Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre




Eleanor Wilson McAdoo writes Jessie Wilson Sayre with news from St. Mary's School in Raleigh, NC.


Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University




My own, my sweetest Jetty

Here I am writing to you on Monday instead of Sunday which I promised myself solemnly I wouldn't do. But it is just as you say Sunday afternoon and evening are just as busy as other aftnernoons and evenings, our almost, and I never have time to get more than my one letter home written. Isn't it a shame? I have to give up almost every free minute I have to “rushing” and oh I do get so tired of it sometimes. There are some perfectly adorable girls here and two or three that I am simply crazy about, but other people think the same way and we are working oh so hard, for there are only four of us. But I heard a grand piece of news the other day and that was that one of the girls whom we want oh so much and whom we were so doubtful about said that she liked me better than anyone in the school! Wasn't that good news. We are tickled to death! Your little sister is doing some tall rushing. We have found out, at last just what Mr. Jay thinks of the sororities. He disapproves of sororities in general very much and, although he says he can see nothing harmful in these here, yet he doesn't want them here and will try to get rid of them in two or three years at least! But he told us that he wouldn't do anything this year and we are all relieved. But I can't blame him and I don't, because they could get harmful soeasily and so quickly. I wish they would all be done away with everywhere, don't you?I am so glad, dearie, that everything is still “serene” and that nothing has happened yet. I wish nothing would, because I do so want your Senior year to be as happy as can be! Dettydear, I do love you, love you, love you, and oh if I could only see you and hug you now! What a lovely house party that must have been and what a gruesome story you told me! I wish we could have a house party because they must be such fun!The chief excitement this week, was or rather last week, was the Hallowe'en masquerade ball. I went with another girl as Buster Brown and Mary Jane and we made ourselves the cutest costumes you ever saw. Mine was blue with a big blue tam-o' shanter and hers was white with pink ribbons. We looked perfectly dear and had the time of our lives. (Conceited, am I not?) The whole thing was a great success—for everybody's costume was dear and Mrs. Shib, our darling lady principal, whom we all love to death, had decorated the parlour for us and made it look perfectly beautiful with autumn leaves and pumpkins and large piles of apples.
Apart from the ball I haven't been doing anything else except study, study, study—trying to make up all that horrible English that I missed. It is the hardest thing I ever tried to do!We went riding as usual this morning and oh I must tell you about the fuss that happened. You know, I have been riding the same horse all last year and once this year—my own dear Billy who is such a good horse and who I just love to death?! Well, time before last Miss Spann, the teacher who goes with us now and who is sort of a mess, said that she wanted to try Billy—that Mr. Jay had said that he wanted her to try him. So of course I let her have him but I was mad (though I carefully hid the fact) and Mr. Woodall, the man who owns the horses and who goes with us was mad too. He said that Mr. Jay had no right to say who was to ride which horses (which is true too don't you think so?) and that I was to have Billy after that time anyway. Of course, though I want Billy like anything, I would rather let Miss Spann have it him than make a fuss about it. But this morning I went out there and Miss Spann hadn't come out yet and Mr. Woodall told me to get on Billy and I said “Oh no, I'd better wait and see if Miss Spann wants him.”, and he said, “Either you ride him or he goes back to the stable”! So I, iobediently got on, though I was very doubtful about it all. Then Miss Spann came out and I rode off a little way because I didn't want to hear what she thought about it. When I came back first the girls and then Mr. Woodall came up and told me what they had said.Miss Spann said, “Mr Jay told me that he wanted me to ride Billy”Mr. Woodall—“Last year I was offered two hundred and fifty dollars for Billy and I didn't sell him because of Miss Nell—Mr Jay can run his school but not my business and I'm to say whose to ride my horses!” (Rather rude, wasn't it? I am glad I didn't hear it.) Miss Spann—very meekly—“Well just as long as I get a good riding horse, I suppose it doesn't matter.” So then we started off. The girls were tickled to death over it all and they all think Mr. Woodall is a perfect dear. But I'm rather scared because Mr. Jay will think I did it all and will be furious with me and might say I can't ride anymore. But I'm going to all the same! Mr. Woodall said if he did that he Mr. Woodall wouldn't let anyone ride his horses! Isn't it all a mess! By the way have you started yet? I hope you have! If you haven't do start right away and get somebody to ride with you. I am simply crazy for you to learn.Oh I can hardly wait for Margie to come down! Isn't it grand that she is coming and that I can see her. And isn't it fine about Katharine and Mr. Miles. I am so delighted over it. Let me tell you something funny, Detty. I was talking to Aunt Annie just about a week ago, about Wilson and Virgie and she never mentioned the divorce. She even said that she supposed Virgie would try to get a divorce soon. Wasn't that the funniest thing? I don't understand it at all. So it was news to me when you told me. But I am so glad.I must stop now, so this can get off on the afternoon mail. Good-bye my ownest, own Detty.Oh how I love you! You will never know how much. With a thousand kisses for my darlingsister

Your ever devoted little sisterNell.

Original Format





McAdoo, Eleanor Wilson, 1889-1967, “Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre,” 1907 November 3, WWP17411, Jessie Wilson Sayre Correspondence, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.

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