President William McKinley Writes to the Widow of His Vice President and Dear Friend, Mrs. Hobart

March 8, 1900

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President William McKinley Writes to the Widow of His Vice President and Dear Friend, Mrs. Hobart
Typed Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 915

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      Background

      The President constantly turned to me to help.. wherever I could - not because I was Second Lady, but because I was their good friend. 

      - Jennie Tuttle Hobart, Memories, 1930
       
      Few Presidents have been closer to their Vice Presidents, and few First Ladies to Second Ladies, than William and Ida McKinley were to Garret and Jennie Hobart. When the McKinleys moved into the White House, the Hobarts leased a mansion – called the Cream White House - just across the Square. Mrs. Hobart came every day to visit with, and stand in for, the ailing Ida McKinley; and the President and Vice President dropped in on each other like any next-door neighbors. The couples  shared holidays and vacations together, and when, in November 1899, the Vice President died of a heart attack at age 55, McKinley said that no one outside the family felt the loss more deeply than he did.
       
      Here, just three months after Hobart’s death, McKinley writes to Jennie Hobart, thanking her for a gift and sending his, and Ida’s, affectionate regards. In a handwritten postscript, he adds “We so much enjoyed our little visit with you & Junior [Hobart's fifteen year-old son and namesake]."

      The McKinleys great affection for the Hobarts is reflected, not just here, in the face of the demise of the Vice-President, but throughout the McKinley-Hobart administration: when Hobart, for instance, was stricken with heart trouble (see McKinley to Hobart, September 2, 1899), when he was believed recovering (McKinley to Newton, November 16, 1899) and in happier times, when McKinley penned an invitation to Mrs. Hobart to go for a carriage ride with the family (McKinley to Hobart, November 28, 1898).


      Typed Letter Signed, as President, 1 page, quarto, Executive Mansion, Washington, March 8, 1900. To Mrs. Garret A. Hobart in Paterson, New Jersey.
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      EXECUTIVE MANSION,
      WASHINGTON.

      March 8, 1900.

      Dear Mrs.Hobart [sic] :

      You were very kind to send us the fine fruit which we have just received, and I thank you for it. We shall enjoy it greatly.

      Mrs.McKinley [sic] joins me in affectionate regards to yourself and Junior.

      Very sincerely yours,

      WILLIAM McKINLEY

      We so much enjoyed our little visit with you & Junior.

      Mrs.Garret [sic] A.Hobart [sic],
      Paterson, N.J.