Nelly Erichsen (December 9, 1862 – November 15, 1918)
Rose Cleveland was the sister of Pres. Grover Cleveland, who was unmarried during his first two years in office. Rose lived with him in the White House at that time and took over the hostess duties of the First Lady. She later became the principal of the Collegiate Institute of Lafayette, Indiana, a writer and lecturer, and the editor of the Chicago-based magazine Literary Life. At age 44, she started a passionate correspondence with a wealthy widow, Evangeline Simpson, with explicitly erotic correspondence. Things cooled off when 36 yo Evangeline married an Episcopal bishop from Minnesota, Henry Benjamin Whipple, 74 yo. By 1910, after his death, the two women rekindled their relationship and eventually moved to Bagni di Lucca, Italy, to live together. They shared the house with the English illustrator and artist Nelly Erichsen. Rose died at home during the 1918 flu pandemic, within one week of Nelly. They were buried in the English Cemetery at Bagni di Lucca. Before Evangeline’s death in 1930, she directed her executors to bury her next to Rose. “Ah, how I love you, it paralyzes me—it makes me heavy with emotion…. I tremble at the thought of you—all my whole being leans out to you…. I dare not think of your arms.” --Rose to Evangeline. “Oh, darling, come to me this night—my Clevy, my Viking, my Everything—Come! —Evangeline to Rose
Timeline & Places:
• December 9, 1862: born.
• November 15, 1918: died. Buried at Cimitero Inglese di Bagni di Lucca, Via Letizia, 55022 Bagni di Lucca LU, Italia. Buried alongside: Rose Cleveland (June 13, 1846 - November 22, 1918) and Evangeline Marrs Whipple (January 15, 1862 - September 1, 1930)