Edith Bolling Wilson to Woodrow Wilson




Edith Bolling Wilson tells Woodrow Wilson of her travels from Philadelphia to Princeton where she viewed a portrait of him that did not seem life like at all. She also tells a humor story about a telephone operater reading a message for her from the White House.


Edith Bolling Wilson Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, District of Columbia


pdf file




10–25 P.M.

Dearest One -

I do hope the day has not seemed very long - and that you got the telegram we sent from Philadelphia when you got back from golf - Helen sent you another from here- and we thought of calling you on the phone - but decided it was better not - though the man at the desk has just told us the White House called to know if we had arrived- and that has worried our blessed little chaperone lest her message seem long in reaching you - bless her heart! What do you suppose she brought and put on my dressing table? Your picture — such a lovely one that I have only to lift my eyes to find yours — and oh! it is such a comfort.

I have such a lot to tell you that I must hurry to get this in the mail so you will have it in the morning — I will begin with our start - We got off in five minutes after I phoned Mr. Hoover - and had a beautiful run over the most perfect roads. The only thing to mar the happiness was that you were not there to share it. - and we missed you so.We got to Phil. about 2 - and as White wanted gas for the car - we went to Wanamakers where we sent you the telegram - We started again at 2 30 and went through Trenton where we saw the State House - and thought of the many hours you had spent there — and caught a glimpse of your old colored messenger. — Then we went direct to Princeton, which I think is perfectly charming. Helen and I got out and walked through the grounds - and she told me so many interesting landmarks - Of course my chief interest was you - and where you had been - had lived - had worked -all of which this dear little guide anticipated and told me - all she knew -Then we went to see your portrait, which I think is perfectly awful!

If you looked like that I could not love you — but it serves to emphasize your splendid intellect and strength which is so lacking in the picture that it makes it a burlesque —Only the hands are good - not so much as replicas of yours - as that they express vigor and purpose and individuality - & we left Princeton, after having Tea at the 'Inn,' about 6 30 and had to make 2 detours before coming to Jersey City - but the roads all the way were fine and almost no dust.

The lights in the water reflected from the thousands in the city were exquisitely lovely as we neared the ferry - and we are not one bit tired - Mr. Jervis and White took such splendid care of us that we did not have to think for ourselves -All this is but a sketch of the day to tell you how completely I realize that these more than delightful things have all come to me through you and your dear love - Never for a moment can I forget your thought and tender solicitude - and be happy because of its eloquent assurance of your love.

This time last night we were together, but only Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - and we will be together again — and I will whisper all I want you to know. Helen and I laughed so at the way the telegraph operator read her writing in the message she sent from Philadelphia- It was - “The Pres. - The White House -” but he read it Wm President - The White Home — and could not read the last word at all - It was Love - poor man! perhaps he does not know the meaning of it - Now I must stop - Thank you for your blessed note of last night I am going to have a fine time directly reading it all over again - My tender love -

Always yours,


Original Format






Wilson, Edith Bolling Galt, 1872-1961, “Edith Bolling Wilson to Woodrow Wilson,” 1915 June 21, WWP14861, Edith Bolling Wilson Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.