Photocopies of letters from Wilson to Edith Gittings Reid and her husband.
DONOR: Edith Bolling Wilson
Photocopies of 39 letters are arranged chronologically in individual folders.
Biography or History
Wilson met Edith Gittings Reid's husband, Henry Fielding Reid, while in graduate study at Johns Hopkins University. The friendship between Wilson and Mrs. Reid began during one of Wilson's visits to Baltimore while giving a series of lectures at Johns Hopkins, and was cemented by an extensive correspondence and lasting bond between their families. Reid published several books near and after Wilson's death, including Florence Nightingale: A Drama and biographies of Sir William Osler, William Sydney Thayer, and her friend, Woodrow Wilson.
Scope and Content
Woodrow Wilson's correspondence with Edith Gittings Reid in this collection consists of 38 letters to her and one to her husband beginning February 22, 1896. His last note was written in July, 1923, the summer before his death. The letters are arranged chronologically and are concerned with literary matters as well ass social and family affairs. There is little of a political nature, except around the time of the 1912 presidential election and Wilson's early presidency, and the tone of the letters is highly personal. The salutation is often "My dear Friend," "My dear, dear Friend," "My dearest Friend." The signature may be "Faithfully and sincerely your friend," "Your devoted friend," "Your affectionate friend." The first 22 letters, February 1896 to May 1912, were handwritten. There is a series of 14 typed but autographed letters from 1912 to 1918, all but one written from the White House. The last two, one October 16, 1921 and one handwritten in July, 1923, were written from his "S" Street home. A note from Mrs. Reid identifies the approximate date of the 1923 letter and confirms that it was the last note written to her from Wilson. Although this correspondence has appeared in published form, researchers may be interested in seeing the facsimile documents and following the continuity of a long-time friendship.
Emma Diduch, “Edith Gittings Reid Collection Finding Aid,” 1896-1923, FA000086, Edith Gittings Reid Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.