Late-1927, having just become a Boy Scout and acutely aware that his weekly allowance wouldn’t cover the costs of such a lifestyle, 10-year-old John F. Kennedy approached his father and asked for a raise of 30¢. Keen to teach the future President a quick business lesson, Kennedy Sr. immediately told him that, unless his plea was put in writing, it wouldn’t be heard.
The following letter soon arrived at his desk.
Transcript follows. Image courtesy of the JFK Library, who recently unveiled approximately 200’000 pages of newly-digitised content for all to peruse. Highly recommended. Huge thanks to Michael Ezra for the tip.
A Plea for a raise
By Jack Kennedy
Dedicated to my
Mr. J. P. Kennedy
My recent allowance is 40¢. This I used for areoplanes and other playthings of childhood but now I am a scout and I put away my childish things. Before I would spend 20¢ of my ¢.40 allowance and in five minutes I would have empty pockets and nothing to gain and 20¢ to lose. When I a a scout I have to buy canteens, haversacks, blankets, searchlidgs, poncho things that will last for years and I can always use it while I can’t use a cholcalote marshmellow sunday with vanilla ice cream and so I put in my plea for a raise of thirty cents for me to buy scout things and pay my own way more around.
John Fitzgerald Francis Kennedy