About Collecting Woodrow Wilson Autographs
Woodrow Wilson’s correspondence as an author and college professor was mainly in his own hand, but this changed when he became president of Princeton. Thereafter, his letters were almost exclusively typed. So enamored did he become of the typewriter that he kept a small one on hand during and after his term as president and typed many of his letters and papers himself in the evenings. His letters can be quite interesting and some are exceptional. Yet one feels a reserve and caution, a holding back, running through his communications that kept them from attaining the level one might hope for from a noted author and academic.
His signatures during his college years are “Thomas Wilson,” but he adopted his middle name, Woodrow, for signing soon after. While governor of New Jersey, he used a stamp from time to time, one with light blue or purple ink. His signature has an important inconsistency: in 1919 he had a severe stroke and thereafter it was noticeably shaky. In the decades following World War II, Wilson was on everyone’s short list of the greatest presidents. His idealism, his policies, and his leadership (and indeed World War I itself) were fresh, green memories to many still alive. Interest will no doubt increase as the centennial of that war approaches.