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To Brigadier General John McA. Palmer
February 21, 1935 Chicago, Illinois
I should have written you some time back regarding Professor Linn’s article on the National Guard, which was largely based on your book. Originally this was prepared to go in the Sunday Magazine supplement of the Hearst papers but when it was found the magazine section was made out so many months ahead that the article would not appear in time to accomplish its purpose, General Keehn, President of the National Guard Association, decided to get it out in pamphlet form. I am sending you a copy of the pamphlet which is self explanatory.1
What actually happened was that General Keehn went to Washington for a meeting of the Legislative Committee of the National Guard Association and for a hearing before the Sub Committee on Military Appropriations.2 He had a copy of the pamphlet handed to each Senator and Congressman, personally delivered copies to the Chief of Staff, Secretary of War and the President, and of course to all the members of the National Guard assembly in Washington. A number of these representatives were desirous of obtaining these pamphlets for distribution within their states, so that they have purchased lots of approximately 500 for such distribution. The National Guard Bureau has already used up about one thousand copies, giving them to writers, press men and others soliciting any information. To date approximately 12,000 copies have been distributed throughout the United States and it appears as though there will be a continued call for additional copies which may run the total up toward 20,000.
The interesting thing is, the House of Representatives will probably pass a resolution shortly urging the President to provide out of the four billion fund enough money to re-fit the National Guard and to make possible the increase desired. At any rate so much pressure has been brought on the Congress that they are anxiously concerned as to how the desires of the National Guard can be met.
I hope the treatment of your data by Professor Linn is acceptable to you. He did his best, and when you consider that he did the work in two afternoons, after having read the book one evening, I think he did a pretty fair job of it—always having in mind it was intended for Hearst newspaper distribution to appeal to that sort of reader. Incidentally, Professor Linn is a pacifist, but I think your book somewhat undid him. At any rate, he is a very amusing fellow, and a great mixer and somewhat of a bonvivant.
I am writing this hastily, with apologies for my long delay.
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: John McA. Palmer Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. James W. Linn, English professor at the University of Chicago, wrote a pamphlet entitled “Washington’s Lost Plan Revived,” which the National Guard Association reprinted as “An Appeal to the 74th Congress by the National Guard Association: Washington’s Lost Plan Revived." Marshall had introduced Linn to Palmer’s book Washington, Lincoln, Wilson.
2. General Keehn testified on January 22, 1935. Excerpts from his testimony are printed in the Illinois Guardsman 2 (March 1935): 5, 20.
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. 458-459.