The Plot To Seize The White House
By Jules Archer
I am deeply indebted first and foremost to the immediate family of
the late Major General Smedley D. Butler-daughter Mrs. Ethel Peters
Wehle and sons Smedley Butler, Jr. and Thomas Richard Butler-for
their generous cooperation; for use of the general's private and
military papers, scrapbooks, memorabilia, recordings, and photos;
and for vivid personal recollections of their father.
Sincere gratitude is also expressed to the following persons and
institutions for their contributions to my research:
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives John W. McCormack,
who headed the McCormack-Dickstein Committee and who answered all my
questions about the hearings he held during which General Butler
testified about the conspiracy.
General David M. Shoup, retired commandant of the United States
Marine Corps, who served under General Butler in China and who
shared some of his reminiscences with me.
George Seldes, whose newsletter In Fact and books 1000 Americans and
Facts and Fascism gave me my first inklings of the conspiracy many
years ago and who generously helped me with my research efforts.
John L. Spivak, former foreign correspondent for International News
Service, who rendered invaluable cooperation by answering all my
questions and generously permitting me to quote from his own
fascinating reminiscences, A Man in His Time, in which he relates
how he was able to thwart efforts to suppress important names
involved in the conspiracy.
Senator Job Javits and Representative Hamilton Fish, Jr., who
assisted me in obtaining copies of the testimony at the conspiracy
hearings of the McCormack-Dickstein Committee.
E. Z. Dimitman, former executive editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer
and close friend of General Butler's, who shared his reminiscences
of the general.
Jerry Doyle, Philadelphia Daily News staff artist, who helped me
locate old friends of the general's.
Jesse Laventhol, Philadelphia newsman, confidant, and press
secretary for the general's Senate campaign, now retired, who
explained some of the behind-the-scenes political factors.
Tom O'Neil, former city editor of the Philadelphia Record at the
time of the conspiracy, who helped put some of the pieces of the
William J. Stewart, Acting Director, National Archives and Records
Service, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, who guided me through the
Roosevelt papers in locating material pertaining to General Butler
and helped me identify sources.
Mary Schutz and Charlotte Wright, of the Mid-Hudson Library System,
Poughkeepsie, New York, who obtained for me rare and hard-to-get
research on the conspiracy from universities and public libraries
all over the East Coast; James Brock, Ethel Tornapore, and Jane
McGarvey, of Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie; the Starr Institute
Library, Rhinebeck, New York; Neda M. Westlake, Curator, Rare Book
Collection, Charles Patterson Van Pelt Library, University of
Pennsylvania; and Mary Lou Alm, of the Pine Plains, New York,
Colonel F. C. Caldwell, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), director of
Marine Corps History, Historical Division, who gave me valuable
research leads and provided me with helpful articles and public
records from Marine Corps sources.
Warrant Officer D. R. Aggers, U.S. Marine Corps, Head,
Administrative Section, Director of Information, for providing
certain Marine Corps photos of General Butler.
Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., which permitted me
to study a 1962 master's thesis in library science by Eunice M.
Lyon, The Unpublished Papers of Major General Smedley Darlington
Butler, United States Marine Corps: a Calendar, based on files
turned over by the Butler family to the Marine Corps.
Robert B. Pitkin, editor, American Legion Magazine, who gave me
statistical information about past Legion commanders.
Donald R. McCoy, historian, University of Kansas, for granting
permission to quote from his book, Coming of Age: The United States
During the 1920's and 1930's.
Assistant Professor Dane Archer, of the University of California,
Santa Cruz, who originally researched the conspiracy for me eight
years ago in old newspaper files at Yale University's Sterling
My wife, Eleanor E. Archer, who aided me in interviews with Speaker
McCormack, General Shoup, and General Butler's family as well as
serving as adviser, critic, indexer, and proofreader.
Time magazine, for permission to quote from its article, "Plot
Without Plotters," December 3, 1934.
Susan Berkowitz and Joan Nagy, whose brilliant editorial help aided
me in sifting and organizing the elements in this book to let what
remained stand out like gold dust in a prospecting pan.
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