Wilson, Edith B.

1956 ALS from the former First Lady to the widow of former VP Alben Barkley, lovely letter of sympathy on his death

Price: $225.00

Description:
(1872-1961) 2nd wife of Woodrow Wilson (m. 1915), First Lady 1915-21. She has been labeled "the Secret President" and "the first woman to run the government" for the role she played when her husband suffered prolonged and disabling illness after his October 1919 stroke. She took over many routine duties and details of government, carefully screened all matters of state and decided which were important enough to bring to the bedridden president. During WW I, Mrs. Wilson observed gasless Sundays, meatless Mondays, and wheatless Wednesdays to set an example for the federal rationing effort. Similarly, she set sheep to graze on the White House lawn rather than waste manpower in mowing it and auctioned off their wool to benefit the American Red Cross. When FDR went to Congress to declare war on Japan, he was accompanied by Mrs. Wilson to draw a symbolic link with the April 1917 declaration of war. In 1961, she attended the inaugural of President Kennedy. She died Dec. 28, 1961, Wilson's 105th birthday, the day she was to have been guest of honor at the dedication of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge across the Potomac River between Maryland & Virginia. ALS, 1½ pp, 1st and 3rd pages of her folded 8 x 5 “2340 S Street, N.W./Washington, D.C.” letterhead, May 18 1956, to Mrs. Alben Barkley. She states, in part: “My heart has gone out to you in deep and understanding sympathy but I feel you know that. So I waited to write to you…I hope you will stay on in Washington for we all love you. Should there be any way I can be of help you have but to call me and I will consider it a privilege to respond. Don’t try to answer this for I know you are overwhelmed. Always your friend, Edith Bolling Wilson.” Senator Barkley died April 30, 1956. His 1st wife died in 1947. At a party thrown by Clark Clifford on the White House yacht on July 8, 1949, he met Jane (Rucker) Hadley (1911-1964), a St. Louis widow half his age, a guest of the Cliffords. On Nov. 18, 1949, they married, and Barkley remains the only VP to marry while in office.

Condition: Very good, 2 small water spots (tears?) on first page
Type:Letter






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