Helen Woodrow Bones to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre




Helen Bones wishes she could visit Jessie Wilson Sayre in Philadephia and tells her about Nell’s baby.


Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University




Darling Jessie

It's very tantalizing to know you are right there in Philadelphia, only three hours' ride away; and I cant see you! And I am afraid I can't reasonably suggest going up within the next week, as Margie is to go to-morrow. And I wish so I could be there, helping with the last sewing.
I know, though, that you couldn't be with sweeter or more helpful people than Cousin Annie and little A, and they sew far better than I.Margie said your little room was so sweet and that you seemed as cozily tucked away in Cousin Annie's home as any one could possibly desire. It all sounds very “comfy.”Have I written you about Ellen? I haven't seen her except at a distance for four days, as I have had a bad cold and haven't dared go near her; but she seems to be getting along famously. She weighs twenty-one and a half pounds, and has seven teeth. By how much does Francis beat that? I think she's a wonder for ten months! She is getting used to us, but doesn't really like any of us. She's a timid little thing, but a sweet lamb and very good! I was amused by a remarkMrs. Marshall made the other day—Maitland's mother—“She looks like Mr. McAdoo and yet is really a very pretty baby.” Wouldn't Nell foam at the mouth if she could hear that! She does look a lot like the McAdoo boys; as yet I can't see Nell in her at all, though now and then I see Francis.
I've never had any word from Titus about the bookcase. He's not a rapid gentleman.
I have been trying for two letters now, to remember to tell you of something I know will touch you deeply. In “Bartlett's Quotations” not long ago I found this quotation marked:

If to her share some female errors fall,
Look on her face, and you'll for-get them all

and under it in your mother's handwriting, is written “Jessie.” But she didn't think any errors fell to your share, sweetness—she said once when she was ill, “Oh, if only I could be as good as Jessie; but she is a Saint.” Have I ever before told you that? I've always wanted to, for it is a beautiful legacy from one so heavenly good and glorious; isn't it!Dr. Grayson is the only member of the family who has seen heard from Mac and Nell, and he said every body on the ship had been sick but Mac. The letter was mailed from some place in Haitei—how do you spell it?Your father seems very well and very cheerful these days: it seems as though Mr. House must have brought him some good news, though of course that is mere conjecture, as I have heard no syllable of as to whether his mission was encouraging or not. Mexico apparently doesn't worry him much, though of course he isn't the kind to let people see whether he worries or not. I tell you, every day I grow more grateful to Edith!Margaret is leaving us to-morrow for three weeks. It really is the only way she can get anything done in her music, for here she is pulled every which way by people who want her to do things. She thinks it is Miss Benham's fault and mine that she is so harassed but I notice Brother Ward and Sister Hitz are at her pretty constantly. As an actual fact, she has done about four things in the entire winter in response to urging from Miss Benham and me. To-day she goes to a luncheon at Mrs. Ollie James, urged by Miss B., but also goes to the Symphony Concert, makes a speech, and goes to Mrs. Polk's to dinner, all of her own accord; but she feels much put upon about the lunch! Well, it's a funny life, this?! Anyhow, much too strenuous for an artist.
Lots of love, dear, to you and the Howes, from
Your loving

Original Format





Bones, Helen Woodrow, “Helen Woodrow Bones to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre,” 1916 March 21, WWP17530, Jessie Wilson Sayre Correspondence, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.

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