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Edith Wilson: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1915, Edith Wilson marries President Woodrow Wilson, becoming first lady during his first term as president. This guide provides access to material related to "Edith Wilson" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Edith Wilson before her wedding. December 18, 1915. Daily Capital Journal (Salem, OR), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Raised in a formerly prominent Southern aristocratic family, Edith Bolling moved to Washington, DC and married jeweler Norman Galt in 1896. A few years after her husband’s unexpected death, Edith Galt caught the attention of widower President Woodrow Wilson, who was grieving the loss of his first wife, Ellen. The two fell in love and became inseparable, marrying in 1915. As First Lady, Edith Wilson frequently traveled with her husband, and even ran the affairs of the Executive Branch after Woodrow Wilson fell ill in 1919. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1872 Edith Bolling is born in Wytheville, Virginia.
1896 Edith Bolling marries Norman Galt.
1908 Norman Galt dies, leaving Edith Bolling Galt to manage his jewelry store.
1915 Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt announce their engagement in October and are married in December.
1918 Edith Wilson travels with her husband throughout Europe.
1919 Woodrow Wilson has a stroke and Edith Wilson de facto controls the executive branch during his illness.