Well, let's get it out of the way at the start. Newman Hall Raymond was not a pleasant person, certainly not by today's standards and possibly not even by those of his own era. He had been born in Nova Scotia in 1871, moved to the US at 15 and became a naturalized citizen in 1892. He was a hyper-patriotic, loudly judgmental, racist anti-Semite.
He had become both an architect and an evangelistic preacher and in July 1918 he was given an immediate direct commission, as a major no less, into the construction division of the Army's Quartermaster Corps. If they planned to use his professional experience, however, they quickly grew to appreciate his skills at mass oratory. They sent him on a tour of the eastern US to give revival-style patriotic speeches to drum up support for the World War. Indeed, they even created a “Patriotic Promotion Section” for him to head up, to which he recruited a few like-minded orators. He was discharged in January 1919, having served a total of six months. His short service notwithstanding, he was known to refer to himself as “Major Raymond” when it suited him for the next twenty years.
During the war he particularly specialized in mass meetings that mixed evangelistic Protestant services and patriotic oratory. The Bridgeport (CT) Times covered a large ten-day Methodist revival meeting on 16 September 1918 and reported that “Major Newman H Raymond, USA, spoke at a largely attended patriotic rally. Major Raymond is a virile and challenging speaker and stirred the people deeply”. No one at the time seems to have questioned the propriety of having an active military officer, presumably in uniform, address a religious revival meeting.
He was also a fervent teetotaler and prohibitionist. His letters to the editor on the subject started in 1914 and the end of prohibition in 1933 stoked his indignation even further. Indeed, the 1936 candidate for president on the Prohibitionist party ticket, Dr Leigh Colvin, had served under Raymond in his Patriotic Promotion Section as a captain. Raymond attended his emotional rallies, including one in July 1936 where, according to the Washington Star, Colvin charged that drinking by young girls and women represented a “threat of race degeneracy”.
The subject of race appears to have been another of Raymond's bugaboos. When he sold properties he included in each document of title a covenant that forever thereafter no person of the “black, yellow or Hebrew races” would be allowed to buy the property, or even rent it. The fact that tens of thousands of GIs died fighting the Nazi regime apparently carried little weight, for he continued those clauses into and even after the war. Their legality was short-lived, of course, for the US Supreme Court declared such covenants unenforceable in any federal or state court in 1948. Nonetheless, it does serve to illustrate Raymond's views.