A letter that John F. Kennedy purportedly wrote but never sent to a woman believed to be his lover will be auctioned this month, offering a glimpse into the former president’s private life shortly before he was assassinated.
R.R. Auction, based in Boston, said the letter, written on White House stationery, was meant for Mary Pinchot Meyer, a family friend who was thought to be romantically linked to Kennedy. The top of the stationery was cut off, but a faded watermark is visible under bright light.
The letter reads in full:
“Why don’t you leave suburbia for once — come and see me — either here — or at the Cape next week or in Boston the 19th. I know it is unwise, irrational, and that you may hate it — on the other hand you may not — and I will love it. You say that it is good for me not to get what I want. After all of these years — you should give me a more loving answer than that. Why don’t you just say yes.”
The letter is undated, but R.R. Auction said it is believed to be from October 1963, the month before the president was assassinated.
The auction opens on June 16 and ends on June 23. It is estimated to sell for at least $30,000, according to R.R. Auction.
Robert Livingston, an executive vice president at R.R. Auction, said it was not known if Kennedy and Meyer actually met up, although the president was, indeed, in Boston on Oct. 19.
“It’s something you wouldn’t expect to see from a president,” he said. “And the fact that he didn’t send it, obviously he came to his senses.”
Kennedy’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, served as an unofficial archivist, saving the president’s official documents and offhand doodles, Livingston said. She identified the intended recipient as Meyer.
The letter comes from the estate of Bob White, who bought many of Kennedy’s belongings from Lincoln and was bequeathed more after her death in 1995.
Meyer was shot and killed in Georgetown on Oct. 13, 1964. The New York Times identified her as “a Washington artist and society woman” who was friends with Jacqueline Kennedy. The man charged with her murder, Raymond Crump Jr., was found not guilty, and the case has never been solved.
Meyer’s brother-in-law, Benjamin C. Bradlee, found her disclosure of an affair with Kennedy in her diary. Bradlee later became the executive editor of The Washington Post.