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Letter Accepting the Resignation of Mabel Walker Willebrandt as Assistant Attorney General.

May 28, 1929

My dear Mrs. Willebrandt:

I have received your resignation with deep regret. In view of the very great opportunity which has come to you for reentry to private practice of the law, and in view of the seven years of sacrifice you have already made to public service, I do not feel that I am justified in again asking you to reconsider.

I had hoped you would be able to continue until we had established the steps of reorganization which have been initiated in the Department. I am glad to know that you will give us your continued cooperation and advice in these special problems.

I cannot, however, allow this opportunity to pass without an expression of the indebtedness of the American people and of the Government for so many years of effective public service. The position you have held has been one of the most difficult in the government and one which could not have been conducted with such distinguished success by one of less legal ability and moral courage.

Yours faithfully,


Note: Mrs. Willebrandt served as Assistant Attorney General from 1921 to 1929. Her letter of resignation, dated May 26, 1929, and released with the President's letter, read as follows:

Dear Mr. President:

The Aviation Corporation has offered me the post of Washington Counsel for the holding company and its subsidiaries. In addition to the regular legal business of a corporate enterprise of such magnitude, this has a real challenge. [p.159] We are on the threshold of rapid expansion of air traffic. The law throughout the forty-eight states and the Federal Government is in the making. The Aviation Corporation proposes to become active in securing uniformity and stability in law and procedure to safeguard life and the streams of capital flowing into aviation and allied enterprises. It offers me, therefore, a field of constructive legal work, where every step of progress will be of widespread service. I want to accept Aviation's offer. I ask you, therefore, to please accept my resignation, relieving me if possible from active duty by June 15.

I genuinely regret leaving official connection with the accomplishments of your administration. I have given, however, more than seven years to public service, and I trust my helpfulness to you may not cease when I become just a private citizen. To have had a small part in your election will always be a source of great satisfaction to me and in my own belief the way I have served my country best. The solution of the problem of lawlessness is sure in your hands, and I relinquish the Prisons work with a sense of achievement in having had the Bureau made a major scientific one and having secured my friend, Sanford Bates, as its Chief.

The Tax work in my Division is well organized and up to date, and will carry forward efficiently under my successor.

Assuring you of my appreciation of your friendship and real gratitude for your national service, I am

Faithfully yours,


[Honorable Herbert Hoover, The President, The White House, Washington, D.C. ]

Herbert Hoover, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Mabel Walker Willebrandt as Assistant Attorney General. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/209923

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