Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre




Eleanor Wilson McAdoo writes Jessie Wilson Sayre, and thanks her for news of her newborn daughter.


Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University




Sweetest, darling girl

To think that I have been home more than a week and haven't written a word to you! I'm terribly ashamed. And when that lovely letter came from you a day or two ago it made me more ashamed than ever. You are absolutely the most wonderful and darling thing to write letters when you have two babies and aren't strong yet. And I deserved one least of all. I just devoured it—I was crazy for the little-lest piece of news from you. Oh darling, if I could only see baby Eleanor. I have heard such wonderful things of her—about her beauty and sweetness and goodness and cuddlesomeness and a thousand other things. She must be too adorable for words and I could just cry because I can't see her until for a month or two. It's so exciting to have your baby have my name, too. Are you going to call her “Nell” or give her the dignity of Eleanor?Eleanor Sayre is beautiful, isn't it? But I'm surprised that Frank didn't coerce you (with his bullying ways) into naming her after her beautiful mother. Margie and Helen say that you are looking more beautiful and radiant than ever and I should think you would be with such a lovely family and little house and bully husbandof your own. I think you're so wonderful, dear, travelling around without a nurse and managing everything so beautifully. I hope your strength is coming back fast and that you're not doing too much. We were all so distressed to hear that the baby hadn't been doing so well. Was it the food that disagreed with her or just that she didn't gain for a while, or what? We want to hear more detail, and whether she is all right now or not. You said she was better and I hope that by now she is gaining fast again.It was like water in a desert to get back and hear some real news about you. All I knew, until we got to Panama on our home journey, was that you had a baby girl. I didn't know how you were or what she weighed or any of the thousand other things I wanted to know. Then I got a little news in Panama and Cuba but not enough and when I got home I was absolutely hungry to hear. Wasn't it sudden, tho'! Three quarters of an hour—whew! I'm glad it wasnt a long siege like the first time but it must have been pretty awful while it lasted, darling. I iwsh I could have been there, sweetest sister. It nearly broke my heart to be away.
I don't think I've ever been happier in my life than when I got back and found my baby safe and well. It was the hardest thing I ever did in my life—to be so far away from her—I knew it would be awful but I didn't know how perfectly awful it would be! But I was so blessed by having her stay so marvellously well all the time. She is positively husky and so abosultely ravishingly dear—weighs twenty-four pounds and is getting her eleventh tooth. She doesn't seem to have any trouble with the teeth—even goes on gaining just the same. And she can say two words—when she feels like it—“pretty” and “bad”. I told Mrs Carter that she had said her first word the other day—and she immediately guessed that it was “pretty”! She says that girls always say that first and boys say “more”. Is that true of Francis? He must be a wonder now—walking and talking! Bless him—how sweet the two of them must be together. If I only lived a little nearer you! Darling, you must go to “Shadow Lawn” even if the family doesn't go until August, because we will be at Spring Lake, I think, and if I dont see you this summer when will I see you?I wish I could tell you about our trip—it was fascinating from beginning to end and I enjoyed it all—except the being so far away from Ellen. We saw so many new and thrilling and beautiful things and everyone was so overwhelmingly lovely to us that it was really wonderful. The only thing that wasn't a success was my Spanish—you should have heard me talking tho'—I was perfectly brazen about it!I am sending you a little something that I got for you—just a little wee gift so you will know that I have been away and are back again—And just as soon as I get straightened up here I want to get something for Miss Eleanor. What would she like most—a pillow? I will send one, I think, unless I hear “to the contrary” from you. But I know that you haven't much time to write—Kiss the two precious babies and give our best love to Frank and to your beloved self. I am wild to see you all. Good-bye and all my special love to you—


Original Format





McAdoo, Eleanor Wilson, 1889-1967, “Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre,” 1916 May 15, WWP17534, Jessie Wilson Sayre Correspondence, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.