One day Marilyn Monroe confessed a crush on Abraham Lincoln: “He was such a great guy. When I see a man like that, I would love to just sit on his lap.”
Review of “Marilyn in Manhattan,” The Wall Street Journal
I hope you don’t mind my getting familiar with you right off the bat, but I’ve been a big fan of yours since the third Lincoln-Douglas debate. You blew “The Little Giant” away! I don’t know where he comes up with crazy ideas like the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but they leave me cold.
I’m more of a Missouri Compromise girl myself, and I’d love to put myself in a compromising position with an up-and-coming political guy like you. Do you think you’d like to come over to my place sometime? I know you’re married and all that, but I could use a refresher course on the Dred Scott decision, and what happens next is entirely up to you.
Yours until South Carolina secedes,
Dear Miss Monroe:
Thank you for your correspondence of the 6th, instant.
I appreciate your kind words, but must decline the offer of a meeting as I am running for the Senate and will for the foreseeable future be on the hustings, when at present I don’t even know what a “husting” is. I think it is something that you do with an ear of corn, but I’ve been too busy splitting rails to find out.
It is not easy, living out on the frontier instead of glamorous Hollywood and Manhattan like you. Did you know that I was born in a log cabin that I built with my own hands? It’s true, my political consultants put it in my campaign bio.
Anyway, if you’re ever in New Salem, Illinois–I know, why the hell would you want to come to such a God-forsaken burg–I hope you will drop by and see me.
With firmness in the right, as God gives me to see it,
Thanks for your note. You know, I might just take you up on that invite. It was an invitation, wasn’t it? Sometimes I don’t know with you, you with your high-flown phraseology!
But you’re a jokester too, and I love that about you! I saw in Variety where someone asked you if you wanted to go to heaven, and you said no, you wanted to go to Congress.
Maybe we could meet halfway, like Cincinnati, or Las Vegas. Anywhere, really, and I won’t ask for your autograph on my Library of America set of all your writings and speeches! Yes, I’ve got both volumes, and I don’t care who knows it.
Your “theatrical” pal,
Dear Miss Monroe–
I am in receipt of your latest correspondence–that means I got it, but it’s the 19th century, so I have to talk that way.
I appreciate your interest in my writings but, since women won’t have the right to vote for another three score years, I am doubtful that a meeting between us would be of much use to me. My friend Joshua Speed says my ambition is like a “little engine,” but that just shows how much he knows. I’m 6’4″ for God’s sake, my ambition is like a big engine. You can still send me a campaign contribution, make your check payable to “The Committee to Elect Honest Abe” and I approve of that message.
I nonetheless appreciate your interest and am enclosing a pocket-size daguerreotype that you can put in your purse–in case you feel the need to dream about me.
Plucking the mystic chords of memory on my zither, I remain
I wanted to pass along a little make-up tip I found in this month’s issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book–it’s my favorite magazine!
The newspapers always make fun of your looks, but you have such nice, high cheekbones! The article, which I will send you if I can remember to put it in the envelope before I seal it, says to use a combination of corn starch, bee’s wax and the pituitary gland of an otter to make a blusher for your upper cheeks. That way you won’t look so gloomy.
I wish we could get together. You seem like such a great guy–I’d love to sit on your lap and talk about the first thing that comes up!
I will be in New York to shoot “The Seven Year Itch” soon. How long have you been married to that battle-axe, I mean darling wife of yours?
Yours ’til Bulls Run!
Dear Miss Monroe–
It is with a heavy heart that I must break off our correspondence. My wife found your latest letter and has instructed me that she will send it to a reporter sympathetic to the Democratic Party unless I direct you not to write to me again.
Such a move would ruin my political prospects, as I am sure you understand that the standard-bearer of the Republican Party must be, like Caesar’s wife, beyond reproach.