Margaret Woodrow Wilson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Margaret Wilson
Wilson in 1912
Acting First Lady of the United States
In role
August 6, 1914 – December 18, 1915
PresidentWoodrow Wilson
Preceded byEllen Wilson
Succeeded byEdith Wilson
Personal details
Margaret Woodrow Wilson

(1886-04-16)April 16, 1886
Gainesville, Georgia, U.S.
DiedFebruary 12, 1944(1944-02-12) (aged 57)
Pondicherry, French India

Margaret Woodrow Wilson (April 16, 1886 – February 12, 1944) was the eldest child of President Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Louise Axson. Her two siblings were Jessie and Eleanor. After her mother's death in 1914, Margaret served her father as the White House social hostess,[1] the title later known as first lady. Her father remarried in 1915.


Margaret Woodrow Wilson was born in Gainesville, Georgia, on April 16, 1886. While Wilson's parents were living in the North where her father was teaching at the time of her birth, both of her parents strongly identified with the South. Consequently, Ellen Wilson did not want her children born as Yankees and arranged to stay with family in Gainesville for the births of her first two daughters. Margaret attended local schools, some of which were associated with the colleges where her father taught.

In his will, Wilson's father had bequeathed her an annuity of $2,500 annually (worth $44,447 today) as long as that amount did not exceed one-third of the annual income of his estate, and as long as she remained unmarried.[2] Wilson sang, and she made several recordings. In 1914, "My Laddie" was released on Columbia Records, #39195.[3]

In 1938 Margaret Wilson traveled to the ashram of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry, India, where she remained for the rest of her life. She became a member and devotee of the ashram and was given the new name Nistha, meaning "dedication" in Sanskrit. She and the scholar Joseph Campbell edited the English translation of the classical work on the Hindu mystic, Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna by Swami Nikhilananda, which was published in 1942, by Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, New York.[4]

Wilson died from uremia on February 12, 1944, at the age of 57, and was buried in Pondicherry, India, unmarried, and without issue.[5]

See also[edit]

  • The Subtle Body, a 2010 history of yoga in America with a chapter on Wilson


  1. ^ "First Lady - Ellen Wilson". C-SPAN. Ellen Wilson died during her husband's presidency. Their daughter, Margaret Woodrow Wilson, served as hostess until her father married Edith.
  2. ^ Wills of the U.S. Presidents, edited by Herbert R Collins and David B Weaver (New York: Communication Channels Inc., 1976) p. 176, ISBN 0-916164-01-2
  3. ^ "W. A. Thayer (composer) - Discography of American Historical Recordings". Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  4. ^ Nikhilananda, Swami (1942). "Preface". The Gospel of Ramakrishna. Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Math.
  5. ^ "Woodrow Wilson Daughter Dead". The Milwaukee Sentinel. February 14, 1944. p. 1. Archived from the original on October 23, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2014.

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by First Lady of the United States

Succeeded by