Personal Letters and Ephemera from the Collection of Percival Brundage, Director of the US Office of Management and Budget under Eisenhower
Washington, DC: Original Correspondence. Ephemera. Single Sheet. Over 27 Pieces. Housed in appropriate document folder. Very Good +. Item #826
An amazing archive of the personal letters of former Director of the US Office of Management and Budget, Percival Brundage. The collection includes more than 27 individual pieces, including four letters signed by Dwight Eisenhower, five letters signed by Mamie Eisenhower and others signed by President Richard Nixon and President Gerald Ford. One of the stand-outs is the 1967 letter from future President Ford discussing the "many mistakes in Vietnam". An insider look from one of the highly trusted advisors of President Dwight Eisenhower.
Director of the United States Office of Management and Budget from April, 1956 to March, 1958. The Office of Management and Budget produces and oversees the President's Budget that is handed to Congress. The budget is the main vehicle by which the President of the United States shapes his policies on a day to day basis by identifying where funds are spent by the United States Congress. The Director answers to the President, the Vice-President and the White House Chief of Staff only.
As Budget Director, Percy spearheaded the Eisenhower Administration's campaign to get the government out of private industry. By the end of his first six months as Director, Brundage had cut 492 of 19,321 government businesses that he claimed interfered with private enterprise. Throughout the two years he spent in office, he championed the Eisenhower budget of 1958 only to be met with stiff opposition from all sides, including his own. By the end of 1957, Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee called on President Eisenhower to replace Brundage "with someone dedicated to the economy instead of... finding new ways to spend more money."
A graduate of Harvard University, Brundage was a brilliant statistician and an exceptional accountant who had achieved Partner status at Price, Waterhouse, but the taxes of political office seemed a bit too much. He remained a close advisor to President Eisenhower as well as to JFK, LBJ, Nixon and Ford.
CONTENT OF THE ARCHIVE:
NOTE: All letters in Very Good to Near Fine condition unless otherwise noted.
TLS initialed by Dwight Eisenhower dated June 9, 1960 in regards to Percival Brundage serving on IKE's "Mutual Security" Advsiors Team. The committee of civilian members was assembled in an attempt to aid in the development and endorsement of policies that might provide “mutual security” for nations in a world threatened by Communism. In part, "Those opposed to this great program of course hope for a waning of public interest. This must not happen." On Official White House stationery. Initialed by Dwight Eisenhower at close of letter.
TLS initialed by Dwight Eisenhower dated December 14, 1960 in regards to a gift sent you him by Percival and his wife Amittai. Eisenhower comments that "Nothing could please me more in view of the life of leisure that I plan to lead, especially in the next few months." On personal DDE stationery from The White House.(with original cover)
TLS signed by Dwight Eisenhower dated October 30, 1963. Letter in regards to a trip to the desert that Eisenhower is planning with Mamie. On personal DDE stationery from Gettysburg. (with original cover)
TLS initialed by Dwight Eisenhower dated October 22, 1965. A thank you letter to Percy and Amittai for remembering his birthday. On personal DDE stationery from Gettysburg. (with original cover)
TLS signed by Mamie Doud Eisenhower addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Brundage dated February 16, 1957. In part, "I am so pleased that you were able to atted the Cabinet Dinner, for it was a pleasure to see you both." On Official White House stationery. Signed in full by Mamie Eisenhower at close.
TLS signed by Mamie Doud Eisenhower addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Brundage dated June 14, 1956. In part, "the knowledge that you were thinking of the President and me and hoping for his recovery was comforting." Eisenhower, an avid smoker, had suffered from a heart attack not more than a year before the writing of this letter. While still recovering from a major heart attack, Eisenhower had surgery on his intestines on June 9, 1956. Health issues plagued the President in his later years. He suffered from Crohn's disease, had at least seven heart attacks and a major stroke during a Cabinet meeting. On Official White House stationery with the Seal of the President of the United States. Signed in full by Mamie Eisenhower at close. (with original cover)
TLS signed by Mamie Doud Eisenhower addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Brundage dated March 25, 1958. In part, "We still do not want to think of you leaving Washington permanently, but prefer to believe that you will be back with us in the Fall." The letter is a response to having been visited by Percy and Amittai during the month of his resignation of office. Without a doubt, Mamie had a special friendship with the pair and her care for them is evident in her letters. On Official White House stationery with the Seal of the President of the United States. Signed in full by Mamie Eisenhower. (with original cover)
TLS signed by Mamie Doud Eisenhower addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Brundage dated July 2, 1959. A thank you letter from Mamie and Dwight to Percy Amittai for wishing them a happy 43rd Annivesary. Signed by Mamie Eisenhower at the close. (with original cover)
Partial TLS with handwritten notes by Mamie Eisenhower addressed to "Dear Amittai and Percy", dated January 14, 1971. In part, "Since our suprise wedding here last week I have decided to make no more plans for this winter but will probably wake up some fine morning and say, off we go today." "Just talked to my sister and she is driving to Belleair Shores today in her new Cadillac. It is so icy here and I am supposed to go to Washington to unveil the Thomas E. Stephens portrait of Ike at the new National Repulican Center..." Mamie is obviously referring to the wedding of her granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower to A.H. Bradshaw on January 9, 1971. Mamie notes in her own hand at the close of the letter that she has just returned from the unveiling of the Eisenhower portrait in Washington and saw many old friends. On personal "Mamie Doud Eisenhower" stationery. (with original cover)
8 X 10 Black & White Photograph of Vice-President Richard Nixon signed and inscribed to Percy Brundage in the lower white border. Signed, "To Percy Brundage, with appreciation for his splendid service to the nation and with every good wish from his friend, Dick Nixon." 1/2 inch white border at sides and top. Slight toning to edges.
TLS signed by Richard Nixon to Percy Brundage dated January 13, 1969. On rare "Office of the President Elect - 450 Park Avenue - NY, NY" stationery. In part, "Now, on the eve of the move to Washington, your thoughtful message has reminded me again of the debt of gratitude I owe you." Signed, "Dick Nixon" at close of letter.
TLS signed by Richard Nixon to Percy Brundage dated May 24, 1957. On Official "Office of the Vice-President" stationery. In part, "In view of the discussion at the Cabinet meeting this morning... You will note that I placed the primary emphasis on the defense and foreign aid aspects of the budget." Signed at the close of the letter with a simple "Dick" above his typed name. A few creases and a fold-mark down the middle.
TLS initialed by Richard Nixon addressed to "Amittai and Percy" dated January 14, 1974. A thank you letter for a Christmas gift to the Nixon family. On Official White House stationery.
TLS signed by Rose Mary Woods, Executive Assistant to former President Nixon addressed to "Amittai", dated February 25, 1975. In part, "That article is typical of why I will not talk with any reporters. That one, I believe was written by Helen Thomas who did ot and has not ever talked with me! Some of the reporters are really a breed apart, and I want nothing to do with them because no matter what you may say to them they print what they want." On Official "Office of Richard Nixon" stationery. Signed, "Rose Mary" at the close. Two fold-marks.
TLS signed by Attorney General John N. Mitchell addressed to "Mr. Brundage", dated July 18, 1969. The letter, on Official "Attorney General" stationery, thanks Percy for sending information on The City Club and a Mr. Hoskinson (Georgetown). Mitchell famously went down as part of the Watergate scandal in 1977. He served 19 months in prison for his role in the fiasco. Fold-mark down the middle.
TLS signed by Presient Gerald R. Ford (this is an autopen signature identified as Autopen #5 in the Koschal Guide). Standard letter addressed to "Percy" thanking him for his efforts with the 1974 elections. Two fold-marks.
TLS signed by Gerald R. Ford addressed to Percival Brundage and dated August 15, 1967. An important letter from the future President of the United States relaying his personal feelings in regards to the war in Vietnam. In part, "We have made so many mistakes in Vietnam, and in general the war has been so poorly managed that drastic changes must be made." Percival it appears has been providing support and guidance to the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, along with many in Washington it would seem. Ford makes mention of his thanks for "helpful recommendations". Signed, "Jerry" at the close of the letter. On Official "Congress of the United States - Office of the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives" stationery. Two fold-marks.
TLS signed by Senator Charles H. Percy addressed to Mr. Percival Flack Brundage, dated June 12, 1967. Charles Harting Percy was the United States Senator from Illinois from 1967 to 1985. He served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1981 to 1985. This letter, written by Percy in the first six months of office as a Senator, is another in the Brundage papers that is obviously in response to Percy providing guidance on the order of operations in Vietnam. In part, "I share your view that the Vietnam War must be de-escalated, but unfortunately I find very little support for this position within our party. As a matter of fact, my emphasis on a negotiated settlement is not well received by Republicans." Percy closes the letter with a stark, prophetical statement that "prospect is dim" for a peace in Vietnam. Percy also adds the note, "I would greatly appreciate your help in getting Democratic Co-Sponsors for a housing bill" in his own hand at the close of the letter. In 1967, the year of this letter, Percy introduced a bill to Congress to stimulate production of low-cost housing for low-income families. The plan, which would include home-ownership, was the first of it's kind put before Congress. On Official United States Senate stationery.
TLS signed by Chinese Ambassador Hollington Tong addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Brundage, dated May 27, 1957. Tong expresses his gratitude for the support shown by Brundage during "this trying time." In part, "None is more sorrowful and distressed than ourselves over what happened at Taipei. We feel ashamed of the mob action against the American Embassy and its personnel." The letter is referring to the storming of the American Embassy after Robert Reynolds, a Master-Sargeant in the US Army, was acquited of murdering a Chinese man whom he said had looked at his wife. Reynolds was formally charged by the Republic of China, but was found innocent of the charges. Upon public announcement of this, the "mob" that Tong refers to, stormed the American Embassy, destroying property and wounding several Embassy employees. On Official "Chinese Embassy" stationery. (with original cover)
The collection also includes Percy Brundage's personal invitation to the Inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower. Other items include four personal invitations to the White House, including one to a dinner honoring His Excellency, the President of Pakistan (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) and Begum Bhutto. One Queen Elizabeth II coronation button and three B/W photographs of Percy Brundage engaged in business are present. One of the photographs is of Brundage's swearing in ceremony in the presence of President Eisenhower. Another photograph is of Brundage sitting with a Eisenhower and others during what would appear to be a budget meeting.