The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 321
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acters remain unsung in biography, and their names and careers
appear only on the pages of national and state histories; other
historical figures merit one biographical study, and when that
has been done reasonably well, the task is regarded as completed
and attracts no other biographer; but some historical person-
ages have become the subject of several biographies.
To this third group Thomas Woodrow Wilson belongs. Each
of his biographers viewed him from a different angle, "por-
trayed," as the author says, "the special facet with which he
himself happened to be familiar." Margaret Axson Elliott knew
"the facets which Woodrow Wilson showed chiefly to the 'in-
laws,' the sizable group that at one time formed so large a part
of Woodrow's and Ellen's lives." A distinguished author, one
of Wilson's biographers, suggested to Margaret Axson Elliott,
Woodrow Wilson's sister-in-law, that she write a biography of
Wilson "from the point of view of the in-laws." She accepted
the task and wrote the very fascinating and worth-while book
which is here briefly reviewed.
The book is more than a biography of Woodrow Wilson. It
is also a biography of the author's aunt, Louisa Hoyt Wade,
her mother's sister, who had married the widower Warren
Wade, a Baptist who built the first shoe factory in Illyria and
thus, in part, brought the industrial age to the South. Illyria,
by the way, is an imaginary town which the jacket describes
as "a composite of several small Southern towns slowly reviv-
ing after the war." In colonial times it had sprung up and
then it had grown and grown-slowly-to be sure; and in the
Civil War Sherman had burned its "five old pre-war houses,"
and then the owners had replaced them "by mid-Victorian
atrocities." The author lived with her Aunt Louisa until she
was thirteen years old, learned the catechism, and saw life
with a Southern background.
The larger portion of the book deals with Woodrow Wilson
as the author saw him in Princeton, as professor in the Library
Place house and as president in "Prospect," Wilson's second
home in Princeton. It also speaks of Woodrow Wilson's cam-
paign for and service as governor of New Jersey. The last
part of thirty-six pages contains an "in-laws" story of Woodrow
Wilson in the White House.
Very interesting in the word pictures of this very readable
book is the account of Woodrow Wilson's effort "to transform
the exclusive upper-class clubs (of Princeton) into integral
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/354/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.