Kennedy Family Correspondence, ca. 1960
My grandmother was the personal secretary to both Bobby Kennedy and Jack Kennedy. I do believe it was in the early '50s.
And what it shows here is that really, she was a close personal friend of the family. Really the most significant of all the letters, I think, is this one from John F. Kennedy to her, commenting, and it says right here in her handwriting, "JFK's most important communication to me." And in it, he is writing a good, long response to her comments, as a result of a speech he made concerning America's anti-colonial policy, particularly about Algeria.
And she had received flack at a certain meeting because the Kennedys were Catholic, and so she passed on to him the information that he might lose Catholic votes, and he gives a very detailed response here and ends beautifully. It's a very moving thing. "I appreciate very much your letter-- as we are old friends, and that your letter was the result of this friendship." So it emphasizes a bond between the two of them, and it's further emphasized here, as you see, by this very moving funeral card in 1963, sent to your grandmother by Bobby.
Have you done any research about the value of these things?
A little bit. I do understand that hand- scripted letters are obviously worth more than straight typewritten letters with a mere signature.
That's absolutely right, and also, this letter is, as we call it, a "TLS", a typed letter signed. And often, the presidential letters were done with autopen, but here we have an absolutely first-rate personal, typewritten note with this autograph endorsement, which is very moving. So a conservative auction estimate, $15,000 to $20,000 for the whole archive.
Well, it's exciting to hear and to know.
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