Precious Darling: James and Lucretia Garfield Correspondence

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The road to true love proved a bumpy one for James A. Garfield and Lucretia Rudolph, who first met at school in Ohio in the 1850s. Throughout their courtship and early marriage they struggled to determine if they were truly suited to each other, a sometimes painful conversation amply recorded in the hundreds of letters they exchanged during their years together. After finally discovering the depth of their love for one another in the late 1860s, their correspondence reflected a genuine intimacy previously missing in their marriage. “We no longer love because we ought to, but because we do,” James wrote to Crete in November 1867. That love endured until his death in 1881.

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