Madame President 1901-1905: Nellie Fairbanks, Path Finder to Politics for American Women
Much more has been written about Charles Warren Fairbanks than about his wife, Cornelia Cole Fairbanks. Documents in archives and libraries, ... Show synopsis Much more has been written about Charles Warren Fairbanks than about his wife, Cornelia Cole Fairbanks. Documents in archives and libraries, historical records, newspapers of the time, and personal letters from Mrs. Fairbanks to her husband have made it possible to learn more about this fascinating woman. Writings of historians about the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries put her story in the context of her times. She had been among one of the early generations of women to graduate from college. She married an ambitious young lawyer and read law to help and advise him as he built his practice as a railroad lawyer in the Gilded Age. Throughout his life, he read his speeches to her for her comments before he delivered them. She raised their five children as he was investing in business and becoming involved in politics and was an important advisor to him as he campaigned successfully to become Senator from Indiana and later, Vice President with President Theodore Roosevelt. She became one of the most popular hostesses in the nation's capital and was the only woman who could enter a drawing room without immediately seeking out the most influential persons in the room. Gracious and charming, she treated all with equal respect.