Woodrow Wilson to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre




Woodrow Wilson writes to Jessie about how much he misses her and how he is trying to live in Ellen’s spirit in spite of his grief.


Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University





My heart has long ago answered your sweet letter, though without words. I long to see you and Frank in your own home! I would give my head to turn away from things here and run up for a little visit. But, alas! I must not. Every day it is plain that I would simply be neglecting my duty if I were to go away. Much as it hurts, I must deny myself and stick at the endless job.
My heart carries thoughts of you all day long. I think your mother's feelings have been left with me, in addition to my own.The doctor and I have worked out a lovely plan for Christmas and the two months following. I shall have the chance to look after you for a little while, at least, and do very poorly what she would have done so wonderfully. I find that the only way to sustain a broken heart is to try to do what she would have done. So long as I act in her spirit and, as nearly as I can, as she would have acted I experience a sort of sweet relief and happiness that helps to carry me through the day.Helen seems quite herself again (though I fear she must be rather lonely, poor little girl) and I am perfectly well. The days are, fortuneately too full of pressing tasks to give me time for weakness and thoughts of myself.
It will not be very long before the Christmas holidays, and then we shall all be together again! How fine! God bless you, my darling! It is so fine to hear how well you are! Dear love to Frank.

Your devoted

Original Format





Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924, “Woodrow Wilson to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre,” 1914 October 15, WWP17499, Jessie Wilson Sayre Correspondence, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.