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To Brigadier General Charles G. Dawes
October 8, 1937 Vancouver Barracks, Washington
My dear General Dawes:
This is an odd letter, but I became so irritated over an error of mine that I happened on this morning that I felt impelled to write to you forthwith and explain. A little over a year ago in Chicago I was in your office one morning and learnt that it was your birthday. Then and there I made a note of the date with the intention of remembering you with at least a message of congratulations on the following anniversaries. For some reason I got it into my head that it was in October, and when I went to look the matter up today I could not find my note, but I did find from Who’s Who that August 27th was the great day, and I had completely missed out on my intentions.
Belated as this is I tender my congratulations, none the less sincere because of the faulty manner of their transmission. I only wish I could step in the elevator of 208 South LaSalle and drop off at the second floor to congratulate you in person. If your birthday fell like mine on New Years Eve, or on the 4th of July, I probably would not have so muddled things.
We are charmed with the northwest and have covered almost every part of Oregon and southern Washington on inspection-fishing trips. Now that the fall is here I can add shooting to the program. Mrs. Marshall and I are off Friday morning on an inspection trip of mine down the coast. Then we will loaf and fish on Saturday and Sunday near Gold Beach. On Monday morning at eleven I am to meet General, or rather, Governor Martin at Gold Beach and join him in a trip up the turbulent and famous Rogue River as the guests of a California oil millionaire, to spend three days at this fellow’s lodge in the mountains, by the river. We will probably get some gorgeous steel head or jack salmon fishing. I have to leave Mrs. Marshall at Gold Beach, as this is a stag party; but she and I will do a couple of other ports after I come down the river.
General Martin is making a great name for himself out here for fearlessness, extreme frankness about the “crack pot ideas” of this day and age, etc. The radicals are trying to organize a heavy fight on him for the nomination next spring, and many republicans are changing their registration in order to vote for him. It is too early to predict the result.
I had to get out troops for Bonneville Dam and for Vancouver during the President’s recent visit. I boarded his train at Bonneville and saw him off here in Vancouver after a very strenuous day. General and Mrs. Martin came here to the house with us after the train pulled out, for a drink, and finally for dinner. He lives at Salem sixty miles from here.1
I thought when I received my orders for this station that I was coming to a delightful but very quiet place, sort of a backwater. As a matter of fact about every one has appeared here, from the Russian fliers and the President, on down through a succession of important lesser notables. I have hardly had a moment to call my own. And now Jim Farley is scheduled for this vicinity. I do not suppose I will in any way become involved in his visit, but I am getting suspicious of any week that does not have some headliner due in this neighborhood. I would like a long rest, and more time for fishing and hunting.
With affectionate regards to Mrs. Dawes and you, and with my tardy congratulations,
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Charles G. Dawes Papers, Northwestern University Library, Evanston, Illinois.
Document Format: Author-typed letter signed.
1. Concerning the president’s September 28 visit, Marshall told Pershing: “Had a few words with him [Roosevelt] and was much amused to watch the maneuvers of the various shades of New Dealers who were trying to appear before the public eye in his company. General Martin motored with him all of the day he was in this vicinity, and came here to the house for home dinner after seeing the President off for Seattle at the Vancouver Station. It was interesting to see the impression made on General Martin by the tumultuous welcome accorded Mr. Roosevelt by the crowds in Portland and along other portions of his route. Quite apparently the Governor suffered a change of mind regarding the diminution of the President’s hold on the people. He, Martin, has been pretty outspoken against what he calls `crackpot schemes’ and the something-for-nothing course of action." (Marshall to Pershing, November 17, 1937, LC/J. J. Pershing Papers [General Correspondence].)
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 560-561.