Did you know that, in addition to being one of the Founding Fathers of our nation, George Washington was a romantic? He called Martha “my dearest” while she addressed him as “my love,” and throughout their marriage, the two exchanged many love letters. When George passed, Martha was so grief-stricken she burned their personal correspondence and closed up his rooms, never to enter them again. However, a few letters survived, and if this sample is any indication, George Washington was not only a great leader but a poet:
From George to Martha, June 23, 1775: “I retain an unalterable affection for you, which neither time or distance can change.” (source)
The Marriage of Washington to Martha Custis by Junius Brutus Stearns (source)
George Washington wasn’t the only smitten president. John Adams was head over heels for his wife, Abigail. Their relationship began with a flirtatious courtship and evolved into a deep, loving, lifelong partnership. In the over 1,000 letters they wrote, John and Abigail addressed one another as “My Dearest Friend” and saw each other as intellectual equals – something very unusual for the time! Though they were more often apart, John and Abigail remained deeply connected:
From John Adams to Abigail: “Is there no Way for two friendly Souls, to converse together, altho the Bodies are 400 Miles off?— Yes by Letter.— But I want a better Communication. I want to hear you think, or see your Thoughts. The Conclusion of your Letter makes my Heart throb, more than a Cannonade would. You bid me burn your Letters. But I must forget you first.” (source)
Portrait of Abigail Adams, and Portrait of John Adams (source)
We’d find it hard to say no to such passionate prose…it almost makes you wish there was no such thing as e-mail or texting!
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