Letter From Jackie Kennedy to JFK Gives Intimate Look at Marriage

Up for auction this week, the love note was written before John F. Kennedy became president.

jackie kennedy
Joseph P. Kennedy, left, kisses Jackie Kennedy, center, on the cheek as John F. Kennedy, right, looks on after their wedding ceremony in Newport, R.I., Sept. 12, 1953. (Charles McCormick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Boston Globe via Getty Images

John and Jackie Kennedy had one of history’s more complicated relationships, one as shrouded in Camelot lore as in historical fact.

Now, a love letter written by the future First Lady to her husband offers us a rare look inside their marriage, reports Town & Country. 

The note totals three pages and was written in either 1957 or 1958, when Kennedy served as a senator from Massachusetts. The love letter is heading to auction 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 in the beginning of the letter, according to Town & Country. 

“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.”

She goes on to say that marriage might not be what either of them expected, but that’s okay.

“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—.”

She also mentions their daughter Caroline, who was born in 1957 after a series of difficult pregnancies. She signs the letter, “All my love, Jackie.”

RR Auctions estimates that the letter will sell for upwards of $20,000.

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

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