Ellen Axson Wilson to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre




Ellen writes to Jessie on her honeymoon to wish her well and bring her up to date on family news, mentions attending a ball and meeting many Confederate veterans.


Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University




My darling

Your dear, dear letter reached me day before yesterday, and was read, as you may well believe, with a very full heart. That second leave-taking on Sunday was indeed a wrench for us all, dearest! I certainly had a good hard cry, all by myself in the big silent house. I was glad I “got it over with” just then, when I was alone, for your father came back very blue, declaring, like all the rest, that it was much worse than the wedding because it seemed so final.—But what a comfort it was to think of dear Frank,—of all he is in himself and of the sort of care he is evidently going to take of you. How,—I wonder,—do parents bear it when they do not feel confidence in the man! As for you two, you are so congenial and so evidently happy, that,—shall I confess it,—I felt consoled and even flattered by your confession that you were homesick for me! I think Frank will understand and forgive me for that, but if you think he won't, dont mention it, for I don't want him to imagine that I would like to get in between, a la Howe.You can't imagine how eager I am to know all about “the beginnings” at Williamstown, and especially if the cook turned up! Of course there was more or less doubt about that and I shall be anxious until I know. If you need further help from me or Mrs. Jaffrey telegraph me. I hope you will have good weather and not too cold for your “house-warming”. I know you are nervous about it but you will find it perfectly simple and easy and very good fun for just “the two of you.”All is going smoothly here. The judicial dinner was a great success, the table—all pink Killarny roses—the prettiest we have had yet. Miss Llewellyn, who sang Breton and Bohemian folk-songs after dinner, was adorably pretty in her beautiful peasant costume, and both her voice and her songs were delicious. Our house party was also very pleasant,—Dr. & Mrs. Jacobus, Mr Sheldon & Miss Ricketts. The latter stayed over until yesterday,—which, incidentally, explains my not writing sooner to my little girl.The girls were both at dances last night and your father and I at a hugse dinner at the Willard given us by the Attorney-General. The decorations, &c. were most beautiful, but otherwise it was noisy and tiresome.—Nell seems to be feeling and looking a little brighter She said she had a great time at the Southern Ball on Monday night. It really was a beautiful & brilliant scene. I enjoyed it myself because of meeting so many dear, old Confederate veterans. We had quite a love feast. Nell says some of them held my hands so long that it was quite scandalous! Next to me was Mrs. Pickett the “child wife” in “The Heart of a Soldier.” She is still very beautiful and sweet. By the way, did you take your copy of that book sent you by her? The little picture of me came from the framer before you left,—and I forgot to give it to you after all! So I sent it on;—did it reach you safely?Well! I must stop for I am going to have a “tea”—just for a change!Dear, dear little daughter, how I wish I could tell you what a perfect joy you have been to me all your life long, and how tenderly I love you. Your father joins me in fondest love to you both. As always,

Your devoted

Original Format





Wilson, Ellen Axson, “Ellen Axson Wilson to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre,” 1914 February 6, WWP17479, Jessie Wilson Sayre Correspondence, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.

Transcribe This Item

  1. http://resources.presidentwilson.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/EAWtoJWS19140206.pdf