Letter from Grace Coolidge to her Father-in-Law

Date: March 31, 1918

Context: Not only Calvin, Jr. but also Grace wrote to wish Col. John a happy 73rd birthday. She comments on the “grip,” the first wave of the influenza pandemic, that “seems very prevalent around this part of the country” and notes that her son John is sick with it. Apparently, John is the second case of the “grip” in the Coolidge household as Lt. Gov. Coolidge was sick with it earlier.

Dear Father,

John isn’t feeling quite equal to writing to-day so his birthday letter may be a little late. He says he hopes you will have a happy birthday and not get the grip. That is uppermost in his mind at present. Calvin came in from school the other day and told him that one of the boys asked him what the matter with John was and when he told him “grip”, the boy said, “grip on what?” John said, “Tell him grip on the bed.” This is his third day in bed, so he spoke feelingly. He is the second patient I have had since Mrs. Reckahn has been away. Calvin I was at home sick for three days. He says he is feeling all right now. The malady seems very prevalent around this part of the country and Calvin says it is the same there.

The boys are sending you little remembrances.

Best wishes and many happy returns.

With love,


Citation: Coolidge Family Papers, Vermont Historical Society

View the original document

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Richard Link, who prepared this document for digital publication

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