Personal diary of Kennedys’ White House nanny up for auction

Personal diary of Kennedys’ White House nanny up for auction

The bidding for the auction closes on April 11.

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John F. Kennedy (AP)

The personal diary of the White House nanny during the Kennedy administration, which details the development of Caroline and John Kennedy Jr between 1957 and 1962, may fetch $ 2,800 at an auction. The diary of Maud Shaw, which contains 22 handwritten pages, covers the emergence of teeth, first steps, first words, illnesses, and a detailed record of their nutritional intake.

With a resume that featured nanny positions in England, Iran, and Egypt, Shaw was hired by the Kennedys in 1957 to care for the newborn Caroline while JFK was still a senator, according to US-based RR Auction.

Regarding Caroline, Shaw notes in July-August 1959, “Says Da-Da, laughs very loudly, play pat-a-cake.”

Most notably, under the first entry for John, “born 25th November 1960,” Shaw notes that he was two weeks premature.


“Weight 6 lbs 3 ozs, slow gaining weight, put on full strength Simalax a Beef, 3 times daily at 4 weeks, I look on John, 28th Feb 1961,” she wrote.

In March 1962, she notes that John is “repeating words after me – very well.”

Accompanying the diary are four hand written letters addressed to Shaw by a young Caroline, dated 1965-1967, two of which are postcards, illustrating the warm relationship Shaw shared with the Kennedy children in the years immediately following their untimely departure from the White House.

“Thank you so much for The Finding Out Treasury. It is so good. I read about how Smallpox Vaccination was invented. It was very interesting. I didn’t have time to read anything else as I was busy opening presents. John loves his book too,” Caroline wrote in one letter.

Another letter, postmarked March 26, 1967, says, “I miss you. We are in Mexico now. It is beautiful!”

A third letter, postmarked January 1, 1966, says, “Thank you very much for the pink thing (I don’t know what to call it) and the picture frame. I have it here in Switzerland.”

Shaw remained in the Kennedys’ employ for more than seven years and became one of the most trusted, and evidently adored, adult influences on the closely protected Kennedy children.

Held in such high regard by the Kennedys, Shaw was given her own private quarters in the White House, where she could be reached at a moment’s notice.

When the president and first lady were tasked with other matters, Shaw became the fixed parental figure, and it was Shaw who ultimately informed five-year-old Caroline that her father had died. Shaw detailed her service in the memoir White House Nannie: My Years with Caroline and John Kennedy, Jr, published in 1966.

The bidding for the auction closes on April 11.