Richard Nixon love letters exhibit at Presidential Library and Museum
Who'd have thought President Richard Nixon was such a romantic? A museum is exhibiting his love letters
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 13 March 2012
Some of the finest collectible manuscripts are those linked to important historical people, yet reveal "the real person" behind the fame. Or infamy, in the case of some. Especially if the historical person in question is the 37th US president, Richard M Nixon.
A series of letters, going on display at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in California, reveal a side to President Nixon that he kept fiercely guarded during his own lifetime - that of the hopeless romantic.
The manuscripts are handwritten letters to Patricia Ryan, who Nixon met in a community theatre production. The pair courted for two years, many years before Nixon's rise to Commander-In-Chief and subsequent downfall after the Watergate Scandal.
Collectors have great interest in the personal lives and thoughts of US presidents. One upcoming auction includes letters penned by Abraham Lincoln's wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Her manuscripts regarding the death of her second son are auctioning on March 22.
Other documents mixing the personal with the presidential include a letter written by 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. The fascinating letter includes some of his shocking views on race, which you can read about here.
Meanwhile, Richard Nixon's love letters to Patricia offer a detailed and unexpected glimpse of the romantic soul beneath "Tricky Dicky's" hard exterior.
"Every day and every night I want to see you and be with you," writes Nixon. "Let's go to the mountains weekends; let's read books in front of fires ... let's really grow together and find the happiness we know is ours." Nixon refers to Patricia as his "little Gypsy" in his letters.
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is known run by the National Archives, who upset fans of Nixon when it overhauled the museum to include detailed chronicles of Watergate. These fans' reactions to Nixon's romantic epistles for Patricia remain to be seen.
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