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Title: A Journey Through France in War Time
Author: Butler Jr., Joseph G.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Journey Through France in War Time" ***

produced from images generously made available by the
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[Illustration: Typical French Soldier in Uniform.]

A Journey Through France in War Time


Member of The American Industrial Commission to France.


[Illustration: inscription by author.]

Copyright, 1917, by
Joseph G. Butler, Jr., Youngstown, O.
One hundred copies of this edition
have been printed of which
this is number

_Second Edition_




Origin of the Purpose of the Trip.

Crossing the Atlantic.

Bordeaux and Paris.

Meeting England's Premier.

The Birthplace of Lafayette.

A Great Munitions Plant.

Art and Architecture of Aries.

Along the Mediterranean.

Towns in Southern France.

The Creusot Gun Works.

Approaching the Front.

Within Sound of the Guns.

The Story of Gerbeviller.

On the Main Front.

Reims and the Trenches.

Back to Paris.

On the Way Home--England.

On the Broad Atlantic.

The French Steel Industry in War Time.

Where War Has Raged.

General Joffre.

The Work of Reconstruction.

French Business Organizations.

The Carrel Method of Treating Wounds.

A City in an Army's Path.

Some impressions of France and the French.


Typical French Soldier in Uniform

Photograph of Commissioners, Taken on Train Leaving Paris for Limoges

The Author's Passport

Autograph Signatures of the Commission

Grand Theatre, Bordeaux. Closed Until the War Ends

Miniature French Flag Carried by the Author Through France. The Waving
  of This Flag by an American Aroused Much Enthusiasm

Lloyd George, Who Says "England is Fighting a Battle for Civilization"

Miss Winifred Holt, "Keeper of the Light House of France"

Ancient Bridge at Limoges--Built by the Romans Two Thousand Years Ago
  and Still in Use

Tapestry Workers at Aubusson

Lafayette's Deathbed, With Commission's Flag and Flowers

Monastery of St. Michael, at le Puy

Silk Tapestry Menu Used at Dinner to the Commission at St. Etienne

Col. Rimailho With 155-mm. Gun (upper) and Famous 75-mm. Gun (lower)
  Perfected by Him

Women Employed in Munitions Factories

Arlesiennes--Types of Southern France

Old Roman Arena at Aries--Still Used for Bull Fights and Other

Shore of the Mediterranean Near Marseilles. In the distance Chateau
  D'If, Made Famous by Dumas

Types From the French Provinces

Monastery of Chartreuse

New 520-mm. Gun, Carrying Projectile Seven Feet in Length and Weighing
  3,100 lbs., Seen at Creusot Works

German Prisoners Passing Through the Village of St. Etienne

The Lion of Belfort

Battlefield of La Chipotte, Showing Monument and Markers on Graves

Ruins of Gerbeviller

Sister Julie

Cathedral at Nancy

German Trenches Captured by the French

The Reims Cathedral Before its Destruction

Ruins at Reims. Upper and Lower Plates--The Cathedral. Middle Plate--The
  Archbishop's Palace

Key of Archbishop's Palace at Reims and Bone From Twelfth Century Tombs
  Opened by German Shells

Trenches Visited by the Commission

King Albert's Address to the Belgians

Photograph of King Albert of Belgium, with the Royal Autograph

French Marines Operating 75-mm. Gun on Shipboard

Nancy--Place Stanislas

Ruins of Village--St. Die

The Prefecture at Reims After Bombardment

Portrait in Tapestry--General Joffre

Ruins at Nancy

Trenches Occupied by French Soldiers

Proclamation Posted in Reims Just Before the French Fell Back
  to the Marne

Arrival of Wounded Soldiers at Chalons, on the Marne

Proclamation by the Mayor of Reims, Issued on the day the Germans
  Entered that City, September 4, 1914

First Order From the Invaders

Second German Proclamation

Citizens Warned of Danger

Citizens Warned that Hostages May be Hanged

Postal-card Painted by Artist Soldier in French Trenches


Of all that has been written, or is to be written, by Americans
concerning the tragedy overwhelming the Old World, much must naturally
be descriptive of conditions in France, since that country is, among
those affected by military occupation, most accessible and most closely
in sympathy with American ideals and American history.

While the ground covered by these pages may be, therefore, not
unfamiliar, the motives prompting their preparation are probably unique.
It has been undertaken at the request of friends, but not entirely for
their pleasure; since the author hopes that those who read it may see in
the patriotic devotion and courage of the French people something of the
spirit that should animate our country, whose aspirations toward liberty
the French aided even before they were themselves free.

Written in hours snatched for the task amid the press of other duties,
these pages endeavor to present a simple, intimate and personal story of
experiences enjoyed and impressions gained under most unusual
circumstances and herein shared with my friends as one of the most
interesting incidents of a long and busy life.

* * *

A Journey Through France in War Time


In the Autumn and Winter of 1915, a body of distinguished and
representative Frenchmen visited the United States, their object being
to make an investigation of conditions here, having in mind the great
need of France in war munitions, the steel in ingot and bar form very
much needed for the manufacture of war materials, and the numerous other
commodities necessary for prosecution of the war, which had been in
progress more than a year.

The finances of France were also very much in evidence in the minds of
the visitors.

The names and occupation of this French Trade Commission appear

Chairman--Monsieur Maurice Damour,
Secretary of the French Deputies' Commission
on Appropriations.

Monsieur Jacquez Lesueur,
Delegate of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Monsieur L. Trincano,
Director of the Horological School of Besancon.

Monsieur Jacquez de Neuflize,

Monsieur M. Chouffour,
of the Credit Francais.

Monsieur L. Vibien,
Director of the National Bank of Credit.

Monsieur E. Delassale-Thiriez,
Secretary of the Syndicate of Spinners.

Monsieur M. Saladin,
Delegate of the Creusot Factory.

Monsieur Joseph Guinet,
Delegate of the Chamber of Commerce of

This Commission visited various parts of the United States, principally
the great iron and steel centers, Pittsburgh, Youngstown and Chicago.

Much attention was shown the party in their journey through our land.

An introductory luncheon to this French Commission was given by The
American Manufacturers Export Association at the Hotel Biltmore, New
York, Tuesday, November 23rd, 1915. This luncheon was attended by a
representative number of American manufacturers and bankers, and the
object of the visitors fully discussed. On this occasion it was
suggested by Mr. E. V. Douglass, the efficient secretary of the Export
Association, that a return visit of Americans would be in order and
would assist in accomplishing the object of the visitors. This
suggestion was followed up early in 1916 and took form later on in the
appointment and selection of the members of "The Commission Industrielle
Americaine en France", the expedition being organized and financed under
the direction of The American Manufacturers' Export Association, located
at 160 Broadway, New York City.

This association has an active membership of over five hundred
manufacturers, firms and corporations engaged in the production of all
kinds of fabricated materials, from steel to women's lingerie.

The president of the association, Mr. E. M. Herr, of Pittsburgh, closely
associated with the Westinghouse interests, was the moving spirit in
creating and selecting the organization and formulating the plans and
policy of the Industrial Commission, even to the extent of selecting the

The membership of the commission, their occupations, business and
professional status, is given herewith:

M. W. W. Nichols, President; Vice President "American
Manufacturers' Export Association." President, Adjount du Conseil
d'Administration "Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co., Inc.," New York, N. Y.

M. J. G. Butler, Jr., Fabricant de fer et d'acier, Vice-president
"Brier Hill Steel Company", Youngstown, Ohio.

M. A. B. Farquhar, President "A. B. Farquhar Co., Ltd., York, Pa."
Vice-president "National Chamber of Commerce of the United

M. G. B. Ford, New York, Urbaniste-Conseil.

M. S. F. Hoggson, Conseil-Expert en matieres et materiaux de
construction; President "Hoggson Bros. & Co., Inc." New York, N. Y.

M. F. J. Le Maistre, Ingenieur-Chimiste-Conseil E. I. du Pont de
Nemours et Co., Wilmington, Del.

M. J. R. Mac Arthur, President Mac Arthur Bros., Co., New York, N.
Y.; Ex-Sous-Secretaire du Department d'Etat, Washington, D. C.

M. Le Dr. C. O. Mailloux, Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur,
Ingenieur-Electricien, New York, N. Y., Ancien President "American
Institute of Electrical Engineers."

M. C. G. Pfeiffer, Vice-president "Geo. Borgfeldt et Co.," New
York, Importateurs et Exportateurs; Member of "National Chamber of
Commerce of the United States."

M. J. E. Sague, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., Ingenieur-Mecanicien. Ancien
New York Public Service Commissioner; Ancien Vice-president
"American Locomotive Co.", New York, N.Y.

M. E. A. Warren, Expert en matieres et precedes textiles;
Vice-president "Universal Winding Co.", Boston, Mass.

M. E. V. Douglass, Secretaire General; Secretaire "American
Manufacturers' Export Association."

M. E. Garden, Secretaire Francais.

[Illustration: Photograph of Commissioners Taken on Train Leaving Paris
for Limoges.]

This roster is taken from the previously mentioned booklet, "The
Commission Industrielle Americaine en France." The object of the
Commission is carefully set forth in the opening, in French, and for the
benefit of readers who speak English only, a translation follows:

The American Industrial Commission in France, organized under the
auspices of the American Manufacturers' Export Association, with
the cordial approval of France and of the United States,
principally for a sympathetic study of industrial and commercial
conditions in France.

At the time of the visit to America by the French Commercial
Commission in the winter of 1915-1916, the idea was proposed to
different American industrial and commercial associations, to
organize a similar mission for the purpose of returning this visit
to France.

This idea was taken up by the American Manufacturers' Export
Association, which, incorporated in 1911, numbers among its
membership more than five hundred organizations of great importance
in the American industrial world. This organization is co-operative
in character, with the general idea of developing and maintaining
commercial relations between the United States and foreign

The importance of the proposed mission becomes more apparent
through a detailed analysis of its program, which comprises a study
of the most practical means of utilizing the resources and
experience of America for the reconstruction which France desires
to make of its communities and of its industries, during and after
the war.

The Association has succeeded in organizing a commission made up of
men well qualified to render the service desired.

The American Industrial Commission in France will strive to
establish an active co-operation with its French associates, with a
view of developing the commercial and industrial relation already
existing between the two nations and to make them more cordial and
more satisfactory on both sides.

The Association hopes to succeed through the work of the Commission
in contributing in some measure to this happy result, and at the
same time strengthen the friendship and sympathy which has existed
between these two nations for more than a century.

A circular issued by The American Manufacturers' Export Association is
of interest in this connection and was sent to members under
consideration and to manufacturers, soliciting subscriptions for the
expenses of the Commission. This circular is herein reproduced.

* * *


August-September, 1916


Primarily, to make a thorough and technical investigation of
present conditions in France looking to the reconstruction and
re-organization of her communities and industries which will take
place during and after the war to an extent unparalleled in
history, and further, to determine the best and most complete
manner in which the United States may contribute from her resources
to accomplish these results; to arrange for largely increased
purchases of French products and fully reciprocal commercial

In the cause of a thorough neutrality, it should be distinctly
understood that this undertaking is based upon cordial proposals
which came to us unsolicited, and that we stand ready to do
likewise in all other directions under similar conditions.


Commissioners of known technical experience--members of the
American Manufacturers' Export Association and others--will be
chosen to investigate the present industrial situation in France in
order to aid by American brains, energies and facilities the
rehabilitation of a structure seriously damaged, and in many
instances destroyed, by the ravages of war.

Extraordinary and unprecedented facilities have been granted by the
French Government to aid the Commission in its endeavors, affording
every assurance of a successful outcome.

An official account of the Commission's visit, with a summary of
conclusions regarding each phase of its investigation, will later
be reported and published for general distribution under the
authority of the American Manufacturers' Export Association.


It is intended to include all the industries of the United States
concerned in French trade under the following classifications:

I. Prime Movers:

(Steam, Gas and Oil Engines; Pumping Engines, Steam and Hydraulic,
Turbines, Condensers, Generators and all other adjuncts.)

Heavy Machinery: (Rolling Mills, Iron and Steel Products, etc.)

II. Machine-Tools, Wire, Transmission and Textile Machinery.

III. Milling Machinery:

(Flour and Saw Mills; Cement, Milling, Smelting, Agricultural and
Road Machinery.)

IV. Electrical Apparatus.

V. Transportation:

(Locomotives, Cars, Naval Vessels, etc.)

VI. Importers:

(Textile, including Laces; Dry-Goods of all kinds; Porcelains,
Groceries and Wines; Toys.)

VII. Synthetic Products based on chemical processes; Chemicals,
Explosives, etc.

VIII. Bankers.

IX. Factory Architects, Engineers and Contractors.


Commissioners of broad experience in their respective lines will be
chosen--men of national reputation who will lend dignity and
standing to the enterprise and guarantee a result both conclusive
and effective.


With the co-operation of the French authorities an itinerary has
been tentatively prepared covering the principal industrial cities
and sections of France and consuming, together with ocean passages
approximately 60 days. A definite program is being arranged with
the cordial aid of French chambers of commerce and the great
economical associations in the localities to be visited, and this
work is now proceeding with the authority and full approval of the
French Government. Railway and other transportation throughout
France will be provided for the American Commission by the
Government. The proposed visit has aroused intense interest on
every side, and extensive plans have been made for the reception
and instructive entertainment of the American delegation.


One of the commissioners will be appointed to take general charge of the
Commission on behalf of the American Export Association and it will be
the duty of this representative to collaborate with the French
authorities, appointed for this purpose, in the consummation of plans;
to assume executive charge of the work of the Commission; and to
organize the details necessary to the preparation of the official report
to be issued for the full benefit of American industry.

To insure absolute regularity and efficiency of progress the
Commission as a body, will be subject to this Commissioner General.

* * *

My connection as a member of the Commission came about through the
suggestion made to Mr. E. M. Herr, by Mr. James A. Farrell, President of
the United States Steel Corporation, Mr. E. A. S. Clarke, President of
the Lackawanna Steel Company, and Mr. Willis Larimer King,
Vice-president of The Jones & Laughlin Steel Company.

I was not the first choice, however, as a number of gentlemen had been
previously considered and had either declined the honor or had been
eliminated from the list of candidates. The pressure upon me from
numerous friends in the steel business to accept the task was persistent
and continuous, and upon receipt of a telegram from Mr. Farrell, telling
me, within a week of the proposed sailing of the Commission, that if I
did not accept, the great iron and steel industries of the United States
would be unrepresented, the matter was settled and I decided that it was
due to my fellow manufacturers, many of whom had been kind to me over a
long period of time and who had helped me in many ways, that I should
accept the position. I notified Mr. Herr to that effect just one week
prior to the date of sailing.

[Illustration: The Author's Passport.]

I had intended to take an active part in the political campaign pending
and such a trip involved keen disappointment in this connection, as I
felt that a change of the administration was necessary for the best
interests of the country. I had voted for every Republican president
from Lincoln to Taft and wanted very much to be somewhat instrumental in
the election of Mr. Hughes.

The McKinley Birthplace Memorial needed my attention, as well as other
matters of a public nature, to say nothing about the various business
enterprises in which I am still active.

All these obligations were temporarily abandoned and hurried
preparations were made for the long and, as thought by many, dangerous



The French Line was selected by the sponsor for the trip as being the
safest route and somewhat as a compliment to the French nation. Passage
was engaged for the entire party on the Lafayette, booked to sail from
New York, August 26th, 1916, at 3 P. M., destination, the French Port

I reached New York Friday morning, August 25th, and immediately set
about getting my passport properly vised by the French Consul. This was
accomplished with less difficulty than one would imagine and the
precious document finally made ready.

A luncheon was given the Commission at the Hotel Biltmore at noon by Mr.
E. M. Herr, which gave the members their first opportunity to become
somewhat acquainted. Addresses were made by Mr. Herr and others
connected with the launching of the enterprise. We were told to be
neutral, and this was emphasized by the chairman from the day of sailing
until the journey was over. I received this admonition with a decided
mental reservation. It impressed me as being incongruous and entirely
out of place for a delegation of Americans to plan a visit to France and
not be in accord with that sorely stricken people. It occurred to me
also, then and there, that if the Commission expected to accomplish its
object it would be necessary to show a genuine sympathy with the Allied
cause, and I acted on this theory during the entire journey. A majority
of the members cherished the same sentiments, which most of them managed
to conceal with more or less success.

Arriving at the dock of the Compagne General Transatlantique, soon after
noon on Saturday, August 26th, an inspection of the luggage was made.
This was a tedious and thorough process, requiring the unpacking and
repacking of all the contents of the trunks and valises, thereby
insuring the absence of dynamite, bombs and other destructive material.
Numerous devoted friends were on hand to say good bye and "bon voyage",
but they were permitted only on the dock.

Passports were carefully examined by a group of inspectors and the
voyagers were permitted to go on board the waiting steamer.

The members of the Commission were next grouped together, photographed
and motion-pictured, thus beginning the publicity considered necessary
for the success of the enterprise.

The departure of the Lafayette was a stirring affair. Promptly at three
o'clock P. M. the vessel moved away from her moorings, amidst the din of
the band, the waving of flags, the whir of the movie machine, the
blowing of whistles and the cheers of friends of the passengers.

Soon after sailing the members of the Commission were formally
introduced to each other and, strange to relate, with but a single
exception, no two of the party had ever met before beginning the

It was discovered that several of the commissioners--myself not among
the number, spoke excellent French. This proved a great advantage to the
French-speaking members during the journey and, incidentally, to the
members who understood English only.

Among the passengers aboard and attached to the Commission was Mr.
Harrison Reeves, a noted war correspondent, formerly connected with The
New York Sun. He had been several times at the Front in France in a
representative capacity, had lived a number of years in France, spoke
and wrote the French language fluently and has a fine personality. His
presence was much appreciated, his knowledge of recent events in France
and his large acquaintance with men of affairs proving invaluable to the

On Monday, August 28th, a meeting of the Commissioners was called for
organization and consultation. At this meeting various committees were
agreed upon and appointed by the chairman. It was also arranged that
daily sessions were to be held and the work of the commission laid out
so far as possible in advance.

The chairman had prepared an address outlining the duties of the
Commission, which is here reproduced.

* * *

Aboard Steamship "Lafayette"
En-route to France,

August 28th, 1916.

To the Members of the
American Industrial Commission to France.


We are bound on an errand of constructive friendship. Through the
encouragement of the authorities of France and the public spirit of
American business men, we are enabled to go on this mission of good
will and service.

France, in her griefs and her joys, is always a land of
inspiration; she is the classic creator and promoter of the arts
which make for civilization. In many ways American life is the
richer because France exists.

What greater service can a representative company of thinking
Americans render to their land than to visit and touch at first
hand the sources of so much that is valuable to the world, and to
carry home lessons and messages which may easily be potent in
forming stronger ties in the old time intimate relationship between
our country and France.

Primarily, we go, then, to learn in meeting our oversea friends
face to face, and, if our errand succeeds, to be of any service
possible. The great question then becomes: how can we serve best?
By keeping our eyes, ears, minds and spirits open and alert to the
facts and the possibilities founded on such facts which unfold
before us in the course of our visit. Our trip has been announced
as an investigation or survey of the industrial situation in

Our mission appears to be to examine the present economic life and
activities in France, and, in a study of such life as we find it,
endeavor to ascertain what the future is likely to bring forth for
industrial France.

It is obvious that an intelligent examination of the rich economic
development of France must yield valuable byproducts of observation
and instruction. The human values in this economic structure are of
fundamental importance; civil, social and general economic progress
proceeding from the French economic effort will be of wide interest
to us.

Undoubtedly in the coming years France will make extraordinary
strides in industrial progress. She is planning--indeed has already
under way, many projects of manufacture, transportation, housing,
labor-conservation and municipal life; projects of deep interest
and importance to every American business man and citizen. It may
be our special privilege to be taken behind the scenes of this
tremendous expansion, see some of the beginnings and, if we are
fortunate, to make such contribution as France may desire from the
good will, experience and certain peculiar knowledge we can offer
for her use in any way that may enable her to attain the end she

In this commission we represent something more than a body of men
who have been selected because of special distinction in fields of
their own. Each commissioner touches large circles of interest and
capacity. If the opportunity comes to us to indicate to French
business up-builders how to come into sympathetic working relations
with the enterprise and progressive affairs of our own country, we
shall achieve the high purpose of our Commission.

(Signed) W. W. NICHOLS,

Chairman of the Commission.

* * *

Before leaving New York a handsome booklet had been prepared and
printed. The brochure contained the names of the commissioners, their
public records, halftone portraits and a carefully prepared statement of
the objects of the expedition. Twenty-five hundred copies were printed
and were to be delivered on board the Lafayette by the printer. After
sailing, it was discovered by a thorough search that the much needed
booklets were not on board. These documents were for distribution after
our arrival in France and were sorely missed.

Subsequently the booklet was produced in Paris, but in somewhat
different form, and it was near the end of the journey before the
duplicate copies were ready for distribution. The loss of the American
made edition was a serious handicap.

A word or two about the personnel of the Commission. Mr. Nichols, the
chairman, is a man about sixty with a grave, clerical appearance,
formerly a professor or teacher and at one time superintendent of the
Chicago Telephone Company. A man of various business experiences, at
present connected with the Allis Chalmers Company in its New York
office. He is excessively cautious and delivered a daily lecture on
neutrality, fearing evidently that some of the members might break away
from his idea of being strictly neutral and thus thwart or defeat the
objects of the Commission. Mr. Nichols is thoroughly honest and
conscientious; he had the success of the venture very much at heart and
labored from his viewpoint to that end, priding himself in his broken

Mr. John R. MacArthur was a member of the Philippine Commission, is a
fine French scholar, a ready conversationalist in both English and
French, and has a keen sense of humor. He was a constant help to the
non-French speaking members of the Commission.

Dr. Mailloux is an electrical engineer of established reputation and
large experience. He had been in previous commissions to all parts of
the world; a thorough French scholar, he had lived many years in France
and had done much work for the French Government. His knowledge of the
French people was invaluable to some of his fellow commissioners but was
not utilized to its full extent.

Mr. Edward A. Warren, of Boston, represented the textile industry and is
well posted in that line. He was the modest man of the commission,
rarely asserting himself and deferring too much to the views of his
companions. He is possessed of rare good common sense, but, as stated,
kept himself too much in the background, thereby lessening his influence
in the work of the commission.

Mr. James A. Sague, at one time vice-president of The American
Locomotive Company; is a technically educated man, genial and
companionable, and was a useful personage on the commission.

Mr. A. B. Farquhar, is a real veteran of the Civil War, nearly eighty
years of age but possessing remarkable physical vigor. He was the
friend of Lincoln, heard the Gettysburg address delivered, saved his
town (York, Pennsylvania) from destruction by the Confederates, and had
much to do with the reconstruction period after the War. He labored
under the difficulty of defective eyesight, this somewhat impairing his
usefulness on the Commission.

Mr. N. B. Hoggson, a gentleman of infinite jest, genial and persuasive;
a great mixer and constant worker, proved a very useful member of the
commission in diving after facts and making notes thereof.

Mr. Geo. B. Ford, a well known architect of the firm of Geo. B. Post &
Company, New York, was a rather quiet undemonstrative member, but a
worker and investigator in his particular line. His observations and
recommendations should have great weight in the work reconstructing and
rebuilding the destroyed portions of France.

Mr. F. J. LeMaistre, a chemical engineer, quite scientific; not
particularly unselfish in his dealings with his fellow commissioners,
was nevertheless a useful member of the commission, contributing much to
its success. He is connected with the duPont Powder Company in an
important capacity. His chemical knowledge came into good play in the
journeyings of the Commission.

Mr. C. G. Pfeiffer was, physically, the giant of the Commission. An
exporter and importer, a splendid French scholar, utilized on all
occasions when a knowledge of French was needed; a hard, conscientious
worker, quite close to the chairman and of decided use to the head of
the Commission from start to finish--he frequently steered the ship from
shallow shoals and dangerous rapids.

Mr. E. V. Douglass, the efficient secretary of the Commission, is
entitled to much commendation. His work was heavy and unending. To look
after a body of men, many of whom he had never previously met; to deal
with their idiosyncrasies and at times somewhat unreasonable demands,
and come through with success, was no mean task. Mr. Douglass lived in
France and had a wide acquaintance. His knowledge of the French language
was of very great service. I think all members of the Commission will
unite in saying; "Well done good and faithful servant."

Mr. Emile Garden, the French secretary of the Commission, was very
helpful to Mr. Douglass as well as to the chairman.

Mr. Harrison Reeves, a well known writer and newspaper correspondent,
had special charge of the publicity work of the Commission and was
present and took part in all the meetings of the Commissioners, a
trusted attache of the enterprise.

Monsieur Henri Pierre Roche, a French soldier, on leave of absence, one
of the editors of the Paris Temps, was also a valuable attache. He
accompanied the commission on its travels and returned with the
commissioners to America for the express purpose of translating into
French, for final distribution in France, the report of the Commission.

Our first news from home came by wireless on Tuesday, August 29th. It
disclosed that Germany was reaching out for Rumania. We also got more or
less news about the railroad troubles.

At one of our meetings Mr. Nichols presented a letter which Governor
Herrick had written to him and which proved to be quite useful. We
found, wherever we travelled abroad, that the name of Governor Herrick
was a household word. This letter is reproduced as follows:--

* * *

August 24th, 1916.

Mr. W. W. Nichols,
The American Manufacturers' Export Association,
50 Church St., New York, N. Y.

My dear Mr. Nichols:--

It gives me great pleasure to take advantage of your kind
invitation to send by the American Industrial Commission of the
American Manufacturers' Export Association, a message to Industrial

France has met in a way that evokes the admiration of the whole
world, even of her enemies, the recurring emergencies of this
greatest of wars. The patriotic self-sacrifice, the valor, the
uncomplaining endurance, the ingenuity which the French people have
shown during these two years of war reveal what is in truth the
"birth of a new nation". To an extent which scarcely seemed
possible, France has discovered within herself the resources of
men and materials with which to meet the demands of the struggle.

Europe has learned many important lessons, not only in military
science but also in industrial efficiency, since 1914. She has much
to impart to the United States in these matters. Yet such has been
the wide-spread destruction of men and property that France, and
indeed all Europe, must needs call upon other countries after the
war for assistance in rehabilitating her industrial and commercial
life. France will need to draw upon our stores of food until all
her fields are again producing; she will need our materials for
reconstruction where war has brought waste and desolation; she will
need our machines and implements to carry on the manifold pursuits
of agriculture, manufacturing and commerce. To France, as to all
the countries where war is causing destruction, America opens her
vast stores of goods.

The American Industrial Commission will be doing service not only
to Europe and to America but to all humanity, if it can discover
the ways by which the wealth that nature has so lavishly showered
upon the New World, may be most effectively poured out for the
restoration of the Old World.

Very sincerely yours,

* * *

The time on the boat was largely occupied in meetings of the
commissioners and the formulation of plans for the work in hand;
committees were appointed and a great deal of work done.

Among the various discussions, the subject of people living to a great
age in Bulgaria was brought up. Specific instances were noted; one, a
pair of Bulgarian twins both of whom lived to be one hundred and twenty
years of age and both died on the same date. It was suggested that the
two oldest members of the Commission, Mr. Farquhar and myself, should
emigrate to Bulgaria and take a fresh start.

The Lafayette had, mounted on its stern, one of the favorite French guns
known as a 75-millimeter. The captain told us he had orders to fire on
the Deutschland if the submarine happened to turn up. The first officer,
under instruction from the captain, showed the operation of the gun to
the commissioners. This was very interesting; everything was done except
to fire off the gun; all the maneuvers were gone through and we
discovered on the lower deck enough shells to fight a good sized battle.

On Saturday, previous to landing, a bazaar was held on the boat for the
benefit of the French hospitals. This was a very successful affair;
contributions were made or supposed to be made by all the passengers.
Among other things, I donated a quart bottle of champagne. This was sold
at auction, the first bid was one dollar, made with the understanding
that the last bid was to be no higher, but was to get the champagne.
These bids continued until the bottle finally brought seventy-five
dollars. It turned out to be a very good article with all that.

We were also informed before entering port that we were protected by two
submarine destroyers.

[Illustration: Autograph Signatures of the Commission.]

We discovered on arising, Sunday morning, September 3rd, that we were in
the Bay of Biscay and two cruisers were circling around and gradually
escorting us into the port of Bordeaux. We were told subsequently that
the wireless apparatus has been disconnected and we had been chased by a

The first land seen was the shore of Spain, the course of the vessel
having been diverted on account of pursuit by the submarine. At four P.
M. on Sunday a commission from Bordeaux came out in a tug boat to meet
us. This delegation consisted of the prefect of Bordeaux district, the
mayor of the city and other notables. They boarded the boat and we
entertained them with a dinner party. We reached the Bordeaux dock about
ten o'clock on Sunday evening, but did not land until the following



Upon going ashore, we discovered on the docks a number of stalwart
laborers. We wondered why they were not in the army, but were told they
were Spaniards. The docks were covered with motor trucks from Cleveland,
piles of copper bars, and also very large quantities of munitions and
barbed wire made by The Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company and the American
Steel & Wire Company. We also saw on the docks steel bars furnished by
our own Brier Hill Steel Company.

We were first impressed by the very large number of women employed. We
visited several telegraph offices and all were "manned" exclusively by
women. We also saw women driving large army trucks and milk carts, and
women selling newspapers, some of them anywhere from seventy to eighty
years of age. Newsboys are apparently unknown in France.

We were given a reception by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce, and quite
an address was delivered by the president.

We then visited the docks, which are extensive. The improvements
contemplated will make Bordeaux one of the great world ports. In going
about the streets we were struck by the number of women in mourning; in
fact I can hardly recall any women, except the servants in the hotel,
who were not in mourning. The shop windows were filled with mourning
goods and people passing on the streets were either women in mourning or
soldiers home on leave of absence, many of them crippled.

We were next taken to the prison camp where the prisoners of war were
held. We happened to reach it when the prisoners were having a siesta.
There were about four thousand in the camp, some hired out to
contractors. We talked to some of these contractors, who in turn had
talked with the prisoners, and were told that a great many of them were
such voluntarily; that is to say, they were very glad to surrender when
the opportunity presented. The prisoners were mostly Germans, but there
were some Austrians and a few Bavarians. The French people never speak
of them as Germans; they always call them "Boches", which, rendered in
English, means vandal. They were fat and healthy and apparently

[Illustration: Grand Theatre, Bordeaux. Closed until the War Ends.]

In the evening at Bordeaux a banquet was given in honor of Monsieur
Gaston Doumergue, Minister of Colonies. All the commissioners were
invited. On my left was Monsieur Etienne Hugard, Vice-president of the
Chamber of Commerce and a soldier who had been in battle within a week
previous. On my right sat Monsieur G. Chastenet, Senateur de la Gironde.
Very choice wines were served and the champagne was reserved for the
last. There was a speech by the Mayor and a response by the Minister of
Colonies. We were given information as we went along and some of this I
will record. We were told that a great many submarines had been captured
by the French in nets. The popular impression is that when captured the
submarines are left under water six or seven days, then brought up to
the surface and the bodies of the officers and seamen, who in the
meantime have died, are either burned or buried. The submarine is then
manned by a French crew and thus turned into the French service.

We made some inquiries in regard to the labor situation and we were
informed that before the war a common laborer received four francs per
day, about eighty cents of our money, and that they are now receiving
five francs. The women received two francs before the war and they are
now receiving three. There are no labor unions in Bordeaux or in the

We had here our first visit from newspaper correspondents. A number of
important Paris papers were represented, with the New York Herald, the
Chicago Tribune and other leading American papers. We met the general of
the Gironde and the marine official. We were told that at any of these
functions we were not to mention the names of the officials to whom we
were introduced, and this enabled us to talk quite freely. One of the
generals whom I met at this banquet said that the war would end in
December, 1917.

On Tuesday, September 5th, the Bordeaux Fair was dedicated. The
commission was invited and we took part in the exercises. These fairs
are an annual event in many parts of France. There is a very large
theatre in Bordeaux, which has not been opened since the war. We were
given an invitation to enter it. It is certainly finer than any theatre
I had seen previously.

We were then taken to the celebrated wine vaults of Bordeaux, owned by
J. Calvert & Co. and Bardin & Gustier. Some of these wines date back to
the early part of the last century and the vintages are all the way from
five to ninety years old. There were sixty thousand casks of wine stored
and about ten million bottles of champagne. The money value of the
stocks is very large. We were told that America was one of the best
customers for these high grade wines.

In the evening we attended a reception to the Minister of Colonies at
Ville de Bordeaux. This was a very enjoyable affair and we met some
noted French people.

Wednesday, September 6th, was the birthday of Lafayette. We had been
invited by the American Chamber of Commerce to assist in their
celebration at Paris, but were unable to reach that city in time.

Instead of going to Paris on this date we visited the Chateau Margaux,
built in 1780. We were shown through the private vaults. We met the
Duchess, a most charming personage, a grandmother at the age of
thirty-five, a very plain, unassuming lady. I supposed up to the time I
was introduced to her that she was a newspaper correspondent. During the
tour through these private vaults, the guide discoursed on the making of
wine, from the planting of the vines to the bottling and selling
process. This was all very interesting.

The different sized bottles of wine were described as follows: half
pints for sick rooms, pints, and then quarts, with all of which we were
familiar. He then told us of the magnum, holding two quarts; the
Jereboam, holding three quarts, the imperial, holding five quarts, and
the Nebuchadnezzar, holding the Lord only knows how many quarts--pretty
nearly as big as a barrel.

In the port of Bordeaux were a great many neutral boats. On the sides of
these boats in very large letters, appeared the names of the boats and
the flag of the particular country, also the name of the country. We saw
vessels from Italy, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Holland. We were
told that no nation at the beginning was prepared for war except
Germany. It seemed to be the unanimous opinion that the war would last
at least one year longer.

Monsieur Gustier, president of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce,
departed at one o'clock for Paris in a de luxe car. This car was the one
usually occupied by President Poincaire and known as the president's

Before departing we were given a noonday luncheon at the Hotel Terminal
by the "Committee General Franco-American Society."

We were now for the first time told that we were being entertained by
the French government, through its different chambers of commerce. On
the way, two of the general officers of the railroad company boarded the

We noticed on passing through the country, that all the people working
on the farms were either old men, women or children, the young men all
being in the army.

One of the things, earnestly desired by the French people is to increase
the birthrate. A bonus system has been proposed as well as all sorts of
plans for increasing the size of families.

We learned here that four million men and women in France were engaged
in the wine industry.

We arrived in Paris at 10:30, September 6th. The only light visible was
the moon. The Hotel de Crillon, formerly a castle occupied by the French
nobility and transformed into a very comfortable and aristocratic hotel,
was our stopping place.

Early on Thursday morning, September 7th, I paid my first visit to the
American Ambulance. I met Dr. Metcalf, a former Youngstown physician. He
has charge of the New York and the Frank H. Mason wards. At the time we
were there six hundred soldiers were under treatment. Deaths run about
two per cent.

This was my first visit to an army hospital and the impression will
never be forgotten. There were men in all different stages of wounds,
some of them convalescent; others on the dividing line; with others the
treatment was just starting. This American Ambulance is considered the
best managed hospital in all France. General Frank H. Mason, who had
been consul general and in the consular service more than thirty years,
had charge of it up to the time of his death. He was succeeded by
Monsieur Benet. It is a thorough business organization.

On this same day I visited Mrs. Frank H. Mason, the venerable widow of
General Mason. We drove out together and I again visited the Ambulance
in her company. She has been active in benevolent work for many years
and was greeted everywhere with signs of affection. She took great pride
in the ward named for her husband. In this ward most of the soldiers
under treatment are officers.

I also met at the Ambulance Major Kipling, the head of the "flying
corps". They have there about a dozen military ambulances that go to the
front and bring back the wounded. Over seven thousand have been brought
in since March. Two trips are made daily.

I also met at the Ambulance Mrs. Benet, a society woman, but in nurse's
garb and actively at work.

[Illustration: Miniature French Flag carried by the Author through
France. The Waving of this Flag by an American Aroused much

I next visited the Church of the Holy Trinity. This is the American
church in Paris. It was built in 1842 and is now in charge of Dr.
Watson, well known to all Americans who visit Paris. In the urn room are
the remains of General Mason and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Judge Birchard.
Her husband was in partnership with the late Governor Tod, and it was in
Judge Birchard's office that Governor Tod studied law.

On Friday, September 8th, the commission was given a reception by the
Association Nationale De Expansion Economique and the Paris Chamber of
Commerce, jointly. There was an animated discussion at this luncheon
with members of the Paris Chamber of Commerce, all of it in French. Some
of the commissioners got badly tangled up, but we got through by the aid
of our French-speaking commissioners and matters were pretty well
straightened out.

We were given a luncheon on this same day by the Paris Chamber of
Commerce at the Armenonville. We met at this luncheon a great many Paris
notables, many of them members of the French parliament, and others
prominent in business and finance.

In the evening I visited the Rejane Theatre and saw some wonderful
moving pictures, taken by means of periscopes; they showed the inside of
the trenches, prisoners being taken, big guns firing, one mine
explosion, the visit of King George and also of King Albert of Belgium;
in fact it was the representation of a real battle and most thrilling.

On Saturday, September 9th, quite to the surprise of many of the
commissioners, we were invited to inspect a noted dressmaking
establishment, the Callot Saurs, otherwise the Callot Sisters, at No. 11
Avenue Marigon. We could hardly understand what this visit to the
dressmakers had to do with our investigating French industrial
establishments, but light was thrown on the subject when we learned that
these sisters had three thousand employees, principally women. I made
the remark that I supposed Worth was the French authority on women's
gowns, but was told that Worth was a back number. It was a remarkable
experience; we were taken into a large room and for a period of more
than two hours were shown marvelous creations in the way of women's
gowns. It really looked like a play. There were some lightning changes.
We timed some of the models and they changed their entire costumes in
less than three minutes. It goes without saying that some of the
costumes did not cover enough of the models to require very much time
for a change. It was really quite an experience, and some of the
commissioners wondered if we could not go back again the next day.

In the evening we were invited to the aviation camp in the suburbs of
Paris. This is a school and turns out three hundred aviators monthly.
We were given a special exhibition and saw as many as thirty of the
aeroplanes go through maneuvers. I was struck by the deafening noise
made when the machines arose. One accident occurred while we were there;
a machine got out of order and fell to the ground, seriously injuring
two of the aviators in charge. The average is one death daily. During
the maneuvers a real war call came from the front and four of the
largest machines started off. These aeroplanes travel at the rate of
over one hundred miles an hour and can reach the front in from twelve to
fifteen minutes from Paris. Since these aviators have been guarding
Paris, the Germans have given up sending their machines over that city.
The plant at the camp manufactures fifty aeroplanes daily.

After this notable aviation exhibition, we called on Robert Bliss,
Charge de'affaires at the American Embassy, Mr. Sharp being absent.

On this day we had our first experience in government automobiles. Five
military automobiles were placed at our disposal with soldiers for
chauffeurs, two in charge of each machine. These automobiles are large
and powerful and hold seven persons. In them we saw many interesting
sights about Paris and in that section of France, only a few of which
may be described.



On Sunday, September 10th, I had the good fortune to meet Lloyd George.
He had been paying a visit to General Joffre, and was registered at the
same hotel as the Commission. Through his secretary, and through the
persistence of some of the commissioners, arrangements were made to meet
this celebrated man. I happened to be the first one of the commissioners
introduced. During my youthful days, while a clerk in a company store at
Niles, Ohio, I had learned some Welsh, and in this language I greeted
Lloyd George. He seemed surprised and was kind enough to remark "That is
very good Welsh". This put me in close touch with him and I had quite a
conversation. He fired questions quite rapidly. He asked me what
business I was in and at the same time what chances Hughes had for being
elected. I told him I had been in the steel business for a great many
years, and that I was a delegate to the convention which nominated
Hughes. I told him I had heard Mr. Hughes' father preach at Mineral
Ridge, a suburb of Niles. All the other commissioners were introduced.
During the interview, Mr. George made this remark:

"I hope your mission will be successful and help France; I hope you
can also help England, and when we have settled our little
difficulties, help Germany. The world is big enough for us all."

Mr. George spoke very kindly to me of both Hughes and Roosevelt, and at
the close of the interview said with earnestness:

"We are fighting the battle for all civilization. We are fighting
for you as well as for ourselves, and you are deeply interested."

I had the impression that the famous Englishman was of large stature,
but was mistaken. He is a man about five feet, five inches tall, of
slender build, with keen, penetrating eye and somewhat nervous manner;
he is certainly one of the great men of the world.

In the afternoon with Dr. Mailloux, a member of the Commission, I paid a
visit to General Gosselin, formerly chief of munitions, who had been in
America on business for the French Government. He spoke very highly of
the steel material furnished by the various American manufacturing
plants, and said it would have been impossible for the French to succeed
as they had without this help. He urged the shipping of steel on
contracts with all possible dispatch. General Gosselin is an important
personage, quiet and modest. I was told he had already been of great
service to his country.

[Illustration: Lloyd George, Who Says "England is Fighting a Battle for

In the evening we visited "Le Phare de France," or "The Light House of
France." This is one of the noblest of the many humane institutions
being maintained in France by American means. It is under the management
of Miss Winifred Holt, who represents the New York Association for the
Blind, and is doing an angel's work among the men blinded in battle, of
whom there are more in this war than in any other in history, owing to
the many new methods employed and the manner in which battles are
fought. Miss Holt is known as "Keeper of the Light House," and is much
beloved in France. She is a most engaging young woman and deserves all
the kind things said about her by the admiring French. Miss Holt is ably
assisted by Miss Cleveland, the charming daughter of the late President

This institution is under the direct patronage of the President of
France and a committee composed of the highest officials of that
country, although the funds to support it are contributed by wealthy
Americans, prominent among whom are the Crockers, of San Francisco. In
it the men whose sight has been destroyed are being taught useful
occupations and cheered with the hope that they will be able to earn a
living. They are also taught to read letters for the blind and thus some
of the everlasting darkness to which they had been condemned by the
horrors of war is dispelled. It is said that many men who could with
difficulty be kept from committing suicide in their despair have become
cheerful since entering this institution.

[Illustration: Miss Winifred Holt, "Keeper of the Light House of

On Monday we visited the famous china establishment Sevres. This is one
of the oldest works of the kind in France and its product is known
everywhere. The plant has now been taken over by the government and used
for making gas containers and other accessories used by the army.

Following the visit to Sevres we were entertained in Paris at luncheon
by the Circle Republican. On my right sat David Mennet, President of the
Paris Chamber of Commerce; on my left sat Monsieur Laffere, Deputy
Minister of Labor. Much valuable information was obtained from both of
these gentlemen, but it was not of a nature to be recorded.

In the afternoon we visited the famous Renault automobile plant. This
plant has been taken over by the government and is employed in making
war materials, automobile trucks, automobiles for military use and
munitions. The plant employs twelve thousand men and five thousand
women. They are engaged twelve hours daily, with one hour off at noon
for luncheon. This was our first visit to a munition plant and we were
cautioned to be careful in what we might record concerning what we saw.
I was struck by the earnestness of the workmen; the expression on their
countenances could be universally interpreted, "We are working for
France". After this visit to the Renault plant we inspected the plant of
Andre Citroon, a Hollander, but a generalle in Paris. He manufactures
munitions only, employing seven thousand, five hundred women and
twenty-five hundred men. In both of these plants we saw piles of steel
made in America and labeled "Youngstown", "Pittsburgh", "Harrisburg" or

In the evening we were given a banquet by the American Chamber of
Commerce at the Hotel Palais d'Orsay. On my right sat Consul General
Thackara, whom I had known for a great many years. His wife was a
daughter of the late General Sherman, who said, it will be remembered,
"War is Hell". In view of what we saw later I think he was quite right.
On my left was First Secretary of Legation, American Embassy, Arthur
Hugh Frazier.

The Herald gives an account of this banquet as follows:

Between ninety and a hundred members of the American colony in
Paris met at the Hotel Palais d'Orsay yesterday evening at a
banquet given by the American Chamber of Commerce for the
delegation of the American Manufacturers' Export Association, which
has just arrived in France.

The large dining-hall of the hotel was tastefully decorated with
roses, carnations and dahlias, and hardly a seat was vacant when
dinner was served, about eight o'clock.

After an excellent dinner, which began with "Tortue clair" and went on
by easy stages from "Langouste muscovite" and an excellent "Baron de
Pauillac" to the "Parfait glace Palais d'Orsay", and dessert, Judge
Walter V. R. Berry, Vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce in Paris,
and acting as chairman in the absence of the president, Mr. Percy
Peixotto, addressed the company, as follows:

We have all heard so often about the caravels of Columbus and about
the Mayflower that, perhaps a hundred years from now, in a
brand-new Palais d'Orsay Hotel, an eloquent member of the Chamber
of Commerce will refer to nineteen hundred and sixteen as the year
in which the good ship Lafayette brought over for the first time a
great American Industrial Commission to explore Darkest France.

Anyone who views with a philosophic mind the tremendous cataclysm
that is convulsing the world must reach this conclusion: that its
results will be more profound, more far-reaching, more epoch-making
than were the results of the Revolution of 1789.

Where, under the new conditions, will the United States find

It is a difficult problem to solve; but if one cannot answer, it
will be at least a step forward to put the right questions.
Gentlemen of the Commission, it is for you, on your return to
America, to formulate these questions.

Heretofore it has been impossible to get together in Europe a
delegation of Americans, each one of whom was ready to sink his
private interests. This is the first time that an American
Commission has come abroad, forgetting the individual, looking
only to the welfare of the State.

Gentlemen, I congratulate you on your public spirit and your
patriotism. I congratulate you, too, on your opportunity, the
magnificent opportunity of bringing home to the American people the
urgent necessities that confront them.

After the sustained applause had subsided Mr. W. W. Nichols gave a brief
account of the objects for which the American Industrial Commission came
to France. He referred to the impetus which had been given to the whole
idea by M. Damour, the French deputy and leader of the French Commission
which recently visited the United States, and declared that the
representatives of French and American manufacturers and industries
might help mutually in solving the industrial problem which affected the
sister republics. "Our aim," said Mr. Nichols, "is reciprocity in
personal conduct and co-operation which will lead to the solution of
many minor difficulties. Our possibilities are enormous."

Mr. Nichols concluded with an expression of thanks for the welcome which
the Commission had received in France and an acknowledgment of the
services which the American Chamber had rendered both to France and to
the United States.

On Tuesday we visited the school for maimed soldiers in Paris. At this
place the men who are unable to return to the front are taught all
kinds of trades--barbering, soap-making, shoe making, etc.

On Wednesday, September 13th the Commission made a trip to Rouen.

Women in knitting mills there earn four francs daily, working eleven
hours; in the webbing mills they earn five francs daily, working eleven
hours. There are no unions. A great deal of the product had been
marketed in Germany but this market was lost. At Rouen we saw a large
British steamer loaded with soldiers enroute to the front. They saluted
the American flag. The harbor was full of shipping. The boats draw
twenty feet of water.

I met J. M. Belin, a manufacturer of tubes used in flying machines. I
had a very interesting talk with Monsieur Belin. He told me there were
ten thousand German soldiers being killed daily on all the fronts and
that seventy per cent of the iron and coal formerly belonging to France
was now in the hands of the Germans.

On Thursday, September 14th, we left Paris for Limoges, arriving there
at five P.M. We were given a reception by the mayor of the town and the
president of the Chamber of Commerce at the Chamber of Commerce Rooms.
We were driven through the town, across the River Vienne. We saw an
ancient Roman bridge, said to be more than two thousand years old.

[Illustration: Ancient Bridge at Limoges--Built by the Romans Two
Thousand Years Ago and Still in Use.]

Also a very old cathedral. A very interesting sight, which I had seen in
oil paintings, was that of women washing on the banks of the river. The
river was lined for nearly a mile with women all occupied in this useful

Limoges is the center of the porcelain industry in France. Its exports
to the United States are very large. The consul at Limoges was
instructed to do all possible to aid the Commission, and, per contra,
the Consul at Rouen was instructed not to accept any invitations or
recognize the Commission in an official way.

We visited the Martin china works and saw a veritable "Bull in a china
shop", that is to say, there was a pair of bullocks hitched to a wagon
going through the warehouse while we were there.

We visited the celebrated Haviland plant at Limoges, and met Geo.
Haviland, who is well known in America. With him we had quite a
discussion regarding the manufacturers at Limoges increasing their
output of low grade wares.

At noon on this day we had a conference with the Chamber of Commerce of
Limoges. At this conference I was permitted to say a few words, which
were translated for the audience as follows:

Gentlemen, I have been criticised by my fellow Commissioners for
not taking part in the discussions. I speak English only, and have
hesitated to enter these arguments. It seems to me, though, that
instead of trying to enter on the increase of your common product,
such as any china manufacturer in the United States can make, you
should increase the production of your high grade product. There
are high grade porcelains made in Austria and a lot of this comes
to us from Germany. Your product is known all over the world--the
name "Haviland" is a household word. In my opinion if your
manufacturers here at Limoges went into the production of the
common qualities of porcelain, it would lower your reputation.

My recommendation, therefore, is that if possible you increase the
production of the artistic porcelains.

In the evening a banquet was given us at the Hotel Rue de Lu Paix. On my
right was Eugene L. Belisle, American Consul, and on my left was Leon
Pinton, Vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce.

The banquet table was a beautiful sight. French and American flags were
entwined. Speeches were made by members of the Chamber of Commerce and
responses by Mr. Nichols in broken French. I had a most interesting talk
with Consul Belisle. He said that one year ago the French would have
made a much better settlement of the war than today. They are now better
prepared and would demand the return of territory, including Alsace
Lorraine, the French people being educated up to this point. He said
also that he had come in contact with German prisoners and they were
discouraged and would be glad to surrender.

We met at this banquet General Comby, district commander of the twelfth

Dr. Mailloux and Mr. MacArthur had a very interesting talk with General
Comby, Thursday night after the banquet was over. General Comby was in
active service at the front after the opening of the war. He described
to us particularly what he had seen of warfare at the time of the battle
of the Marne. He said it was called the battle of the Marne because of
the lack of any other name to give it, but the battle took place over a
period of some thirty odd days and covered a considerable region, much
of which was far away from the Marne. He informed us that the fresh
troops who have not before experienced the severity of battle go into a
desperate fight with the greatest valor and heroism; that after troops
have seen a long session of fighting, and have been through the
hardships of many engagements they lose, and he thinks it is natural
they should lose, much of the spirit that accompanies them in their
first engagements.

He told us of the very severe losses that were suffered in these first
actions of the war; greater than at any other time. Mr. MacArthur
understood him to regard this so-called Battle of the Marne as perhaps
the bloodiest and most terrible of all battles in history. He informed
us that it was not one single battle, but a succession of almost
continuous struggles, day and night, over a period of three or four

General Comby had under his immediate command 18,000 troops, of whom he
lost 13,500 in these engagements. He said, however, that in spite of
all these losses, he had never found himself nor his troops in the
position of defeat; that defeat is largely a matter of sentiment and
valor. An army with comparatively slight losses might consider itself
defeated if it chose to do so. An army of troops like some of those he
had could be cut almost to pieces, and yet, if there was a remnant
sufficient and disposed to come together again, they formed a still
undefeated and effective body.

The general spoke particularly of a battalion of zouaves that he had,
numbering about 1,000, and which was cut down until there were only 280
left. Yet they came together undefeated and effective troops. He said
that since the Battle of the Marne the war has taken on a different
character. He considered the German defeat as taking place at and by
reason of this battle. Had they not been checked then, and turned, there
is no telling what the Germans might have done. But they were checked
and turned, which constituted their defeat, and all operations that have
and are now taking place are simply operations to follow up the victory
that was realized at the Marne.

On Saturday, September 16th, we arrived at Aubusson, the centre of the
tapestry industry of France, as it has been for the past five centuries.

Aubusson is located in a beautiful country. On our way to that city we
noticed women attending sheep, just as we had seen in pictures by
Millet and other painters. These women, with only a dog as companion,
knit as they tend their flocks.

We arrived in Aubusson at 10:30 A.M. We were first taken to the town
hall, where there was a general exhibit of the products of the district
on view. I was greatly impressed with a portrait, in tapestry, of
General Joffre, the great French commander, idolized by the French
people and hero of the Battle of the Marne. It did not occur to me at
the moment of examining this tapestry portrait that it might be
purchased; but afterwards, while we were at luncheon, I thought possibly
it might be bought, and asked Monsieur Damour, who sat next to me, what
he thought about it. He expressed the belief that it was not for sale
and would not be permitted to go out of France. He said, however, that
he would make an investigation, and sent his secretary, who came back in
a very short time with the information that the portrait would be sold
to an American only. The price was named and without any further
negotiations I accepted the offer, making only one condition, that it
was not to be duplicated. I had the portrait taken from its frame and
brought it with me, having it retrained upon my arrival home. It is
certainly a beautiful piece of work, as well as unique; no one but an
expert could tell at first glance that it is not a portrait done in oil.
It was copied by one of the greatest tapestry artists in France from
the oil painting made of General Joffre by a noted French artist.

[Illustration: Tapestry Workers at Aubusson.]

We visited a number of the manufactories owned by different corporations
and individuals. I was personally impressed by one piece of tapestry
which had been in the making for a period of four years and would
require at least one year longer to complete. It depicted the marriage
of Napoleon and Josephine. This piece is about thirty feet by twenty
feet in size, and contains forty thousand shades of color. It was not
for sale, and we were told it was to be held to take part in a
celebration of the Allied victory in the Champs Elysees. The French
people are so confident of victory that the windows facing the Arc de
Triomphe have already been engaged to view the event.

We noticed there in the textile factories old women winding yarn, many
of them eighty years of age, but still vigorous and hard at work. A
photograph of a group of young girls was taken by one of the
Commissioners and is reproduced in these pages.

A little incident occurred at the luncheon before mentioned which is
worthy of record.

I noticed a coarse looking American flag suspended in the dining room. I
made inquiry of the woman who waited upon us at the table and she said
that she had never seen an American flag, but had read about it and had
reproduced what she thought was a copy from memory. It was made from a
piece of awning containing stripes, with blue stars sewn in. This
waitress said she had worked at night on it and got as near as possible
to her idea of an American flag. While it was not a work of art, it was
a homely representation of the Stars and Stripes and a tribute from an
humble citizen of France to America.

In our wanderings about Aubusson we came across an old man who said he
was so old that he had forgotten his age. However, in a broken way, he
told of having taken part in the Franco-Prussian war, and remembered
having seen the great Napoleon. Inquiry made of some of the citizens
revealed the fact that his age was supposed to be upwards of one hundred

We visited a very old church with the distinction of having two bells
which ring simultaneously.

As we left this historic place it was an inspiring sight. Nearly the
entirely populace was present and gave us any number of cheers as the
military automobiles took their departure.

At seven P. M. we arrived at Bourboule and had dinner at the Palace
Hotel. We met here Col. Cosby, military attache of the American Embassy
in Paris. This is a watering place and contains a very large
convalescent hospital where soldiers, largely officers, are sent to
finally recuperate before going back to the front. The waters contain
arsenic, are highly medicinal, and known the world over.

We saw at this place the adopted child of Helen Gould. We also met
another bright youth about eleven years of age, who spoke some English.
He asked one very pertinent question, "Why don't you Americans send your
navy over here to help France?"

We were served at dinner by an Amazon waitress. Without measuring her
stature, I should say that she was six feet, four inches in height and
formed in proportion. Nevertheless she was very alert and active on her
feet. She waited on the entire Commission without help, quickly and

The chief decoration was a large American flag in the center of the
table. This was made of flowers and was unique and beautiful. Bourboule
is in a mountainous country and early the next day we were taken to the
top of a mountain, a distance of nearly a mile, on what was termed the
"Funicular Railroad". We were served luncheon at the Hotel de Funicular,
on the top of the mountain, back of the town. The view from this
elevation was wonderful and worth the trip to France. When the war is
over this locality will no doubt be a leading watering place.

In the afternoon we motored to Clermont-Farrand. We stopped at Mont Dore
and at Royal to see the baths, which are noted for their cure for
asthmatic affections. We were given a reception at both places, and
waited upon by very handsome waitresses wearing most artistic hats. I
tried to secure one of these as a souvenir, but without avail, as I was
told they were made especially for this institution and were of a
special design.

On this journey we saw many interesting sights. Carts with donkeys
attached, resembled somewhat the jaunting car in Ireland. Wild flowers
were in great abundance and we stopped many times by the wayside to
purchase them from the little girls. We stopped at Salvador Rock and
listened to an echo which was remarkable; standing on the crest of the
rock, tones almost a whisper could be heard reverberating for some time.
The rock was surrounded by trees resembling very much the pine in
Arizona and the Lake Superior region.

Next we visited a fine old castle, Chateau Miral, and arrived at
Clermont-Farrand at seven P. M. Here we were given a banquet at the
Grand Hotel by the Chamber of Commerce. We met a number of prominent
people, among others Ferdinand Ferryrolles, who manages several hotels
at Monte Carlo. We also met Emmanuel Cheneau, Henri Roche, editor of the
Paris Temps, Etienne Morel and Leon Bernardaud.

We left Clermont-Farrand early on Monday, in military automobiles for
St. Etienne.



The question of visiting the birthplace of the immortal Lafayette came
up at this time, and some of the members insisted on a trip to this
historic spot. The majority carried and we made a detour of nearly one
hundred miles to reach St. George's D'Aurac, near which stands the
stately Chateau Chavagnac, object of our reverent curiosity. At the time
of our visit it was owned by Mr. de Sahame, son of the niece of
Lafayette, bearing the title of Marquis of Lafayette, and residing at
Neuilly, near Paris. We were met by the mayor of the small village,
quite near, and the caretaker of the Chateau, which was in a very good
state of preservation, but not at that time occupied. The prefect of the
district appeared soon and the Commission presented to the ownership of
the Chateau two very beautiful flags, one an American and the other
French, together with a large bouquet of palms and roses. These flags
and the floral offering were placed in the bed where Lafayette was born.
Mr. Nichols, our Chairman, then made the following address:

In a large sense, this auspicious occasion is the most appropriate
event of our trip, because it brings us closer to that which has
been a constant bond of sympathy between the French and American
people. We are more than happy to stand here in the home of our
Washington's intimate friend, where he spent his days of peace, and
whither he retired when cares of state weighed too heavily upon
him. It is not hard to believe that here also was the birthplace of
his greatest thoughts, the beginnings of his noblest aspirations.

Lafayette, the apostle of liberty, came to struggling America at
the opportune time, and in ways that every school child at home
knows, cast his lot with ours in that perfect sympathy which
constituted Washington's greatest support. History's record,
complete as it is, cannot account for the countless things
Lafayette did for us, which many times perhaps changed the course
of events in our favor and brought us that freedom of thought, that
liberty of action, which he ever craved.

When we stop to reflect that it all began here, our souls may well
be moved beyond the mere expression of words. After a century and a
quarter we treasure Lafayette's memory and it grows with an
increasing realization of the merit of the assistance he rendered
us. Our two nations today are the embodiment of the principles he
stood for, perhaps was a great factor in inculcating in the minds
of our ancestors, to be transmitted by inheritance to us. We
rejoice that he lived; that a land like France gave him birth; that
the friendship he began continues to make the world better.

May we realize the dream ever present with him, to judge from his
actions, which speak more insistent than words, of a mutuality of
our national interests; that hand in hand the two great republics
may together work out their great destinies, together set an
example for the world worthy of its emulation, an example of a
fraternity of purpose and attempt which by its very strength will
compel the better things of life.

[Illustration: Lafayette's Deathbed, with Commission's Flag and

Gentlemen: In reverence to the memory of our great compatriot, let
us devote a moment to silent contemplation of the great thoughts
that inspired the great deeds of our great brother, Lafayette.

There was a response by the prefect and the mayor of the nearby village.

This visit was an historical event. I had made up my mind, and so talked
with another member of the Commission, that it would be a fine thing to
purchase this property, endow it with a fund which would keep it always
open as a museum and present it to the French Government. Since our
return to America the property has been acquired by a group of prominent
American men and women, headed by Mrs. William Astor Chanler, for the
same purpose that some of the members of our Commission had in mind, a
most worthy project. This birthplace is known as The Chateau de
Chavagnac-Lafayette. It is the hope of the purchasers to make it "A
French Mount Vernon".

The Marquis Gilbert de Lafayette was born at the Chateau de Chavagnac,
in the French province of Auvergne, on September 6th, 1757. It is some
four hundred miles from Paris, in southern France. The crowning
architectural feature of this little settlement of some five hundred
souls, it stands, sentinel-like, among the sixty red-tiled roofs of the
village. The little church at which Lafayette worshipped is only a step
from the Chateau gates.

The original Chateau de Chavagnac dates from the fourteenth century. It
was destroyed by fire in 1701, but was very soon afterward rebuilt from
the original plans.

It is the purpose of the French Heroes' Fund to make this Chateau in
France a complement to Mount Vernon. In it are to be kept records of
Colonial days, as well as those of the present war. There is to be a
room dedicated to the British; one to the Legion; another to the
American Ambulance and still another to aviation. It is also to be made
a home for orphans and for soldiers who have been disabled.

After a collation, we visited the reception room, which contains a
number of old-time engravings, facsimiles of the Declaration of
Independence, a bronze bust of Lafayette, a marble bust of Lafayette and
a bronze bust of Franklin. Overhanging the bed in which Lafayette was
born is a fine portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Although Lafayette died in
Paris, the bed in which he died was brought to the Chateau, and we were
shown this also.

Among other things in the reception room was a large placard with the
heading "North American United States Constitution Explained". There was
also a billiard table which looked as if it had seen much service.

I have alluded to this visit to the birthplace of Lafayette in a little
address which I made at Besancon, and which will appear later.

Some photographs of the Commission were taken before leaving. Quite a
large sum was raised among the Commissioners and given to the mayor to
be distributed among the poor of the village.

Our next objective was LePuy, where we arrived at 4:30 P.M. and had
breakfast, so-called, although the detour to the birthplace of Lafayette
made us about ten hours late. We were met by the prefect, the mayor and
the president of the Chamber of Commerce. We visited a church built on
the top of a rock, the ascent to which was by three hundred
perpendicular steps, two feet wide. It was said that these steps were
built in this way as an opportunity for penance, it being a very hard
operation to climb to the top. Some of our people made the ascent,
myself among the number. When we reached the top we were rewarded by a
magnificent view of the surrounding country. At the highest point is a
statue of the Virgin Mary, made of Russian cannon, recast after capture
by Napoleon.

While at LePuy we were shown the only spot where the immortal Caesar was
defeated; otherwise his reign was triumphant.

Leaving LePuy we arrived at St. Etienne at midnight, after a most
perilous ride. A banquet had been planned at St. Etienne, but had been
postponed. On the following day we visited the establishment of the
Giron Brothers, ribbon manufacturers. This establishment dates back to
the very early part of the Nineteenth century, and at present has two
thousand employees, nearly all women. Its trade is largely with the
United States. On account of the labor situation the factory is working
only half time. The men are at war, the women in the munition plants and
factories. Wage earners make four, and not to exceed five, francs per
day and consider themselves well paid.

[Illustration: Monastery of St. Michael at Le Puy.]

We also visited the silk manufacturing plant of P. Staron, Jr. We saw
here the most beautiful silks and brocades. Among other fine things were
ribbons in the Fleur de Lis design, the national flower of France. On
account of the war the employees at work were few.

Here we met Mr. Wm. H. Hunt, American consul and the last appointee of
President McKinley before his untimely death.

At St. Etienne I went into a barbershop to get a shave, sat down in the
chair, and a youth not over twelve years of age started to lather me. I
supposed, of course, that he was getting me ready for the barber, who
would soon appear; instead of that he proceeded with the work himself.
He spoke a little English, telling me his father was in the army and he
was running the business. He gave me one of the best shaves I received
in France.

My next experience with the youth of France was with a boy chauffeur.
Our military automobiles had disappeared for the time being and I
engaged a taxicab.

[Illustration: Silk Tapestry Menu Used at Dinner to the Commission at
St. Etienne.]

The boy who ran this was not over eleven or twelve years of age, but he
did the work well.

On the evening of September 19th, we were given a banquet by the Chamber
of Commerce at St. Etienne. It was a very successful affair. I met here
Theodore Laurent, a prominent steel manufacturer whom I had met at
Brussels in 1911, when the American Iron and Steel Institute made its
famous visit to England and the continent. At this banquet we met also
the prefect and other notables.



Wednesday, September 20th, we left St. Etienne for St. Charmond to visit
the plant at which Mr. Laurent is director general. His company owns
several plants, this being the most important and one of the oldest
manufactories of cannons and munitions in France. We met here Colonel
Rimialho, who is the inventor of the seventy-five-millimeter gun and has
general charge of the artillery and munitions manufactured in France.
The plant at the present time makes only cannon and munitions. There are
no blast furnaces at the works. They use the Siemens-Martin process and
melt about seventy-five to eighty per cent. scrap. They also use a
quantity of vanadium steel imported from America and furnished by the
American Vanadium Company. We were told that France produces five
hundred thousand shells or projectiles daily. This plant turns out
twenty-eight thousand of this number, besides one hundred and twenty
thousand fuses, or detonators. Before the war the works produced one
hundred and twenty thousand annually; they now make this number daily.
They have sixteen thousand employees, five thousand of whom are women.
We saw here a number of Amazonian Junos doing men's work while wearing
leather aprons, and were informed that they were fully as efficient as
men and are paid the same wages.

We saw at these works a number of the now famous "caterpillars", an
armored car moving on a broad track which it lays down as it goes. This
machine was invented by an American, and I have seen it at work on the
Pacific coast.

After an examination of the works, we were taken to the suburbs of the
town and a special test of the big guns was made for our benefit, the
firing going to the hill. We were instructed to put cotton in our ears
and keep our mouths open, and faithfully observed this injunction. The
seventy-five millimeter fired twelve shots in thirty-six seconds, by my
watch. The target was brought to us afterwards and we were shown that
the projectiles went straight through without a side dent. We were also
treated to the firing of some of the very large guns, and by the time
this was over I was ready to visit an ear doctor, if there had been one

When this interesting exhibition was ended we were entertained for the
first time in a real French home. Mr. Laurent took us to his home and
gave us a luncheon. We met Mrs. Laurent and two daughters, but the four
sons had joined the colors. Two of them had already lost their lives in

We met at this luncheon Sir Thomas Barclay, of London, who has taken an
active part in the humanitarian work of England, with headquarters in

[Illustration: Col. Rimailho with 155-mm. Gun (upper) and Famous 75-mm.
Gun (lower) Perfected by Him.]

The party reached Lyons at 6:20 P.M. by military automobiles and at once
had a conference with Mayor Heriot. It appeared that there was some
discussion between this official and the president of the Chamber of
Commerce as to who should head the entertaining. We were greatly
impressed with M. Heriot, but he took a night train for Paris and we
were left in the hands of the Chamber of Commerce. We were given a
reception by this body, and spent the night at Lyons.

On the afternoon of the following day we visited the textile museum. We
also visited the government munitions plant, which was formerly the
Lyons fair, but had been taken over by the government, stripped of
everything and made the most efficient munitions plant in all France. We
met Thadee Natanson, Director General. He is a wonderful character. Our
impression of him was very good and he later addressed us in strong but
broken English and said he hoped he would learn something from us, and,
if we had, in visiting the plant, any suggestions to make, he wanted to
hear them. The plant employs twelve thousand, one-half women and the
remainder men. The product is shells, cartridges, fuses, and detonators.
We were told that this is the only place in France where a projectile is
entirely completed, ready to fire. We met Andre Foulcher, engineer of
the plant. The production of this plant is twenty-eight thousand shells
and twenty-five thousand fuses daily. We were told that here the women
were more efficient than the men. At these works we were taken into the
most dangerous part of the plant, where frequent explosions have

We met here George Martin, editor of the Paris "Progress", and also
Capt. J. Barret, who had recently lost in the army his only son.

Our tour of Lyons included the Lyons electric light and gas plant. On
this side trip we met an entire regiment of Algerian soldiers, black as
the traditional ace of spades, but fine specimens of manhood. Their
uniforms were almost identical with the uniform worn by our soldiers in
the Civil War. They wore light blue overcoats, such as Governor Tod
furnished the first company which marched from Youngstown.

Over the door of the gas plant were the words "Defense D'Entrer", with
skull and cross bones underneath and with the further words, "Danger de

At this place we received our first home letters, which were very

In the evening we were given a banquet by the Chamber of Commerce. The
invitation received from the Lyons Chamber, translated, is as follows:

Lyon, Chamber of Commerce.

The Lyons Chamber of Commerce beg you to be so kind as to accept a
private invitation at dinner which it will give to the members of
the Commission of the United States on Thursday, September 21st, 7
o'clock P. M. at Berrier and Millet, 31 Bellecour Square.
Business dress.


We were welcomed in English by the vice-president of the Chamber of
Commerce, and discussed the following menu:

  Supreme of Lobster A l'amiral
  Tenderloin a la bearnaise
  Artichoke Hearts
  Chantilly style
  Roast Truffled Bresse Chicken
  Scotch Salad
  Havana Ice
  Fleurie (Beaujolais) in Decanter
  Pouilly (Maconnais) in Decanter
  White Hermitage 1904
  Chateau Vaudieu 1904
  Saint-Peray frappe

On my right was General d'Armade, one of the noted generals of the
French army, who had seen service all through the present war. On my
left was M. Farrand. My talk with General d'Armade was most interesting.
He said the best soldiers of both the French and the German armies were
gone; that they had been destroyed in the early part of the war and that
the soldiers now fighting were civilians who had been trained for two
years. He declared that a French soldier was always a French soldier. He
had no doubt of the ultimate victory of the Allies. In addition to
General d'Armade's experience in the present war, he had been in Morocco
and the Sudan with important commands.

On Friday, the day following, we were entertained by the directors of
the Lyons Fair. On my left was Charles Cabaud, Russian Consul General.
On my right sat Dr. Jules Courmont, who in time of peace is Professor of
the faculty of medicine and physician to the hospitals of Lyons, but who
now, in time of war, is in the War Department, has the rank of general,
and is charged with the hygiene of the army.

We found him a very competent and interesting gentleman. He accompanied
us in the private car which the railroad furnished us, and went south
with us some distance to where there is a large government garrison, and
where he had an inspection to make.

During the trip on the train Dr. Courmont told us many interesting
things about the hygiene of the army. He said that the warfare of today
is very different from the warfare of former times in respect to the
hygiene; that contrary to what was commonly supposed, the hygiene of the
trenches is excellent; that the soldiers are in better condition, most
of them, than they are in time of peace. They are more regularly and
better fed, and are strong, well nourished and hearty. The experience
has been the regeneration of very many of them physically. This is due,
he says, to the fact that they have their food served to them regularly
and abundantly; whereas in former wars it was a matter of the greatest
difficulty for troops to be provisioned.

We asked him whether or not the water in the trenches was harmful to the
soldiers and he replied that they had very little rheumatism, and the
men did not seem to suffer from it. He said there was almost, or in
fact, no smallpox, and there was comparatively no typhoid. All of the
soldiers are innoculated against typhoid, receiving on the first
innoculation three or four injections, and subsequently being
innoculated about once in every six months, receiving then two
injections. This is for soldiers, whereas civilians are usually
innoculated about once every three years, if it is desired that they
should be kept immune from typhoid. He says they use with best results
the system of Dr. Vidal, of Paris, employing a serum in which the
bacteria have been destroyed by heat rather than by boiling. They find
the effect of this serum much better than that of others. He says that
tuberculosis does, of course, exist, because tuberculosis exists among
most civilized peoples. There is even more tuberculosis now among the
troops than at the beginning of the war; but this is not due to an
increase of tuberculosis, but is due to the fact that the later levies
of troops have included many soldiers who at the beginning would not
have been accepted, because they either had the disease or had a
tendency toward it.

He then spoke about the effect of various weapons in use. He was asked
whether the modern rifle wound was serious. He said it was either so
serious as to kill the soldier by passing-through the brain, the heart,
or some other vital part, or else it was a matter of more or less
indifference. If a rifle ball went through the fleshy part of the body,
you could pretty safely say it was not a grave wound, because the
bullets passing through the air are so cleansed and heated that when
they go through the fleshy part of the body they leave no germs and do
little harm unless they fracture a bone. We asked if they did not carry
into the wound infected pieces of the soldiers' clothing, and he said
no, that they did not find that to be the case; that the bullet went
through so quickly that it separated the clothing, and went through the
flesh clean. He even stated that a bullet could pass through the lungs;
that the wounded soldier would spit up blood, but that when attended to
at once, and the wound dressed, it would be a matter of only eight or
ten days when he would be again in fairly good condition. He said,
however, that wounds from fragments of shrapnel were of quite a
different character; that they were ragged, unclean and usually gave
much concern. He said, also, as a matter of fact, that the gun or rifle
was performing a less and less important function in warfare. That many
were even in favor of abandoning the rifle entirely as a weapon. That
the war, as carried on today, is carried on in personal assaults mainly
through the effectiveness of the grenades, handknives, revolvers and
similar weapons; that the trenches and trench warfare are not suited to
close hand-to-hand encounters, as there is not usually room enough to
manipulate a gun and bayonet. (This agrees with what was told us by our
Negro friend, Bob Scanlon, whom we met at Clermond, and who said all he
wanted and carried in an assault or a fight were grenades, a knife and a
good club, preferably of iron.)

The doctor said that for the warfare of today reliance is mainly upon
the mitrailleuse, which fires 300 shots a minute. He says that nothing
living within the range of these guns, and exposed to them, can possibly
stand. This is the small arm which had such great effect for the French
in the first days of the war. The Germans had very few guns of this kind
in the beginning, but they have since provided themselves with them. He
said that outside of these guns the most effective are the famous 75 mm.
and the 155 mm. rifles. He asked us to recall the fact that both of
these guns were fired for our benefit at St. Charmond, under the
direction of Col. Rimailho, whom we had the pleasure of meeting there,
and who was one of the important men co-operating in building the "75",
and who was, himself, the inventor and author of the "155". These are
the guns of lighter caliber which do such effective work in the field.
Of course, in addition, the French are also using guns of very large
caliber, for instance the 350 mm. These, of course, are for the
reduction of forts, and the enemy's line prior to assault.

[Illustration: Women Employed in Munitions Factories.]

Dr. Courmont wanted to know whether we had seen the new armored
caterpillar cars which they were preparing, and we told him we had seen
them at St. Charmond. He said they were to be equipped with one "75" gun
and with two or three mitrailleuses (the rapid fire gun), and that an
equipment like this, armored against the shrapnel of the enemy, would
doubtless be most effective for the French, as a similar caterpillar had
been for the English.



We left Lyons for Arles, in the military automobiles, passing through
and stopping for a brief time at Tarascon, made famous by Daude in his
novel, "Tartarin of Tarascon". Here we were given the usual reception
and pretty much the entire population of the town turned out to greet
us. The following leaflet by the Arles Chamber of Commerce outlines the

* * *

Reception of the Economical Commission of the United States

Friday, September 22nd

5 o'clock 25' P.M. Reception of the Commission at the station
by the Chamber of Commerce and
the officials of the City of Arles.

7 o'clock 45' P.M. Dinner given by the Chamber of Commerce
(Hotel Du Nord).

Saturday, September 23rd

8 o'clock 30' A.M. Leave the Forum Square for the visit
of the monuments and museums of Arles.
11 o'clock 25' Luncheon given by the Chamber of Commerce
(Forum hotel).

1 o'clock 10" P.M. Leave Forum Square for the station.

* * *

At the evening banquet at the Hotel Du Nord, on my right was J. E.
Agate, an English army officer. He had been in the quartermaster's
department, engaged in purchasing supplies for the English army. On my
left was M. Bonnet Guillaume, vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce,
and who lives at Tarascon. We met at this banquet Henri Brenier, advance
agent of the Marseilles Chamber of Commerce. He distributed a handsome
booklet prepared by the Marseilles Chamber.

[Illustration: Arlesiennes--Types of Southern France.]

Mr. Geo. B. Ford, of the Commission, delivered the following address
before the Arles Chamber of Commerce:

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Arena alone, and climbed up as
high as I could and studied it while the sunset shadows crept high
and higher and the great arches gradually faded into gloom.

The wonderful history of Arles passed before me. I saw it as the
great imperial Roman city dominating the valley. I saw it during
the Christian times in the building of the portal of St. Trophime,
and saw it during the Gothic times leading in the history of the
Church, and then again in the Renaissance presenting the world with
the most beautiful example of the work of Mansard, the City Hall.

It seemed that most that was best in the history of architecture in
France was epitomized in the monuments of Arles. To the connoisseur
in America, Arles is well-known. I remember many years ago their
pointing out to me the portal of Trinity Church in Boston, saying
it was inspired from a church called St. Trophime in a town called
Arles in France. The architect of that church, Richardson, our
greatest American architect, was a great lover of Arles. He came
here often for inspiration. Through him, Arles had a great
influence on American architecture of the time.

Recently there was in New York City a competition among leading
architects for a great court house. The design which won was
frankly admitted by its author--Guy Lowell--to be inspired by the
Arena of Arles, of which he is a most enthusiastic admirer.

A number of outdoor theatres have sprung up of late throughout
America. The Roman theatre at Arles is their model.

There is an impression prevalent in France that the average
American thinks only of business; that the higher things of life
have no interest for him. It is far from true. The members of this
Industrial Commission are truly representative of the average
interest and point of view of the American business man,
manufacturer and technical man, and yet each one of them has gone
out of his way to express his delight in his visit to Arles. All
consider it one of the most valuable parts of the trip. Yes, a
marked change is coming over the American business man. He is
recognizing that there is far more in life than being tied to his
job without a let-up. He is relaxing now and then, and in his
relaxation he is discovering the France that his wife and daughter
know. He should come to Arles. He has begun to come a little. We
hope he will come in far greater numbers in the future. It remains
for you to spread broadcast the virtues of Arles. We sincerely hope
that you will miss no opportunities to do this for we believe it
will tend to weave another important bond of understanding and
sympathy between the two countries.

We visited Angna Castle in Arles, to which the Popes were once exiled,
even yet known as the "Home of Popes", or "Popes' Castle".

Arles contains convalescent hospitals, and Red Cross girls, with their
cans, having a slot, were collecting coins everywhere. Arles is an
ancient Roman town. We visited the famous Hotel de Ville, or Town Hall,
which dates back to the Seventeenth century. The architect was Mansard,
for whom the Mansard roof, known in America, is named. The Town Hall is
covered by a curious roof, with supports which hold up the entire
building. In the square is an Egyptian obelisk four thousand years old.

We visited another ancient museum and were shown among other things a
very ancient lead pipe six inches in diameter and in a good state of
preservation. In a sarcophagus of the second century were the remains of
a Roman musician, with an inscription thereon. In addition there was a
statue of Emperor Augustus and a statue of Venus of Arles, with some
original and some restored jars and vases more than two thousand years

We visited an old church founded by St. Trophime, noted in the Bible in
the epistles of St. Paul. Barbarossa, Emperor of Germany, was crowned in
this church. I was struck by a tablet of "Moses crossing the Red Sea" on
one of the walls. This tablet, a most beautiful and interesting piece of
art, reminded me of an experience of my younger days which served to fix
in my mind the celebrated passage of the Israelites in a manner the
effectiveness of which would be envied by the average Sunday School
teacher, even if it was not entirely due to reverence. I had often told
this story to my friends and again told it that evening to some of the
members of the Commission, who seemed to enjoy it well enough to justify
its repetition here.

About the close of the Civil War in 1865, I paid a visit to a younger
brother who was managing a small charcoal blast furnace in Tennessee. I
had never been in this part of the South before and had received minute
instructions as to how to find the place.

Embarking at Nashville on a Cumberland river boat, after a day's ride, I
left the boat in accordance with my brother's instructions at a small
landing and, crossing the river on a ferry, remained over night at a
cabin occupied by a pious old Negro. A horse was sent me at this humble
abode the following morning.

Some little time after finishing a hearty meal composed almost wholly of
corn pone, the old gentleman brought out a time worn Bible and read two
or three chapters. He then announced that we would all unite in prayer.
We all kneeled down. He invoked the Divine blessing upon the rulers of
the earth, the President of the United States and almost everything else
movable and immovable, on land, under the sea and over the sea. After he
had prayed fully a half hour, tired and sleepy, I became impatient and
nudged the half-grown boy next to me with a query as to how long the
prayer would last. Meantime the boy had fallen asleep. However my nudge
woke him up and, repeating my inquiry, I was answered with the
question:--"Has pap got to where Moses crossed de Red Sea"? "No, he has
not got to that yet," was my answer. "Well, when Pap gets to where Moses
done crossed de Red Sea, he am jes half through."

We saw also in this church the tomb of Montcalm, grandfather of
Montcalm, the French general who fell at the taking of Quebec in the
French and English war during the Seventeenth century.

We visited Roman walls and ramparts built by Julius Caesar, and saw an
ancient cemetery directly opposite a munitions factory, which we thought
was a very appropriate location. This cemetery had been pillaged and the
ancient things carried away as relics.

We also visited, while at Arles, a convalescent camp, and saw a number
of Moroccan soldiers.

A point of great interest is the ancient Roman Theatre, built by
Augustus Caesar and containing a statue of that Emperor. Another is the
Arena, built in the first century, restored and reconstructed, and now
used as an outdoor theatre. Sarah Bernhardt played there two years ago
in a Shakesperian representation. It was used in the olden days for the
entertainment of royalty, for gladiatorial contests, and battles of wild
beasts. It is frequently used now for bull rights, as this part of
France is near the Spanish border.

In front of the Hotel Du Nord is the statue of Mistral, the great poet
of Provence.

We visited the Palace of Constantine, Roman Emperor in the fourth
century. In this place remains a pool with means for heating water which
would be considered in good form at the present day.

Arles is a famous centre of architecture and has been visited by all the
great architects of the world. Here many received high inspiration, as
stated in the address given by Mr. Ford.

En route to Arles we had noticed an old Roman theatre in the village of
Orange. We noticed also, which seemed to be common in South France, that
the horses wore a leather horn on the tops of their collars. This is
said to be a usage handed down from the Middle Ages. In this region we
passed whole train loads of grapes, which looked from a short distance
like carloads of anthracite coal.

Our next destination was Marseilles, and here Henri Brenier met us. We
stopped at Martique, which was the home of Ziem, the great French
painter, now deceased. We visited the Ziem museum. The lake of Martique
is where the new port of Marseilles is to be located. This town dates
back six hundred years B. C. We met here the president, Adrien Artaud,
and the vice-president, Hubert Giraud, of the Chamber of Commerce of

[Illustration: Old Roman Arena at Arles--Still Used For Bull Fights and
Other Amusements.]



Arriving at De Rove, the south end of the tunnel, on Saturday, September
23rd, I had my first view of the Mediterranean. It was a most beautiful
sight, and the water as blue as pictured in paintings. We were rowed in
a small boat across an arm of the Mediterranean to the town of
Marseilles. We first visited the new part of Marseilles; then the old.
Upon our arrival there was a tremendous gathering to greet us; not less
than ten thousand children were shouting "Viva la Amerique". The whole
city was decorated with American and French flags intertwined. The crowd
lined upon the wharf so thickly we could scarcely pass through it. This
reception was the greatest we had received anywhere in France. We
visited the Hotel de Ville and were greeted by the mayor, with a
response by Mr. Nichols, interpreted by Dr. Mailloux. We were then taken
to the Hotel Regina and in the evening given a banquet by the Chamber of
Commerce. This chamber was organized in 1599 and is the oldest chamber
of commerce in the world.

Our invitation to this banquet read as follows:

* * *

The President of the Marseilles Chamber of Commerce begs you to
honor him by your presence at the luncheon which will be given to
the members of your Commission on

Monday, September 25th 12:30 P. M. at the
Restaurant de la Re'serve.
(31 F Promenade de la Corniche)

* * *

At this banquet, on my right sat Maurice Damour, French deputy in charge
of the Commission, and on my left Hubert Giraud, vice-president of the
Chamber of Commerce. He made a fine address and I asked him for a copy,
which he gave me. It is reproduced herewith:

* * *

Mr. President--

I am desired by my President to give you in your own language the
welcome of the Chamber of Commerce of Marseilles. You will
certainly lose more than gain in hearing me instead of President
Artaud, and I must apologize, as my knowledge of English is far
from being adequate to my task. Anyhow, it is possible my words may
be by a few of our guests more easily translated than if delivered
in French.

Gentlemen, the oldest Chamber of Commerce in France, and maybe in
the world, is exceedingly proud of entertaining tonight the highly
qualified representatives of the American Commerce and Industry. We
are most thankful to your party to have agreed to spend some of
your valuable time in our city. We are sorry to say that we have
not this good fortune as often as we would like, and that your
fellow-citizens generally pay very little care to our old harbour
and town. They are rather exclusively attracted by our great
capital, Paris, and when coming to enjoy the splendid winters of
the French Riviera, they reach it direct by rail or by sea, and
seem to be quite ignorant of Marseilles, where they could find at
least what is our city's glory: LIGHT, LIFE and LABOUR.

I think that Marseilles deserves more attention, and that the old
ties between America and Marseilles should be better known. I would
recall that our history, especially the history of our Chamber of
Commerce, records the old sympathy of Marseilles for America. It is
as old as your nation herself. At the end of the eighteenth
century, when the stars of young America just appeared on the
Atlantic horizon, French warships fought for your fathers'
independence. Some ships of Admiral d'Estaing's French squadron
bore names such as "LE MARSEILLAIS", "LA PROVENCE". In the year
1782 the French fleet was increased by a new warship of 118 guns,
built and armed at the expense of the Chamber of Commerce of
Marseilles. Her cost was 1,200,000 francs, a very small sum of
money in our days, but rather a large one in those remote times.
She was offered to King Louis XVI for the very purpose of helping
in the American war, and she was named by the King "Le Commerce de

Gentlemen, it is for the successors of the "echevins" of the year
1782 a great joy to meet in Marseilles the sons of the glorious
soldiers of the Independence War, sustained so many years ago with
the assistance of the warship bearing their own name.

Gentlemen, Marseilles may be somewhat ignored, but France was not
forgotten by America. I need not mention the numerous proofs our
country has received of your country's sympathy. But I only fulfill
a duty in emphasizing the very great help we have found in America
in the course of this terrible war, the greatest human cataclysm
which ever stormed the human world. All of us are aware that France
found in America another kind of help than material, steel and
grain. France found amongst you any sort of goods, but also--and
over all--kindness and pity. American ambulances, splendidly
organized, afforded invaluable relief to our wounded on the front.
May I mention not that American airmen rendered to our army the
most useful services, and that American lives were lost for France.
America helps us by sea, on land and in the air. Your country knows
that France is not fighting for power or profit, but that she is
pouring the best of her children's blood for Freedom and Humanity.

Gentlemen, we used to say in France that good accounts, that is good
settlements of business, make good friends. I believe that the words may
be reversed and that good friendship may lead to good business. I trust
that after this war, trade between America and Marseilles will be
largely extended. We have shown you that, notwithstanding the present
worries and difficulties, we are pushing on our harbor improvements and
preparing large accommodation for shipping and industry. We strongly
believe that, in the near future, Marseilles must become the most
important harbor and center of commerce for the whole Mediterranean Sea.
We think that the American trade will find in our city the best center
of distribution for your large exports of commodities such as petroleum,
harvesting machinery, tobacco, and that they should be forwarded through
Marseilles to all the Mediterranean shores. I have no doubt your visit
in our city will allow you to observe that you can find here produce of
our land or of our industry, most convenient for American requirements,
and that in the mutual interest of your and our cities the trade between
Marseilles and American ports will be proportionate to the friendship of
the Nations.

Mr. President, Gentlemen, I propose your good health and the good
health of your friends, and the prosperity of our sister Republic,
The United States of America.

* * *

[Illustration: Shore of Mediterranean near Marseilles. In the Distance
Chateau D'If, Made Famous by Dumas.]

There was greeting by M. Artaud, president of the Chamber of Commerce,
and a response by Mr. Nichols. We were given an ovation by the most
representative people of Marseilles. We met at this dinner, A. Gaulin,
American Consul General, and he was most cordial.

The next day was Sunday. In the afternoon we visited the Marseilles Art
Museum. We saw a bust, recently found, which dates back to the Second
century; it resembles very closely the work of Rodin. In this museum we
saw an old bell, labeled 1840, and an old straw hat, labeled 1820. We
drove all over the city, visited the old docks and noted the
cosmopolitan conglomeration of people in streets.

We were taken to the Chateau D'If, which is a quarter of a mile out at
sea, made world-famous by Dumas in the noted novel "The Count of Monte
Cristo". We all resolved, right then and there, that when we got home we
would re-read "The Count of Monte Cristo". In our drive we saw Longchamp
palace, which resembles very much the court of honor in the National
McKinley Birthplace Memorial at Niles, Ohio. The entrance to the port of
Marseilles resembles the Golden Gate at San Francisco. We gathered
considerable information in our talks with the people we met at
Marseilles, being told among other things, that all the officials of the
French government are to hold over until the war is over, that is to
say, elections are suspended for the time being. The efficiency and
preparedness of the Germans was enlarged upon, it being stated, as is
very well known, that Germany was the only country prepared at the time
the war broke out.

We visited at Marseilles the birthplace of Rouget de l'Isle, the author
of the Marseilles hymn. This hymn was first sung by a lady at an evening
party in Straussburgh, Germany, and it was then called the "Hymn of the
Soldier from Marseilles", but afterwards became known as "The
Marsellaise Hymn". It is the national anthem of France; the words are
inspiring and no one, whether American or French, can listen to the
music of this hymn without being stirred to the depths.

We heard much of the vast stores of zinc and iron ores in Tunisia and
Algeria, and were given much information about French colonies. France,
including its colonies, has nearly one hundred million people. The
Trans-Africa Railroad takes in a population of more than two hundred
million people along the Mediterranean, including France, Spain and
Italy. One of the largest dams in the world, "La Durance Dame," 429 feet
across, is in France, not far from Marseilles.

Before the war Germany marketed a large amount of its coal in France,
three hundred thousand tons annually.

Bauxite or aluminum ore is mined in France, and 60 per cent. of the
output of the world is French product. Algeria contains millions of
acres of virgin forests, ready to be explored. The cork oak is one of
the important trees. Large exports of iron ore are made to England. At
the end of the war the French expect to market ore and coal from the
fields of Lorraine.

In our travels through Marseilles, we did not observe anywhere play
grounds or amusements of any kind for the workmen.

Marseilles has a number of convalescent hospitals. We saw in the streets
on Sunday, soldiers wandering about, English, French, Russian, Tunisian,
Algerian, Hindu-Chinese, Moroccan, Australian, Canadian, Corsican;
natives of Madagascar and Negroes from South Africa--soldiers from
eleven different nations.

There is a plan projected to connect Marseilles with a system of French
canals, so as to afford direct water communication between the
Mediterranean, the North Sea and thus to the English Channel. Marseilles
antedates the Christian era by five hundred years. In 1782 a man-of-war
mounting one hundred and eighteen guns, named "La Commerce de
Marseilles" was built at the expense of the Marseilles Chamber of
Commerce and presented to Louis XVI for the fleet sent by the French
Government to fight for American independence. Marseilles, later on,
became prominent in the French Revolution and gave its name to the
French national hymn.

The largest tunnel in the world is now well under course of
construction in France, its object being to give the city of Marseilles
connection with Paris and the interior in general by rail and water.
This tunnel will provide an ample waterway for barges. The entire
project involves the building of a new harbor and the cutting of a ship
canal, actually tunneled through solid rock for five long miles, joining
the old harbor and the Mediterranean to the River Rhone. The Rhone's
upper stretches are placid and already are used extensively for barge
navigation, but near Marseilles the stream is far too turbulent for
commerce. A range of hills had prevented the construction of a canal in
days gone by. Now, with France energized by the war, and with the
necessity for the canal emphasized thereby, the tunnel is being pushed
and the canal will soon be opened. It will connect Marseilles with the
network of canals which extends throughout the country. There are longer
tunnels in the world, but none so large, for this is seventy-two feet
wide and nearly forty-seven feet high. The work was begun in 1911-12 and
has been continued through the war. The project is being put through by
the Marseilles Chamber of Commerce, which found $8,000,000 of the
$18,280,000 required to do the work. The balance will be paid by vessel
tolls. The canal runs from Arles to the Mediterranean, a distance of
fifty-one miles, making a navigable waterway to the usable portion of
the Rhone and the Saone, opening 337 miles of water capable of bearing
600-ton lighters. By this canal and links already available, barges can
be sent from the Mediterranean to the English Channel.

On Monday, September the 25th, I called upon the Consul General A.
Gaulin. I found him a very agreeable gentleman and quite devoted to his
work, a great deal of which consisted in helping needy Americans
stranded in France.

The Commission was invited to luncheon at the Hotel Reserve, overlooking
the Mediterranean and the Chateau D'If. On my right sat the president of
the Marseilles Chamber of Commerce, Adrien Artaud, and on my left sat
Lucien Estrine, former president of the Marseilles Chamber of Commerce.
At this elevated hotel, tradition has it, the Count of Monte Cristo and
his bride had their wedding breakfast.

In the afternoon an open meeting was held by the Chamber of Commerce at
the Regina Hotel. This meeting was attended by citizens of Marseilles
interested in the import and export business. The question of credits
was pretty thoroughly discussed. It was stated by a number of Frenchmen
present that the coveting of the iron ore and coal deposits of France by
the Germans was the real cause of the war.



We left Marseilles on Tuesday, September 26th, at 6 A. M. for Grenoble.
The sunrise was very beautiful; along the way you can see trees, the
tops of which have been chopped off. We were told that the annual crop
of fire-wood in France is just the same as the annual crop of wheat or
any other product. Fast growing trees are planted and the branches and
twigs are utilized for fuel.

We were met at the Grenoble station by eight entirely new Dodge

At Grenoble, we visited the glove factory of Perrin & Co. This firm is
well known in the United States and we were informed that our country is
its best customer. In normal times the concern employes twenty thousand
men and women, equally divided. The product is twenty million pairs of
gloves annually. Much of the work is taken home for execution. The shop
is well lighted and the sanitary conditions seem to be all of the very
best. We visited the Raymond button factory and the candy factory of
Davin & Company. This was a very interesting experience. At the close,
or rather before leaving the factory, we were permitted to witness the
decoration of a workman who had been in the employment of the company
for thirty-five years. It was really an affecting sight. We were told
that in all that time he had not lost a day from sickness and the time
had arrived when he was entitled to a pension. He was decorated by the
head of the firm. At the close of the ceremonies he was surrounded by
his family, relatives and members of the firm, and greeted in the usual
way of the French with their own countrymen, that is to say, by kissing
and embracing.

On Wednesday, September 27th, at seven in the morning, we left Grenoble
for the French Alps. We had as a guide John Steel, an American who had
been in France for fifteen years and had become a French citizen. He
gave us much valuable information. He said, among other things, that
when the railroads in France take freight they guarantee the time of
delivery, if desired, and include an extra charge in the rate. On this
trip we passed three companies of mounted guns, the technical name being
mountain artillery. This was an interesting sight. A portion consisted
of donkeys with all the paraphernalia of a soldier strapped to their
backs, together with rapid firing mitrailleuses. The soldiers were
unusually fine looking men from the Alpine district, a portion of France
near the Swiss border.

[Illustration: Types from French Provinces.]

We visited a paper mill where the entire product was cardboard. We
passed the "Escole de Garcons," otherwise a school for teaching
waiters. We were told by Mr. Steel that in the valley adjoining that in
which we were driving anthracite coal exists in abundance but has not
been worked to any great extent. We passed mountain villages and noticed
the cultivation of the sides of mountains almost perpendicular. It was a
wonderful ride, amid splendid scenery, with numerous waterfalls, snow
and glaciers in great abundance; in other words, we were going through
the Switzerland of France. We passed a flock of sheep, more than five
thousand in number, cared for by a head shepherdess, with several
assistants and a number of dogs.

We had luncheon at the Grand Hotel Bourg D'Oison and stopped briefly at
the hotel de La Meige.

On our return down the mountain we visited an electric manufacturing
plant, the products being aluminum, magnesium, sodium, peroxide, sodium,
oxolyte, calcium, and hydrated calcium. In this factory one of the
commissioners had a narrow escape from certain injury, if not death, by
attempting to taste the chemicals. He was stopped just in time.

We then visited the Chateau Vizille, built in the seventeenth century
and at one time occupied by Casimer de Perier, President of France.
Vizille was one of the three great marshalls of France, and the chateau
is called the "Cradle of Liberty". The first French Revolutionary
meeting was held here. The castle contained old cannon and splendid old
furniture, while the surrounding grounds were beautiful.

On Thursday, September 28th, we visited the paper manufacturing plant of
Berges at Lancey. There is an immense water-power installation here, the
capacity of the plant being one hundred tons daily of all grades of
paper. There are two plants, one a very old one, dating back nearly two
hundred years, and the other a new one, not quite completed. We saw here
one machine which cost one hundred and sixty thousand dollars, a
remarkable piece of mechanism, almost human in its workings. The
waterfall is six hundred feet in a short distance. Adjoining this paper
mill was a small munition plant. Most of the employes were women,
dressed in the American bloomer costume.

In the afternoon we had a meeting with the citizens and the Chamber of
Commerce of Grenoble. The discussion took a very wide range--from the
tariff question to the latest news from the front.

Next the party visited a plant for the manufacture of sheet steel by

In the evening we were banqueted at the Grand Hotel. On my right sat M.
Paisant, Director General; on my left was Mr. Thomas W. Mutton,
Vice-consul of the United States of America at Grenoble; near was was
Mr. Tenot, Prefect of the district.

This part of France is noted for the amount of cement manufactured.
Walnuts are grown in this section in large quantities. I discussed
these things with Mr. Murton.

There was a discussion at the banquet over female suffrage and the
birthrate, and this grew very animated.

On Friday, September 29th, we left Grenoble and stopped at Voiron and
were here treated, at 9:30 A. M., with a "petit dejeuner". We next
visited the monastery Grande. This was founded in the Twelfth century by
St. Bruno. The present building was commenced and completed in the
sixteenth century and the community originally had forty-two monks or
fathers. This monastery is where the celebrated liquor, "Chartreuse",
was manufactured, the basis of which is brandy, distilled flowers, and
herbs. This formula was known only to the monks. While at the monastery
in France each monk had an individual garden and an individual cell.
When an extra penance seemed necessary special silence was given them
and they were compelled to remain in their cells for months at a time.
There were long corridors and in the basement places for servants and
retainers. In the center of the grounds was a very beautiful place where
the fathers were buried. We were told that the order was recruited
mainly from the intellectual class, many of them widowers. Special rooms
were reserved for travelers without money and without price.

[Illustration: Monastery of Chartreuse.]

The Carthusian order of Monks established themselves at Grenoble,
France, in 1132. The original receipe for the famous cordial was given
them in 1602 by Marshall d'Estress. Friar Jerome Maubec arranged the
present formula in 1755, and it remained unchanged until their expulsion
by the French Government, July 2nd, 1901. More than two hundred
ingredients go to make up Chartreuse, and nowhere else in the world can
this cordial be manufactured. Chartreuse is the unsolved enigma of
French compounders of liqueurs. Its manufacture has ceased. It is quite
true that at Tarragona, Spain, the monks still continue to make cordial
under the name of "Peres Chartreux", but it is generally agreed that,
owing to the change of locality and climate, the "Peres Chartreux" now
made there is not equal to the old Chartreuse. There are a number of
people in Grenoble who make imitation Chartreuse, but it is not so good
as the real thing.

The monastery library contained twenty-two thousand volumes. These monks
were also known as the Chartreusers, or Carthusian Monks. This was the
head monastery, but there were branches in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
The fathers lived on a simple diet and no meat was allowed. They were
not allowed to speak to each other except twice a week, on Sunday and
Thursday. This old monastery is now used as a hospital for

After this most interesting visit we were taken to luncheon at the Hotel
du Grand Som, and later for a ride of one hundred miles in the military
automobiles, through a mountainous country.

We arrived at Annecy at 8 P. M. and stopped at the Imperial Palace
Hotel. This is one of the finest watering places in France. A beautiful
lake surrounds the hotel, with mountains in the distance.

The next morning we called upon the Mayor and went through the usual
speeches. We were given a boat ride on the lake. Then we visited an old
castle. The coast looked very much like the coast of Maine between Bath
and Squirrel Island. We were taken by boat from Annecy to Menthon and
had luncheon at the Palace Hotel. Here Mr. Damour made his first speech,
which was received so enthusiastically that he was kissed by nearly all
the Frenchmen present.

We then visited an electric steel plant at Acierils, the French name
being the "Electriques of Ugine". We were greeted by, among other
things, a couple of American flags, but they were upside down.

We left Annecy at 5 P. M. for Lyons and stopped at the Terminus Hotel.
We saw a number of tattooed soldiers, that is tattooed with powder
marks, they having seen service.

On Sunday, October 1st, at 8 A. M. we left Lyons for Le Creusot, where
the great French steel plant is located. A serious discussion was held
on the train about going to the front and the dangers were depicted
quite vividly. We stopped at Chagny, after passing a very old church
dating back to the Tenth century. We saw, as we passed along, droves of
beautiful white cows, with not a speck of color.



Arriving in Le Creusot we stopped at the Grand Hotel Moderne and had a
most enjoyable Sunday evening. It was discovered that our French
secretary, Emile Garden, had quite a tenor voice. He started in to sing
the Marseilles Hymn, and it was not long until all the Commission
joined, and then the hotel employes. Before we got through scores of
people came in from the street to see what was going on. The incident
was telegraphed by the newspaper correspondents to the Paris papers, and
it aided in the work of the commissioners by showing their patriotism
and sympathy for France.

We were told that there had been no strike at Le Creusot for twenty-five
years. The employes wear a special sleeve decoration which indicates
that they are in the same class as soldiers; that is to say, they are
making cannon and munitions and working for France.

We were given a breakfast at the Schneider club house and then visited
the plant. We were refused admission to the munitions plant. The works
employ about twenty thousand men and two thousand women. The output of
the plant is large projectiles, and for this reason the number of women
employed is relatively small. A number of five hundred and twenty
millimeter shells were shown to us; these shells are more than seven
feet long and weigh a ton and a half. We were also shown the guns from
which they are fired, but these were not quite completed. This plant
contains four blast furnaces of very small capacity, making special
grades of pig iron. The initial heat is not used, the steel being
reheated and repoured. A good deal of Vanadium alloy is used, and this
is made in America. At this plant we met Mr. Edmond Lemaitre, an
engineer who had been in Youngstown employed as an inspector. All the
employes, both men and women, wear wooden shoes. We noticed an absence
of safety devices and safety notices. Armored cars were being
manufactured for the government as well as armor plate, but this armor
plate mill was away behind the mills in our own country.

We had luncheon at the club house, but no speeches were made. None of
the proprietors or directors of the company was present. We then visited
the company hospital, a part of which was occupied by electric devices
for treating the wounded. Then we came to the home where the orphans of
the employes are taken care of.

[Illustration: New 520-mm. Gun, Carrying Projectile Seven Feet in Length
and Weighing 3,100 lbs., seen at Creusot Works.]

A great deal of attention is paid to the sanitary conditions and also to
the uniforms of the men, and a great deal that is done for the workmen
could be copied in our American plants. The history of these works,
the greatest of their kind in France, is interesting. Their former ore
supply, or at least a large part of it, was captured by the Germans near

The name Creusot was first mentioned in an old charter in 1253. In the
year 1502 coal was discovered there, and the year 1793 saw the opening
of the Canal du Centre. During the French Revolution the plant was taken
and exploited by the state and a little before the year 1800 was given
back to its owners. During the Napoleonic wars much work was done here.
In the year 1815, gun making was stopped and only coal mining was

The dynasty of the Schneiders continued for four generations; the last
one, Charles Eugene Schneider, was born in 1868.

The first French locomotive was built at this plant and, in 1841, the
first hammer moved by steam power.

In the year 1855 the Crimean war led to much activity at this plant. In
1867 ten thousand workmen were employed. In the year 1870 the first
Bessemer steel produced in France, was made here, although the process
had then been in use in the United States for six years.

Since 1884 these works have been exporting guns to many foreign

In 1897 a large plant was built near Le Havre for the manufacture of
naval guns. In 1882 they built large naval works near Bordeaux, and
since 1906 they have been building the largest warships at that place.
In 1909, at Hyeres, near Toulon, studying and making of torpedoes was
begun, and this was followed in 1910 by submarines. Five plants are now
scattered through France for this kind of work.

The Creusot works do not employ children under fourteen years of age.
There are often three generations employed in this same kind of work,
and some families have up to twenty members working in one plant. They
have always been spared epidemics of any serious nature. With sanitary
and prosperous homes, few deaths have occurred in the first year of
life. The rate of deaths at Le Creusot is only ten per thousand while
the average in France is 16 per thousand, and in bad industrial centers
25 per thousand. Eighty per cent. of the children are nursed by the
mother. After the seventh month before birth mothers rest, and for a
period after and during this time they receive the usual wages.

The first school was opened here in 1787. At the age of fourteen
children can become apprentices and those of other towns or villages are
often attracted. After they have a school certificate, entrance to the
works is optional. From the age of twelve to sixteen years they must do
military preparation, with flags and musical band. The brightest
children go to high school to become engineers, and they are taught by
the best professors in France. They pay back the cost of their
education only when they have secured a good position. A thorough
medical examination is necessary.

Since the year 1875 savings banks for children have existed.

The first domestic science school was organized in Europe in the year
1865 at Goteborg. At first all the mothers were opposed to these
schools, but they soon favored them. One cannot enter these schools
without a diploma from the common schools. Each teacher is given
twenty-four pupils. The girls are taught to make their own apparel,
gardening, cooking, washing, ironing, mending and keeping home expense

There are three classes of workmen. Ten selected, twenty auxiliaries,
thirty uneducated laborers. In January, 1912 there were twenty thousand
men employed. They all sign a full contract, after reading it, before
getting into the works. The contract can be cancelled by either party
with one week's notice. No proprietor of a saloon can work in the plant.
From 1837 to 1911 the salaries have increased 130 per cent. In the year
1911 the total of salaries was nearly thirty-three million francs. The
annual donations amount to three million francs. Delegates are nominated
by the workmen for conference with the employers to suggest better
conditions and improvements in working methods. Sixty-six per cent. of
their suggestions or demands have been adopted and the result is peace
and confidence. The company provides swimming pools, divided into two
parts, one-half for adults and the other half for younger men and boys.

The homes are subject to constant sanitary inspection and all unsanitary
buildings are destroyed. Safety appliances and all protecting apparatus
are painted in brilliant red. There has been a constant study of the
workman's house, since the eighteenth century. In 1840 the company had
one hundred workmen's houses; in 1912 two thousand five hundred, and in
addition to this hundreds of these houses have been bought by the
workmen by slow annual payments added to the rent. The types of houses
vary for one to four families. The rents are low and do not pay regular
interest on the investment. Ground space for gardens is furnished by the
company, with annual competitions and rewards for the best results.
Trees and seeds are furnished at nominal prices. There are two thousand,
two hundred and fifty gardens under cultivation.

The savings bank is managed by the company and safe investments are made
for the workmen, returns of from three to five per cent, on savings
being guaranteed.

In the year 1911, eight thousand workmen's accounts reached thirteen
million francs. The chief use of the savings is to buy homes. The total
amount advanced to workmen for building houses since 1845 was five
million francs, of which only eighty-three thousand, five hundred are
not yet paid back.

Co-operative societies for reducing the cost of living are organized to
enable the workmen to get supplies at cost. They were started and
managed by the Schneider Company and gradually left in the hands of the
workmen themselves.

Club houses are maintained with tennis courts, fencing bouts, games,
gymnasiums, a children's theatre, gun clubs, rowing clubs and musical
societies. The time spent in rehearsing for orchestras is not deducted
from the pay. Free medical attendance for the workman and his family is
given. Emergency and base hospitals are provided by the company. Modern
and up-to-date mutual benefit societies are managed by the workmen. Old
age pensions have been financed differently during the last century and
are now supported by one per cent. from the workman, two per cent. from
the Schneider Company, and three per cent. from the State.

Houses are provided for men over sixty years of age, and when it is
possible aged couples are kept together.

We reached Dole at 9 o'clock P. M. on Monday, October 2nd.

Dole is the birthplace of Pasteur, the great French scientist who
discovered the antidote for hydrophobia. His name is known throughout
the world.



After leaving Dole, the next stop on our itinerary was Besancon, from
which we entered the zone of actual hostilities. For us this town was
the gateway to "The Front" and therefore a point of more than usual
interest. Here we were asked to sign the following paper, which all
members of the commission did on October 4th, we having reached the town
at midnight on October 2nd.

Besancon, October 4, 1916.

The itinerary arranged for the American Industrial Commission
includes several days' sojourn at the "front", which is considered
of importance in the prosecution of its investigation, particularly
as preliminary to a conference in Paris with the "American Centrale
pour la Reprise de l' Activite Industrielle dans Les Regions

The danger of such a trip is fully recognized and hereby admitted,
and although the extraordinary risk inseparably connected with a
trip to Europe at this time has been accepted by us all, yet, in
the present case

Each of the undersigned by this means records for himself his
voluntary assumption by him of all responsibility in connection
therewith, and furthermore, asserts that neither by coercion,
persuasion, nor even by suggestion on the part of the Chairman, or
otherwise, has his course been determined.

  M. W. W. Nichols,
  M. J. G. Butler, Jr.
  M. A. B. Farquhar,
  M. G. B. Ford,
  M. S. F. Hoggson,
  M. J. F. Le Maistre,
  M. J. R. Mac Arthur,
  M. Le Dr. C. O. Mailloux,
  M. C. G. Pfeiffer,
  M. J. E. Sague,
  M. E. A. Warren,
  M. E. V. Douglass,
  M. E. Garden.

We were met by the military automobiles at the station, two soldiers in
each auto. I was accosted at the station by a number of wounded English
soldiers. It seemed good to hear a little English spoken. One of the
soldiers reached out his hand as I passed and said, "How are you?" We
were domiciled at the Hotel Europe. The windows were barred with iron
shutters excluding light and fresh air. Early the following morning we
were treated to the sight of more than one thousand German prisoners,
just captured and being taken to the camp at Besancon.

This was the birthplace of Victor Hugo, who was born February 26th,
1802. Old Roman ruins were very much in evidence, among them an old
Roman citadel and a Roman theatre. By tradition, St. John the Baptist
was buried here. We visited the underground water works and the
Cathedral of St. Jean and saw in this church many paintings of the Holy
Family and other religious representations. There were two immense holes
in this cathedral, the result of bombs fired from the German guns in
1914, in the beginning of the war.

[Illustration: German Prisoners Passing Through the Village of St.

I saw here a girl and a dog hitched to the same cart, hauling a load of
vegetables; they both seemed contented.

Luncheon was served by the Chamber of Commerce at the Resturant De
Besancon. In the evening we were given a banquet at the Besancon Hotel
de Ville. Up to this time I had been with the Commission five weeks, but
on account of my patriotic utterances in private and my quite apparent
sympathy with the French people, was not urged to speak. It had been,
however, arranged that I was to talk at Le Creusot, but there was not a
representative gathering to talk to there, and this Besancon banquet
seemed to be the proper place. After some pressure of other members of
the Commission I was requested to speak. This was really the first note
of human sympathy sounded. I first spoke in English, which not more than
two or three in the audience, outside of the Commissioners, understood,
although there were about one hundred present. At the conclusion of my
talk it was translated into French by Mr. MacArthur. When he got
through I was surrounded by the Frenchmen present and congratulated as
well as embraced by practically the entire audience. This address is
reproduced by special request of some of the members of the Commission
who heard it.


I am afraid my aeroplane French will not be understood by our good
friends present. I tried it on a number of our Franco-American
orators, and they, with one accord, said it was fine and beautiful,
but they could not understand a word I was saying. I will,
therefore, ask my fellow-traveler and sympathizer, Mr. MacArthur,
to read the brief address I have prepared, apologizing through him
for the lamentable fact that I speak English only.

This gives me an opportunity of saying that by special letter of
authorization issued by Dr. Ricketts President of the American
Institute of Mining Engineers, I represent that important
organization during our mission in France. The American Institute
of Mining Engineers is composed of more than six thousand members,
all technical, scientific and practical men. The organization has
been in existence more than a quarter of a century, and has
rendered invaluable service to our mining and manufacturing
interests in the United States. This scientific body of men stand
ready to render such service to France as France may desire and it
is hoped this suggestion may receive serious consideration.

Gentlemen: When our good ship, the Lafayette, passed through the
river entering the port of Bordeaux, we beheld a most beautiful
sunset, such as Cazin would have painted. As we beheld this
glorious vision, it flashed through my mind that France is
fighting for its existence among nations, and my heart went out to
all France in loving sympathy. As we landed and progressed on our
journey, this feeling of reverence and affection for the French
people became intensified. The French spirit insures victory--a
victory which, when gained, will be substantial and enduring,
worthy of the great people who are pouring out their life blood and
treasure to attain this end.

Everywhere we have been impressed with the earnestness of the women
in France. All the thousands we have seen at their employment
impressed me with their desire to help save the country. In a word,
as I looked upon their faces, all seemed to express the thought,
"We are working for France". This slogan goes all over your fair
land and is a mighty factor in the progress of the conflict. Signs
of loss were everywhere from Bordeaux to Paris, and in our
wanderings since, but not a word of complaint have we heard.

Our visit to the birthplace of your countryman, Lafayette, was
looked forward to with intense interest, and the visit was a keen
realization of the expectation. As our worthy President, Mr.
Nichols, raised his glass and asked that we pause for a moment in
silence and think of the great man who was the companion and aide
of Washington, "first in war, first in peace, and first in the
hearts of his countrymen," there was not a dry eye in the room. All
present realized the close relationship between France and the
United States--cemented and welded for all time to come by the
early sympathy of France for our struggling colonies, and the great
assistance rendered by Lafayette to Washington in our time of need,
and which resulted in our independence.

In the present struggle of France, we owe it to the French people
to aid in all possible ways. I believe that a great majority of the
citizens of the United States are in sympathy with France and
their prayers are for your success and freedom.

It may not be out of place in this connection to mention, although
somewhat personal, that when Lafayette, visited the United States
in 1824, my grandfather, whose name I bear, attended a reception
given the great Frenchman in Philadelphia, and has often told me
about it, dwelling upon the enthusiasm with which Lafayette was
everywhere greeted during his triumphant tour through the country.
I have also in my autograph collection a three page patriotic
letter written by Lafayette in 1824 during his visit. I prize this
letter most highly.

Another fact I may mention, and it gives me profound pleasure to do
so. France, in spite of her troubles, carried out her compact, and
sent to the Panama-Pacific Exposition at San Francisco, a
magnificent collection of paintings and sculpture. Many examples of
both were loaned from the Luxembourgh, and there were a number of
pieces of priceless sculpture by Rodin, your great sculptor, whose
work is famous the world over. The exhibit also contained many
notable examples of work by other French and Belgian artists. After
the exhibition closed we were fortunate enough to have the
collection exhibited at my home, Youngstown, Ohio, for a period of
thirty days, under the auspices of The Mahoning Institute of Art.
We were told that some of the examples were for sale, and if sold,
the proceeds would help the artists, and assist in the great work
being carried on to aid the hospitals of France. We, therefore,
made a common cause, buying a number of paintings and one piece of
sculpture, thus doing our bit to help the good work along, besides
securing for our country some splendid examples of the art of
France. The exhibit was obtained through the courtesy of Monsieur
Jean Guiffrey, Minister of Fine Arts in France, and to whom we are
profoundly grateful. In this connection I may add that the United
States is largely indebted to France for influence upon American
art. Nearly all of our great painters and sculptors received their
initial education in France and the influence upon American art and
artists by French masters is incalculable. This is one of the debts
of the United States to France which can never be fully repaid.

The commission is in France, first, bearing America's good will,
and second, to investigate and render such substantial aid to
France as may be in our power, having in mind always the great
friendship existing between the two republics, and which we hope
our mission will strengthen. We venture to hope that our journey
through France in war time will also result in the increased
exchange of commodities between the two countries, a consummation
devoutly to be wished.

I thank you, gentlemen, from the bottom of my heart and bid you God
speed in the great work of saving France.

At this noted banquet there were several generals present, some of whom
had been in the service but a short time previous, and one of them
famous the world over. We were not permitted to mention the names of any
of the generals we met while in the war zone.



On Wednesday, October 4th, we left for the front in military
automobiles. We passed through a farming district and through several
small villages. Nearly all who were at work in the fields were women. It
all seemed quite peaceful, considering that the battle fields were so
near. We stopped at Monte Billiard, in the Champagne district, where we
were addressed by the mayor and a response was made by Mr. Pfeiffer.
Cuvier, the great French scientist, was born here in the year 1769, and
died in 1832. We were now, as I should have mentioned before, in that
part of Alsace-Lorraine again in possession of the French. We visited at
Monte Billiard, a Fifteenth century castle and a new hospital. Red Cross
girls were very much in evidence, a number of them American and English.
We were quartered at the Hotel de la Balanie, built in 1790. We visited
the factory of Japy Freres. This concern makes a specialty of steel
helmets, canteens and porcelain ware for the use of the army.

We arrived at Beaucort at midnight, and after settling down to rest,
were awakened by the booming of cannon, which was continuous during the
night. We were aroused the following morning by the town crier, passing
along the street, wearing a peculiar uniform, beating a drum and calling
out the news.

At Beaucort we were shown through a castle now occupied as a hospital.
It was originally a chateau, and at that time a citadel with moat and

In company with Mr. Warren, I visited the village blacksmith, being
reminded of my boyhood days. He had old-fashioned bellows and, with an
assistant, was in a small way finishing up some work for the army.

We arrived at Belfort at about noon, and first saw the "Belfort Lion" by
Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. It
is seventy-three feet long, forty-three feet high and is carved in a
cliff below the citadel. This statue celebrates the stubborn resistance
of the town of Belfort, which has never surrendered, although besieged
on numerous occasions. Belfort has been exposed to German guns, less
than ten miles away, for two years, and it is much shattered from
bombardments. Many of the citizens are still engaged in their ordinary
pursuits, but live in the cellars of their domiciles.

We were quartered at the Le Grande Hotel, and could hear the cannons
roaring as we sat at luncheon. We were warned not to go out of the hotel
without a companion. There was a cave underneath with both an inside and
an outside entrance and we were told that in case the shelling was
resumed we should get into this cave. There had been, however, no
shelling for eight days. The town was shelled immediately after the
departure of the Canadian Industrial Commission, which had recently
visited Belfort.

[Illustration: The Lion of Belfort.]

The shutters of the hotel were closed at six P. M. I was taken to my
room by the chambermaid and handed a candle and a box of matches. With
all the lights of the hotel out, the cannon could be heard booming
during the entire night. Belfort is under martial law, or, as it is
called in France, military control. Just before retiring for the night
we were reminded that the city was frequently shelled and that nearly
all the inhabitants slept in the caves, a pleasant thought to go to bed
with. However, strange to say, I had a most excellent night's rest.

No one was permitted outside the hotel unless he had with him a card to
show the police of the town.

Belfort contains numerous monuments. One series of statues is of three
generals who defended Belfort during the three sieges successfully
resisted. Two of these sieges occurred during the time of Napoleon and
one during the Franco-Prussian war, 1870-1871. We walked about in a
body, escorted by a military officer and a number of soldiers. We
visited a large part of the city and at nearly every corner there were
signs showing the entrances to caves and stating the number of persons
each cave would hold--all the way from twenty to seventy. Evidence was
all around of bombs dropped from aeroplanes by the Germans and shells
fired by them from many miles away, there being hundreds of shattered
windows and holes in the sidewalks.

We remained in Belfort two nights. The morning after our departure the
city was bombarded and some fifteen or twenty people killed.

On Friday, October 6th, we left Belfort in the military autos, under
sealed orders, and knew not where we were going. We passed several
squads of German prisoners, among them one very large company. We were
frequently challenged by sentinels in passing, for miles, along the
front of Alsace-Lorraine.

Alsace-Lorraine has had forty-five years of German rule. The elder
people are not Germanized, and it is quite evident that France will not
be satisfied until the whole province has been restored.

We stopped for luncheon at Remiremont, in the Vosges mountains, and
while here visited an old church dating back to the Eleventh century.
This church contained, among other things, a statue of the Virgin Mary
carved in cedar, the gift to the church of Charlemagne. There is also at
this place a Thirteenth century arcade, through which we passed. We
bought a few relics and then left Remiremont at 4:30 P. M. for a dash
into Alsace and close up to the battle-front.

We arrived at Bussane at 5 P. M., after being held up several times. We
next reached Thann, a village once in German hands and two miles from
the German lines. This town had been bombarded by the Germans early in
the war. The destruction was fearful to look at; buildings were damaged
beyond repair, and one church nearly ruined. As we passed along in a
dense fog, one of the guides ran past each machine saving; "Shentlemen,
this is a beautiful sight, but you can't see it."

At Thann we were shown the spot where the son of Prime Minister Borthon,
of France, was killed by a bomb.

After an inspection of Thann, we drove to Gerardmere to spend the night.
It was bright moonlight and we were told there was a great deal of
danger from German aeroplanes. This was a long night ride, but
considered much safer than going through this part of the country in

We experienced great difficulty in getting back to the French line from
Alsace-Lorraine. In doing so we passed through a tunnel entering
Alsace-Lorraine territory, within a half-mile of the German firing line.
We saw a hill which has been taken and retaken a number of times and was
then in possession of the Germans. We were exposed to the German guns
for half an hour and could hear the roaring constantly. At this point
the soldier chauffeurs put on steel helmets and placed revolvers near
their right hands, taking from boxes in the machine a number of hand
grenades. This was all very cheerful for the occupants of the car to
witness, inasmuch as we did not have any helmets or hand grenades or
anything else which would enable us to help ourselves in case of

We reached Gerardmere in time for dinner and stopped over night at the
Hotel de la Providence. This was a most interesting French village. We
were called the advance guard of tourists and were really the first to
have visited the place. Signs of war could be seen everywhere. We saw
here pontoon wagons. We also saw immense loads of bread being hauled
around in army wagons and looking like loads of Bessemer paving block.
During the night of our stay in Gerardmere, we were awakened by the
booming of cannons.

We left Gerardmere, going north and, passing a hill named "Bonhomme",
over which French and Germans have fought back and forward. It is now in
possession of both forces, armies being entrenched on either side of the
hill and within one mile of the summit.

We passed through a number of small villages completely riddled; one
village had but a single house left untouched.

Our next stop was at St. Die. This is the village where the word
"Amerique" was first used in France. A tablet recalls this
circumstance, the wording on it being as follows:

  Here the 15th April 1507 has
  been printed the "Cosmographic
  Introduction" where, for the first
  time the New Continent has
  been named "America."

Leaving St. Die we began a trip of more than fifty miles along the
battle front. This trip required two days, and we were never beyond the
sound of the guns.

Our first stop was at the battlefield of La Chipotte, where was fought
one of the most sanguinary of the earlier battles of war, resulting in a
great French victory, but entailing terrific losses on both sides. In
the greater part of this region we saw forests which had been stripped
by shells and the trees of which were only beginning to grow again. In
some places they will never grow, having been stripped of every leaf and
limb and finally burned by the awful gunfire.

The battle of La Chipotte was fought in 1914. Sixty thousand French
drove back a larger army of Germans after several days of fighting. The
French loss was thirty thousand, and no one knows what the German loss
amounted to. The woods are filled with crosses marking burial places,
where often as many as fifty bodies were entombed together. The French
buried their dead separately from the German dead, but the community
graves are all marked in the same way--with a simple cross. Some of
these crosses recite the names of the companies engaged, but few of them
give the names of the dead. Most of them simply record the number of
French or Germans buried beneath.

At a central part of the battlefield the French have erected a handsome
monument, with the following inscription:

  "They have fallen down silently
  like a wall.
  May their glorious souls guide
  us in the coming battles."

After leaving the battlefield of La Chipotte, we next reached the
village of Roan Estape. It was full of ruins and practically deserted.
Beyond this village we passed for miles along roads lined on either side
with the crosses which indicate burial places of soldiers. The battle
front here extended for a long distance and the fighting was bloody
along the whole line. Much of this righting was done in the old way,
trench warfare having only just begun.

[Illustration: Battlefield of La Chipotte, Showing Monument and Markers
on Graves.]

Next we came to Baccarat, where nearly all the houses and the cathedral
were utterly wrecked. For twenty miles beyond this town we passed along
the battle front of the Marne, within three miles of where the main
struggle had taken place, and saw everywhere graves and signs of
destruction. It was surprising how the country had begun to resume its
normal aspect and green things begun to take hold again. Our next stop
was Rambevillers, where we had luncheon at the Hotel de la Porte.



After luncheon at Rambevillers, we drove to the famous village of
Gerbeviller--or rather to what is left of it. This little town is talked
of more than any other place in France, and is called the "Martyr City".
Its story is one of the most interesting told us, and to me it seemed
one of the most tragic, although the residents of the town all wanted to
talk about it with pride. While on the way to Gerbeviller we had to show
our passes, and it was lucky they were signed by General Joffre, since
nothing else goes so close to the front. We were made to tell where we
were going, how long we meant to stay, and what route we would take
coming back.

Prefect Mirman, of the Department of Meurthe and Moselle, one of the
most noted and most useful men in France, escorted the commission on
this trip.

Gerbeviller is located near the junction of the valleys of Meurthe and
Moselle, and occupied a strategic situation at the beginning of the war.
This and the heroic defense made of the bridge by a little company of
French soldiers, was, the French believe, responsible for its barbarous
treatment by the Germans. In the other ruined towns the destruction was
wrought by shell fire. Here the Germans went from house to house with
torches and burned the buildings after resistance had ceased and they
were in full possession of the town. The French say it was done in
wanton revenge and it looks as if that were true. Here is the story as
it was told to us in eager French and interpreted for us by one of the

A bridge leading from the town crosses the river to a road which goes
straight up a long hill to a main highway leading to Luneville, five
miles away. We passed over this bridge and were asked to note its
width--only enough to permit the passage of one car at a time. Two roads
converge at it and lead to the little town.

During one of the important conflicts an army of 150,000 Germans was
sent around by way of Luneville to cross the river at Gerbeviller and
fall upon the right flank of the French army. The French had been able
to spare but few troops for this point, but they had barricaded the
streets of the town and posted a company of chasseurs, seventy-five in
number, at the bridge with a mitralleuse. This was an excellent
position, as there was a small building there which screened the
chasseurs from view.

[Illustration: Ruins of Gerbeviller.]

At 8 o'clock in the morning the German advance body, twelve thousand
strong, appeared at the intersection of the road near the top of the
hill across the river. They advanced in solid formation, marching in
the goose step and singing, to the music of a band, their war hymn,
"Deutchland Uber Alles." It was a beautiful morning and the sun
glistened on the German helmets as they came down the slope, an
apparently innumerable army. In this form they reached the end of the
bridge opposite to where the chasseurs were located. The captain of that
little band of French ordered them to halt, and they did so, the rear
ranks closing up on those in front before the order could be passed
along by their commander.

In a moment, however, the column began to move again and then the
captain of the chasseurs waved his hand and the mitralleuses opened on
the advancing host. The range was point blank and there was absolutely
no protection. The hail of bullets mowed down the Germans and they broke
ranks, fleeing back up the hill and out of range.

All was quiet for half an hour and then a detachment of cavalry,
evidently ordered to rush the bridge, came down at a gallop, having been
formed in the shelter of a road branching off the main highway a short
distance from the bridge. They were met by a hail of bullets and nearly
all went down before they reached the bridge, while the few who did so
fell on it or tumbled, with their horses, into the river.

The whole German force was delayed until a battery could be brought up
from the rear and trained on the small building sheltering the chasseurs
and their machine guns. For some reason, the gunners could not get the
range on this small building, and after firing a few shots in its
direction, turned their guns on the magnificent chateau, a short
distance down the river. At this point there was a small foot bridge,
and the German commander evidently meant to try to rush it. Before doing
so, however, he was going to make certain that the Chateau, which
commanded it, did not conceal another band of defenders. This seems to
be the only explanation for the bombardment of the Chateau, which was
one of the finest country homes in France and entirely unoccupied. At
any rate, they fired shell after shell at the building. I secured a
picture of this which shows the work of the guns.

But, as the French tell the story, no effort was then made to cross the
foot bridge below the town. A battery was swung down the hill to the end
of the bridge, apparently to shell the defenders from that point. The
machine guns barked again and every man with the battery fell. Scores
more were killed before it could be withdrawn and the way cleared. Owing
to the steep banks it seemed hard for the Germans to locate a battery in
an unexposed position, and they considered again. Finally they shelled
the Chateau some more and then sent a detachment to take that bridge,
expecting to get around in the rear of the chasseurs. A machine gun had
been sent to the footbridge in the meantime, and the Germans did not
get across it until the ammunition ran out and two hundred of them were
killed. When they did cross, the little band at the main bridge, of whom
one had been killed and six wounded, retreated to the main army, and
then the Germans crossed in force and started to burn the town.

The heroes of the bridge had held the German advance guard, numbering
12,000 men, from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, and in the
meantime the great battle they had expected to win had been fought and

Naturally the Germans were angry, and apparently they vented their
spleen upon the village. The great Chateau, its pride and chief
attraction, had been destroyed, but the conquerors at once begun to burn
the little town, evidently determining to reserve only enough to make a
place for headquarters for their general. They did burn it, but not so
completely as they had intended.

[Illustration: Sister Julie.]

Here is where Sister Julie comes in. Sister Julie is the most popular
woman in France as well as the most famous. We heard of her long before
we got to Gerbeviller and long after we left, but we were not fortunate
enough to meet her, as she was away at the time the Commission reached
the town. Although a member of a religious order, she has been decorated
with the grand cross of the Legion of Honor--the highest decoration
France confers upon her heroes. To pin this on her habit President
Poincaire journeyed all the way from Paris with his suite, and now
Sister Julie will not wear it. She says that religeuse do not wear
decorations--they are doing the work of the Lord.

In describing Sister Julie and her work the people of Gerbeviller are
even more enthusiastic than in recounting the manner in which
seventy-five Frenchmen stopped twelve thousand Germans. It seems that
when the German forces crossed the bridge and began to burn the houses
they met with little resistance until they came to the convent where
Sister Julie and her companions had a house filled with wounded,
including the wounded chasseurs. The sister met them at the door and
defied them to burn her convent. She ordered them off and made a such a
show of determination that they went. No, they will tell you, these
French people, Sister Julie is not an Amazon. She is a little woman. Her
voice is usually mild and sweet and she smiles all the time. But when
they tried to burn her temporary hospital, it was different. She scared
them off and they did not come back.

Not only that, but she made the Germans carry water and put out the
fires they had started in the neighborhood, and made them fill wash tubs
with water and leave them in her hall, so they would be handy if more
fires threatened.

Besides that, she organized the men and went to the barns where cattle
had been burned and had these dressed and the meat prepared for use.
Then she made great kettles of soup and fed the people who had no homes
and nothing to eat. In all of this she defied the Germans and told their
commander to mind his own business--she was going to attend to hers.
When some of the German soldiers came and wanted to take the food
prepared for the homeless people, Sister Julie ordered them away and
made them go.

There were five other nuns in this convent. Under the leadership of this
heroine they did a tremendous amount of good in the stricken community.
They used the building next door to the convent for a hospital and there
cared for hundreds of wounded soldiers. They assumed charge of the
demoralized town and kept the people from starving. No one gives them
greater credit than Prefect Mirman, who has also done great work in his

We were shown through the convent and hospital under the care of these
sisters, and saw many places where bullets had penetrated the walls,
these were fired by the Germans after they crossed the bridge. In this
hospital the sisters cared for the German wounded as tenderly as for the
French, and they won the respect of the invaders in this way, otherwise
it would have probably been impossible for them to do the work they did.
We saw the camp chair on which Sister Julie sat all night in front of
the hospital and kept the Germans out.

The Commission spent the greater part of the day in Gerbeviller,
visiting the bridge where the seventy-five chasseurs held up the German
advance, as well as that where one lone chasseur--a regular "Horatio at
the Bridge", kept back the attacking party at the Chateau.

We went through this chateau, which is owned by a resident of Paris and
was one of the sights of the village. It is seven or eight hundred years
old and is a very large building, handsomely finished in the interior.
Before the bombardment, which was a ruthless and unnecessary piece of
vandalism, it contained many fine tapestries and countless precious
heirlooms of the Bourbon times. The great strength of the walls resisted
the effects of artillery, but the interior was entirely ruined by fire.
The grand marble staircase was splintered, but the Bourbon coat of arms
above it was not touched. Strewn about in corners and on the floors were
fragments of vases and art work that must have been priceless. Even
these fragments were valuable. We secured a number of small pieces, some
of which I brought home as relics.

While viewing the ruins of the chateau we could hear the guns booming.
It was while we were still here that we received news that bombs had
been dropped on Belfort that morning, twenty-four hours after we left
that place, and that a number of persons had been killed, among them
some women and children.

Gerbeviller is an almost complete ruin. Beyond the convent and hospital,
and a few buildings saved for headquarters for the commanding general by
the Germans, all the rest of the town was destroyed. The people who
remain there are living in temporary buildings or mere sheds built on
the ruins of their homes, which they do not want to leave under any
circumstances. This little town, which has won its place in history, was
one of the most interesting and melancholy sights we saw in all France.

On the following day, Saturday, October 7th, we visited the villages of
Luneville and Vitrimont. We were now in the "devastated region" for
sure. On every hand was evidence of the ruin wrought by shells, with
long lines of trenches that had once been filled with soldiers. Some of
these were green again, but the trees presented a woeful appearance.

The next stop after leaving Rambevillers was the little town of
Vitrimont. This is a small village in France, almost wholly ruined by
the Germans in 1914, preceding the battle of the Marne. We found there
Miss Daisy Polk, of San Francisco, a wealthy, young and attractive
woman, whose work is being financed largely by the Crockers, of San

She is living in one of the small houses untouched by the Germans. She
has undertaken the rebuilding of the village of Vitrimont as a modern
sanitary proposition and to serve as a model for what may be done in
rebuilding all the destroyed parts of France. She is the
great-granddaughter of President Polk. It is a splendid work and should
receive support.

I have since received the following letter from Miss Polk:

* * *

Vitrimont, par Luneville, Meurthe et
Moselle, France.
October 18th, 1916

Dear Mr. Butler:--

Your note, with the Commission booklet, received and I want to
thank you for remembering me. The visit of the Industrial
Commission was a most delightful surprise to me here in the midst
of my ruins and it is very nice to have a souvenir--especially such
a nice souvenir, with all the names and photographs.

Vitrimont looks very much as it did when you were here except that
the work is a little more advanced in spite of the rain. We are not
hoping any longer that the war will end this winter--so we are sad.
Especially when we have to see our men go back to the front after
their all too short leaves. This has happened three times since you
were here, all three going back to the Somme, too, which they all
say is much worse than Verdun ever was. However, they have the
satisfaction, as one of our men said today, (a fine industrious
farmer) of hoping that if they don't come back, at least their
wives and children will have their homes rebuilt. This is my hope
too. Thanking you again for your letter.

Very sincerely yours,

(Signed) DAISY POLK.

* * *

Miss Polk is a most charming young woman, filled with enthusiasm. She
lives in a small house with but two rooms.



We arrived at Nancy October 7th, at six o'clock P. M. and spent the
evening at a reception given by the Prefect L. Mirman. We met here Madam
Mirman and her two daughters. In the entrance to the prefect's residence
were several large holes which had been blown out by the German shells.
During the reception we were shown an embroidered sheet, filled with
holes. This was taken from the window of a hospital, fired on by the
Germans, July, 1916. The name of the hospital was Point Au Mousson. The
sheet was hanging in a window when the shrapnel was fired into it. This
was considered ample proof that the hospital was fired upon with the
full knowledge that it was a hospital.

This visit to prefect Mirman's home was a red letter event in our trip.
He is one of the important men of France and is devoting much of his
time to the care of refugees and other good work.

As we stopped at the entrance of Nancy, we saw an aeroplane flying over
the town. This aeroplane was intended to convoy us to our destination.

Next day we were driven to the village of Luneville. At this place, as
in nearly all the towns of France, there is a public market house, with
stalls usually presided over by women. Late in September the Germans
dropped from aeroplanes a number of bombs on this market house. The
entire building was destroyed and forty-one women killed, besides a
number of children who were playing about. We saw the ruins of the
market house. This sort of battle waging is called "German terrorism",
otherwise, a "stepping stone to kultur".

There is an immense palace in Luneville called the Palace of Stanislaus,
occupied by a former King of Poland.

Our headquarters were at Nancy, where we remained for two days. We were
shown every possible attention by the prefect and under his guidance
visited various parts of the city. Among other places "The Golden Gates"
of Louis XVI and the gate of the old town erected in 1336. We visited
the park and were shown a hole where a German shell had penetrated, the
hole being fully fifty feet deep. We visited the cathedral of St. Elme
and were shown where the beautiful stained glass had been blown out of
the windows. We visited the Ducal Chapel, which dates back to the Tenth
century, where the princes of the House of Hapsburg are entombed. Sand
bags were piled up everywhere to prevent further ruin to this ancient
place. We were shown the ruins of the cooking school reported by
German aviators as a military building and for that reason destroyed.

[Illustration: Cathedral at Nancy.]

Practically one-half of the town is in ruins. The military barracks are
now used for housing and caring for refugees from all over France and
this is done with great system. The expense is figured down to one franc
per day for each person. We saw there a children's school, playground,
orphanage and Cinema show, and attended church services at which were
present several thousand refugees. We could hear the cannon booming
during the entire services. Many of the refugees were at work making
bags for the trenches and embroidering. We visited the museum and were
shown tombs and urns dating back to the Second century. During a
luncheon at the Cafe Stanislaus an impassioned address was made by the

We left Nancy at 2 P. M. for Chalons on the Marne, one of the three
important military supply centers of France. En-route we passed a number
of ruined villages with scarcely a house left and with but few
inhabitants. We passed through Bar Le Duc also, another distributing
center. On this memorable part of the journey we skirted three battle
fronts, Verdun, Somme and the Marne. We noticed numerous trench soldiers
in squads, enroute to and from the trenches.

The discipline of the French army is very much different from that of
the English and Germans. The officers and the French soldiers are
comrades. The German and French soldiers have no tents, they sleep in
their overcoats. I expected that when we got into the war zone we would
see tents everywhere, but there was not a tent in sight.

The distance from Nancy to Chalons on the Marne is 108 miles. All this
distance we travelled close in the rear of the French army and much of
it near the German army. In the early part of the year this ground was
occupied by the Germans, being afterwards retaken by the French. We were
closest to the trenches when passing St. Miheil, where the famous German
salient was still held.

We reached Chalons on the Marne at 10 o'clock on the evening of October
8th, after a busy and most interesting day. We were quartered here for
the night and remained part of the next morning. During our stay we
could hear the booming of guns continuously, and saw many evidences of
military occupation. At this time the Germans had been forced back about
thirty miles from Chalons on the Marne, and their shells were no longer
feared in this immediate vicinity. The cannon we heard along the greater
portion of the route after passing Bar Le Duc must have been French
guns, although the German big guns can be heard for fifty miles under
favorable circumstances.

At Chalons on the Marne an incident occurred which made a deep
impression on me, although it was in itself simple enough. It was my
custom to go about much seeking to see whatever was to be seen at all of
our stops. Usually I had a companion, but sometimes went alone. On this
occasion Mr. Warren, of the Commission, was with me. We had entered the
Cathedral of Notre Dame, to inspect its interior and arrived just as a
funeral service was ending. It was one of those pathetic funerals, now
common enough in France, at which the body is not present, in this case
being that of a young man killed in the army and evidently an only son.

The services ended with a procession around the church and this brought
the mourners to where we were. We fell in with them, this being our
natural impulse and also, we believed, the proper and courteous thing to
do, rather than to rudely retire. When the party reached the main aisle,
the friends gathered around the father and mother and two daughters,
weeping with them and kissing them in the demonstrative way the French
have of showing both grief and affection. Before we knew just what to
do, the mourners melted away, taking with them the mother and daughters.
Mr. Warren also had disappeared and I was left practically alone with
the father of the dead boy. He approached me and extended his hand,
having perhaps read in my face something of my feelings. He knew no
English and I knew no French, but the language of human sympathy is
universal. We grasped hands and the only word uttered was my crude
"Americaine." None other was needed. I could tell by the pressure of the
hand holding mine that my sympathy was appreciated, even though I was
from across the seas and an utter stranger, and any doubts I had felt
about the propriety of remaining were thoroughly dispelled.

[Illustration: German Trenches Captured by the French.]

Funerals such as this are very frequent in France. Scarcely a family but
has suffered its loss, and in some cases several sons have been taken
from one home. Among the hundreds of personal cards brought back with me
from France, an astonishing number are bordered deeply with black. These
are the cards of the most prominent people in the places we visited, the
members of the Commission having met few others, and the mourning border
on so many of them shows that in France as well as in England, the upper
classes have borne their full share of the terrific toll levied by the

Before leaving Chalons on the Marne we visited the canal, the banks of
which were lined with flowers and ivy. We crossed here a bridge built in
the Seventeenth century and still in good condition.



Some time during the forenoon of the day following our arrival at
Chalons on the Marne we left in the military automobiles for Reims. This
city is on the south branch of the river Aisne, on which the Germans
made their stand after the battle of the Marne, and had been within
reach of their guns constantly since they stopped retreating after that
battle. It is about ninety miles from Paris. The city was at that time
less than two miles from the actual battle line, trenches extending
close up to its edges. The Germans were very busy and there was abundant
evidence of the fact in the sound of cannon. It was here that we were to
be allowed a visit to the trenches.

On the way we passed a large number of Hindu-Chinese and Russian
soldiers. We saw two captive balloons, used by the French to direct
artillery fire on their enemies. Thousands of soldiers were coming and
going between the trenches and the encampments behind.

On this trip we passed through and stopped briefly at an aviation camp,
where the aviators were tending their machines and waiting to be called
for duty in the air. A short stop was also made at a large encampment,
where there must have been at least twenty thousand French soldiers.
This was the largest number we saw at any one time. Here we were shown
concealed trenches and batteries so skillfully hidden that they could
not be seen until you were right upon the guns. We also saw on this ride
several illustrations of how bridges and other military works can be
hidden from aviators by painted scenery and the use of trees. By 11 A.M.
of this day we had come within five miles of the German trenches, behind
which, we were told, were more two million German soldiers and across
from them at least an equal number of French. Of this vast number of
warriors we saw at no time more than twenty thousand. Many were in the
trenches and others in encampments on both sides, within easy reach of
the lines but secure from gun fire.

We came to the top of a ridge near Reims, and just before reaching the
summit orders were given by the sentinels to separate the automobiles
and run them half a mile apart, as they would be within range of German
guns and might draw the fire if seen in a company. At this point two
members of the Commission suddenly lost their interest in the scenes
ahead and refused to go any further. From this time until we entered
Reims, batteries, many of them concealed, with other signs of real war,
became more numerous.

[Illustration: The Reims Cathedral Before Its Destruction.]

At 11:30 A. M. we entered the famous Champagne district, known all over
the world as the locality where grapes for making champagne can be
raised better than anywhere else. We saw here farmers and women working
in the fields and vineyards within a mile of the actual front. They were
within range of German guns and in great danger, but they worked on,
seemingly careless of the fact.

We passed many "dugouts" occupied by soldiers, and saw soldiers digging
trenches. All the time the guns were roaring, apparently just beyond the
city of Reims. This ground had all been at one time in the hands of the

We reached Reims at noon and were taken direct to the City Club. Here
the Commission was entertained by Robert Lewthwaite, the head of the
great wine firm of Heidsick & Company. At this luncheon we met Col.
Tautot, chief of staff under General Lanquelot, commander in the Reims
sector. Col. Tautot represented his superior, who could not be present,
probably because of more important engagements with the Germans. We also
met Captain Talamon, a staff officer, and Jacques Regnier, sub-prefect
of the Reims district. Col. Tautot had been invested with the ribbon of
the Legion of Honor and within a week of our visit had been in active
service. Out of fifteen members originally on the staff, he alone
survived, all the others having been killed in action or died of wounds.

In the room where luncheon was served at the City Club was a great hole,
made through the wall by a shell and not yet closed. We were told that
this shell had arrived a few days before our visit. This was quite
appetizing information, but our hosts assured us that we were
comparatively safe, as there had been no firing for some time. I took
their word for it and enjoyed the luncheon after the long and keenly
interesting ride. At this luncheon a curious toast was offered by the
host--"I looks toward you." The proper response was--"I likewise bows."

After the luncheon Colonel Tautot and the sub-prefect led the Commission
to inspect the ruined cathedral. This was a pitiful and fascinating
sight. This once famous cathedral is practically a wreck. I doubt very
much if it can ever be restored. We were taken into the interior and
were shown how wonderful stained glass windows had been blown out. We
picked up a number of the pieces of fine glass from the ground. The
making of this glass is a lost art and the coloring is most beautiful. I
brought home some of the glass and had it used as settings for a number
of rings which I presented to friends. The sub-prefect presented me, as
a relic, a bone--the front part of a forearm. This cathedral was the
burying place of number of archbishops and ancient royal personages,
and all these tombs were blown up.

[Illustration: Ruins at Reims. Upper and Lower Plates--The Cathedral.
Middle Plate--The Archbishop's Palace.]

Adjoining the cathedral was the archbishop's palace, famous the world
over, and its contents priceless. This was utterly destroyed. One of our
party, in looking about the ruins, picked up a large sized key, which
proved afterwards to be the key to the archbishop's residence. He was
given permission by the sub-prefect to retain this, and I subsequently
acquired it.

We also visited the market place and the old Notre Dame church built in
1149 by Charlemagne. This was a most beautiful church, the windows
almost equalling those of the Cathedral of St. Elme at Nancy, but
inferior to those in the Reims cathedral, said to have been the most
beautiful in the world. In this church we saw a statue of Jeanne D'Arc,
and a very fine painting of the "Ascension".

We were taken to the city hospital at Reims, which had been fired upon
and almost completely destroyed by the Germans while occupied by French
wounded. The range was obtained by the aviators, and then incendiary
bombs were fired. These bombs set fire to the buildings with which they
came in contact. We were told that hundreds of French soldiers were
killed with this mode of warfare. We could hear the bombs on the Aisne
front exploding while we were visiting the ruins of the hospital. We
were next shown around to view the ruins of the town. Twenty-five
hundred acres of houses were almost blown to pieces. We were told that
thousands of bodies of men, women and children were still under the
ruins. In an isolated part of these ruins, absolutely alone, we found
and talked to an old French woman, still occupying her house. She had
refused to move and insisted upon staying in her little home, one or two
rooms having been left.

Following this visit to the ruins we were permitted to enter the
trenches. A number of the party did not go to the end of the trenches.
However, I concluded to see all there was to be seen, and with Deputy
Damour and Mr. MacArthur, went, escorted by a staff officer detailed for
that duty, to the extreme limit. We went through the trenches to within
one thousand feet of the German firing lines. We could see the German
sentinels through periscopes, and were told to be careful and not show
our heads, which admonition was religiously obeyed.

This visit to the trenches was one of the most interesting parts of the
trip, and in spite of the danger, I was very glad that I had gone and
had nerve enough to go to the limit. We entered what is known as a
"communication" trench, leading from the edge of the city toward the
front. This was necessary, as the terrain was open and under range of
the German guns. Going down through this long trench we encountered a
network of others, apparently leading in all directions. Our guide knew
them well and led us forward until we could, by means of a contrivance
for that purpose, look over the top and see the German trenches, less
than one thousand yards away. We saw few German soldiers, although
occasionally we were shown where a sentinel was on duty, carefully
concealed to save himself from French bullets.

The trenches in this section are irregular in width and depth. As a
general thing they are not more than three feet wide at the bottom and
about five feet deep. The earth is thrown up at the side next to the
enemy. At short intervals along the trench holes are scooped out, into
which the soldiers can go when fighting is not actually in progress.
Some of these caves were quite large and had in them straw and sometimes
a bench. There were cooking utensils and buckets for water. The bottoms
of the trenches are generally dry, or were when we saw them. In some
places they have boards on the bottom. The sides are steep and are
constantly crumbling.

Some of the trenches we entered had been made by the Germans, others by
the French. Those close up to the front seemed to have been dug but a
short time, but farther back they were already beginning to look
ancient. In some places grass was growing in the sides and here and
there flowers. Some of these trenches had not been used to any extent
during the summer. They are so arranged that each line is connected with
the one in its front and rear by cross trenches, and it is through these
that the soldiers enter and leave the actual fighting zone.

[Illustration: Key of Archbishop's Palace at Reims and Bone from Twelfth
Century Tombs Opened by German Shells.]

We saw many French soldiers in the trenches. They seemed to be well fed
and comfortable. At the time we were there there was no actual fighting,
of course, but an occasional shot rang out across "no man's land," when
sentries on either side thought they saw a chance to do execution. The
ground between Reims and the battle line is a complete network of these
trenches, and years will be required to level it again after the war is

From the advanced trench toward the German lines, at the points where we
looked, there was no sign of war except an occasional shell hole and the
barbed wire entanglements. The country was green and seemed to be at
peace, except for the sound of the guns. It was hard to believe that we
were looking across a narrow strip, on the other side of which were
millions of armed men and every form of death and destruction that has
been invented. Yet all this was there.

Upon coming out of the trenches we were unable to find our automobiles,
the military authorities having ordered them to separate, so that they
would not prove an attraction to the German aeroplanes, otherwise they
would undoubtedly have been fired upon.

[Illustration: Trenches Visited by the Commission]

Following this visit to the trenches, we were taken to the famous wine
cellars of Heidsick & Co., containing twelve miles of underground
vaults. A few days previous to our visit a German bomb had struck the
Heidsick wine cellar and destroyed forty thousand bottles of champagne,
believed to be the largest number of bottles opened at any one time in
the history of the world. These vaults, during the bombardments, which
were numerous, are a safety place for the inhabitants and thousands take
refuge in the wine cellars. We were told that there was not a single
bottle of champagne missed, a testimony to the honesty of the French
people. This visit to the wine cellars was intensely interesting.

While driving about the ruined town, the automobile in which I happened
to be was guided by a chauffeur unfamiliar with the location, and he
drove us across the German lines within three minutes ride of the German
headquarters. The major in charge of the automobile squad discovered the
error. We were told afterwards that we had a narrow escape from being
made prisoners. While at Reims we were at all times within twenty-five
minutes walk of the Germans and within ten minutes ride in the motor.

The population at Reims before the war was one hundred and eighteen
thousand. It is now reduced to eighteen thousand, the other hundred
thousand having become refugees, soldiers and "missing". We visited a
Twelfth century cathedral which, strange to say, had not been touched.
While in this cathedral we could hear the guns booming.

We returned to Chalons on the Marne the same evening, arriving there at
8:30 P.M., it being considered unsafe to remain at Reims. After our
dinner at Chalons on the Marne, Dr. Mailloux timed the firing of the
cannon and announced that for a space of half an hour there was one
fired every two seconds.

We left Chalons on the Marne at 11:30 A.M. on the following day by
railroad. The train was filled with officers returning from the front.
We saw a number of Red Cross girls on this train. One had a double
decoration. As we passed along we saw thousands of soldiers enroute to
the front, among them one full regiment. We also saw a large detachment
of German prisoners being transferred, with the letters "P. G." quite
large on the back of each prisoner. "P. G." means prison garb.

In the railroad trains in both England and France appears the

  Be Silent!
  Be watchful!
  Hostile ears are listening to you!
  Issued by the Minister of War.



We arrived at Paris at three o'clock P.M., October 17th, and here
received our first news of the submarine work off Nantucket. In the
evening we met Antoine Borrel, deputy from Savoy, on six days' leave of
absence from the Alsace Lorraine district. He entered the war a common
soldier and now has the Legion of Honor on his breast.

On Wednesday, October 11th, we visited Consul Thackara and arranged
about our passports.

I succeeded in securing some fine war relics and a partial line of
French war posters which I brought home with me.

On Thursday, October 12th, with Mr. Weare, of the United States Steel
Corporation, I called upon Consul Thackara, Charge d'Affairs Bliss, and
other friends at the Embassy. We also visited the general offices of the
Schneider Company.

On Friday, October 13th, a meeting of the Commissioners was held and,
although our passage had been engaged on the Rochambeau of the French
line, it was decided to cancel the passage and return to America by way
of the American line. This was a disappointment to some of the
Commissioners, although the change appeared to be inevitable. The
secretary of the Commission then set about to get us safely across the
Channel. We were told we would be convoyed by a British vessel, usually
used in carrying soldiers. We were fed on this information for three
days, telegrams were sent to the American Embassy in London and a lot of
valuable time wasted. The whole scheme proved to be a myth, and we were
obliged to content ourselves with getting to England the same as
ordinary mortals.

On Friday, October 13th, Charge d'Affairs Bliss gave a luncheon to some
of the members of the Commission, and this was an enjoyable affair.

We were informed in the evening that accommodations had been secured on
the steamer "Philadelphia", of the American line, sailing October 21st,
from Liverpool. Deputy Damour was greatly disappointed, as he had
planned a farewell dinner at Bordeaux and great preparations had been
made by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce for this event.

An informal supper was given Deputy Damour at the Hotel de Crillon at
which some of the members of the Commission were present.

[Illustration: King Albert's address to the Belgians when he took
command of the army

A neighbour haughty in its strength without the slightest provocation
has torn up the treaty bearing its signature and has violated the
territory of our fathers because we refused to forfeit our honor. It has
attacked us. Seeing its independence threatened the nation trembled and
its children sprang to the frontier, valiant soldiers in a sacred cause.
I have confidence in your tenacious courage. I greet you in the name of
Belgium a fellow citizen who is proud of you.

King Albert's Address to the Belgians.]

Notwithstanding the war, we noticed some signs of gaiety in Paris. On
Saturday evening I visited the Follies Bergere, where there was fine
music and some dancing. The audience contained principally soldiers on
six days' leave of absence from the front.

On Sunday, October 15th, we had a joint meeting with the American
Chamber of Commerce and discussed the tariff question, credits and other
things too numerous to mention.

On Sunday afternoon I visited the American Ambulance for the third time.
I paid particular attention to the pathological department. I was shown
a piece of spine with an imbedded bullet visible, and other specimens
entirely too realistic for me to look at. I was shown an electric
apparatus for locating bullets and shells, without X-ray treatment, I
saw a badly wounded soldier undergoing the Carrel treatment. Dr.
Sherman, chief surgeon of the Carnegie Steel Company, had spent two
months in France investigating this treatment. He was most thoroughly
imbued with its usefulness and enthusiastic about introducing it in the
hospitals of the Steel Corporation in the United States. My own belief
is that this is an advanced stage in surgery and, in fact, is an epochal
discovery. It will no doubt be adopted, not only in the military
hospitals of the world, but in other hospitals. A description of the
treatment was furnished me by Dr. Lee, of the University of
Pennsylvania, who had spent several months in Paris hospitals, and also
by Mr. Bennet, who was the superintendent of the American ambulance.
These descriptions follow in later pages, the subject being of vast
importance to those interested in the cause of humanity.

On Monday, October 16th, we met, at the Hotel de Crilion, the Belgian
Chamber of Commerce. This was a notable gathering. The president of the
Chamber of Commerce, Rene Nagelmackers, made a passionate and forceful
address, thanking all the United States for the aid and assistance
rendered the Belgians and setting forth their needs. He said a line of
vessels had already been arranged for and financed, and that it was the
intention of the Belgian Government to bring to France and deposit where
they could be quickly reached, machinery, tools and everything needed to
immediately rehabilitate Belgium. The intention was to have these in
readiness so that restoration can be promptly effected and all Belgians
returned to their native soil. The president and other members of the
Chamber expressed a belief that all Belgium will again be restored to
its rightful owners. On materials and machinery they will want fair
prices, but they will be in need of large quantities of these and the
United States will, on equal terms, be given the preference. A number of
other members of the Belgian Chamber of Commerce spoke, some of them in
English and some in French. Victor Haardt, a member residing temporarily
in Paris, suggested that the meeting was important and should be brought
to the attention of the Belgian Government. When it became known that
I was a personal acquaintance of King Albert, a number of the delegates
suggested that I write to him and give an account of the conference and
they would in turn write an official account of it. This I proceeded to
do, the King's military address having been furnished me by one of the
members. I gave the King in my letter full particulars of the meeting
and in response received the following letter from his secretary soon
after my arrival home:

[Illustration: Photograph of King Albert of Belgium, with the Royal

* * *

La Cambre, Belgium, October 29th, 1916.
Office of the Secretary to the King and Queen.

Mr. J. G. Butler, Jr.
Youngstown, Ohio.

Dear Sir:--

I was particularly pleased to read to his Majesty your good letter,
and to receive the pamphlet.

I am charged by the King to thank you for the sentiments which you
have expressed and for your sympathy for Belgium.

Our Sovereign wishes you to know that he recalls with pleasure the
meeting with the Directors of the American Iron and Steel Institute
at Brussels.

I beg you to accept, dear sir, the assurance of my highest regards,

J. INGENBLECK, Secretary.

* * *

I spent a good part of the following day in buying war relics, many of
them made by the soldiers in the trenches out of such material as
exploded shells, buttons from the uniforms of dead soldiers, etc. I
purchased some unique postal cards, painted by hand in the trenches by
soldiers who were artists. Other relics consisted of hat pins, napkin
rings, bracelets and finger rings, all made as before stated, from war

A copy of an English publication was brought to my attention during the
Belgian conference, and I was struck by a paragraph which is quoted:--


What Germany is Doing now is Submarining
the Monroe Doctrine and that is Submarining America.

In this connection there was some discussion and I was surprised to
learn that the French, even those who are at the head of things, have a
very hazy idea of what the Monroe Doctrine is. I explained to them that
it was a statement made in a message to Congress by President Monroe in
1823, in which he laid down in a few words the principle that America,
because of her history and the form of government established in the
western world, was not a proper place for the exploitation of despotic
governments, and that any attempt on the part of European nations to
gain a foothold or to extend their territorial interests on the American
continent would be regarded as an act unfriendly to the United States. I
explained that this statement was never questioned and had become an
accepted principle. The explanation seemed to please the French and
Belgians to whom it was translated, and they apparently approve of the

Coming back to America, by the way, I found that there was no occasion
to be surprised at lack of understanding of the Monroe Doctrine abroad,
as few of us understand just what it is at home.

On October 17th, I visited the American Embassy and met there, among
others, Captain Eugene Rosetti, a captain in the Foreign Legion. This
Legion was recruited from friends of France who were not Frenchmen, but
largely Americans. When the war broke out this body was thirty-six
thousand strong, and on the date I talked with Captain Rosetti there
were but thirteen hundred survivors. The Foreign Legion was largely in
evidence at the early part of the war and stories of its bravery were
heard everywhere.

In the evening Dr. Veditz made an address before the Commissioners,
telling of the work he was engaged in and what he had accomplished.

On October 18th, the Commission gave a luncheon to Wilbur J. Carr,
Consul in Europe with headquarters in Washington. Some very plain talk
was in evidence as to the inefficiency of some of the American consuls.
Consul Carr delivered a very forceful address. He had been in the
consular service for nearly a quarter of a century and is working, with
much success, to better the service.



On this date, October 18th, the commission left Paris for Havre at 4:50
P.M., its destination being London, by way of Southampton. We boarded
the boat at Havre after a very rigid inspection of passports, baggage,
etc. It was a rough night and many were seasick. The boat was crowded to
repletion and the trip was a very uncomfortable experience. We had been
escorted from Paris to Havre by Captain Sayles, of the American Embassy.
This was one of the many courtesies shown us by the American Embassy in
Paris under the direction of Robert Bliss, Charge d'Affaires, in the
absence of Ambassador Sharp. I had a very interesting talk with Captain
Sayles. His first question came out quickly and rather abruptly. "What
most impressed you on your trip?" I replied, without hesitation: "The
spirit of France and the morale of the French soldier and the French
people. All France is thinking and working and trying to do what they
can to help save France." Captain Sayles said it was a tradition that
when events required it, France always rose to the occasion and passed
the crisis successfully. He said also that the battle of the Marne, as
has been said previously by many others, settled the war. That the
Kaiser and the Prussian militants knew then they were beaten and have
been trying for a year and a half to find a way out. There is no doubt
in the opinion of Captain Sayles, that the German people are deceived
and still think that Germany will win the war. They are fed upon false

In this connection I had a talk with Allyn B. Carrick, an American who
had spent several months in Germany during the past year and had
recently returned from there. He was an American and understood German,
and was a good listener. He said the people in Germany are talking among
themselves, criticising the government, especially the Kaiser and the
Crown Prince, and he felt that some day something would happen which
would bring trouble. He said there was great distress all over Germany.
Mr. Carrick got his information by keeping his ears open in cafes,
railroad stations, hotels and passenger trains.

When the conflict is over it is my judgment that international law will
be overhauled and some of the German methods of war on innocent women
and children will be eliminated, such as the shelling of non-combatants
and bomb-throwing. Terrorism in ghastly forms is now a part of the
German method of fighting the enemy.

The Kaiser has for many years considered himself a Charlemagne,
Frederick the Great and Napoleon the First rolled into one. Results are
developing which put him in the class of Napoleon the Third, or even
below that monarch in ability.

We arrived at Southampton on Thursday, October 19th, at 9 A.M. There was
much red tape in evidence and many questions asked the commissioners. We
were warned that no letters could be carried for delivery, and that a
violation of this order would result in arrest of anyone guilty.

After some little delay and much needed assistance from friends of
America, our baggage was registered and incidentally "greased" through
to London. We arrived in London at 1 P.M. Considerable evidence was here
apparent of the recent visit of the Zeppelins. One had been captured and
partially destroyed, and I was fortunate in securing some pieces as
relics. I met here Dr. Sherman, who has been in close touch with and
assisted Alexander Carrel with reference to the Carrel technique, the
recent antiseptic discovered for wounds and injuries, used so
successfully for the prevention of blood poisoning. The fluid is a
solution of bleaching lime with bi-carbonate of soda, filtered or poured
through the wounds. Thousands of lives have been saved by this
discovery. The method has been adopted by the Italian, French and
Belgian governments, and is being considered by the English government.

On the day following our arrival in London, I called upon Consul General
Skinner and found him busy at work. Inquiries resulted in receiving a
most excellent account of his stewardship. He is very much alive to
American interests.

I also met H. W. Thornton, formerly a high official in the Pennsylvania
Railroad system, but now in charge of the Great Eastern Railroad in
England. He is an important personage, and, from information obtained,
has made good. He is one of the counsellors in close touch with the war

While in London we were at the Savoy hotel. I was struck by a notice
posted on the bedroom-door.


Important notice.

Visitors occupying rooms are now held responsible by the
Authorities for the proper control of the lights in the rooms they

It is absolutely necessary that they should see that the blinds and
curtains of the rooms they occupy are closely drawn so that no
light can leak through.

It is imperative also to switch off all lights before attempting to
open or close a window, if this necessitates drawing the blinds.

These regulations apply to all rooms occupied, including bathrooms.

I attended the Hippodrome in London, walking through the darkness
escorted by a friend. The show was pretty much with reference to the
war. I was attracted by the notice at the bottom of the program, which
is copied below.

[Illustration: French Marines Operating 75-mm Gun on Shipboard.]

Arrangements have been made that warning of a threatened air raid
will be communicated by the Military Authorities to this theatre.

On receipt of any such warning the audience will be informed, with
a view to enable persons who may wish to proceed home, to do so.

The warning will be communicated, so far as possible, at least 20
minutes before any actual attack can take place. There will,
therefore, be no cause for alarm or undue haste.

Those who decide to leave are warned not to loiter about the
streets, and if bombardment or gunfire commences before they reach
home, they should at once take cover.

By order of The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.
New Scotland Yard, S. W.

The anniversary of Trafalgar Day was celebrated while we were in London.
This was one of the most decisive battles in the history of the world.
As an English view of the battle of Trafalgar I copy below the editorial
from the Daily-Graphic, and might add, in my own words, that but for the
British navy our sea-coast cities, both on the Atlantic and Pacific,
might easily have been wiped out before this time.


To-day is the anniversary of one of the most decisive battles in
the history of the world. Our minds rest naturally enough on
Waterloo as the battle which finally destroyed Napoleon's power in
1815, to the great relief of France, as well as of all the rest of
Europe. But it was the battle of Trafalgar, ten years previously,
which secured to Great Britain the command of the sea and so
prepared the way for Napoleon's downfall. The same factors that
operated a century ago are operating today. There has been no
Trafalgar to wipe the enemy's ships off the sea, but our sea
supremacy was so well secured before the war began that the enemy
has only once ventured to challenge it, with disastrous results to
himself off the Jutland coast. The effect of British sea supremacy
has been felt from the first day of the war. We were able by our
intervention at once to prevent Germany from carrying out her
scheme of a naval descent on the French coast. The same sea-power
has since enabled us to transport in safety armies probably
aggregating over two million men to France, the Dardanelles, Egypt,
Mesopotamia, Salonica, the Cameroons and German East Africa. The
larger portion of these armies has naturally been drawn from the
United Kingdom, but large contingents have come from Canada,
Australia, India, South Africa and the West Indies. None of these
movements of troops would have been possible unless we had secured
the command of the sea. In addition, our sea supremacy has enabled
us to maintain our commerce with the whole of the world, while
blocking German commerce wherever we chose to use our power. The
British Navy is the force which has determined the final defeat of
Germany, and so long as we maintain that force at adequate strength
we can face without flinching any danger that may threaten us from
any part of the world.

Saturday, October 21st, was the day of sailing from Liverpool. We left
London at 10:20 A.M. on the London & Northwestern Railroad for Liverpool
and arrived at the latter place at 2:30 P.M. We boarded the steamer
Philadelphia, of the American line, and noticed on the side of the boat
an immense American flag painted in colors, as well as the words
"American Line". There was also a row of electric lights, visible
several miles distant, surrounding the flag and the name of the boat.
There were five lights on each side of the boat and each light had five
incandescent bulbs, making fifty lights in all. The flag painted on the
side of the steamer was 8 x 15 feet.

The Philadelphia left the dock at Liverpool at 4 P.M. on a rough sea.
Mr. E. A. Warren, a member of the Commission, stopped over a day in
Manchester and was in close communication with friends in that city.
Manchester has a population of half a million people. It is the center
of the cotton manufacture of the world. Mr. Warren is a manufacturer of
textile machinery and represented the textile industry on the
Commission. He reported that all the manufacturers of textile machinery
in England are running on war munitions. The entire steel industry in
England is under the control of the government, and the sale of steel
for any purpose cannot be made without governmental consent. Mr. Warren
reported also, as coming from friends, that England was at that time
growing uneasy over the fact that the United States government requested
that British war vessels keep away from our coast and then allowed the
U-boat 53 to land at Newport and obtain information in regard to the
sailing of vessels, which it then proceeded to torpedo. This occurred
about the time of the blowing up of vessels off Nantucket.

The Manchester stock exchange has a membership of ten thousand and is
open every day except Sunday. There are no auction sales, no excitement
or loud talk, no gesticulating, as is the case in New York, particularly
on the curb. The business is all done in a quiet, conversational tone.
Cotton is the principal commodity traded in.

A feeling is growing in England that the United States should have
entered the war, which the English believe they are fighting for the
cause of civilization and for the preservation of the liberty of the
United States as well as of England. The feeling is also somewhat
prevalent that the United States is only interested so far as making
money is concerned. This feeling was apparently very bitter.

England today is an armed camp. From end to end of the country there is
hardly a man, woman or half-grown child who is not working, making
ammunition, guarding the coast, doing police duty, watching for
Zeppelins, making uniforms or shoes, or moving provisions or supplies of
all kinds for an army of five million men, with the British navy thrown
in. There are two thousand munition factories in England and more under
construction. I was told of one plant being built in units extending for
eight miles. These munition factories employ one million men and women.
There are other works being built to make aeroplanes, cannons, machine
guns and hand grenades. All this since the war opened. Great Britain has
mobilized the ship yards and they are working overtime to build vessels.
This has more than offset the loss of vessels destroyed by the Germans.

America is doing a great deal in the way of Red Cross and relief work,
but it is a mere bagatelle compared with the activities of England in
this direction. The women of England are as fully awake as are the women
of France. Thousands are at work in hospitals and caring for the
refugees. Girls are at work making horse-shoes for the army horses.
These girls are cultivated, aristocratic women, members of golf and
hockey clubs. Others are working on farms, handling teams, pitching hay,
or driving cattle to market. Thousands of women are occupied as
chauffeurs at the various fronts. Hundreds of English women are living
through all kinds of weather in tents just behind the firing lines,
acting as stretcher bearers and driving ambulances.

[Illustration: Nancy--Place Stanislas]

While in London I met a number of old friends, many of them incidentally
connected with the government and very much alive to the situation. The
concensus of opinion of these friends is that failure of the Allies to
win the war means the death-warrant of France and the British Empire;
that there is no middle course; that the war will be fought to a finish
and the Allies will be victorious; that the Kaiser and the Prussian
military system will be annihilated, the German people will arise, and
the Republic of Germany will be the result.

Among other things spoken of there was the incident of Dewey at Manila
and the near clash over Samoa. It will be remembered that Dewey fired a
shot across the bows of a German vessel. To people in London the
Venezuelan embroglio proved that the Kaiser had in mind smashing the
Monroe Doctrine. Germany yielded to us in both cases. President
Cleveland was at the helm when the Venezuelan controversy came and the
immortal McKinley was in the chair when Manila was taken. Cleveland,
Harrison and McKinley all stood up for our rights and Germany backed
clear down, facts which the English have not overlooked.



During Sunday following our sailing we passed through the Irish Sea,
which was very rough. The davits were taken down and the passengers
ordered below. On Monday the sea was somewhat calmer. During the day I
met Dr. Lee, who had been in the service of the American Ambulance for a
year and a half. He is quite familiar with and believes in the Carrel
treatment. He said that nearly two million British soldiers had been
innoculated against typhoid fever and only twenty-five had died out of
this vast number during a period of eighteen months.

On Tuesday, October 24th, we encountered another very rough sea. Old
ocean travelers said it was the roughest day they had ever experienced
in crossing the ocean. I was loath to admit seasickness, but when I
found the dining room vacant and everyone on board, including some of
the crew, unable to be about, I was forced to recognize myself among the
number so affected. On this day the ocean was a sight to behold. I could
see the dashing waves break high, not on a rock-bound coast, but on top
of the ship, inundating my cabin. The waves were at times fully fifty
feet high; stanchions on deck were crushed and the passengers were
ordered to their cabins.

Thursday, October 26th, found the ocean calm and the sun shining. On
this date I was expected in St. Louis at the semi-annual meeting of the
American Iron & Steel Institute, and was booked for an address. All I
could do was to send a Marconigram: "Gary, American Steel Institute, St.
Louis: Absence regretted. Kind wishes for all members."

Friday, October 27th, was a bright, clear morning and the boat was
making good time, with prospects of landing early Sunday morning. With
the aid of Mr. Roche I completed the translation of the Le Creusot
welfare book.

I had the pleasure of meeting on the boat Mr. H. P. Davison, a member of
the firm of J. P. Morgan & Co. He is a plain-spoken gentleman with a
strong personality. He is one of the leading partners in the firm of J.
P. Morgan & Co. and talks and thinks in millions.

On the boat I talked with an Englishman who saw the last Zeppelin come
down near London. He said the English aviators have solved the problem
of destroying Zeppelins. The Zeppelin contains a large amount of liquid
explosives and firing with incendiary bombs it takes but a few minutes
to destroy the huge air vessel.

We reached the dock in New York on Saturday evening and remained on
board over night. Early Sunday morning the quarantine officer appeared.
The good old Philadelphia docked at 9 A.M. and after the inspection of
baggage, which was more rigid than usual, the journey was over. We were
met on the boat by numerous reporters. I gave an interview of which the
following is a copy:--


"Kitchener Right Predicting Three-Year Conflict."

That the Entente Allies, by the greatness and efficiency of their
military preparations and by their wonderful financial strength,
will push the European war to a complete victory regardless of the
cost in life and treasure, is the opinion expressed by Joseph G.
Butler, President of the American Pig Iron Association, on his
arrival here today on board the steamship Philadelphia' of the
American line, from Liverpool.

Mr. Butler was a member of the American Industrial Commission which
went abroad late in August to study economic conditions in France,
and hence had excellent opportunities to see the great military
preparations being made by France. He was one out of the twelve
members of the commission who returned today by the Philadelphia.

A Vast Military Camp

"All France is a vast military camp," he said, "and her people from
the President down are deadly in earnest and determined to continue
their victories regardless of the cost in life and treasure.
England is fully as much in earnest as France and has buckled down
to the task of winning the fight for civilization, as Mr. Lloyd
George phrased it in an interview I had with him in Paris.

"I firmly believe that the Allies will win. I feel certain that
the Kaiser and the Prussian military authorities realize that they
have lost and are casting about for some means of bringing the war
to a close, hoping that better terms can be obtained now than later
on. The German people must sooner or later learn the real condition
of affairs, and then I believe they will make themselves heard in
no uncertain manner.

Will Never Let Up

"The battle of the Marne settled the controversy in favor of France
and her allies," he continued. "Earl Kitchener predicted a
three-year war, and I believe he did not underestimate it.

"The Allies will never let up until they have won a complete and
final victory.

"I am more convinced of this now than I have been on the ground and
learned first hand not only of their complete equipment of men and
munitions, but also of their wonderful financial strength. We in
America know altogether too little of the astonishing richness of
both England and France, and the sooner we wake up to our
opportunities and encourage in every way the increasing of our
trade with them the better off we will be."

I reached home early Monday morning glad to be again in my native town.
Before landing I had written an account of the French steel industry in
war-time and had obtained permission from Mr. Nichols, as Chairman, to
make an advance publication of this document in the Iron Age and the
Iron Trade Review. I had in mind that something of this kind would be
expected by my fellow steel manufacturers, and if we waited until the
full report of the Commission was made, the information would be stale.
This article appeared in many of the trade journals and is republished
in the chapter following.



The individual report on the condition of the iron and steel industries
in France, referred to in the proceeding chapter, together with the
comments of The Iron Age thereon, were as follows: Joseph G. Butler,
Jr., Youngstown, Ohio, who represented the steel trade of the country on
the American Industrial Commission to France, arrived in New York on the
return journey of the commission on Oct. 29. While the general report of
the commission, which went out under the auspices of the American
Manufacturers' Export Association, will not be published until late in
the year, The Iron Age is able to give its readers below Mr. Butler's
report of his investigations into the war status of the iron and steel
industry of France.

* * *

W. W. Nichols,

Chairman American Industrial Commission to France.

My dear Sir:--

In accordance with your request, I beg to submit the following
report, which is the result of observations and information
obtained, regarding the particular industry represented by me.

Quite unfortunately, there were only a few visits to steel plants
of any importance and the information gained is rather superficial.
I noticed a dearth of labor-saving devices, and quite prominently
the absence of safety appliances. I also observed that notices to
the employees calling attention to probable dangers were not as
plentiful as in any model plant in the United States. It is quite
probable that there are many plants in France that are more
up-to-date than those we visited.

I have information in regard to the condition of the iron and steel
business in France at the outbreak of the war, but we are only
concerned with its present condition and its probable condition
when the war is ended.

The acquisition by Germany at the close of the so-called
Franco-Prussian war resulted, as in well known, in Germany taking
over the tremendous fields of iron ore and coal located in
Alsace-Lorraine. It is my belief that this absorption is largely
responsible for the prosperous condition of the iron and steel
business in Germany and its being in second place in the world's
production. I am assured by men prominent in the iron and steel
trade in France, and by others connected with the government, that
the war will not end until these valuable mineral deposits have
been restored to France. It is remarkable that with this serious
handicap, France has been able to accomplish so much in the way of
steel supplies for its munition plants and other plants making war
material accessories.

From my observation, nearly all the iron and steel now produced in
France is being turned into war material and materials required for
other purposes have been furnished in a minimum and scanty way. In
other words, the whole of the iron and steel interests in France
have been mobilized by the French Government.

The last report I have seen on steel and iron production in France
is dated May, 1915, but I am told on good authority that since that
date the production has doubled.

With the reacquisition of the Alsace-Lorraine iron and coal
deposits and possibly the acquirement of other fields which our
French friends seem to have in mind there will still be a shortage
of coal. However, it is expected that after the war closes, France
will necessarily be obliged to export a good portion of its
production of iron and steel, by reason of the increased
productive capacity of its iron and steel plants.

Incidentally I might mention that, when we were in Marseilles my
attention was called by the Chamber of Commerce to the fact that
France would be in a condition to export large quantities of iron
ore from Algeria to the United States, and if this project could be
worked out and return cargoes of American coal brought to France it
would be very desirable, meeting the shortage of coal, which is
inevitable. The analysis of this Algerian ore shows the quality to
be such as would produce high-grade steel materials. A detailed
analysis will be furnished to any one who may be interested.

It is interesting to note that in the departments of Calvados, Manche
and Orne, there are rich deposits of iron ore yielding in some cases 45
to 50 per cent metallic iron. These deposits before the war were leased
by the Thyssen group of German steel manufacturers, but are now in the
hands of the French sequestrators. I understand that quantities of this
ore also were in great demand, and frequently shipped to the iron works
of South Wales.

I examined the steel plant making steel by the electrical process,
but the examination was very brief. I have assurance, however, that
the manufacture of steel by electricity in France has been very
successful not only mechanically but financially and is sure to
grow. There seems to be a large area in the eastern part of France
where water-power is available, and I think that many new plants,
and much activity will prevail in this particular region, when
affairs again become settled. The use of water-power will overcome
to a large extent the shortage of coal.

I think that when the war ends, the imports to France from the
United States of iron and steel will be confined to special forms
and that France will be able to compete not only with the United
States, but also with other countries in the matter of exports of
general iron and steel products.

With the port improvements contemplated at Bordeaux and Marseilles,
world-wide markets will be opened for France. The contemplated
improvements at both these places will, no doubt, be fully cared
for in other special reports, or perhaps in the general body of the
report which the commission may issue. The canal at Marseilles
should receive special mention in the general report.

The tariff question in France is in about the same condition as in
the United States, with the exception that in France custom duties
are handled quickly and settled expeditiously by the government.
Duties may be raised or lowered over night to meet contingencies.

The labor in French iron and steel plants is paid very much less
than in the United States; in many instances one-half and even
less. There are very few disturbances, and dictatorial labor unions
such as we have in the United States are unknown in France.

A large number of women are employed in France doing men's work,
which keeps wages at a lower level than would otherwise be
possible. All the members of the commission have seen in their
travels women doing men's work, and performing manual labor which
in our country would not be thought of for a moment. Employment of
women in steel and munition plants has, of course, increased the
number of women workers since the war commenced. This, I think, is
largely brought about by the patriotic feeling which prevails all
over France. "Working for France" is a slogan rooted and imbedded
in the minds of the people, whether they are soldiers, or engaged
in any other occupation which may tend to end the war and save

Cooperation in France among all manufacturers of iron and steel and
in fact all other industrial works, is marvelous, and could well be
imitated in our own country. The various special branches of metal
trades have both local and national syndicate organizations for the
discussion of their trade problems, and means of voicing the
particular needs of their trade, on which a majority sentiment has
been expressed. These chamber syndicates are in turn combined into
a National Union. These national unions are members of the Comite
des Forges de France, which is the cap stone of the trade
organizations of the steel and iron industries. The most striking
fact to an American regarding the personnel of the governing board
and general committee of the Comite des Forges de France is that a
considerable number of its members are in one or the other of the
legislative bodies, and practically hold positions at the head of
the Government Committees, organized to look after the very
business in which they are engaged.

In spite of the fact that at the beginning of trench warfare,
France had lost behind the German line 80 per cent of her normal
pig-iron production, and 70 per cent of her steel production, it
has been possible by the utilization of lower grade ore in other
districts of France, and which were not exploited to any extent
previously, to increase the steel production of the country 100 per
cent over that of last year. The interesting fact regarding this is
that of the production which has been cut off the larger part in
pig iron is of so-called Thomas iron (non-Bessemer), and in the
case of steel, mostly "Martin" or acid open hearth. Neither of
these products enters to any considerable extent into the
manufacture of projectiles. The plants in the center and southern
part of France were already producing the special qualities of
steel required for artillery use, hence the amount of special
quality steel brought in from foreign countries, in both the raw
and semi-manufactured state, was an immediate necessity for the
country at outbreak of hostilities. It is also noticeable, and
based on information obtained from leading steel manufacturers,
that many idle and in some cases abandoned plants have been
rehabilitated and utilized as far as possible. As a matter of fact,
I am told that there is not a single idle plant of any kind
formerly engaged in the manufacture of fabrication of steel that
is not now in full operation, either in its original form or by
being transformed into a munitions plant.

It is only too evident that the present pre-occupation of steel
manufacturers is to bend every effort to assist in the final
military victory of the Allies. However, I met steel manufacturers,
conversing with them freely, and their mental attitude is that when
the military victory has been achieved and France has again entered
into possession of her own, they are determined to succeed in
producing a close union with the British producers and thus prevent
a rapid return of German industrial prosperity. With this fact in
mind, it seems clear to me that the United States will have to make
up its mind in which field it will choose to work. It certainly
will be impossible to continue to hold a position of theoretical

Welfare work in Le Creusot is in a high state of efficiency.
Comfortable modern dwellings are furnished the employees at low
rental. Hospital facilities are of the best and everything is done
to bring the workman in close and harmonious relations with his

It has been suggested that I embody in this report something with
reference to the mines in France, but as the data concerning them
has been printed in public documents of the French Minister of
Mines, I will omit this detail with the single word that these
reports include minerals of all kinds.

I am indebted to John Weare, representative of the United States
Steel Products Company in France, for valuable information in the
preparation of this brief report.


* * *

In the early part of December I was requested by the Financial editor of
the New York Times to give my views on the present outlook and more
particularly with reference to the condition of the American Iron and
Steel industry, brought about by the war. This letter to Mr. Phillips is

* * *

December 20th, 1916.

Mr. Osmund Phillips, New York, N. Y.

My dear Mr. Phillips:--

I have before me your circular letter of the 8th instant and your
kind favor of recent date.

In reply to your question--What is the outlook for business in the
early months of 1917?

The outlook is good. Our mills and plants for several months could
not nil the domestic orders even if the war orders were entirely
withdrawn. I am told that all the recent orders placed are firm and
are to be filled regardless of the ending of the war.

Will the end of the European war mark the end of the present period
of prosperity?

This is a broad and doubtful question. I do not think the end of
the war will end the present period of prosperity. There will be a
temporary halt. I might add in this connection, that in my judgment
the last overture from the Kaiser may result in the cessation of
the war, but I believe this period to be quite a distance off.
There are three parties in Germany. First, the Kaiser and the
Prussian Military circle, who have been in charge and have carried
their own way up to very nearly the present time. Second, there are
the people of Germany who are the common people, the good
substantial people, the majority of whom have been kept in
ignorance of the real beginning of the war and the cause for its
continuing. These people are commencing to get information and as
time goes on will be in full possession of the facts. Third, the
business men of Germany. There are no better nor more substantial
business men any place in the world than those in Germany; these
men are really responsible for the building up of Germany and it is
my opinion that these people are now responsible for the pressure
that is undoubtedly being brought on the Kaiser and the military
party for the settlement of the war. I believe that this pressure
will continue until a settlement is made. These business men
recognize that the longer the settlement is put off the harder it
will be for Germany.

In your opinion, what proportion of the country's total trade, both
foreign and domestic, during the past year, was due to the war?

I think about one-half of the trade of the country is due greatly,
directly and indirectly to the war.

Do you think that labor demands have exceeded labor's fair share of
the increase in profits?

I do not think labor demands have exceeded labor's fair share. The
high cost of living fully offsets the greater wages paid.

Do you think present wage rates can be maintained?

I do not think that present wages can be maintained indefinitely.
There will undoubtedly be a reaction with a certain reduction in
the cost of living and labor will have to share in the reduction.

What do you think of the important legislation passed in 1916
affecting business, including the eight hour day, increase in
income tax, the shipping bill, retaliation against foreign trade
interference, etc.?

The eight hour a day law was an abnormal affair undoubtedly forced
through for political purposes, and never should have been passed
and should be promptly repealed.

The increase in the income tax is all right.

The shipping bill will be valuable if the right kind of men are
put on the Commission. Some of these under consideration are wholly

I believe this answers all your questions.

Very truly yours,


* * *

When the special report I had prepared and published reached France I
was favored with a number of letters from prominent people in that
country, containing comments on the same. There were probably one
hundred of these letters, from among which I have selected the following
as of sufficient interest, either because of their comments or the
prominence of the writers, to make them worthy of reproduction here:

* * *

French Republic.
Mr. J. G. Butler, Jr.,
Youngstown, O.

Dear Sir:--

I thank you for the interesting data which you kindly sent me on
the development of the French Steel Industry during the war.

My compatriots cannot be otherwise than sensible of the praise
which you have given them.

They will find in your report an authorized opinion of the efforts
which they have made to make secure the National defense.

Yours very truly,
Minister of Commerce and Industry.

* * *

Consulate-General of the United States of America.
1, Rue Des Italians
(28, Boulevard Des Italiens)

Paris, December 6, 1916.
Joseph G. Butler, Jr., Esquire,
Youngstown, Ohio,
United States of America.
My dear Mr. Butler:--

I am in receipt of your good favor of November 9, 1916, enclosing a
reprint of your report on the French Steel Industry, for which you
have my best thanks. I have read it with a great deal of interest
and must congratulate you upon getting a great many solid facts
into a very small compass. In my opinion you have covered the
situation very intelligently and the information you give ought to
be of great value to our manufacturers in the United States.

I cannot tell you how glad I was to see you over here and I only
wish that more of our people would come abroad to study conditions
at first hand.

I have also received a letter from your friend, Mr. Warren, and
from Mr. Douglass saying all sorts of nice things about me which, I
hope, were merited.

Very sincerely yours,

* * *

Republican Committee of Commerce,
Industry and Agriculture.
Paris, November 30th, 1916.

Mr. J. G. Butler, Jr.,
Member of the Industrial Commission of France.
Youngstown, Ohio.

Dear Sir:--

I acknowledge receipt of the interesting report that you have made
on your return from France, and I trust that this voyage will have
allowed you to learn to appreciate our fine country, and that the
results of your visit will be good and fruitful for the exchange of
our products with North America.

You need not thank us for the reception that we have given to the
American delegation in France. It was our duty to receive heartily
our American friends; it was for us a cherished duty to tighten
again the bonds of cordiality which exist between the two

Personally I myself have been very glad to be introduced to you.

Yours Very truly,
Senateur de la Seine.

* * *

Meurthe & Moselle,
Office of the Prefect.
Nancy, France, November 28th, 1916.

Dear Sir:--

I have read with the greatest interest the interview which you gave
upon your landing in America to the American newspapers.

I feel very much impressed by your own remembrance and I myself
feel honored, as a French citizen, by your sympathy for my country.

The poor city of Nancy has suffered since your visit. We buried
yesterday, the victims of the Friday bombardment. Big shells have
been thrown on the city. One fell right in the center, in this
vicinity, in a populous street, many women and children have been
killed, a mother and her two little girls--what a dreary sight is
war, the way of the war inaugurated by the Germans, for it is the
shame of all humanity. We have inhumed our poor victims, washed the
blood that reddened pavements, put in order the rubbish of the
houses and have come back again to our daily work.

Yours very truly,
MIRMAN, Prefect.

To J. G. Butler, Jr.

* * *

Lyon, Le 28 November 1916.

Consulat Imperial de Russie a Lyon

Mr. Joseph G. Butler, Jr.
Youngstown, Ohio.
United States.

Dear Sir:--

I am pleased to acknowledge receipt of your favour of the 9
November, and of the copy of your report respecting the French
Steel Industry. I thank you for same.

I have read your report with high interest, on various questions
referred to, and particularly the Comite des Forges de France, and
the works of Messrs. Schneider & Co. at Le Creusot.

I should be happy if a further good opportunity could afford me the
pleasure of meeting you again, and I remain, dear sir,

Very truly yours,

* * *

Des Deputes
Commission du Budget.

Paris, le November 30th, 1916.

Mr. Joseph G. Butler, Jr.
Youngstown, Ohio, U. S. A.

My dear Mr. Butler:--

I duly received your favor of Oct. 31st, and of Nov. 10th, and
also the documents which you kindly sent me. I have read them with
greatest interest.

Of course, I have at once communicated your report in French to the
Chambers of Commerce and I was pleased to place such a useful and
well established document at their disposal.

I trust to hear from you soon, and with very kind regards.

I beg to remain,
Cordially yours,
Depute de Lands.

* * *

Bordeaux the 29th November, 1916.

Dear Mr. Butler:--

I beg to tender you my very best thanks for the copy of your report
on French Steel Industry in war time you so kindly sent me.

I learned a lot by reading it, and it is comforting to know that on
the other side of the Atlantic, we have friends not sparing their
time and their energy, for helping us through the tremendous
struggle we are fighting.

Your flag is made of the same colors as our flag, both are the same
symbol of human rights and Liberty.

Yours very truly,

* * *

Joseph G. Butler, Jr., Esq.,
Member of the American Commission to France,
Youngstown, Ohio, U. S. A.

* * *

11 Ironmonger Lane London 31st January, 1917.

J. G. Butler, Jr., Esq.,
Youngstown, O.

My dear Mr. Butler:--

I have received your lines of the 29th ultimo, and your most
charming verses which accompanied them; also your report on the
French Steel Industry, which I read with very much interest.

The people on your side do things in a very thorough manner. For
instance, I do not think that we have sent a deputation to consider
the state of trade in France, but numerous committees, dealing with
various important trades of the country, are conferring in regard
to "trade after the war conditions"--I hope with advantage.

I trust that out of all the trials of war time there will emerge a
period when the angel of co-operation with healing in his wings
will again have a chance of being heard.

My wife sends you her kindest regards, as I do also. I have most
pleasant memories of my visits to the United States and of the
hospitalities which you and your hospitable brethren invariably
extended to me.

Believe me, Yours sincerely,

Lyon, Nov. 23rd, 1916.

* * *

Ministere de la Guerre
Inspections Generales
5e Arrondissement

9, Rue President Carnot

My dear Sir:--

I beg to thank you sincerely for that reprint of your report on the
French Steel Industry, which I have read through with great
pleasure and most interest.

Besides, I am glad to take such an opportunity to remember the time
we spent together so agreeably in Lyons, and remain, dear sir,

Yours very truly,
Paris, Dec. 27th, 1916.

* * *

Mr. J. G. Butler,
Youngstown, O., U. S. A.

Dear Sir:--

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letters of November
6th and 9th, in which you send to me the text of the report of your
trip in France and an interview that you have granted to a
representative of a newspaper before landing.

I thank you very kindly for this information and I wish to testify
to the pleasure afforded me by the good impression which you
brought back of your trip. I beg you to be so kind as to excuse me
for delaying so long in answering your letter--a delay caused by
the work that we give to the intensive effort toward the production
of war material.

As you have made the request of me, I shall tell you very frankly
the few observations which have been suggested to my by the reading
of your report.

First of all you have noted the lack of any safety apparatus in the
factories and the lack of placards by means of which, in the United
States, the attention of the laborer is called to the probable
dangers of his profession. The last part of the observation is
particularly well founded, but you must not forget that working
conditions in France are quite different from those existing in the
United States. In our country, the metal workers are taught more
slowly; as a rule they start their apprenticeship earlier and their
professional education wards them against the dangers of the plant.
As to the safety apparatus, perhaps they have been neglected in
some workshops erected during the war, but they are required by law
and always installed in times of peace.

I can tell you that as far as the Schneider's establishments are
concerned, special safety regulations were established twenty years
ago, with such care that they are actually in use almost without
modifications up to the present time.

I have had looked up, some records on the fatal accidents in the
French and in the American metallurgical factories. I notice that,
according to the report of conditions of employment in the Iron and
Steel Industry in the United States, the percentage of fatal
accidents in America was 1.86 for 1000 laborers in 1909 and 1910,
while in France it was only 0.6 for 1000 laborers.

The comparison of these figures will show you the accuracy of what
I have just indicated to you. As to wages it is certain that the
French wages have nothing in common with the American prices, but
the cost of living is much less.

One cannot therefore compare the figures according to the report
which gives the exchange between the monetary units of the two

Finally, in the chapter "Collaboration between the Manufacturers"
it is shown that the production of which the French industry has
been deprived, consisted entirely of Thomas, or Basic (Bessemer)
Steel and acid Open Hearth Steel.

In reality the East and North departments of France, which have
been invaded, were producing chiefly Basic Bessemer pig iron and
steel. Open Hearth, Acid and Basic steel figured only as a
relatively small tonnage.

As you take an interest in the social question, I thought I was
doing right in having addressed to you, by the same mail, a copy of
our pamphlet on social economy.

I trust that the materials which you will find in it will allow you
to complete the data that you have been able to gather in the
course of your trip.

Yours very truly,

* * *

Paris, December 2nd, 1916.
Mr. J. G. Butler, Jr.,
Youngstown, O.

Dear Sir:--

I have had the honor to receive your letter of November 9th and was
very much pleased to note your very interesting report on the
French Steel Industry.

I thank you for sending this document which I immediately
communicated to our several metallurgical departments concerned.

I thank you, too, for the kind mention you make of our relations
during your stay in France and beg you to believe dear sir, in the
assurance of my best regards.

Yours very truly,

* * *

Arles-sur-Rhone, Dec. 10th, 1916.

Mr. J. G. Butler, Jr.,
Youngstown, Ohio.

Dear Sir:--

I have received with your favor of the 19th of last November, the
copy of the report which you drew up following your trip to France
about the steel business in France during the war.

I have had it translated, for, as I very much regret to be obliged
to tell you, I do not know the English language, which deprived me
of the extreme pleasure of conversing directly with you and obliged
me to remain your silent neighbor, when I had the privilege of
being near you.

The reading of your report has interested me very keenly and
informed us in France of many things about France.

You have been so kind as to add a very elegant piece of poetry
about our two flags comprising the same colors that the sun blends
in its radiant light, but which none the less preserve their
symbolical import. May they continue to float thus together as
formerly for the glory of our two nations, which are actuated by a
common impulse, though differing in expression.

I trust your visit to France at this unfortunate time through which
we are living, will have a happy effect upon the continuance of the
good relations between our two countries.

Thanking you deeply for your considerate attention, I beg to extend
to you and the other members of your Commission the expression of
my sincere regards, believe me, sir,

Yours very truly,
Architecte des Monuments Historiques.

* * *

French Embassy.
Washington, D. C., Feb. 21, 1917.

I offer you, my dear Colonel, my best thanks for the most
interesting account you kindly sent me of your experience in France
and of the sentiments inspired to you by your stay among my

Sincerely yours,

* * *

Louis Nicolle
17, Avenue Bosquet

December, 1916.

My dear Sir:--

I am much obliged to you for the reprint of your report you kindly
sent me.

I have read through it with the greatest interest, and although I
am a textile manufacturer, I found some very interesting
suggestions in it, and at the same time compliments to my country
of which I am very proud.

I hope some further opportunity may bring us into contact again and
in the meantime, I remain,

Yours very sincerely,

* * *

Reims, December 15th, 1916.

Dear Mr. Butler:--

I thank you for your very interesting communication on the Steel
Industry in France and on its future. I am quite of the same
opinion with you and I congratulate you for what you have brought
to us.

I cherish the best remembrance of the visit to Reims of the
American Commission and I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you

I forwarded your kind regards to Mr. Representative Damour, who
begged me to send you his regards.

Ever at your service for all that could be service to you, I beg
you to accept, dear Mr. Butler, the expression of my sympathy and
of my most devoted friendship.

Sub-prefect, Reims.

* * *

Paris, Dec. 23rd, 1916.

Mr. J. G. Butler, Jr.,
Youngstown, O.

Dear Sir:--

I duly received your letter of November 9th, in which you were so
kind as to enclose a copy of the report on the French Steel
Industry which you made out following the trip which the American
Commission has made recently in France.

After reading carefully this report which interested me very
keenly, I can tell you that it represents precisely the actual
situation of our Steel Industry.

With my best thanks, I remain,
Yours very truly,



In spite of the tremendous nature of the present war and its duration
for more than two years at the time of our visit, comparatively little
of France had been visited with the indescribable destruction marking
the struggle. No war in history has been so intense, and few wars have
been so long confined to such small areas as that on the western front.

It was about the first of October that we reached Belfort, and here we
saw the first signs of havoc wrought by gunfire. At Paris we had been
within twenty miles of the battlefield where the German hosts were first
turned back, but there was not much ruin wrought to buildings at the
Marne. Men, unprotected by trenches or any of the later found defensive
methods, bore the brunt of the cannon there.

At Belfort we saw signs of bombardment, but they were not so shocking.
The shell fire had been at long range and was apparently brief and
inaccurate. This seemed to be the case at all of the towns between
Belfort and St. Die. Apparently the Germans had not used so many heavy
guns in this region, or perhaps they had not yet become so desperate and
ruthless as later on. At any rate, it was at St. Die where we first saw
a whole town ruined.

The ruined portion of France extends in a narrow strip around the
frontier from the Alps to the North Sea. Very little of this section,
about three hundred and twenty-five miles in length and varying from ten
to fifty miles in breadth, escaped the fearful blast of war. Few towns
located in it can ever be restored to their original condition.

After the great German army had crushed Liege and captured Antwerp, one
section came up the valley of the Meuse and the other up the valley of
the Schelde, uniting at a point between Namur and Mons. At the latter
place Sir John French had gathered his hastily formed army of one
hundred and twenty-five thousand men, and with this made a gallant
defense. The British were soon forced back with tremendous losses, but
they delayed the Germans until the French army, hastily mobilized on the
German frontier east of Paris, could be reformed on the Marne. The great
German machine drove rapidly down the valleys over the wide and splendid
roads, forcing the English backward toward the sea and spreading out to
meet the French front so hastily interposed between it and Paris. In
this way the German line became extremely long before the Battle of the
Marne began. The Kaiser's army had spread itself out like a fan. I was
shown maps illustrating this mightiest of all military movements, and
it was made plain how the English, hanging on the German flank, had
placed the invaders in such a position that a skillful attack at the
right time and in the right place forced them to fall back and
strengthen their lines.

[Illustration: Ruins of Village--St. Die.]

It was while they were attempting to do this that the French attacked
them with all the fierceness of patriots defending their most beloved
city. Then what the German commander, Von Kluck, had meant to be only a
halt to reform his lines became a retreat that ended only when the
Teutons had gained the hills beyond the Aisne. In their retreat they
destroyed, or the French were forced to destroy, most of the towns in a
section fifty miles wide and two hundred miles long--the fairest part of
France--Artois and Champagne.

The surge of battle--such a battle as the world never saw before--swept
over all these towns, but it was strange to see how much more some of
them suffered than others. At Belfort, the town famous for withstanding
sieges, comparatively little harm was done. Rambevillers, in the path of
the stream of destruction, was almost unharmed. Gerbeviller, on the
other hand, was entirely destroyed, probably out of revenge for the
stubborn opposition of its defenders. St. Die was badly wrecked, as were
Raon l'Etape and Baccarat.

It was the same all along the front. We saw some towns absolutely
ruined, others very badly damaged, and still others in which the shells
seem to have fallen in places where they did little harm, or where,
perhaps, there was not time for the complete shelling that had made
heaps of brick and stone of other thriving towns.

The smaller towns appeared to have suffered worse than the large cities.
Nancy was badly battered, but not entirely destroyed. Reims, which was
under the fire of German guns for many months, and where the wonderful
cathedral was destroyed, apparently with malice, had lost about
one-fourth of its buildings by fire and explosions resulting from the

In the country, the territory once occupied by the Germans and now in
possession of the French is seamed with trenches and pitted with shell
craters in all directions. To all appearances about every foot of it has
seen the tread of either French soldiers or their foes. Back from the
lines a short distance in some cases, the fields had become green again,
and the trees were trying to send forth new growth from then-burned and
battered trunks; but it will be a long time before this part of France
loses all of its scars. The filling of the trenches and leveling of the
fields will be no mean task of itself. Few farm houses, which in France
are built in groups of half a dozen or so, are to be seen. Stone heaps
fill their places.

The roads over which we passed were in good condition, having been kept
in repair. We were told, however, that many of the finest roads near
the front had been badly torn up and that it would require much work to
restore them. Hundreds of bridges have been destroyed, and most of the
rivers and canals, of which there are many, are now crossed by temporary

We were given a glimpse of the complicated system of railroads, built in
large part since the war and to supply the armies with food and other
necessaries. These roads were all laid hurriedly, but they seem to be in
good condition and are invaluable to the French. Some of them have been
laid with rails taken up in other places where they were not so badly
needed. In this system of railroads and roads one gets a striking
illustration of the huge task it is to feed an army.

The Commission was given figures showing the total number of buildings
destroyed in France, with an estimate of their value. These figures had
been compiled in July, 1916, and were reasonably accurate at the time we
were there, since the Germans had yielded little ground in the interim
and there had been less wanton destruction than in the first months of
the war. According to this official report, more than half the houses
had been destroyed, either by flames or gunfire, in one hundred and
forty-eight towns. In the greater portion of these towns nearly all of
the houses had been ruined. Besides this there were scores of towns
suffering from gunfire which did not lose so large a part of their
buildings. Among the buildings destroyed were two hundred and
twenty-five city halls, three hundred and seventy-nine schools, three
hundred and thirty-one churches, and more than three hundred other
public buildings of various kinds and sizes. The mills and factories,
like all of the larger buildings, suffered severely, more than three
hundred having been totally destroyed.

[Illustration: The Prefecture at Reims after Bombardment.]

Most of the towns suffering were of the smaller class, although four
cities of more than one hundred thousand people were bombarded or burned
by the Germans. These are Lille, Roubaix, Nancy and Reims. The section
swept by the German advance and suffering even worse in the retreat is
the most populous in France. It covered about ten thousand square miles.
No one has yet undertaken to figure the loss in property sustained in
this region. The Germans have still possession of about five million
acres of French soil, including seventy per cent, of the iron ore mines
and a large part of the coal supply.

The farmers are already back at work on a great part of the territory
ravaged by the war. Farming under such conditions as we saw, where men
and women worked in the fields within range of the guns and amid their
constant roaring, or with the eternal white crosses for company, may be
more exciting than the usual occupation of the agriculturist, but it
must be a sad, discouraging and difficult task.



Perhaps no other man in France is so talked of so much as General
Joffre. Certainly he is the idol of the French people. They look on him
as their hero and savior, and his name is mentioned among them with a
sort of half-worship. No other people have ever depended on their
leaders as have the French. They believe with the right sort of
leadership they can do anything. This is the impression you get in
talking to them. They say that since the Franco-Prussian War they have
looked forward to the time when they might have a general with
Napoleon's genius and some other name--for even the name Napoleon now
prevents a man from fighting for France, at least if he is of the royal

You may be certain that we all looked forward to meeting this great man.
We did not meet him after all at close range, having to content
ourselves with a view of the busiest man in France as he rode by in an
automobile at top speed.

General Joffre, as we learned, has been at the head of the French Army
for two years before the war. He first came into notice when, at the
last grand maneuvers, he jarred military circles and greatly pleased the
people by unceremoniously dismissing from their command five gold-laced
generals whose methods did not meet with his approval.

But Joffre first showed what sort of stuff was in him when he met the
Germans at the Marne. It will be recalled that the French, never
suspecting that Germany would invade Belgium and having all their
military plans laid for mobilizing on the German frontier, were more or
less demoralized when they found an entirely new line of defense
necessary. They had no railroads built to help reform their line, and
the moving of a vast army is a perplexing task. Without a leader in whom
the whole army had supreme confidence, and with the German host sweeping
across Belgium and hurling back the English, it would have been a
hopeless situation.

But while what the Kaiser called "Sir John French's contemptible little
army" was holding back for a few days the German onrush at terrific
cost, Joffre was busy realigning his forces between the invaders and his
beloved Paris, which seemed doomed to all but him. He had studied the
situation carefully and detected the fact that the long flank of Von
Kluck's army left an opening. This opening was found by the Army of
Paris, augmented in every possible way and finally reinforced by every
available soldier, rushed from Paris in every kind of automobile to be
found. The Germans were stopped at the Marne--twenty miles from
Paris. Not only was the capital of France saved, but the invaders were
steadily driven back until they were sixty miles away before they could
make a successful stand.

[Illustration: Portrait in Tapestry--General Joffre.]

It was then that France found Joffre, so the people say. Up to that time
they had heard little of him and nobody knew who he was or where he had
come from. At once they began to inquire. Few of the soldiers had ever
seen him, and there had been nothing much in the newspapers about the
man who had managed all this.

After the Germans had been forced across the Aisne and there was time to
breathe, the French decided to have a review of that part of the army
that could be spared. It was here that everybody watched for Joffre. The
French tell it in their own way and it is interesting to hear one of
them explaining, with the usual gestures, just how the hero looked on
the day of that review.

It was not much of a display of military style. The troops reviewed had
been in the thick of the fight and there was an enormous amount of mud.
There was no reviewing stand except a muddy elevation, on which the
commander was to stand. Nobody seemed to know where he was or where he
would come from, but it was passed around that he was to be there and
the soldiers watched for him eagerly. Most of them thought that he was
a little, fat man. They had unconsciously absorbed this idea from
pictures of Napoleon, and, forgetting the terrible stress of the past
weeks in the temporary flush of victory, they expected to see their
general come to the stand with a blaze of glory. They looked for silken
flags and gaudy uniforms and a regular French military parade. This was
as little as they thought would do proper honor to the victorious
commander of the Allied armies, and they were right, because General
Joffre is at the head of the greatest force of men ever gathered

As you are told about this in France, the day came and at the spot
selected for the review, an open field somewhat back of the lines, with
plenty of freshly planted crosses in sight and evidence all around that
the peace and quiet had not always been there, a few generals and
officers gathered. Finally, a regimental band, playing the first martial
music heard since before the battle of the Marne, swung out of the woods
at the head of a body of troops.

Then a large man, tall and heavy and wearing an ordinary soldier's
overcoat, but with the laurel band around his hat that showed him to be
a general, came out of the woods behind the little knoll and walked
rapidly toward the group of officers. Every hand went up in salute. Then
they knew it was Joffre. He went to the muddy knoll, and stood there
watching keenly while the soldiers marched past, the bugles blowing and
the bands playing.

In spite of their muddy uniforms and the hard fight they had just gone
through, the French say that these soldiers looked spic and span as they
passed their general. Their rifles went up in salute as straight and
accurately as if they had just come from quarters and were marching over
a level parade ground, instead of over fields filled with shell holes
and slippery with mud--or perhaps something worse.

Joffre is a silent man, they say. This does not interfere in the least
with the adoration of the French, who are usually great talkers. They
believe in him to the utmost, and they will follow him to the limit of
endurance. So long as Joffre is at the head of the French army, the
spirit of victory will remain.

Since Joffre has become famous, of course much is known about him. He
was born in the Midi, as they call the southern part of France. Trained
as a soldier, he saw service in the East, where he did that which he set
out to do. There is no particular incident that points to the discovery
of his genius, although he must have done unusual things to get to the
top. He is known to have been a modest, quiet, home-loving sort of man,
spending much time with his family at Auteil, and showing while there
that he was very fond of fishing. Fishing is a good recreation for the
man who wants to think, and the French believe that while Joffre was
doing that he must have been evolving plans for settling with the hated
Germans. He likes to fish yet, and when he can get away from the war
zone, he hunts a small stream and spends his leisure hours along it.

During his brilliant career since the war began Joffre has developed
some of the qualities notable in our own General Grant. There is not a
particle of show or bluster about him. He dresses as plainly as
possible, talks little and seems to prefer solitude. But his will is
imperious and he does not hesitate when anything is to be done, whether
it is pleasant or otherwise. For his men he has the greatest
consideration, but they say in France that, like Lincoln, he has little
regard for Generals. Some of the things told about him remind you of the
story of Lincoln. In this story a Confederate raid had resulted in the
capture of two generals and a number of privates. When the story was
brought to Lincoln, he said it was too bad about the men. Someone
suggested that it was a pity the generals had been taken, but Lincoln
said that did not matter much, as he could make some more. Joffre has
made it uncomfortable for the inefficient generals in France. Many of
them have lost their commands and most of them live in fear of his quiet
but inexorable discipline.

Joffre does not look kindly on visitors to the Front, and nobody gets
there without his permission. He signed the passes on which the
Commission traveled, but he did not seem overjoyed at our coming enough
to look us up while we were there. Apparently he regarded us as people
who could not help in his big job and who were likely in some way or
other to become nuisances.

When you talk with people who know this man you are at once impressed
with the fact that he appreciates his great responsibility and that
there is nothing on his mind but how to win this war for France. They
say he has a clipping bureau that saves for him all that is being
printed about the war. He probably expects to read it somewhere after
the war is over, but he will not likely be able to do this in the
remainder of an ordinary lifetime.

Time only will decide whether Joffre is really a great military genius,
or whether he is merely a good general, conscientiously doing his best
and fortunate enough to become a popular hero. Modern war is so
different from old time variety that no one can judge results up to this
time. It is at least certain that Joffre has beaten the Germans back and
back, slowly, but surely forcing them out of France. He says himself
that he "has been nibbling at them."

There can be no doubt that at the time this is written he has reached
the pinnacle of fame in France. He is the man in all France who is most
talked about, most admired and most trusted. Were he to die now, as
Kitchener died, his place in History would be secure. What will happen
before the war is over is another matter. But, having heard the French
talk about "Father Joffre" so much and so lovingly, and having been
given the most useful thing in France, if you want to see the front--a
pass by him in spite of the great cares resting on his shoulders, I hope
that fate will be kind to him and that he will remain the idol of his
people to the end.

As might be expected, France is full of the sayings of Joffre. Everyone
you meet can tell you a new one. Some of the aphorisms credited to him
that I can now recall are: "Go where the enemy is not expecting you";
"No soldier is expected to think of retreating"; "Now is the time to
stand and die rather than yield". This last is said to have been his
utterance before the beginning of the Battle of the Marne.



While no estimate can be made of the cost of rebuilding the towns and
cities destroyed in France until after the war is over and it is known
what further damage has been done, this matter is already receiving
earnest consideration. The French are confident of victory and are
satisfied that they will soon be able to rebuild their cities and
reorganize their industries. They are a frugal and thrifty people, and
usually have more private means than the average American whose manner
of living would indicate that he is wealthy. On this account it is my
impression that France will recover very rapidly after the war and will
soon be as well off in property as before it began.

The chief loss of the French is likely to be their young manhood. Houses
can be rebuilt. Factories will spring up over night where there is
capital and faith to invest it. Even the fine old cathedrals may be
restored or replaced with something that will serve equally well in a
practical sense. But the young men--the flower of the French
nation--whose lives have been offered on the altar of national
defense--these cannot be replaced. Generations must pass before the
terrific price of national existence will be fully paid in this

Most Frenchmen feel this way about the situation. From a material
standpoint they expect to soon be as well off as ever. They do not seem
to mind the loss in wealth destroyed by the great war. But they are
bowed down with grief at the thought of the young men who have been
slain and the years that will be required to replace them. Although they
do not care to discuss this phase of the situation, the French have
already begun nobly to meet the problem of the lame, halt and blind who
are a part of the legacy of every war and an exceedingly prominent part
of that left by this one.

It is surprising to learn that the Belgians, whose little country has
been crushed under the heel of the invader so that its government
retains only a narrow corner behind the British army, are even more
optimistic than the French. They are determined that the Germans must be
driven out and are already laying elaborate plans for reconstruction of
their farms and villages and cities. Almost before the Commission had
reached Paris we were asked by the Belgians to hold a meeting with their
chamber of commerce in that city in order to discuss the problems of
Belgium's rehabilitation.

[Illustration: Ruins at Nancy.]

When this meeting did finally take place, on October 16th, we were all
impressed with the pathetic earnestness of the Belgians upon this
subject. Some of the most prominent citizens of Belgium took part in the
discussion. It was easy to see, even from the meagre translations we
were able to get on the moment, that the Belgians realize that they have
been martyrs and expect the world to render them substantial aid when
the time comes to restore their national entity and rebuild their war
torn country. In fact I was compelled to admit with reluctance that
their enthusiasm was greater than their business acumen, for they seemed
to have very little tangible information on which plans could be laid
for helping them.

It was explained afterward that these Belgians have no means of securing
the information they need, as the Germans have almost absolute
possession of their country and are, as might be expected, not
furnishing any information as to the amount of destruction, or the
quantity of materials which can be used again, or in any other way. It
is stated that the Germans have practically looted the whole country,
carting off the machinery in most of the factories, and even forcing the
Belgians to work on military defenses to be used against them and their
allies. Under such conditions it was not to be expected that the Belgian
chamber of commerce would be in possession of definite information. The
impassioned belief of these gentlemen in the magnanimity and wealth of
America was inspiring, and I sincerely hope that when the time comes to
reconstruct this stricken land our people will have as large a part as
the Belgians expect and one much more generous than they have had in the
saving of the Belgians from starvation.

[Illustration: Trenches Occupied by French Soldiers]

At this meeting I heard many kind things said about the Americans who
are working in Belgium and about how much this country has done to save
the people there from suffering. Great praise was also given to the
English, who have aided most nobly to prevent the absolute destruction
of the Belgian nation.



To the members of our Commission one of the most interesting things
found in France was the organization of chambers of commerce, or bodies
whose purpose is to promote the industrial and financial welfare of the
communities where they exist. Unlike the situation in America, where
chambers of commerce are purely local organizations, without power or
even much prestige in the regulation of municipal affairs, the French
have a system of such bodies that is probably the most important single
force to be reckoned with in the republic.

We were entertained at almost every city where we made a stop by the
chamber of commerce, and were given every opportunity to ascertain how
these organizations work. We found their system admirable, and many
features of it should be copied in this country. Before this can be
done, however, we must have more liberal and sensible legislation on the
question of co-operation among productive organizations.

The French chambers of commerce are officially recognized by the
government and given certain powers which, to a large extent, place
every community under their care, at least in so far as its business
interests and development of its resources go. No chamber can be
organized except by governmental decree, and this provision naturally
prevents them from interfering with the legitimate prerogatives of the
government, while giving them powers that enable them to be of real
service to the community.

Everywhere we went we found that the chamber of commerce was regarded as
the guardian of the public interest, and we were told how these bodies
took action frequently with much success in matters that in this country
would be regarded as far beyond the scope of a chamber of commerce. They
have power to represent the towns where they exist in all matters
regarding industrial, agricultural and transportation problems. They are
under the direct control of the department of industry, and the charter
of each is signed by the minister of commerce then in office. Their
members are elected much as we elect regular city officials, and the
number cannot be less than nine or more than twenty-one, except in
Paris, where there are forty at this time. The number is fixed for each
chamber by government decree and depends on the population of the
district. The members must be thirty years of age and citizens in good
standing. Bankrupts are not allowed to serve. In every way these bodies
are made thoroughly representative of the best citizenship, and it is
regarded as quite an honor to be permitted to serve on them without

These chambers usually meet twice each month and they keep in close
touch with each other, working out plans that will be for the good of
the whole country as well as for their special localities. Many of the
largest undertakings in France have been begun and carried out largely
by chambers of commerce. The new port at Marseilles, which will cost
about two hundred million francs, is an example. For this work the
chamber of commerce raised six million francs, the government provided a
like amount, and with this the chamber was able to finance the
improvement, depending on tolls and other revenues to pay the balance in
due time.

The feature which appealed most strongly to me in these chambers of
commerce was the manner in which they are dovetailed with the government
in the performance of duties of a nature such as, in spite of their
tremendous importance, we Americans generally regard as nobody's
business in particular, and which are therefore usually left undone.

A national organization of chambers of commerce is maintained in Paris.
Part of the expense of each chamber, as well as of this body, is paid by
the government. The secretaries of the local chambers have also an
organization, and all these seem to work in perfect harmony for the
general good. The secretaries are usually professionals, and special
courses of training may be had in France for this work.

We found that nearly every chamber had its own building and that all
were handsomely housed, well financed and extremely effective. They have
become a most important part of the government, handling with success
many problems that are difficult for a government and which, at the same
time, require a certain amount of governmental authority if they are to
be disposed of in an efficient manner.

In my opinion this country could copy the French system of chambers of
commerce with much profit. We are in advance of them in many things,
especially in the matter of industrial operations, but they are a
century in advance of us in the co-operation needed between the citizens
and the government for the highest development of community life and



So much interest has been expressed in the new method of treating wounds
discovered by Dr. Carrel and bearing his name, and the subject being of
such great importance to the cause of humanity and the preservation of
human life, I have thought it worth while to give here the following
authoritative descriptions of this new and epochal discovery in the
science of medicine. It is now generally known as the Carrel-Dakin

Reference has been made to meeting Dr. Sherman in London. On discovering
that this physician had enjoyed considerable experience with the Carrel
treatment and was thoroughly familiar with it, I invited him to deliver
an address on this subject at my home town after his return from Europe.
He readily agreed to do this, speaking to an interested audience under
the auspices of the Mahoning County Medical Society on Dec. 19, 1916. A
newspaper account of this address is appended. This will, in a measure,
serve to show the importance of the Carrel treatment.

Out of the horror and carnage that is raging across the seas some
inconceivable good must come. This is the opinion of all who have
been close to the din of battle, who have visited hospitals and
seen with their own eyes the human wrecks wrought by grape shot,
shrapnel and bursting shells. Dr. William O'Neill Sherman's visit
to this city Tuesday night, when he opened the eyes of the medical
profession here to new and greater things, is the first inkling of
one great good that is to come out of this war. To treat the
millions of wounded and maimed, medical genius has been taxed to
the limit. As in all great times, great minds have come to the
rescue and found a way. The old saying that where there is a will
there is a way, has been clearly proven.

Particularly is this true in the medical world. Dr. Sherman came
here from Pittsburgh, the invited guest of the Mahoning County
Medical Society, at the suggestion of J. G. Butler, Jr., who wanted
him to tell the physicians of this city and county the many things
he had learned by close application and association with conditions
in European hospitals and trenches. Dr. Sherman was filled with an
enthusiasm that he made every man who attended the annual banquet
of the Mahoning Medical Society feel. Particularly was he anxious
to bring the local medical fraternity to a realization of the
methods and treatments developed by the horrible carnage raging now
in the European countries. He drove home his point without gloves
when he told physicians of Youngstown that medical men throughout
this country were given too much to criticising new methods rather
than investigating them.

The Carrel method, he explained at length. It is simply a newly
discovered antiseptic solution, conceived by Dr. Alexis Carrel,
which sterilizes wounds and arrests infection and inflammation
before they have an opportunity to spread and result in blood
poisoning and death.

* * *

[Illustration: Proclamation Posted in Reims Just Before the French Fell
Back to the Marne. (See Chap. XXV.)]




At the moment when the German army is at our gates, and will
probably enter the city, the municipal authorities request you to
preserve all your presence of mind, and all calmness necessary to
permit you to undergo this trial.

There must not be any manifestations, any riotous gatherings, any
outcries to trouble the tranquility of the streets. Public Service,
Charity, Health, and street maintenance should continue to be safe.
You must co-operate with us. You must remain in the city to help
the unfortunate. We shall remain with you at our post to defend
your interests.

It does not devolve upon you, the population of an unfortified
city, to alter events. It does devolve upon you not to aggravate
the consequences. To this end it is necessary to keep silence,
dignity and prudence.

We rely upon you, you may rely upon us.

Reims, September 3, 1914. DR. LANGLET, Mayor.

* * *

Mr. Butler said to visit European capitals is to witness a
revelation difficult to convey in mere words. Soldiers of every
nationality are treated by the expert and world famed in medicine.
Human wrecks, victims of shot and shell, are repaired and rebuilt.
It matters little whether a man is friend or foe, as long as a
spark of life is there, he is picked tenderly from the trench and
everything known to medical science done to bring about his

The mind is filled with horror and wonder of it all. New thoughts
bombard the mind as one looks on. A man is brought in. His face is
practically shot away. It seems that even should he recover he will
be so disfigured that life will not be worth the living. The Carrel
solution is applied. By plastic surgery and other means the
disfigured mass is shaped. In a few short weeks the man again
begins to resemble a human being and eventually is well, with
little more than a few indistinct scars. Not infrequently he
returns to the trenches. Some of the things that shock the mind are
metal jaws, screened behind false beards, artificial noses, ears,
cheeks, eyes and limbs. Sometimes when a man is facially disfigured
beyond repair, that is, when nature can never replace the
countenance, a copper mask is fitted. These sculptors in
flesh-and-blood do their work with such precision and accuracy that
it is startling and cannot be believed unless it is seen.

The war has seen the springing up of many hospitals of special
character. There are groups of institutions where only faces are
treated, eyes, ears and nose, maimed limbs, etc. Medical attention
in most cases begins in the trenches and the patient is carefully
watched while being transported to the hospital. By sterilizing
wounds shortly after they occur, infection and pus are robbed of
their chance to hinder nature and the patient recovers in a few
weeks from a frightful wound that if infected would take that many
months. There are many things of today that help in the
preservation of human life. The highly developed X-ray has played
an important part in this great war. Electricity, new antiseptics
and anaesthetics have been at the finger's end of the skilled
medical profession, to work what can honestly be called miracles
and wonders.

One of the strange things of this great war is the fact that new,
unheard of diseases are developed. It has tended to make common
rare diseases and greatly increased those that are usual. Thousands
die, having no mark upon their body. Post-mortems held have
disclosed in nearly every case that such deaths were caused by
shell shock. Bombs from the huge guns dropping near a company of
men will often so disarrange organs that death follows quickly.
Many who survive lose mind, sight, hearing, speech, and so on. This
has become one of the common things of this great war. As a result
the warring countries will find themselves confronted with a new
and difficult problem when peace comes and normal times are again
established. There will be hundreds of thousands to pension and no
doubt insane institutions will have to be enlarged. Rest is often a
saviour. Men taken away from the fronts, minds blank, in the quiet
of home often regain their reason. There is the large percentage
that God in his goodness does not see fit to restore that will form
an elephantine problem. There will have to be vast pension lists,
for these men often have large families.

The way men may be pieced and patched together is one of the finds
of the new medical era. It has been discovered that bones in legs
and arms practically shot in two can be brought together by means
of silver and vanadium steel plates fitted with screws and that the
bones will knit and after a period the afflicted can walk almost as
satisfactorily as if nothing had happened. Dr. Sherman while in
this city this week displayed a steel plate that he worked out and
used with marked success in the hospitals of France. These plates
are applied in what would seem to be a very simple manner. A man
may have a leg or an arm practically shot off. By placing the
broken bones together, after a treatment with the Carrel solution
to keep down infection, a plate is fitted on either side of the
fracture and screws are applied. This holds the two members solidly
together and in a few short weeks the bones knit. In time this
place is practically the strongest part of the limb. What this
means can best be told by explaining that before the discovery, an
arm or a leg so badly shattered was simply amputated because this
was the only safe and logical way to save the life of the
individual. In the olden days gangrene would invariably set in and
the patient die within a short time unless amputation was performed
promptly following the accident.

Dr. Carrel has gone a long way to eliminate this danger.

Having seen with my own eyes the wonderful results of this treatment
during my visits to the American Ambulance and other hospitals in
France, I requested Mr. Laurence V. Benet, superintendent of the
American Ambulance, to furnish me with an authoritative description of
the treatment. The chief purpose of this is to enable medical
authorities in this country, particularly those connected with hospitals
maintained by iron and steel plants, to gain a reliable outline of the
treatment. Dr. Benet, in spite of the fact that he is one of the busiest
men in France, kindly agreed to furnish this information. In doing so he
accompanied the description with the following letter:

* * *

1 Avenue De Camoens
Paris, October 26, 1916.

Mr. Joseph G. Butler, Jr.,
Youngstown, O.

My dear Mr. Butler:--

In compliance with my request, Dr. Joseph Lawrence, of the American
Ambulance, has kindly prepared a short note on the Carrel treatment
of wounds, and this I am now enclosing. I trust that you will find
it sufficiently explicit for your purposes, and that it will be of
use and interest to you.

Now that you are again home I hope that your wonderful trip in
France will be less than a mere memory and that the labors of the
Industrial Commission will prove, as they should, most valuable to
the manufacturers and exporters of the United States. Believe me
that it was to me a great privilege as well as a great pleasure to
have met you and your distinguished colleagues, and that my only
regret is that I was unable to be of greater use to the Commission.

I am, with very kind regards,

Sincerely yours,
1 encl.

* * *

The Carrel Treatment of Wounds.

The Carrel treatment consists in thorough irrigation guided by the
bacteriological observation of the wound.

For the irrigation of the wound, Carrel has chosen a certain size
of rubber tube about 4 mm. in diameter into which he punches small
holes at intervals. The one end of this tube is shut, the other end
is allowed to protrude from the dressing.

On the surface wound, the tube is laid over the wound in the
direction of the greatest diameter of the wound with the open end
towards the most elevated part.

In perforating wounds, the tube or several tubes, when the wound is
large, are passed through from both sides, or pushed into cavities
or pockets that may exist.

If the wound is not a perforating wound, but a deep wound, the
tubes are planted deep into the cavity that may be formed. These
tubes are always of sufficient number to thoroughly irrigate the
broken surface.

Over the uninjured skin, about the wound, is placed thin strips of
gauze which have been steeped in vaseline, the skin having been
thoroughly washed before with soap and water.

To keep these tubes in place, a bandage wet with Dakin's solution
is placed over them. The wound is flushed every two hours with
Dakin's solution. The amount of solution used per wound, varies in
proportion to the size of the wound from 500 c.c. per day up.
Wounds are dressed daily.

The bacteriological observation is made by taking a smear from the
most vicious part of the wound at intervals of two or three days.
The number of bacteria on these smears is noted and counted per oil
immersion field. A count of more than 75 bacteria per field is
considered infinity. When there are less than 10 bacilli to the
field, and not less than 5 to the field, three fields are counted.
When less than 5, and not less than 7, five fields are counted.
When less than one, from five to twenty fields will be counted.

A wound that retains a count of one bacillus to two fields or less
for three observations, is considered bacteriologically clean, and
suitable for operation. If the wound is a compound fracture, it is
advisable to close the wound, converting it into a simple fracture.

If this can be done without exerting too great tension on the

If the wound is a flesh wound, and can be drawn together without
too great tension, its closure is indicated.


The important parts of the treatment consist in thorough
irrigation, and careful bacteriological observation. The
bacteriological observations are charted on charts similar to
temperature charts.

Dakin's Solution.
(Sodium Hypochlorite at 0.50%)

1--To prepare 10 litres of solution, weight exactly:
   Chloride of Lime (Bleaching Powder) 200 grms.
   Carbonate of Soda (dried) 100 grms. or if used in crystals 200

   Bi-carbonate of Soda 200 grms.

2--Put the Chloride of Lime into a large mouthed bottle of about 12
   litres capacity. Add 5 litres of water (half the quantity) and
   shake well two or three times. Let this stand all night.

3--Dissolve in another 5 litres of water of two Soda salts

4--Pour this latter solution directly into the bottle containing
   the maceration of lime. Stir well and let the solution stand in
   order to allow the precipitate of Carbonate of Lime to settle.

5--At the end of half an hour, siphon the clear liquid and filter
   by means of a paper, in order to have a perfectly clear solution.
   This should be kept away from the light.

6--No heat should be employed in the manufacture of Dakin's and
   ordinary Tapwater should be used.

* * *

Preparation of Dakin Solution.

Technique of Dr. Daufresne.

The solution of sodium hypochlorite for surgical use must be free
of caustic alkali; it must only contain 0.45% to 0.50 of
hypochlorite. Under 0.45% it is not active enough and above 0.50 it
is irritant. With chloride of lime (bleaching powder) having 25% of
active chlorine, the quantities of necessary substances to prepare
ten litres of solution are the following:--

  Chloride of Lime (bleaching powder) 25% CI act....200 gr.
  Sodium Carbonate, dry (Soda of Solway) 100 gr.
  Sodium Bi-carbonate....80 gr.

Pour into 12 litre flask the two hundred grammes of chloride of
lime and five litres of ordinary water, shake vigorously for a few
minutes and leave in contact for six to twelve hours, one night for
example. (Shake until dissolved) at least the big pieces are
dissolved, large pieces float--notice only floating pieces. At the
same time, dissolve in five litres of cold ordinary water the
carbonate and bi-carbonate of soda.

After leaving from six to twelve hours, pour the salt solution in
the flask containing the macerated chloride of lime, shake
vigorously for a few minutes and leave to allow the calcium
carbonate to be precipitated. In about half an hour, siphon the
liquid and filter with a double paper to obtain a good, clear
liquid, which should always be kept in a dark place.

Tritration of Chloride of Lime (Bleaching Powder).

Because of the variation of the products now obtained in the
market, it is necessary to determine the quantity of active
chlorine contained in the chloride of lime which is to be used.
This, in order to employ an exact calculated quantity according to
its concentration. The test is made in the following manner:--

Take from different parts of the bar a small quantity of beaching
powder to have a medium sample, weigh 20 grammes of it, mix as well
as possible in a litre of tap water and leave in contact for a few
hours. Measure 10 c.c. of the clear liquid and add 20 c.c. of a 10%
solution of potassium iodide, 2 c.c. of acetic acid or hydrochloric
acid, then put drop by drop into the mixture a decinormal solution
of sodium hyposulfite (2.48%) until decoloration. The number "N"
of cubic centimeters of hyposulfite employed multiplied by 1,775
will give the weight "N" of active chloride contained in 100
grammes of chloride of lime.

The test must be made every time a new product is received. When
the result obtained will differ more or less than 25%, it will be
necessary to reduce or enlarge the proportion of the three products
contained in the preparation. This can be easily obtained by
multiplying each of the three numbers--200, 100, 60 by the factor
N/25 in which N represents the weight of the active chlorine per
cent of chloride of lime.

Measure 10 c.c. of the solution, add 20 c.c. of potassium iodide
1/10, 2 c.c. of acetic acid and drop by drop a decinormal solution
of sodium hyposulfite until decoloration. The number of cubic
centimeters used multiplied by 0.03725 will give the weight of the
hypochlorite of soda contained in 100 c.c. of the solution.

Never heat the solution and if in case of urgency one is obliged to
resort to trituration of chloride of lime in a mortar, only employ
water, never salt solution.

Test of Thetalkalinity of Dakin Solution:--

To easily differentiate the solution obtained by this process from
the commercial hypochlorites, pour into a glass about 20 c.c. of
the solution and drop on the surface of the liquid a few
centigrammes of phenol-phthaleine in powder. The correct solution
does not give any coloration while Lebarraque's solution and Rau de
Javel will give an intense red color which shows in the last two
solutions existence of free caustic alkali.

TECHNIQUE--Dakin Solution.

The procedure is very simple. The solution, however, must be
between 45 to 50% hypochlorite. Anything above this strength will
burn and anything below is too weak. The edges of the wound should
be covered with gauze which has been well soaked in vaseline, the
solution should then be introduced into the wounds from an
irrigator every two hours. A stopcock should be put on the tube and
only sufficient solution should be allowed to enter the wound to
completely saturate all parts of the wound. In other words, the
wounds should be bathed with the solution every two hours--do not
mistake this and irrigate continuously. You can easily tell how
much solution it takes to keep the wound wet.

Rubber tubes are used. The end of the tube is tied off and six to
eight small perforations are made so that the solution can run into
all parts of the wound. If the wounds are superficial, the same
kind of a tube can be used to which a cuff of turkish towel is
wrapped around the end of the tube.

If you feel that the wounds are sure to be infected, it would be
well to lay them open freely and immediately start this treatment,
be sure to have the skin well protected with the vaseline and gauze
and see that the solution does not run out of the wound on the bed.
Just keep the wound bathed every two hours.

I have been informed that a movement is on foot to inaugurate the
use of this remarkable discovery in the United States military
hospitals, and that the Rockefeller Foundation has in view the
erection at New York of a large hospital where the treatment may be
studied and still further perfected for the benefit of this

* * *

[Illustration: Proclamation by the Mayor of Reims Issued on the Day the
Germans Entered that City, Sept. 4, 1914.]



Dear Citizens:

To-day and in the days following, many from among you, both
prominent citizens and workmen, will be kept as hostages to
guarantee to the German authorities the quiet and good order which
your representatives have promised in your name.

It is to your security and to the safety of the City and to your
proper interests that you do nothing which may break this agreement
and compromise the future.

Have realization of your responsibility and facilitate our task.

Men, women, children, remain as far as possible in your homes,
avoid all discussion.

We depend upon you to be equal to this occasion.

All riotous gathering is absolutely forbidden and will be
immediately dispersed.

J. B. LANGLET, Mayor.

* * *



Few who read this book have ever been in contact with actual war. In
order that they may have an idea of what happens to a city which finds
itself in the path of an irresistible enemy, some account will be given
here of what happened to Reims, a city about the size of Youngstown,
having a population of one hundred and twenty-five thousand and being
situated on the north bank of the river Aisne, in north-eastern France.

When the Germans attacked France they hurled their great armies by three
routes. Not only did they violate the neutrality of Belgium and
Luxembourg, but they also sent an army across the frontier between
Verdun and Belfort, this being the force stopped by the chasseurs at
Gerbeviller, as has been told elsewhere. France had trusted too much and
was in a desperate plight because her troops had been mobilized on the
wrong front.

The first Germans crossed the frontier of little Luxembourg on the
morning of August 2, 1914. They were met by the Grand Duchess, who
disputed their passage and pleaded with them to turn back. Her little
army of four hundred and thirty men could do nothing, and when she
turned her car across the road the German soldiers gathered around and,
on the order of their commander, pushed it to one side and passed on.

The Germans entered Belgian territory at Gemmenich on August 3, 1914.
The next day they attempted to take by assault the city of Liege,
Belgium's greatest industrial center, and failed. This city, with its
ring of nine forts, blocked the passage of their troops and held the
main roads into Germany. After a most bloody and unsuccessful assault,
the Germans brought up their big guns and blew the forts to pieces. But
they had been delayed five days. Then their hosts swept across Belgium
and soon came in touch with the French and English. The English army of
one hundred and twenty-five thousand men met them at Mons. The French
met them between Mons and Verdun.

At this time the Allied lines swung like a huge gate from Verdun west
toward the sea, barring the Kaiser's passage. The Germans then had a
million of men, with hordes of the famous lancers, and clouds of these
horsemen hung on the right flank of the English, swinging out and around
them so as to force Sir John French to fall back or suffer the turning
of his flank. Von Kluck was in command of this turning movement, which
was made possible by the fall of Namur, Lille and Charleroi. Things then
looked desperately bad for the Allies.

* * *

[Illustration: First Order From the Invaders.]



Having taken possession of the City and the fortress of Reims I
command the following:

Railroads, routes of communications, both telegraph and telephone,
not only of the City of Reims, but also throughout the immediately
outlying districts, must be protected against all possibility of
destruction; it is absolutely necessary to protect by a minute
surveillance the public buildings along the lines of communication.
The City will be held responsible for disobedience to this order:
the guilty ones will be pursued and shot; the City will be levied
for considerable contributions.

I add also that it will be to the interest of the population to
conform to the foregoing commands, at the same time going about
their ordinary occupations; thus the inhabitants will avoid having
new and serious losses.

Commander in Chief.

* * *

This notice on a white card, 45 by 56 centimeters, was posted on the
walls of the City of Reims by German authority during the occupation of
September 4th to 12th, 1914.

As they were forced back toward Paris, not so much by actual fighting as
by the necessity to keep their lines clear and avoid the turning
movement of the swift German division under Von Kluck, the Allied armies
swung, like a gate with its hinges at Verdun and the outer edge at Mons,
back until they stretched between Verdun and Paris. This movement
uncovered the beautiful city of Reims, with its countless art treasures,
its magnificent cathedral and its thriving population of more than a
hundred thousand people, all of which, as the swinging movement
continued, were left to the mercy of the German army. The French
evacuated Reims with nothing more than some rear-guard fighting and fell
back southward to take their places in the great battle line which
Joffre had planned somewhere north of Paris--on the Marne, as it was
later evident.

As the Allied forces swung backward to this then unknown position, they
were hard pressed by the advancing German hosts. Their retreat will
stand as one of the most masterly in history, for during ten days these
vast armies retired more than two hundred miles on their left flank
without disorder and without excessive loss of men or material.

The English army occupied the side toward the sea in these grand
maneuvers for position. Sir John French moved swiftly backward, fighting
as he went and constantly swinging outward to prevent Von Kluck from
encircling his flank. On the morning of September 3rd, he reached a
point between Paris and the sea, actually a little north of that city.
Suddenly in response to orders from Joffre, he marched his tired troops
through Paris to Lagny, twenty miles east of the capital, where he took
up a position on the Marne front.

Von Kluck was almost in sight of Paris in hot pursuit of the English
when he found how he had been tricked. He could not attack the defenses,
and it was urgently necessary for him to join the main army on the Marne
front. To do this he had to circle to the north, around the outer
fortifications of Paris a much longer march than that of the English.

The French government had packed its belongings and left for Bordeaux on
the morning of the day the English passed through Paris, and the people
thought the Germans were about to besiege the city. All buildings in the
line of fire had been destroyed, the civilian population sent south, and
every preparation made for defense. Joffre only knew the real plan.

The Parisians were amazed when the Germans scarcely stopped in front of
their city. They could not understand why Von Kluck should suddenly
withdraw to the east, because they did not know how badly he was needed
on the Marne front. But Von Kluck must have suspected, for it is said
that he told an aide that, "We have met with a great misfortune."

Von Kluck was right, for the masterly strategy of Joffre had won the
battle of the Marne before a shot had been fired in that historic

These facts were gleaned from military men whom we met in France. They
show how little the civilian population of a military zone, or even the
soldiers themselves, know of the movements in which they are engaged.
Evidently Joffre had not confided his plans even to the government
authorities at Paris, preferring to have the seat of government move and
the population flee rather than take chances of these plans being
learned by the enemy. So also at Reims.

The French who had been stubbornly defending the city they love best
next to Paris from German "Kultur," were forced to move through Reims
and to the south to take their place in the great battle line on the
Marne. They went reluctantly and the Germans followed them into the

This explains the situation shown in the poster on page 245. The Germans
were just outside of Reims on September 3rd, and the Mayor knew that the
French army was moving south and leaving the city at their mercy. He
counselled his people concerning their conduct, warning them to
interfere in no rear-guard action such as was likely to occur. This
proclamation was dated September 3, 1914.

* * *

[Illustration: Second German Proclamation.]



All authorities of the French Government and Municipal authorities
are advised as follows:

1st--All peaceable inhabitants may follow their regular occupations
     in full security without being disturbed. Private property will be
     absolutely respected by the German troops. Provisions of all sorts
     suitable for the needs of the German army will be paid for as

2nd--If, on the contrary, the population dares in any form, whether
     openly or disguised, to take part in hostilities against our troops
     the most diverse punishments will be inflicted upon the guilty

3rd--All firearms must be deposited immediately at the Mayor's
     office; all individuals bearing arms will be put to death.

4th--Whoever cuts or attempts to cut telegraph or telephone wires,
     destroys railroad tracks, bridges, roadways, or who plans any
     action whatsoever to the detriment of the German troops will be
     shot on the spot.

5th--The inhabitants of the city or of the villages who take part
     in the battle against our troops, who fire on our baggage trains or
     on our commissary, or who attempt to hinder any enterprises of the
     German soldiers, will be shot immediately.

The civil authorities alone are in a position to spare the
inhabitants the terrors and scourge of war. They are the ones who
will be responsible for the inevitable consequences resulting from
this proclamation.

Chief of Staff, Major General of the German Army

* * *

White card, 45 x 56, posted on the walls of the city of Reims by German
authority during the occupation of September 4th to 12th, 1914.

On September 4th the Germans entered Reims, having met with no
resistance. They occupied the city without interruption until after the
battle of the Marne, which historic struggle began at sunrise on
September 6th and continued along a front of about 140 miles until
September 12th.

In this battle, which was lost to the Germans because they had been
out-maneuvered and compelled to shorten their front so that they were
rolled up on both right and left wings, two million, five hundred
thousand men were engaged--the greatest number taking part in one battle
in the history of the world. Of these nine hundred thousand were Germans
and the remainder Allies, principally French, the English having only a
little more than one hundred thousand men in France at that time. On
account of their superiority of numbers, the Allies were able to extend
their front and thus threaten the Germans with envelopment at both ends
of the long battle line, which reached from Meaux, twenty miles east of
Paris, to the fortress of Verdun.

The losses in this tremendous battle are said to have been exceeded only
by those of the battle of Flanders, which began October 13, and in which
more than three hundred thousand men were slain. The losses at the Marne
have never been officially stated.

* * *

[Illustration: Citizens Warned of Danger.]



The inhabitants are requested to abstain absolutely from touching
shells which have not been exploded and are requested to notify
immediately the police department, Rue de Mars regarding any such.

The least shock may cause the explosion of the projectile.

Reims, September 7, 1914. DR. LANGLET, Mayor.

Notice posted in Reims by order of the Mayor, September 7th, 1914.

* * *

Next followed the battle of the Aisne, in which the invaders were again
defeated and forced to retreat. It was in this battle that the Germans
made their last stand south of Reims. They had prepared strong positions
on the right bank of this river as they moved toward Paris and in these
tried to stem the tide of battle without avail. They were pushed back
slowly out of these positions, some of which we were shown, and after
being driven to the north of Reims, they began, on September 20th, the
bombardment that destroyed the famous cathedral and many of the finest
structures in the city.

It will be seen that the Germans, on their entry into Reims, guaranteed
the safety of life and property. They had forgotten this when, on
September 15, the victorious French reoccupied the city. Five days
later, without reason or any other motive than revenge, the Germans, now
making another stand in the trenches to the north of the city, opened
fire on the cathedral and the bishop's palace nearby, destroying both
beyond repair.

* * *

[Illustration: Citizens Warned that Hostages may be Hanged.]



In case a battle takes place today or very soon in the environs of
Reims or in the city itself, the inhabitants are advised that they
should keep absolutely calm and are not to take part in the battle
in any manner. They must not attempt to attack isolated soldiers
nor detachments of the German army. It is formally forbidden to
build barricades or tear up pavement of the streets in such a
fashion as to hinder the movement of the troops. In a word nothing
must be done which will in any way tend to hinder the German army.

In order to insure sufficiently the safety of the troops and in
order to keep the population of Reims calm, the persons named below
have been taken as hostages by the commanding general of the German
army. Those hostages will be hanged at the least sign of disorder.
At the same time the city will be entirely or partially burned and
the inhabitants hanged if any infraction whatsoever is committed
against the preceding rules.

On the other hand if the city remains absolutely tranquil and calm,
the hostages and the inhabitants will be placed under the safeguard
of the German Army. By order of German authority,

Reims, September 12, 1914. DR. LANGLET, Mayor.

* * *

Both armies surged backward and forward over Reims twice, and it is not
surprising that the city suffered severely. Nevertheless, the French
officer who gave us the information outlined above was firmly of the
opinion that the cathedral had been wantonly destroyed in revenge for
the defeat and humiliation suffered by the German commanders at the
Marne and the Aisne. Whatever may have been the motive, and regardless
of how great may have been the excuse, the two illustrations of this
splendid structure shown in a previous chapter are sufficient to stamp
its destruction as a crime that can hardly be justified by the plea of
military necessity.

Reims, when we saw it, with the story that is told by the proclamations
reproduced, furnishes strong evidence that General Sherman was right
when he described war.



In closing this work it is my hope that the reader will consider that
its inspiration and purpose have been stated with sufficient clearness,
but in this final chapter I am venturing to record my general
impressions of a truly great nation seen during a period which must be
regarded as part of the most vital epoch in its history. This concluding
chapter will have accomplished my purpose if it portrays the patriotic
nationality of the French under existing conditions, in such manner as
to be considered worthy of emulation in our own country.

During the necessarily brief and hurried visits made by our Commission
to many parts of France, I met many notables, generals, under officers,
parliament members, prefects, as well as great commercial leaders, but
regret that owing to lack of time and my ignorance of the French
language, opportunity for investigation and conversation with the
bourgeoise was slight. Nevertheless it would be impossible to travel
through afflicted France as our Commission did without experiencing an
acute impression of the solidarity and quiet, determined patriotism of
the French people. They stand as one to fight the war to a decisive
finish. They treat the war as some gigantic job, about which there is to
be no questioning, no weighing of sacrifices of life, comfort or
finances, and which simply must go on until finished satisfactorily.

This development of the French character must come as a revelation to
those who have in the past regarded the French as a volatile, frivolous,
impulsive people, virile, yet lacking the accredited determination and
persistency of the Teuton. This impression has been a great mistake. The
faces of the men and women of France alike show no sign of vacillation.
The French are counting the terrific cost, as becomes the thriftiest of
nations, expecting to collect a bill that in their opinion has been
running since the Franco-Prussian war and through the humiliating and
irksome years which followed under the "favored nation" clause. From any
other standpoint I believe few Frenchmen ever permit themselves to dwell
upon the ruin and suffering the present cataclysm has brought upon their

Upon comprehending this attitude of the French, the thinking American
cannot avoid speculation as to what would happen in these United States
should a like emergency confront us. We may not dismiss such thought
with the statement that such an emergency is impossible. It is a most
unpleasant possibility and must be faced. We might be unconquerable,
in the sense that Russia cannot be conquered because of her magnificent
distances and natural barriers against a foe; but without the
preparedness and the single-hearted patriotism of the French, an invader
would find nothing in America to prevent him from working destruction
beyond calculation and inflicting humiliation that would be even worse.

[Illustration: Postal-card Painted by Artist Soldier in French

As these lines are written we are still at peace with all the warring
nations. Our neutrality has been preserved only by submitting to
outrages such as have been endured without forcible protest by no other
great nation in the history of the world. If our patience with Germany
serves as an example to the world of how a great and magnanimous nation
may make sacrifices to encourage peace, our policy will prove to be
wise. If, on the other hand, it serves only to make the Germans believe
that we are too mercenary or two weak-kneed to defend ourselves and thus
encourages further transgressions, our peaceable policy will have been a
great mistake. After an opportunity to observe at close hand the methods
and motives of the German war party, I am frankly afraid that the latter
situation will prove to be the outcome. We shall be indeed fortunate if
we can keep out of the war that has involved half the civilized world.

Nations like men profit by experience. The French people have records
of history and civilization extending beyond the days of the Roman
Empire, and that civilization has gone steadily forward through many
centuries. No wonder then that they excel us in many things; the wonder
is that they do not excel in all. In architecture and the arts, France
leads America. This must be admitted by any fair-minded person familiar
with the facts. But in industrial affairs the story is different.

Our country has adopted more progressive and efficient methods in the
industrial field than can be found in France, where efficiency is not
the word so much as is the comfort of the workers. This is particularly
true of the iron and steel business. We saw in France not a single steel
plant that could compare in efficiency with the great plants of this
country. By this is meant that in none of the plants visited was the
output per man nearly so great or the share enjoyed by the worker nearly
so large, as is the rule in this country. Since we did not see the
plants to the north which had been captured by the Germans, perhaps it
is not altogether fair to make this comparison. Nevertheless the same
impression was gained in the inspection of other industrial operations.
The French workman is more artistic but he does not move so rapidly or
produce so much as does the American. Neither of course, does he enjoy
so large a remuneration. On the whole, wages are much less in
proportion to individual production in France than in this country.

To the resident of a country which has not had a war within the memory
of a generation, it is hard to convey by written or printed words a just
conception of what a great war means to any country involved. The
outward, visible evidence of individual restraint was one of the most
vivid things witnessed on our trip through France: at least this was the
case with me and, I believe, with some others of the Commission.

In France the individual has disappeared; he has been swallowed by the
State; the nation in its dire necessity, obeying the law of
self-preservation has practically obliterated the individual as such. He
has become simply a small part of a great whole, a whole so
inconceivably more important than any of its parts that all of them are
completely subordinated.

The average American citizen would resent with heat the regulations
regarded as a matter of course in France. He would fume and fret and all
but rebel, if asked to live as the French people are forced to live
during the war.

From what we could learn the submersion of the individual is far greater
in Germany than in France, but to a healthy American citizen, accustomed
to doing about as he pleases so long as he is able to pay the price and
injures no one else, there is abundant restriction on personal liberty
at this time in France. Possibly under similar circumstances we would as
a people show an equal spirit of self-repression for the benefit of the
national welfare.

The first great lesson taught by war to the death--as this war is for
all concerned--is the great outstanding fact that people as individuals
must surrender their rights to the people as a whole. Obedience to
constituted authority must be absolute. Personal tastes and interests
must be ignored or suppressed. The whole nation must work as one man,
under the direction of one head, to keep it from being made subject to
some other nation having less regard for personal liberty and more
respect for efficiency.

I took particular pains to ascertain directly and indirectly from all
classes the feeling of the French people towards Germany and the
Germans. Prior to the declaration of war it is safe to say the feeling
was not wholly unfriendly. Only three months before war was declared a
similar commission came from Germany. The German commissioners were
treated with great consideration. Plants and industrial establishments
were shown, views exchanged and entertainments were the order of the
day, or rather of the night, and everything possible done by the French
to foster a good feeling, having in mind increased trade facilities
between the two nations. But after war was declared, French territory
invaded and the unspeakable and unwritable deeds of the German soldiers
made manifest, this previous feeling changed to one of hatred and
revenge which it will take generations to eradicate.

In our intercourse with the French people a kindly appreciative feeling
was manifest towards the English and Americans; a feeling of deep
gratitude towards England for the great part she has taken in the war
and to America for the generous aid and assistance rendered in many
ways. Hospital work and the great aid rendered by American aviators were
much dwelt upon, the personal work of American men and women being
everywhere in evidence.

Since my return I have been asked by a great many people as to the
revival or otherwise of religious feeling as the result of the war, also
as to the food situation, the general appearance of the country in
France, the manner in which the dwelling houses are built, the
maintenance of public roads, the school system of France and its
efficiency as well as to the conditions prevailing now compared with
former visits. France has never been deeply religious. Catholicism
prevails to a great extent at present and has for centuries, although
certain parts of France are Protestant. Such divisions and subdivisions
of Protestant churches as prevail in the United States are unknown. A
Frenchman or a Frenchwoman is either a Catholic or Protestant.
Religious feeling is no doubt deeper in the country districts than in
the larger cities, and this is particularly true of the Catholics. From
the brief talk I had with French people on this particular subject I
should say the war has made no difference and the religious attitude is
about the same. The thoughts of the French people are so concentrated
upon the war and its consequences that but little else occupies their

During our sojourn in France, food seemed plenty and we heard no
complaint of shortage. The French are proverbially thrifty and can and
do live comfortably upon the equivalent of what Americans waste. When a
Frenchman finishes his meal there is nothing left on the plate, on
dishes or in the glasses. This was particularly noticeable at all the
banquets and luncheons which we attended.

We had but little opportunity of ascertaining prices. The market houses
in the small villages seemed well stocked with provisions.

Going to school in France is a governmental affair as all the schools
are run by the Government, excepting only the convent schools, where
higher education is taught to private pupils. France contains many high
grade "polytechnique" schools, arts, military and schools of mines, all
regulated and managed through the government department of education. I
should say the common school system is not as thorough as in Germany,
where education is wholly compulsory. Military education and training in
France is a part of the established system of the public schools and is
rigidly enforced. There are schools for training of officers the
equivalent of our own West Point. Children of the wealthier class in
France are taught and trained by private tutors. Retired army officers
are largely employed in the military schools.

Our journey through France was largely through the devastated districts.
I am certain that when this portion of France is rebuilt it will be done
on a more sanitary scale, as indicated by the beginning of the
reconstruction by Miss Daisy Polk and her associates at Vitrimont.

I was specially impressed by the magnificent scenery we saw and passed
through during the latter part of our journey. The French Alps are
considered in scenic effects equal to the world famous views in
Switzerland. We were treated by the authorities directing the movements
of the military automobiles with a perilous night ride from Le Puy to
St. Etienne. Starting about eight o'clock we were taken a distance of
nearly a hundred miles around, over and across gorges, steep inclines
and winding roads innumerable. We got through safely but were warned
from time to time by the peasantry that the ride had never previously
been attempted except in day-light. We were several times lost and
traced and retraced our steps time and again. But few of the party knew
of the real danger we had passed through until told the following day.

Concluding I may say adieu to the reader by adding that the Commission
has issued a printed report of its labors, the information contained in
that book being the joint and collaborative work of all the
commissioners. I have availed myself of some of the information
contained in the two chapters in this commission report "The Work of
Reconstruction" and "French Business Organizations".

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Journey Through France in War Time" ***

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