Heritage

Jackie Kennedy's Love Letter to JFK Offers a Rare Glimpse Into Their Marriage

The handwritten note is up for auction this week.
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John and Jackie Kennedy had one of history's more complicated marriages, and this week, a love letter from the future First Lady to her husband offers us a rare look inside their "atypical" relationship.

The three-page note, which was written in either 1957 or 1958 when Kennedy served a senator from Massachusetts, is heading to the auction block as part of a sale of Kennedy memorabilia from RR Auction.

"I can’t help it if when I go away from you I write stiff letters—it is hard for me to communicate—which you do so beautifully," Jackie writes at the beginning of the letter.

"I know everyone says married couples should never separate—as you get off the same wavelength … but I think it is usually good when we go away from each other as we both realize so much."

"We are so different," she continues. "But I was thinking this trip—that every other time I've been away, you would write 'don't ponder our relation too much" etc.—and now I don't as one doesn't ponder anything that is a part of you."

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Jackie is open with her husband about the fact that their marriage may not be what either of them expected.


The letter from Jackie to JFK

“You are an atypical husband—increasingly so in one way or another every year since we’ve been married—so you mustn’t be surprised to have an atypical wife—Each of us would have been so lonely with the normal kind. I can’t write down what I feel for you, but I will show you when I am with you—and I think you must know—.”

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Jackie also wrote about their daughter Caroline, who was born in 1957 after a series of difficult pregnancies. (According to the New York Times, she suffered a miscarriage in 1955 and in 1956 she had a stillborn child.) "It must be 5 years and at least a baby we both love," she writes.

She signs it, “All my love, Jackie.”


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This rare photo of a teenaged Jackie and sister Lee is also up for auction

RR Auctions estimates that the letter will sell for upwards of $20,000. Read it in full on their website.

“[The letter is] pretty incredible because she was a prolific letter writer. We get lots of letters from her. We have her talking about the president. We’ve seen letters talking about the assassination or his character, but we’ve never had a letter from Jackie written to Jack,” Livingston told People of the piece.

"She’s talking about their marriage and their relationship. It isn’t about visiting the in-laws or something. It is a love letter," Livingston said. "She loved him, and it shows there."


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JFK's Harvard sweater

Other notable items in the auction include the altar gate used in Jackie and JFK's wedding ceremony, several never-before-seen photographs of Jackie, JFK's Harvard sweater, and the president's handwritten notes and doodles from November 21, 1963, the day before he was assassinated.

The auction is currently open for bidding and will close on November 7. For more information, visit rrauction.com.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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Caroline Hallemann
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