Title: Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd Papers, 1926-1928
Primary Creator: Rutherford, Lucy Mercer
Extent: -1.0 Cubic Feet
Date Acquired: 03/02/2011
Scope and Contents of the Materials
This collection contains 4 letters written between 1926 and 1928 from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Lucy Mercer Rutherford.
Collection Historical Note
Eleanor Roosevelt hired Lucy Mercer as her social secretary in 1913, shortly after the Roosevelts moved to Washington when Franklin became Assistant Secretary of the Navy. In 1916, while Eleanor and the children were in Campobello, a romance blossomed between Franklin and Lucy. Eleanor discovered letters between the two in September 1918 as she unpacked Franklin’s bags following his inspection trip to Europe. The affair forever changed the nature of Franklin and Eleanor’s marriage. Eleanor offered Franklin a divorce, but if they remained married, he was never to see Lucy again. Lucy became governess for the children of Winthrop Rutherfurd, a wealthy widower whom she married in 1920. Franklin and Lucy maintained some limited contact by letter during the 1920s and 1930s, and following Winthrop Rutherfurd’s death in 1944, Franklin and Lucy began to see each other in person. Lucy was at Warm Springs on April 12, 1945 when FDR was stricken with the cerebral hemorrhage from which he died later that day. Although Eleanor felt betrayed when she learned of the visits, Lucy gave FDR friendship and companionship in his last months.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum
This material is subject to copyright restrictions under Title 17 of the U.S. Code.
Lucy Mercer Knowles, Alice Rutherfurd Knowles
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Rutherfurd, Lucy Mercer - FDR Letters to, 1926-1928