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He reports the result of Agriculture Department tests on a cigar sent to him by a Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, but declines to say whether that cigar would be "deleterious to health".
Typed Letter signed: "D. F. Houston" as Secretary of Agriculture, 1 page, 7x9. Washington, D.C., 1917 August 9. On official letterhead to C. S. Hamlin, Federal Reserve Board, Washington. In full: "Examination of the cigar submitted with your note of July 29 shows that 1.2 percent of its weight is nicotine. This cigar can be classed as one of the mild type. On account of the small amount of the material available, it was impossible to determine the nicotine in the in the filler and wrapper separately. The average cigar will probably have a nicotine content varying between 2 and 3 percent. The experts of the Department are unable to say whether the smoking of cigars of the type submitted by you would or would not be deleterious to health. Very truly yours". David Franklin Houston (1866-1940) was President of Texas A&M and the University of Texas, and Chancellor of Washington University in St Louis before being named Secretary of Agriculture in the Wilson administration (1913-1920). Much agricultural legislation was enacted by Congress during his tenure, including the establishment of agricultural extension services. As Secretary of the Treasury (1919-1920), Houston warned of a post-war recession, and then was blamed when this prediction came true. The Federal Reserve Board was created in the first year of the Wilson administration (1913). Charles Sumner Hamlin (1861-1938) was one of its original governors. Mailing fold through center. Lightly toned and worn. Corners worn. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: February 17, 1866 in Monroe, North Carolina
Died: September 2, 1940 in Manhattan, New York

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