Ellen Axson Wilson to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre




Ellen writes to Jessie on her honeymoon to update her on the family news and social engagements. She mentions that they are still receiving gifts and notes about the wedding. She also writes about some jewelry that she has purchased/received.


Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University




My darling

The letter sent through the pilot did not reach us for several days,—not until after I wrote you. But it was no less welcome because of the delay,—and it was so sweet. You darling! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know beyond a doubt that you are so perfectly radiantly happy. My dear love to Frank and my thanks for his sweet little addition to your letter.
For the first time we are in the best of humours with the reporters, for it is truly delightful to know every day just what you two are doing to know almost as fully as if you were under our own roof. You are certainly having an interesting experience; and you seem to be meeting people who are truly “worth while.”We are in the full swing now; constant engagements, social and “sociological”;—the annual meeting of the Red Cross Society was held yesterday afternoon,—lasting interminably;—speaker after speaker who were determined to let us know to the last detail just how splendidly they had organized relief in various crises,—in Dayton, after mine disasters, &c. &c. It is a pity those splendid people can't escape that touch of egoism. But perhaps that is only another way of saying that it is a pity they are human beings.Margaret gave a concert to the “Blind” last night and they papers are enthusiastic about it. She says she never had a better time.—Jessie and Nell are in Baltimore today,—and your father is in bed again! He had a heavy “gripping” cold last week and had to spend two days in bed, Then being much better though far from well—he “went hard at it” again and has renewed the cold. He is slightly feverish but the trouble is chiefly in his head now,—not at all serious.
We have the first State dinner of the season a week from tonight, the Cabinet dinner. The Garfields and the Fines are coming to it and will spend the night with us. The two Jones from Chicago will also be here (at the dinner) and the Thompsons from Wilmington, Del. So it will be a real party of friends,—the one “function” to which we are all looking forward with pleasure. Margaret, Anne Armstrong & Mr. Ruth, the Princeton instructor who has the superb bass, are to sing afterwards. They will all be guests at the dinner and Anne is to stay overnight. It will be charming, I think.
The first large musicale went off finely last week. We had a man with a splendid baritone, voice, a fine 'cello player and a young Italian woman who is said to be the best harpist in the world. I never imagined that one could get such exquisite music from a harp. Our guests, five or six hundred of them, were very enthusiastic, and indeed quite evidently enjoyed themselves.
Another very large and superb bowl, (or (centre-piece) in Dutch silver has just come for you from the American minister at Belgium. Also a pretty little silver jewel box with the enclosed anonymous letter. Isn't it queer? She must be crazy of course,—and yet it doesn't sound crazy. We still get charming letters about the wedding, some of which we will keep to show you. One says “the charm of perfect dignity with ease and simplicity were never so wonderfully blended.”Your things are of course all packed and stored either here or in the storage vault of the company. Only the silver that you will not take is here in the vault.Miss Nevin telegraphed that she did not want to buy furniture, so I ordered the set charged to me and kept in storage there (at ) until your return I sent back the House glass to the firm and they have credited you with $21700 for it!I must thank you & Frank for very beautiful Xmas present. I took the emerald down town and found there a lovely little wreath pin set with small diamonds pearls and American emeralds worth $7500. That is Woodrow'sXmas to me. Then I had your emerald set in the center of it and it makes a perfectlybeautiful brooch. I am wild about it. They said your emerald was worth $7500! So you see how much I have to thank you for. An American emerald that size if flawless would be worth $15000 and this is just as pretty as if it were flawless. It has a little split in itI am really ashamed for Frank to see this scrawl,—you of course are used to the spectacle. I am writing amid constant interruption owing to your father's indisposition. All send love beyond words. We talk & think of you constantly my precious darling. A heart full of love to our dear Frank too.

Your devoted

Original Format





Wilson, Ellen Axson, “Ellen Axson Wilson to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre,” 1913 December 11, WWP17473, Jessie Wilson Sayre Correspondence, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.