Margaret Sayre
American presidential daughter and activist
Margaret Sayre
Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre was a daughter of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and a political activist. “She worked vigorously for women's suffrage, social issues, and to promote her father's call for a League of Nations, and emerged as a force in the Massachusetts Democratic Party. ”
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  • 1933
    Died in 1933.
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  • 1929
    In 1929 her name was mentioned as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for United States Senator, for the seat then held by Republican Frederick H. Gillett.
    More Details Hide Details However, she declined. She became secretary of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee instead. Sayre died at age 45, after undergoing abdominal surgery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Some reports state that she suffered from a gall bladder disorder, while others state that she had undergone an emergency appendectomy. Two years later, the Boston branch of the Women's Democratic League was renamed the Jessie Woodrow Sayre Women's Democratic League. She is buried in Nisky Hill Cemetery in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
  • 1928
    In 1928, she made the introductory speech for presidential nominee Al Smith at the Democratic National Convention.
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  • 1924
    At the time of Woodrow Wilson's death in 1924, the couple was living in Siam (now Thailand) where Francis was working as an advisor on international law at the Royal Court of Siam.
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  • 1919
    In 1919 they were joined by Woodrow Wilson Sayre (February 22, 1919 – September 16, 2002).
    More Details Hide Details After World War I, the Sayres moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Francis accepted a position on the Harvard Law School faculty. There, she worked in the interests of the Democratic Party, the League of Nations, and the League of Women Voters. She was also involved with the YWCA, serving on its national board.
  • 1915
    On January 17, 1915, she gave birth in the White House to a son, Francis B. Sayre, Jr. (January 17, 1915 – October 3, 2008), who became a noted clergyman and was a social activist like his mother.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, a daughter, Eleanor Axson Sayre (March 26, 1916 – May 12, 2001), was born.
  • 1913
    In July 1913, four months after her father assumed the presidency, the Wilsons announced Jessie's engagement to Francis Bowes Sayre, Sr..
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  • 1911
    Her fiance, a 1911 graduate of Harvard Law School, was the son of Robert Sayre, builder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and organizer and general manager of the Bethlehem Iron Works. At the time of their engagement he was serving in the office of a district attorney. Their November 25, 1913 wedding was the thirteenth White House wedding, and the first since Alice Roosevelt and Nicholas Longworth were wed in 1906.
    More Details Hide Details Upon their return from their honeymoon in Europe, they moved to Williamstown, Massachusetts, where her husband began his service as an assistant to the president of Williams College.
  • 1887
    Born in 1887.
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