A Kennedy letter auction containing letters written by Jackie Kennedy to a priest in Ireland have been pulled from the auction block. These letters were written by Jackie during her relationship with John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The letters began in 1950 before she met the future president, and the letters continued throughout her marriage to JFK. The letters even detail Jackie's state of mind during the period following the assassination of her husband in 1963. NBC News reported on the letters and the reason why they are no longer for sale on May 23.
Why have these letters been pulled off the auction block? A college in Dublin had planned to sell the letters because the school was in need of funds to remain open. The letters were found in recent months. If sold at auction, these letters would have brought All Hallows College five million dollars, and that kind of money would definitely keep a school open. However, it has been revealed in the will of Father Joseph Leonard that the college does not own the letters.
A spokesperson for the college, Carolanne Henry, said the following about the true ownership of the letters: "In recent days it has been discovered that ownership of the letters lies with the Vincentian congregation, rather than with the college. That was a factor in the auction being canceled, because they were not ours to sell. That, and the introduction of the Kennedy family into the proceedings."
Due to the cancellation of the auction, the college has announced that it will now close the doors. The college needed the funds from the auction to remain open. In total, there are 33 letters that detail Jackie's relationship with JFK and her life during that time. The Kennedy family was not even aware of the letters until excerpts were published in both The Irish Times and The Boston Globe when the auction was set, according to the New York Times. The college initially said that the family's involvement had caused the cancellation.
Jackie, while a shy woman, spoke freely to her confidant. She spoke about being "bitter against God" after the assassination of her husband. She also spoke about JFK's wandering eye. She said the following about her husband: "He’s like my father in a way — loves the chase and is bored with the conquest — and once married needs proof he’s still attractive, so flirts with other women and resents you. I saw how that nearly killed Mummy."
These letters do give new insights into the woman that shared her life with John Fitzgerald Kennedy. There is a hope that these letters will be added to Jackie's other papers at the John F. Kennedy Library. If they do end up there at some point, researchers will someday have access to them. For now, there are talks with the Kennedy family currently happening. The future of the letters and where they will reside is still being decided.
What do you think? Are you curious to find out what else Jackie Kennedy might have said about John F. Kennedy? Would you want to read these letters?