Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson


Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson


Wilson, Ellen Axson




1904 April 15


Ellen Axson Wilson writes her husband, and tells of visiting the Vatican and observing a papal procession.


Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Papers, University of California, Santa Barbara


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924--Correspondence






next to the barrier so that there was no one between me & the procession. The pope was stopped for some time just beside me so that I had and opportunity to study his face—and very beautiful & noble one. I can’t say as much for the cardinals & bishops. The latter almost without exception looked like imbeciles & pigs! Some of the cardinals had rather interesting, keen, worldly-wise faces, and a stately bearing, reminding one of old Italian portraits,—and some of the young monks & priest had really ideal heads. The service,—Gregorian chants &c., was magnificent. The rest of the party had to stand & almost had the breath crushed out of them; yet they declare that they enjoyed it greatly! I felt ashamed to be faring so much better than the rest.

     That afternoon we took a general drive to get our first impression of the city. The next morning we spent with the Raphaels and in the afternoon we drove on the Appian Way, and went down into the catacomb of St. Calixtus. The drive was delightful and you can imagine how interesting. My taste in catacombs is very undeveloped—but it was fine to come out!

     Yesterday we spent the morning in the Sistine Chapel, and in the afternoon saw the Borghese collections and then drove about the Borghese park which is beautiful, and on the Pincian Hill, stopping atanother famous church on our way home.

     But I had best leave the diary style to Jessie who does it so much better. I read her last Sunday’s letter & was charmed! Don’t letter the children lose them.

     I have had no more letters as yet. I suppose they have gone to Paris. Two weeks now since we landed, so I hope my darling has got a letter. It is good to think that I will be sailing in six weeks now. Give my devoted love to all, and remember, dear love, that I am ever and always yours in every heart throb.


Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924





Wilson, Ellen Axson, “Ellen Axson Wilson to Woodrow Wilson,” 1904 April 15, WWP19542, Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Collection at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.