Eleanor Roosevelt’s Passionate Love Letters To Lorena Hickok

The First Lady, who was born on October 11, 1884, became a subject of controversy when people suspected she was romantically involved with journalist Lorena “Hick” Hickok. While the two never publicly addressed their relationship, their letters did nothing to dispel rumors.

1. March 5, 1933: Eleanor to Hick, on the first evening after FDR’s inauguration


Hick my dearest—

I cannot go to bed tonight without a word to you. I felt a little as though a part of me was leaving tonight. you have grown so much to be a part of my life that it is empty without you, even though I’m busy every minute.

[details of day deleted]

Oh! darling. I hope on the whole you will be happier for my friendship. I felt I had brought you so much discomfort and hardship today & almost more heartache than you could bear & I don’t want to make you unhappy—All my love I shall be saying to you over thought waves in a few minutes.

Good night my dear one
Angels guard thee
God protect thee
My love enfold thee
All the night through

Always yours

ER

2. March 6, 1933: Eleanor to Hick


Hick, darling

Ah, how good it was to hear your voice. It was so inadequate to try and tell you what it meant. Funny was that I couldn’t say je t’aime and je t’adore as I longed to do, but always remember that I am saying it, that I go to sleep thinking of you.

3. March 7, 1933: Eleanor to Hick


Hick darling,

All day I’ve thought of you & another birthday I will be with you, & yet tonite you sounded so far away & formal. Oh! I want to put my arms around you. I ache to hold you close. Your ring is a great comfort to me. I look at it and think she does love me, or I wouldn’t be wearing it.

4. December, 1933: Hick to Eleanor


I’ve been trying to bring back your face — to remember just how you look. Funny how even the dearest face will fade away in time. Most clearly I remember your eyes, with a kind of teasing smile in them, and the feeling of that soft spot just north-east of the corner of your mouth against my lips.

5. Date not provided: Eleanor to Hick


I wish I could lie down beside you tonight & take you in my arms.

6. Date not provided: Hick to Eleanor after a long separation


Only eight more days … Funny how even the dearest face will fade away in time. Most clearly I remember your eyes, with a kind of teasing smile in them, and the feeling of that soft spot just north-east of the corner of your mouth against my lips.

Nearly 300 of Eleanor and Hick’s love letters can be found in Empty Without You: The Intimate Letters of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok.

(H/T BrainPickings)

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