Precious and Adored (Paperback)

The Love Letters of Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple, 1890-1918

By Lizzie Ehrenhalt, Tilly Laskey, Lillian Faderman (Foreword by)

Minnesota Historical Society Press, 9781681341293, 288pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2019

List Price: 19.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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.

The letters, most written in Cleveland's dramatic, quirky style, guide readers through new love, heartbreak, and the rekindling of a committed relationship. Lillian Faderman's foreword provides the context for same-sex relationships at the time. An introduction and annotations by editors Lizzie Ehrenhalt and Tilly Laskey discuss the women's social and political circles, and explain references to friends, family, and historical events.

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.

About the Author

Lizzie Ehrenhalt is the editor of MNopedia, the online encyclopedia of Minnesota. Tilly Laskey is the outreach curator at Maine Historical Society in Portland, Maine.