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Bermuda 1908

April 25, 2018

“My friends tell me that if I will enter the contest and can be nominated and elected Governor of New Jersey, I stand a very good chance of being the next President of the United States.  Shall I, or shall I not, accept the opportunity they offer?”  That’s what Woodrow Wilson asked Mary Peck in 1908.

For the second January in a row, Mrs. Wilson had chosen not to accompany her husband to Bermuda.  Upon arrival Wilson checked into the Hotel Hamilton, but he eventually spent a lot of time at Shoreby, Mary Peck’s island residence.  During these visits Mr. Wilson would speak constantly about his wife, and Mrs. Peck even offered a place on her mantelpiece to display a photo of Mrs. Wilson.  She also ensured other guests were present in the house during Wilson’s visits.

However, Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Peck did take long walks together.  Perhaps there were others who could see them at all times, perhaps not; but it is certain they were distant enough from Mrs. Peck’s house guests to have private conversations.  During one of these moments Wilson asked for advice as to whether he should seek a political career.

“Why not?” she advised.  “Statesmanship has been your natural bent, your real ambition all your life, and God knows, our country needs men like you in her national life.”

Two years later Woodrow Wilson was elected Governor of New Jersey, and two years after that he was elected President of the United States.



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