Autograph and Typed Manuscript Campaign Speech

John F. KENNEDY

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Item#: 108506 price:$16,500.00

"WE WILL HELP THEM IF THEY WILL HELP US. THIS, I HAVE LONG BELIEVED, SHOULD BE THE MOTIVATING FORCE BEHIND OUR ENTIRE FOREIGN POLICY": RARE ANNOTATED AUTOGRAPH AND TYPED SPEECH DELIVERED BY KENNEDY DURING THE 1952 MASSACHUSETTS SENATE CAMPAIGN, REGARDING THE KOREAN WAR

KENNEDY, John F. Autograph and Typed Manuscript Campaign Speech. No place: [1952]. Quarto (8-1/2 by 11 inches), eleven pages on nine leaves of wove paper: four pages typed with extensive holographic emendations in pencil by Kennedy; six pages in pen and pencil in an unidentified hand; one page in pencil in Kennedy's hand. $16,500.

Autograph and typed manuscript speech, annotated by Kennedy and with over a page in his handwriting, delivered during the 1952 Massachusetts Senate campaign that ultimately unseated Henry Cabot Lodge, answering charges by Lodge that he did not take the Korean War seriously enough, in which he mentions his own personal experience in World War II and the possibility of provoking World War III and atomic warfare.

The speech reads in part, with a few changes in Kennedy's hand noted: "It was my intention tonight to discuss certain questions which are important to you, the people of Massachusetts, in selecting your representative in the United States Senate. All this has now been changed. In the last two days, my opponent Mr. Lodge has made charges against me of such a serious personal nature they cannot go unchallenged. On Saturday, in New Bedford, Mr. Lodge said that Mr. Kennedy does not take Korea seriously. Yesterday in Lowell Mr. Lodge went so far as to suggest that the heavy burdens placed on our people by the Korean War are a matter of indifference to Mr. Kennedy. This is not discussing the issues, the facts, or the record. It is all part of a pattern—a pattern which is to play upon the fears and anxieties of every family with a boy in Korea… No American is indifferent to the Korean War or any other war in which our boys and the boys of our friends and neighbors have fought and died. War, with all its sorrows and miseries, has a deep personal meaning for me. I saw it at close range in the waters of the South Pacific during the early days of World War II, where some of the noblest pages in our history were written. I know as one who lived it—the lonesomeness, the heartbreak, and the bitter cost of war in lives taken and bodies broken. Great sorrow was visited upon my own family. My older brother, Joe, dear to me as only an older brother can be [italics struck through by Kennedy] lost his life in volunteer missions over the English Channel in 1944. Two months later my sister's husband died in action in France. I have some understanding of what the loss of a boy in Korea or in any war means to those who loved him. I don't need to be told about it by Mr. Lodge. I have been as seriously concerned about the Korean War as any man could be. I have been to Korea but to the best of my knowledge [italics added by Kennedy] I have never seen any record that Mr. Lodge was ever there… To me the important question is this: What can be done now about Korea? It seems to me there are three alternatives… Drive the Chinese out of Korea. That in my opinion is wholly unsatisfactory [and] because of the terms of the Russia-Chinese agreement… it might be the beginning of World War III and atomic warfare… Withdraw from Korea completely… [it] is not advocated by any American in a responsible position, including General Eisenhower. Such a course would mean that all of our effort for the past two or three years would be wasted… All of Asia would e lost to the Communists… And of greater importance it would mean deserting American prisoners of war, to whom our obligations are supreme. The third alternative is to maintain our present line in Korea, to work assiduously for a truce—to promote the military development of the South Koreans and other nations engaged in the common struggle, and particularly to attempt to get from countries that are allied with us in the far east and in Europe a share of troops proportionate to their populations and comparable to our own effort. This policy of using as many South Korean troops as possible on the front lines has already been proceeding under the successive commands of MacArthur, van Fleet, Ridgeway and Mark Clark."

The following portion of the speech—the last page—is in Kennedy's hand, in pencil: "I think we have every right to expect that the other members of the United Nations should bear their proportionate share of the burden of the fighting. The only way this can be done is by insisting that all of the assistance that we give them should be on a reciprocal basis—that we will help them if they will help us. This, I have long believed, should be the motivating force behind our entire foreign policy."

"After his brother Joseph was killed in the war, Kennedy took on the responsibility of pursuing his family's political ambitions. In 1946 he won a hard-fought Democratic primary election in the Eleventh Congressional District of Massachusetts, a Democratic stronghold. He was easily elected in November and reelected in 1948 and 1950… In 1952 Kennedy ran for the Senate and, in a classic contest of Irish-Catholic against Yankee, defeated incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr." (ANB).

Three leaves with unobtrusive remnants of archival tape along upper edge. Minor wear with some small tears to one page. Very good condition. Scarce and desirable, an important draft of a speech from a key campaign early in Kennedy's career.

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