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2227401

Madame Chiang Kai-shek

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“ . . . in this day of world unrest and trouble the stronger the bond of friendship between nations,

the sooner shall we achieve permanent world peace and understanding”

Mayling Soong Chiang, also known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, 1898–2003.  First Lady of the Republic of China,  1943–1975.  Typed letter signed, Mayling Soong Chiang, with autograph emendations, one page, 7” x 6½”, on engraved, blind-embossed stationery of the Office of the President, Republic of China, Taipei, Taiwan, February 11, 1961. 

In this excellent letter—both personal and political—Madame Chiang writes of the morale of Nationalist Chinese troops, the cooperation between the United States and the Republic of China, and the bonds of friendship between nations.  She acknowledges the contribution of U.S. Army Maj. Harold Lindsey “Lin” Arison, Jr., an Army bandmaster who served as Nationalist Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek’s Military Music Advisor, in anticipation of his retirement from the regular Army.  She writes, in full:

I have just learned that you are soon retiring from the Regular Army.  Since your arrival in Taiwan as Band Master, you have not only performed your duties with distinction, but have organized and trained the bands of the military forces of China so that today they are a credit to the country they represent.  Not only do they perform well as musicians, but they are training others to follow in their footsteps.  Considering how important a part music plays in the morale of the troops, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for the valuable services you have rendered to my country and people.

I do hope that it will be possible for you to remain in our midst either in a military or civilian capacity, for both you and Mrs. Arison have earned the respect and affection of the people with whom you have come into contact.  Your consistent efforts to be helpful in every way have strengthened the cooperation between our two countries, for in this day of world unrest and trouble the stronger the bond of friendship between nations, the sooner shall we achieve permanent world peace and understanding.

[Holograph addition:]  With best wishes to you and Mrs. Arison.

Yours cordially

Mayling Soong Chiang

While Arison (19191998) was serving as an assistant bandmaster, composer, and arranger at the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Army loaned him to the government of the Republic of China in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1954.  As Chiang Kai-shek’s music advisor, he organized and directed a school for music teachers, bandmasters, and instrumentalists, and he composed and arranged state ceremonial music for the government.  He rearranged and harmonized the national anthem of the Republic of China, and his version remains unchanged. 

Arison entered the Army in 1941 as the bandmaster of the 357th Infantry Regiment.  He was promoted to Division Bandmaster and participated in the Utah Beach landing on D-Day during the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.  While commanding the 90th Infantry Division band, he served in five major European campaigns.  He then commanded and conducted the special services orchestra, which entertained U.S. military forces in Europe, before being assigned to West Point.  Arison was also an officer in the United States Foreign Service, serving as chief of the Northeast Asia and Pacific branches of the Voice of America and advising the program director of Vietnam’s national television directorate in Saigon.  He retired from the Foreign Service in 1972.

Arison served on Taiwan until he finally retired from the Army in 1963, two years after Madame Chiang wrote this letter.  Because of the laws at the time regarding combined military and civil service retirements, it took two years and Congressional action to resolve issues relating to his military retirement.

Madame Chiang has signed this letter and written the salutation, the last paragraph, and the closing in blue fountain pen.  The letter has two flattened horizontal mailing folds, one of which touches the holograph salutation.  There are a paper clip impression and stain in the blank margin at the upper left.  Overall the letter is in fine condition. 

Unframed.

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$2,250.00

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