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Mamie Doud Eisenhower

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“I leave the hospital with a deep sense of appreciation . . . ”

Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower, 1896–1979.  First Lady of the United States, 1953–1961.  Typed letter signed, Mamie Doud Eisenhower, one page, 6⅛” x 9¼”, on stationery of The White House, Washington, [D.C.], August 30, 1957.

Mrs. Eisenhower sends thanks to Walter Reed Army Medical Center Sgt. First Class Thomas J. Lyons, the Ward Master on Ward 8, where Eisenhower was hospitalized for 25 days in August 1957.  She writes, in full:  “Thank you for your many kindnesses to me during my stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  I leave the hospital with a deep sense of appreciation to you and the other members of the staff who have been so helpful to me.  /  With best wishes to you always . . . .”

Mrs. Eisenhower wrote this letter the day she was discharged.  By saying, “I leave the hospital with a deep sense of appreciation,” she suggests that the letter was typed and signed at Walter Reed rather than at the White House, although there is no dateline to confirm that. 

She entered Walter Reed on August 5 and underwent a hysterectomy on August 6.  She was discharged on August 30.  When she left, she told the assembled members of the press that she felt “pretty good.”

Mrs. Eisenhower has signed with a huge 5¼” black fountain pen signature that spans almost the entire width of the page.  The letter would in very fine condition were it not for a tiny stain in the blank right margin to the right of the first line of the text.  Otherwise, the letter has only two normal horizontal folds, neither of which affects the signature, and some light handling marks.  Because of the stain, the strict grading guidelines of The Manuscript Society, which we follow, say that the letter is in fine condition.


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