TRUMAN, Harry. S., President. Typed letter signed ("Harry") as President, to David H. Morgan, Washington, D.C., 10 November 1952. 1 full page, 4to, White House stationery. Fine.
SIX DAYS AFTER EISENHOWER'S ELECTION: "A NATIONAL HERO IS WHAT THE PEOPLE WANTED...IT CANNOT BE ANALYZED AS A REPUBLICAN LANDSLIDE"
An exceptional letter of the lame-duck President, immediately after the election which sent a Republican to the White House after 20 years in which Democrats (first Roosevelt, then Truman), had occupied the Presidential Mansion. To Morgan, an Oklahoma oilman and a business partner in a failed venture before World War I, Harry candidly writes: "I appreciated very much yours of 6th [two days after the election]...The election, of course, was a surprise to all of us on our side. Nearly all the experts with whom I discussed the matter figured we would have anywhere from 296 to 360 electoral votes but there seemed to be a trend on to vote for a National Hero [Eisenhower] and I suppose that is what the people wanted."
"It cannot be analyzed as a Republican landslide because the Senate and House margins are too narrow [Eisenhower carried all but 9 of 48 states, and the percentage of the popular vote he garnered was the highest since Roosevelt, in 1936]. In several states we elected the governors and senators when Eisenhower carried the State. That was true of Massachusetts, Missouri and Montana particularly..." Then, looking forward to his impending departure from the White House, Truman adds, "I think you are right about Kansas City being the best place to live. I am going to live in the City of which Kansas City is a suburb when I get around to it."
In the last months of the campaign, Eisenhower, campaigning with Senator Joe McCarthy in Wisconsin, had aggressively attacked Truman, and by implication, General George Marshall for the success of the Communist ideology. Truman, who had been on friendly terms with Ike prior to the campaign, never forgave him. When the President-elect visited the White House on November 20, Truman was formal, polite, but aloof, and afterwards, skeptical of the former General's grasp of the magnitude of the responsibilities he was about to assume. Harry remarked: "I think this all went in one ear and out the other...He'll sit right there and he'll say do this, do that! And nothing will happen. Poor Ike!--It won't be a bit like the Army. He'll find it very frustrating" (D. McCullough, Truman, p.914).