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To Major General Charles H. Martin1
November 7, 1934 [Chicago, Illinois]
I read a few minutes ago with great delight of your election as Governor of Oregon. Mere congratulations would be a mild expression of my feelings.
When you were in Congress I had in mind writing to you on several occasions but always postponed doing so, with the expectation of calling on you personally in Washington. But I never had the opportunity to call, and thus failed to communicate with you in any manner.
To me your splendid career in civil life is one of those few cases where the genuinely fine character receives something of the success deserved. I greatly admired your attitude and efficiency during your Army career in Washington, and I was gratified by the evidences of friendship you gave me.
The contrast between your unselfish bearings and the self seeking scheming of so many others, made a deep impression on my mind. You and old John Palmer were the two seniors whose advancement personally concerned me. In Palmer’s case I bearded Mr. Weeks in his den—and evidently acquired his active dislike, as well, I suspect, as a somewhat critical attitude on the part of General Pershing for injecting myself into his business.
It is probably an impropriety to tell you now that I had it out with General Pershing in 1920 over your priority rights for promotion, because there was a long list of obtrusive people clamoring for their own advancement, while you remained utterly silent. It may be bad taste to mention this, but I really am boasting of my own discernment, so completely justified by your subsequent career.
Please make my compliments to Mrs. Martin, and believe me very,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Illinois National Guard, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Martin had retired from active duty in 1927. In 1930 he was elected to Congress (Oregon, Third District, Democrat), and reelected in 1932.
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. 442-443.