Saturday, February 14, 2009

Diggin' in Mudd: Happy Valentine's Day

This week, Diggin’ in Mudd brings you some love from the Archives.

So, Valentine’s Day is about to wrap up, and I figured, what better way to finish the holiday, than by posting some love letters penned by none other than Princeton’s most favored son.

I’m not really what you’d call an expert on late 19th century love letters, so I can’t decide if this letter is normal, or indicative of the fact that Woodrow Wilson was maybe not nearly as charming and debonair as one might think.

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Vouchsafe? Really???

Nah! There’s no way a grad student-turned-professor-turned-University president who bored Clemenceau out of his skull at Paris wouldn’t be debonair and charming. I'm going to guess it's that old Southern etiquette that makes Woodrow Wilson's request for a date sound like the ever awkward thank-you note you send your interviewer? After all, what is courtship, if not one long interview?

Actually, to be fair to Woodrow, his letters get a lot better. But why take my word for it? Three more letters after the jump. Romantic? Antiquated? Silly? Geeky? Politically incorrect? You be the judge!

Letter 2
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Letter 3
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Letter 4
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There are literally boxes and boxes of Woodrow Wilson's letters to his first wide in Mudd. Though obviously time cooled his ardent passion, it's clear that his love for her endured. I had typed up more commentary, but then I deleted it--Woodrow's letters speak for themselves. Make of them what you will.


All images are courtesy of the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Any other use of these images requires written permission from the University Archives.

3 comments:

A_cC said...

Can someone type up a transcript?

Martha Vega said...

I didn't bother typing up a transcript because Woodrow's letters are so neatly legible (and long), but I'll work on having one up by next Friday.

Mendy Fisch said...

Good find. Woodrow Wilson was actually quite the romantic. You can find all of Woodrow Wilson's letters typed-up in Stokes Library or in Firestone - search for "The Papers of Woodrow Wilson," edited by Arthur Link. More scandalous are Wilson's letters to Mrs. Peck, his mistress.