Hard Times in Illinois, 1930–1940
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives

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August 22, 1932

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Because the U.S. Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) had no office in Springfield in August of 1932 this letter was delivered to the governor. Chartered by Congress on January 16, 1932 the RFC was appropriated $500,000,000 and given authority to borrow up to $1,500,000,000 more in tax-free obligations. Its original purpose was to make five-year loans to banks, to savings and loan associations, to railroads with the approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission, to farm credit organizations, and to farmers through the Department of Agriculture when emergencies existed. Loans were to be secured by real assets. But as the crisis progressed the RFC became a convenient conduit through which to funnel federal aid dollars. An amendment added in early 1932 allowed loans to states which in return were to provide relief for the unemployed and distressed.

This letter was answered by the governor's secretary. He stated that the governor had no authority in the matter.

Points to Consider

What was Clarence Seymour asking the RFC to do?

What was the RFC?

Locate Fort Gage on a map.

What is deflation and who does it hurt most, the lender or the borrower? Why?

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