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A Special Gift from Heaven

January 29, 2014

Cary T. Grayson had been William Howard Taft’s White House physician.  He and Taft’s successor became good friends during the first two years of the Wilson Administration.  When First Lady Ellen Wilson died from natural causes less than one week after the start of World War I, Dr. Grayson became concerned for the President.

In October 1914 Grayson introduced Washington widow Edith Bolling Galt to the President’s cousin who was serving as White House hostess.  In March 1915, when Mrs. Galt was visiting with her new friend, the President and Dr. Grayson arrived unexpectedly and joined the ladies for tea.  Within days Wilson invited Mrs. Galt to dinner.  During April they took long drives together.

On May 4, 1915 Wilson proposed marriage, but Mrs. Galt asked him to wait.  It had been only nine months since the First Lady’s passing.  She finally accepted his proposal that September.  They were married in a quiet ceremony on December 18.

Wilson wrote: “She seemed to come into our life here like a special gift from Heaven, and I have won a sweet companion who will soon make me forget  the intolerable loneliness and isolation of the weary months since this terrible war began.”

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