Edith Wilson - Or should we call her "Presidentress Wilson"?

Born in 1872, Edith was raised in a pretty bougie lifestyle in Virginia and delighted in her southern heritage. While she was never formally educated unlike her sisters (it was said that her penmanship was *gasp* nearly illegible), she received a more functional education from her grandmother. Granny taught her to think critically and swiftly, and to hold fast to her strong opinions. (We don't want to give anything away...but that is a skill you'll see her use later in life.) Let's fast forward to the interesting bit about how Edith ran the country. 

After her first husband died, she serendipitously met President Woodrow Wilson - and he caught major feels for her, fast. They were married mere months later, and Edith was the first incumbent first lady to travel to Europe. 

Sadly, the president fell ill and suffered a paralyzing stroke that left him bedridden. Now this is the part you'll want to pay attention to. Edith and the president's physician kept the severity of Woodrow Wilson's illness hush hush and allowed no one but the two of them see him. What does that mean?

Well, it meant that the First Lady would decode intelligence for him and would serve as his proxy for all matters national and international. Historians believe Edith when she insists she didn't make decisions completely on her own, but she did explain that she would only give the president information she deemed important. The stewardship lasted for 18 months until the President's second term ended. 

The nation is torn over Edith Wilson's actions - some feel that she should have handed responsibility of the nation over to the elected Vice President when her husband was no longer able to serve, and yet some feel that she is one empowered little lady who took on an incredible challenge, doing what she thought was best for the country and her family. 

Fun Fact: Edith is a direct descendant of Mataoka, better known as Pocahontas. 

 

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