Letters From the Past: Regarding the Dead Frenchmen Inside the Statue of Liberty

07/06/2012 03:57 pm ET | Updated Sep 05, 2012

This latest installment in my brand new ongoing history project, America Wins!: Letters from the Past, is a letter I unearthed in the archives from retired General Elmer Schultz to President William Howard Taft on July 4, 1912. I, for one, was shocked at Schultz's tone towards a sitting president. I was also shocked at learning that the word "fuck" had been invented before World War I.

It is also notable that he doesn't list any of his "tons of ideas" about what to do with all the dead Frenchmen. If you have any further information about these ideas, please share them in the comments.

President William Howard Taft
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

July 4, 1912

Subject: Regarding the dead Frenchmen inside the Statue of Liberty

Dear Mr. President,

This Fourth of July, while you and your acquiescent Washington political cohorts are celebrating independence from our former island masters, I am spending it in a way that is -- to me -- much more meaningful and important.

I am figuring out what to do with all the dead fucking Frenchmen inside the fucking Statue of Liberty.

I know I can't prove that there are any dead Frenchmen -- let alone thousands of them -- inside Lady Liberty, but I've always had really good instincts about these sorts of things. And if you remember correctly, I was a fucking General, so I think my instincts are pretty fucking good.

I mean, you expect me to believe that back in 1886, the French just gifted us a huge statue depicting Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom? No fucking chance. This was their Trojan Horse. They packed Lady Liberty to the gills with Frenchmen. Thousands of 'em. And they were ready to kill.

And, if my theory holds true -- which it probably will -- the orders to attack never made it down the chain of command. Because they're fucking morons, and we caught wind of their bullshit plans.

You see, some of us military people were doing our fucking jobs and figured out that the French were up to some slimy tricks, and that's why we placed the Bartholdi-designed neoclassical sculpture on Liberty fucking Island. Because we knew that even if they did get their orders to attack -- which they clearly fucking didn't -- they would be lampooned on a goddamn island in the middle of New York Harbor. Fucking brilliant, if you ask me. So even if they crawled out out of La Liberté éclairant le monde, the harbor would now be littered with dead Frenchmen. Fish food.

Win-win for us.

I'm just ranting now. But I think I made my point.

And now, they're just sitting there. A solemn reminder not to fuck with America.

But the one thing we didn't plan for was what to do with all of them.

So, sir, I beg of you, let me lead the charge in figuring out what to do with all these goddamn dead Frenchmen.

I have tons of ideas, and I look forward to sharing them with you.


General Elmer Schultz (Ret.)