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    Dwight D. Eisenhower Superb Autograph Letter Signed: "The younger members of our golf foursome very kindly held back so as to avoid embarrassing comparisons with my feeble game."

    Signed: "Dwight D. Eisenhower", one page, 7.25" x 10.5". [New York], September 30, [1950]. To Adelaide Whitney. In full: "Dear Mrs. Whitney: It was a pleasant surprise to find you my luncheon hostess yesterday when, for some reason, I was anticipating a stag affair. I cannot remember a similar occasion when I had so much sheer fun. Possibly Bob has already told you that the younger members of our golf foursome very kindly held back so as to avoid embarrassing comparisons with my feeble game. So the whole day - to say nothing of Bob's stimulating dinner - was more than enjoyable. Thank you for such charming hospitality, and for including me in such a company. Sincerely."

    Adelaide Weld Whitney (1920-2004) was the wife of Robert Bacon Whitney (1916-1952), an officer at J.P. Morgan & Co. After his death she married James Knott (1910-1989), Chairman of Knott Hotels Corporation, and, after his death, William Braden (1919-2004), a Vice President of Morgan Guaranty Trust Co.

    In 1948, General Eisenhower became President of Columbia University. In 1950, he founded the American Assembly, "a national, non-partisan public affairs forum illuminating issues of public policy," as an affiliate of Columbia. The organization brought together industrialists, financiers, publishers, government officials, and other prominent Americans. In Eisenhower: Portrait of the Hero, author Peter Lyon writes that "the aroma of politics hung over the whole enterprise...By 1951, financiers had rallied around the idea of Eisenhower for President in 1952." Adelaide's father-in-law, George Whitney, Chairman of the Board at J.P. Morgan, was sending Eisenhower a weekly newsletter on current affairs as seen by Wall Street.

    On September 29, 1950, Bob Whitney, Adelaide's husband, hosted a luncheon reception and golf outing at Long Island's exclusive Links Club. Attending were General Eisenhower and a group of American Assembly supporters. In this letter written the next day, Eisenhower admits that he "was anticipating a stag affair." A career soldier, he enjoyed going to stag affairs where only men would be present, and while President, he would hold stag luncheons, stag dinners, and even stag poker nights in the White House.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower was nominated for President on the first ballot at the 1952 Republican National Convention and easily defeated Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson in the November 4, 1952, election, 442-89 electoral votes. Just eight weeks later, on Christmas Eve, 1952, Bob Whitney was hit and killed by a car as he walked near his home. He was 36 years old.

    Golf was Eisenhower's favorite pastime. When he became President in 1953, he continued his games of golf at the Augusta National Golf Club. His cottage in Augusta, Georgia, became known as the "Little White House." President Eisenhower found time during his eight years in office to play 800 rounds of golf, a habit endorsed by his personal doctor and explained by Eisenhower in terms consistent with a Five-Star General: "You have to let a little air into the war room now and then." When he left office in 1961, Eisenhower spent his winters playing golf at the Eldorado Country Club, near Palm Springs, California, where he had a home.

    Eisenhower letters mentioning golf, especially those referring to his own game, are exceedingly rare and extremely desirable. His handwritten letters are among the rarest of all U.S. Presidents. This full page letter is in extra fine condition and would be a superb addition to a presidential collection and the cornerstone in a golf collection. From the Gary Grossman Collection.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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