Lot 229

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(1890 - 1969) Extremely rare A.L.S. "Dwight D Eisenhower" as President on his personal letterhead, 1p. 4to. on his personal letterhead, [Washington] Jan 25, 1953. Honoring a request by the editor of the United States Military Academy's yearbook, The Howitzer, which was dedicated to Eisenhower, the newly-inaugurated President writes a profound and moving message to the West Point Class of 1953. He writes, in full: "To The Class of 1953: As one who has proudly worn the cadet gray and had the privilege, which is now yours, of pinning on the insignia of a 2nd Lieutenant, I am deeply appreciative of the honor you have paid me in the dedication of this edition of the Howitzer. I am sure that among all those distinguished Americans who have served in the Presidency, few could have felt the same intensity[?] of personal satisfaction that I shall experience in commissioning in the Service of the United States a graduating class of the Military Academy. Few of them could have an inkling of our thoughts and emotions at the last parade on the plain; few could feel with you the heart-stirring climax of four long and arduous years. On the other hand, I am doubly sure that few would have expected from you as much as I do-- for I know your mettle, I know what you can do. God speed and good wishes to each of you.  Sincerely Dwight D Eisenhower 25 January 1953" A masterful address, written as President, which was reproduced in the 1953 edition of "The Howizter"

Offered together with the original letter of enclosure, a T.L.S. as President, 1p. 4to. on White House letterhead, Washington, Jan. 22, 1953, to Cadet James G. Donahue, editor of the United States Military Academy yearbook, The Howitzer enclosing the above-mentioned message to the Class of 1953. He writes, in full: "As promised in the letter I wrote to you on December twenty-fourth, last, I enclose a short handwritten note for the use you suggested in the HOWITZER. While I know that this year's edition of the HOWITZER is intended to emphasize the soldier-statesman aspect in our training, I have made my own message to you exclusively a personal one. If you find what I have written to be either inadequate or in any way unsatisfactory -- or if you would prefer that it be typewritten instead of handwritten, you have only to return this to my office with an appropriate suggestion. If you do return it, please mark it for the personal attention of Mrs. Whitman. Again, my thanks fo r your courtesy to me." Also together with:  T.L.S. as President-elect, 1p. 4to. on his personal office letterhead, New York, Dec. 24, 1952 to Cadet Donahue, responding to a request for a message to be included in the 1953 edition of the United States Military Academy's yearbook, The Howitzer. He writes, in part: "Your letter asked for a message from me, written as the Chief Executive. This means that the letter cannot be written until after January 20th. I shall try to keep it in mind, but I would suggest that you write again about January 25th in order that I shall not overlook your request..." And finally together with:  Autopen T.L. 1p. 4to., "Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe" Apr. 26, 1952 to Cadet Donahue. In part: "I am deeply grateful for your kind letter and for the suggestion from you and your associates that the 1953 Howitzer be dedicated to me. Naturally, I am happy to give consent..." Much more fine content.

Autograph letters signed by Eisenhower as President are prohibitively rare. In the past thirty years only two examples have sold at auction. A.L.S. June 29, 1954 (Doyle, New York, 1985 $11,000); A.L.S. Nov. 22, 1954 (Christies, New York, 2002, $21,510). John M. Taylor, in his 1989 book, From the White House Inkwell (p. 196) notes that "Eisenhower's autograph is common in LSs, both of presidential date an otherwise," but "his ALSs as President are among the scarcest of the presidential series. The present example has the strongest content in comparison. All four letters have remained in the family of the recipient and have never appeared on the market before. Accompanied by a copy of an article from the May 30, 1953 edition of The New York Times showing cadet Donahue presenting a copy of the Howitzer to Eisenhower. The autograph letter bears minor toning from paperclips, but is in otherwise fine condition. The accompanying typed letters are in fine condition. Together, four pieces.

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December 16, 2010 11:00 AM EST
Stamford, CT, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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