Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson




Ellen Axson Wilson writes to her husband, Woodrow Wilson, while he is away from home.


Library of Congress


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum



Spatial Coverage

Princeton, NJ


My own darling

I was distressed to know from your letter yesterday that you did not find a letter from me in Chicago, but I still hope it reached you before you left that night. It ought to do so for I wrote the day after you left,–Tuesday night,– could not write earlier in the day, you know, because I was in Phila. — However the poor little note brought you small comfort when it did reach you, so it is all one! Things were not going well then. The only trouble now is that I don't know how they are going, but my incorrigible optimism is doing me good service and I feel very hopeful. I was disappointed of course at not hearing from Stockton last night, but still it was natural he should not write the very day he left. I am rested and “perfectly all right” again myself, – have had quite a pleasant day. Mrs. Hibben came to see me after church, (Mr. Hibben is away, you know) then in the afternoon I went to see her and we went together to see the Ricketts, where we made a long and very pleasant visit.

It certainly was too bad that you missed Jessie again; you will have to write or telephone hereafter. I am more happy than I can say to hear that you are feeling so well and fresh;–dear one! indeed I am glad when all goes well with you; nothing in the world can make me so glad as that! You are the very life of me. Everyone I meet tells me they think you are looking so well again now, – so much better and less tired than you did a few weeks ago and their remarks are cheering me up inexpressibly; and now I am beginning to hope that this trip may on the whole be more pleasant than fatiguing.

Dr. Stephenson gave us on the whole a very good sermon today,— one part of it we did not like much. He is not remarkable at all,–very far from being such a preacher as Dr. Purves. Oh, I forgot to mention that I sent him to the Inn after all because you know, I expected to be in Va. over Sunday. Mrs. Purves invited him to her house but he preferred the Inn.

I told Miss Ricketts in confidence yesterday, about the classical department having wanted George so long and of our various phases of feeling in the matter.— Of course I did not speak of the matter in detail,– of the possible vacancy this year, &c. — She was much excited about it and I must say she I was greatly impressed by what she said, and feel as if I did not want you too let George come after all. She said she could not bear for people to have any such opportunity to question your motives however unjustly. She said she knew better than we could how people feel about you now, – their enthusiasm, their reverence for your “almost romantic disinterestness”,— even people that were of quite an opposite character themselves. Of course a reputation like that is a great power for good and should not be risked except at a very obvious call of duty; it is very different from mere popularity.– Can't something more be done to find that boy a place elsewhere? Do let us try Fiske, or whichever is the best agency. It would certainly do no harm. Perhaps if you saw Harper or Shorey you could get him a little berth, just to begin with, at Chicago.

You see I do not need to confess, dear, that my mind has changed completely on this matter. I even feel thankful for having told Miss Ricketts about it,— as if it might be the means of escaping a pit-fall. Of course I knew all this before but I seem to have got a different perspective,— to feel that you were to have been in a sense sacrificed to George.

A letter from Sister A. says her Fla. friend was to be in Charleston to talk over with her the Fla land deal.–They were both well. No other news. We are all quite well and all love you. As for your little wife she loves you, dearest, simply to distraction.

Your own Eileen

Original Format





Wilson, Ellen Axson, “Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson,” 1903 April 26, WWP14996, Ellen Axson Wilson Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.

Transcribe This Item

  1. http://resources.presidentwilson.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/WWP14996.pdf