Events downtown

May 16

Precious and Adored: The Love Letters of Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple Maine Historical Society | 489 Congress Street 6:00 pm - 12:00 pm
Event website

Join Tilly Laskey for a fascinating talk of her newly launched PRECIOUS AND ADORED: The Love Letters of Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple, 1890–1918. Co-edited with Lizzie Ehrenhalt, with a Foreword by Lillian Faderman, the book presents captivating letters, published in their entirety, that document nearly 30 years of love between two women of the Gilded Age.

In 1890, Rose Cleveland, sister of President Grover Cleveland, began writing to Evangeline Simpson, a wealthy widow who would become the second wife of Henry Whipple, Minnesota’s Episcopal bishop. The women corresponded across states and continents, discussing their advocacy and humanitarian work—and demonstrating their sexual attraction, romance, and partnership. In 1910, after Evangeline Whipple was again widowed, the two women sailed to Italy and began a life together.

After Rose Cleveland’s death, Evangeline Whipple described her as “my precious and adored life-long friend.” This collection, rare in its portrayal of nineteenth-century LGBTQ history, brings their poignant story back to life.

“The letters in Precious and Adored re-create the story of one of the most remarkable love relationships between women in American history. Lizzie Ehrenhalt and Tilly Laskey have done scholars as well as general readers a great service in gathering these letters and providing indispensable context for them through thoughtful and informative introductions and skillful annotations.” ~ Lillian Faderman.

About the author: Tilly Laskey is a museum curator specializing in Native art and culture. She first encountered Evangeline Whipple and Rose Cleveland in 2004, while curating the Bishop Whipple American Indian collection at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Since then, she has tracked Evangeline Whipple’s footsteps, helping to inform the content of PRECIOUS AND ADORED. A Maine native, Tilly has curated at nationally-recognized museums in Maine, Minnesota and South Dakota. She was awarded the prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in 2011, allowing her to travel to Italy and spend time in the homes and haunts of Cleveland and Whipple in Bagni di Lucca. In 2014, Tilly joined MHS where she serves as Outreach Curator.