Letter, Lyndon Johnson to Lady Bird Taylor, 10/1/1934


Letter, Lyndon Johnson to Lady Bird Taylor, 10/1/1934


LBJ writes that "he has just about lost his ambition" although their phone call last night "gave me new strength." He is discouraged by Lady Bird's indecision, says Maury Maverick has offered to lend them his house for a honeymoon. LBJ says he is having a picture made at Bachrach's and is sending Lady Bird books and clippings.


Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-2007; Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973


Personal Papers of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson

Collection Description:

Go to List of Holdings


Courtship Letters


Pre-Presidential; Johnson family; Lady Bird Johnson personal; LBJ personal


Public domain

Specific Item Type:










Time Period:

Pre-Presidential (Before Nov. 22, 1963)


[Written on The Dodge Hotel stationery]
[October 1, 1934]
Monday Evening 8:20
Dear Bird:
Your Air Mail Special Delivery awaited me tonight when I came home with Maury after dinner down town. Enjoying your letters as I do, I would be an ingrate if I didn’t at least reaffirm my appreciation, tho’ I’ve just about lost my ambition.
Today I sent you a full envelope of junk. You may read some of it, if you have nothing else to do, and if you do, you must conclude that some of the data are made up of nothing but statements of flattery. Credited as I am in some of the clippings with being possessed with some admirable qualities, certainly should be outweighted by your own realization of my apparent weaknesses. I think, however, darling our telephone chat last night gave me new strength. That has been my great need since I met you.
They have told me stories, and showed me shows, portraying the young fellow who seldom gave time and attention to women. His chief concern was success, selfish--yes--but it occupied all of his thoughts. Then she came along--and--well he went to the other extreme. You know the story. For a long time I’ve played with fire and haven’t even been scorched, but every man sooner or later meets his Waterloo. When I think what I’ve said--all I’ve done--how helpless I’ve been when thinking of you--there is but one appreciable and appropriate expression: “God pity him for he knows not what he does.” I justify my rashness, eagerness and anticipation by telling myself that there is only one Bird--that in reality she loves me
just as I do her--and then I’m not so ashamed. Your letters help--but when you say “Fifty years and who knows what it will bring. Too important a decision to give attention to now. Everlasting? etc.” Well that’s what makes me feel like the chumps I used to see talk entertain the belles on the campus in the day time while some of us dined and danced with them after the sun had set. Why I’ve written all of this I don’t know--but sometimes I just start writing and say what I think before I proof read it. Proud as I am, sure as I’ve been (of myself) since I met you, I guess I can attribute it all to a lack of understanding of what prompts indecision and suspense.
Sent you some books to read. Hope they don’t detract from your writing. I shall never cease to have an interest
in your daily doings.
Did your Dad ever see Welly’s speech? Hope you scanned it. You know Welly is my God--or was--until I met the little Karnack girl one summer afternoon.
Maury, amused at my thoughts approaching seriousness, says, “My camp on a hill in San Antonio, equipped with everything including a Mexican man and woman, is to house you and _____ during your honeymoon. I’m going to lend a lot of dignity to your wedding by my presence.” He is a great guy and thinks thought we would enjoy days in the Alamo, the Missions, and roaming the trails at his country home before we come to work in mad January.
Tomorrow I’m going to sit--for a picture. Told Bachrachs several
days ago that I would see them at 9:30 Tuesday. Maury is also having some made. If mine are good I’m going to send them to all of my Grandmas and Aunts and will pass one on to you if you want one by that time.
Tell me when you get my letters, and if you read them--
I’m going to study personal property until two tonight in the morning. Can’t learn very fast but it’s good discipline. I’ve had a lot of discipline here of late. More to come?
Goodnite Bird. God bless you.
You’ve given me some sweet thoughts and lots of wholesome plans and ideas. It’s sweet of you to write.
Lyndon Baines
[Envelope postmarked: Washington, D.C., 10/1/1934, 12-PM]