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 Jetty

I have been simply miserable because I couldn't find time to write to you until now. I could have written a little note if I had thought of it but it has been so long since I wrote you a letter that I wanted to write you a real one and so didn't write any for this long time. You don't know how proud and happy andexcited I was when I heard your grand news! Oh my darlingJetty how perfectly fine and wonderful you are. I just can't get over it and I want to see you and tell you how proud I am of you and how much I love you. Just think! of the Phi Beta Kappa, Oh my! I knew you'd get it. Have you got your little key yet? I'm crazy to see it. I dreamt last night that I saw you and you had it on and you calmly handed it over to me and I just as calmly went and sported it to Mother and Father and told them that I had gotten it down here; but the sad part of it was that they didn't believe me and looked very shocked and grieved.Do you realize that it is only one week now before we leave here and only about ten days before I see you! Isn't that perfectly glorious. I can hardly believe it. You know, I meant to tell you before but forgot—that I can't come until Monday because you know I promised Helen Hunter before Christmas that I would spend two or three days with her in Portsmouth on my way up. When I found out that your Commencement began earlier than I expected I wanted to go straight up though I hated to break my engagement with Helen, but when I mentioned it to her she almost had a fit and said I just had to come and so I thought I'd better stay over Sunday with her and leave Sunday night if I found that a boat left then. They leave on week days at about six o'clock at night and get to Baltimore somewhere around eight. So I suppose they leave on Sunday nights the same way, and if they do I will certainly be in BaltimoreMonday morning, if they don't I will manage some other way to get there Monday. So be sure to expect me then. Of course I'll write you again and let you know definitely just when I am coming. I know you won't know from this rambling statement when I am coming but I am writing under difficulties as the room is full of girls all making a dreadful racket. They think they are studying for Bible exam which comes at four o'clock this afternoon and they also imagine that they are being interesting by reading the Ladys Home Journal aloud, but they are all much mistaken. It certainly is hard ever to get any letters written in this place. Bible is my last exam, and then I will be all through for good and all. Just think, I'll never have to take any more examsThe lunch bell rang and I had to go and now its the next day—Saturday, and I'm all through and don't have anything more to do except have Commencement and get ready to go home! My! it seems to good to be true, doesn't it? But oh, how I will hate to leave the girls. I can't bear to think about it. I haven't heard from any of my exams except English and that was very good news. I led the class and got 96. I certainly am glad since I'm going to get an English certificate. I am scared to death about the Ethics exam because it was very hard and I hadn't studied much for it and I'm afraid I flunked. But I'll stilel hope for the best! I hope you are all through with yours—your last one is to-day, isn't it? But my goodness, no one ever needs to worry about what you'll do in exams! Oh Jetty, I can't stop telling you how proud I am of you, my darling sister. There can't be towo such as you in the family and so I oughtn't to have hoped to follow your example. I suppose you know that we were beaten in the debate. All your dear little notes and your dear encouragement and everything else didn't keep us from defeat. I reckon we're just stupid and there's no help for it. What hurts me is that every body knows that Lee did more for the Confederacy than Davis and we didn't have enough sense to prove such an evident fact. Thats the only thing I minded much about except that I wantedFather and Mother to think I was a little bit brighter than I have always seemed. But its no use regretting it now and I really don't care because Julia cared so much more about beating than we did because, you see, she doesn't have much enjoyment out of her school life, and she never would have gotten over it if she had been beaten. And Jetty, it wasn't the regular debates that won it because every body say that ours were fully as good; it was the retorts. Julia made a dandy one and really won the debate.
But let me tell you a big compliment that all of us got from every body in the school. They say its the best debate that has ever been heard at St Marys. So we all feel happy. And now I'm not going to talk about the old debate any more. Thank heavens, its over with!!!I am desperate because it is Monday now and I haven't sent a word to you yet. Oh dear what must you think of me. I'm going to finish this up right now and send it off whatever happens. But I want to tell you first about my beautiful graduating presents. Honestly Mother and Father and every body are too good to me. I don't deserve all the lovely presents, as if I was really going to graduate from a college instead of only getting a certificate from a little old school. Oh, they are sodear. Mother gave me a beautiful little pendant and chain, something like yours, I reckon, only mine is tiny little diamonds and two opals instead of emaeralds; (I'm crazy to see yours, I bet it's lovely!) and Father gave me a beautiful scarf with silver over it, like Aunt Margarets, you know. Oh, it's so pretty. And Uncle Stock gave me a lovely gold bracelet and Margie gave me some beautiful little gold studs and cuff links. Wasn't it dear of her. They must have cost her a lot and they are sopretty. Then Tantchen (Aunt Margaret) gave me a dear little fan! I want to see yours so much.I must stop now, as the mail is going. I will send you a postcard from Portsmouth to tell you exactly when I'm coming. My goodness, just think! its only three more days now. We are going to leave here at 11.30 Friday morning. (We can't take the night train because Helen's dFather doesn't want her to travel then.) I'll be sure to let you know then what time I get to Baltimore. It will bes sometime Monday—a week from to-day—hurrah!!Good-bye my own darling. I love you so much and I am so excited about seeing you. With love, unspeakable, for you, and lots for my cousins.


Original Format






McAdoo, Eleanor Wilson, 1889-1967, “Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre,” 1908 May 22, WWP17442, Jessie Wilson Sayre Correspondence, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.