Few qualities were as amply prevalent yet so quietly manifested and privately treasured as Coolidge’s very deep love for his wife, Grace. It was not for public display, neither was it a calculated political ploy, his passionate affection and constant adoration were very sincere and very personal to both of them.
A man known as frugal and economical in public policy had one exception to the rule in his household, he splurged when it came to his dear wife’s adornment. As Grace remembered, “Mr. Coolidge had deeper sentimental feeling than most people whom I have known, but he did not reveal it in outward manifestations.” Coolidge biographer Claude M. Fuess recounts this story, one of many such instances, of Calvin’s romantic nature, “On one occasion when she and Mrs. Stearns were going through the lobby of the Hotel Touraine [located in Boston], he handed her a package which looked as if it might contain a toothbrush. She thought it was one of his jokes, but when she opened it, she found a flexible gold-and-platinum bracelet…” (The Man from Vermont p.274).
While away in New York for the monthly insurance company meeting, as he prepared to return home, Coolidge took up pen and paper to write his wife:
December 8, 1932
My dear Grace,
Tomorrow I shall be home. Unless you have not heard, send the car to Springfield at 8:40 Friday. I have thought of you all the time since I left home.
With much love,
Source: Stoddard, Gloria May. Grace & Cal: A Vermont Love Story. Shelburne, VT: The New England Press, 1989, p.143.
As Cyndy Bittinger has noted, this was Calvin’s last letter to Grace before his death the following January. It would be tenderly marked by Mrs. Coolidge “his last letter” and kept until after her death. Thanks to the Coolidge family it eventually found its way to the Vermont Historical Society, where it is now carefully preserved at the end of a wonderful collection of the President’s letters to his “dear Grace.”