Newspaper Page Text
FROM COLL[61 CHAIR TO THE PRESIDENCY
Woodrow Wilson's Rapid Rise the
Result of Years of Preparation.
Orignal Wilson Men.
Ivy JAMES A. EDGERTON.
WE hake elected all sorts and
c' olitions of men president
of the United States, quite a
tinuiber of gunerals, colonels
and rn:Cajrs, a whoje batch of lawyers,
sortie <ieortiats and ocasionally a
st; c-!ii.Ai. Now. for the first time, we
have choein a c egae professor. We
are -Wtt :tg a ijt ica economist at
work auppl inig his political economy.
The word economy in this case does
not mean savring Imoney. We have got
out of the habit of saving money
iII this bil'ion doll ar roountry. Vailous
men have tried to reform our free
handed method of dissipating national
fund,. but the results have not been
We are tmnd of sty ing that our pres
ldency is the greate-t othl-e or. earth.
The boast itay be a bit provincial, but
It is patriotic and may be excused for
that reason. Anyway. It : a man's
job and carries with it tremendous
power. likewise ;n amoiiunt of respon
billity, worry, ha rmd ha king, traveling,
banqueting, syve rhmaking, message
writing. conferiring and standing off
ottice seekers that is more than tremen
Woodrow Wil-on will be the twenty
seventh president. I know some peo
ple say the twenty-eighth. but to do so
they must ( out Grover Cleveland
twice. Now. Grover Cleveland was a
great mitan, but he was not that nu
merous. IBy tho way. Mr. Wilson's
home before being president is next
door to that of Mr. Cleveland after be
Ing president. Cleveland was born in
New Jersey and died in New Jersey,
while Wilson lives in New Jersey. An
other point of resemblance is that each
amputated his front name. But for
this they would have gone thundering
down the ages as Stephen G. Cleveland
and Thomas W. Wilson. Still another
similarity is that one was and the
other is a iDemocrat. the only two
Democrats to be elected president since
Pbot @ by Pah ro
XR&W~lON ND ISSXAXAIR WISON _
the civil war-at least, the only ones
to get the goods. There was Samuel
J. Tilden- But that is another story
Was Called "Tommy."
Mr. Wilson was born at Staunton,
Va., during Christmas week, 1858
Several other presidents were born in
Virginia, but they are all dead. It
used to be fashionable for a president
to be born in Virginia, and now it is
coming back In style. In his young
years the future president was called
"Tommy." Maybe that is the reason
be used the as on bla name. It s
bard to lmagine anybody liking to be
called "Tommy." Yet the president
elect was called "Woody" during his
campaign and said be lketd that.
There Is no accounting for taste, pe
daily after one gets Into polithes.
We take a lot of fuerties with oar
presidents and presidential candiates.
;bui that only shows we have adopted
them into the tafll. We newe take
WOODROW WILSON AT THrR-rIVa.
privileges with rank outsiders. When
we call them "Bill" and "Teddy" and
"Ben" and "Jim" and "Old Grant" I
and "hontest Abe" It is only because
we love them and want to make them
feel at howe. Mr. Taft has testified
that being president is terribly lone
same. which we can readily under
stand since the election. So if we
grow familiar, caricature our chief
magistrates in the newspapers, abuse
them by the column, say they ought to
be raising chickens and other like
pleasantries it is only to keep them
from feeling lonesome.
The next president's father was a
Presbyterian minister, and his grand
father, James Wilson, was an editor
and something of a politician in Phila
delphia and Steubenville, O. He came
from Ireland. Maybe that is the rea
son his grandson likes limericks. On
the maternal side Air. Wilson is de
scended from Presbyterian divines
also. The Woodrows are Scotch. That
Scotcb-'rlsb combinatiou Is a hard one
to beat. if you doubt it ask Presi
dent Taft and the colonel. Many of
our statesmen have been Scotcb-Irish,
William McKinley among the number.
Others have just been Irish. New Jer
sey was largely settled by Scotch-Irish
In an early day. which may be one rea
son that the state took so enthusiastle
* part to making Woodrow 'Wilon
Becomes a Georgian.
When the future Democratic leader
was two years old his father, Dr. Jo
msph Ruggles Wilson, bad a call to
Augusta, Ga., where the family re
malned till after the war. Of that great
-tragle the ey remeabered bltt
Augusta was not to the arena of aetnal
8lbtit. About the oºly two events
be recalls disttly ceeaudred the be
glsaia ad and e t the cemflet. O(e
fay be elsr twoa Is t#oct t his
bster- -46 ill poluts on
Schoolmaster Who Laid Aside
His Cap and Gown For Na
tion's Highest Honor.
of them said that Lincoln had been
elected and there would be war. The
other Incident conwerned the arrest of
Jefferson Du vis. who passed through
Augusta on his way to prison.
At Augusta the boy destined to beat
William Howard Taft and Theodore
Itooseveit bad his tirst sibooling. He
was not a buy (prodigy who began talk
ing about political economy as soon as
through wearing dresses. Nothing of
the sort. Onu the contrary, be did not
begin school till be was a good chunk
of a lad, his father not believing In
teaching the young idea bow to shoot
too early. When he did enter school
be was just an average scholar. He
read a great deal, but had no frills as
His father was perhaps his real
teacher. The two took long walks
about Augusta, visiting the factories in
the vicinity. There the man explained
Industrial processes to the boy in a way
that made the lessons stick. He also
I trained the lad in exact expression.
teaching him that any thought clearly
comprehended could be put in words
? so that others could comprehend. It
is too bad that more of our statesmen
'do not have fathers like that. Take our
platform makers, for example. They
Ssay things that the country thinks It
Photo* by Amerlcan Press Associa tion.
WOODROW WILSON IN GENIAL MOOD.
understands, only to find out after elec
tion that the authors meant something
Carried Out His Platform.
Wilson showed his training in exact
expression when be was governor of
New Jersey. He interpreted the plat
form on which he was elected in the
manner that the people thought they
understood it. He also carried It out
When the legislators hesitated he call
ed them In and talked to them like a
father. This was such a novel proce
dure that the voters elected him preal
dent Promising has become a grand
old art In polities, but performance. If
it Is an art. Is one of the lost arts.
A few years after the war the Wil
sons went to ColumbIa, S. Q.. and
while here Woodrow, or Tommy, as
be was still called, entered Davidson
college. Now. Davidson was one of
those grand old Institutions of learning
In which the boys swept their own
rooms, made their own fires, carried
their own water and generally made
themselves useful. I have certain
shivery memgries of that sort of school
myself, in which the boys took turn
about getting op at 5 o'clock in the
morning to ring the bell. I do not
know whether the future president of
the United States bad to take his turn
at early morning bell ringing or not,
but hope he escaped that particular
form of punishment. He spent but one
year at Davidson. III health compelling
him to quit. During that one year he
did not make any particular mark. Be
Is remembered as a pleasant spokes
young man, who was good in his de
bating .orery. Former Governor
Glenn of North Carolina was his class
mate and Is reported to have said to
Wilson that be would make a good
ball player if he were not so las.
That sort of story makes Intergeting
mewspaper rea4lag. whether it ever
happened or not. I do not know how
to verify this particular .me witheut
tallIg up Governor Olen as the hug
istane or w#elems, and psebsWy be
would de It. Callig a peras at
alset of the Wnaied $s ay sm
Lot sound nice unless he belongs to the C
other political party. Then it is too
The "Original Wilson Man."
It was at about this time that Dr.
Wilson pore became himself a college
professor. bolding the chair of tbeolo
Igy. He did not like the change, bow
ever. and in a few years was back in
the plitit. Before the son returned
from Davidson the family had moved I
to Wilmington. N. C.. where the lad
spent a year at home. recovering his
health and being tutored for his en
trance Into Prinuetou. It was at this
time also- -so runs the story-that a
prophecy was made that be would one
day be president of the United States
A similar prediction is made for many
boys. but the interesting thing about
this one is that It came true. Another
valuable feature of the story is that it
determines the identity of the original
You know bow It Is. Whenever a
man Is elected to high offlee there is
not only the '1 told you so" brigade.
but the regiment of the "originals'
who boomed him for this particular
job before anybody else. There were
967 of these original Wilson men at
last accounts, and the returns were
not all In. Strange as it may seem.
many of the originals were looking for
jobs under the new administration.
They were not office seekers, you
know-nothing so vulgar as that-but
felt that they owed their services as a
patriotic duty to the country.
At one time I thought about trying
to quality as the original Wilson man
myself, but the dream was shattered
by this story from Wilmington. Ac
cording to the tale. Mrs. Mary Russell
taught Woodrow, or "Tommy"-always
getting those names mixed-when he
was ten years old. She then predicted
that be would be president. This set
tied the question not only for yours
truly, but for all the rest of the first
boomers. The original Wilson man
was not a man at all. She was a wo
man. She is dead now and even if
alive would probably not be looking
for an ofice.
An Indulgent Brother.
As Wilson was born in 1856, this
must have happened in 1866, which
knocka my chances of being the origi
nal Wilson man sky high. That was
three years before I was born, so they
would have no trouble in proving an
alibi on me. But hold on a minute: This
was supposed to have happened In
Wilmington. and Wilson did not go to
Wilmington till long after he was ten
years old.. Have to investigate that
story. There may be a chance for tit
tie Willie after all.
In this connection I have here an
article by Joseph ft. Wilson. a broth
er of the president elect, which beglios
"My first distinct recollection of my
brother was on his return from DN
vidson college early In June. 1874. We
were then living in Wilmington, N. C..
having moved there from Columbia
the previous year. 1 was eight years
old. Tommy, as my brother was then
called, was eighteen."
Yet the newspaper item telling of
Mrs. Russell says distinctly that she
taught in the "Tileston school in Wil
mlnston." So It must have been that
the excellent Mrs. Russell taught Joe
and not Tommy. In that event she
must have predicted that Joe would be
president of the United States, and he
is only city editor of a paper in Nash
Ville. There Is again hope for the
srgimal Wilson men.
This article by Joseph R. Wilson is
PInmsinative of the year In Wilmlag
bne and of his distingaished brother's
theenter. I cannot refrain from guot
tig some passages. Bfet is ems:
"Let me say here that from my ear
emst recolleettoim he has always been
the most tindlgent of brothers. He
Wa bufisi mew as olet broth~ef are
s to do. andm citbogh I tassed Mn
Ion a good man oaI1 siointi. be wa:s a
ways goo~d untured and Bever lost bld <
In 187.5 Wokdrow - no. he was still i
Tonimuy-enteied l'rineetoli. I rit not
I certain Just when lie pried off that
name a cid lost it. hat it mirst have e
lieeii Isat thle flame tie rrad rrtMd. At
any rate. It was ne'er heard of after
ward. IlHeefbrth he was to tw kiowni
as Professri \VWi'soit, Dr. WVilsoni. I're
ident \%iis. ni. (Goveritor WiIstotii that
mtil" WVils'on arid again as l'resident
Wil'0oni The T+Finii3 q days eIlded % ith
At I'rin+"tatn \\Vilsotu tw its to show\t
his hent for ;ejitiht' trna the «4i,,i
of rrimvertuneiuI. lie never "<i a
rriinl." it hoti u Ith lie kept lilt his
gra~thiu . rrliadatif:- forth* first il a
str'nii cln' s of more Ohain lo. He was
ever an tnivii'rouis reader. anid train
this timre for woirt his reading tuirted
fliore and inure into his stpe-ial line it
piarliamntui~rc htisto~ry iand I[wdithmt:t
At first he wns not a good extemui
rarwius speaker. although always cla-ts
ed as a wtrouin debater. There is a
story toll of him at talsaot this time to
the eitet that he started out deliber
ately to make himself a ready spoaker.
He rnropinudiiiredl the theory to one of
his friends that any nian of avernae
lttelligieuwe eumlul do this by a system
of trairuinr. With this goal in view he
begair re:adlil. anid stlfdl ifng great Ora
tions. Whatever there may be in the
tale, it Is ceri tain that \Vnntorow WiI
son has miaule of himself one of thle
readiest spto:rkers in the United SMates.
If clear anti convincing statefenCt is
oratory he is an orator.
A Famous Class.
The chi-s of I " i t-, one of the most
distingni- red in I'ri irceton annals (line
of its members is .lusr'tie Ml:r blIn Plit
ney of the United States -upreme court.
A notther Is Iyt'itert IBritnhes. editor if
S&rib ner's Maui a zine Others are Cy
rus MNidorinlek. heid of the I terna
tional harvester company. a shit
against whidih I'rc-lenut Wilson will
inherit from his tnrenulessonr: Rev. A.
W. Hai ev. head of The Preshtyterlan
tward of fureiin til -itins: IRobert Me
Cartecr, oil'-n 'itt u'tt" Letierai of Newý
.Ter-' ey: ( '!''eI i 11 1 uii.e and n
more fl4 nitIst as d1-tilu'tuishedl.
here is tiii re sad news for the orih
inr:t Wit-l n rnien Frank Prestrey.
ntoc a !rmon nt rdvertising man, was
president of Wimnso's class at college
Since electiouie he has told the following
During the fre'-hniian year a dicus
sion started as to what man in the
class was Imi: enough to become presI
dent of the lnited States. At first a
Photo~U b PachBra.
WOODIOW WiLSONAND HIS DAUGHTPSEEORADJS
balf dozen men were mentioned; then
it narrowed down to Mablon Pitney
and Tommy Wilson and finally narrow-i
ed to Wiluon alone. In this verdict
practically the whole class agreed.
Out of Princeton Mr. Wilson entered
the law school of the University of
Virginia. He had decided to become a
public man and considered the law as
an noteroom to public service. There
are traditions of him in these days as
wearing a !towing mustache and sug
tng tenor in a glee club. He was also
noted as a debater, evidently having
proSted by reading those oratims. It
is not on record whether his claw.
mates t the law scbl boomed him
hr prmIde t or a bd t thy will
deabtess e beard floms later.
Intfl~t ,,:f f
ITI~ ls~ r..,f,
ii1 jjflS i '
I}I' lu Tt' 1 i t
Mr, Vi= -
lit 1 ý : .f
er tt ti i
(i iu s is '1
11m)NNv t t
11 k;'t Iii'
In ý,t 1 1:. ,, -
the st itlt'~
e - fI in it :e :
at tPrý ii M.\ \'
titn i~t tin V1t -"
I I I I ' hI ltl .' K
Back at ?ri. .,<
The -:lii titrt. L iT;.9
he 11k14 tu 'A
uhu~r rtii'.trr. Ir
telit f his !Ifv-11 fit'
and ;.htii I) tr
t his 1ettr " Vt
saIt E it'=C ' i l "
areid I th'it t I;.
A i r ttItl 1 't 't>
A~t Ieril I~
11l lthe t ._
ever witit- -; .
vers.T . :...i
bee,; sutIltý,i ý
he was derrdvely ,
mies. laid asaitr hit
books arid hi- spe t.
and "licked the w:;.E t
was elected ty 51 W)
cratir g.)' 1
teen years: ro dleit I.d InI=
kept Jim StL. tr: e.
the United State- <n
nated for pWresid.nt or t'
on the forty -th
longest fight in t,,
Cafi politctn t cu t: :. ,
to our higbest ,
electoral uIajoir !1'
and on March 4 i
United States a
A rapid rise. ail : , rtIý cr
rise prepa e' for Oik"'