Ronald Reagan's heartfelt letter to his daughter may fetch USD 20,000
A handwritten letter from former US president Ronald Reagan to his daughter is expected to fetch USD 20,000 at an auction in the US.
Written during a particularly trying period, this emotional letter captures Reagan reflecting on his family's history as well as on his own mortality, quoting a song line 'The days dwindle down to a precious few.'
The eldest child of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Patti Davis became estranged from her family after years of political activism and public opposition against her father's conservative policies, adding to the familial strife with a series of thinly veiled autobiographical novels.
The one-page letter on both sides of his personal letterhead signed "Love, Dad," and is dated December 24, 1989. "On Feb 6th I'll be 80 years old. Your mother and I are hard to put to understand the separation between us and our first born. It didn't just happen with your growing up and leaving home," Reagan said in the letter. "I can recall your mother coming home in tears after driving you to school. She couldn't understand your complete silence even to the point of your not saying 'goodbye'," he wrote.
"Was it having to share with a newborn brother? I remember a loving daughter who never let us leave the house without waving goodbye from the window. We have some snapshots that reveal a difference in a little girl," he wrote. "We ask ourselves, 'what did we do wrong?' We were once a loving family. Well as I said earlier 'I'll stop bothering you' but I don't understand the separation of our family.
I recall a little girl sitting on my lap and asking me to marry her," the letter said. "Her mother across the room behind her signalled me to say 'yes.' So I did and explained we'd have to wait till she was a little older," Reagan said. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in Reagan's own hand.
It's a moving letter from father to daughter in the hopes of reconciliation, which would come at last in the mid-1990s following the news of his diagnosis with Alzheimer's, according to US-based RR Auction.
The letter is among more than 100 rare and significant letters from the collection of Victor Niederhoffer, a well-known hedge fund manager. Each intimate letter from the collection sheds a rare light on their personal day-to-day lives.