CHAPTER XIX
CLARIFYING THE ANTITRUST LAWS

AT TIMES, DURING his first months in the Presidency, it had seemed to Woodrow Wilson that the American people whom he loved would kill him. Illness put him to bed for a few days in December and convinced him that he must have rest. His family had returned from New Hampshire in October. In November, however, daughter Jessie was married, and the loss cut deeply. After the ceremony Ellen Wilson was heard to say to a friend: "I know; it was a wedding, not a funeral, but you must forgive us--this is the first break in the family."

When Wilson was ill, in December, Colonel House went to his bedside and told him jokes and discouraged discussion of public affairs that might be exhausting; and afterward he recorded complacently in his diary that the President had been offended because he stayed' overnight with McAdoo instead of at the White House. After a vacation trip to Europe,1 House had returned in the autumn to his role as the President's confidant. He had found that he could aid the Administration by frequent visits with Cabinet members; and he cultivated rapport particularly with Bryan, McAdoo, and Houston, for these officials were the ones whom the President heeded most frequently in general matters. When the genial Colonel came smiling into the departmental offices, passing on words of praise that the President had spoken to him in private or dropping a hint of suggestion, the secretaries were as attentive as if they were facing the Chief himself. House was able to sound out the Cabinet members on their opinions of each other as well as of the President. Both Wilson and his men confided to him things that they would not say to one another, and without betraying confidences the Colonel prevented or alleviated frictions. Moreover, he kept informed about local situations that the President had no time to follow.2

____________________
1
explaining that he was going abroad to conserve his strength so that he might serve the President the better, House had written in May: "My faith in you is as great as my love for you--more than that I cannot say." He could not go to Washington in the summer, he explained in a letter written on Aug. 6 to Dr. Grayson, because he had suffered a heat stroke some years before and had been forced to avoid hot weather as he would the plague.
2
The Administration had not been in office two months before Collier's had printed an

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