One of the memories that I have of high school history from the year before I started to hate it (some teachers will do that to you), was a discussion of World War 1. It’s not the discussion that I remember so well, but one student’s ardent desire for peace and hope for what could have been if the United States had joined the League of Nations, Woodrow Wilson’s baby.

Woodrow Wilson’s path to the White House was an interesting one. At his core, he was a teacher, an academic. In fact, he’s the only true academic to become United States President. His first presidency wasn’t that of the United States; Wilson was the president of Princeton University. From there he became the governor of New Jersey. Then, he became president. This path doesn’t mean that he was dragged into, or fell upon politics. He had always been interested in politics and thought that the academy was going to be the best way for him to have a politics-related career.

No matter what writers think about Woodrow Wilson’s presidency or the many controversial positions he held, there is one matter that is typically written about in a heroic way. That is his studies. Wilson wasn’t someone who was practically born reading. In fact, his reading was quite delayed, and he didn’t read well until he was around eleven years old. Reading about him in this area is a story of sheer will and determination. You’ll see that he developed a sort of shorthand to compensate for his difficulty in writing. You’ll learn that he bought a typewriter and learned to use it well, another compensation for his handwriting.

But there is another Woodrow Wilson, no less hardworking that the Wilson described above. That is Woodrow Wilson the lover. He seemed to be one of those men who very much need to have a woman in his life. In fact, when his first wife died, he remarried rather quickly. Scandalously quickly. So quickly that it had the potential to be a political liability for him. His second wife, Edith Boling Galt, was also at Wilson’s side, much to the annoyance of some of the people with whom he worked. Wilson enjoyed having his wife in the Oval Office as he worked. Like John Adams before him, and Harry Truman after him, Wilson was one of the presidents who wrote often to his wives. He wrote thousands of letters to his first wife, and several hundred to his second wife. I think you need to see an example.

 “Are you prepared for the storm of love making with which you will be assailed?” Woodrow Wilson to Ellen Wilson

It looks like that Wilsonian determination paid off for him in multiple arenas.


The cake:

Woodrow Wilson was born and raised in the South. As a result, I wanted to play with southern flavors. By play with southern flavors, I mean use pecans. The cupcake is brown sugar based with chopped pecans and cinnamon. The frosting is a cream cheese frosting. The cupcake is garnished with buttered pecans.

This cupcake was a success! It made me wonder what other president could be honored with brown sugar.