Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson




Ellen Axson Wilson writes to her husband, Woodrow Wilson, during a trip with her daughters to Massachusetts.


Library of Congress


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum



Spatial Coverage

Clifton, MA


My own darling

This morning brought me a delightful budget of letters,—yours, dear little Jessies and Margarets, and I have been very happy over them. All is well here too. Annie is all right though the doctor is keeping her in bed another day. She is a pupil nurse, you know, here on her vacation, and was very tired,— a fact which was probably the true cause of the trouble yesterday. The doctor has no idea that the heart was permanently injured. Agnes was really prostrated longer than Annie,— was awake all night,— in spite of the fact that we did not let her know yesterday till the danger was over and Annie quite herself again. She was, very naturally, angry with us all for “taking the responsibility” of not calling her!

And to think that after all that excitement in the morning I should have seen two boys almost drown in the afternoon! Just after finishing my letter to you I went down on the great rock that juts far out below the bluff to watch the breakers. There was a thunder-storm on the way and the waves were much higher than they have been since we came, and were dashing grandly against the rock with spray as high as a house. All at once I heard a great shouting and saw a black-bearded man on the beach gesticulating wildly. I looked about and saw not far from me two boys struggling in the water in the heaviest part of the waves. They were trying to swim to land but the undertow was so strong that they could make no headway. The little one kept screaming “I can't get in, I can't get in”! While the older struggled doggedly. They were very near me,—and the rock,—but a quarter of a mile from the beach, and the father did not go in after them–being it seems already exhausted by a struggle with the waves himself. Suddenly the little one turned about and made straight for the rock: “Oh! I thought he will surely be dashed to pieces.” But fortunately it had a long sloping weatherworn side just there, and, to make a long story short first one and then the other got safely up on the rock, only a little bruised and cut. Mr. Tedcastle says I will be going around all the rest of the time with a whiskey bottle under one arm and a life preserver under the other. After yesterday's storm, today is finer than ever and the sea more “deeply, darkly, beautifully blue.” I seem to have never fully realized before what an exquisite colour blue is,— have even decided to keep my little boudoir blue! Dear heart, you put my staying longer in such a way that I shan't be able to say 'no' unless you will withdraw the request,— but oh! please do! I was counting the days until the 24th and will be so miserably disappointed if you keep me here longer. I thought you would not get off until the 28th and I do so want to have a few days with you before you leave. — Besides—to be practical — I ought to go to Phila. no later than that to see about wall-papers &c., and I wanted you to make one trip with me to look at them too, for I care more for your taste and judgment than for Mr. Holmes, — besides the obvious importance that you should have colours and patterns in the house that you will enjoy living with!

So won't you please be kind and say that it will be all right— “perfectly all right”,— for me to come home on the 24th? Tell darling little Jessie how very glad I was to get her letter and that I want “more,” like the little Oliver. Wither dear love to them all, and for my darling a heart full to overflowing from his own,


Original Format





Wilson, Ellen Axson, “Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson,” 1902 July 16, WWP14960, Ellen Axson Wilson Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.