Dwight D. Eisenhower 1954 Typed Letter Signed as President – “This Is A Slave’s Life”


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34th President.  Typed letter signed (TLS) “D.E.”, one page, February 3, 1954, 8×10.5, The White House Washington stationery, to his brother, Edgar Eisenhower, marked “Personal and Confidential” twice, discussing their agreements and disagreements relating to the controversial Bricker Amendment, in full:

Thank you for your most recent letter on S.J.Res.I [Senate Joint Resolution I]. It made so much sense to me that I had some of my legal advisers go over it. One of the finest made the remark, ‘Certainly it is much more reasonable than most of the incoming mail on this subject.’ By this he meant that most of our mail is either of the kind that says, ‘The safety and security of our nation demand that you support without reservation this amendment to our Constitution,’ or ‘If you are so cowardly and weak-kneed as to agree for political reasons to this atrocious amendment, I shall regard you as practically a traitor.’

We believe that the kind of things to which we have agreed largely meet the points for which you argue in your letter.

I must say that the thing that I agree with most in your letter is your statement at the very beginning, namely, that ‘the whole affair has generated a lot more heat than light.’ Never have I in my life been so weary of any one subject or proposition.

I have just written a letter to Janis who, during the course of a trip she is planning with her family, will come to Washington for a brief stay. So far as I can dope out from the schedule she gave, they will probably be here a few days somewhere around the seventh or eighth of May.  It will be fun to see them and get better acquainted with them, although, as I tried to explain to her, our opportunities to actually visit with them during their stay will probably be far more curtailed than we could wish.  This is a slaves life.

Give my love to Lucy, and, as always, the best to yourself.

Four file holes at top, else fine.

A fantastic Presidential letter with a most interesting “slave’s life” reference.

The two brothers (there were five Eisenhower brothers in all) were very different. Edgar, who held very strong politically-conservative views, felt that the federal government was usurping power from the states.  Because of his strong feelings against centralization, Edgar appears to have avoided Washington throughout his brother’s administration, even refusing to attend his second inauguration. Yet according to letters between them, the brothers’ relationship was usually amicable, often lighthearted.