Adams, L. Sherman


Ike’s 1952 campaign manager, White House Chief of Staff (1st ever) 1953-58, forced to resign in scandal



Type: Letter
Description: (1899-1986) Businessman and GOP politician, Eisenhower’s 1952 campaign manager and White House Chief of Staff 1953-58, resigned in scandal. Adams was New Hampshire governor 1947-53.

Adams ran Eisenhower’s 1952 campaign in the New Hampshire primary, campaigned for him across the country, was Eisenhower’s floor leader at the convention and impressed Eisenhower with his hard work, mastery of detail, and skill in political maneuvering. He became campaign manager for the 1952 presidential campaign, where he was always at Eisenhower’s side.

He was the obvious choice for White House Chief of Staff and was the 1st person to hold that which Eisenhower copied from military practice. Exception for Cabinet members and certain NSC advisors, all requests for access to Eisenhower went through Adams which alienated traditional Republican leaders. Adams was one of the most powerful men in Washington during the six years he served as chief of staff and he appeared to have virtual control over White House staff operations and domestic policy. Among the heated conflicts within the Eisenhower administration were how to handle Senator Joe McCarthy, whom Adams and Eisenhower decided to torpedo when McCarthy started attacking the Army. Adams willingly made partisan comments that Eisenhower stood aloof from, thus making Adams the Democrats’ main target. Adams generally stood with the liberal wing of the GOP, in opposition to the conservative wing of Taft and Goldwater. Eisenhower often depended upon him for evaluation of candidates for top-level appointments. Adams handled much of the patronage and appointments that Eisenhower found boring and also was in charge of firing people when he deemed it necessary. 

He was forced to resign in 1958 when a House subcommittee revealed Adams had accepted an expensive vicuna overcoat and oriental rug from Boston textile manufacturer Bernard Goldfine, who was being investigated for Federal Trade Commission violations.

TLS on 9 1/2 x 6 1/2 blue printed “The White House/ Washington/The Assistant to the President” ivory letterhead, February 28 1956, to GOP supporter R. G. Hale, The Breakers Hotel, Palm Beach, Fla. Adams says the President has received Hale’s postcard and noted its comments, is grateful for Hale’s “expressions of confidence in his leadership.”

Condition: Very Good, mail folds

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