Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre to Alice Appenzeller


Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre to Alice Appenzeller


Sayre, Jessie Woodrow Wilson, 1887-1933




1912 December 10


Jessie wishes her friend Alice a Merry Christmas and brings her up to date on the family happenings, including the Wilson family’s vacation and the swarm of journalists surrounding them after the election. She also writes about her work with the YWCA and shares news about their mutual friends.


Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University




Dear Alice,

Your letters are an inspiration! Don't ever dare to cut them short for fear that I haven't time to read them or for any reason at all. I love them and always regret it when I come to the last page.
How I envy Martha Cecil Wilson. It seems even definitely impossible for me ever to go. I am going henceforth to possess my soul in peace and see what God wants me to do definitely and permanently in this country. The Y.W.C.A. grows more and more interesting as I get deeper into it. Going to Germantown was great fun but I must admit that I made rather a mess of it, for it was so soon after Election Day that my brain was awhirl. The children however were dear and it was good to see so many of those who were at Eaglesmere. By the way I am looking to to to Eaglesmere again in the same exalted capacity—at least Miss Brooks has asked me to go and unless some unforseen event occurs at Washington I certainly shall. Shall I see you there? Oh, I hope so and won't we have wonderful midnight talks thenus. Isn't God good to us, Alice? He throws us together in the most unexpected waysDear me, the reporters have come to interview Mother—Father being away for dinner at the officers' mess and hence all the mistakes I am making. We have just had a flare up with them because of the absurd, annoying, story they have printed about Nell and a Princeton sophomore for which there was no basis at all. The reporters followed us down with six wives and three children; also a stenographer and his wife and a secret-service man. Imagine it, when we wanted a vacation.
Well, since I have made this long digression I might as well tell you about our vacation next. Not that there is much to tell for we are doing the typical summer things, swimming, sailing, picnicing etc. with an occasional dinner or dance and innumerable teas. Chiefly we drive, with Father as our guide, all through these beautiful winding roads with heavenly glimpses of blue grottoes and bays and curious islands. You can imagine what fun it is to have Father all to ourselves for hours at a time. It seems almost too good to be true.
On Saturday, alas, we go back into the whirl and confusion. We are learning better than ever how to take each day as it comes and live it as best we can trusting the next to God, only every now and then rising on tip toe to get a vision of what is before us as a whole so that we may not in the crowd of little things lose our sense of proportion.
I heard from Katharine Scranton last week. She is very happy with her husband. They go back to work in March to Japan. Augusta's husband has been sent into the interior where women and children are not allowed, but only temporarily, and Augusta is using the opportunity for rest and study in Europe. Max will marry in March after Katharine has gone to Japan. She did not mention her father. Surely that story about him can not be quite true. A touch of mysticism is often construed by the very enthusiastic into heresy and backsliding, don't you think so? I want to have that confirmed before I can bear to believe it.
This must be a Christmas letter too, for time will cease for us when we see the sky scrapers again. I cannot express to you what these days of comparative quiet are meaning for us, time to think and time to talk to our dear friends every where. So, my dear, if somewhat early, never-the-less these wishes for a Merrie Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year will grow stronger every day you keep them stored away in your heart.
Remember me to all your family.

Ever lovingly your friend

Original Format



Alice R. Appenzeller



Sayre, Jessie Woodrow Wilson, 1887-1933, “Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre to Alice Appenzeller,” 1912 December 10, WWP17461, Jessie Wilson Sayre Correspondence, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.