Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Woodrow Wilson


Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Woodrow Wilson


McAdoo, Eleanor Wilson, 1889-1967




1922 November 24


Eleanor Wilson McAdoo writes Woodrow Wilson with news of her family in California.


Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Papers, University of California, Santa Barbara


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924--Correspondence




Darling, darling Father,

     I am simply horrified because, to-day I have found the little note I wrote you, thanking you for my wonderful birthday present, lying all stamped and un-mailed under a pile of stuff on my desk! Isn't it just like me, tho! I am the most hopeless, trifling, incompetent idiot that ever lived. And it was so perfectly darling of you to send remember my birthday and to send me the wonderful check and then to have all these weeks go by and you with not even a word of thanks. I am so ashamed and disgusted. I'm bad enough about writing but when I do write and then forget to mail it - that's about the last word in hopelessness.
     You don't know how much Edith's dear little birthday note and your remembering the birthday and your dear generosity meant to me, darling precious Father. I was having a very gloomy birthday, with Mac away and numerous small servant and household troubles and then when the next day Edith's letter came I was so cheered up that I've stayed so ever since! Thank you with all my heart, darling. And will you thank dear Edith too, for me? I have bought the most gorgeous antique bed-spread - lovely old chintz - and a heavenly Checo-Slovak (heavens that spelted all wrong!) embroidered pillow with the money and my house is a dream now. Just the two things needed to complete it! So I am happy in knowing that the house is perfect because of you.
     We have had the movie taken at last and we think it's very good. They are putting the titles on now and the finishing touches and in about a week, I think, it will go on to you. It is to be the McAdoo family's Christmas present to the one we love best. The house doesn't look its' best because, unfortunately most of the leaves are off the vines on the house now and we didn't let them take the real garden part, where the flowers are because, at the moment, there aren't any flowers! I had to replant the whole thing a few weeks ago because I found that it was not an all year round garden as all California gardens ought to be. The people who planted it made a very stupid job of it.
     Please don't roar over your self-conscious daughter when you see the picture. I was so on the "q.t" trying to make the baby show up that I was fluttering about like an agitated old hen with her chicks. It's simply killing. We are delighted, tho, because we made the baby do one of her favorite stunts - an imitation of Ellen's dancing, which is so far from a good imitation that it's a scream. I'm sorry that you can't hear the accompaniment, loud shouts and roars, that she thinks is singing, with her mouth wide open. She is as graceful as an elephant and her singing is simply awful but she is very cunning and really very pretty too - of course her coloring is her chief asset so she doesn't look her best in the picture.
     I hope she will be able to use her will power and assertiveness in the world to make something out of herself because Ellen has all the graces apparently! She has decided now that she doesn't like her name and she stamps her foot and grits her teeth, when you call her Faith, and says, "No, no, no Mawy," in a loud roar. I'm afraid she'll lick us yet - and have to be plain Mary, after all. We saw your picture last night at the "movies," taken on Armistice day. Part of it was bully and you looked so well, darling, and so good-looking! And so did Edith. I was thrilled and shed salty tears of homesickness for you. The picture "brought down the house." It always does bring more applause than anybody elses ever. I have to ask you to do something for me - I hate to bother you, but this time, I can't refuse. There is a girl out here - a friend of mine and a dear named Mrs McFarland, who is such an admirer of yours that it amounts to veneration. She loves you and admires you so much that it is really a real happiness to talk with her. Recently she lost her little baby and is of course very unhappy about it. The other day her husband wrote to me and told me that he wanted to give her something this Christmas that would make her especially happy and that he knew that the one thing that would thrill her most would be a (of course you know whats coming!) a signed picture of you. He asked me if I would tell him if there was any way to get it and but not to do anything if it was going to be be too much of a bother for you. So I told him that I would write and ask you. Do you think you could send me one for her, Father dearest? And put her name on it, too - even tho' you don't know her? She is a dear friend of mine and would never do anything except keep it as one of her most precious possessions. Of course Mr McFarland wants to pay for it so, if you could tell me what it costs, I'll send you my check! He wanted to know if they could have one that you, yourself, liked. It would be so sweet of you to do this, and I would be very grateful, while they would be simply overjoyed. And while I'm asking - could I have one too?!! You know the only one I ever had of you that was signed for me was burned up in the fire in my little Philadelphia apartment and the only one we have now is a big one you gave Mac that hangs on the wall. And I want one of my very own - one that can be on the table in my drawing-room so that we who love you can have you right there with us. Im ashamed of my grasping nature but Im going right on - I have none of Edith - not one and she did promise me one ages ago. Don't frame these just send them to me plain so and I'll be your ever and ever so grateful daughter. (Nothing like asking, and asking and asking!) By the way the name is Macfarland - not McFarland)
     Im writing so fast that Im getting illegible, but Ive so much to tell you and so little time. I suppose Margaret Elliot has given you all the news there is to tell about us, so you won't want to hear it again. We are all well and still enjoying California immensely. Mac got back from his trip wore out but all right, in spite of the attempts of a few Republican sheets to kill him off - they scared me nearly out of my wits, incidentally! He was absolutely well and they made up the rumor about his being ill out of the whole cloth in their usual delightful and artistic way. Wasn't it great about the elections? We are feeling very much cheered about American intelligence, after all. If they could have beaten Henry Cabot I would have been much happier, tho'. They could have done it so easily, too, if the fool Democrats up there had had a little sense and gotten together. Your speech on Armistice day was wonderful, Father darling - we were simply delighted with it and so happy to know that you felt equal to it.         
     Mac and I may go east after Christmas - we will have to go sometime this winter and we think the sooner the better. It will be wonderful to see you and Edith and the others again - I miss you horribly all the time. Will you tell Edith that we think she is an angel to write us those bully little letters of hers. If she knew how welcome they are! She is such a dear about writing - I wish I were half so good at it. You will be exhausted by this bulky document - I shall try to write sooner and shorter next time. With dearest love to you both from all of us and a great big heart full of love thanks to you especially.

From your adoring daughter.


November24th 1922

Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924





McAdoo, Eleanor Wilson, 1889-1967, “Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Woodrow Wilson,” 1922 November 24, WWP19599, Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Collection at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.