Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson


Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson


Wilson, Ellen Axson




1904 April 20


Ellen Axson Wilson writes Woodrow Wilson from Rome with news of her trip to Italy.


Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Papers, University of California, Santa Barbara


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924--Correspondence




My own darling,

     Your letter from New York has just arrived and it is a great comfort to hear again from the measles,—to know that Nellie was almost convalescent and that Margaret had not taken it. I am more sorry than I can say that dear little Nell had to miss the Ben Gree Co. I know it was a great disappointment, for the children were looking forward to that all winter. I was glad to hear of you, dearest, away from home; I am sure the change and the dinner were refreshing, after the sickness and responsibility at home.—But I am deeply concerned to find that you were looking for a letter at least five days before it was possible! You don’t know how it hurts me, darling, to think of your disappointment; and also that you may think it my fault. Of course we meant to mail a letter at Gibraltar but the Captain advised us not to, saying it would be slower in reaching you than if we sent it from Naples. We consulted the steward about it too and he was quite sure that such was the fact,—said the mail service from Naples was especially fast & good, and from Gibraltar wretchedly slow & uncertain. It was quite an disappointment to me not to send it from there, for I was counting on saving several days in that way. We are having a very pleasant & successful week;—have not finished up all the churches and smaller museums & galleries which have, each of them, from one to six or eight masterpieces, and now we have all the rest of our time mornings for revisiting the Vatican; the afternoons for the Forum &c. and “villas,”—that is for the gardens of the villas.
     We have been to sixteen 17 churches & nine ten galleries not counting our four mornings at the Vatican. It is the extraordinary way in which the art-treasures of Rome are scattered broadcast which makes the place so extremely difficult to see in a short time,—indeed impossible to see without an almost reckless expenditure in the matter of cabs. Fortunately they are rather cheap. There are several of us to share the expense and Mary Hoyt is a wonderful hand at making bargains with them! She is perfectly splendid,—better than a courier,—insists on doing all the disagreeable work in the most masterly manner, and leaves me without a care in the world.
     Was called away here,—and have since spent the afternoon at the Forum. Of course we saw it superficially before but now we have worked it all out. And who do you suppose acted as our very efficient guide? Jessie! She had studied it so thouroghly that she knew it all by heart and could lead us straight to everything and tell us all about it. The rest of us including Mrs. Walbridge & Marguerite followed her about like school-children. She was perfectly charming,—so eager & enthusiastic, so intelligent and, as always, so entirely without self-consciousness. But it is impossible to write coherently with four people talking & laughing about me & besides the afternoon has left me very tired so I will say “good-night,” dear heart. We both send devoted love to dear little Nellie and to all the rest. We are perfectly well & the weather is even better than before,—cooler— Only about 5 weeks now before I sail! With love, love love unspeakable.

Your devoted little wife,


Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924





Wilson, Ellen Axson, “Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson,” 1904 April 20, WWP19543, Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Collection at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.