north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

      Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, lived in Wilmington from 1874 to 1882 at the Presbyterian Manse while his father served as the minister of the city’s First Presbyterian Church. The third of four children of Joseph R. and Jessie Janet Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born on December 28, 1856 in Staunton, Virginia.

      Wilson’s family moved to Augusta, Georgia, when he was two years old. His father served as a chaplain in the Confederate army. In 1861 the elder Wilson helped found the Southern Presbyterian Church of the United States and, after the conflict, served as clerk and moderator of the organization. In 1870 Joseph R. Wilson took a position as president of Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, and served in that post for four years.

      In 1873, Woodrow Wilson began attending Davidson College. The following year his father took a position as minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. Wilson remained at Davidson College only briefly before transferring to Princeton University. He graduated in 1879, and began attending law school at the University of Virginia. Illness forced him to return to Wilmington the following year. The family remained in Wilmington until 1882. Wilson moved to Atlanta to open a law practice, while his father and family returned to Augusta.

H. W. Brands, Woodrow Wilson (2003)
John A. Thompson, Woodrow Wilson (2000)
A. D. P. Gilmour, “Woodrow Wilson, the Christian: An Address Delivered at the First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington” (1924)
Location: County:

Original Date Cast:




north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources