ALS signed “Papa,” one page, 8.5 x 10.75, May 30, 1961. Written from St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, a letter to "Gig," his youngest son Gregory, in full: "Dr. Howard Rome told me this morning that you had called him in regard to the $350.00 you need on completing your tuition and I am enclosing it herewith. Thank you for your letters and best luck in everything. Am doing well here and will not go into details but send this off to you with the minimum delay possible. The Cuban situation is quite complicated but appreciate your offer of help." Hemingway signs "EH" below a postscript: "Mary is quite well and I will be talking with her tomorrow night. Have been swimming three out of the last four days and it feels good again. There are some really fine doctors here and it is a pleasure and a privilege to know them." In very good to fine condition, with overall creasing, and a short end split to one of the intersecting folds.
Suffering from depression and paranoia, Ernest Hemingway sought help at the Mayo Clinic's St. Mary's Hospital in November 1960. He would be treated there for periods from November 1960-January 1961 and April 1961-June 1961. Supervised by noted psychiatrist Dr. Howard P. Rome, the author underwent electroconvulsive therapy and received new prescription drugs in efforts to fend off emotional trauma. The shock treatments caused mental fogginess and—because of his alcoholism and the potential of undiagnosed dementia—it is now suggested that they may have worsened his condition. The "Cuban situation" compounded his anxiety—forced to leave his beloved Finca Vigia in 1960, he feared that he would never be able to return or retrieve his unfinished manuscripts. By the end of June, Dr. Rome believed that Hemingway's best chance for recovery was having the freedom to write. In an effort to spare the author of the 'corrosive deteriorating effects of' hospital confinement, the doctor agreed to discharge him against his wife's wishes. Mary later wrote, 'I realized that he had charmed and deceived Dr. Rome to the conclusion that he was sane.' Ernest and Mary left Rochester on June 26th, two months and a day after Hemingway had checked into the clinic for the second time. They made the five-day drive back to Ketcham, Idaho, where he used his favorite shotgun to take his on life on July 2nd. As a letter to his son from just over a month before his suicide, written from the hospital where he had his last treatments, this is an exceptional, poignant piece of Hemingway history.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.