McLean papers  1861-1913
full text File Size: 10 K bytes

Container / Location Title
Box   : Duane Norman Diedrich Collection  
Richard E. Byrd collection [series]
  1928 March 26 . "Dick B." [Richard Evelyn Byrd] TLS to James B[urton] Pond; [Boston, Massachusetts?]. (2 pages)
Has been pleased with Pond's professional deportment, but feels he has "under-estimated my drawing power" and cost them money. Remarks on the crowds who come to hear him speak and the profits organizations are making off of the events. Believes Pond should advertise his Trans-Atlantic flight rather than solely focusing on his Antarctic expeditions. Disappointed that Pond has not been more proactive in ensuring he has access to a "proper moving picture operator and apparatus" for his lectures. Provides details on another lecture bureau's offer of $50,000, access to a moving picture apparatus, and an assistant. Mishaps with the movies and comments on getting a contract. On Byrd Antarctic Expedition stationery. Includes a hand-written note commenting on Pond's under-estimation of his drawing power and his satisfaction with the public. On Byrd Antarctic Expedition stationery.
  1931 March 2 . "Dick" [Richard Evelyn Byrd] TLS to James B[urton] Pond; Savannah, Georgia. (4 pages)
Typed letter with hand-written revisions and additions. Refuses to use "portable machines" on his lecture tour, preferring his auspices to furnish the equipment. Will not send a man ahead of him on tour, because of the costs. Frustrated with the quality of the auspices, believing they are not taking "advantage of my many affiliations in various places" and failing to prepare ticket selling campaigns. " … the interest in the Expedition, generally, has pulled the lecture out of the hole; but that interest won't pull things out of the hole down in the South." Full houses in Louisville and Nashville, despite their being the "two worst depressed cities in the South." Comments on a "boycott" of his lectures in Montgomery and his frustration with the parades being arranged, blaming the mishaps on incompetent auspices. Southern auspices forcing Byrd to make appearances. Discusses other employees on the lecture tour. Hand-written note mentions failures of movie equipment and loudspeakers. "nowhere do we hit things 100%. Always something goes wrong."
  1931 March 10 . "Dick" [Richard Evelyn Byrd] TLS to James B[urton] Pond; Jacksonville, Florida. (2 pages)
Sending "constructive suggestions" after having experienced "failure after failure" on his lecture tour. Attributes failures to "auspices" failing to do their jobs and their general ignorance relating to advertising and selling tickets. Describes his experience in West Palm Beach, Florida, noting the lecture's success despite local distress related to bank failures and hurricanes. Attributes success to his personal pressure on the auspice to have a "ticket-selling campaign." Threatens to cancel the lecture tour if improvements are not made in selling tickets and using loud speakers. Sent an earlier letter "regarding moving picture machines."
  1931 March 12 . "Dick" [Richard Evelyn Byrd] TLS to James B[urton] Pond; Raleigh, North Carolina. (3 pages)
Angry that Pond blamed the failures of the lectures in Florida on the depression rather than the errors of the auspices. Underscores the need to have ticket-selling campaigns. The lack of attendance has soured his ability to hold any future lectures in Florida. Will not accept further bookings until Pond meets with him to discuss matters. Comments on bad equipment and his humiliation over poorly attended lectures. "All the money in the world would not make up for going around talking to empty seats. We have had heap worse results in the South than we had after the trans-Atlantic flight." Has not been fully informed about his upcoming itinerary.
  1931 March 14 . "Dick" [Richard Evelyn Byrd] TLS to "Bim" [James B. Pond]; Lynchburg, Virginia. (1 page)
Upset about having poor attendance at his lectures in his home state. "When I was here before I had two packed houses. Today, I talked to empty seats; and so I am humiliated in my own State." Unable to compete with musician Rudy Vallée (1901-1986). Necessity of loud speakers. Unhappy with the amount of money he receives for each lecture, believing he made more following the trans-Atlantic flight. Asks to see his contracts. Includes a hand-written post-script.
  1941 October 31 . "Dick Byrd" [Richard Evelyn Byrd] TLS to John Shuttleworth; Boston, Massachusetts. (2 pages)
Appreciation for printing one of Byrd's speeches in Shuttleworth's magazine [True Detective]. Provides Shuttleworth with an itemized list of activities, thoughts, and speeches. "I am trying to get over the idea that this country runs a grave danger of invasion eventually by the Nazi tyranny idea." "I have been making talks to France because for some unaccountable reason I seem to stand better in France than I do in this country." Byrd's French speeches. "I set out to tell who the warmongers really were but the part of the speech to which most attention was paid was my discussion as to why Hitler must finish us if he can."