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

I do not think it would be a very serious matter to close the three flues you mention; we have had no occasion for a fire in them since the house was built. It would certainly be better to sacrifice those flues than to leave the chimneys permanently as they are with those hideous tin stove pipes,—if that is the only alternative. It would make no difference as regards the little yellow room for that chimney was not “cured” and will not draw as it is;— and the little night nursery is always well heated by the furnace. I am quite willing to decide it so. I suppose there is the alternative of some sort of terra cotta tops, and if you think it would be wiser to have them I will resign myself cheerfully, — though of course the brick chimneys are better to look at. Do you think with the reduced number that the stacks will have the desired tall slender effect on our smaller house? There is one comfort in the situation viz., that it will be much cheaper to build seven tops than ten. There is also one question that occurs to me, and we must be very sure of the answer before we proceed,— we must be very sure that the changes at the top do not alter the draughts in the flues and cause them to smoke again. Will it not make angles or other complications in the flues? Since Mr. Whitley is to come almost immediately to examine the “Prospect” chimneys, (has he been written to?) I would strongly advise questioning him on this point. He will not charge for his opinion. You remember closing those very flues was what he planned to do first. The trouble seems to be that from the first too many flues were crowded into each chimney. I should be very glad if the matter ended in our getting the flues themselves in a safer condition. I am always uneasy about them, lined as they are with so perishable a stuff as sheet iron,—that can't stand coal fires at all. Query,– can we forbid tenants to use coal fires? It is of course only a question of time before they burn out; and doesn't that mean constant danger to the house from fire?Since you insist, dearest love, there is nothing for me to do but to stay over till Monday, but oh how I hate it! More than ever since getting your letter today which reveals more plainly than the others that you are missing me. If you would only believe it I will have got all the good possible to me from the trip in the two weeks. I came to rest you know; how will it help me then if I grow restless to the point of nervousness? I am threatened with that already today & I don't see how I can prevent its being worse in another da week. Oh, how I long for my darling. — I am so sorry about Father's severe attack. Give him my love & sympathy. Dear love to the children. Agnes is talking to Annie and sometimes to me so I hardly know what I am writing. Excuse everything.

I love you, I love you, tenderly, passionately, devotedly.

Your little wife, Eileen

Original Format





Wilson, Ellen Axson, “Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson,” 1902 July 19, WWP14963, Ellen Axson Wilson Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.

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