From The Blog

The Difference a Year (or Two) Can Make

These two documents are from the Lehman archives at Columbia University. The first, from 1958, is a cordial thank you note from Herbert Lehman to...

These two documents are from the Lehman archives at Columbia University. The first, from 1958, is a cordial thank you note from Herbert Lehman to Carmine De Sapio and his wife for the flowers they sent to Lehman’s wife, who was recovering from an injury. The second document indicates a shift in the relationship: a press release from 1960, where Lehman states his desire “for the elimination of that boss rule of which Mr. De Sapio is the outstanding personification.”

In 1959 Lehman joined forces with Eleanor Roosevelt to lead the city’s reform movement, which would work to oust De Sapio and his coterie — significant, because during the 1954 governor’s race, Lehman had sided with De Sapio when De Sapio decided to back Averell Harriman over Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. for the gubernatorial nomination.

Nick_1958 Letter_resized(Special Correspondence File of the Lehman Papers at Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Folder 208: De Sapio, Carmine)

Nick_1960 Press Release_resized(Special Correspondence File of the Lehman Papers at Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Folder 208: De Sapio, Carmine)