A 2013 - 2014 original C-SPAN feature series telling the stories of America's First Ladies - from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama -
through conversations with top experts, video tours of historic sites, and questions from C-SPAN's audience.

America's First Ladies — from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama
Ellen Wilson
First Lady: 1913 - 1921
Click the list to watch videos
  • Ellen and Edith Wilson program
  • Call-in program on Ellen and Edith
  • Book Discussion on Ellen and Edith: Woodrow Wilson's First Ladies
  • Design of Prospect Garden and White House Rose Garden
  • Prospect House at Princeton University - Political Partnership
  • Love Letters
  • The Woodrow Wilson House - Ellen's Paintings
  • As First Lady
  • As an Artist
  • Paintings and Death
  • Her Paintings
  • Woodrow Wilson's First Wife
  • Ellen and Edith Wilson
  • A brief Introduction to Ellen and Edith Wilson
  • Tour of the White House Gardens and Grounds


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

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

Click here to see full bio of Ellen Wilson

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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