PRESIDENT HARRY S TRUMAN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 01/19/1953 - HFSID 274861
Sale Price $4,037.50
ON HIS LAST DAY IN THE WHITE HOUSE, A REFLECTIVE TRUMAN THANKS A TRUSTED AIDE WHO PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN HIS FAMOUS UPSET VICTORY OF 1948.
Typed Letter signed: "Harry Truman", 1p, 7x8¾ with blank integral leaf. Washington, D.C., 1953 January 19. On White House letterhead to Donald S. Dawson, Administrative Assistant to the President, The White House. In full: "I want you to know, before I leave the White House, how grateful I am for your extremely loyal assistance. I remember very well how, in my search for a topnotch personnel advisor in the Government, I found a fellow Missourian in you. You have demonstrated consistently your knowledge and ability in the Government personnel field and deserve the thanks of all of us for your efforts to promote the merit system in the United States Government. You are entitled to pride for your assistance to me in the selection of individuals for Presidential appointments, your efforts to modernize the federal compensation system, especially the Classification Act of 1949 and the Executive Pay Bill, your origination of the 'cadre' system of supplying specially skilled employees as the nucleus for emergency agencies, your efforts to promote Civil Service employees to higher ranks and to extend Civil Service to more areas than ever before in Federal history, and your energetic participation in many other programs to improve Civil Service. I am also deeply grateful to you for your personal assistance to me during the campaigns of 1948 and 1952. As you know, I believe that politics, in its correct sense, is synonymous with government. Under the American system, the highest art of Government is the submission of the issues and the candidates to the people. Finally, my load has been lightened by your cheerfulness and cooperativeness. For all of this and much more, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I suppose I must accept your resignation too, effective at the close of my term, January 20, 1953. Sincerely". Accompanied by matching, hand-carried transmittal envelope addressed to Dawson.HARRY S. TRUMAN (1884-1972), the 33rd President, had been Vice President for only 82 days when President Franklin Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. Though widely admired today for his plainspoken honesty and his willingness to make the tough decisions, Truman had not been expected to win election in his own right in 1948. His upset victory over Republican Thomas E. Dewey, Governor of New York, resulted from Truman's aggressive campaigning, as he waged a nationwide "whistle stop" campaign, the last of its kind in American history. DONALD DAWSON (1908-2005) played a key role in that campaign as Truman's "advance man", organizing the welcomes for Truman at each stop and rendering valuable political advice. (As noted in the letter, he was also a valued advisor in the White House, charged with staffing policy and hiring decisions.) An Air Force veteran, and later an influential Washington lawyer and philanthropist, Dawson found himself in trouble during his White House years, when he was accused by US Senators of exerting improper influence over loan decisions of the Reconstruction Finance Agency, which he had headed under FDR, and accepting improper favors. His testimony yielded this headline quote, "Senator, I did nothing improper, but I would not do it again." Dawson's second wife was actress Ilona Massey. Truman's reference to the 1952 is a reminder that Truman had considered running for a third term that year. The 22nd Amendment, forbidding a President who had served more than half of a second term from running for re-election, had already been adopted but did not apply to Truman. Unsuccessful in persuading Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois to run for the office, Truman allowed his name to remain on the New Hampshire primary ballot. Defeated there by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, the President withdrew from the contest and convinced Stevenson to enter the fray. Stevenson won the Democratic nomination, losing the general election to Dwight Eisenhower. Bisecting horizontal fold. Slightly toned at edges. Pinhead sized spot on transmittal envelope. Otherwise, fine condition.
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