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Handwritten letter from Jackie Kennedy to JFK celebrates birth of couple’s first child, Caroline

Senator John F. Kennedy smiles as his father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., kisses bride Jacqueline Kennedy at the couple's wedding reception in Newport, R.I. on Sept. 12, 1953.Charles McCormack/Globe Staff

A personal letter written by Jackie Kennedy to her husband, “Jack,” was donated Tuesday to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

The undated letter was written by Jackie to John F. Kennedy in the months following the birth of the couple’s first child, Caroline, in November 1957, according to the Kennedy Library Foundation. RR Auction House had purchased the letter, and, on Tuesday, the company’s founder and CEO, Bob Eaton, gifted the letter to the foundation during a small ceremony.

Addressed “Dearest Jack” and signed “All My Love, Jackie,” the letter offers insight into the relationship between the then-Massachusetts senator and his wife.


Doris Drummond, chief financial officer of the Kennedy Library Foundation, called the personal family note an “important” document, praising its “return” to the nonprofit, which provides support to the library and museum dedicated to the 35th president.

A ceremony was held Jan. 7, 2020 in the Presidential Room at the JFK Library in Boston to commemorate the donation of a handwritten letter to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation from Jackie Kennedy to JFK. Pictured (from left): Doris Drummond, Robert Eaton, and Bobby Livingston.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

“It’s in the proper place, it’s in a good place,” she said of the letter’s arrival. “It’s in the proper holding place, rather than being auctioned off. We appreciate RR Auction giving it to us and not auctioning it off. I think that’s such a great decision by them. It’s wonderful.”

In the three-page letter to her husband, written across two sheets of light blue paper, Jacqueline Kennedy celebrates Caroline, writing, “at last a baby we both love.”

She also acknowledges that when the couple is apart, she writes “stiff letters,” noting to her husband, “It is hard for me to communicate — which you do so beautifully.”

“I know everyone says married couples should never separate — as you get off the same wave length — It is true you do — but I think it is usually good when we go away from each other as we both realize so much,” Jackie wrote to her husband. “We are so different — but I was thinking this trip — that every other time I’ve been away, you would write ‘don’t ponder our relationship too much’ etc. — [and] now I don’t, as one doesn’t ponder anything that is a part of you —”


In closing her letter, she reflects on how their marriage is different from the norm.

“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,” she wrote. “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—.”

“All my love,” she signs off, “Jackie.”

The letter will not be on display at the museum, but will “be held by the Foundation with its historical records that are safeguarded and protected,” the nonprofit said in a statement.