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Richard M. Nixon

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At age 50, “I moved to New York and started the long climb upward on the comeback trail"


Richard Milhous Nixon, 1913-1994.  37th President of the United States.  Superb Autograph Note Signed, RN, one page, 7¼ x 10½", on an engraved note card of La Casa Pacifica, [San Clemente, California,] July 7, 1979.  With original envelope.

This is an excellent content holograph note in which Nixon reminisces about his first political comeback as he sends birthday greetings to a friend and supporter, William W. Stover.  In full:  "Fifty may seem old to you but it seems very young to me.  It was at that age that I moved to New York and started the long climb upward on the comeback trail.  /  I'm sure the years ahead will be good ones for you."

The second youngest Vice President in American history, elected at age 39 and inaugurated just after he turned 40, Nixon served two terms with President Dwight D. Eisenhower but suffered two quick defeats that convinced many that his political career was over.  He received the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1960 but lost by a razor-thin margin to John F. Kennedy.  Two years later, in 1962, after returning to his home state of California, Nixon lost by nearly 300,000 votes in a hard and bitter campaign to unseat incumbent Democratic Governor Edmund G. Brown. 

In an impromptu concession speech following his loss to Brown, Nixon blamed the news media for treating him unfairly and insisted that “you wonʼt have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference."  He added that he hoped his remarks would show the media that “they have a right and a responsibility that if they are against a candidate, give him the shaft, but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then.

In 1963, then, Nixon moved his family to New York—the move that he mentions in this note—and began his political comeback.  Titularly practicing law, he became the senior name partner in the leading law firm of Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander.  He enhanced his reputation by publishing an article entitled “Asia After Vietnam,” in which he proposed a new relationship with China, in Foreign Affairs.  He stayed out of the 1964 presidential campaign but campaigned vigorously for Republican congressional candidates in 1966 and took extended trips to South America and parts of the Middle East in 1967. 

In 1968, in a three-way race against Democrat Hubert H. Humphrey and Independent George C. Wallace, he won the White House with the promise of “peace with honor" in the Vietnam war.  His comeback was complete.

By 1972, the United States escalated bombing, and Nixon, running for reelection, promised that the war would soon end.  He was overwhelmingly reelected. 

Two years later, the Watergate scandal forced Nixon to resign the presidency.  He emerged in his second comeback, writing nine books in the 20 years between his presidency and his death and reestablishing himself as a respected statesman.

Bill Stover, to whom Nixon wrote this note, and with whom he kept in regular contact, was a 1955 graduate of Stanford University Law School.  He also served as the chief of staff for California Senator George L. Murphy.

Nixon is rare in autograph letters signed.  He has penned this one in black and has signed with his initials, which is typical of much of his correspondence.  The accompanying envelope, on Nixon's personal engraved stationery of La Casa Pacifica, is unaddressed, and the flap has been sealed.  It is in fine condition.  Nixonʼs note itself is absolutely pristine and is in extra fine condition.

Unframed.  Click here to ask us about custom framing this piece.


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