Woodrow Wilson to Mrs. Louis Meyer




Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library





My dear Mrs. Meyer:

Your letter of June thirteenth has warmed my heart. Your feeling about your sons is the feeling which I should think every mother in whom the true spirit of motherhood and of Americanism dwells would have, and I like to believe that it is true that the country is full of mothers of the same heroic and self-sacrificing sort. It quickens my pulse and strengthens my belief in the splendid capacity of this country to meet every crisis of this sort to receive such a message as you have been gracious and kind enough to send me, and I shall treasure it in my heart as a typical expression of devoted American womanhood.

Cordially and sincerely yours,


Mrs. Louis Meyer,
RFD #2
Wheeling, West Virginia.



To the President of the United States.

Dear Sir:

Perhaps you will think me presumptuous to write a letter to you, but we are all one thing, - -loyal Americans. I simply wish to let you know what one West Virginia woman has done for our country. I have sent two stalwart, strong, healthy boys to the front. Perhaps you have already met them. They are Fred and Louis Meyer, now in Washington, DC, in Co . D, 6th Regiment, American (something). They enlisted ten days ago at Columbus, Ohio, as truck drivers and are to be put in the Ambulance Corps. They were at home to bid us good-bye before joining. While it hurt me very much to bid them good-bye, as I may never see them again, yet I know that our country needs them and I must not mind a few more pangs, must I? They have both written a lot of letters and cards and sent me their pictures in uniform, of which I am justly proud. I enclose one to you of the brothers standing side by side to show you a type of West Virginia manhood. The stout one is Fred, 27 years old, weight 245 pounds, height 5 feet 11 in. The tall one is Louis, 21 years old, weight 155 pounds, height 6 ft. 1.5 in. All I ask is that you return the picture after you are done with it, as I may never get another one.

Mr. Wilson, it makes me angry to hear some women talk. They say, "Oh, Mrs. Meyer, how can you stand it to see your big strong boys go away. It would kill me if mine would have to go," and so forth . I tell them that my boys are not cowards, that they volunteered as my father and brother did in the 6o's, and that if such boys as mine did not go, who would go! The cripples, lame, or blind! Mine are perfect in health and mind, being clean, pure country boys. I have still another son who would enlist if I would give my consent. He is but 15.5 years old, but tall and strong. But his father is growing old and we need him to work the farm of 100 acres. If the war does not end soon, and he is needed badly, I must let him go, but just now I think I have done my share, don't you? We preach patriotism to our children at home and in the schools, and then when the country needs them, let them hide behind our backs (not I) and ask them to be exempted, as one of my neighbors did whose son was working away from home, but came home to help pop on the farm and fired the hired man to make room for the son, a large husky boy of 21, like my tall one. If you have the time, Mr. Wilson, and want to see a healthy man, go to Co. D, 6th Regiment, just arrived from Columbus, Ohio, and ask for the Brothers Fred and Louis Meyer, (Ambulance Corps). And don't forget, please, to return my treasures (the picture) and oblige.

And now one word more. I highly approve of what you have done, namely, sending troops over the water to put down the rebellion and stop this war business, this slaughter of the innocents. I took my sons in my arms, asked God to bless them, told them to be true to their country and not forget their mother.

Mrs. Louis Meyer,
Wheeling, W. Va.
RFD #2.

Original Format





Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924, “Woodrow Wilson to Mrs. Louis Meyer,” 1917 June 16, WWP20623, Woodrow Wilson Press Statements, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.