Woodrow Wilson to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre




Woodrow Wilson sends his love and sympathy to Jessie as she deals with a difficult situation.


Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University




My precious Jessie

president's roomYour letter, received this morning, has quite filled our hearts to overflowing. My own counsel, my dear one, is unhesitatingly this: If you are convinced that the debates and consultations Miss Flora has in mind will be fruitless (as I should think they must be if no one is to be asked to bind herself by the outcome), then I am sure that you will feel happier in resigning at once, even if obliged to do it alone. I can see how unhappy the present compromise situation is making you; and I do not wonder. It is inconsistent with all your fine instincts. And if the thing I am advising seems even hardeer I am sure that it will be so only for a little while and that a deep sense of relief and of restored self-respect would follow. I do not mean that what you are now held to by your wish not to leave Miss Flora's side is in any sense inconsistent with thorough self-respect, but that it is inconsistent with the natural operations of your own nature and therefore inconsistent with your own quietness of mind.
Ah, my sweet one, how it makes my heart ache to see you involved in the same unhappy way that I am. Things here seem to grow, not harder and harder to manage, but more and more acutely painful as they are more and more intimately handled, and the pain of them quickens my loving sympathy with you, my true and brave daughter. God bless you! I am sure he will make the right way in some degree the happy way for you. This is not a letter of advice: it is a love letter. We want you to know at once how our love goes out to you, and how constantly we carry you in our thoughts and prayers.
Let us know every detail it comforts you to tell us, and be sure that the more love and sympathy you seek of us the happier we shall be in feeling that we are of some use to you in the fine things you feel constrained to do.
With a heartful of love, many heartfuls of love, from each of us,

Your loving friend and father,
Woodrow Wilson

Original Format





Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924, “Woodrow Wilson to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre,” 1907 September 26, WWP17401, Jessie Wilson Sayre Correspondence, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.