By Louise Harlow
In a correspondence that spans over 11 years, 8 of the letters survive between Mrs. Robinson of Holyoke and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge.
There is no proof of when they met, yet the familiarity in these letters and the length of time they were exchanged would indicate perhaps it was in Northampton where the Coolidge family once lived. The Congregational Church in Northampton was also where Mrs. Robinson’s husband was a pastor.
In a letter dated December of 1924
Mrs. Coolidge confides that she has a piano in her boys’ room where she can sing a hymn each day in a quiet moment.
John Coolidge, the only surviving son, (Calvin Coolidge Jr. died from blood poisoning at the age of 15) was attending his father’s alma mater; Amherst College at the time when some of these letters were exchanged, on April 3, 1925, Mrs. Coolidge Writes:
“I am sure that John would like to go with you to see Skinner’s collection of musical instruments and I hope that you and he may be able to arrange it when the end of the college year arrives. His father and I are trying to encourage him to stick pretty closely to Amherst and his college work. He loves to go and have a good time. (He is like his mother!)
The Coolidge’s were known for their dry wit, and some of that can be found in the letter’s ad a tinge of sarcasm;
One personal note
“It was kind of you to lend me the Armenian Handkerchief (you will observe I did not write give.) In accordance with your friendly note. I am particularly fond of that variety.” – December 20, 1927.
Discussions of trips, gifts, Church, the weather, illness and finally the death of the President, when Pastor Edwin Robinson and his wife send flowers and their sympathy.
On Tuesday February 26th, New England Book Auctions will be offering Lot. 66 Coolidge, Grace.
Archive of correspondence to Mrs. [Amy] Robinson. 7 autograph letters and 1 card, of which 5 are on White House Stationary or card, each with addressed by hand, 1 on Cedar Island Lodge stationary with envelope, 1 on plain stationary with envelope and 1 mourning card with thanks for her sympathy. 1-2 pages. Various sizes, mostly 8vo; moderate wear.
Washington, Northampton, MA or Brule, WI, 1924-33 [150/250]
A warm correspondence discussing children, going together to see Miss Skinner’s collection of musical instruments, holiday greetings and the final mourning card thanking her for her sympathy [for Calvin’s death] and dated January 15, 1933.