Archive of Kennedy family ephemera from a friend and confidant, highlighted by a letter signed by Senator JFK: "Hospitals are gloomy places, I am afraid...I am feeling much better"
Archive of Kennedy-related letters and ephemera from the collection of Kennedy friend and confidant Alida 'Binky' Van Lair, highlighted by a TLS by John F. Kennedy with lengthy handwritten postscript, and a TLS by Jacqueline Kennedy. These desirable items offer unique insight into the personal lives of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, as well as insight into the mid-century debutante mind at the highest echelon.
- TLS by John F. Kennedy, signed "John Kennedy," one page, 6 x 8, United States Senate letterhead, January 7, 1955. In part: "Many, many thanks for your kind message to me when I was in the hospital in New York. Hospitals are gloomy places, I am afraid; and it makes a tremendous difference when friends remember as you did. I am feeling much better and am looking forward to getting back to Washington around the first of March." He adds a handwritten postscript: "Many, many thanks for your letter Binky. Am looking forward to meeting you in the Snack Bar at Bailey's Beach next summer."
- TLS by Jacqueline Kennedy, signed "Affectionately, Jackie," one page, 5.25 x 7.5, personal letterhead, December 10, 1976, on the death of Hugh D. Auchincloss. In full: "I do want to thank you for your kind words of sympathy on the death of Uncle Hugh. You are so right, he will be missed by a great many people. It means so much to know I have been in your thoughts and I was so glad to hear from you again."
Other signed items include: an ALS by Nina "Nini" Auchincloss, Miss Porter's School letterhead, October 15, 1954, encouraging Binky to write to the hospitalized JFK, in part: "Jack as you know—maybe—is in the hospital. Jackie said that he was so depressed. He's had a terrible back operation. Anyway, Jackie told me that he'd love to get a letter or something silly from one of my friends…Guess what—Teddy is on the Harvard football team. He's been playing all season"; a shorter handwritten note by Nini, in part: "Jack came up here to speak. He was terrific. Babies cried, women sighed, people fainted and I made mints selling smelling salts at the door…Do you realize that he and I spent an hour talking about you, he was furious that he was not going to be able to kiss you this Xmas vacation…Jackie said you're the only woman she's jealous of"; a TLS on White House letterhead by Nancy Tuckerman, Jackie Kennedy's social secretary (August 23, 1963); and an autograph note signed by Janet Lee Auchincloss, Jackie Kennedy's mother (October 29, 1977).
Unsigned ephemera includes: a hard-to-find Jacqueline Lee Bouvier-John Fitzgerald Kennedy wedding invitation to Saint Mary's Church in Newport on September 12, 1953, and subsequent reception at Hammersmith Farm, with a Hammersmith Farm matchbook; an invitation to a dance at Hammersmith Farm honoring Janet Jennings Auchincloss to be held August 17, 1963; and a black-bordered mourning card from Jacqueline Kennedy, sending thanks for condolences after the assassination of JFK. Most items include their original mailing envelopes. In overall fine condition.