Council of Defense, Herb Society, Ft. Myers. April 25, 1918
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00000206/00027
Finding Guide: A Guide to the Peter Henry Rolfs Collection
 Material Information
Title: Council of Defense, Herb Society, Ft. Myers. April 25, 1918
Series Title: Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Physical Description: Unknown
Physical Location:
Box: 1
Divider: Articles, Speeches and Other Writings
Folder: Council of Defense, Herb Society, Ft. Myers. April 25, 1918
Subjects / Keywords: Agricultural extension work -- Florida.
Agriculture -- Florida -- Experimentation.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Brazil -- Minas Gerais.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Florida.
Citrus fruit industry -- Brazil.
Leprosy -- Research -- Brazil.
Minas Gerais (Brazil) -- Rural conditions.
Escola Superior de Agricultura e Veterinaria do Estado de Minas Gerais.
Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.
University of Florida. Herbarium.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: AA00000206:00027

Full Text

By P. H. Rolfs.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the State Horticultural Society:
I cannot tell you how pleased I am to get away from the
offlee work and attend this meeting in this beautiful city
of Port Myera. This splendid body of men and women of the
Horticultural Society have always stood for the upbuilding
of the State and have been most generous in their patriotic
devotion to the country. There has never been any division
of opinion as to this one point. We have been united a

thousand strong, and will continue to be united and to pros-

It is most fitting for the Horticultural Society to meet
at Fort Myers, clothed in its wealth of tropical verdure and

amid the balmy breezes enjoying the lavish luxury of a tropi-

cal climate. Those of us who live the year round in Florida

do not fully appreciate the wonderful climate. Last January

I had the opportunity of getting a real taste of climate. On

-the first day of the month I was in the southernmost part of

the state among the mango and avocado trees, examining the

bloom. On the twelfth of that month it became necessary
for me to be in St. Louis. Old Boreas was holding sway in
his most violent form. Trains were blocked on account of
the intense cold, it being reported in the local papers at

twenty degrees below zero. Coal a plenty in the yards on
the railway oars, but owing to previous rains it was frozen *



into a solid blook. Traffic of all kinds was suspended,
even to street care and automobiles. Public and private
houses in some oases were unable to furnish sufficient heat
for the comfort of the inmates. After repeated pilgrim-
ages to the railway station I finally secured passage back
to the state of blooming mangoes.
I believe that at no time in my life was I so
vividly impressed with the greatness of our country nor
the importance of the State of Florida. While the north
was wrapped in a mantle of ice, those who were favorably
located and able to pay for them could oat tomatoes riped-
ed in Florida. It takes adversity to bring out in strong
relief the good qualities not only of a nation but of a
The Storm Breaks.
While our Nation and our State were enjoying un-
paralleled prosperity and making unprecedented advances in
education, science, and everything else that goes to make.
up a happy civilization, the most calamitous war in the his-
tory of the world broke out in Europe. For over two years
is seemed almost certain that we would be drawn into the
vortex, and in spite of our resisting to the utmost the our-
rent toward this vortex, even permitting our citizens to be
ruthlessly murdered and our flag repeatedly insulted, final-
ly human endurance broke and war was declared April 6, 1917,

In spite of the faot that war had been going on in Europe
for over two years, the American nation was in no sense pre-

pared for war. The whole vast machinery of the Nation and

of the States had been prepared for peace time condition.

In the interim between the outbreak of war in Europe and the
declaration of war by the United States, a number of far-
sighted and patriotic citizens, realizing the utterly un-

prepared condition of the nation and the tremendous confusion
that must arise in the event of war being declared by Con-

gress, formed themselves into various preparedness societies.
Especially was this true of the scientific and philosophic
associations. They gave most of their time and largely of

their personal resources for war study.
On August 29, 1916 an act was approved creating a

Council of National Defense: this was composed of the Secre-

tary of War, Newton D. Baker, Chairman; Secretary of the

Davy, Josephus Daniels; Secretary of the Interior, Franklin
K. Lane; Secretary of Agriculture, David F. Houston; Secre-

tary of Commerce, Wn. 0. Redfield; and Secretary of Labor,

Wmin. P. Wilson. This Council of National Defense was assist-
ed by advisory committees.
On April 9, 1917, Secretary Baker, Chairman of the

National Council, sent a letter to the governors of all states,

requesting them to form similar organizations within their

borders. There are now Councils of Defense organized in

48 different states, acting either under laws by the legis-

lature or by appointment from the Governor.

The Governor of Florida, Hoh. Sidney J. Cattle,

called together on April 30 at Tallahassee the heads of

various organizations and societies in the State to con-

slder the matter of better food preparedness for the State

of Florida. The following composed this first commission:

P. H. Rolfe, Gainesville, Dir. Ext. Div. Univ. of Florida.

H. H. Hume, Glen St. Mary. Pres. Fla. State Hort. Society.

-W. A. MoRae,,Tallahassee, Commissioner of Agriculture

Sen. J. L. Shepard, Greensboro, Pres. Farmers' Union

J. H. Ross, Winter Haven, Pree., Pla. Citrus Exchange
.-..# L. B. Skinner, Dunedin, Pres. Growers' & Shippers League

W. P. Franklin, Ft. Myers. Sec. Florida First Commission

W. F. Miller, Valrioo, Pres. So. Fla, Chamber Commerce

Dr. Lincoln Hulley, DeLand, Pres. State Bankers Association

S. J. Triplett, St. Cloud, Acting Pres. Press Association

Mrs. W. J. Jennings, Jacksonville, Pres. Fed. Women's Clubs

Miss A. E. Harris. Tallahassee, Pres. Fla. State Teachers
W. N. Sheets, Tallahassee, Bupt. Pub. Instruction

W. F. Blackman, Winter Park, Pres. Fla* Live Stock Aessn

J. M. Burguieres, West Palm Beach

J. H. Maokey, Jacksonville, Pres. Fla. Fed. of Labor

B. L. Hamner, Norfolk, Va. Ind. Agt. S. A. L.

F. B. O'Kelley, Jacksonville, Ind. Agt. A. C. L.

J. E. Ingraham, St. Augustine, Vice Pres. F. E. 0.

S. W. Westbrook, Pensacola, Ind. Agt. L. & X#

J. C. Chase, Jacksonville.


This Commission elected the Dean of the Agricultural College

to the position of Chairman. For a number of weeks the work

was continued, when at the urgent request of the national

and other authorities, the Governor assigned the duties of

the Council of State Defense to the Food Preparedness'Com-


The object of the Food Preparedness Commission as

well as the Counoil of State Defense has been to carry out

the program outlined by the Council of National Defense so

far as it was physically possible to do so. The Executive

Committee of the Council and the Council have had several

meetings since their first appointment. Some additions

have been made to the State Council, the first being Mrs.

Wm. Hooker, who was at the same tima made a member of the

Executive Committee. She represents the Woman's Division

of the State Council. At the Jacksonville meeting in Febru-

ary, the following names were added and notified to become

members of the State Council.

Hon. Braxton Beacham, Orlando, State Food Administrator

Lloyd Josslyn, Orlando, Library Pub. Director for Florida

A. T. Williams, Jacksonville, State Fuel Administrator

J. F. 0. Griggs, Jacksonville, Dir. Nat'1 War Savings Com.

G. B. Travis, Jacksonville, Dir, U. S. Employment Service

Clarence Woods. Eustis, Inspector of Explosives

Gilbert D. Leaoh, Leesburg, State Publicity Director

R. C. Stephens, St. Augustine, Chairman for Ret. Deliveries


C. D. Cooley, Tampa, Dir. Motion Picture Cooperation

C. A. Tutwiler, Jacksonville, Dir. f2 Publicity

David N. Sholtz, Daytona, Exeo. Sec, Food Card Campaign

Ourtis R. Kessler# Jacksonville, Dir. Four Minute Men

W. F. MCOandless, Jacksonville, State Dir. Boys Worring Resv,

J A-. Williams, Tampa, State Fish Commissioner

This ladies and gentlemen, gives you in outline the personal

and general organization of the Council of State Defense.

Some of the Council'-s Tork

The last twelve months have been most profoundly

busy ones for everyone who has had even a spark of patriotQ

ism in his make up. There is more unselfish devotion to

our country, our State and our flag today than the dreams of

the wildest imagination could have pictured two years ago.

People in large numbers have given life and property to the

Government in devotion to an unselfish ideal. At no time

. in the history of the world has there come about such a

crystallization of the democratic ideal and unification of

interest as in the last year* This not only permeates the

entire United States, but has crossed the Atlantoic Ocean and

saturated England, France, Italy, and even Russia. Germany,

the despicable, is the only place where the monarchical ideal

remains firmly entrenched. In the United States it has been

a veritable crystallization of what was felt during the last


ten or fifteen years. It reminds me somewhat of a super-

saturated solution(that ie just on the point of orystalli-

sation and any little agitation, foreign agent or other ex-

traneous element will cause the super-saturated liquid to

crystallise. This has been the oase with the democratic

ideal in the United States. I do not say that the war was

neoeasary to oyrstallize the ideal, but it was the one cause

that led tow its taking definite and permanent form.

One of the most important pieces of work accomplish-

ed by the chairman was that of aiding the Hational Council

in its work in the State. It has been a difficult task to

find men who were ready to volunteer their services and at

the same time were able and willing to carry out the ends of

the national government. Without this large army of volun-

teer civil officers the crystallization and carrying out the

ideals of the Council of National Defense would have been


When we think of taking the draft of over six millions

of our population and classifying them for army service, and

all of this work done by civilians, we at once see that the

United States has carried off one of the most stupendous pieces

of work ever accomplished by any large nation. Florida has

not failed in the least, and rather stood out prominently as

the one State in the Union where least trouble in this direct-

ion was encountered. It was not necessary to send an,-army

officer or national official of any kind into the State of


Florida to enroll, classify and forward her quota of citize-s to

take their p :t in the national army. The entire work of enroll-

In?:, cla&sii.tinZ and t ansmittinfr the classifica-tionas w.. carried

oilf by the citizens of the 3tate without remuneration, Tihe draft

boards were appointed by fhe Governor of the t ..t" b tt in every re-

sperect were from the, civilian population. tliis one act# wv icli is

only a ty e of rmamiy thal ic lt be citevi, ,ovo hov, firmly the ;2'mo-

oratic ideal is rroundoed in Amr&a.-.n citio-nai'.. Lrii .L :ui cen:

tlemen, we would h.:veo ro-aco' to Ire proud of whatl has bee) acconi-

pllshed if nothilnr- elan vwe:-c done tha r thick one act that I hA]ve

mentioned .

I ha.'ve entioni-d to you the one .'ee.t .e.-iocratic ideal

that ]l.Ls bLu,:n Q'rrieil o"f in our 3t-.t.e. I wait tu -- ntion some

lesser thiinrBs witli wicl th.i' councill of Def'nse h z h A 'lore direct

and larger oonn-ct-.ions

Immediately after the Comr,.iciuion wvas orra-nized, an at-

tempt was marle to look into the, f, ure airld s: w..t v wo41l r-'obably

aironr the most important large pi.-oes of ,ork that could be done.

In consult atloi with no 'e of the la.leru ii. aigric'altuc i :. the

State it bicare violentt that the luour sit4. tion w ..; u. .at would

become acute as rsoo;'. as tl'e d"il month of the sua'mr vwere passed.

Irmediate steps we re th ore t'.kon, u- r ias-kell, of the Do-

puxtrtment of A.Triculturet w'j.s oHc;uredteo cooperate -vi.th the, co"in:icsion.

;ir. Hiaskell was enraged on a very important pruojcct in South-

ern Geor.cia, but this being an emergency c-.ll he w zs sent. to Florida

in order that every pot;sible effort ..iAht be me c. to stablize and

equalize the labor needs of th State. r l[ :.;nll be':., his

wora in 0c'y*. In June Mr. w'. A. rDol'on was .a],pointed to work in
tiF U Gne uuapacity i'l Ir t -' Mr tu.Lekll. .t: 1 ,- li-or cituatior. }!.-.

not 1''oun ua, r-us- bed of ease 1 0o t oor.e vT o n-ide.l to ha, -'.i.' done.

.,r. Por.so,: vill outline tc you clec'A v .r;i...t li n, bf.e'' doi;e. T'nques-

tiolnably i:. 'or:- could not h ive beer- accor,:li;.lhed if ti], roblem

h.Id snot b,:. .-rai ed at t e e'.rlient ,.e roEill '.t, It is & fine

pioce of 'ork tL...t li;. i done,

'.'lio nconrd irporianrt piece of vor"k waio t]hat of oraniza-

tion al.d propart.ion for tlh' Cou.ty ro'wcils. T is hes ,ot bee

carri.. out a, eff'-oti-ol' or v. sr.tis.f:ct'.rily -s all of u: vw'uld

hluA-u liko'i to ha'vre i' .on:- The -wri to be done io trer-enr1-

ous .:izn thu- ';'.rkrTS' fE 'er. It ha.s, ho. ever, riint..-d out clareity

to n.c rl.y ever- County in the Uttte t'1 at the elements 3.,.e .-'thin

t]h',.ir ovwn borders f..,r doir- a 1'-.re 'rd Yrofit .Tln a ount of i'ork.

In Sone .ro-untics t'c P<;)uscilr, }i.:vc b-o r:-;ost saticfact r.y -rd ffi-

cient. 'i.i.'ir orrearization in th]orotrh .r.nd f'.-rfl.ciir% Ti,, t.-.te

Co 'toil h.U Lt Iourlit to triz r- all of t'e cl,.:i.nte to'oethcr 1. those

v'.riouL counD i,0 :uLd k.c r ra tlhe differc;t lin' a of ',.. unified and

coU.Lji.cted, to thle onr end for which all were dtrivi R.



In the county councils, whether organized or unorganized, no'more

important features have come in than the vork of the County Te on-

stration Aoent and Home Demonstration A,'eiit.

Since the first of last A'igust a fund of about 1'40,UO0

has become available from the national government for carrying on

emergency demonstration war anid home ie:.tonstration work. This

awr,, has boon broadened :furl extended until every County in the State

has a County Demonstration Agent and a Horrme Dee'-onstratinn Agont.

In five counties theoe agents are working only part ti'!e, and in

other cases t -o or tlirc, counties are joined in a district to wiliih

ai Arent gives all u.r' his ti.c*. In addition to t]ie count- Avvents

and Home Preionstr .t16oi Ar onta, urban c.,n.'muities have received

special agents, known ao Emergrency Urban Aents. TheIeo women do

for the households in the larger cities what the Home Dononstration

A-,enta do for th rural population. Another enlargerent in the

work has bee_1 that of arrointin, necro agents for crop production.

Theru are now thirteen. ren in ac m-rany different Countioes, and

twl.enty ner-ro women in as masmy diflcront counties. These have been

aasi."n..ad to the most populous nn,;rro counties. A ruciurne of the work

they '.',ve done would 1.,akie very interestin, reading, but not aprli-

oable to the point to'tay.

I'hi. gives you somewhat of an outline aid an idea of the

needs ...f the council. It needs your support. It needs your hearty


cooperation. Yis, it nuods more thax. thit, it needs your earn-

oat tliought and fervent prayer*

In theo '/ar to ,in

La-i;.' and Gentlemen, *'e are i;z: is w.::. t' win. It ir: a

rreat big fi,-ht. It is a conflict of trerhniolous pr'riniples

witich are is far 'r.art a. tihe poles. Thier-. ii no ooipromine. There

is no led'iium ground. It is tl.e fi- ht of rde-.ocracy a-ainst auto-

uracy.' it ij3 ti i' lit ofI a rover.:rrcnt e-cistin., for t L.- governed

against a Rovernrment fur wlich the overnsl exist. -.'e are fi-ht-

ing for the [..riaiciple tJhat the in"liviial is the important consid-

eration arain.t a governruent wl.ic. believes that t1 e individual

ex:ata merely for the ar~randizcment an,' ,-lorificati::. of the

government, wherc the i:,divirlnual count r for naurht a.a1nsE a

svetem of 'gove. nxent w.iuh t.eachloc a' (I bcl'eves that there ca.- be

no such- t- ing as national morality, tha' mit nakes ria-lt.

Can you thini: of u, more idespica.Lble uituiatioi. thai. to have a visitor

in yuur faj il. buoini t:eatud with ti ,- ut,'uo t ourtesy ancl consider

tion, and dt tj!o samec tiom iw,iin.ig* aid plotting ho,' he can r.:or't

eau.i.ly stab you in tieo bac. anat ito you o0 death'?' Yet that was

exactly thie sotuationi ofi th. Ainerican government 1hen "on Bernstorff

waju armbassador.

We h-.'ve arrived atthe situation "there for ou'.r own safety

ever man rnmu.,t take orders without questionn fror,' those higher up,


and 'execute those orders to th very boat of hi:' ability. We h.7ve

come to a situation rhore there uan be no neutral rro'indr either

we are Amcric-i citizens or we are alien enemies. If the latter,

there in absolutely no place except behind prison ba.ro.

'.',e havo endured sarme ver. serious inconveniences in the

lost fewr months in th.. St.i.t of Fl ri-ia. JEvrv.y. offort hi .n b.mnn

mLu.re tu correct thoc raiilficultioa, i, t..jirortation, in pur-

clhasinpr, mLterial, in scllinK our ;iodr. -Lowever, w-e hI.vo ol.i to*

ro to othlir sactJions of the country to see hat we d'. .e.l t '"endure

the evil th.iAt eCJicumpas us r.aher tha:n- fly to t.Ione thi:a' we know

not of,* rr, c6at,:;rn toli me a few days a zo that the N 1e inland

Seorlc. wcr. :.;,;tifie that Ihey nerjd nit look ;or ;a. corn ,i t w!Ich

to feed t..zir stock; that pie. ty of corn would be oi.nR tI:ro'ui! New

1 ,7l.'a ,ii, btt it wou.'li e goin:- rirlit by t]Ai- or to no.e', ere

il jraCiL...CQ i.l tvihat. if theoy waui ade to keev th.ir live stock -and

';p their fteel oupl.y, #hLv must tuMn in an1l f!r- .n. r, ic

their o or-inz. Thie Soit]' haa had w'A1'?inr 41ittiot number, lhon

our -,.ruvm shail hAve bu': incre:iid to tw') a "* a h,.lf million nen

on th(e bat lo fli.ri., ow r t -rasportatiun difficulties will i,- a

rw'1oat that we will look b ;ok to the Srring of 191' as an easy time,

if the present driive should break through we would find

evuryv steau.ship comnandcerori for carr- ting troops and food and every

section of thu United States taking care of itself as best is can.

'or Plorida, no ma tor v/;at hlar]ena in the future, we must look for

greater difficulites in transportation.



Natuna. y you will ,ick me, "well, what about it?' .%e are

facing one of three F's. W',e must either FIGHT or PARM or PI:.:INCF

There is no escape from one of these three. Pi,71tiwi,_ we c.-,t.not

do, otherwise .:*e woul0i not a assoiibled hlerc., -many of us 'u'o too

old to even :e considered -oorj "QIa:inOn foalduir". Nearly ..ll of us

caji FAI'A. And every one of ui; c!inl FiliAiiCL. here is no one

in ny h arinr who could not, i.i he so ileei.red, buy onre thrift 3tarx'

every i.y. ie.-a.Ly all oi us c-u' buy a Liberty liond, I cne-

mer'mher ti'e fI.y '.hr rwi father plowed in pttl hod over.tllo, 1 u',i I

have csen my r.'otlier .o visitin:-: in _a -e,.:' : iires I a'' not too

proud to be theJr sEon, and am ready to wear the. rpatc2.oe, ol, in

tf:e l.rn.u.a:e of Secretary McArloo, 'consir.i.r it a badrle of ho}oorn,

In 1. ying- Libertv utuiric remember you are not ;,yl.r th1,

Govornme..t an.yt.hin You are. ettjin.r so.0.re that v..luo receiva,1.

You ao- r.-'relv 1 u;t., yo.uor i.oi hbor as you wouIl-. thai he

e, o'lrd do, It i tu:e ,It.' or evory one of us to see t>}at our

neighbors rio unto uo so .:u are doinrL unto them.

I'Ari-ing does nut absolve us from financing' Fsr-innr ''ust
be carried on, i-nd farrier on/tlio cor:munity as a whole, Thero are

three PI' in flar.rin th.At we nuct remember; the first iu F0T'O, ido

not for'eot that, FoOI. The second is FLI.'D, a-rd thie third is

Si -



for. 0 ,-e.

an -irLt-. '

Alrcadl their, in ar partial e .b'rr.u o;u -, i :,rgnt of

If r rrlers -.'. ,t a.Juce cou, i fe -. : .*1 f 'r ...., f.,r the

o. the fircm thc ai,,A 1 :. likelV to o '-.u out it next

J 1 co l' ; ion: let 'e "ec -.it.l.,L te:

TIe th}uce i'rorta,."t. 'S .:." p'Ir;,.T1:T for the few; T.AJ.T-

IIG for i. *+...ny; FI.AIrI'G fc; .r ov,"! v ,.,! y. Ir ti. ftrner +he

t .r-.t. It7or ; t i's ar- OT0 to fo,:,i r '. ti. 7P r, for t' '

live st,.c f J, .' or .c dt...