Edith Bolling Wilson to Woodrow Wilson




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


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Midnight -Sept 21-&22-/1915

Dearest One -

Did you ever know a more inconsistent bundle of complexities than I? It is just an hour since I left you - and my heart is aching to come back and do away with all the pain I caused - Oh! Sweetheart I was too much of a coward to tell you the cause of my unhappiness because I could not bear to see the pain it would bring to your loved eyes - but I think it is better to tell you that it is the awful Earthquake of Saturday night that has caused doubt of the certainty of anything -I don't mean doubt of you (nothing is further from my thoughts) but doubt of the permanent fixedness of happiness -I have been so blindly happy these past weeks since I came home — and found you — that I have not felt one of the old misgivings— but just the exquisite luxury of loving and being loved - When - in the midst of this radiance - fell like a rocket from the unseen hand of an enemy the blow from which I am still staggeringIt seemed to shut out the sun for a little space - and then the shadow lifted - Love was still on the throne - but pale and bleeding trying to smile through his tears - and say the blow did not really hurt.

It hurts so that I am ashamed to confess it even to you - and the only ease it finds is in pretending it does not hurt. Of course it shows how blindly I loved you - that I thought nothing could ever have touched you of the clay of which I am made-Just as you said tonight of the proud joy one feels in just the association with and appreciationng of beautiful things — so I felt about you - that you were so fine that I could breath better in your atmosphere - that the very air was charged with purity and that this heart of gold had been given into my keeping — It is, I know, far better that I should have been awakened from this dream of, almost, idoletry and made to look at the unreality of such a possible finite being - But it takes time to readjust such things and Love can do any miracle. So we will trust Love to lead us - and help me to a new and stronger knowledge of all the greatness and sweetness of your heart - and make me forget the superman I liked to believe my love created in the vital, tender, normal man in my precious Woodrow —I mean this as a confession of faith in you Dearest — faith that your love is all and more than I could ever create - but that I had thought the human tenement was as perfect as your love for me- and now I know the truer proportion of things -When I get this fixed in my heart - as it already is fixed in my mind there will be no more “torture” for either of us - and the ocean of our love will be untroubled in its depths - Help me as only you can - and I will not turn away - or sit idle - But will walk in the light- and know at last my City of Dreams is founded upon the rock.Good night — and may the day dawn on us with no shadow between — I love you — and I want you to bring me back out of the shadow into the light of fearless certainty -

Always your own,


Original Format






Wilson, Edith Bolling Galt, 1872-1961, “Edith Bolling Wilson to Woodrow Wilson,” 1915 September 21, WWP14908, Edith Bolling Wilson Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.