Charles Catlett to Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo


Charles Catlett to Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo


Catlett, Charles




1931 May 29


Charles Catlett writes Eleanor Wilson McAdoo a letter to inform her of the establishment of the Wilson birthplace, and to ask for family photographs.


Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Papers, University of California, Santa Barbara


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Woodrow Wilson Birthplace




Dear Mrs. McAdoo

     The enclosed will not doubt interest you.

     I do not know whether you are familiar with your father's birthplace, but it is a well built brick building constructed in 1846.

     The contractor and builder was Mr. Fifer who was the father of the Fifer who was subsequently the Governor of Illinois. It has attractive lines and can be made very charming and, when properly restored, will be worthy in every way of the distinction which has come to it by being the birthplace of Mr. Wilson.

     The present Committee considers all of its work temporary in that it hopes and believes that within two years a National Organization will furnish ample funds for the complete restoration of the building and the setting it aside in perpetuity as a memorial to Mr. Wilson.

     Nevertheless, what we do is having in mind what will probably be the broader plans of a National Association, and I write to bespeak your interest, your advice and co-operation.

     The local Garden Club is taking charge of the temporary development of the very attractive yard and garden. I think you would be pleased to see it.

     We are seeking to collect what we can in the way of things connected with Mr. Wilson and particularly of the period at the time of his birth.

     We have naturally felt that anything in connection with his mother and father would be especially appropriate for this purpose and we would like to get photographs of his mother and father and of his grand-mother and grand-father if they are available. Also copies of photographs of him as a child, if they are available.
     Feeling that of all others the persons most interested in his birth were his father and mother, the City of Staunton presented to Mr. Wilson, when he came here after his election, miniature portraits of his father and mother. These were presented to him in the room in which he was born and were made from pictures of his father and mother which were furnished us by the Library of Congress, and of course we had no way of telling whether or not they were good likenesses. But we felt that for sentimental reasons these pictures were an appropriate gift to him at that time and in that spot.

     We of course would like to get photographs of your mother and also of all the other members of Mr. Wilsons family.

     You may be assured that the whole matter is being approached in a dignified way and in an attitude of respect towards our great War President.

     Any advice or assistance which you can render us will be most gratefully appreciated.

     I am sending a duplicate of this letter to Mrs. Sayre and Miss Margaret Wilson.

Very truly yours,

Charles Catlett


Original Format



McAdoo, Eleanor Wilson, 1889-1967




Catlett, Charles, “Charles Catlett to Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo,” 1931 May 29, WWP19634, Eleanor Wilson McAdoo Collection at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.