Digital Collections @ St. Lawrence University

To your beautiful and deeply moving letter...


Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971
Original letter: ink on paper, 2 p.
Date Original: 
1940, March 7


[Rockwell Kent Letterhead]
March 7, 1940

My Darling:--
To your beautiful and deeply moving letter that has just come I reply immediately.  Please, darling, don’t let the need of charging me with cruelty distress you.  In the first place I know that I deserve to be so charged for I have at times driven you to distraction.  But leaving that out—for thank God you don’t think unkindly of me!—the charges are purely formal.  Don’t hesitate to give such grounds as the lawyer wants.
I have for days maintained a stubborn and infuriating silence.
I have driven you to work beyond your powers showing no consideration for your                                weakness and illness.
I have treated you with contempt when you couldn’t work.
I have spoken with unpardonable harshness to you.
I have been warned by your doctor that I must treat you more kindly or it would kill you.
I have abandoned you for periods of over a year at a time.
I have refused to visit you when you were ill in Arizona.
I compelled you to leave Arizona and return to country that was injurious to your health.
I shut you up in the country and kept you from associating with people.
I made you a slave to my interests and whims.
I made you give up your friends.
I was unkind to your son.
I have shamed you before people.
I have altogether been so persistently cruel that to save your sanity and maybe your life you have to get free of me.
Try these on your lawyer!

Long ago Sally said that she hated to have the divorce gotten on false grounds.  That she was the cause and should be named.  And she shuns publicity as you do.
But she is not the cause.  The cause is my cruelty to as fine a woman as has ever lived, and an utterly devoted and tenderly loving wife.  Believe me, darling, I know my guilt and suffer from it.
Oh darling—hurry and get this nasty business over; visit Kendall as long as you have a good time there; and then come home. 
I’m so glad you are writing to Sally.  You have been so generous about her, that I dare to hope that you can love each other dearly.
That is all now.  But that as ever I DO.


                        I wish you’d be called Frances Rockwell Kent!


Rights Management: 
Original materials may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (more information).


Digitization Specifications: 
Scanned at 600ppi on Epson 1000XL scanner as 48-bit RGB uncompressed TIFF images. Images resized to 2000 pixels wide, 150 dpi, and saved as JPEG (level 10) in Photoshop CS5 with Unsharp Mask of 60:1.
Date Digital: 
October 12, 2012