Does anyone keep letters that people write to them anymore? Does anyone get letters anymore?

I’ve been listening to biographies on tape lately. Both John Adams and Truman make extensive use of personal letters. But in order for that to have happened someone needed to save those letters. In the case of John Adams they needed to be saved for hundreds of years.

When we were cleaning out my grandparents’ house after they died we found one letter. It was sweet and romantic so that was probably why it was saved. But everyone in my family had the same reaction. We were going home and burning anything personal that we had because we didn’t want other people reading it after we were dead. Are we just weird?

I understand saving letters if you are famous and know that people will want to study you after you are dead but most of the letters in the books were from before they were famous. I hope I never get famous or I’m going to be an absolute disappointment to future historians.

2 Replies to “Letters”

  1. Kind of like having people go through your sock draw and seeing that they’re full of holes in the heels :).

    I don’t know about John Adam and Truman, but the Romans used to write letters to each other *knowing* they were going to publish the correspondence at a later date. So not the same as love-letters; I think that in a way it’s a betrayal of trust to publish them.

  2. My Father has found diaries and letters from his Great Grandfather…What an interesting read….stories about the his exploits in the World Wars and his general life.
    He is very famous to us and we are very glad to have had the pleasure of reading them

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