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American Women: Resources from the Manuscript Collections

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson & the Wilson Family

Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt Wilson riding to second inauguration in backseat of a convertible. March 4, 1917. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson (1872-1961), the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, is represented by a large collection (19,000 items; 1833-1961), most of which dates after her husband's death in 1924. Drafts of Edith's memoirs are noteworthy, as is her correspondence with political leaders, including other twentieth-century first ladies and feminist Carrie Chapman Catt. An additional ten thousand items relating to Edith may be found in her husband's papers, including documents from her White House years. The Woodrow Wilson Papers (278,700 items; 1786-1957) are also a rich source of information about Ellen Axson Wilson (1860-1914), the president's first wife who died after only seventeen months in the White House. Besides materials relating to his wives, Wilson's papers are rich in documents concerning the women's suffrage campaign and passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, protective labor legislation, Progressive reform, and women's involvement in World War I and the pacifist movement.

The papers of journalist and Woodrow Wilson biographer Ray Stannard Baker (30,000 items; 1836-1947; bulk 1907-44) contain transcripts of letters Wilson wrote to his first wife and copies and originals of the president's correspondence with Jane Addams, Mabel T. Boardman, Carrie Chapman Catt, Ida M. Tarbell, and others. Additional Wilson family materials may be found in the papers of Senator William Gibbs McAdoo (250,000 items; 1786-1941), who married the president's daughter Eleanor Wilson McAdoo (1889-1967), and in a small collection of Wilson-McAdoo Family papers (1,093 items; 1860-1966; bulk 1912-43), which consists chiefly of the papers of Margaret Woodrow Wilson (1886-1944) and Eleanor Wilson McAdoo. These papers include information on Margaret's brief singing career, her promotion of schools as community centers, and her experiences in India as a follower of Hindu mystic Sri Aurobindo Ghose.

Manuscript Resources Referenced

The following collection titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including finding aids for the collections, are included when available.