Document 28A: Florence Rose to Mrs. Frederick Brooks, 25 January 1933, 2 pp., Reel 32, Papers of Margaret Sanger, 1900-1966, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
The letter is a solicitation for funds for the Harlem Branch clinic. It is written in the informal language of a Clinical Research Bureau staffperson to a longtime supporter. Florence Rose was a former social worker who worked at the Clinical Research Bureau as Sanger's personal secretary. The letter details the end of Rosenwald funding, the increased costs of the clinic, and the community's continuing need for the clinic. Attached to the letter is a list of "typical" cases at the Harlem clinic, which Rose frames in paternalistic terms in the postscript. The list provides a window on the client case histories Sanger and her associates used to support their fund-raising efforts. It also provides a glimpse of the social conditions in Harlem in this period.
January 25, 1933
Mrs. Frederick Brooks,
1107 Fifth Avenue,
New York City
Dear Mrs. Brooks:
It is just a year ago since you generously helped Mrs. Sanger meet the financial emergency in Harlem. You will recall that, at the time, we were trying to raise $1000.00 to meet the requirements of the Rosenwald Fund people who had stipulated that their contribution was contingent upon Mrs. Sanger's matching it with an equal amount.
Thanks to your help and that of a few other warm and loyal friends of long standing, we were enabled to secure this Rosenwald appropriation and it has kept the Harlem Clinic going up to the present time. You know, of course, that there is no section of the city where unemployment, poverty and misery is greater than in Harlem. More and more colored women are turning to us for help - few of them can manage to pay even 25¢ toward the cost of service or supplies.
This year the Rosenwald people have advised us we cannot count on them at all because of their own financial difficulties. Their interest, of course, is as great as ever. Mrs. Sanger interviewed Mrs. Felix Fuld and explained this situation to her, and Mrs. Fuld has been kind enough to say she will contribute $5000.00 to the work but also subject to the condition that Mrs. Sanger raises an equal amount from other interested supporters.
Great strides have been made in Harlem during the past year. Mrs. Sanger addressed a large meeting at the Abyssinian Church there, and the interest was so great that she has been asked to speak to an even larger audience on Mother's Day. On our Advisory Council we have the outstanding professional men and women of Harlem. They are
taking an active interest, and as a result of all the effort that has been put into the work up there, it seems very likely that within another year, arrangements can be made for the community to take the clinic off Mrs. Sanger's hands and maintain it as part of the public health service. At the present time, there is also an excellent chance that the Harlem Clinic may be given space at the Urban League which would, of course, be a great step forward in many ways and would also assist in lightening the financial burden to some extent.
In the meantime, however, Mrs. Sanger is faced with the need of securing contributions or pledges in order to obtain similar sums from Mrs. Fuld. If you and the others who kindly came to her help last year could renew your contribution this year, it would mean more than I can say. Mrs. Sanger is in California just now trying to raise some funds in order to continue the Federal work. Immediately on her return she must leave for Washington in connection with our Congressional work. There is so much to do — so few to do it all— and the money problem is a constant worry and strain on Mrs. Sanger.
It would indeed be a wonderful help if you can renew your contribution of last year, and I shall anxiously look forward to hearing from you.
Always with deep appreciation and gratitude for the help you have given Mrs. Sanger in the past, I am
Mrs. Margaret Sanger.
Just to give you an idea of what we are up against in Harlem, I enclose a few Case Histories that tell their own story. You can realize what a Godsend it is to these mothers to be able to obtain safe birth control advice. They are pathetically grateful.
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