am a graduate of Harvard Medical School, class of 1954. Since
then I have held several professorships of medicine and practiced
medicine in the York City for some 40 years.
About 1956, I became friends with Anna Roosevelt Halsted (daughter
of President Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt) and
her husband, Dr. James Halsted (HMS, 1930). Soon thereafter,
Anna introduced me to her mother. Eleanor was a very great
lady, and we two became good friends.
remember, vividly, a conversation with Anna in 1960 wherein
we chatted over a variety of matters. At one point, the subject
of Alger Hiss came up. Anna had known him very well. Mr. Hiss
accompanied Mr. Roosevelt to the Yalta conference at which
Anna was also present. Anna stated that it was inconceivable
to her that Mr. Hiss had been guilty of any treasonous action
and that there had been a cabal of which "that contemptible
Whittaker Chambers" was a prime mover - that "was
out to get" Alger Hiss.
important memory in regard to Alger Hiss is a dinner party
attended at Mrs. Roosevelt's home on December 22, 1961. Other
guests included Anna Roosevelt Halsted, Adlai Stevenson and
Judge Samuel Rosenman.
dinner over coffee the subject of Alger Hiss arose. Mrs. Roosevelt
steadfastly believed Alger Hiss to be innocent. She had some
particularly uncomplimentary things to say about Whittaker
Chambers. She said she thought he was "utterly contemptible
and probably a psychopathic liar."
Stevenson and Judge Rosenman agreed. Both said they thought
Hiss was innocent and that the whole affair constituted "one
of the darker chapters in U.S. history."
GILBERT R. CHERRICK
to We Remember Alger