As One Predident To The Next

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Washington to Adams

A solemn scene it was indeed, and it was made affecting to me by the presence of the General, whose countenance was as serene and unclouded as the day. … Methought I heard him say, “Ay! I am fairly out and you fairly in! See which of us will be happiest!”

John Adams, in a letter to Abigail Adams, March 5, 1997

Buchanan to Lincoln

If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering this house as I am in leaving it and returning home, you are the happiest man in this country.

At the White House, March 4, 1861

Adams to Jefferson

In order to save you the trouble and Expence of purchasing Horses and Carriages, which will not be necessary, I have to inform you that I shall leave in the stables of the United States seven Horses and two Carriages with Harness and Property of the United States. These may not be suitable for you: but they will certainly save you a considerable Expence …

In a letter, February 20, 1801

Taft to Wilson

Congress is very generous to the President. … I have been able to save from my four years about $100,000.

In a letter, November 15, 1912

T. R. to Taft

STRICTLY PRIVATE

Oyster Bay, N. Y. September 5, 1908

Dear Will,

I do not want this letter to be seen by anyone but you and Mrs. Taft … It seems absurd, but I am convinced that the prominence that has been given to your golf playing has not been wise, and from now on I hope your people will do everything they can to prevent one word being sent out about either your fishing or your playing golf. …

Ever yours,

Hon. Wm. H. Taft Cincinnati, Ohio.

Coolidge to Hoover

After my election in 1928, he [Mr. Coolidge] undertook to give me some fatherly advice as to how to run the White House. He said:

“You have to stand every day three or four hours of visitors. Nine-tenths of them want something they ought not to have. If you keep dead-still they will run down in three or four minutes. If you even cough or smile they will start up all over again.” … He was most reluctant to take any action in advance of the actual explosion of trouble. One of his sayings was, “If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you and you have to battle with only one of them.” … The trouble with this philosophy was that when the tenth trouble reached him he was wholly unprepared, and it had by that time acquired such momentum that it spelled disaster.

Herbert Hoover, in Meet Calvin Coolidge

Truman to Eisenhower

The journey in the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue was quite restrained—as far as the occupants of the Presidential car were concerned. We began our trip in silence. Then the President-elect volunteered to inform me: “I did not attend your Inauguration in 1948 out of consideration for you …”

I was quick to reply: “You were not here in 1948 because I did not send for you. But if I had sent for you, you would have come.”

The rest of the journey continued in silence.

Harry S. Truman, in Mr. Citizen