Letter from Frank M. Wooten to John D. Langston, 10 May 1918
May 10, 1918.
Major Jno. D. Langston,
My dear Major:
Mr. L. W. Tucker has taken oath of office as member of the Local Board for this County, and it is being mailed to you this afternoon. So you have two members to transact business.
In as much as Mr. Laughinghouse has resigned from the Board, and can not yield to the pleading of registrants and those persons interceding for them to the detriment of the applications of the S. S. R. I hope that all reference to what has been in the past by the Local Board or its members, individually, can now be permanently put aside and the future work be permitted to proceed without any further pressing of complaints.
The above is expressed as a hope, but I suggest that it be treated as an expression of my opinion and desire in the matter, as being the best course, under all the circumstances, to be taken. I urge this course for the following reasons:
1. About February first, when I was appointed Government Appeal Agent, Class I, had in it something like 17 percent; by appeals and reclassifications the number in Class I is, approximately, 27 percent. Calling this additional number into Class I has caused much unpleasant surprise to interested persons. This unpleasantness has now subsided, in a general way, and the general attitude of the people of the County towards this reclassification by the District Board is accepted as right.
2. All unnecessary controversy over what has taken place in the past which resulted in erroneous classification would have a tendency to disturb the confidence of the people in the efficient applications of the S. R. R. to the detriment of the harmonious progress of the work in the County in the future.
3. I am taking advantage, and so are others, to address the people in the various sections of the County, whenever it can well be done, on the justice of the S. S. R. and that they have been fairly administered, and that no unfair advantage has been taken of any registrant, by the Government. Further pressing of charges would tend to contradict that statement.
4. I can not see that any further good can come from pressing any charge against any person or persons relative to errors of the past, now since the likelyhood of a recurrence by the same persons is impossible.
5. The foregoing reasons are, in my opinion, sufficient to justify me in asking questions that you suggest to the Department of Justice that it has, already, accomplished, in this County the corrections demanded. And, further, I state that it has been done in such manner as to reflect great credit on the efficiency of the Department.
6. My file shows that on March 23-28-29 and on April 5, I asked that you accept my resignation as Government Appeal Agent for this County. That request is addressed to the discretion of the superior officers under whom my work has been done. It seems that the burden of that work assigned to Appeal Agent has been completed. In doing it, it has been my pleasure to serve the Government, and if I can now be released I shall be grateful. If it is not so that I can be released at this time, I shall pay due respect to your further orders.
7. I have made an effort to determine on some one who might be induced to take up the Appeal work. The best fitted man for the work is Mr. C. C. Pierce, an attorney, of the place. Talk with him about it. I think that you can persuade him to take it. I cannot.
F. M. WOOTEN,
Government Appeal Agent.