Logo for Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd Papers, 1926-1928 | Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd Papers, 1926-1928 | Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Collection Overview

Title: Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd Papers, 1926-1928Add to your cart.

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.

Administrative Information

Repository: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Use Restrictions: This material is subject to copyright restrictions under Title 17 of the U.S. Code.

Acquisition Source: Lucy Mercer Knowles, Alice Rutherfurd Knowles

Box and Folder Listing

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[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.

Rutherfurd, Lucy Mercer - FDR Letters to, 1926-1928Add to your cart.