July 15, 1919
Gov. Thomas W. Bickett,
Dear Gov. Bickett:-
A Meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Cotton Association has been called to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Chamber of Commerce, on July 23rd at 10:00 A.M., to be in session through the 24th.
Matters of vital importance to the entire South will be considered at this meeting, matters in which you as a loyal son of the South and as a citizen are vitally interested. We are extremely anxious to have your assistance and guidance, and upon request of a number of members of the Board, I am writing to urge that you attend this meeting and give us your assistance.
The permanent organization of the American Cotton Association throughout the entire cotton belt is now on foot. Outside interests backed by tremendous financial strength, who have prospered at the expense of the South for Lo, these many years, are systematically pushing the plan of defeating the organ[i]zation of the American Cotton Association throughout the South. It will operate a counter-proposition for the organization of a World Cotton Association, including the farmer, merchant, banker and the spinner, both New England and foreign, and states that this will be a cooperative association. They, in like manner, are opposing measures which the American Cotton Association has brought forward, which are of great importance in the advancement of the South. They are opposing state-owned or state-controlled warehouse systems, and many of the other important plans which mean so much to the entire South. This opposition comes absolutely and entirely from people outside the South. At the same time, they have enormous financial backing and will push their plans in every way possible.
The organization of the American Cotton Association has been of untold benefit to the South. It has saved millions for the producer. With this Association permanently organized throughout the length and breadth of the cotton belt will mean that the South will become the most prosperous part of the country, the heart and the pride of the entire Nation. I feel that this matter is of such vital importance that we should not permit any personal sacrifice be sued as an excuse to prevent every loyal son of the South from rendering every assistance possible to push to completion this great movement. We are laying aside personal business and using every effort in our power to carry forward this great work, which means the salvation of the South. We are in sight of the goal; have won the race. It will be truly a calamity, a catastrophe, if we permitted an outside influence, absolutely opposed to the interests of the South, to rob our South of the great prize we have won at the race. This will, and shall not, be premitted. We need your assistance, advice and cooperation. We feel satisfied that you will gladly render it. Can we count on you being with us at this meeting? Remember the date July 23rd in Atlanta, Georgia.
Assuring you of our appreciation, I am,
J. S. Wannamaker