Woodrow Wilson to Mary Allen Hulbert Peck


Woodrow Wilson to Mary Allen Hulbert Peck


Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924




1913 November 30


Woodrow Wilson writes to Mary Allen Hulbert about Jessie Wilson Sayre’s wedding.


Wilson Papers, Library of Congress, Library of Congress, Washington, District of Columbia


Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924--Correspondence


Dearest Friend,

Your letter from Boston has cnheered me. It showed you so much nearer your own normal spirits, with its enjoyment of the trip from Pittsfield and its thought of interesting plans of work and play in Boston (where, if anywhere in America, you should find the things your tastes and your vivid interest in people and what they are doing and thinking about most crave and are most nearly satisfied with, — you really belong on the other side of the water, preferably in Italy) and spoke in so sweet a tone, that it made me less anxious about you than I have been. I believe that the entire change of plan, the interesting place, and your constant contact with your son and his interests will do wonders for you; and that your freedom from the cares of housekeeping will enable you to recover your old phuysical elasticity again. All of which I am very deeply content to think and hope. For there is no concealing the fact that we have been really anxious about you. And, do you know, I have come to think that Trenton is the worst possible place for you. You always come away from your visits there, and your inevitable contact while there with that little circle in which malicious gossip is always rife, very downcast and morbid. Those particular people so like to be disagreeable and to smirch everything that is fine, and know so many things that are not so, that I do not see how any wholesome person could live long amongst them without losing his spirits and his generous thoughts about his fellow men. I have not Mrs. Roebling in mind, for she seems to me to be naturally a fine and generous creature, but the people she is surrounded by. I am glad their atmosphere cannot reach as far as Boston. It is poisonous.
You speak of three letters written from New York. You mean one, I suppose, written before you went down to Trenton, and two afterwards, one of the latter enclosed to Helen? If so, I received them all. I tried to answer them in my last, sent you just before the wedding. They are the text of my comment on Trenton and its influences.
The wedding went off beautifully. I do not know what you may have read about it in the papers, but the fact is, that it went off with a combination of dignity and simplicity which even I, who had to play a part and could not get the detached impressions of a looker on, could appreciate and rejoice in. The dear bride was a sweet as she could be. I saw her off yesterday (for I was in New York to see the army and navy game, — one of the bounden duties of the President), and she had spent Thanksgiving with us; so that I can testify that she is radiantly happy, dear thing, and starts her life journey as propitiously as even Ellen and I could wish. I need not tell you what effect it has had upon our spirits to part with her. But Ellen has acted with noble unselfishness in hiding her distress, and I have tried as beast I could to emulate her example. It is easier for me, of course, than for her. She lives in the home from which the dear one is now gone, for good and all, while I am in the office the greater part of the time and busy with a thousand things from which I cannot withdraw my attention. My very burdens are at such a juncture my blessings.
It must be said that they do not grow less, but greater, rather. Now the prospect is that I shall have no vacation at all, till summer at all events. The Senate has suddenly begun to show extraordinary diligence, at least the Democratic members, and has resolved to keep at work till the currency bill is passed, without a vacation for the usual Christmas holidays. I had been counting on those holidays to get my own first respite from the continuous strain. But I am far from complaining. I would a great deal rather have the legislation than the holiday. Holidays will come some time, and will be infinitely more enjoyable and more profitable if they come after things achieved than before them.
We missed you sadly at the wedding. Though we could have seen little of you in the rush and absorption of it all, it would have been a deep pleasure to have you at hand and part of it. And yet, knowing what was in your heart, about your own loneliness and bereavement ( a thing irreparable) it would have been too much to ask of you, and you would simply have had to force yourself to seem light–hearted.
All join me in affectionate messages. Keep to the mood rest and Boston have bred in you and we shall be happy.

Woodrow Wilson

Original Format



Hulbert, Mary Allen, 1862-1939





Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924, “Woodrow Wilson to Mary Allen Hulbert Peck,” 1913 November 30, WWP18198, First Year Wilson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.