Sen. Leverett Saltonstall Presidential Letters and Photographs
This group of documents and photographs highlight the relationships between Leverett Saltonstall (1892-1979) and ten presidents of the United States.
Leverett Saltonstall, the son of Richard Middlecott Saltonstall and Eleanor Brooks Saltonstall, rose through the Massachusetts Republican Party to become the governor of Massachusetts (1939-1945) and a U.S. senator (1945-1967), where he served as Republican Whip (1949-1957) and as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (1953-1955).
During his long tenure as an elected official, and in his later retirement, Saltonstall formed relationships with ten former, current, and future U.S. presidents. He worked especially closely with Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower. "Both on a personal and professional basis," Eisenhower wrote Saltonstall in a Nov. 1953 letter, " you are one of those I consider indispensable."
Saltonstall was well-known for his skill at reaching across the aisle to establish productive bipartisan relationships in the Senate. This is particularly evident in Saltonstall’s close and lasting friendship with Democratic president Lyndon B. Johnson, which Johnson expressed eloquently in several letters. Upon hearing in December 1965 that Saltonstall had announced his retirement, President Johnson telegraphed “I have been privileged to know you well and to serve with you in the Senate. Your friendship is one of the treasures I shall always value most devotedly.”
Saltonstall attended the wedding of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953, and the two served together in the Senate from 1953 to 1960. One of their constituents thought the two had an even closer relationship, mistakenly assuming Saltonstall to be Kennedy’s uncle. “If you are ready to admit it,” Kennedy kidded in a 1963 letter, “I am.”
Letter from Calvin Coolidge to Leverett Saltonstall, 28 April 1932
"We have our dinner at six o'clock and we do not dress for it."
Letter from Herbert Hoover to Leverett Saltonstall, 1 June 1957
"From observation of two world wars I believe there are two conclusions..."
Letter from Franklin Roosevelt to Leverett Saltonstall, 25 June 1941
"In these trying times I have to miss many things which would be a joy..."
Letter from Leverett Saltonstall to Harry Truman, 24 May 1950
"This letter is not of deep governmental importance but may give you a smile."
Letter from Harry Truman to Leverett Saltonstall, 26 May 1950
"I don't see how he could be but a grand person with that last name"
Letter from Dwight Eisenhower to Leverett Saltonstall, 16 November 1953
"Never have I had more welcome news than the information in your note..."
Letter from Dwight Eisenhower to Leverett Saltonstall, 23 August 1954
"I know that your colleagues in the Senate will agree with me that your many contributions to our country in this Congress have been remarkable."
Letter from Dwight Eisenhower to Leverett Saltonstall, 9 August 1956
"...I think you personally should have a feeling of great accomplishment in your constructive work in national defense..."
Letter from John F. Kennedy to Leverett Saltonstall, 22 May 1947
"Everyone enjoyed seeing you better..."
Letter from John F. Kennedy to Leverett Saltonstall, 5 August 1963
"... there are some in Ireland who think you are my uncle."
Letter from Lyndon Johnson to Leverett Saltonstall, 28 July 1955
"I haven't seen anything on the television screen like Leverett Saltonstall confronted with two calves."
Letter from Lyndon Johnson to Leverett Saltonstall, 4 August 1956
"It has meant much to me that a man such as yourself, despite the difference in party affiliation, has been so gracious, so kind, so thoughtful."
Telegram from Lyndon Johnson to Leverett Saltonstall, 30 December 1965
"YOUR FRIENDSHIP IS ONE OF THE TREASURES I SHALL ALWAYS VALUE MOST DEVOTEDLY"
Letter from Lyndon Johnson to Leverett Saltonstall, 3 November 1966
"They are brave, and good humored, and selfless."
Letter from Richard Nixon to Leverett Saltonstall, 18 January 1961
"I want you to know how deeply touched I was by your references to me..."
Letter from Richard Nixon to Leverett Saltonstall, 30 November 1972
"I can only assure you I shall do everything possible over the next four years to make a record which will justify your abiding confidence and loyal support."
Letter from Gerald Ford to Leverett Saltonstall, 24 June 1975
"I particularly appreciate having your experienced views on the matter of the CIA."
Letter from George H.W. Bush to Leverett Saltonstall, 31 October 1978
"I had a good visit with Bill Saltonstall at lunch--an extra dividend."