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To General John J. Pershing
December 13, 1920 Washington, D.C.
. . . I believe that my trip to Milton and Exeter, particularly the former, may have a good result. Every seat in the Club was taken for the talk on Friday night. They had issued tickets to members and did not open the Club for guests, and I was relieved to see that the house was completely filled, some standing, despite exceedingly bad weather. It proved to be the most sympathetic and responsive audience I have ever encountered and they gave me quite an ovation at the end, though it was apparent they were inspired by a first comprehension of the real achievement of the A.E.F. Most of those present came up to me after the lecture and seemed greatly astonished by my description of what actually had occurred. They all spoke of you and I believe for the first time really appreciated what you had done.
Mrs. Russell was, as usual, delightful, and Mr. Russell quite outdid himself in his efforts to be nice to us.1 They gave Mrs. Marshall two luncheons, a tea and a supper party, and a friend of theirs gave another tea for her, and just before the lecture the President and Secretary of the Club gave us a big dinner at the clubhouse.
At Exeter we found that Doctor Perry was sick with a bad sore throat and a cold, so we did not see him at all.2 Mrs. Perry was most hospitable and had all the faculty in for tea the first afternoon and several guests for dinner that night. The combination of older people, little boys and older boys made a very hard audience to talk to but it apparently went off all right. We left Exeter last night, Mrs. Russell having gone up there with us.
Quekemeyer tells me you expect to return to Washington on the 18th or 19thfor a few days and then go back to Long Island for Christmas.3 Mrs. Marshall fully recovered from her temporary indisposition at Carlisle the next morning, and seemed in better shape than any of the others. She cannot stand very much tobacco smoke in a closed room.
We both send you our love.
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. James and Emily Russell, whom Marshall had met at the outings at Pershing’s friend W. Cameron Forbes’s "Mansion House" on Naushon Island, Massachusetts, in 1919 and 1920,were friends of Forbes and the Perrys.
2. Lewis Perry was the sixth principal of the Phillips Exeter Academy. Pershing’s son, Warren, was enrolled at the academy in Exeter, New Hampshire.
3. Pershing was resting at a rented house in Roslyn, Long Island, near the home of his brother James.
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. 203-204.