Historically interesting archive of six TLSs to Jackie Robinson, two by Dwight D. Eisenhower as president and four by Robert F. Kennedy as attorney general, totaling six pages, dated from 1957 to 1962. The first Eisenhower letter, October 7, 1957, in part: "Thank you for the note you sent me following the decision I had to make regarding the difficult situation in Little Rock. I greatly appreciated knowing of your prayer-which is also constantly mine." Eisenhower's second letter, written on January 18, 1961, just two days before leaving the White House, in part: "Before leaving this office, I wanted to thank you for the important contribution you made to a better understanding of our country by holding a reception for African delegates to the United Nations last fall. Your recent letter suggesting that this kind of informal people-to-people contacts, particularly between Americans of African descent and United Nations delegates, has great merit, and I hope that you will continue this actively in the future."
Robert F. Kennedy's letters all boast significant civil rights content. The first, signed "Robert F. Kennedy" and "Many thanks, RFK," May 11, 1961, in part: "We intend to follow through with vigorous enforcement of the civil rights laws and I believe we will make progress. However, the record will speak for itself three or four years from now. You will make a judgment and so will the people of the United States, as well as those overseas. You have made a great contribution in the civil rights field and you can be of considerable assistance in seeing that we keep moving ahead." His second letter, signed "Bob Kennedy," June 2, 1961, in part: "It is going to be a long struggle but I am certain we will make a good deal of progress." In a letter signed "Bob," November 13, 1962, Kennedy writes, "There is no question in my mind that the progress which was made in the last 22 months will be sustained and accelerated in the next two years. It is good to know that we have the support of men like yourself who are making such a positive contribution to the advancement of civil rights and human liberties." His fourth letter thanks Robinson for his efforts in supporting the Prince Edward County Free School Association, developed to provide education to black students in Virginia in the wake of public school closures following the Brown v. Board decision.
Also includes secretarially signed letters by Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon. The two-page secretarial Kennedy letter boasts excellent Civil Rights content defending his voting record, closing: "I agree with you that Negro voters, like any other citizens, should consider what is best for Americans. Foreign policy, farm policy, national defense, labor legislation, and other crucial problems must be weighed along with the stand of a candidate upon civil rights. This is the way to make democracy work." In overall fine condition. Accompanied by a custom-made leatherbound case. In addition to Robinson's importance in the integration of America's national pastime, this fabulous group of letters reveals his considerable political influence and leadership in the Civil Rights Movement as a whole.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.