1934 Courtship Letters

Description

The Courtship Letters are part of a larger collection of correspondence between Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson that spans 1934 through 1968.  These are the earliest letters in the collection. Between September 5, 1934, when they first met through a mutual friend, and November 17, 1934, when they married, Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor and Lyndon Johnson exchanged nearly 90 letters.

In his courtship letters to Lady Bird, Lyndon Johnson describes his job as a congressional secretary in Washington D.C., the time he spends with his friends, and of course, his ardent love for Lady Bird and his desire for them to be married as soon as possible.  She describes her life in Karnack, Texas; her love of nature; her friends; redecorating and landscaping her family home in Karnack; her weekend in Dallas where she attended the Texas-Oklahoma football game; and her trip to Atlanta to visit her Aunt Effie.  She too proclaims her love but is cautious about a short courtship and marriage.

The letters from Lyndon and Lady Bird are each arranged chronologically.  Rather than dating his letters, he usually wrote the day of the week on them, but Lady Bird saved the envelopes and kept them with his letters.  Because the envelopes have dated postmarks, the task of dating his letters was easy in most cases.  The envelopes also provide additional insights; he sent many of his letters via air mail and special delivery.  Lady Bird dated only one of her letters.  She too included the day of the week on her letters, but in most cases, Lyndon did not save her envelopes. The LBJ Presidential Library staff compared the content of her letters with the content of his letters and assigned dates to her letters.

Use the date ranges on the right side of the page to move through the collection, and click on each item to see all the pages and the transcript. In preparing the transcripts, staff retained the spelling and abbreviations as they were written by the correspondents. Letters that have dates that were deduced by LBJ Presidential Library staff are indicated by question marks. Enjoy!