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    John F. Kennedy: Autograph Letter Signed, 1934. Front and back (conjoined pages), 5" x 6.5", 2.5 conjoined pages, [Choate, Wallingford, Connecticut], November 22, 1934. A seventeen-year-old John Kennedy writes in black fountain pen ink to "Mr. St. John" (Choate Headmaster George C. St. John or Assistant Headmaster Clarence W. St. John). 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 there 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 every one 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". Plastic tape stains on one page touch the top of two words. Otherwise, in fine condition. From the collection of Eugene Arrendell.

    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 young Eugene's family as part of his first year's progress report.

    There may have been some mixed feelings about Jack Kennedy amongst the administration at Choate. He was also known for his rebellious behavior, which attracted a coterie. Their most notorious stunt was exploding a toilet seat with a firecracker. At a chapel assembly, the headmaster, Mr. St. John, held the seat aloft and spoke of certain "muckers". Subsequently, the defiant JFK named his group "The Muckers Club."

    From the collection of Dr. Dean Rudoy. For more information, please click here.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
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