Lot 25: Dwight D. Eisenhower ALS
9th August 2017
War-dated ALS signed “Ike,” three pages, 8 x 10.5, February 28, 1943. Letter to his wife Mamie, aiming to put to rest rumors that he was having an affair with his driver, Kay Summersby. In full: "Sunday morning, and for some reason there seems to be a few minutes of calm and quiet in this office. Always, at such times, I like to start a letter to you, because I'm never sure when my next opportunity will come. (—Actually I was interrupted by Ernest at this point, but chased him out.) I suspect that, at times, he feels he leads a devil of an existence. But when I come back from a visit to the boys that are living in the cold and rain and muck, high up in the cold hills of Tunisia, I cannot get very sorry for those living back here in comfort! You must not worry about me. Everyone is exceedingly careful as to my safety, whether I'm travelling by road or by plane—it seems to me a hundred unnecessary precautions are taken. It would be difficult to tell you how much I agree with your idea of just getting together after this war is over and never letting anything part us again. Sometimes I get so homesick for you I don't know what to do. But I always know this—for me there is only one woman and only one ambition with respect to a woman—that is to come a-running to you & hold on to you firmly, forever. You must realize that in such a confused life as we lead there all sorts of stories, gossip, lies and etc can get started without the slightest foundation in fact. I don't even let my people tell me what they are—my poor brain is sufficiently burdened with things that are true. So I want you to know that you can smile at anything—I'm trying to do my duty, every day, and my only hope is that this war will be over quickly so I can go over with you minute by minute, everything that's happened to either of us since I last saw you. I'm afraid I must top. I started this at 8:15. It's now 11:15, and two conferences coming up. I think a courier leaves this P.M., and I don't want this note to miss him. I love you—only!!" In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope. A member of the British Mechanized Transport Corps during World War II, Kay Summersby served as a chauffeur and later as the personal secretary to General Eisenhower between the years 1942 and 1945. The pair spent a great deal of time together and, with Eisenhower’s help, Summersby became a US citizen and a commissioned officer in the US Women's Army Corps. Rumors of their affair began to circulate before long, and although Eisenhower affirms to his wife in this letter, “there is only one woman and only one ambition with respect to a woman,” published books and wartime correspondence between Summersby and Eisenhower offer evidence of a decidedly informal relationship.
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