Macslog / Herbert Hoover

June 02, 2010

Dear Mr. Gregory,

My name is Jacqueline Berger and I am a national guest speaker and author on America's First Ladies. I am currently doing research on Lou Hoover and came across your website. My first book, Loves, Lies, and Tears, An Intimate Look At America's First Ladies, Volume I (Martha Washington-Helen Taft) is currently available on Amazon.com and my website at:  www.firstladieslady.com.  Volume II (Ellen Wilson-Jacqueline Kennedy) is scheduled for publication this Christmas, 2010.

Included in my First Lady biographies, I mention some of the historical events that took place during their era, as well as little anecdotes on their spouses. I discovered the following information on your site. (see "Herbert Hoover, mining engineer in Australia")

"In 1898 Hoover ordered a manager's house to be built at Leonora, but by the time of its completion, he had moved on. His company promoted the young mining engineer, and moved him off to China, where they had concessions to open up coal mines.

"Hoover was now made, his contract gave him 1/5th. of all the China profits, and a great salary, in 1901, the San Francisco Chronicle named him as the: "Highest salaried man of his age in the world." At that stage he was earning $US 33,000, which would translate today to some $US 680,000, mining shares he gathered had a
value of $US 250,000 (today about $US 5 million)."

Mr. Hoover's financial successes are both impressive and important to his wife's story, which brings me to my questions. According to acclaimed First Lady historian, Betty Boyd Caroli, the future 31st president was earning $40,000 US dollars in 1899 when he was working in Australia before he was offered a position by an English firm in China for "a much higher salary." I'm assuming the much higher salary reference relates to your comments above regarding Hoover's new contract of: 1/5th of all the China profits. 

It's important to me to get all of my historical data correct as possible. Therefore: 1) Could you direct me to other sources to confirm this information? 

2) Do you happen to know the date or specific reference to the San Francisco Chronicle article? 

3) When you translate Hoovers income to figures 'today,' are you speaking of today 2010? 

4) Is there a formula one can use to translate the cost of things from prices in the1800-1900 (hundreds) to today? In other words, how is that determined?

5) Also, may I quote your figures and website in my book?

 Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration. I can be reached by email at: firstladies.lady@verizon.net

Sincerely, Jacqueline Berger, "The First Ladies Lady"  

Jacqueline Berger
The First Ladies Lady

Hello Jacqueline,

By sheer coincidence, the E-Mail I received immediately before yours was also from a Jacqueline B.

I nearly fell into the trap of assuming both letters emanated from you, it was only after I checked the two addresses I realized you were Jacqueline Berger, and the former Jacqueline B was a different lady, namely Jacqueline Burns.

To try and answer your questions:

  1. The National Archives, see URL:
http://www.ecommcode.com/hoover/hooveronline/HooverCRB/activity2.html and scroll downwards.

2.December 8 1901.

3. When I wrote the piece on Hoover for Ahoy. About 5 years ago.

4. See this URL: http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/ for a table which allows one to estimate worth for a $ amount from the past to a year in the future. eg 1901 to the worth of an amount in dollars in 2008.

5. Of course, use whatever you wish from AHOY.

Very best regards,

Dear Mac,

Thank you so very much for your timely reply. I sincerely appreciate this information and your thoughtful

Be well, Jacqueline.

Jacqueline Berger
The First Ladies Lady

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