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Dwight Eisenhower on Lee and Secession

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by RobertP, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    So, Eisenhower was a 'Marble Man' aficionado!

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Dear Dr. Scott:


    Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War Between the States the issue of Secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.

    General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his belief in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.

    From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee's calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the nation's wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained .

    Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.

    Sincerely,

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
     

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  3. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    One might inquire where this letter is quoted from, or what Eisenhower's beliefs have to do with the subforum this is posted in.
     
  4. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    I thought this was the Secession and Politics sub-forum, Guv. Apparently General Eisenhower believed the question of Secession was resolved by the outcome Civil War, not before it. But judging by your reaction and what is politically correct now, old Ike would have trouble getting elected dog catcher in his adopted hometown of Gettysburg.
     
  5. jpeter

    jpeter 1st Lieutenant Retired Moderator

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    It sounds like Lee was role model for Eisenhower... which I can sort of imagine to be true.
     
  6. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    Eisenhower letter regarding Robert E. Lee

    President Dwight Eisenhower wrote the following letter in response to one he received dated August 1, 1960, from Leon W. Scott, a dentist in New Rochelle, New York. Scott’s letter reads:

    “Dear Mr. President:
    “At the Republican Convention I heard you mention that you have the pictures of four (4) great Americans in your office, and that included in these is a picture of Robert E. Lee.
    “I do not understand how any American can include Robert E. Lee as a person to be emulated, and why the President of the United States of America should do so is certainly beyond me.
    “The most outstanding thing that Robert E. Lee did was to devote his best efforts to the destruction of the United States Government, and I am sure that you do not say that a person who tries to destroy our Government is worthy of being hailed as one of our heroes.
    “Will you please tell me just why you hold him in such high esteem?
    Sincerely yours,
    “Leon W. Scott”

    Eisenhower's response, written on White House letterhead on August 9, 1960 reads as follows:

    August 9, 1960
    Dear Dr. Scott:
    Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War Between the States the issue of Secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.
    General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his belief in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.
    From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.
    Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.
    Sincerely,
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
     
  7. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    My reaction is more "What does Ike thinking it have to do with anything?" than "IKE IS WRONG!"

    Is he supposed to be someone who would know the Constitution really well now?

    As for being things being too PC, speaking as a native Californian, I can't think of a single thing in that letter that would get Eisenhower in trouble here.

    And last time I checked, if the term PC has any meaning whatsoever other than "left of Hindenburg", Pennsylvania has less of it than California.

    And again, where is that from? A newspaper article? Magazine? Website? Book?
     
  8. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    Eisenhower's own portrait of R.E. Lee. As I'm sure you know, Elensar, Ike took up painting in his retirement and apparently admired Lee enough to paint this handsome work.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    It is very good painting, though - and maybe its just me - but Lee looks like he should be a little less solemn - it doesn't quite go with the rest of it how it looks somehow. This is more of an observation than a criticism, however. It captures Lee's appearance well.

    Still waiting for an answer to my questions.
     
  10. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    And Elennsar is Right!


    With the camera phones and the internet do you really think that the guy who wrote that letter and had a self painted portrait of Robert E. Lee in his office would have a chance of political office in California?
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    In California? Possibly, possibly not. Somehow or another Arnold Schwarzenegger of all people was elected. But you referred to his adopted hometown, which is not in California last time I checked an atlas.

    Is there a reason you refuse to address the question asking for a source for that letter?

    Really, this is starting to look like this thread is getting more attention than it deserves, even counting the nice painting in its favor.

    So if this is going to continue the way it is, I offer you the chance for the last word in the interests of not being further involved.
     
  12. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ August 9, 1960
    [SIZE=-1] [/SIZE]
    Dear Dr. Scott:
    [SIZE=-1] [/SIZE]
    Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War between the States the issue of secession had remained unresolved for more that 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.
    [SIZE=-1] [/SIZE]
    General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.
    [SIZE=-1] [/SIZE]
    From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.
    [SIZE=-1] [/SIZE]
    Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.
    [SIZE=-1] [/SIZE]
    Sincerely,
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    [SIZE=-1] [/SIZE]
    [Source: Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, A Presidential Library Administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, “Dwight D. Eisenhower, Records as President, 1953-1961; White House Central Files, President’s Personal File Series, Box 743, Folder: PPF 29-S Lee, General Robert E.”]


    Hope this works for you.
     
  13. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011 Honored Fallen Comrade

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    Did you somehow miss the earlier post with the source and history of the letter? If you think your monkeying with N.B. Forrest causes reactions, both favorable and the contrary, you can expect rewards when messing with Ike. Dwight David Eisenhower was a guy who saved this nation with a little help from a few million comrades.
     
  14. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    But, but, but the great Elenssar says Ike's wrong and furthermore, has questionable knowledge of the Constitution.
     
  15. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    pray continue, kind sir!
     
  16. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Seems to me that letter is a perfect fit for this forum. Doesn't surprise me at all, nor does the wording of the letter, my revisionist friends.....it's what a lot of people have been saying all along. In the minds of the guys who seceded, there were more reasons than one. Did Union Blue's head just explode when I said that?
     
  17. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    Unless that's where you found it, no.

    What source? The closest we've gotten is where the letter itself is supposedly found, not where RobertP found the text. And him "saving this nation" has no bearing whatsoever on this issue. I can applaud what Eisenhower did in WWII without granting him any of the respect given there for his opinion on this.

    Do you mean the ones who described how the anti-slavery North had provoked secession by interfering with slavery over and over again?

    And multiple reasons or not, that does not mean that secession was legal or of uncertain legality.
     
  18. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Let's see......(thinking, thinking, thinking).......nope.
     
  19. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011 Honored Fallen Comrade

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    Am I missing something?

    [Source: Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, A Presidential Library Administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, “Dwight D. Eisenhower, Records as President, 1953-1961; White House Central Files, President’s Personal File Series, Box 743, Folder: PPF 29-S Lee, General Robert E.”]

    Without revealing trade secrets, I feel there is a time when we all must do some looking on our own.
     
  20. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011 Honored Fallen Comrade

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    At this point in time, without Dwight Eisenhower, we might not have a constitution.
     
  21. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    Yes, you are. I think it may be me being unclear.

    Unless that's where RobertP found it, that's like giving me a description of where oh, a copy of the Confederate Constitution is.

    I want to know where RobertP found the letter. This sounds like something quoted from a magazine, website, etc.

    If I'm mistaken about that, well, wouldn't be the first time I've been mistaken about something.
     

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