Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Margaret Woodrow Wilson


Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Margaret Woodrow Wilson


McAdoo, Eleanor Wilson, 1889-1967




1912 January 1


Eleanor Wilson McAdoo writes Margaret Wilson with news from her trip to Mexico.


Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Papers, University of California, Santa Barbara


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Wilson family


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum staff




Happy New Year

I've lost your address- I've so many - 
This will have to be forwarded

My darling Margie-

     You were such a dear to send me that lovely letter for Christmas and it came in such good time and I loved it so. Oh, precious Margie, how I do love you and how very, very sweet you are to me. I don't know how many times I read over my letters from home and your two have been such darling ones. I think, when you have been so busy that it was just wonderful of you to have written twice to your most undeserving little sister. No, your writing is better - I had trouble over only two words in the last one! So cheer up, old sweetie - the worst is not yet to come. Why, you shouldn't send me any thing Margie darlin' - when you and Jetty gave me my black slippers! Aren't you too sweet! It hasn't come yet because things are always frightfully delayed by the miserable custom house but it will arrive some time, Im sure.
     Oh, Margie, we are having such a wonderful time. I declare I think I'm the very luckiest person I ever heard of to have this trip. I am simply in love with Mexico - there is a perfect fascination about it that I don't think could ever wear off. They tell us, the women who have lived here a long time, that it does wear off, and they get very sick of it, but I think that that must be when they are homesick for they seem to be enjoying themselves a lot. I wouldn't live here of course, five days away from home! - but I certainly never was more fascinated by any other place I've ever seen. You feel as if you could never get tired of watching these mountains and the quaint little white and blue city nestling in among them - for it never looks the same. We are up on a kind of hill side with a view of it all. They were so sensible to choose this site instead of one down near the centre, like most of the other foreigners seemed to think they had to do.
     Mary certainly is the most adorable and entertaining little thing and Schuyler is "fine and dandy" and of course you know how I love to be with my Nell, so I am very happy - tho' of course I miss my darling family like fury. We four certainly do have jolly "cut-uppy" times and I feel as if I had known the Lawrences always. Isn't it nice when people are that way. That's one of the reasons why we have such fun down here - because every body is so informal -  sometimes just a little too informal! We had some mistle-toe hanging up at Xmas time but it was certainly a most dangerous proposition because of this same informality. I escaped unscathed but goodness I had a scare or two!
     The three dances we have been to have been more fun. The last one - the New Year's "Baille" was the most interesting of the lot because most every body there were Mexicans and it was heaps of fun watching them. We don't meet any of the Mexicans ourselves - I don't know why - but the American men are so nice to us and there are a lot of them so we have good times wherever we go. They - the Mexicans - are crazy about dancing the lances and have them, two or three times at every dance and they do it so gracefully and so solemnly and know it so well that it is dreadfully scarey doing it with any of them - I mean in the same square. I've managed not to disgrace myself completely but I'd much rather watch them do it from a distance. When it got to be twelve o'clock every body stopped dancing and champagne was passed around and they played the Mexican national anthem and then we drank healths and gave every body near us the Mexican salute. I can't describe it to you - but it is very amusing. You pat each other violently and at the same moment in the middle of the back and then shake hands - I'll have to show you. It was perfectly screaming to see every body in this huge crowd all patting and shaking and some of them kissing. That was certainly a most hectic night and morning. At about five a lot of us adjourned to the German consuls near by where we had "menuda." It is a most weird and uncanny concoction made of most everything you can think of, but chiefly red pepper, and its supposed to cure you if you've been having "too much." But I must say it didn't have that effect on everybody - some of the old German and Mexican were in a most happy state of mind. I felt as if I were seeing a moving picture show because it was all so amusing and every body except the people we were with were talking Spanish so we couldn't understand what they were saying and simply gazed in wide eyed wonder. It was about seven when we got home and we watched the sun rise on 1912 and then fell into bed - just about done up.
     I wish I could go on a long time and tell you the thousand things I have to tell but I am just scribbling this off double quick in the few moments I have and can only say what comes into my mind. My letters to you all are perfectly awful - they're such scribbles but I have had an awful time getting them written at all.
     About the fifteenth or fourteenth we go up to Madera and I am looking forward to it a lot. It will be very different from this - not all this gaiety and probably very few men but horse back riding practically every day! Aren't you jealous tho', old Margie dear. I wish you were here - you and Jetty! Oh, dont I tho'.
     Two of the nicest men - Mr Pringle and Mr Tucker, who are mining engineers have asked us to stop on our way up to Madera and spend a day or two at their camp - properly chaperoned of course, but we don't know by whom so we may not do it. I certainly hope we can!
     My, but it is all exciting;- they say we have missed the most exciting thing - the big round-up, but what with all these dances and a bullfight yesterday and all kinds of little suppers and so forth, I think were having our share. The men are dreadful flirts and so therefore nice to have fun with but they're not a bit dangerous when it comes to anything serious. They're far from serious. Ther'es a funny little Austrian who, among his other accomplishments paints (very badly, I think) and he is bothering me to death wanting to paint my portrait! Isn't it killing. He isnt going to, if there is anything I can do yet to prevent him! There's a man - about forty-five - and very western - who is rapidly losing his heart to Nell (maybe she won't even go back home.) and there's a most bewilderingly good-looking married man with whom we are both desperately in love - Those are the really "serious" things that are going on.
     I have got to stop this. I wrote a long letter to Mother and Father telling them most about what we've been doing and I've just written to Jetty telling about the bull-fight etc, so if you want to hear any more scribble from me you'll have to exchange letters. I wish you were all in the same place for I want to tell everybody everything. I suppose you are back in N.Y. now. I'm so glad you all had such a nice Christmas at home and I hope you got a good rest, darlin'. Don't over do and get all worn out.
     We had lots of fun at Christmas. Wasn't it funny I was at a party, just as you said in my little new dress -but I didn't have a red rose and I don't think it was necessary for anybody to say "Prends garde de toi." That dance tho' was the most fun of all.
     Good-bye my own sweetest sister, I love you with all my heart. If I don't write to you often you'll know it's because I haven't time, won't you?
     With heaps and heaps of love & kisses for my Margie.

Your devoted little sister,


Original Format



Wilson, Margaret Woodrow, 1886-1944





McAdoo, Eleanor Wilson, 1889-1967, “Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo to Margaret Woodrow Wilson,” 1912 January 1, WWP19571, Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Collection at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.