Lot #41
John F. Kennedy ALS to Choate Headmaster Mr. St. John Nov. 22 (ironic date), 1934

Young Jack Kennedy defends a schoolmate as a Choate senior
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Estimate: $5000+


Young Jack Kennedy defends a schoolmate as a Choate senior

John F. Kennedy ALS to Choate Headmaster Mr. St. John Nov. 22 (ironic date), 1934: Three page ALS as a 17 year old senior at Choate in 1934 to the headmaster Mr. St. John (George St. John). At Choate, traditionally each senior was assigned a freshman 'new boy' to help adjust to the school. The normal expectation was that the senior would provide guidance during the beginning of the first semester. That Kennedy took it upon himself to follow the progress of his charge, as evidenced by this letter, was far beyond the expectations placed by the school. It was of such note that the school administration mailed Kennedy's letter to Eugene's family as part of his first years progress report. Unpublished. JFK's time at Choate brought many life long friendships particularly with "Lemmer" Lem Billings. This was at a time when JFK displayed rebellious behavior with many of his classmates and formed a secret society with them known as The Muckers Club. It is significant to see a rare letter of this type survive from this period showing another side of JFK's developing personality.

Kennedy writes in full:
"Nov. 22, 1934
Dear Mr. St. John:
My new boy, Eugene Arrendell, is one of the nicest boys, in my and others opinion, in Choate. He played a very fine game of foot-ball this year, and has remained as unconceited as he was when he first came. His studies have been quite low, but every marking period has been an improvement in each subject. As an example of this, one of his subjects came up from a 56 to a B-. He works very hard, and gets along with his room ate (sic) as well as he does with everyone that he comes in contact with. His attitude towards Choate, when he first came, was one of bewilderment, but now it is one of ardent loyalty. He is a credit to Choate, Mr. St. John.
Faithfully yours,
Jack Kennedy"

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Art and Literature
  • Dates: #610 - Ended June 16, 2021

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