EISENHOWER, Dwight D. (1890-1969). President. Autograph letter signed ("Ike") TO HIS WIFE, Mamie Doud Eisenshower, [Allied Forces Headquarters, St. George's Hotel, Algiers], 3 July . 4½ pages, 4to, (7 15/16 x 10 3/8 in.), written on rectos only of five sheets lined stationery. [With:] Autograph signature as Censor ("Dwight D Eisenhower"), on a typed envelope addressed to his wife in Washington, D.C., with purple circular handstamp "Passed By Examiner Base 2134 Army."
EISENHOWER REPORTS THAT "THE FIANCÉ OF MY DRIVER [KAY SUMMERSBY] WAS KILLED"
A very lengthy letter from this celebrated wartime correspondence, in which Eisenhower (already caught up in the long-range planning for the Allied invasion of northern Europe) informs Mamie about the tragic death of the fiancé of Kay Summersby, his driver (on Summersby, this event and the controversy over their relationship, see notes to preceding lot): "...your teletyped 'anniversary' message was not delivered until today -- but it was none the less welcome when it did arrive. I truly appreciated it -- because I never get tired of having additional evidence of your love and affection. I really lean on you; even if you are thousands of miles away...You are right in your conjecture that the friend of my driver was killed. I thought I told you about it. She is a very popular person in the whole headquarters and everyone is trying to be kind. But I suppose she cannot long continue to drive -- she is too sunk! Personally I think she should go back to England, but seems to want to keep on working. Her late friend has a young brother in the hospital, seriously sick. She is now devoting herself to helping him."
Then Ike describes several newborn Scotty puppies, part of his entourage: "...For a while we suspected the parentage because of color, but the veterinary assures us that baby color means nothing. Naturally I expected them to be coal black. One is almost black, the other brown. They are now almost 4 weeks old...the vet says they look all right to him. They are now the size of big rats. Fat in the tummy, and trying to crawl about... We'll probably give these two away, because more than 2 dogs in one household makes a number of problems, but we'll keep them quite a while. Because Scotties have such thick coats the heat here is not good for them...Someone told me we could never take animals home from here because of prevalence of rabies, etc -- but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. In the mean time the dogs are the chief interest of our household...."
He writes of financial matters, problems in sending money home, and adds that "while in England I saved up what I could, not knowing what I'd run into when I came here. Fortunately I converted all my saving into francs before the exchange was fixed at the present rather (for us) unfortunate rate. As a result I had plenty...& so was able to send home most of the money paid to me after deducting the regular allotments. Now I'm down to --0--" and "I'll be sending home very little." He points out that she will have a bit more due in taxes, and adds, cryptically, that "very soon I'll start on quite a trip; so I've been trying to write every day," because "I have the urge to say 'I love you' I'm afraid that often there is very little else in my notes." In closing he reports plans for "a brief ceremony" in celebration of Independence Day, adding that "since I have to come to the office anyway I'll probably work all day."
Rumors about a relationship between Eisenhower and Summersby apparently had reached Mamie's ears nearly a year earlier, according to several sources, and J.S.D. Eisenhower told one set of biographers that while Mrs. Eisenhower may not have believed the rumors, "she thought enough of them to bring it up in her letters" (L. Davis and I David, Ike & Mamie: The Story of the General and His Lady, New York, 1981, pp.158).