmented. 2 He neglected to note, however, that the Fund itself had been an entity around which the fragmented left gathered and sought support on a common ground.

Baldwin believed that the establishment of Vanguard Press and the

-219-

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The American Fund for Public Service: Charles Garland and Radical Philanthropy, 1922-1941
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Labor Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1 - An Inheritance Rejected 1
  • Notes 3
  • 2 - From Progressivism to Radicalism 5
  • Notes 12
  • 3 - The Aclu and a New Social Order 15
  • Notes 18
  • 4 - Free from the Bonds of Old Institutions 19
  • Notes 24
  • 5 - Workers Will Lay Down Their Tools 27
  • Notes 31
  • 6 - To Promote the Well-Being of Mankind 33
  • Notes 38
  • 7 - Pacifists as Radicals 41
  • Notes 46
  • 8 - It Takes Warm Hearts 49
  • Notes 56
  • 9 - Chosen to Box the Left Compass 59
  • Notes 63
  • 10 - A Sane Enough Radicalism 65
  • Notes 68
  • 11 - Spend It Here and Now 69
  • Notes 73
  • 12 - Scientific, Pragmatic, Efficient 75
  • Notes 81
  • 13 - Emancipation of Their Class in Every Sphere 83
  • Notes 90
  • 14 - Bolsheviks in Patriots' Clothing 93
  • Notes 100
  • 15 - Tempers Flare 103
  • Notes 109
  • 16 - The Rebel Girl Comes Aboard 111
  • Notes 115
  • 17 - Surveying the Left 117
  • Notes 122
  • 18 - Enemies on the Left 125
  • Notes 131
  • 19 - Education and Culture 133
  • Notes 139
  • 20 - Recipient Testimonials 141
  • Notes 147
  • 21 - Negro Work"" 149
  • Notes 155
  • 22 - Passaic 157
  • Notes 162
  • 23 - Vanguard Press 165
  • Notes 169
  • 24 - Friction Within and Without 171
  • Notes 177
  • 25 - Little Left to Repress 179
  • Notes 190
  • 26 - The Manifold Discriminations That Beset Him"" 193
  • Notes 201
  • 27 - Shift to Low Gear 205
  • Notes 216
  • 28 - We Did Quite a Lot of Good 219
  • Notes 224
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 253
  • About the Author 265
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