Collection of nine TLSs from Lyndon B. Johnson dating throughout his political career as a Texan senator to his succession as president of the United States. The letters, signed “Lyndon” or “Lyndon B. Johnson,” range in size between 6 x 7 and 8 x 10.5, and date between November 1959 and June 1969. The letters are addressed to Benjamin Oehlert and his wife Alice, with seven typed on United States Senate letterhead, one on White House letterhead, and the final letter written on his personal embossed stationery. The bulk of the content consists of pleasantries and messages of gratitude, with highlighted sections as follows:
November 3, 1959: “One of the nicest things the Hills ever did for Lady Bird and me was to introduce us to the Oehlerts, and it was a real pleasure to have you at the ranch where you contributed generously to our ‘international week-end.’ The next time we have an opportunity to visit Atlanta, we’ll certainly keep in mind your kind offer of hospitality. Meanwhile, the next time you’re back Texas-way, be sure to let us know—maybe then we can go on a real deer hunt.”
January 12, 1960: “Thanks very much for your note of December 28th. Yes, for whatever it is worth, the quotation is accurate. I said it. I meant it. You are rather too generous to me. However, not being immune to flattery, I am grateful.”
October 1, 1960: “My schedule reads ‘Rest’ for today in Washington. But I can’t do that until I take time out to say ‘thanks again’ to you. Your note of the 26th with its generous enclosure welcomed me this morning and I deeply appreciate you and all you’ve done.” Stapled to the reverse is a carbon copy of Oehlert’s reply letter from October 5th.
August 19, 1968, written as president: “Thank you for the photos of my Pakistan visit eight years ago. A lot has changed since then—including my waistline.”
Also included with the collection are an assortment of TLSs from other members of Johnson’s staff, as well as from two Pakistani presidents, each addressed to Oehlert or his wife, including: Lady Bird Johnson (2, both as first lady), Hubert H. Humphrey (6, five as vice president), Jack Valenti (special assistant to President Johnson), Bess Abell (White House social secretary), William P. Rogers (as secretary of state under President Nixon; Johnson selected Rogers as an American delegate to the United Nations), Yahya Khan (as third president of Pakistan), and Ayub Khan (6, with one ALS; three written as the second president of Pakistan). Includes two embossed compliment cards from the Pakistani president. In overall fine condition. Accompanied by numerous autopen and secretarially signed letters from Johnson, his wife, Humphrey, and Secretary of State Dean Rusk, dated between May 1960 and December 1968.
After graduating from the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Oehlert (1909-1985) went into private practice and was later hired by the Department of State to work in the Mexican Claims Agency. He spent several years working in top offices for Coca-Cola, W. R. Grace & Co., and the Minute Maid Company before being appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to become Ambassador to Pakistan in 1967, a post he held until his retirement in 1969.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.