An original C-SPAN feature series telling the stories of America’s 45 First Ladies through conversations with top experts, video tours of historic sites, and questions from C-SPAN’s audience.


Biography

Ellen Wilson

Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow once wrote to Ellen: “It would be hard to say in what part of my life and character you have not been a supreme and beneficent influence. You are all-powerful in my development.”

Born - May 15, 1860 in Savannah, Georgia

Parents - Samuel Edward Axson & Margaret Hoyt Axson

Married - June 24, 1885 to Woodrow Wilson

Children - Margaret Woodrow (1886 – 1944),
Jessie Woodrow (1887 – 1933),
Eleanor Randolph (1889 – 1967)

Education – Female Seminary in Rome, Georgia

Occupation – painter

Causes - Advocated for improving housing in African-American neighborhoods in Washington

Other Offices – First Lady of New Jersey 1911 – 1913

Died - August 6, 1914 in Washington, D.C.

Ellen Wilson died during her husband’s presidency. Their daughter, Margaret Woodrow Wilson, served as hostess until her father married Edith.

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Did You Know IconDid You Know...
  • Mrs. Wilson had an art studio with a skylight installed at the White House.
  • After Mrs. Wilson's death, a bill was passed to help improve housing in distressed areas of Washington, DC.

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