10. Letter From Reverend Jim Jones of the People’s Temple of the Disciples of Christ to First Lady Rosalynn Carter1

Dear Mrs. Carter:

I regret I was out of town and missed meeting your sister-in-law, Ruth Carter Stapleton, when she was in San Francisco recently. In case you wish anyone to get in touch with me in the future, the private emergency line at Peoples Temple is (415) 922-3735. (With 9000 members in our San Francisco church, it’s often extremely difficult to get through the main numbers.)

A short time ago I traveled to Cuba with a group of prominent doctors and businessmen from the United States. We met with Cuban officials in the medical field who say their country is badly in need of hospital equipment. The friends who I was with are prepared to make arrangements right away to get the supplies shipped to Cuba that are needed. The Cubans requested they do so, and say it would be a tremendous start in breaking down barriers between them and the U.S.

An urgent response is needed, however, since Cuba cannot wait too long and will be compelled to look to European countries even though European medical equipment is inferior to the same type of equipment manufactured in the U.S.

I am personally of the opinion that such a move is consistent with the humanitarian aid you spoke about not long ago, and is an opportunity to help win Cuba away from the Soviet orbit. Anything that you could do regarding this matter, of course would be deeply appreciated.

You have my sincere best wishes for the continued success of the new Administration, and you can be assured of our vast support in [Page 24] the quest for a new moral tone that your husband is so valiantly attempting to bring to this country.

Let me again express my deep appreciation for the privilege of dining privately with you prior to the election.2

Very respectfully in Him,

Rev. Jim Jones
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country, Box 24, Guyana, 1/77–12/78. No classification marking. Rosalynn Carter wrote at the top of the page, “M—Send to Zbig or proper person.” M is presumably a reference to Margaret McKenna or Margaret Costanza.
  2. Attached but not printed is an April 12 response to Jones, in which Rosalynn Carter wrote, “Dear Jim, Thank you for your letter. I enjoyed being with you during the campaign—and do hope you can meet Ruth soon. Your comments about Cuba are helpful. I hope your suggestion can be acted on in the near future. Sincerely, Rosalynn Carter.” An attached cover page includes forwarding information to Pastor, and a note in an unknown hand reads, “Dr. Brzezinski.”