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Title: Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him
Author: Tumulty, Joseph P. (Joseph Patrick)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him" ***

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To the memory of my dear mother Alicia Tumulty whose spirit of generosity,
loyalty, and tolerance I trust will be found in the lines of this book


In preparing this volume I have made use of portions of the following
books: "The War The World and Wilson" by George Creel; "What Wilson Did at
Paris," by Ray Stannard Baker; "Woodrow Wilson and His Work" by William E.
Dodd; "The Panama Canal Tolls Controversy" by Hugh Gordon Miller and
Joseph C. Freehoff; "Woodrow Wilson the Man and His Work" by Henry Jones
Ford; "The Real Colonel House" by Arthur D. Howden Smith; "The Foreign
Policy of Woodrow Wilson" by Edgar E. Robinson and Victor J. West. In
addition, I wish to make acknowledgment to the following books for
incidental assistance: "My Four Years in Germany" by James W. Gerard;
"Woodrow Wilson, An Interpretation" by A. Maurice Low; "A People Awakened"
by Charles Reade Bacon; "Woodrow Wilson" by Hester E. Hosford; "What
Really Happened at Paris," edited by Edward Mandell House and Charles
Seymour, and above all, to the public addresses of Woodrow Wilson. I
myself had furnished considerable data for various books on Woodrow Wilson
and have felt at liberty to make liberal use of some portions of these
sources as guide posts for my own narrative.


Woodrow Wilson prefers not to be written about. His enemies may, and of
course will, say what they please, but he would like to have his friends
hold their peace. He seems to think and feel that if he himself can keep
silent while his foes are talking, his friends should be equally stoical.
He made this plain in October, 1920, when he learned that I had slipped
away from my office at the White House one night shortly before the
election and made a speech about him in a little Maryland town, Bethesda.
He did not read the speech, I am sure he has never read it, but the fact
that I had made any sort of speech about him, displeased him. That was one
of the few times in my long association with him that I found him
distinctly cold. He said nothing, but his silence was vocal.

I suspect this book will share the fate of the Bethesda speech, will not
be read by Mr. Wilson. If this seems strange to those who do not know him
personally, I can only say that "Woodrow Wilson is made that way." He
cannot dramatize himself and shrinks from attempts of others to dramatize
him. "I will not write about myself," is his invariable retort to friends
who urge him to publish his own story of the Paris Peace Conference. He
craves the silence from others which he imposes upon himself. He is quite
willing to leave the assessment and interpretation of himself to time and
posterity. Knowing all this I have not consulted him about this book. Yet
I have felt that the book should be written, because I am anxious that his
contemporaries should know him as I have known him, not only as an
individual but also as the advocate of a set of great ideas and as the
leader of great movements. If I can picture him, even imperfectly, as I
have found him to be, both in himself and in his relationship to important
events, I must believe that the portrait will correct some curious
misapprehensions about him.

For instance, there is a prevalent idea, an innocently ignorant opinion in
some quarters, an all too sedulously cultivated report in other quarters,
that he has been uniformly headstrong, impatient of advice, his mind
hermetically closed to counsel from others. This book will expose the
error of that opinion; will show how, in his own words, his mind was "open
and to let," how he welcomed suggestions and criticism. Indeed I fear that
unless the reader ponders carefully what I have written he may glean the
opposite idea, that sometimes the President had to be prodded to action,
and that I represent myself as the chief prodder.

The superficial reader may find countenance lent to this latter view in
the many notes of information and advice which I addressed to the
President and in the record of his subsequent actions which were more or
less in accord with the counsel contained in some of these notes. If the
reader deduces from this the conclusion that I was the instigator of some
of the President's important policies, he will misinterpret the facts and
the President's character and mental processes; if he concludes that I am
trying to represent myself as the instigator he will misunderstand my
motives in publishing these notes.

These motives are: first, to tell the story of my association with Mr.
Wilson, and part of the record is contained in these notes; secondly, to
show what liberty he allowed me to suggest and criticize; how, so far from
being offended, he welcomed counsel. Having this privilege I exercised it.
I conceived it as part of my duty as his secretary and friend to report to
him my own interpretations of facts and public opinion as I gathered these
from newspapers and conversations, and sometimes to suggest modes of
action. These notes were memoranda for my chief's consideration.

The reader will see how frankly critical some of these notes are. The mere
fact that the President permitted me to continue to write to him in a vein
of candour that was frequently brusque and blunt, is the conclusive answer
to the charge that he resented criticism.

Contrary to the misrepresentations, he had from time to time many
advisers. In most instances, I do not possess written reports of what
others said orally and in writing, and therefore in this record, which is
essentially concerned with my own official and personal relations with
him, I may seem to represent myself as a preponderating influence. This is
neither the fact nor my intention. The public acts of Mr. Wilson were
frequently mosaics, made up of his own ideas and those of others. My
written notes were merely stones offered for the mosaic. Sometimes the
stones were rejected, sometimes accepted and shaped by the master builder
into the pattern.

It was a habit of Mr. Wilson's to meditate before taking action, to listen
to advice without comment, frequently without indicating whether or not
the idea broached by others had already occurred to him. We who knew him
best knew that often the idea had occurred to him and had been thought out
more lucidly than any adviser could state it. But he would test his own
views by the touchstone of other minds' reactions to the situations and
problems which he was facing and would get the "slant" of other minds.

He was always ahead of us all in his thinking. An admirer once said: "You
could shut him up in an hermetically sealed room and trust him to reach
the right decision," but as a matter of fact he did not work that way. He
sought counsel and considered it and acted on it or dismissed it according
to his best judgment, for the responsibility for the final action was his,
and he was boldly prepared to accept that responsibility and
conscientiously careful not to abuse it by acting rashly. While he would
on occasion make momentous decisions quickly and decisively, the habitual
character of his mind was deliberative. He wanted all the facts and so far
as possible the contingencies. Younger men like myself could counsel
immediate and drastic action, but even while we were advising we knew that
he would, without haste and without waste, calmly calculate his course.
What, coming from us, were merely words, would, coming from him,
constitute acts and a nation's destiny. He regarded himself as the
"trustee of the people," who should not act until he was sure he was right
and should then act with the decision and finality of fate itself.

Of another misapprehension, namely, that Mr. Wilson lacks human warmth, I
shall let the book speak without much prefatory comment. I have done my
work ill indeed if there does not emerge from the pages a human-hearted
man, a man whose passion it was to serve mankind. In his daily intercourse
with individuals he showed uniform consideration, at times deep
tenderness, though he did not have in his possession the little bag of
tricks which some politicians use so effectively: he did not clap men on
their backs, call them by their first names, and profess to each
individual he met that of all the men in the world this was the man whom
he most yearned to see. Perhaps he was too sincere for that; perhaps by
nature too reserved; but I am convinced that he who reads this book will
feel that he has met a man whose public career was governed not merely by
a great brain, but also by a great heart. I did not invent this character.
I observed him for eleven years.



XX.       MEXICO






My introduction to politics was in the Fifth Ward of Jersey City, New
Jersey, which for many years was the "Bloody Angle" of politics of the
city in which I lived. Always Democratic, it had been for many years the
heart and centre of what New Jersey Democrats were pleased to call the
great Gibraltar of Democracy. The ward in which I lived was made up of the
plainest sort of people, a veritable melting pot of all races, but with a
predominance of Irish, Germans, and Italians, between whom it was, like
ancient Gaul, divided into three parts.

My dear father, Philip Tumulty, a wounded soldier of the Civil War, after
serving an apprenticeship as an iron moulder under a delightful, whole-
souled Englishman, opened a little grocery store on Wayne Street, Jersey
City, where were laid the foundation stones of his modest fortune and
where, by his fine common sense, poise, and judgment, he soon established
himself as the leader of a Democratic faction in that neighbourhood. This
modest little place soon became a political laboratory for me. In the
evening, around the plain, old-fashioned counters, seated upon barrels and
boxes, the interesting characters of the neighbourhood gathered,
representing as they did the leading active political forces in that
quaint cosmopolitan community.

No matter how far back my memory turns, I cannot recall when I did not
hear politics discussed--not ward politics only, but frequently the
politics of the nation and the world. In that grocery store, from the lips
of the plainest folk who came there, were carried on serious discussions
of the tariff, the money question, our foreign relations, and all phases
of the then famous Venezuelan question, which in those days threatened to
set two continents on fire.

The make-up of the little "cabinet" or group which surrounded my father
was most interesting. There was Mr. Alexander Hamill, the father of
Congressman Hamill of Jersey City, a student of Queen's College in Ireland
and who afterward taught in the National Schools of Ireland, a well-read,
highly cultured, broad-minded man of affairs; and dear Uncle Jimmie
Kelter, almost a centenarian, whose fine old gray hair gave him the
appearance of a patriarch. Uncle Jimmie nightly revelled in the recital to
those who were present as ready listeners, his experience when he was
present at a session of the House of Parliament in London and heard the
famous Irish statesman, Daniel O'Connell, denounce England's attitude of
injustice toward Catholic emancipation. He loved to regale the little
group that encircled him by reciting from memory the great speech of
Robert Emmett from the dock, and excerpts from the classic speeches of the
leading Irish orators like Curran, Sheridan, and Fox.

While these discussions in the little store wended their uneasy way along,
a spark of humour was often injected into them by the delightful banter of
a rollicking, good-natured Irishman, a big two-fisted fellow, generous-
hearted and lovable, whom we affectionately called "Big Phil." I can see
him now, standing like a great pyramid in the midst of the little group,
every now and then throwing his head back in good-natured abandon,
recounting wild and fantastic tales about the fairies and banshees of the
Old Land from whence he had come. When his listeners would turn away, with
skepticism written all over their countenances, he would turn to me, whose
youthful enthusiasm made me an easy victim upon which to work his magic
spell in the stories which he told of the wonders of the Old Land across
the sea.

I loved these delightful little gatherings in whose deliberations my dear
father played so notable a part. Those kind folk, now off the stage, never
allowed the spirit of provincialism to guide their judgment or their
attitude toward great public affairs. I recall with pleasure their
tolerance, their largeness of view, and fine magnanimity which raised
every question they discussed to a high level. They were a very simple
folk, but independent in their political actions and views. Into that
little group of free, independent political thinkers would often come a
warning from the Democratic boss of the city that they must follow with
undivided allegiance the organization's dictum in political matters and
not seek to lead opinion in the community in which they lived. Supremely
indifferent were these fine old chaps to those warnings, and unmindful of
political consequences. They felt that they had left behind them a land of
oppression and they would not submit to tyrannous dictation in this free
land of ours, no matter who sought to exert it.

In this political laboratory I came in contact with the raw materials of
political life that, as an older man, I was soon to see moulded into
political action in a larger way in the years to come. I found in politics
that the great policies of a nation are simply the policies and passions
of the ward extended. In the little discussions that took place in that
store, I was, even as a youth, looking on from the side-lines, struck by
the fine, wholesome, generous spirit of my own father. Never would he
permit, for instance, in the matter of the discussion of Ireland--so dear
to his heart--a shade of resentment or bitterness toward England to
influence his judgment in the least, for he believed that no man could be
a just judge in any matter where his mind was filled with passion; and so
in this matter, the subject of such fierce controversy, as in every other,
he held a judgment free and far away from his passionate antagonisms. I
found in the simple life of the community where I was brought up the same
human things, in a small way, that I was subsequently to come in contact
with in a larger way in the whirligig of political life in the Capitol of
the Nation. I found the same relative bigness and the same relative
smallness, the same petty jealousies and rivalries which manifest
themselves in the larger fields of a great nation's life; the same good
nature, and the same deep humanity expressing itself in the same way, only
differently apparelled.

One of the most interesting places in the world for the study of human
character is the country store or the city grocery. I was able as a boy
standing behind the counter of the little grocery store to study people;
and intimately to become acquainted with them and their daily lives and
the lives of their women and children. I never came in contact with their
daily routine, their joys and sorrows, their bitter actualities and deep
tragedies, without feeling rise in me a desire to be of service. I
remember many years ago, seated behind the counter of my father's grocery
store, with what passionate resentment I read the vivid headlines of the
metropolitan newspapers and the ghastly accounts of the now famous
Homestead Strike of 1892. Of course, I came to realize in after years that
the headlines of a newspaper are not always in agreement with the actual
facts; but I do recall how intently I pored over every detail of this
tragic story of industrial war and how, deep in my heart, I resented the
efforts of a capitalistic system that would use its power in this unjust,
inhuman way. Little did I realize as I pored over the story of this
tragedy in that far-off day that some time, seated at my desk at the White
House in the office of the secretary to the President of the United
States, I would have the pleasure of meeting face to face the leading
actor in this lurid drama, Mr. Andrew Carnegie himself, and of hearing
from his own lips a human and intelligent recital of the events which
formed the interesting background of the Homestead Strike.



For the young man who wishes to rise in the politics of a great city there
is no royal road to preferment but only a plain path of modest service
uncomplainingly rendered. Of course, there seem to be exceptions to this
rule. At times it is possible for the scion of a great family to rise to
temporary distinction in politics without a preliminary course in the
school of local politics, for as a Democratic boss once said to me: "Great
family names are fine window-dressers," but in my own experience I have
seen the disappointing end of careers thus begun and have found that
sometimes after a great name has been temporarily used to meet certain
political emergencies, the would-be politician is quickly thrust aside to
make way for the less pretentious but more capable man. There is nothing
permanent or lasting about a place in politics gained in this adventitious
way. Of course, there sometimes come to high office men from military
careers, or men, like the distinguished subject of this book, from fields
apparently remote from practical politics, but such successes are due to
an appealing personal force, or to exceptional genius which the young
aspirant had better not assume that he possesses. The general rule holds
good that a political apprenticeship is as necessary and valuable as an
industrial apprenticeship.

My first official connection with politics was as the financial secretary
of the Fifth Ward Democratic Club of Jersey City. My father had told me
that if I intended to play an active part in politics, it would be
necessary to begin modestly at the bottom of the ladder, to do the
political chores, as it were, which are a necessary part of ward
organization work. I recall those days with singular pleasure, for my work
gave me an unusual opportunity to meet the privates in the ranks and to
make friendships that were permanent.

The meetings of the Club were held each week in a modest club house, with
part of the meeting given over to addresses made by what were then
considered the leading men in the Democratic party. It is queer how the
average political worker favours the senator, or the ex-judge, or the
ex-Congressman, as a speaker on these occasions. Ex-Congressman Gray, of
Texas (I doubt whether there ever was a congressman by that name), would
often be the headliner and he could be depended upon to draw a crowded and
enthusiastic house. The knowledge and experience I gained at these
inspirational meetings were mighty helpful to me in the political life I
had carved out for myself. I found that when you had convinced these
plain, everyday fellows that, although you were a college man, you were
not necessarily a highbrow, they were willing to serve you to the end. It
was a valuable course in a great university. It was not very long until I
was given my first opportunity, in 1896, to make my first political speech
in behalf of Mr. Bryan, then the Democratic candidate for President. I was
not able at that time to disentangle the intricacies of the difficult
money problems, but I endeavoured, imperfectly at least, in the speeches I
made, to lay my finger on what I considered the great moral issue that lay
behind the silver question in that memorable campaign--the attempt by
eastern financial interests to dominate the Government of the United

After my apprenticeship, begun as secretary of the Fifth Ward Democratic
Club, an incident happened which caused a sudden rise in my political
stock. At a county convention I was given the opportunity of making the
nominating speech for the Fifth Ward's candidate for street and water
commissioner--a bricklayer and a fine fellow--who was opposing the machine
candidate. It was a real effort on my part and caused me days and nights
of worry and preparation. Indeed, it seemed to me to be the great moment
of my life. I vividly recall the incidents of what to me was a memorable
occasion. I distinctly remember that on the night of the Convention, with
the delegates from my ward, I faced an unfriendly and hostile audience,
our candidate having aroused the opposition of the boss and his
satellites. While I felt that the attitude of the Convention was one of
opposition to our candidate, there was no evidence of unfriendliness or
hostility to myself as the humble spokesman of the Fifth Ward. When I
stood up to speak I realized that I had to "play up" to the spirit of
generosity which is always latent in a crowd such as I was addressing. I
believe I won, although my candidate, unfortunately, lost. My Irish
buoyancy and good nature brought me over the line. I felt that the
audience in the gallery and the delegates on the floor were with me, but
unfortunately for my cause, the boss, who was always the dominating
influence of the Convention, was against me, and so we lost in the
spirited fight we made. In this first skirmish of my political career I
made up my mind to meet defeat with good grace and, if possible,
smilingly, and no sore spot or resentment over our defeat ever showed
itself in my attitude toward the men who saw fit to oppose us. Evidently,
the boss and his friends appreciated this attitude, for it was reported to
me shortly after the Convention that I was to be given recognition and by
the boss's orders would soon be placed on the eligible list for future
consideration in connection with a place on the legislative ticket.

One lesson I learned was not to be embittered by defeat. Since then I have
seen too many cases of men so disgruntled at being worsted in their first
battles that their political careers ended when they should have been just



After serving my apprenticeship as a ward worker, devoted friends from my
home ward urged my name upon the Democratic leader, Mr. Robert Davis, for
a place upon the Democratic legislative ticket for Hudson County. I had
grown to have a deep regard and affection for this fine old fellow. While
he was a boss in every sense, maintaining close relations with the Public
Service Corporations of the state, he had an engaging human side. He never
pretended nor deceived. With his friends he was open, frank, generous, and
honourable in all his dealings, and especially kind to and considerate of
the young men who became part of his working force. With his political
enemies he was fair and decent. Many a time during a legislative session,
when I was a member of the House of Assembly, word would come to us of the
boss's desire that we should support this or that bill, behind which
certain corporate interests lay. The orders, however, were clean and
without a threat of any kind. He took no unfair advantage and made no
reprisals when we failed to carry out his desires.

While a member of the New Jersey Legislature, the name of Woodrow Wilson
began to be first discussed in the political world of New Jersey. It came
about in this way: By reason of the normal Republican majority of the
state the nomination by the Legislature in those days of a Democratic
candidate for the United States senatorship was a mere compliment, a
courtesy, a very meagre one indeed, and was generally paid to the old war
horses of democracy like James E. Martine, of Plainfield, New Jersey; but
the appearance of the doughty Colonel Harvey on the scene, at the 1907
session of the New Jersey Legislature, gave a new turn to this custom. A
request was made by Colonel Harvey and diplomatically conveyed by his
friends to the Democratic members of the Legislature, that the honorary
nomination for the United States senatorship at this session of the
Legislature should be given to President Wilson of Princeton. It may be
added that I learned years afterward that Mr. Wilson was not a party to
Colonel Harvey's plans; that once he even sent a friend as an emissary to
explain to the Colonel that Mr. Wilson did not believe that the use of his
name in connection with political office was a service to him or to
Princeton University.

The suggestion that Woodrow Wilson be given the nomination was hotly
resented by young men like myself in the Legislature. Frankly, I led the
opposition to the man I was afterward to serve for eleven years in the
capacity of private secretary. The basis of my opposition to Mr. Wilson
for this empty honour was the rumour that had been industriously
circulated in the state House and elsewhere, that there was, as Mr. Dooley
says, "a plan afoot" by the big interests of New Jersey and New York to
nominate Woodrow Wilson for the senatorship and then nominate him for
governor of the state as a preliminary start for the Presidency. I
remember now, with the deepest chagrin and regret, having bitterly
assailed Woodrow Wilson's candidacy in a Democratic caucus which I
attended and how I denounced him for his alleged opposition to labour. In
view of my subsequent intimacy with Mr. Wilson and the knowledge gained of
his great heart and his big vision in all matters affecting labour, I
cannot now point with pride to the speech I then made attacking him. I am
sure the dear doctor, away off in Princeton, never even heard of my
opposition to him, although in my conceit I thought the state reverberated
with the report of my unqualified and bitter opposition to him. In my poor
vanity I thought that perhaps what I had said in my speech of opposition
to him had reached the cloisters of Princeton. As a matter of fact, he
never heard about me or my speech, and afterward in the years of our
association he "joshed" me about my opposition to him and would often make
me very uncomfortable by recounting to his friends at the White House how
even his own secretary had opposed him when his name was first under
consideration for the United States senatorship in New Jersey.

To me was given the honour of nominating at a joint session of the Senate
and House Assembly the candidate opposed to Woodrow Wilson for the Senate,
the Honourable Edwin E. Stevens. I recall the comparison I made between
the claims of Colonel Stevens, the strict party man, and those of Woodrow
Wilson, the Princeton professor. The speech nominating Woodrow Wilson at
the joint session of the Legislature was the shortest on record. It was
delivered by a big generous fellow, John Baader, one of the Smith-Nugent
men from Essex County. When Essex County was called, he slowly rose to his
feet and almost shamefacedly addressing the Speaker of the House, said,
tremulously: "I nominate for the United States Senate Woodrow Wilson, of
Princeton," and then, amid silence, sat down. No applause greeted the name
of the man he nominated. It seemed as if the college professor had no
friends in the Legislature except the man who had put his name forward for
the nomination.

Colonel Stevens won the honorary nomination and Woodrow Wilson was
defeated. Colonel Harvey, disgruntled but not discouraged, packed up his
kit and left on the next train for New York.



Although the intrepid Colonel Harvey was defeated in the first skirmish to
advance the cause of Woodrow Wilson, he continued to pursue his purpose to
force his personal choice upon the New Jersey Democracy. The approaching
gubernatorial election in 1910 gave the Colonel his opportunity and he
took full advantage of it.

Rumours began to circulate that the machine run by Davis, Smith, and Ross,
the great Democratic triumvirate of the state, was determined to nominate
the Princeton president at any cost. Young men like Mark Sullivan, John
Treacy, and myself, all of Hudson County, representing the liberal wing of
our party, were bitterly opposed to this effort. We suspected that the
"Old Gang" was up to its old trick of foisting upon the Democrats of the
state a tool which they could use for their own advantage, who, under the
name of the Democratic party, would do the bidding of the corporate
interests which had, under both the "regular" organizations, Democratic
and Republican, found in New Jersey their most nutritious pastures. At a
meeting held at the Lawyers' Club in New York, younger Democrats, like
Judge Silzer of Middlesex and myself, "plighted our political troth" and
pledged our undying opposition to the candidacy of the Princeton
president. As a result of our conferences we set in motion the progressive
machinery of the state in an intensive effort to force the nomination of
Judge Silzer in opposition to that of Woodrow Wilson.

As soon as the Democratic boss of Hudson County, Bob Davis, one of the
leaders in the Wilson movement in North Jersey, was apprized of the
proposed action on our part, he set about to head it off, and as part of
his plan of opposition he sent for me in an effort to wean me away from
the Silzer candidacy. I refused to yield. Upon being interrogated by me as
to his interest in Woodrow Wilson, Boss Davis stated that if we nominated
Woodrow Wilson there would be a big campaign fund put up for him by Moses
Taylor Pyne, a trustee of Princeton University. Never before was the
ignorance of a boss made more manifest. As a matter of fact, at that very
time there was no more implacable foe of Woodrow Wilson in the state of
New Jersey than Moses Taylor Pyne, who headed the opposition to Mr. Wilson
in the Princeton fight.

Years after this incident the President and I often laughed at what must
have been the surprise and discomfiture of Boss Davis when he finally
learned the facts as to Moses Taylor Pyne's real feelings toward Woodrow
Wilson. Previous to the gubernatorial campaign I asked Boss Davis if he
thought Woodrow Wilson would make a good governor. His reply was
characteristic of the point of view of the boss in dealing with these
matters of moment to the people of the state. "How the hell do I know
whether he'll make a good governor?" he replied; "he will make a good
candidate, and that is the only thing that interests me."

Shortly after, those of us who banded together to oppose the bosses in
their efforts to force Doctor Wilson upon us began to the feel pressure of
the organization's influence. Many of our friends left us in despair and
in fear of the power of the machine. The movement toward Woodrow Wilson in
the state was soon in full swing. The Davis-Smith-Nugent-Ross machine was
in fine working order on the day and the night of the Convention.

I was not even a delegate to the Convention, but I was present and kept in
close touch by contact with my friends with every phase of the convention
fight. Colonel Harvey was again on the scene as the generalissimo of the
Wilson forces, quietly and stealthily moving about, lining up his forces
for the memorable battle of the morrow. There was bitter but unorganized
opposition to the favourite son of the state machine, Woodrow Wilson. The
Convention itself presented an unusual situation and demonstrated more
than anything I ever saw the power of the "Old Gang" to do the thing its
masters had in mind. As I look back upon the great event of this
convention, the nomination of Woodrow Wilson for the governorship of New
Jersey, I feel that destiny was inscrutably engaged there, working in
mysterious ways its wonders to perform, working perhaps through strange,
incongruous instrumentalities to bring the man of destiny into action, led
by those who were opposed to everything Woodrow Wilson stood for, opposed
by those who were yearning for and striving for just the dawn of political
liberalism that his advent in politics heralded. The conflict of the
Trenton Convention about to be enacted was an illustration of the poet's
line, "Where ignorant armies clash by night." The successful side of the
Convention was fighting for what they least wanted; the defeated against
what they most wanted. Here in this convention, in truth, were in
aggressive action the incongruities of politics and in full display were
witnessed the sardonic contrasts between the visible and the invisible
situations in politics. All the Old Guard moving with Prussian precision
to the nomination of the man who was to destroy for a time the machine
rule in New Jersey and inaugurate a new national era in political
liberalism while all the liberal elements of the state, including fine old
Judge Westcott of Camden and young men like myself were sullen, helpless.
Every progressive Democrat in the Convention was opposed to the nomination
of the Princetonian, and every standpatter and Old Guardsman was in favour
of Woodrow Wilson. On the convention floor, dominating the whole affair,
stood ex-Senator James Smith, Jr., of New Jersey, the spokesman of the
"highbrow" candidate for governor, controlling the delegates from south
and west Jersey. Handsome, cool, dignified, he rose from the floor of the
convention hall, and in rich, low tones, seconded the nomination of the
man "he had never met," the man he would not "presume" to claim
acquaintance with, the man whose life had lain in other fields than his.
Very close to him, "taking his orders," and acting upon every suggestion
that came to him, sat Jim Nugent, grim, big-jawed, the giant full-back of
Smith's invincible team, the rising star of machine politics in New
Jersey. Down the aisle sat the "Little Napoleon" of Hudson County, Bob
Davis, wearing a sardonic smile on his usually placid face, with his big
eyes riveted upon those in the Convention who were fighting desperately
and against great odds the effort of the state machine to nominate
President Wilson. Across the aisle from me sat "Plank-Shad" Thompson, of
Gloucester, big and debonair, a thoroughly fine fellow socially, but
always ready to act upon and carry out every tip that came to him from the
master minds in the Convention--Davis and Smith.

These were the leading actors in this political drama. Behind the lines,
in the "offing," was the Insurgent Group, young men like Mark Sullivan and
John Treacy of Hudson, stout defenders of the liberal wing in the
Convention, feeling sullen, beaten, and hopelessly impotent against the
mass attack of the machine forces. What a political medley was present in
this convention--plebeian and patrician, machine man and political
idealist--all gathered together and fighting as leading characters and
supernumeraries in the political drama about to be enacted.

Not three men outside of the leading actors in this great political drama
had ever seen the Princeton professor, although many had doubtless read
his speeches. I watched every move from the side-lines. The bosses, with
consummate precision, moved to the doing of the job in hand, working their
spell of threats and coercion upon a beaten, sullen, spiritless body of
delegates. One could easily discern that there was no heart in the
delegates for the job on hand. To them, the active forces in the
Convention, the Princeton president was, indeed, a man of mystery. Who
could solve the riddle of this political Sphinx? Who was this man Wilson?
What were his purposes? What his ideals? These questions were troubling
and perplexing the delegates. Colonel Harvey, the commander-in-chief of
the Wilson forces, when interrogated by us, refused to answer. How
masterfully the Old Guard staged every act of the drama, and thus brought
about the nomination of the Princeton president. The Convention is at an
end. Wilson has been nominated by a narrow margin; the delegates, bitter
and resentful, are about to withdraw; the curtain is about to roll down on
the last scene. The chairman, Mr. John R. Hardin, the distinguished lawyer
of Essex, is about to announce the final vote, when the clerk of the
Convention, in a tone of voice that reached every part of the hall,
announces in a most dramatic fashion: "We have just received word that Mr.
Wilson, the candidate for the governorship, _and the next President of the
United States_, has received word of his nomination; has left Princeton,
and is now on his way to the Convention." Excellent stage work. The voice
of the secretary making this dramatic statement was the voice of Jacob,
but the deft hand behind this clever move was that of Colonel Harvey. This
announcement literally sets the Convention on fire. Bedlam breaks loose.
The only sullen and indifferent ones in the hall are those of us who met
defeat a few hours before. For us, at least, the mystery is about to be
solved. The Princeton professor has left the shades of the University to
enter the Elysian Fields of politics.

At the time the secretary's announcement was made I was in the rear of the
convention hall, trying to become reconciled to our defeat. I then wended
my weary way to the stage and stood close to the band, which was busy
entertaining the crowd until the arrival of Mr. Wilson. I wanted to obtain
what newspaper men call a "close-up" of this man of mystery.

What were my own feelings as I saw the candidate quietly walk to the
speakers' stand? I was now to see almost face to face for the first time
the man I had openly and bitterly denounced only a few hours before. What
reaction of regret or pleasure did I experience as I beheld the vigorous,
clean-cut, plainly garbed man, who now stood before me, cool and smiling?
My first reaction of regret came when he uttered these words:

    I feel the responsibility of the occasion. Responsibility is
    proportionate to opportunity. It is a great opportunity to serve the
    State and Nation. I did not seek this nomination, I have made no
    pledge and have given no promises. If elected, I am left absolutely
    free to serve you with all singleness of purpose. It is a new era when
    these things can be said, and in connection with this I feel that the
    dominant idea of the moment is the responsibility of deserving. I will
    have to serve the state very well in order to deserve the honour of
    being at its head.... Did you ever experience the elation of a great
    hope, that you desire to do right because it is right and without
    thought of doing it for your own interest? At that period your hopes
    are unselfish. This in particular is a day of unselfish purpose for
    Democracy. The country has been universally misled and the people have
    begun to believe that there is something radically wrong. And now we
    should make this era of hope one of realization through the Democratic

I had another reaction of regret when he said:

"Government is not a warfare of interests. We shall not gain our ends by
heat and bitterness." How simple the man, how modest, how cultured!
Attempting none of the cheap "plays" of the old campaign orator, he
impressively proceeded with his thrilling speech, carrying his audience
with him under the spell of his eloquent words. How tense the moment! His
words, spoken in tones so soft, so fine, in voice so well modulated, so
heart-stirring. Only a few sentences are uttered and our souls are stirred
to their very depths. It was not only what he said, but the simple heart-
stirring way in which he said it. The great climax came when he uttered
these moving words: "The future is not for parties 'playing politics' but
for measures conceived in the largest spirit, pushed by parties whose
leaders are statesmen, not demagogues, who love not their offices but
their duty and their opportunity for service. We are witnessing a
renaissance of public spirit, a reawakening of sober public opinion, a
revival of the power of the people, the beginning of an age of thoughtful
reconstruction that makes our thoughts hark back to the age in which
democracy was set up in America. With the new age we shall show a new
spirit. We shall serve justice and candour and all things that make, for
the right. Is not our own party disciplined and made ready for this great
task? Shall we not forget ourselves in making it the instrument of
righteousness for the state and for the nation?"

After this climax there was a short pause. "Go on, go on," eagerly cried
the crowd. The personal magnetism of the man, his winning smile, so frank
and so sincere, the light of his gray eyes, the fine poise of his well-
shaped head, the beautiful rhythm of his vigorous sentences, held the men
in the Convention breathless under their mystic spell. Men all about me
cried in a frenzy: "Thank God, at last, a leader has come!"

Then, the great ending. Turning to the flag that hung over the speakers'
stand, he said, in words so impressive as to bring almost a sob from his

    When I think of the flag which our ships carry, the only touch of
    colour about them, the only thing that moves as if it had a settled
    spirit in it--in their solid structure, it seems to me I see alternate
    strips of parchment upon which are written the rights of liberty and
    justice and strips of blood spilled to vindicate those rights and
    then--in the corner--a prediction of the blue serene into which every
    nation may swim which stands for these great things.

The speech is over. Around me there is a swirling mass of men whose hearts
had been touched by the great speech which is just at an end. Men stood
about me with tears streaming from their eyes. Realizing that they had
just stood in the presence of greatness, it seemed as if they had been
lifted out of the selfish miasma of politics, and, in the spirit of the
Crusaders, were ready to dedicate themselves to the cause of liberating
their state from the bondage of special interests.

As I turned to leave the convention hall there stood at my side old John
Crandall, of Atlantic City, like myself a bitter, implacable foe of
Woodrow Wilson, in the Convention. I watched him intently to see what
effect the speech had had upon him. For a minute he was silent, as if in a
dream, and then, drawing himself up to his full height, with a cynical
smile on his face, waving his hat and cane in the air, and at the same
time shaking his head in a self-accusing way, yelled at the top of his
voice, "I am sixty-five years old, and still a damn fool!"



No campaign in New Jersey caused so great an interest as the gubernatorial
campaign of 1910. The introduction of a Princeton professor into the
political melee in New Jersey had given a novel touch to what ordinarily
would have been a routine affair. The prologue to the great drama, the
various scenes of which were now to unfold before the voters of the state,
had been enacted at the Democratic Convention at Trenton under the
masterly direction of the members of the Democratic Old Guard of the
state. New Jersey had long been noted throughout the country as the
"Mother of Trusts", and the nesting place of Privilege. Through their
alliance and partnership with the political bosses of both parties the so-
called corporate interests had been for many years successful, against the
greatest pressure of public opinion, in blocking the passage of
progressive legislation.

Liberal-minded men in the state had for many years been carrying on an
agitation for the enactment into law of legislation that would make
possible the following great needs:

  1. The passage of a Direct Primary Act.
  2. The passage of an Employers' Liability Act.
  3. The regulation of Public Utilities.
  4. The passage of a Corrupt Practices Act.

These were matters within the scope of state legislation, and to these was
added an agitation for a fifth reform, which, of course, could be
accomplished only through an amendment to the Constitution of the United
States, the election of United States senators by vote of the people.

In the old days in New Jersey, now happily gone, the days when the
granting of special corporation charters was the vogue, a sort of
political suzerainty was set up by Railroad and Public Service interests.
Every election was, in its last analysis, a solemn referendum upon the
question as to which corporate interest should control legislation--
whether the Pennsylvania Railroad, whose master mind was the Republican
leader of the state, United States Senator Sewall, or the Public Service
interests, whose votaries and friends were Senator Smith of New Jersey,
and Milan Ross, Sr., of Middlesex County.

While these corporate interests fought among themselves over the matter of
a United States senatorship or the governorship of a state, they were at
one in their unrelenting, bitter, and highly organized opposition to the
passage of what in this day we call by the highly dignified name of Social
Welfare Legislation. The voices of those liberal-minded men and women of
the state, who, year after year, fought for this legislation, were like
voices crying in the wilderness. An illustration of corporate opposition
was the unrelenting attitude of the Special Interest group of the state to
the passage of the Employers' Liability Act. Every decent, progressive,
humane man in the state felt that the old, barbaric, Fellow-Servant
doctrine should be changed and that there should be substituted for it a
more humane, wholesome, modern doctrine. Nearly every state in the Union
had already recognized the injustice of the old rule, but the privileged
interests in New Jersey could not be moved in their bitter and implacable
opposition to it, and for over half a century they had succeeded in
preventing its enactment into law. Progressives or New Idea Republicans,
high in the councils of that party, had fought with their Democratic
brethren to pass this legislation, but always without result. At last
there came a revolt in the Republican party, brought about and led by
sturdy Republicans like Everett Colby of Essex, and William P. Martin of
the same county; George Record and Mark M. Fagan of my own county, Hudson.
Out of this split came the establishment in the ranks of the Republican
party itself of a faction which called itself the New Idea branch of the
Republican party. The campaign for humane legislation within the ranks of
the G.O.P. was at last begun in real fighting fashion. It was the
irrepressible conflict between the old and the new, between those who
believed human rights are superior to and take precedence over property
rights. The conflict could not be stayed; its leaders could not be
restrained. These men, Colby, Record, Martin, and Fagan, were the sowers
of the Progressive seed which Woodrow Wilson, by his genius for leadership
and constructive action along humane lines, was soon to harvest. His
candidacy, therefore, admirably fitted into the interesting situation.

When the convention that nominated Woodrow Wilson had adjourned, a
convention wholly dominated by reactionary bosses, it seemed as if
progress and every fine thing for which the Progressives had worked had
been put finally to sleep. Behind the selection of the Princetonian and
his candidacy lay the Old Guard who thought the Professor could be used as
a shield for their strategy. The Progressives, both Democratic and
Republican, had witnessed the scenes enacted at the Democratic Convention
at Trenton with breaking hearts. They were about to lose hope. They did
not know that the candidate had at the outset served notice on the Old
Guard that if he were nominated he must be a free man to do nobody's
bidding, to serve no interests except those of the people of the state;
but the Old Guard had not published this.

The Republican candidate, nominated at the time Woodrow Wilson was
selected, was a most pleasant, kindly, genial man from Passaic, Mr. Vivian
M. Lewis, who had just retired as banking commissioner for the state. By
clever plays to the Progressives he had, at least temporarily, brought
together the various progressive elements of the state. This movement
apparently was aided by the Democratic candidate's reluctance in the early
days of the campaign to speak out boldly against the domination of the
Democratic party by the bosses or the Old Guard.



Woodrow Wilson opened his gubernatorial campaign with a speech in Jersey
City, my home town. It was a distinct disappointment to those who attended
the meeting. His speech in accepting the nomination had touched us deeply
and had aroused in us great expectations, but after the Jersey City speech
we were depressed in spirit, for it seemed to us that he was evading the
real issues of the campaign. I was most anxious to meet the candidate and
give him, if he invited it, my impressions of this speech. A dinner given
to complete the ceremonies attendant upon the purchase of the Caldwell
residence of Grover Cleveland gave me the first opportunity to meet the
president of Princeton in an intimate way. Mr. Wilson's first wife, a most
delightful woman, made the introduction possible. As I fondly look back
upon this meeting, I vividly recall my impressions of the man who had just
been nominated for the governorship of the state in a convention in which
I had bitterly opposed him.

The democratic bearing of the man, his warmth of manner, charm, and kindly
bearing were the first things that attracted me to him. There was no
coldness or austerity about him, nor was he what the politicians would
call "high-browish." He impressed me as a plain, unaffected, affable
gentleman, who was most anxious to receive advice and suggestion from any
quarter. He made us doubly welcome by saying that he had heard a great
deal of favourable comment about the work of Judge Sullivan and myself in
the Legislature. This made us feel perfectly at home, and this frank
manner of dealing with us opened the way for the suggestions we desired to
make to him as to the attitude we younger Democrats thought he should
assume on what we believed were the vital, progressive issues of the

When he was informed that I was present at his first meeting a few nights
before in Jersey City, he came over to me and in a most friendly way said:
"What did you really think of my speech?" For a moment I was embarrassed,
and yet the frankness of the man was compelling and so I said: "Doctor, do
you really desire an honest opinion of that speech? I really want to serve
you but I can do so only by speaking frankly." He replied: "That is what I
most desire." "Well," I said, "your speech was most disappointing." I
stopped suddenly, feeling that I had done enough damage to the Professor's
feelings. But he urged: "Please tell me what your criticism is. What I
most need is honesty and frankness. You cannot hurt my feelings by
truthfully expressing your opinion. Don't forget that I am an amateur at
this game and need advice and guidance." Encouraged by this suggestion, I
proceeded to tell him what I considered the principal defects of his
opening speech at Jersey City. I told him that there was a lack of
definiteness in it which gave rise to the impression that he was trying to
evade a discussion of the moral issues of the campaign, among them, of
major importance, being the regulation of Public Utilities and the passage
of an Employers' Liability Act. Briefly sketching for him our legislative
situation, I gave him the facts with reference to those large measures of
public interest; how, for many years, in face of constant agitation, the
Old Guard had prevented the enactment of these measures into law, and how,
therefore, his failure to discuss these matters in his first speech had
caused a grave feeling of unrest in the progressive ranks of both parties
in New Jersey.


    The White House

    Cornish, N. H.,
    July 3, 1915

    My dear Tumulty:

    I am heartily obliged to you for your telegrams. It is characteristic
    of you to keep my mind free by such messages. I am really having a
    most refreshing and rewarding time and am very thankful to get it. I
    hope that you are not having depressing weather in Washington and that
    you are finding it possible to make satisfactory arrangements for the
    family, so that we can have the pleasure of having you with us at the
    White House when I get back.

    With warmest messages from us all,
      Affectionately yours,

    Woodrow Wilson

    Hon. Joseph P. Tumulty
    Washington, D.C.

This letter reveals the warm personal relations between the President and
his secretary.]

He listened with keen attention and then modestly remarked: "I value very
highly this tip and you may rest assured I shall cover these matters in my
next speech. I meant that speech to be general."

In my ignorance of things past I did not know that the candidate had
himself written the platform adopted by the Trenton Convention, and in my
ignorance of the future I did not then know that one of the boldest and
most remarkable political campaigns in America was to be conducted on that
platform, and that after the election and inauguration of the nominee the
chief business of the legislation was destined to be the enactment into
law of each of the planks of the platform, a complete and itemized
fulfilment of preëlection promises, unusual in the history of American
politics. At the time of my first conversation with the nominee I only
knew that the Convention had been dominated by the reactionary elements in
the party, that under this domination it had stolen the thunder of the
progressive elements of the party and of the New Idea Republicans, and
that the platform had been practically ignored by the candidate in his
first campaign speech. In these circumstances, and smarting as I was under
the recollection of recent defeat, it is not strange that I thought I
detected the old political ruse of dressing the wolf in sheep's clothing,
of using handsome pledges as a mask to deceive the gullible, and that I
assumed that this scholarly amateur in politics was being used for their
own purposes by masters and veterans in the old game of thimblerig.

The candidate soon struck his gait and astonished me and all New Jersey
with the vigour, frankness, and lucidity of his speeches of exposition and
appeal. No campaign in years in New Jersey had roused such universal
interest. There was no mistaking the character and enthusiasm of the
greeting the candidate received every place he spoke, nor the response his
thrilling speeches evoked all over the state. Those who had gathered the
idea that the head of the great university would appear pedantic and stand
stiff-necked upon an academic pedestal from which he would talk over the
heads of the common people were forced, by the fighting, aggressive
attitude of the Doctor, to revise their old estimates. The campaign had
only begun when the leading newspapers of the country, particularly the
large dailies of New York, were taking an interest in the New Jersey

Those of us who doubted Woodrow Wilson's sincerity and his sympathy for
the great progressive measures for which we had been fighting in the New
Jersey Legislature were soon put at ease by the developments of his
campaign and his sympathetic attitude toward the things we had so much at

No candidate for governor in New Jersey had ever made so striking and
moving an appeal. Forgetting and ignoring the old slogans and shibboleths,
he appealed to the hearts and consciences of the people of the state. His
homely illustrations evoked expressions of delight, until it seemed as if
this newcomer in the politics of our state had a better knowledge of the
psychology of the ordinary crowd than the old stagers who had spent their
lives in politics. His illustrations always went home.

For instance, speaking of progress, Doctor Wilson said that much depended
upon the action of the one who is supposed to be progressive. "I can
recall," he would say in trying to make his point, "the picture of a poor
devil of a donkey on a treadmill. He keeps on tramping, tramping,
tramping, but he never gets anywhere. But," he continued, "there is a
certain elephant that's tramping, too, and how much progress is it
making?" And then, again, he would grow solemn when he spoke of the
average man. Turning aside from the humorous, he would strike a serious
note like this one:

    You know that communities are not distinguished by exceptional men.
    They are distinguished by the average of their citizenship. I often
    think of the poor man when he goes to vote: a moral unit in his lonely

    The deepest conviction and passion of my heart is that the common
    people, by which I mean all of us, are to be absolutely trusted. The
    peculiarity of some representatives, particularly those of the
    Republican party, is that when they talk about the people, they
    obviously do not include themselves. Now if, when you think of the
    people, you are not thinking about yourself, then you do not belong in

    When I look back at the processes of history, when I look back at the
    genesis of America, I see this written over every page, that the
    nations are renewed from the bottom, not from the top; that the genius
    which springs up from the ranks of unknown men is the genius which
    renews the youth and the energy of the people; and in every age of the
    world, where you stop the courses of the blood from the roots, you
    injure the great, useful structure to the extent that atrophy, death,
    and decay are sure to ensue. This is the reason that an hereditary
    monarchy does not work; that is the reason that an hereditary
    aristocracy does not work; that is the reason that everything of that
    sort is full of corruption and ready to decay.

    So I say that our challenge of to-day is to include in the partnership
    all those great bodies of unnamed men who are going to produce our
    future leaders and renew the future energies of America. And as I
    confess that, as I confess my belief in the common man, I know what I
    am saying. The man who is swimming against the stream knows the
    strength of it. The man who is in the mêlée knows what blows are being
    struck and what blood is being drawn. The man who is on the make is a
    judge of what is happening in America, not the man who has made; not
    the man who has emerged from the flood, not the man who is standing on
    the bank, looking on, but the man who is struggling for his life and
    for the lives of those who are dearer to him than himself. That is the
    man whose judgment will tell you what is going on in America, and that
    is the man by whose judgment I for one wish to be guided--so that as
    the tasks multiply and the days come when all will seem confusion and
    dismay, we may lift up our eyes to the hills out of these dark valleys
    where the crags of special privilege overshadow and darken our path,
    to where the sun gleams through the great passage in the broken
    cliffs, the sun of God, the sun meant to regenerate men, the sun meant
    to liberate them from their passion and despair and to lift us to
    those uplands which are the promised land of every man who desires
    liberty and achievement.

Speaking for the necessity of corporate reform in business, he said:

    I am not objecting to the size of these corporations. Nothing is big
    enough to scare me. What I am objecting to is that the Government
    should give them exceptional advantages, which enables them to succeed
    and does not put them on the same footing as other people. I think
    those great touring cars, for example, which are labelled "Seeing New
    York," are too big for the streets. You have almost to walk around the
    block to get away from them, and size has a great deal to do with the
    trouble if you are trying to get out of the way. But I have no
    objection on that account to the ordinary automobile properly handled
    by a man of conscience who is also a gentleman. I have no objection to
    the size, power, and beauty of an automobile. I am interested,
    however, in the size and conscience of the men who handle them, and
    what I object to is that some corporation men are taking "joy-rides"
    in their corporations.

Time and time again men were reminded of the great speeches of Lincoln and
thought they saw his fine spirit breathing through sentences like these:

    Gentlemen, we are not working for to-day, we are not working for our
    own interest, we are all going to pass away. But think of what is
    involved. Here are the tradition, and the fame, and the prosperity,
    and the purity, and the peace of a great nation involved. For the time
    being we are that nation, but the generations that are behind us are
    pointing us forward to the path and saying:

    "Remember the great traditions of the American people," and all those
    unborn children that will constitute the generations that are ahead
    will look back to us, either at those who serve them or at those who
    betray them. Will any man in such circumstances think it worthy to
    stand and not try to do what is possible in so great a cause, to save
    a country, to purify a polity, to set up vast reforms which will
    increase the happiness of mankind? God forbid that I should either be
    daunted or turned away from a great task like this.

Speaking of the candidate who opposed him:

    I have been informed that he has the best of me in looks. Now, it is
    not always the useful horse that is most beautiful. If I had a big
    load to be drawn some distance I should select one of those big,
    shaggy kinds of horses, not much for beauty but strong of pull.

On one occasion, when he had been talking about his and Mr. Lewis's
different conceptions of the "constitutional governor", and telling his
audience how he, if elected, would interpret the election as a mandate
from the people to assist in and direct legislation in the interests of
the people of New Jersey at large, he paused an instant and then in those
incisive tones and with that compression of the lips which marked his more
bellicose words, he said curtly: "If you don't want that kind of a
governor, don't elect me."

Excerpts from the speeches cannot do justice to this remarkable campaign,
which Woodrow Wilson himself, after he had been twice elected President of
the United States, considered the most satisfying of his political
campaigns, because the most systematic and basic. As Presidential
candidate he had to cover a wide territory and touch only the high spots
in the national issues, but in his gubernatorial campaign he spoke in
every county of the state and in some counties several times, and his
speeches grew out of each other and were connected with each other in a
way that made them a popular treatise on self-government. He used no
technical jargon and none of the stereotyped bombast of the usual
political campaign. He had a theme which he wanted to expound to the
people of New Jersey, which theme was the nature and character of free
government, how it had been lost in New Jersey through the complicated
involvements of invisible government, manipulated from behind the scenes
by adroit representatives of the corporate interest working in conjunction
with the old political machines; how under this clever manipulation
legislators had ceased to represent the electorate and were, as he called
them, only "errand boys" to do the bidding of the real rulers of New
Jersey, many of whom were not even residents of the state, and how free
government could be restored to New Jersey through responsible leadership.
He was making an application to practical politics of the fundamental
principles of responsible government which he had analyzed in his earlier
writings, including the book on "Congressional Government." Beneath the
concrete campaign issues in New Jersey he saw the fundamental principles
of Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States. His trained habit of thinking
through concrete facts to basic principles was serving him well in this
campaign; his trained habit of clear exposition in the Princeton lecture
hall was serving him well. People heard from him political speaking of a
new kind; full of weighty instruction and yet so simply phrased and so
aptly illustrated that the simplest minded could follow the train of
reasoning; profound in political philosophy and yet at every step
humanized by one who believed government the most human of things because
concerned with the happiness and welfare of individuals; sometimes he
spoke in parables, homely anecdotes so applied that all could understand;
sometimes he was caustic when he commented on the excessive zeal of
corporations for strict constitutionalism, meaning thereby only such
legislation and judicial interpretations as would defend their property
rights--how they had secured those rights being a question not discussed
by these gentlemen; sometimes, though not frequently, there would be
purple patches of eloquence, particularly when descanting on the long
struggle of the inarticulate masses for political representation.

One of the surprises of the campaign to those who had known him as an
orator of classic eloquence was the comparative infrequency of rhetorical
periods. It was as if he were now too deeply engaged with actualities to
chisel and polish his sentences. Of the many anecdotes which he told
during the campaign one of his favourites was of the Irishman digging a
cellar, who when asked what he was doing said: "I'm letting the darkness
out." Woodrow Wilson told the people of New Jersey that he was "letting
the darkness out" of the New Jersey political situation. "Pitiless
publicity" was one of his many phrases coined in the campaign which
quickly found currency, not only in New Jersey but throughout the country,
for presently the United States at large began to realize that what was
going on in New Jersey was symbolical of the situation throughout the
country, a tremendous struggle to restore popular government to the
people. Since the founders of the Republic expounded free institutions to
the first electorates of this country there had probably been no political
campaign which went so directly to the roots of free representative
government and how to get it as that campaign which Woodrow Wilson
conducted in New Jersey in the autumn of 1910.



The crisis of the campaign came when George L. Record, Progressive leader
in the ranks of the Republican party in Hudson County, uttered a ringing
challenge to the Democratic candidate to debate the issues of the campaign
with him. The challenge contained an alternative proposition that the
Democratic candidate either meet Mr. Record in joint debate in various
parts of the state or that he answer certain questions with reference to
the control of the Democratic party by what Mr. Record called the "Old
Guard." Mr. Record's letter and challenge created a profound sensation
throughout the state and brought hope and comfort to the ranks of the
Republican party.

Record emphasized the Old Guard's control of the convention at which
Wilson was nominated, basing most of his questions upon this character of
political control, and openly challenging Wilson, the Democratic
candidate, to say whether the elements that were dominant at Trenton in
the Convention would be permitted by him, in case of his election, to
influence his action as governor.

For several days after the letter containing the challenge reached the
Democratic candidate, there was a great deal of apprehension in the ranks
of the Democratic party lest the candidate should decide to ignore the
Record challenge, thus giving aid and comfort to the enemies of
progressivism in the state, or, on the other hand, that he would accept it
and thus give Mr. Record, who was a most resourceful public speaker and a
leading exponent of liberalism in the state, a chance to outwit him in
public debate. The latter practically demanded of the Democratic candidate
that he repudiate not only the Old Guard but the active management of his
campaign which had been taken over by James R. Nugent, one of the leaders
of Essex County, who daily accompanied the Democratic candidate on his
tour of the state. For a time it looked as if Doctor Wilson would ignore
entirely the Record challenge. It was plainly evident from all sides that
what appeared to be his reluctance to take a stand in the matter had
turned support away at a time when the sentiment of the state was rapidly
flowing his way.

I accompanied the candidate on an automobile tour of the state and in our
little talks I sought to find out, in a diplomatic way, just how his mind
was running on the Record challenge and how he intended to meet it. In the
automobile with us on this tour was James R. Nugent, then the state
chairman of the Democratic Committee. I ascertained that even he knew
nothing about the Princetonian's attitude toward the Record challenge. A
significant remark which the candidate dropped "between meetings" gave me
the first intimation that the Democratic candidate was, to use a baseball
expression, "on to the Record curve" and that he would answer him in so
emphatic and overwhelming a fashion that the Republican campaign would
never entirely recover from the blow.

One day while we were seated in the tonneau of the automobile discussing
the Record challenge, Mr. Wilson pointed his finger at Jim Nugent and
said, very significantly: "I intend to reply to Mr. Record, but I am sure
that it will hurt the feelings of this fine fellow."

A few days later, without consulting any one, Mr. Wilson replied to
Record's challenge. It was a definite, clean-cut, unequivocal repudiation
of the Old Guard's control of the Democratic party, and a convincing
answer to every question that had been put to him. It rang true. Old-line
Republicans, after reading this conclusive reply, shook their heads and
said, regretfully, "Damn Record; the campaign's over."

It was plainly evident that the crisis of the campaign had been safely
passed and that Mr. Wilson was on his way to the governorship.

In his challenge Mr. Record had addressed to Doctor Wilson nineteen
questions. Mr. Wilson's reply was in part as follows:

    You wish to know what my relations would be with the Democrats whose
    power and influence you fear should I be elected governor,
    particularly in such important matters as appointments and the signing
    of bills, and I am very glad to tell you. If elected I shall not
    either in the matter of appointments to office, or assent to
    legislation, or in shaping any part of the policy of my
    administration, submit to the dictation of any person, or persons,
    "special interests," or organizations. I will always welcome advice
    and suggestions from any citizens, whether boss, leader, organization
    man, or plain citizen, and I shall confidently seek the advice of
    influential and disinterested men representative of the communities
    and disconnected from political organizations entirely; but all
    suggestions and all advice will be considered on its merits and no
    additional weight will be given to any man's advice because of his
    exercising, or supposing that he exercises, some sort of political
    influence or control. I should deem myself for ever disgraced should
    I, in even the slightest degree, coöperate in any such system. I
    regard myself as pledged to the regeneration of the Democratic party.

Mr. Record also inquired: "Do you admit that the boss system exists as I
have described it?" "If so, how do you propose to abolish it?"

Mr. Wilson said:

    Of course I admit it. Its existence is notorious. I have made it my
    business for many years to observe and understand that system, and I
    hate it as thoroughly as I understand it. You are quite right in
    saying that the system is bipartisan; that it constitutes "the most
    dangerous condition in the public life of our state and nation to-
    day"; and that it has virtually, for the time being, "destroyed
    representative government and in its place set up a government of
    privilege." I would propose to abolish it by the reforms suggested in
    the Democratic platform, by the election to office of men who will
    refuse to submit to it, and who will lend all their energies to break
    it up, and by pitiless publicity.

Still hoping to corner the Governor, Mr. Record named the bosses:

    In referring to the Board of Guardians, do you mean such Republican
    leaders as Baird, Murphy, Kean, and Stokes? Wherein do the relations
    to the special interests of such leaders differ from the relation to
    the same interests of such Democratic leaders as Smith, Nugent, and

Mr. Wilson, answering this, said:

    I refer to the men you name. They [meaning Baird, Murphy, Kean,
    Stokes] differ from the others in this, that they are in control of
    the government of the state while the others are not, and cannot be if
    the present Democratic ticket is elected.

In reply to Mr. Record's question: "Will you join me in denouncing the
Democratic 'overlords' as parties to a political boss system?" Doctor
Wilson replied: "Certainly I will join you in denouncing them--or any one
of either party who attempts any outrages against the Government and
public morality."

At this time I was in close touch with the managers of the Wilson
campaign, including Smith, Nugent, and Davis. While they admired the fine
strategy that lay back of the Democratic candidate's reply to Mr. Record,
they looked upon it as a mere gesture upon the part of Mr. Wilson and
scorned to believe that his reply to Mr. Record constituted a challenge to
their leadership. They did not show any evidences of dismay or chagrin at
the courageous attitude taken by Doctor Wilson. They simply smiled and
shrugged their shoulders and said: "This is a great campaign play."



The final meeting of the gubernatorial campaign was held in a large
auditorium in Newark, New Jersey, where the last appeal was made by the
Democratic candidate. It was a meeting filled with emotionalism such as I
had never seen in a campaign before. The Democratic candidate, Woodrow
Wilson, had covered every section of the state and it was easy for even
the casual observer to note the rising tide in his favour. The campaign
had, indeed, become a crusade; his eloquence and sledge-hammer blows at
the opposition having cut our party lines asunder. I was present at the
final meeting and took my place in the wings of the theatre or auditorium,
alongside of Senator Smith, the Democratic chieftain who a few weeks
before had, in a masterful fashion, manipulated the workings of the
Convention at Trenton in such a way as to make the Doctor's nomination
possible. Mr. Wilson's speech on this occasion was a profession of faith
in the people, in the plain people, those "whose names never emerged into
the headlines of newspapers." When he said in a delightful sort of banter
to his audience, "I want you to take a sportsman's chance on me," there
went up a shout of approval which could be heard as far as the hills of
old Bergen.

The peroration of his final speech, spoken in a tone of voice that seemed
not only to reach every ear but, in fact, to touch every heart, was as

    We have begun a fight that, it may be, will take many a generation to
    complete, the fight against privilege; but you know that men are not
    put into this world to go the path of ease. They are put into this
    world to go the path of pain and struggle. No man would wish to sit
    idly by and lose the opportunity to take part in such a struggle. All
    through the centuries there has been this slow, painful struggle
    forward, forward, up, up, a little at a time, along the entire
    incline, the interminable way which leads to the perfection of force,
    to the real seat of justice and honour.

    There are men who have fallen by the way; blood without stint has been
    shed; men have sacrificed everything in this sometimes blind, but
    always instinctive and constant struggle, and America has undertaken
    to lead the way; America has undertaken to be the haven of hope, the
    opportunity for all men.

    Don't look forward too much. Don't look at the road ahead of you in
    dismay. Look at the road behind you. Don't you see how far up the hill
    we have come? Don't you see what those low and damp miasmatic levels
    were from which we have slowly led the way? Don't you see the rows of
    men come, not upon the lower level, but upon the upper, like the rays
    of the rising sun? Don't you see the light starting and don't you see
    the light illuminating all nations?

    Don't you know that you are coming more and more into the beauty of
    its radiance? Don't you know that the past is for ever behind us, that
    we have passed many kinds of evils no longer possible, that we have
    achieved great ends and have almost seen their fruition in free
    America? Don't forget the road that you have trod, but, remembering it
    and looking back for reassurance, look forward with confidence and
    charity to your fellow men one at a time as you pass them along the
    road, and see those who are willing to lead you, and say, "We do not
    believe you know the whole road. We know that you are no prophet, we
    know that you are no seer, but we believe that you know the direction
    and are leading us in that direction, though it costs you your life,
    provided it does not cost you your honour."

    And then trust your guides, imperfect as they are, and some day, when
    we all are dead, men will come and point at the distant upland with a
    great shout of joy and triumph and thank God that there were men who
    undertook to lead in the struggle. What difference does it make if we
    ourselves do not reach the uplands? We have given our lives to the
    enterprise. The world is made happier and humankind better because we
    have lived.

At the end of this memorable and touching speech old Senator James Smith,
seated alongside of me, pulled me by the coat and, in a voice just above a
whisper and with tears in his eyes, said: "That is a great man, Mr.
Tumulty. He is destined for great things."

It did not seem possible on this memorable night that within a few days
these two Democratic chieftains would be challenging each other and
engaging in a desperate struggle to decide the question of Democratic
leadership in the state.



All the prophecies and predictions of the political seers and philosophers
of New Jersey, many of them of course feeling their own partisan pulse,
were annihilated and set adrift by the happenings in New Jersey on the
first Tuesday in November, 1910. Woodrow Wilson, college professor, man of
mystery, political recluse, the nominee of the most standpat Democratic
convention of many years, had been chosen the leader of the people of the
state by the unprecedented majority of 39,000, and was wearing the laurels
of victory. The old bosses and leaders chuckled and smiled; they were soon
to have a Roman holiday under the aegis of the Wilson Administration.

There were many surprises in the Wilson victory. The Democrats awoke on
the day after the election to find that they had not only won the
governorship of the state, but their joy was unbounded to find that they
had captured the Lower House of the Legislature that would have the
election, under the preferential primary system just adopted, of a United
States senator. Therein lay the fly in the ointment. Never in their
wildest dreams or vain imaginings did the leaders of the Democratic party
believe that there was the slightest chance even under the most favourable
circumstances of carrying a majority of the vote of the state for the
Democratic choice, James E. Martine, of Plainfield.

The suggestion that it was possible to elect a Democrat to the United
States Senate was considered a form of political heresy. The nomination
for the Senate had been thrown about the state until torn and tattered
almost beyond repair; it was finally taken up and salvaged by that sturdy
old Democrat of Union County, Jim Martine. Even I had received the offer
of the senatorial toga, but the one who brought the nomination to me was
rudely cast out of my office. The question was: What would be the attitude
of the new Democratic leader, Woodrow Wilson, toward the preferential
choice, Martine? Would the vote at the election be considered as having
the full virtue and vigour of a solemn referendum or was it to be
considered as Senator Smith would have it, a sort of practical joke
perpetrated upon the electors? Soon the opinion of the people of the state
began to express itself in no uncertain way, demanding the carrying out of
the "solemn covenant" of the election, only to be answered by the
challenge of Senator Smith and his friends to enter the field against
Martine, the choice at the election.

This business pitchforked the Governor-elect prematurely into the rough-
and-tumble of "politics as she is," not always a dainty game. As I review
in retrospect this famous chapter of state history, which, because of the
subsequent supreme distinction of one of the parties to the contest,
became a chapter in national history, I realize the almost pathetic
situation of Mr. Wilson. He had called himself an amateur in politics, and
such he was in the practical details and involutions of the great American
game, though in his campaign he had shown himself a master of political
debate. In the ordinary course of events he would have been allowed two
months between his election and inauguration to begin an orderly
adjustment to the new life, to make a gradual transition from the comely
proprieties of an academic chair to the catch-as-catch-can methods of the
political wrestling mat, to get acquainted with the men and problems of
the new career. But the Smith-Martine affair gave birth prematurely to an
immediate occasion for a fight.

As president of Princeton, Doctor Wilson had proved that he was not averse
to a fight when a fight was necessary and when it was distinctly his
affair, but he may well have paused to consider whether the Smith-Martine
business was his affair. One of his favourite stories in later years was
of the Irishman who entered a saloon and seeing two men in a tangle of
fists and writhing legs and bloody heads on the floor at the rear of the
saloon, turned to the barkeeper and asked: "Is this a private fight, or
can anybody git into it?" A more politic man than Woodrow Wilson and one
less sensitive to moral duty, might well have argued that this contest was
the business of the Legislature, not of the Governor. Many a governor-
elect would have avoided the issue on this unquestionably sound legal
principle, and friends in Princeton were in fact advising Mr. Wilson to
precisely this course, the course of neutrality. It would not be strange
if neutrality, aloofness, had presented a rather attractive picture at
times to Mr. Wilson's mind. Why should he gratuitously take a partisan
position between the factions which would inevitably win for him the
enmity of a strong element within the party? Which would also win for him
the unpleasant reputation of ingratitude? For though he had at the first
overtures from Senator Smith and his friends made it as clear as language
can make anything that he could accept the nomination only with the
explicit understanding that acceptance should establish no obligations of
political favours to anybody, it would be impossible to make it appear
that opposition to Smith's darling desire to become senator was not an
ungracious return to the man who had led the forces which had nominated
Wilson at Trenton.

On the other hand, there was his distinct pledge to the people during his
campaign, that if they elected him governor he would make himself the
leader of the party, would broadly and not with pettifogging legalism
interpret his constitutional relationship to the Legislature, would
undertake to assist in legislative action, and not wait supinely for the
Legislature to do something, and then sign or veto the thing done.
Moreover, he had insisted on the principle of the preferential primary as
one means by which the people should participate in their own government
and convey an expression of their will and purpose to the law-making body.
The people had voted for Martine. The fact that Senator Smith had scorned
to have his name placed on the ballot, the fact that human imagination
could picture a stronger senator from New Jersey than genial "Jim" Martine
did not affect the argument. A great majority had voted for Martine and
for nobody else. Was the use of the preferential primary for the first
time in the selection of a United States senator to be ignored, and all
the arguments that Candidate Wilson and others had made in behalf of the
system to be taken "in a Pickwickian sense," as not meaning anything?

There was a real dilemma doubtless much more acutely realized by the
Governor-elect than by the hot-heads, including myself, who were clamorous
for an immediate proclamation of support of Martine, on progressive
principles, and for an ultimatum of war-to-the-knife against Smith and the
old crowd.

It seemed as if Mr. Wilson were hesitating and holding off, reluctant to
accept the gage of battle thrown down by the challenge of the Smith wing.
The leading Democratic and Independent journals of the state were most
insistent that immediate proof be given by Governor-elect Wilson of his
leadership and control over the party and that a test should be made as to
which influence, reactionary or progressive, was to control the destinies
of our party in the state. Those of us who had followed the candidate
throughout the campaign and who had been heartened by his progressive
attitude were sorely disappointed at his failure immediately to act. It
was painfully evident to us that behind the scenes at Princeton the new
governor's friends, particularly Colonel Harvey, were urging upon him
cautious and well-considered action and what mayhap might be called "a
policy of watchful waiting," picturing to him the insurmountable
difficulties that would lie in his path in case he exercised his
leadership in the matter of Martine's selection to the United States
Senate. They suggested that the vote for Martine had no binding force;
that it was a mere perfunctory expression of preference in the matter of
the United States senatorship which the Legislature was free to ignore.
The only man, therefore, who could make the vote effective was the
Governor-elect himself. What he would do in these circumstances was for
days after the election a matter of perplexing doubt to his many friends.
Disappointment and chagrin at the candidate's silence brooded over the
ranks of the progressives of the state. In my law office in Jersey City I
tried to convince those who came to confer with me regarding the matter
that they must be patient; that, ultimately, everything would be all right
and that Doctor Wilson would soon assert his leadership over the party and
take his proper place at the head of those who worked to make the
preferential vote an effective instrumentality. Frankly, though I did not
give expression to my doubts, I was profoundly and deeply disappointed at
the apparently hesitant, uncertain attitude of the Governor-elect. Feeling
certain that popular opinion would be with him in case he decided to lead
in this struggle, I was convinced that the delay in announcing his
attitude toward the Smith-Nugent "defi" was dampening the ardour and
enthusiasm of many of his friends.

The progressive Democrats of the state waited with patience the word of
command and counsel from the Princeton professor to initiate the fight
that would settle for all time in the state of New Jersey the question
whether the referendum on the question of the election of United States
senators should be treated as "a scrap of paper," or whether it was to be
upheld and vindicated by the action of the Legislature. No direct word
came to me of the Governor-elect's attitude on this vital question.
Rumours of his position toward Senator Smith's candidacy filtered "through
the lines" from Princeton; various stories and intimations that seemed to
indicate that the Governor-elect would allow Martine's selection to go by
default; that he would not interfere in any way to carry out the mandate
of the election.

Things were in this unsatisfactory condition when to my surprise I
received a call in my modest Jersey City law offices from the Governor-
elect. Knowing him as I know him, I can see that in his deliberate fashion
he was taking testimony from both sides and slowly arriving at his own
decision. Having heard from the cautious who counselled neutrality, he was
now seeking the arguments of the impetuous who demanded action and wanted
it "hot off the bat." But at that time, not knowing him as I now know him,
he seemed, in this interview, to be vacillating between two opinions, for
he did what I have often known him to do subsequently: stated with
lucidity the arguments of the other side, and with the air of one quite
open-minded, without opinions of his own, seemed to seek my arguments in
rebuttal. I was sorely disappointed by what then seemed to me his negative
attitude, so unlike the militant debater whom I had come to admire in the
campaign which had recently been brought to a brilliant and victorious
close. In my youthful impetuosity I felt that we had been deceived in our
man, a bold talker but timid in action. I simply did not then know the man
and the mixed elements in him. Later, in close association, I was to see
this phase of him not infrequently, the canny Scot, listening without
comment and apparently with mind to let to conflicting arguments while his
own mind was slowly moving to its own position, where it would stand fixed
and immovable as Gibraltar.

Almost as if it were an academic question, with which he had no personal
concern, he propounded the alternatives: Should he lead the fight against
Senator Smith, or should he stand aloof and permit the Legislature to act
without any suggestion from him? He summarized the arguments of his
friends at Princeton who were advising him to steer clear of this fight
and not permit himself to be drawn into it by young, impetuous people like
myself. He said that certain overtures and suggestions of compromises had
been made to him by Senator Smith's friends, to the effect that if he
would not play a leading part in the fight and allow the Legislature to
act without interference from him, Senator Smith and his friends in the
state would agree not to oppose his legislative programme at the coming
session. It was further suggested that Senator Smith had the necessary
votes to elect himself and that it would be futile to attempt to elect Jim
Martine; and that his intervention in this family quarrel would result in
a bitter and humiliating defeat for him at the very outset of his
administration. When the Governor-elect had concluded this preliminary
statement, I was depressed and disappointed. I did not think there should
be a moment's hesitation on his part in at once accepting the challenge so
defiantly addressed to him by the Democratic bosses of the state.

Frankly, I laid the whole case before him in words to this effect: "My
dear Doctor Wilson, there is no way I can better serve you than by frankly
dealing with the question. Your friends away off in Princeton probably do
not know how for years our party and its destinies have been in the hands
of these very men, enemies of liberalism in New Jersey, who by your
silence or indifference as to the United States senatorship are to be
given a new lease on life. The issue involved in this fight is fundamental
and goes far beyond the senatorship. The action you take will have a far-
reaching effect upon our party's fortunes and no one can calculate the
effect it will undoubtedly have on your own political future. In urging
you not to take part in this fight your friends are acting unwisely. You
cannot afford not to fight and not to have an immediate test of your
leadership in this matter. The question of Mr. Martine's fitness, as your
friends urge, is not an issue seriously to be considered. 47,454 votes in
the state have decided that matter and you cannot reverse their verdict.
Your friends have placed too much emphasis on Martine's alleged unfitness
and too little on the duty you owe the party and the state as _leader_."

I called to his attention the fact that men like myself had been heartened
and encouraged by his speeches in the campaign; how we felt that at last
we had found in him a leader, bold and fearless, and that now, when the
first real test of leadership came, it appeared that we were to be
disappointed and that by his silence and inaction he would permit Senator
Smith to win and allow Martine, the popular choice, to be defeated, thus
setting aside the verdict of the election. He listened intently but
without comment to all I had to say. Proceeding with my argument, I said:
"The people of New Jersey accepted your word and, to employ your own
phrase, 'took a sportsman's chance on you' and they must not be
disappointed. Your failure to make this fight will mean that you have not
only surrendered your leadership as governor in this matter, but by the
same act you will have abdicated your leadership in favour of the Old
Guard all along the line. They have set a trap for you, and I know you
will not permit yourself to be caught in it." In conclusion I said: "They
say they will support your reform programme. What assurance have you that,
having defeated you in this your first big fight, they will not turn on
you and defeat your whole legislative programme? As governor, you have the
power to lead us to a great victory in this vital matter. Exercise it now,
and opinion throughout the state will strongly and enthusiastically
support you. You have but to announce your willingness to lead and the
people of the state will rally to your standard. The fight, in any event,
will be made and we wish you to lead it. This is really the first step to
the Presidency. That is what is really involved. Not only the people of
New Jersey but the people of America are interested in this fight. They
are clamouring for leadership, and I am sure you are the man to lead, and
that you will not fail."

When the Governor-elect rose to leave my office, he turned to me and
asked, still in a non-committal manner, whether in my opinion we could win
the fight in case he should decide to enter upon it. I at once assured him
that while the various political machines of the state would oppose him at
every turn, their so-called organizations were made of cardboard and that
they would immediately disintegrate and fall the moment he assumed
leadership and announced that the fight was on.

In his own time and by his own processes Mr. Wilson arrived at his
decision. It was the first of my many experiences of his deliberative
processes in making up his mind and of the fire and granite in him after
he had made his decision. He informed me that he would support Martine and
use all his force, official and personal, to have the Legislature accept
the preferential primary as the people's mandate.

With prudence and caution, with a political sense that challenged the
admiration of every practical politician in the state, the Princetonian
began to set the stage for the preliminary test. There was nothing
dramatic about these preliminaries. Quickly assuming the offensive, he
went about the task of mobilizing his political forces in the most
patient, practical way. No statement to the people of his purposes to
accept the challenge of the Democratic bosses was made by him. Certain
things in the way of accommodation were necessary to be done before this
definite step was taken. It was decided that until the Governor-elect had
conferred with the Democratic bosses in an effort to persuade them that
the course they had adopted was wrong, it would be best not to make an
immediate issue by the Governor-elect's announcement. We thought that by
tactfully handling Smith and Davis we would be able by this method of
conciliation to convince their friends, at least those in the party
organization, that we were not ruthlessly bent upon leading a revolt, but
that we were attempting peacefully a settlement that would prevent a split
in our party ranks.

We were convinced that in the great body of organization Democrats there
were many fine men who resented this attempt of the bosses to force Jim
Smith again on the party and that there were many who silently wished us
success, although they were not free to come to our side in open espousal.
Thus we began patiently to build our back-fire in the ranks of the
Democratic organization itself, to unhorse the Essex boss.

The first thing to carry out the programme was a visit paid to the sick
room of the Democratic boss of the Hudson wing, Bob Davis, who lay
dangerously ill in his modest home on Grove Street, Jersey City. The visit
itself of the Governor-elect to the home of the stricken boss had a marked
psychological effect in conciliating and winning over to our side the
active party workers in the Davis machine. To many of the privates in the
ranks the boss was a veritable hero and they witnessed with pleasure the
personal visit of the new Governor-elect to the boss at his home and
looked upon it as a genuine act of obeisance and deference to their
stricken leader. They thought this a generous and a big thing to do, and
so it naturally turned their sympathies to the Governor-elect. It gave
further proof to them that the man elected Governor was not "high-browish"
or inclined to fight unless he had previously laid all his cards on the
table. We also realized that to have ignored the boss would have been to
give strength and comfort to the enemy, and so we deliberately set out to
cultivate his friends in a spirit of honourable and frank dealing. The
visit to the boss was a part of this plan. The meeting between these two
men--one, the Governor-elect and until recently the president of
Princeton; the other, a Democratic boss, old and battle-scarred--in the
little sick room of the humble home, was a most interesting affair and at
times a most touching and pathetic one. Both men were frank in dealing
with each other. There was no formality or coldness in the meeting. The
Governor-elect quickly placed the whole situation before the boss, showing
how the Democratic party had for many years advocated the very system--the
election of United States senators by the people--that the Democratic
bosses of the state were now attacking and repudiating. Briefly, he
sketched the disastrous effects upon our party and its prestige in the
state and the nation if a Democratic legislature should be the first,
after advocating it, to cast it aside in order to satisfy the selfish
ambition and vanity of one of the Old Guard. In a sincere manly fashion,
so characteristic of him, Boss Davis then proceeded to state _his_ case.
Briefly, it was this: He had given his solemn promise and had entered into
a gentleman's agreement with Smith to deliver to him the twelve
legislative votes from Hudson. He would not violate his agreement.
Laughingly, he said to the Governor-elect: "If the Pope of Rome, of whose
Church I am a member, should come to this room to urge me to change my
attitude, I would refuse to do so. I have given my promise and you would
not have me break it, would you, Doctor?" With real feeling and a show of
appreciation of the boss's frankness and loyalty to his friends, the
Governor-elect quickly replied: "Of course, I would not have you break
your promise, but you must not feel aggrieved if I shall find it necessary
to fight you and Smith in the open for the Hudson votes." "Go on, Doctor,"
said the sick man, "I am a game sport and I am sure that with you there
will be no hitting below the belt." And thus the first conference between
the Governor-elect and the political boss ended.

Mr. Wilson's next visit was to Senator Smith himself at the Senator's home
in Newark, a meeting entirely friendly in character and frank in
expressions of the unalterable determination of the two men, of Senator
Smith not to withdraw from the race, of Doctor Wilson to oppose his
candidacy and place the issue before the people of the state. Senator
Smith with engaging candour gave Mr. Wilson his strong personal reasons
for wishing to return to the United States Senate: he said that he had
left the Senate under a cloud due to the investigations of the Sugar Trust
and that for the sake of his children he wanted to reinstate himself in
the Senate. Mr. Wilson expressed his sympathy for this motive, more
appealing than mere personal ambition, but declared that he could not
permit his sympathy as an individual to interfere with his duty as he
conceived it, as an official pledged by all his public utterances to
support progressive principles, among which was the preferential primary
system, and committed to a course of active leadership in matters which
concerned the state at large, in which category the selection of a United
States senator certainly fell. He made a personal appeal to the Senator
for the sake of the party to forego his desire and by a noble act of
renunciation to win the regard of all the citizens of the state, saying:
"Why, Senator, you have it in your power to become instantly, the biggest
man in the state." But the Senator was firm. And so, though the visit was
conducted with the dignity and courtesy characteristic of both men, it
ended with their frank acknowledgment to each other that from now on there
existed between them a state of war.

Returning to Princeton from Newark, the formal announcement of the
Governor's entrance into the fight was made and the contest for the
senatorship and the leadership of the Democratic party was on. The
announcement was as follows:

    Friday Evening, Dec. 9,1910.

    The question who should be chosen by the incoming legislature of the
    state to occupy the seat in the Senate of the United States which will
    presently be made vacant by the expiration of the term of Mr. Kean is
    of such vital importance to the people of the state, both as a
    question of political good faith and as a question of genuine
    representation in the Senate, that I feel constrained to express my
    own opinion with regard to it in terms which cannot be misunderstood.
    I had hoped that it would not be necessary for me to speak; but it is.

    I realize the delicacy of taking any part in the discussion of the
    matter. As Governor of New Jersey I shall have no part in the choice
    of a Senator. Legally speaking, it is not my duty even to give advice
    with regard to the choice. But there are other duties besides legal
    duties. The recent campaign has put me in an unusual position. I
    offered, if elected, to be the political spokesman and adviser of the
    people. I even asked those who did not care to make their choice of
    governor upon that understanding not to vote for me. I believe that
    the choice was made upon that undertaking; and I cannot escape the
    responsibility involved. I have no desire to escape it. It is my duty
    to say, with a full sense of the peculiar responsibility of my
    position, what I deem it to be the obligation of the Legislature to do
    in this gravely important matter.

    I know that the people of New Jersey do not desire Mr. James Smith,
    Jr., to be sent again to the Senate. If he should be, he will not go
    as their representative. The only means I have of knowing whom they do
    desire to represent them is the vote at the recent primaries, where
    48,000 Democratic voters, a majority of the whole number who voted at
    the primaries, declared their preference for Mr. Martine, of Union
    County. For me that vote is conclusive. I think it should be for every
    member of the Legislature.

    Absolute good faith in dealing with the people, an unhesitating
    fidelity to every principle avowed, is the highest law of political
    morality under a constitutional government. The Democratic party has
    been given a majority in the Legislature; the Democratic voters of the
    state have expressed their preference under a law advocated and
    supported by the opinion of their party, declared alike in platforms
    and in enacted law. It is clearly the duty of every Democratic
    legislator who would keep faith with the law of the state with the
    avowed principles of his party to vote for Mr. Martine. It is my duty
    to advocate his election--to urge it by every honourable means at my

Immediately the work of organizing our forces for the fight was set in
motion. I had been designated by the Governor-elect to handle the fight in
Hudson County, the Davis stronghold. Meetings were arranged for at what
were considered the strategic points in the fight: Jersey City and Newark.
The announcement of the Governor-elect's acceptance of the challenge had
given a thrill to the whole state and immediately the reaction against the
Old Guard's attempt to discredit the primary choice was evident. The
bitterness in the ranks of the contesting factions began to express itself
in charges and counter-charges that were made. Speeches for and against
the candidates were addressed to the ears of the unwary voter. The state
was soon up in arms. There was no doubt of the attitude of the people.
This was made plain in so many ways that our task was to impress this
opinion upon the members of the Legislature, whose vote, in the last
analysis, would be the determining factor in this contest. While we were
laying down a barrage in the way of organization work and making
preparations for our meetings throughout the state, the Governor-elect was
conferring nightly with members of the Legislature at the University Club
in New York. From day to day could be observed the rising tide in favour
of our cause, and slowly its effect upon the members of the Legislature
was made manifest. The first meeting in the senatorial contest was held in
Jersey City. As chairman of the committee, I had arranged the details for
this first speech of the Governor-elect. I had adopted a plan in making
the arrangements that I felt would remove from the minds of the
organization workers, to whom we desired to appeal, the idea that this was
a revolt or secessionist movement in the ranks of the Democratic party.
The committee in charge of the meeting had selected the finest, cleanest
men in our party's ranks to preside over and take part in the meeting.

There was never such an outpouring of people. Men and women from outside
the state, and, particularly, men and women from New York and Connecticut,
had come all the way to New Jersey to witness this first skirmish in the
political upheaval that was soon to take place. The metropolitan dailies
had sent their best men to write up the story and to give a "size-up" of
the new Governor-elect in fighting action. They were not disappointed. He
was in rare form. His speech was filled with epigrams that carried the
fight home to those upon whom we were trying to make an impression. When
he warned his friends not to be afraid of the machine which the bosses
controlled he said, with biting irony: "We do not fear their fortresses
[meaning the political machines] that frown and look down upon us from
their shining heights." Smiling deprecatingly and waving his hand, he
continued: "They are but made of paste-board and when you approach them
they fall at your very touch."

Ridiculing and belittling the power of the bosses, he called them "warts
upon the body politic." "It is not," said the new chief of Democracy, "a
capital process to cut off a wart. You don't have to go to the hospital
and take an anaesthetic. The thing can be done while you wait, and it is
being done. The clinic is open, and every man can witness the operation."

The meeting was a triumph and strikingly demonstrated the power of brain
and fine leadership over brawn and selfish politics.

The final appeal to the voters on the United States senatorship was made
in the heart of the enemy's country, the stronghold of the Smith-Nugent
faction at Newark, New Jersey. The same enthusiastic, whole-souled
response that characterized the Jersey City meeting was repeated. The same
defiant challenge to the Old Guard was uttered by the new Governor.
Sarcasm, bitter irony, delightful humour, and good-natured flings at the
Old Guard were found in this his final appeal. In a tone of voice that
carried the deep emotion he felt, he said, as his final word:

    Do you know what is true of the special interests at this moment! They
    have got all their baggage packed and they are ready to strike camp
    over night, provided they think it is profitable for them to come over
    to the Democratic party. They are waiting to come over bag and baggage
    and take possession of the Democratic party. Will they be welcome? Do
    you want them? I pray God we may never wake up some fine morning and
    find them encamped on our side.

The response was thrilling. The two meetings just held, one in Jersey City
and the other in Newark, convinced those of us in charge of the Martine
campaign that we had made the right impression in the state and, having
deeply aroused the voters, all we had to do was to harvest the crop, the
seed of which had been planted in the soil of public opinion by the
speeches the new Governor had made. It was plain that the machine crowd
was stunned and reeling from the frequent and telling blows that had been
so vigorously delivered by him. Suggestions of compromise came from the
enemy's ranks, but no armistice would be granted, except upon the basis of
an absolute and unconditional surrender. Offers and suggested proposals
from the Old Guard to the Governor-elect were thrust aside as valueless
and not worthy his consideration. There was nothing to do but play for a
"knock-out." Soon the full pressure of the opinion of the state began to
be felt. Members of the Legislature from the various counties began to
feel its influence upon them. Our ranks began to be strengthened by
additions from the other side. The Governor's speeches and his nightly
conferences were having their full effect. The bosses, now in panic, were
each day borne down by the news brought to them of the innumerable
defections in their quickly dwindling forces. However, the bosses showed a
bold front and declared that their man had the votes. But their confidence
waned as election day approached. Realizing the fact that we were dealing
with the best-trained minds in the Democratic party, we gave no news to
the outside world of the strength in number of our own ranks, knowing full
well that if we did so imprudent a thing, the active men in the ranks of
the enemy would pull every wire of influence and use every method of
threats and coercion to wean the votes away from us. We "stood pat" and
watched with interest every move made by the other side. In his final
statement before the joint meeting of the Legislature Smith boldly
announced his election to the Senate on the strength of the number of
legislative votes pledged to him, but those of us who were in the midst of
this political melee knew that he was licked and that he was only
whistling to keep up his courage.

In the meantime, the Governor-elect had tendered to me the post of
secretary to the Governor, and I accepted this office which brought me
into more intimate association with him and his plans.



The conferences and meetings in preparation for the great senatorial fight
having been concluded, the scene of activities was transferred to Trenton,
where shortly after the Inauguration plans were laid for the final battle.

Immediately upon the conclusion of the Inaugural ceremonies, the hand-to-
hand contests for the great prize and incidentally the leadership of the
Democrats, was on in full swing. At the beginning of the fight the bosses
counted upon the active support of the influential Democratic leaders
throughout the state, like Robert S. Hudspeth of Hudson County, Johnston
Cornish of Warren County, Edward E. Grosscup of Gloucester County, Barney
Gannon and Peter Daley of Middlesex County, old Doctor Barber of Warren
County, Otto Wittpenn of Hudson County, Billy French and Judge Westcott of
Camden, Dave Crater of Monmouth, and minor bosses or leaders in south and
middle Jersey. But in utter amazement they found that we had captured
these fine pieces of heavy political artillery and that through them we
had acquired and taken over some of the most valuable political salients
in the state.

A little incident in the campaign is worth reciting. In managing the
campaign I found that for some unaccountable reason the so-called Irish
vote of the state was massed solidly behind ex-Senator Smith and in bitter
opposition to Governor Wilson. We were constantly coming in contact with
these currents of opposition, and how to overcome them and bring the Irish
vote into our fold was the task that devolved upon me as the manager of
Martine's campaign. Seated in my office one day I recalled that years
before I had read in the Congressional Record an account of a speech
delivered in the United States Senate by James Smith, upholding in terms
of highest praise the famous Hay-Pauncefote Treaty. The speech in all its
details, particularly the argument it contained calling for closer
relations between the United States and Great Britain, was still fresh in
my memory. Evidently Senator Smith and his Irish friends had forgotten it,
for he was now trying to mobilize the Irish vote of the state in his
favour. On re-reading this speech of the old Senator, I smiled with
satisfaction, realizing the campaign use that could be made of it. After
considering the matter carefully, I sent for a devoted friend of mine, a
fine, clean-cut Irishman, who stood high in the ranks of the Clan-na-Gael
and other Irish societies in our county. After he had read the speech, we
discussed the method of using it, for we felt sure that our Irish friends,
when they became acquainted with this speech upon reading it, would not
find themselves in agreement with Smith's attitude toward England and the
Treaty. My friend consented to write letters to the leading papers,
particularly the Irish papers of the state, setting forth Smith's attitude
toward the Treaty. The effect upon the Irish vote was immediate and soon
resolutions began to be adopted by the various Irish societies throughout
the state, denouncing Smith for having advocated the much-despised "Anglo-
Saxon Alliance."

While I opposed Senator Smith in this contest there was nothing personally
antagonistic in my attitude. We were, I hope, friends throughout the
conflict, and many times since then we have discussed the events leading
up to Martine's election to the United States Senate. It was only a few
months ago, while seated at a table at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington,
that the old Senator, genial and debonair as ever, was discussing the
fights of the old days, and particularly the events leading up to his
defeat for the United States senatorship. In discussing the New Jersey
campaign, he told me of the use that had been made by "someone" in the
Wilson ranks of his Senate speech on the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty. He said
that his reason for making this speech was his sincere desire as an Irish-
American to bring about more amicable relations between the United States
and England, and as I listened to this frank recital I felt that, although
the use I had made of his speech was legitimate in the circumstances,
there was nothing to be proud of in having exploited the Senator's really
fine speech for political purposes.

The State House at Trenton on the night previous to the balloting for the
senatorship was a place of feverish activity. The Essex ex-Chieftain,
Smith, kept "open house" in the then famous Room 100 of the Trenton House.
The Governor-elect, calm and apparently undisturbed, but anxious and ready
for a contest, quietly moved about the Executive offices attending to
official matters.

We felt confident of the result of the vote if the members of the
Legislature were left free, but we were certain that every kind of
pressure would be put upon them to change the votes of the wobblers in our
ranks. All night long and until four or five o'clock in the morning the
Governor-elect and I remained in the Executive office, keeping in close
contact with our friends both by telephone and personal conference.
Senator Smith never knew it, but some of the men close to him and
participating in his own conferences on this fateful night hourly brought
to us information as to what would be the real line-up of his forces on
the day set for balloting. We found a spy in our own ranks--a leading
lawyer and politician from, my own county--who, while pretending to be our
friend, was supplying the enemy with what he thought was useful
information. We, however, were already aware of this gentleman's duplicity
and, although he never suspected it, whenever he left the Executive office
he was followed by a professional detective, who heard and reported to us
every bit of information he had supplied to our political foes.

On the night before the election the Smith-Nugent leaders had gathered
their forces and, headed by a band, paraded through the streets of
Trenton, passing in review before Senator Smith who stood upon the steps
of the Trenton House and greeted them in most generous fashion. The
purpose of this demonstration was obvious to the Governor-elect and his
friends. It was simply to give to the arriving legislators an impression
of great strength behind the Smith-Nugent forces.

On the morning of the balloting the corridors and lobby of the State House
were crowded with the henchmen of the Essex chieftain. The surface
indications were that Smith had the necessary number of votes, but to
those of us who were able accurately to analyze the situation it was
apparent that the froth would soon pass away. The parade and the
demonstration of the Nugent followers had deeply impressed some of the men
in our ranks, particularly the editor of a Trenton newspaper, who came to
the Executive offices and urged upon the Governor the publication of a
statement which he had prepared, filled with grandiloquent phrase, warning
the people of the state that the members of the Legislature were about to
be coerced and threatened by the strong-arm methods of the Smith-Nugent

Frankly, the suggestion which this Trenton editor made to the new Governor
impressed him. The Governor made certain changes in the statement and then
sent for me to read it, asking my advice upon it. The first test of my
official connection with the Governor was at hand. Upon reading the
editor's article I saw at once that its issuance would be most unwise, and
I frankly said so. My practical and political objection to it, however,
was that if published it would give to the people of the state the
impression that our forces were in a panic and that we, were in grave fear
of the result. I further argued that it was an attempt at executive
coercion of the Legislature that would meet with bitter resentment. I felt
that we had already won the fight; that the Legislature, which was the
jury in the case, was inclined to favour us if we did not seek to
influence its members by such foolish action as the Trenton editor
advised. The statement was not published.

I found in this little argument with the new Governor that he was open-
minded and anxious for advice and I thereafter felt free to discuss
matters with him in the frankest way.

The first ballot showed Martine leading heavily. In the following ballots
he gained strength at every count. The Legislature adjourned the first day
without reaching a decision. As we surveyed the field after the first
day's balloting it was clear to us that if we hoped to win the fight we
would have to have Hudson County's legislative vote. The Democratic boss,
Bob Davis, had died a few days previous, and had entrusted his affairs to
the hands of a fine, clean-cut, wholesome Irish-American, James Hennessy,
then chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Committee. He was one of the
squarest men I ever met in politics and had been an intimate associate of
my father in the old days in Jersey City. On the day of the final
balloting we were sorely pressed. When it seemed as if we had reached the
limit of our strength, it occurred to me that a final appeal to Hennessy
by the Governor might have some effect. We decided to send for Hennessy to
come to the Executive offices. It was clear from his attitude when he
arrived that, while his sympathies lay with us, he was bound in honour to
carry out the instructions of his chief and deliver the Hudson County vote
to Smith. The Governor, getting very close to him and discussing the
campaign in the most intimate way, told him that if Martine was rejected,
the political effect on our party's fortunes would be disastrous; that we
were sure we had the votes and that the next ballot would give proof of
this, and that it was only a question, to use a campaign phrase, of
"getting on the band wagon" and making Martine's nomination unanimous.
When the Governor concluded his talk, I turned to Hennessy in the most
familiar way, and spoke of the Governor's desire to elect Martine and of
the unselfish purpose he had in mind and how he, Hennessy, was blocking
the way. I said to him: "You have it in your power to do a big thing. You
may never have the chance again." He finally stood up and said to me:
"What do you want me to do?" I told him that we wanted him to go to the
Hudson delegates and give word that the "jig" was up and that they must
throw their support to Martine. Shortly after this meeting the Hudson
delegation met in caucus and agreed to support Martine.

When Smith and Nugent heard of this message they practically surrendered.
The balloting which began at ten o'clock was a mere formal affair for it
was plainly evident from the changes in the early balloting that Martine's
election was assured. Martine's election was a fact; and Woodrow Wilson
was the victor in the first battle for the Presidency.

I have stated that I am not proud of the way I used Senator Smith's speech
on the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty. We were fighting veterans in the political
game, men who knew all the tricks and who did not scruple to play any of
them. In the rough school of practical politics I had been taught that
"you must fight the devil with fire" and that it is as legitimate in
politics as in war to deceive the enemy about your resources. But we
conducted politics on higher levels during the eight years in the White
House, when my chief, no longer an amateur, taught me, by precept and
example, that effective fighting can be conducted without resort to the
tricks and duplicities of those who place political advantage above
principle. Woodrow Wilson made new rules for the game, and they were the
rules which men of honour adopt when conducting their private business on
principles of good faith and truth-telling.



The election of Martine having been settled and the preferential vote
having been validated through the courageous handling of a delicate
situation, the new Governor was firmly in the saddle. His leadership had
been tested and only the fragments of the Old Guard machine were left. The
road was thus cleared of all obstacles in his own party that might be put
in the way of his programme of constructive legislation.

Having delivered his first message, which contained a full and detailed
discussion of his whole programme, he applied himself with great energy
and industry to the task of preparing bills for introduction in the Senate
and House. Not content with the mere delivery of his message, he put
himself entirely at the disposal of the members of the Legislature and
industriously applied himself to the task of preparation until the
following measures: _Regulation of Public Utilities, Corrupt Practices
Act_, _Direct Primaries Act_, and the _Employers' Liability Act_, were in
shape to be introduced.

While his leadership was vindicated as a result of the Smith-Martine
fight, the contest had undoubtedly left many bitter scars and enmities
which soon manifested themselves in the unfriendly attitude of the Smith
men in the Legislature toward the new Governor and particularly toward his
programme of constructive legislation. For awhile after the election of
Martine they seemed subdued and cheerfully resigned to defeat; but when
the new Governor launched his legislative programme they began eagerly to
attack it in many subtle ways. While there were some members of this group
who honestly opposed the Governor's programme because of their
conservative tendencies, the majority of the opposition were bent upon
"putting it to sleep," because, forsooth, it bore the Wilson label. The
new Governor quickly grasped the full significance of the situation and
openly challenged the opposition. To accomplish his purpose, he did an
unprecedented thing. He invited the Democratic members of the Legislature
to meet him in the Supreme Court Room of the State House and there, face
to face, he laid before them various items of his programme and challenged
the opposition to lay their cards on the table. In the course of this
conference one of the leaders of the Smith-Nugent faction expressed his
dissatisfaction with the whole programme, challenging the new Governor's
right to be present at the conference; even intimating that his presence
was an unconstitutional act which might subject him to impeachment. The
new Governor, undisturbed by this criticism, turned to the gentleman who
had challenged his right to be present at the conference, and said:

    You can turn aside from the measure if you choose; you can decline to
    follow me; you can deprive me of office and turn away from me, but you
    cannot deprive me of power so long as I steadfastly stand for what I
    believe to be the interests and legitimate demands of the people
    themselves. I beg you to remember, in this which promises to be an
    historic conference, you are settling the question of the power or
    impotence, the distinction or the ignominy of the party to which the
    people with singular generosity have offered the conduct of their

Some of the members of the Legislature came to my office after this
conference and told me of the great speech the Governor had just delivered
and how defiantly he had met the attack of his enemies. This caucus gave
an emphatic endorsement of his legislative programme and in a few weeks
the House of Assembly had acted upon it, and the various bills that
constituted his entire programme were on their way to the Republican
Senate. How to induce favourable action at the hands of the Republican
Senate was a problem. There were very few members of the Senate whose
ideals and purposes were in agreement with those of the Governor.

When the bills reached the Senate, the Governor began daily conferences
with the Republican members of that body, discussing with them the items
of his programme and urging speedy action upon them. As a part of the
programme of inducing the Republicans to support him, a friend of mine who
was on the inside of the Republican situation reported to me that it was
the opinion in the Republican ranks that the new Governor was too much a
professor and doctrinaire; that he was lacking in good-fellowship and
companionship; that while the members of the Legislature who had conferred
with him had found him open and frank, they thought there was a coldness
and an austerity about him which held the Governor aloof and prevented
that intimate contact that was so necessary in working out the programme
we had outlined.

We finally decided that the fault lay in the lack of social intimacy
between the new Governor and the members of the Legislature. In my social
and official contact with Mr. Wilson I always found him most genial and
agreeable. When we were at luncheon or dinner at the old Sterling Hotel in
Trenton he would never burden our little talks by any weighty discussion
of important matters that were pending before him. He entirely forgot all
business and gave himself over to the telling of delightful stories. How
to make the real good-fellowship of the man an asset in dealing with the
members of the Senate was a problem. I very frankly told him one day at
luncheon that many members of both legislative bodies felt that he was too
stiff and academic and that they were anxious to find out for themselves
if there was a more human side to him. In order to give him an opportunity
to overcome this false impression we arranged a delightful dinner at the
Trenton Country Club, to which we invited both Democratic and Republican
members of the Senate. The evening was a delightful one. In the corner of
the little room where the dinner was served sat three darky musicians who
regaled the little group with fine old southern melodies. It was real fun
to watch the new Governor's conduct in this environment. He was like a boy
out of school. He was no longer the college professor or the cold man of
affairs. He delighted the members of the Senate who sat about him with
amusing stories, witty remarks, and delightful bits of sarcasm. At the
close of the dinner, Senator Frelinghuysen walked over and challenged him
to a Virginia Reel. He accepted this invitation and the crowd of men were
soon delighted to see the Somerset senator lead the new Governor out on
the floor and his long legs were soon moving in rhythm with the music.



    The White House

    3 RN JM 75 Govt.

    Windsor, Vermont, July 5, 1915

    Hon. Jos. P. Tumulty,
    The White House,
    Washington, D.C.

    ---- is down and out in his newspaper work and desperately in need of
    employment. Says there is a vacancy as foreign trade adviser in the
    State Department and also one in the District Play Grounds department.
    Would be very much obliged if you would see if something can be done
    for him in either place. His address 221 A. Street, Northeast.

    Woodrow Wilson.

       *        *        *        *        *

    Dear Tumulty,

    I want to issue this statement to help Mr. Hoover and his Commission
    in the splendid work they are doing, and head off mischief-makers (or,
    rather, one particular mischief-maker who is a little out of his mind)
    on this side the water.

    Will you not please read it to Lansing over the phone and, if he has
    no objection to offer, give it out?

A glimpse at the President's human side.]

After all, men are just boys, and this bringing together of these
practical men on so happy and free an occasion did much to convince the
members of the Senate that the new Governor after all was like themselves,
a plain, simple man, modestly trying to serve the interests of a great

This affair broke the ice, and after that there was a close intimacy
between the Governor and the members of the Legislature, both Democrats
and Republicans, and this coöperation soon brought about the enactment of
the whole Wilson programme. Never before had so comprehensive a programme
been so expeditiously acted upon by a legislative body. The Legislature
had convened in January and by the middle of April every campaign pledge
that the Governor had made had been kept, although the Senate with which
he had to deal was largely Republican.

As the legislative session progressed it appeared that certain Democratic
senators were reluctant to follow his leadership. Indeed it was also
apparent that the Republicans were alike unwilling to act favourably upon
his legislative suggestions. In this situation he summoned the Democratic
senators and reminded them of the party pledges in the platform and served
notice that if they did not vote for these measures they would have to
explain to their constituents. He then summoned the Republican senators
and said to them, in effect, this: "The legislation proposed was promised
in the Democratic platform. That is not your platform. Therefore, you are
not pledged to this action. But if you obstruct the action I shall have to
trouble you to go with me to your districts and discuss these matters with
your constituents and tell them why you consider this bad legislation and
why you resisted it."

The newspapers of the country soon began to discuss the achievements of
the Wilson administration in New Jersey and immediately the name of the
Governor began to be mentioned in connection with the Presidency.

One of the matters of national importance with which he was called upon to
deal during this legislative session was the passage of railroad grade-
crossing legislation. In response to the agitation that had long existed
in New Jersey for the elimination of grade crossings, the Democrats had
inserted a radical plank in their platform in reference to it, and, acting
upon this, the Legislature had passed a grade-crossing bill, to which the
railroads of the state strenuously objected. It was a matter of the
greatest public interest and importance that for many years had been the
subject of bitter controversies throughout the state. While the bill was
before the Governor for consideration, the railroad attorneys had prepared
long, comprehensive briefs attacking the bill as unjust to the railroads
and as containing many features which in their essence were confiscatory.
When the bill came before the Governor for final action no one considered
for a moment the possibility of a veto, first, because of the traditional
attitude of the Democratic party of New Jersey in the matter of grade
crossings; and, secondly, because of the effect a veto would have upon the
progressive thought of the country. I recall very well my discussion with
him in regard to this most important bill. Realizing that he was at this
time looming up as a national figure, and knowing that the Progressives of
the country were awaiting with keen interest his action on the bill, I
feared the effect upon his political fortunes that a veto of the bill
would undoubtedly have.

The Baltimore Convention was only a few months away and it was clear to me
that no matter how safe and sane were the grounds upon which he would veto
this legislation, his enemies in the Democratic party would charge him
with being influenced by the New Jersey railroad interests who were
engaged in a most vigorous campaign against the passage of this
legislation. In fact, when we came to discuss the matter, I frankly called
this phase of it to his attention. I tried to make him see the effects
such a veto would have upon his political fortunes, but he soon made it
clear to me that he was unmindful of all such consequences. After
thoroughly considering the matter, he finally decided to veto the bill. In
discussing the matter with me, he said: "I realize the unjust and
unfortunate inference that will be drawn by my political enemies from a
veto of this bill, but the bill, as drawn, is unjust and unfair to the
railroads and I ought not to be afraid to say so publicly. I cannot
consider the effect of a veto upon my own political fortunes. If I should
sign this bill it would mean practically a confiscation of railroad
property and I would not be worthy of the trust of a single mail in the
state or in the country were I afraid to do my duty and to protect private
property by my act." His attitude toward the bill was clearly set forth in
the veto, part of which is as follows:

    I know the seriousness and great consequence of the question affected
    by this important measure. There is a demand, well grounded and
    imperative, throughout the state that some practicable legislation
    should be adopted whereby the grade crossings of railways which
    everywhere threaten life and interfere with the convenience of both
    city and rural communities should as rapidly as possible be abolished.
    But there is certainly not a demand in New Jersey for legislation
    which is unjust and impracticable.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The non-enactment of this bill into law will, of course, be a serious
    disappointment to the people of the state, but it will only
    concentrate their attention upon the just and equitable way of
    accomplishing the end in view. I do not believe that the people of the
    state are in such haste as to be willing to work a gross injustice,
    either to the railroads or to private owners of property, or to the
    several communities affected.

Of course his political enemies made free use of this veto in an effort to
injure him throughout the country in every state campaign where his
fortunes as candidate were involved. As a matter of fact, his veto of this
bill did shock the people of the state, but when they seriously considered
the matter in all its aspects, they felt that their governor had, at
least, done an honourable and a courageous thing in refusing to approve

Discussion of him as a strong Presidential possibility was steadily
growing. I had felt a delicacy about talking of this with him, but in a
walk that we were accustomed to take along the banks of the Delaware and
Raritan Canal between office hours, I, one day, made bold to open, the
subject in this way: "It is evident from the newspapers, Governor, that
you are being considered for the Presidency." I could plainly see from the
way he met the suggestion that he did not resent my boldness in opening
the discussion. I told him that we were receiving letters at the Executive
offices from various parts of the country in praise of the programme he
had just put through the legislature. As we discussed the possibilities of
the Presidential situation, he turned to me in the most solemn way, and
putting his hand to his mouth, as if to whisper something, said: "I do not
know, Tumulty, that I would care to be President during the next four
years." And then looking around as if he were afraid uninvited ears might
be listening, he continued: "For the next President will have a war on his
hands, and I am not sure that I would make a good war President." This
reply greatly excited my curiosity and interest and I said: "With what
nation do you think we will have a war?" Very cautiously he said: "I do
not care to name the nation," and our little talk ended. This statement
was made to me in April, 1911. Was it a prophecy of the war that was to
burst upon the world in August, 1914?



Upon the completion of the legislative work of the first session of the
New Jersey Legislature the name of Woodrow Wilson quickly forged to the
front as a strong Presidential possibility. Intimate friends, including
Walter Hines Page, afterward United States Ambassador to Great Britain;
Cleveland H. Dodge and Robert Bridges, the two latter old friends and
classmates of the Governor in the famous class of '79 at Princeton, set
about by conferences to launch the Presidential boom of their friend, and
selected for the task of the actual management of the campaign the young
Princetonian, William F. McCombs, then an active and rising young lawyer
of New York. These gentlemen, and other devoted friends and advisers of
the Governor, made up the first Wilson contingent, and at once initiated a
plan of publicity and organization throughout the country. They arranged
to have the New Jersey Governor visit strategic points in the country to
make addresses on a variety of public questions. Whether Colonel Harvey
was behind the scenes as the adviser of this little group I have never
ascertained, but _Harper's Weekly_, then edited by the Colonel, was his
leading supporter in the magazine world, carrying the name of the
Princetonian at its mast-head as a candidate for the Presidency. There
were frequent conferences between the Colonel and the Governor at the
Executive offices, and as a result of these conferences the Wilson boom
soon became a thing to be reckoned with by the Old Guard in control of
party affairs in the nation.

Wilson stock from the moment of the adjournment of the Legislature began
to rise, and his candidacy spread with great rapidity, until in nearly
every state in the Union "Wilson Clubs" were being established. The New
Jersey primaries, where again he met and defeated the Smith forces; the
Ohio primaries, where he split the delegates with the favourite son,
Governor Harmon, a distinguished Democrat; and the Wisconsin primaries, at
which he swept the state, gave a tremendous impetus to the already growing
movement for the "Reform" Governor of New Jersey.

Everything was serenely moving in the Wilson camp, when like a thunderclap
out of a clear sky broke the story of the disagreement between Colonel
Harvey, Marse Henry Watterson, and the Governor of New Jersey. I recall my
conversation with Governor Wilson on the day following the Harvey-
Watterson conference at a New York club. As private secretary to the
Governor, I always made it a rule to keep in close touch with every
conference then being held regarding the political situation, and in this
way I first learned about the Harvey-Watterson meeting which for a few
weeks threatened to destroy all the lines of support that had been built
up throughout the past months of diligent work and organization.

The Governor and I were seated in a trolley car on our way from the State
Capitol to the railroad station in Trenton when he informed me, in the
most casual way and without seeming to understand the possible damage he
had done his own cause, of what followed the conference the previous day.
It was like this: the conference had ended and they were leaving the room
when Colonel Harvey put his hand on Woodrow Wilson's shoulder and said:
"Governor, I want to ask you a frank question, and I want you to give me a
frank answer. In your opinion is the support of _Harper's Weekly_ helping
or hurting you?" In telling me of it Woodrow Wilson said: "I was most
embarrassed, and replied: 'Colonel, I wish you had not asked me that
question.' 'Well, what is the answer?' Colonel Harvey insisted pleasantly.
'Why, Colonel, some of my friends tell me it is not helping me in the
West.' Colonel Harvey said: I was afraid you might feel that way about it,
and we shall have to soft-pedal a bit'." Mr. Wilson was so serenely
unconscious that any offence had been taken that when informed by me a
little later that his name had disappeared from the head of the editorial
column of _Harper's Weekly_ he did not connect this with the interview.
"Was Colonel Harvey offended?" I asked. "He didn't seem to be," was the
Governor's answer.

I immediately scented the danger of the situation and the possibilities of
disaster to his political fortunes that lay in his reply, and I told him
very frankly that I was afraid he had deeply wounded Colonel Harvey and
that it might result in a serious break in their relations. The Governor
seemed grieved at this and said that he hoped such was not the case; that
even after he had expressed himself so freely, Colonel Harvey had been
most kind and agreeable to him and that they had continued to discuss in
the most friendly way the plans for the campaign and that the little
conference had ended without apparent evidence that anything untoward had
happened that might lead to a break in their relations. We then discussed
at length the seriousness of the situation, and as a result of our talk
the Governor wrote Colonel Harvey and endeavoured to make clear what he
had in mind when he answered the question put to him by the Colonel at the
club conference a few days before, not, indeed, by way of apology, but
simply by way of explanation. This letter to the Colonel and a subsequent
one went a long way toward softening the unfortunate impression that had
been created by the publication of the Harvey-Watterson correspondence.
The letters are as follows:


    University Club
    Fifth Avenue and Fifty-Fourth Street
      December 21, 1911.


    Every day I am confirmed in the judgment that my mind is a one-track
    road and can run only one train of thought at a time! A long time
    after that interview with you and Marse Henry at the Manhattan Club it
    came over me that when (at the close of the interview) you asked me
    that question about the _Weekly_ I answered it simply as a matter of
    fact and of business, and said never a word of my sincere gratitude to
    you for all your generous support, or of my hope that it might be
    continued. Forgive me, and forget my manners!

    Faithfully, yours,

To which letter Colonel Harvey sent the following reply:


    Franklin Square
    New York, January 4, 1912.


    Replying to your note from the University Club, I think it should get
    without saying that no purely personal issue could arise between you
    and me. Whatever anybody else may surmise, you surely must know that
    in trying to arouse and further your political aspirations during the
    past few years I have been actuated solely by the belief that I was
    rendering a distinct public service.

    The real point at the time of our interview was, as you aptly put it,
    one simply "of fact and of business," and when you stated the fact to
    be that my support was hurting your candidacy, and that you were
    experiencing difficulty in finding a way to counteract its harmful
    effect, the only thing possible for me to do, in simple fairness to
    you, no less than in consideration of my own self-respect, was to
    relieve you of your embarrassment so far as it lay within my power to
    do so, by ceasing to advocate your nomination. That, I think, was
    fully understood between us at the time, and, acting accordingly, I
    took down your name from the head of the _Weekly's_ editorial page
    some days before your letter was written. That seems to be all there
    is to it. Whatever little hurt I may have felt as a consequence of the
    unexpected peremptoriness of your attitude toward me is, of course,
    wholly eliminated by your gracious words.

    Very truly yours,

To Colonel Harvey's letter Governor Wilson replied as follows:


    Hotel Astor
    New York, January 11, 1912.


    Generous and cordial as was your letter written in reply to my note
    from the University Club, it has left me uneasy, because, in its
    perfect frankness, it shows that I did hurt you by what I so
    tactlessly said at the Knickerbocker Club. I am very much ashamed of
    myself, for there is nothing I am more ashamed of than hurting a true
    friend, however unintentional the hurt may have been. I wanted very
    much to see you in Washington, but was absolutely captured by callers
    every minute I was in my rooms, and when I was not there was
    fulfilling public engagements. I saw you at the dinner but could not
    get at you, and after the dinner was surrounded and prevented from
    getting at you. I am in town to day, to speak this evening, and came
    in early in the hope of catching you at your office.

    For I owe it to you and to my own thought and feeling to tell you how
    grateful I am for all your generous praise and support of me (no one
    has described me more nearly as I would like myself to be than you
    have); how I have admired you for the independence and unhesitating
    courage and individuality of your course; and how far I was from
    desiring that you should cease your support of me in the _Weekly_. You
    will think me very stupid--but I did not think of that as the result
    of my blunt answer to your question. I thought only of the means of
    convincing people of the real independence of the _Weekly's_ position.
    You will remember that that was what we discussed. And now that I have
    unintentionally put you in a false and embarrassing position you heap
    coals of fire on my head by continuing to give out interviews
    favourable to my candidacy!

    All that I can say is that you have proved yourself very big, and that
    I wish I might have an early opportunity to tell you face to face how
    I really feel about it all. With warm regard,

    Cordially and faithfully, yours,

For a while it seemed as if the old relations between the Colonel and the
New Jersey Governor would be resumed, but some unfriendly influence, bent
upon the Governor's undoing, thrust itself into the affair, and soon the
story of the Manhattan Club incident broke about the Princetonian's head
with a fury and bitterness that deeply distressed many of Mr. Wilson's
friends throughout the country. The immediate effect upon his candidacy
was almost disastrous. Charges of ingratitude to the "original Wilson man"
flew thick and fast. Mr. Wilson's enemies throughout the country took up
the charge of ingratitude and soon the stock of the New Jersey man began
to fall, until his immediate friends almost lost heart. The bad effect of
the publication of the Harvey-Watterson correspondence and the bitter
attacks upon the sincerity of the New Jersey Governor were soon
perceptible in the falling away of contributions so necessary to keep
alive the campaign then being carried on throughout the country. The
"band-wagon" crowd began to leave us and jump aboard the Clark, Underwood,
and Harmon booms.

Suddenly, as if over night, a reaction in favour of Governor Wilson began
to set in. The continued pounding and attacks of the reactionary press
soon convinced the progressives in the ranks of the Democratic party that
Wilson was being unjustly condemned, because he had courageously spoken
what many believed to be the truth. At this critical stage of affairs a
thing happened which, routed his enemies. One of the leading publicity men
of the Wilson forces in Washington, realizing the damage that was being
done his chief, inspired a story, through his Washington newspaper
friends, that Wilson was being gibbeted because he refused to accept the
support of Wall Street interests which Harvey and Watterson had offered
him, and that his refusal to accept their offer was the real cause of the
break. This new angle of the Harvey-Watterson episode worked a complete
reversal of opinion.

The clever work of this publicity man in turning the light on what he
conceived to be the real purpose of the Harvey-Watterson conference
probably did injustice to these two gentlemen, but at all events it gave
weight to the impression in the minds of many people throughout the
country that the real reason for the break was Mr. Wilson's refusal to bow
the knee to certain eastern financial interests that were understood to be
behind _Harper's Weekly_. The tide quickly turned against Colonel Harvey
and Marse Henry Watterson. Marse Henry, alone in his suite at the New
Willard Hotel at Washington, and the Colonel away off in his tower at
Deal, New Jersey, were busily engaged in explaining to the public and
attempting, in heroic fashion, to extricate themselves from the
unfortunate implications created by the story of the Wilson publicity man.
What appeared at first blush to be a thing that would destroy the
candidacy of the New Jersey Governor had been, by clever newspaper
manipulation, turned to his advantage and aid.

When the bitterness and rancour caused by this unfortunate incident had
happily passed away Colonel Watterson and I met at a delightful dinner at
Harvey's Restaurant in Washington and discussed the "old fight." The young
fellow who had inspired the story which so grievously distressed Marse
Henry and Colonel Harvey was present at this dinner. Marse Henry was in
fine spirits, and without showing the slightest trace of the old
bitterness, rehearsed the details of this now-famous incident in a witty,
sportsmanlike, and good-natured way, and at its conclusion he turned to my
newspaper friend and laughingly said: "You damn rascal, you are the
scoundrel who sent out the story that Harvey and I were trying to force
Wall Street money on Wilson. However, old man, it did the trick. If it had
not been for the clever use you made of this incident, Wilson never would
have been President."

In a beautiful letter addressed to the President by Marse Henry on
September 24, 1914, conveying his expressions of regret at the death of
the President's first wife, appears the following statement with reference
to the famous Harvey-Watterson controversy:

    I hope that hereafter you and I will better understand one another; in
    any event that the single disagreeable episode will vanish and never
    be thought of more. In Paris last winter I went over the whole matter
    with Mr. McCombs and we quite settled and blotted out our end of it. I
    very much regret the use of any rude word--too much the characteristic
    of our rough-and-tumble political combats--and can truly say that I
    have not only earnestly wished the success of your administration but
    have sought to find points of agreement, not of disagreement.

    I am writing as an old man--old enough to be your father--who has the
    claim upon your consideration that all his life he has pursued the
    ends you yourself have aimed at, if at times too zealously and
    exactingly, yet without self-seeking or rancor.

    Your friend,

The President's acknowledgment of this letter is as follows:

    September 28, 1914.


    Your kind letter has gratified me very deeply. You may be sure that
    any feeling I may have had has long since disappeared and that I feel
    only gratified that you should again and again have come to my support
    in the columns of the _Courier-Journal_. The whole thing was a great

    Sincerely yours,

While the Harvey-Watterson episode ended as above related, there is no
doubt that Woodrow Wilson deeply regretted the whole matter, and, so far
as he was concerned, there was no feeling on his part of unfriendliness or
bitterness toward Colonel Harvey. Indeed, he felt that Colonel Harvey had
unselfishly devoted himself to his cause in the early and trying days of
his candidacy, and that Harvey's support of him was untouched by selfish
interests of any kind. In every way he tried to soften the unfortunate
impression that had been made on the country by what many thought was an
abrupt, ungracious way of treating a friend. An incident in connection
with this matter is worth relating:

One day at the conclusion of the regular Tuesday cabinet meeting the
President and I lingered at the table, as was our custom, and gossiped
about the affairs of the Administration and the country. These discussions
were intimate and frank in every way.

A note in the social column of one of the leading papers of Washington
carried the story that Colonel Harvey's daughter, Miss Dorothy Harvey, was
in town and was a guest at the home of Mrs. Champ Clark. I took occasion
to mention this to the President, suggesting that it would be a gracious
thing on his part and on the part of Mrs. Wilson to invite Miss Harvey to
the Sayre-Wilson wedding which was scheduled to take place a few days
later, hoping that in this way an opening might be made for the resumption
of the old relationship between the Colonel and Mr. Wilson. The President
appeared greatly interested in the suggestion, saying that he would take
it up with Mrs. Wilson at once, assuring me that it could be arranged.
When I saw how readily he acted upon this suggestion, I felt that this was
an opening for a full, frank discussion of his relations with Colonel
Harvey. I approached the subject in this way: "For a long time I have
wanted to discuss Colonel Harvey with you. There is no doubt, Governor,
that this unfortunate episode did not sit well on the stomachs of the
American people. Whether you believe it or not, the country resented your
attitude toward your old friend, and out of this incident an impression
has grown which is becoming stronger with each day, that you pay little
regard to friendship and the obligations that grow out of it. I have been
hoping that in some way the old relationship could be resumed and that you
would feel free at some time in a public way to attest your real feeling
for Colonel Harvey, at least by way of reciprocation for the genuine way
he stood by you in the old days in New Jersey." The President looked at me
in the most serious way, apparently weighing every word I had uttered, and
said: "You are right, Tumulty; unfortunate impressions have been created.
What can I do for Colonel Harvey to attest in some public way my
appreciation of what he did for me in the old days?" I asked why, inasmuch
as McCombs had declined the French Ambassadorship, this post might not be
offered to Colonel Harvey, adding that I believed he coveted and would
appreciate such an appointment. The President said that this was an
admirable suggestion and authorized me to get in touch with Colonel Harvey
at once and make him the offer of the French post.

While my relations with Colonel Harvey were at no time strained, and, in
fact, up to this day our friendship has been uninterrupted, I thought it
would be more tactful if I should approach him through the junior senator
from New York, James O'Gorman. Immediately upon leaving the President I
went to the Army and Navy Club, where Senator O'Gorman was living, and
told him of my conversation with the President in reference to Colonel
Harvey. He was enthusiastic and immediately got in touch with Colonel
Harvey at his home at Deal, New Jersey, told him of the President's offer,
and asked for a conference. Then a thing happened which completely
destroyed these plans for a reconciliation. The following Sunday an
interview signed by Colonel Harvey, bitterly assailing the President,
appeared in the New York _Times_. The fat was in the fire. Senator
O'Gorman and I were silenced. When I approached the President on Monday
morning to discuss further the matter with him, he said: "I greatly regret
this interview of Colonel Harvey. How can I now with propriety offer him
any post? Knowing Harvey as I do, he would be reluctant to take it, for
the country might be of the opinion that he had yielded in his criticism
of me by the offer of this appointment, and I could not in honour make the
appointment now, for it might appear to the country that by this method I
was trying to purchase the silence of the Colonel. I am very sorry,
indeed, that the plan we discussed has fallen to the ground."

And thus the efforts of Mr. Wilson to bring about a reconciliation with
his old friend ended in dismal failure.



While Governor Wilson came out of this controversy with the two Colonels,
Harvey and Watterson, with flying colours, he was by no means beyond the
danger line. His enemies both within and without the party hotly contested
his leadership, and the bitterness of the opposition grew in proportion as
his candidacy gained daily advantages. Everything possible was done to
block his progress and to make more difficult his road to the Presidency.
Everything he had ever said or written, especially his "History of the
American People," was carefully examined in the hope of finding some way
to discredit him. All the guns of the opposition were turned upon him, but
nothing seemed sufficient to block his progress. All the charges,
intimations, insinuations, and slanders that were industriously circulated
by his enemies were without effect, and the trained political minds in his
own camp were apprehensive lest his candidacy had reached its climax too
long before the convention. How to maintain the present advantage was the
problem that perplexed them. They were hopefully looking forward to the
benefits that would accrue to their candidate in the round-up of
candidates at the famous Jackson Day dinner, scheduled for early January,
1912. This dinner was an annual affair and was eagerly looked forward to.
It was expected that the leading lights of the Democratic party would
attend this dinner, including Colonel W. J. Bryan, Champ Clark, Oscar
Underwood, ex-Governor Folk of Missouri, Roger Sullivan of Illinois, and
the New Jersey Governor's friends were confident that because of his
ability as a public speaker he would make a strong and favourable
impression. They were not disappointed.

We were awaiting the Jackson Day dinner with great expectations, and
congratulating ourselves that we were now safely "out of the woods," and
that things would move smoothly for our candidate, when like a bolt from,
the blue came the publication of the famous Joline "cocked-hat" letter,
which caused another panic in the ranks of the too-optimistic Wilson

This letter was written by Mr. Wilson to Mr. Adrian Joline, a Princeton
alumnus and prominent New York lawyer at the time of the split in the
Democratic party over the silver question. The letter is as follows:

    Princeton, New Jersey,
      April 29, 1907.


    Thank you very much for sending me your address at Parsons, Kan.,
    before the board of directors of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway
    Company. I have read it with relish and entire agreement. Would that
    we could do something, at once dignified and effective, to knock Mr.
    Bryan once for all into a cocked hat!

    Cordially and sincerely yours,

The publication of this letter came at a most inopportune time for the
Wilson candidacy, and how to meet it was one of the most difficult
problems that the Wilson forces had to face. Our enemies were jubilant.
They felt that at last they had broken our lines and that we would not be
able to "come back."

At this time I was at the State House at Trenton and I received a telegram
from the Governor, requesting that I come at once to Washington, where he
was conferring with the leaders of his forces in an effort to find some
way to neutralize the bad effects of the Joline cocked-hat story in
advance of the Jackson Day banquet, at which Mr. Bryan would be present.
On my arrival in Washington I went to the Willard Hotel and found the
Governor hi a conference with William F. McCombs, Tom Pence, Senator
O'Gorman, and Dudley Field Malone. We discussed the situation fully and
the character of reply the Governor should make by way of explanation of
the Joline letter. Mr. Josephus Daniels, a friend and associate of Mr.
Bryan, was sent to confer with Mr. Bryan in order that Mr. Wilson might
have a close friend at hand who could interpret the motives which lay back
of the Joline letter and impress upon Mr. Bryan the present favourable
attitude of Mr. Wilson toward him. Mr. McCombs suggested that the Governor
address an open letter to Mr. Bryan, voicing his regret over the
publication of this letter and assuring him of his present kindly feelings
toward him. I vigorously opposed Mr. McCombs' suggestion, arguing that no
explanation of the Joline letter could be made to Mr. Bryan that would
wear the appearance of sincerity, or be convincing, and that the letter
having been written there was nothing to do to extenuate it in any way and
that the wise thing was to make a virtue of necessity. I suggested that on
the following night, when the Governor was to deliver his address at the
Jackson Day dinner, he could, in the most generous and kindly way, pay a
handsome tribute to Mr. Bryan for his unselfish service to the Democratic
party throughout the dark years he had been its leader; that I felt that
he would appreciate a tribute of this kind and that he would resent any
explanation of this incident which would appear to be truckling or
apologetic in character. This plan was finally agreed upon. In the very
beginning of his speech, in the most tactful way, Governor Wilson paid a
tribute to the Great Commoner by saying, as he turned to Mr. Bryan: "When
others were faint-hearted, Colonel Bryan carried the Democratic standard.
He kept the 'fires burning' which have heartened and encouraged the
democracy of the country."

The speech at the Jackson Day dinner was a triumph for Woodrow Wilson.
While it was a tempestuous voyage for him, with many dangerous eddies to
be avoided, he emerged from the experience with his prestige enhanced and
with his candidacy throughout the country strengthened. The Bryan-Joline
crisis was safely passed. In the presence of the newspaper men at the
banquet, Mr. Bryan put his arm around Mr. Wilson's shoulders in an
affectionate way, and thus happily concluded the incident which for a time
threatened to wreck a great enterprise.

On his return from Washington to Trenton, Governor Wilson told me that Mr.
Bryan had bidden him not to worry about the publication of the Joline
letter, saying: "I, of course, knew that you were not with me in my
position on the currency," and Woodrow Wilson replied: "All I can say, Mr.
Bryan, is that you are a great, big man."



Old line politicians, like Roger Sullivan of Illinois and Tom Taggart of
Indiana, were turned to the Princetonian by his notable speech at the
Jackson Day dinner and now gave sympathetic ear to the New Jersey
Governor's claims for the nomination. An incident which happened at the
conclusion of the banquet, as the Governor was on his way to make his
train for New Jersey, illustrates the character of the victory he had won
over difficulties which at the time seemed insurmountable. The old
Illinois leader, Roger Sullivan, greeted the candidate in the most
friendly way as he left the banquet hall, saying to him as he grasped his
hand: "That was a great speech, Governor," and then, drawing closer to
him, added: "I cannot say to you now just what the Illinois delegation
will do, but you may rely upon it, I will be there when you need me," This
remark did not seem of importance at the time, but when we discussed the
incident the next day at the Capitol at Trenton we both felt that, at a
critical moment of the convention Roger Sullivan could be relied upon to
support us and to throw the vote of Illinois our way. Sullivan kept his
promise in real, generous fashion. When it seemed as if the Baltimore
Convention was at the point of deadlock, and after the Illinois delegation
had voted many times for Champ Clark, Sullivan threw the full support of
Illinois to the New Jersey Governor, and thus the tide was quickly turned
in favour of Mr. Wilson's candidacy for the Presidency.

I had often wondered what influence beyond this Jackson Day banquet speech
had induced this grizzly old political warrior to support Woodrow Wilson.
Afterward I learned the real cause of it from men who kept in close touch
with the Illinois delegation during the trying days of the Baltimore

Everyone who knew Roger Sullivan knew the great influence which both his
fine wife and devoted son wielded over him. His son, Boetius, a Harvard
graduate, had early become a Wilson devotee and supporter, and the
correspondence between father, mother, and son, contained a spirited
discussion of the availability of the New Jersey man for the Democratic
nomination. The interest of Mrs. Sullivan and her son continued throughout
the days of the Convention, which they both attended, and at the most
critical moment in the proceedings of the Convention when a point was
arrived at when the Illinois vote was decisive, the Illinois leader left a
conference where he was being strongly urged by Mr. Wilson's friends to
support the New Jersey Governor, to have a final conference with Mrs.
Sullivan and their son before he would finally agree to throw his support
to Wilson.

Everyone at Baltimore knows the result of this conference and how the
inner councils of the Sullivan family prevailed. Illinois swung to Wilson
and he was soon nominated. It was said, after the New Jersey man's
nomination and election, that he showed base ingratitude to Roger
Sullivan, the man who more than any other single individual in the
Convention had brought about his nomination. Mr. Sullivan's devoted
friends in Illinois were particularly bitter at the apparent coldness of
Mr. Wilson toward their friend and idol. The President, as a matter of
fact, was never unmindful of his obligation to Sullivan for the personally
loyal way he had stood by him at Baltimore, and in every way while he was
President he let those associated with him know that Sullivan and his
friends, wherever it was possible, should be preferred in the matter of
the distribution of patronage in Illinois.

The thing, however, which irritated Sullivan's friends and made many of
them irreconcilable foes of Woodrow Wilson was his apparent unwillingness
to say a good word for Sullivan when he announced his candidacy for the
United States senatorship of Illinois. This presented an opportunity for
President Wilson to pay the old debt and "even up" things with Roger.
Realizing the delicacy of the situation and how deeply the progressive
element in the Democratic party throughout the country might misunderstand
and even resent his putting his "okeh" on the candidacy of the Illinois
leader for the senatorship, nevertheless, upon considering the matter, he
decided to do so and prepared a generous and wholehearted letter of
endorsement of Sullivan. He felt that as a good sportsman he was bound in
honour to do this for the man whose influence and support, thrown to him
at the right moment of the Convention, had brought about his nomination
for the Presidency. But there were other and deeper reasons urging him on
to endorse his old friend. He knew how eagerly and earnestly Sullivan had
fought for him at Baltimore and how in doing so he had won the enmity of
the eastern wing of the Democratic party. The old bosses in the party,
like Smith and Murphy, had often twitted Sullivan on his support of Wilson
and threatened reprisals. Sullivan, however, stood like adamant against
these influences and showed an allegiance to the New Jerseyman which
earned the admiration and affection of every Wilsonite in the country. The
President felt confident that should Roger Sullivan be elected to the
Senate, he could count upon him to stand by and loyally support him and
the Administration. At this very time the President was beginning to
realize in the keenest way the necessity for real, loyal backing in the
Senate. Many of the men whom he had personally supported for the Senate in
the various senatorial fights throughout the country, especially those who
were known as progressive senators, like Hardwick and Smith of Georgia,
O'Gorman of New York, and Martine of New Jersey, had grown indifferent and
were reluctant to follow his leadership in anything. The so-called Old
Guard in the Senate, made up of men like Mark Smith of Arizona, Senators
Martin and Swanson of Virginia, Ollie James of Kentucky, John Sharp
Williams of Mississippi, Joe Robinson of Arkansas, Billy Hughes of New
Jersey, Senator Culberson of Texas, Senator Simmons of North Carolina, and
Senator Smith of Maryland, contrary to every prophecy and prediction made
by their enemies, stood with the President through every fight in the
finest and handsomest way, never deserting his leadership for a moment.
Often he would say to me when we were discussing the senatorial situation:
"My head is with the progressives in the Democratic party, but my heart,
because of the way they stood by me, is with the so-called Old Guard in
the Senate. They stand without hitching." He knew that, while Roger
Sullivan was a conservative, he could be relied upon in every emergency to
back him up even to the point of sacrifice. What President Wilson wanted
more than anything else, as he often said, was a team that would work with
him. Sullivan was just this type of man, and beyond everything else his
loyalty had been tested and could be relied upon in every emergency.

In the light of these circumstances, the President decided finally to
throw his hat in the ring in favour of the boss of Illinois for the United
States senatorship. The letter advocating Sullivan's election was dictated
and signed by the President, and is as follows:

      October 12, 1914.


    I have read with the greatest interest the account you were kind
    enough to send  me of the Illinois Democratic State Convention. It is
    full of fine promise for  the party; for it shows all the elements of
    the party heartily drawing together  for a successful campaign; and
    with this union success is sure to come.

    You call my attention to the fact that some Democrats are urging
    voters to cast  their ballots for the Progressive candidate for the
    Senate of the United States  rather than for the nominee of the
    Democratic primaries. You ask me if I approve  of this. I do not. I
    have held myself very strictly to the principle that as a  party man I
    am bound by the free choice of the people at the polls. I have  always
    stood by the result of the primaries; I shall always do so; and I
    think  it the duty of every Democrat to do so who cares for the
    success and sincerity  of his party. Mr. Sullivan has been selected in
    a fair primary, and therefore he  is entitled to the support of his

    Sincerely yours,

    House of Representatives.

This letter and the contents of it will be a matter of news to Sullivan's
friends throughout the country. Many, doubtless, will inquire why it was
not published at the time. The reason it failed to reach the stage of
publication can in no way be attributed to Woodrow Wilson. He never
recalled it and the original is in my files. This may be surprising news
to the friends of the dead leader, Roger Sullivan, but it is only fair to
Mr. Wilson to say that he never hesitated in rushing to the defence of his
old friend in the most generous way. He wrote this letter with the full
realization of just how much it might personally injure him with the
progressive thought of the country. The letter, after being written and
signed by the President, was held in reserve by me until Sullivan's
friends in Chicago, those in close touch with his affairs there, felt free
to advise its publication. I was directed by them to release it, but the
order for its release was countermanded by one of the advisers close to
Sullivan, who telephoned me that it was thought inadvisable to have the
President come into the campaign in Sullivan's behalf, the reason being
that the publication of Wilson's letter might arouse the passionate
antagonism of Theodore Roosevelt, who was about to begin a tour of
Illinois in behalf of Sullivan's opponent. I was advised later that the
individual with whom I dealt in this matter and upon whose direction the
letter was withheld from publication had no authority to act for Sullivan
in the matter and that Sullivan and his friends were deeply disappointed
at Mr. Wilson's apparent unwillingness to take up the cudgel for his old
friend. Many times I tried to make clear to Sullivan's friends just what
the attitude of the President was, but whether I succeeded I do not know.
The President, secluded in the White House, away from the madding crowd,
never realized the basis of Sullivan's disappointment, for he felt that he
had "gone through" for his friend and had not forgotten for a moment
Sullivan's advocacy of him at Baltimore, When the news of Sullivan's death
was brought to him at a time when he, also, was seriously ill, his lips
quivered, great tears stood in his eyes, and turning to Mrs. Wilson, who
stood beside his bed, he said: "Roger Sullivan was a wonderful and devoted
friend at Baltimore," and then, turning to me, he said: "Tumulty, I
sincerely hope that you will personally go to Chicago and attend the
funeral and tell Mrs. Sullivan how deeply I grieve over the death of my
old friend."



The contests for the delegates to the National Convention were on in full
swing throughout the various states. In the early contests, particularly
in the far western states, like Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, and
Montana, the Wilson candidacy, according to primary returns, began to take
on the appearance of a real, robust boom. As the critical days of the
Convention approached, evidences of a recession of the favourable tide to
Wilson began to manifest themselves, particularly in the states of
Massachusetts and Illinois, both of which swung to Clark, with New York in
the offing quietly favouring Champ Clark. It was clear to the campaign
managers of Wilson that from a psychological standpoint the pivotal states
were New Jersey and Ohio; New Jersey, because ex-Senator Smith had again
challenged the leadership of Wilson and had notified his friends
throughout the country that New Jersey could be relied upon to repudiate
its governor in an overwhelming fashion. Smith had made deals and
combinations with all the disgruntled elements of the state, and with
powerful financial backing from the so-called interests in New Jersey and
New York and the mighty support of the Hearst newspapers, he was pressing
the New Jersey man closely, until at times it seemed as if he might
succeed in at least splitting the delegation. The friends of the New
Jersey man, therefore, realizing the effect upon the democracy of the
country of an adverse verdict in his home state, concentrated all possible
forces at this critical point. In the meantime, and before the actual
determination of the issue in New Jersey, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania swung
into the Wilson column, and the Ohio primaries resulted in a split
delegation between Wilson and Harmon, in Harmon's home state. All eyes
were, therefore, intently watching New Jersey. A repudiation would be
disastrous, although the old-timers in the Wilson camp tried to encourage
us by saying that even though New Jersey might turn against its governor,
Grover Cleveland, under similar circumstances in 1892, despite the
opposition of his home state, had been nominated and elected President.
But, fortunately for us, New Jersey in the handsomest way stood by her
favourite son. The news of New Jersey's endorsement was flashed through
the country, and there was jubilation in every Wilson camp. The day
following the New Jersey primaries the New York _World_, the great
Democratic paper, carried a striking editorial under the caption of
"WOODROW WILSON FOR PRESIDENT." The New Jersey primaries and the Ohio
results were great feathers in the caps of the Wilson men, and with
enthusiasm and ardour they followed up this advantage.

As the days for the opening of the Baltimore Convention approached the New
Jersey Governor and his family left Princeton for Sea Girt, a delightful
place along the Atlantic seaboard, where the state of New Jersey had
provided for its governor an executive mansion, a charming cottage, a
replica of General Washington's headquarters at Morristown. With us to
these headquarters, to keep vigil as it were over the New Jersey Governor,
went a galaxy of newspaper men, representing the leading papers of the

The first, and indeed the most important, situation the candidate was
called upon to handle at Sea Girt as a preliminary to the Convention was
his reply to the now famous Bryan-Parker telegrams, which played so
important a part in the deliberations and indeed in the character of the
whole Convention--It will be recalled that Mr. Bryan, who was in
attendance at the Republican Convention at Chicago as a special
correspondent, had telegraphed an identic telegram to each of the
Democratic candidates, Messrs. Clark, Underwood, Wilson, and Harmon, as

    Chicago, June, 1912.

    In the interest of harmony, I suggest to the sub-committee of the
    Democratic National Committee the advisability of recommending as
    temporary chairman some progressive acceptable to the leading
    progressive candidates for the Presidential nomination. I take it for
    granted that no committeeman interested in Democratic success would
    desire to offend the members of a convention overwhelmingly
    progressive by naming a reactionary to sound the keynote of the

    Eight members of the sub-committee, however, have, over the protest of
    the remaining eight, agreed upon not only a Reactionary but upon the
    one Democrat who, among those not candidates for the Presidential
    nomination, is, in the eyes of the public, most conspicuously
    identified with the reactionary element of the party.

    I shall be pleased to join you and your friends in opposing his
    selection by the full committee or by the Convention. Kindly answer

    W. J. BRYAN.

I was on my way from New York to Sea Girt when I read a copy of this
telegram in the evening papers. I believe that I grasped the full
significance of this move on the part of Mr. Bryan. In fact, I became so
anxious about it that I left the train before reaching my destination, in
order to say to Governor Wilson over the 'phone how important I thought
the message really was and how cautiously it should be handled. I tried to
impress upon him the importance of the answer he was called upon to make
to Mr. Bryan. He calmly informed me that he had not yet received the
telegram and that he would, of course, give me an opportunity to discuss
the matter with him before making his reply.

It was clear that Mr. Bryan, whose influence in the councils of the
Democratic party at that time was very great, was seeking by this method
to ascertain from leading Presidential candidates like Wilson, Underwood,
Clark, and Harmon, just how they felt about the efforts of the New York
delegation, led by the Tammany boss, Charlie Murphy, and the conservative
element of the Democratic party in the East, to control the Convention and
to give it the most conservative and standpat appearance by controlling
the preliminary organization and nominating Alton B. Parker as temporary
chairman. For many weeks previous to the Convention it had been rumoured
that that was the programme and that the real purpose which lay behind it
was to unhorse Bryan and to end for all time his control and that of the
radicals of the West over the affairs of the Democratic party. It was a
recrudescence of the old fight of 1896, between the conservative East and
the radical West--Bryan assuming, of course, the leadership of the
radicals of the West, and Charlie Murphy and his group acting as the
spokesmen of the conservative East.

It was clear to me that Bryan anticipated just what replies Underwood,
Clark, and Harmon would make to his inquiry. Whether he was certain of
what the New Jersey Governor would say in answer to his telegram, I never
could ascertain. Indeed, many of the New Jersey Governor's supporters were
ungenerous enough to say that behind the inquiry lay a selfish purpose;
that Mr. Bryan took this method to reestablish his leadership and to place
himself at the forefront of the liberal, progressive forces of the

It is clear, as one looks back upon this incident, that a misstep in the
handling of this inquiry from Mr. Bryan might have been fatal to the New
Jersey man's candidacy.

When I arrived at Sea Girt to discuss the matter with Governor Wilson, I
was surprised to find that he had not even read the telegram, although a
copy of it lay upon his desk, and when he did read it and we were
discussing it he did not share my view of its great importance. In
attempting to emphasize its importance I experienced one of the most
difficult jobs I ever had in the eleven years I was associated with
Woodrow Wilson. In vain I tried to impress upon him what I believed to be
the purpose which lay behind the whole business; that his reply would
determine the question as to whether he was going to line up with the
progressive element which was strong in the West, or whether he would take
sides with those of the conservative East, many of whom were bitterly
opposed to him. He finally informed me that he was in touch with Mr.
McCombs, his campaign manager at Baltimore, and that he would not reply to
Mr. Bryan's telegram until he received some word from the former as to
what his opinion was in regard to handling this difficult matter. I left
him, after impressing upon him the necessity of early action, lest our
progressive friends both at Baltimore and throughout the country who were
awaiting word from us should be disappointed by his apparent unwillingness
to take his position with the progressives.

The newspaper correspondents at Sea Girt, realizing the importance of the
candidate's decision, industriously kept upon our trail to find out what
reply would be made to Mr. Bryan. The direct wire between Baltimore and
Sea Girt was kept busy with inquiries from our friends as to what attitude
we were taking in the matter. While my relations with McCombs at the time
were of the friendliest sort, I feared that the Eastern environment in
which he lived, and his attempt to bring Tammany into camp for the New
Jersey Governor, would necessarily play a large part in influencing his
judgment, and I was apprehensive lest Governor Wilson should be too much
inclined to accept Mr. McCombs' final judgment in the matter.

On June 21, 1912, the following telegram came from Mr. McCombs, as the
basis of a proposed reply to Mr. Bryan by the New Jersey Governor:

    Baltimore, June 21, 1912.

    Lincoln, Nebraska.

    I quite agree with you that the temporary chairman of the Convention
    should voice the sentiments of the democracy of the nation which I am
    convinced is distinctly progressive. However, before receiving your
    telegram I had given the following statement for publication in the
    Baltimore _Evening Sun_: My friends in Baltimore are on the people's
    side in everything that affects the organization of the Convention.
    They are certain not to forget their standards as they have already
    shown. It is not necessary that I should remind them of these
    standards from New Jersey and I have neither the right nor the desire
    to direct the organization of a convention of which I am not even a

    (signed) MCCOMBS

I was greatly disappointed, of course, at the character of reply suggested
by McCombs and argued with the Governor at length on what I considered
would be the disastrous effects of making a reply such as the one
contained in the above telegram. Clearly, Mr. McCombs' suggested reply was
a rebuke to Mr. Bryan and a bid for the Eastern vote in the convention. Of
course, Governor Wilson was most reluctant to disregard the advice of
McCombs. He felt that he (McCombs) was "on the job" at Baltimore and more
intimately in touch with the situation than he himself could be at Sea
Girt. After a long discussion of the matter, the proposed reply prepared
by McCombs was ignored and the following telegram was prepared and sent by
Woodrow Wilson:

    W. J. BRYAN, Chicago:

   You are quite right. Before hearing of your message I clearly stated my
    position in answer to a question from the Baltimore Evening Sun. The
    Baltimore Convention is to be a convention of Progressives, of men who
    are progressive in principle and by conviction. It must, if it is not
    to be put in a wrong light before the country, express its convictions
    in its organization and in its choice of the men who are to speak for
    it. You are to be a member of the Convention and are entirely within
    your rights in doing everything within your power to bring that result
    about. No one will doubt where my sympathies lie and you will, I am
    sure, find my friends in the Convention acting upon clear conviction
    and always in the interest of the people's cause. I am happy in the
    confidence that they need no suggestion from me.

    (Signed) WOODROW WILSON.

This reply, more than any other single thing, changed the whole attitude
and temper of the Convention toward Woodrow Wilson. The progressive forces
in it were seeking leadership and Mr. Bryan, by his inquiry, had provided
an opportunity, of which. Mr. Wilson took full advantage.

An interesting incident occurred in connection with this affair. Being
unable to induce the Governor quickly to reply to Mr. Bryan, and realizing
that our friends at Baltimore would expect him to agree with Mr. Bryan,
and thus take his place with the progressive element in the Convention, I
was firmly convinced that he would at the end be found in agreement with
Mr. Bryan. I, therefore, took the liberty of saying to the newspaper men
in our group--those who were favourably disposed to us--that when Mr.
Wilson did reply to Mr. Bryan he would be found in harmony with the
Commoner's ideas. This unofficial tip was immediately conveyed to
Baltimore and our friends, after returning from the Convention, told me
how this piece of inspired information had put heart in our men, and that
on a bulletin board before the Baltimore _Sun_ offices there was posted
the announcement "WILSON AGREES WITH BRYAN" and before it hundreds of
Wilson men gathered, cheering the message of the New Jersey Governor.

The reply of the New Jersey Governor was prepared by him while he was
seated on the side of a little bed in one of the rooms of the Sea Girt
cottage. He looked at me intently, holding a pad and pencil in his hands,
and then wrote these significant words to Mr. Bryan: "_You are right_."

I have often wondered what effect on the Convention McCombs' proposed
reply, which contained a rebuke to Mr. Bryan, would have had. From that
time on Mr. Bryan was the devoted friend of the New Jersey Governor. Mr.
Wilson's reply had convinced the Nebraskan that the Governor was not
afraid to accept the issue and that he was in favour of supporting a
preliminary organization that was to be progressive both in principle and
by conviction.

McCombs was obsessed with the idea that the New York delegation must be
won; that everything else was negligible compared with that. Therefore he
wished Mr. Wilson in his reply to say something that would be considered
by the New York delegation as a public rebuke to Mr. Bryan. I afterward
learned that McCombs, nervous, incapable of standing the strain and
excitement of the Convention, had retired to a friend's house at Baltimore
where, after the Woodrow Wilson telegram to William Jennings Bryan, he was
found in a room, lying across a bed, crying miserably. To the inquiries of
his friends as to what was the matter with him McCombs replied, weeping,
that the Governor had spoiled everything by his telegram to Bryan; that
had the Governor followed his [McCombs'] advice, he could have been

The direct wire between the Sea Girt cottage and the Wilson headquarters
at Baltimore was kept busy from early morning until late at night. The
telephone exchange in the cottage was so arranged that a branch telephone
was kept in the little room under the stairway, which constituted a sort
of listening post, which permitted me, in accordance with the suggestion
of the Governor himself, to listen in on conversations, not by way of
eavesdropping, but in order that we might intelligently confer after each
conversation on the various matters that might have to be decided upon
with reference to the organization of the convention. Many of the
momentous questions having to do with the conduct of the Convention were
discussed and settled over this 'phone. The most frequent users of the
'phone during these days were Colonel Bryan and Mr. McCombs, our campaign
manager. During the opening days of the Convention I made it my business
to keep in close touch with Baltimore both by conversations over the
'phone with the active managers of the Wilson boom and by carefully
reading each morning the news items appearing in the New York _Times_, New
York _World_, and the Baltimore _Sun_, this last-named paper being one of
the leading advocates of the Wilson candidacy in the country.

I was personally, and in some cases intimately, acquainted with the
special writers on these great journals and knew from previous contact
with them that they were on the "inside" of the situation at Baltimore,
and in this way much information was gleaned which proved helpful in
keeping us in touch with the many happenings at the Convention.

Having successfully passed through the Bryan-Parker crisis, we decided
upon a kind of strategy that would win to our side the various progressive
elements in the Convention. In line with this idea, we suggested to our
managers at Baltimore the advisability of putting forward the name of
Ollie M. James of Kentucky for permanent chairman of the Convention. While
he was a staunch Clark man and a devoted follower of Mr. Bryan, we knew he
could be relied upon to give us a fair deal as the presiding officer of
the Convention. There was another reason, too. Away off in Sea Girt we
gathered the impression that the sober second thought of the Convention
favoured his selection and that even though we might fail in our attempt
to nominate him for this office, our efforts at least in this regard would
give the impression to those who looked with favour upon Wilson as their
second choice. Another reason was this: We were not afraid to trust our
cause to a Clark man, and Ollie James for many years had been the idol of
convention crowds. When, upon the conclusion of the Bryan-Parker episode,
Mr. Bryan telephoned Sea Girt to discuss with the Governor the matter of
the chairmanship, he was greatly surprised and pleased to have the
Governor say, in the most hearty way that, upon canvassing the whole
situation, he felt it would be an admirable and just thing to select Ollie
James of Kentucky. Mr. Bryan said: "But, Governor Wilson, Mr. James is in
the Convention as a Clark man." "It does not matter," was the Governor's
reply. "He is our kind of a fellow, and I am sure my friends can rely upon
him to treat our cause well." From Mr. Bryan's subsequent conversations
over the telephone it clearly appeared that he was delighted at the
suggestion of his own intimate friend, and it was plain that he was being
convinced from moves of this kind by the New Jersey Governor that Woodrow
Wilson was willing to stand or fall with him in attempting to organize the
Convention along progressive lines.

Years after the Convention the senator from Kentucky, who became my
closest and dearest friend, and who distinguished himself as a member of
the Senate, and who was one of the staunchest defenders of the President
and the Administration, told me of the wisdom which he thought lay behind
the suggestion of himself for the chairmanship; that we, at Sea Girt,
rightly sensed the situation and that the suggestion of his name had done
more than anything else to convince the men in the Convention of the
genuine character of the New Jersey Governor's progressiveness. We felt
that strategic moves of this kind appealed to the progressive thought in
the Convention and went far to remove the strange impression many of the
delegates had that Wilson was a rank conservative. It was plainly
perceptible that these acts were quickly turning the progressives in the
Convention toward our candidate.

In following these suggestions, we were, in fact, acting independently of
the New Jersey Governor's advisers at Baltimore. It was plain to be seen
that the battle at Baltimore would finally simmer down to a contest
between the reactionaries and the progressives, and we decided at Sea Girt
that in every move that was to be made our purpose should be to win the
progressive support in the Convention. McCombs was at no time found in
harmony with this action, his principal activities at Baltimore being
given over to an attempt to win for the New Jersey Governor the support of
the conservatives of the East, and, particularly, New York, whose seventy-
six votes he thought the great prize of the Convention.



At Sea Girt we kept in close touch with our friends at Baltimore, so that
after each ballot the New Jersey candidate was apprised of the result.
During the trying days and nights of the Convention the only eager and
anxious ones in the family group, besides myself, were Mrs. Wilson and the
Wilson girls. The candidate himself indeed seemed to take only perfunctory
interest in what was happening at Baltimore. He never allowed a single
ballot or the changes those ballots reflected to ruffle or disturb him.
Never before was the equable disposition of the man better manifested than
during these trying days. Only once did he show evidences of irritation.
It was upon the receipt of word from Baltimore, carried through the daily
press, that his manager Mr. McCombs was indulging in patronage deals to
secure blocks of delegates. Upon considering this news he immediately
issued a public statement saying that no one was authorized to make any
offer of a Cabinet post for him and that those who had done so were acting
without authority from him. This caused a flurry in the ranks of our
friends in Baltimore and the statement was the subject of heated
discussion between the Governor and Mr. McCombs over the telephone. Of
course, I did not hear what was said at the other end of the wire, but I
remember that the Governor said: "I am sorry, McCombs, but my statement
must stand as I have issued it. There must be no conditions whatever
attached to the nomination." And there the conversation ended. While this
colloquy took place I was seated just outside of the telephone booth. When
the Governor came out he told me of the talk he had had with McCombs, and
that their principal discussion was the attempt by McCombs and his friends
at Baltimore to exact from him a promise that in case of his nomination
William Jennings Bryan should not be named for the post of Secretary of
State; that a great deal in the way of delegates' votes from the Eastern
states depended upon his giving this promise. The Governor then said to
me: "I will not bargain for this office. It would be foolish for me at
this time to decide upon a Cabinet officer, and it would be outrageous to
eliminate anybody from consideration now, particularly Mr. Bryan, who has
rendered such fine service to the party in all seasons."

The candidacy of the New Jersey Governor gained with each ballot--only
slightly, however--but he was the only candidate who showed an increased
vote at each stage of the Convention proceedings. The critical period was
reached on Thursday night. In the early afternoon we had received
intimations from Baltimore that on that night the New York delegation
would throw its support to Champ Clark, and our friends at Baltimore were
afraid that if this purpose was carried out it would result in a stampede
to Clark. We discussed the possibilities of the situation that night after
dinner, but up to ten o'clock, when the Governor retired for the night,
New York was still voting for Harmon. I left the Sea Girt cottage and went
out to the newspaper men's tent to await word from Baltimore. The
telegrapher in charge of the Associated Press wire was a devoted friend
and admirer of the New Jersey candidate. There was no one in the tent but
the telegrapher and myself. Everything was quiet. Suddenly the telegraph
instrument began to register. The operator looked up from the instrument,
and I could tell from his expression that something big was coming. He
took his pad and quickly began to record the message. In a tone of voice
that indicated its seriousness, he read to me the following message: "New
York casts its seventy-six votes for Champ Clark. Great demonstration on."
And then the instrument stopped recording. It looked as if the "jig was
up." Frankly, I almost collapsed at the news. I had been up for many
nights and had had only a few hours' sleep. I left the tent, almost in
despair, about eleven o'clock, and returned to the Sea Girt cottage,
preparatory to going to my home at Avon, New Jersey. As I was leaving the
cottage the Governor appeared at one of the upper windows, clad in his
pajamas, and looking at me in the most serious way, said: "Tumulty, is
there any news from Baltimore?" I replied: "Nothing new, Governor." When
we were breakfasting together the next morning, he laughingly said to me:
"You thought you could fool me last night when I asked if there was any
word from Baltimore; but I could tell from the serious expression on your
face that something had gone wrong." This was about the first evidence of
real interest he had shown in the Baltimore proceedings.

As will be recalled, the thing that prevented Champ Clark from gathering
the full benefit which would have come to him from the casting of the New
York vote in his favour was a question by "Alfalfa Bill" Murray, a
delegate from Oklahoma. He said: "Is this convention going to surrender
its leadership to the Tammany Tiger?" This stemmed the tide toward Mr.
Clark, and changed the whole face of the Convention.

It was evident that on Friday night the deadlock stage of the Convention
had been finally reached. The Wilson vote had risen to 354, and there
remained without perceptible change. It began to look as if the candidacy
of the New Jersey Governor had reached its full strength. The frantic
efforts of the Wilson men to win additional votes were unavailing. Indeed,
Wilson's case appeared to be hopeless. On Saturday morning, McCombs
telephoned Sea Girt and asked for the Governor. The Governor took up the
'phone and for a long time listened intently to what was being said at the
other end. I afterward learned that McCombs had conveyed word to the
Governor that his case was hopeless and that it was useless to continue
the fight, and asked for instructions. Whereupon, the following
conversation took place in my presence: "So, McCombs, you feel it is
hopeless to make further endeavours?" When McCombs asked the Governor if
he would instruct his friends to support Mr. Underwood, Mr. Wilson said:
"No, that would not be fair. I ought not to try to influence my friends in
behalf of another candidate. They have been mighty loyal and kind to me.
Please say to them how greatly I appreciate their generous support and
that they are now free to support any candidate they choose."

In the room at the time of this conversation between McCombs and the New
Jersey Governor sat Mrs. Wilson and myself. When the Governor said to
McCombs, "So you think it is hopeless?" great tears stood in the eyes of
Mrs. Wilson, and as the Governor put down the telephone, she walked over
to him and in the most tender way put her arms around his neck, saying:

"My dear Woodrow, I am sorry, indeed, that you have failed." Looking at
her, with a smile that carried no evidence of the disappointment or
chagrin he felt at the news he had just received, he said: "My dear, of
course I am disappointed, but we must not complain. We must be sportsmen.
After all, it is God's will, and I feel that a great load has been lifted
from my shoulders." With a smile he remarked that this failure would make
it possible for them, when his term as Governor of New Jersey was
completed, to go for a vacation to the English Lake country--a region
loved by them both, where they had previously spent happy summers. Turning
to me, he asked for a pencil and pad and informed me that he would prepare
a message of congratulation to Champ Clark, saying as he left the room:
"Champ Clark will be nominated and I will give you the message in a few

I afterward learned that McCombs was about to release the delegates when
Roger Sullivan, who had been informed of McCombs' message to the New
Jersey Governor, rushed over to McCombs and said to him, "Damn you, don't
you do that. Sit steady in the boat."

This is the true story of the occurrence so strangely distorted by Mr.
McCombs in the book he left for publication after his death, wherein he
would make it appear that Governor Wilson had got in a panic and tried to
withdraw from the race; whereas the panic was all in the troubled breast
of Mr. McCombs, a physically frail, morally timid person, constitutionally
unfit for the task of conducting such a fight as was being waged in
Baltimore. More sturdy friends of Governor Wilson at the Convention were
busy trying to brace up the halting manager and persuade him to continue
the fight, even against the desperate odds that faced them. But for these
stronger natures, among whom were old Roger Sullivan of Illinois and W. G.
McAdoo, the battle would have been lost.

The message of congratulation to Champ Clark was prepared and ready to be
put on the wire for transmission to him when the Baltimore Convention
assembled again on Saturday, June 29, 1912. I had argued with the Governor
that despite what McCombs had said to him over the 'phone on the previous
day I felt that there was still a great deal of latent strength in the
Wilson forces in the Convention which was ready to jump into action as
soon as it appeared that Champ Clark's case was hopeless. The first ballot
on Saturday gave weight to my view, for upon that ballot Wilson gained
fifteen or twenty votes, which injected new hope into our forces in the
Convention. From that time on Wilson steadily moved forward, and then came
Bryan's resolutions, opposing any candidate who received the support of
the "privilege-hunting" class, and attempting the expulsion of a certain
Eastern group from the Convention. Pandemonium reigned in the Convention
Hall, but the vote upon the resolutions themselves showed the temper of
the delegates. This made the Clark nomination hopeless. Bryan's role as an
exponent of outraged public opinion and as a master of great conventions
was superbly played. When he finally threw his tremendous influence to
Wilson, the struggle was over. Indiana jumped to Wilson, then Illinois,
and the fight was won. Wilson received the necessary two-third vote and
was proclaimed the candidate.

The progressive element of the Democratic party had triumphed after a
long, stubborn fight by what at first was a minority in the Convention for
enlightened progressivism, with Woodrow Wilson as the standard bearer. To
those like myself far away from the Convention there was the sense of a
great issue at stake at Baltimore. One old gentleman who visited Sea Girt
after the Convention compared the stand of the Liberals in the Convention
to the handful at Thermopylae; others compared their heroic determination
to the struggle of Garibaldi and his troops. To the outside world it was
plain that a great battle for the right was being waged at Baltimore,
under the inspiration of a new leadership. At times it appeared that the
raw Wilson recruits would have to surrender, that they could not withstand
the smashing blows delivered by the trained army which the Conservatives
had mobilized. But they stood firm, for there was in the ranks of the
Liberal group in the Baltimore Convention an unconquerable spirit, akin to
that of the Crusaders, and a leadership of ardent men who were convinced
that they were fighting, not merely for a man but for a principle which
this man symbolized. Among these were men like W. G. McAdoo of New York,
A. Mitchell Palmer, Joseph Guffey, and Vance McCormick of Pennsylvania,
Senator "Billy" Hughes of New Jersey, and Angus McLean of North Carolina.

Although the Wilson forces were largely made up of "new" men, some of whom
had never before been actively interested in politics, comparatively young
men like McAdoo, Palmer, McCormick, McLean, Guffey, and old men like Judge
Westcott of New Jersey, yet they were drawn to the light that had dawned
in New Jersey and were eager and anxious to have that light of inspired
leadership given to the nation. Judge Westcott fired the Convention with
his eloquence and brought showers of applause when he quoted at length
from a speech Mr. Wilson had made when president of Princeton, and for
which he had been hissed, lampooned, and derided by the Princeton
opposition. Judge Westcott said:

    Men are known by what they say and do. Men are known by those who hate
    them and those who oppose them. Many years ago the great executive of
    New Jersey said: "No man is great who thinks himself so, and no man is
    good who does not strive to secure the happiness and comfort of
    others." This is the secret of his life. This is, in the last
    analysis, the explanation of his power. Later, in his memorable effort
    to retain high scholarship and simple democracy in Princeton
    University, he declared: "The great voice of America does not come
    from seats of learning. It comes in a murmur from the hills and woods,
    and the farms and factories and the mills, rolling on and gaining
    volume until it comes to us from the homes of common men. Do these
    murmurs echo in the corridors of our universities? I have not heard
    them." A clarion call to the spirit that now moves America. Still
    later he shouted: "I will not cry peace so long as social injustice
    and political wrong exist in the state of New Jersey." Here is the
    very soul of the silent revolution now solidifying sentiment and
    purpose in our common country.

Men in the Convention, overwhelmed with the emotion of the great hour and
the vindication of the bold liberal, Woodrow Wilson, bowed their heads and
sobbed aloud. The "amateurs" of that convention had met the onslaughts of
the Old Guard and had won, and thus was brought about, through their
efforts, their courage, and their devotion, the dawn of a new day in the
politics of the nation.



Shortly after the Democratic National Convention I gave a dinner at the
newspaper men's cottage at Sea Girt, to which I invited the Democratic
candidate and the newspaper men, in order that they might be given a
chance to meet him in the most intimate way and obtain from him what he
was pleased to call the "inside" of his mind. Upon the conclusion of the
dinner, the Democratic candidate opened his heart in a little talk of the
most intimate and interesting character. It contained not only his views
of the Presidency, but also a frank discussion of the great problems that
would confront the next administration. In referring to Mr. Roosevelt, he
said that he had done a great service in rousing the country from its
lethargy, and in that work he had rendered admirable and lasting service,
but beyond that he had failed, for he had not, during his administrations,
attacked two of the major problems: the tariff and the currency, which he,
Wilson, considered to be the heart and centre of the whole movement for
lasting and permanent reform in America. Discussing Mr. Roosevelt, he

    He promised too often the millennium. No public man has a right to go
    so far afield. You have no right to promise Heaven unless you can
    bring us to it, for, in making promises, you create too much
    expectation and your failure brings with it only disappointment and
    sometimes despair. As a candidate for the Presidency I do not want to
    promise Heaven unless I can bring you to it. I can only see a little
    distance up the road. I cannot tell you what is around the corner. The
    successful leader ought not to keep too far in advance of the mass he
    is seeking to lead, for he will soon lose contact with them. No
    unusual expectation ought to be created by him. When messages are
    brought to me by my friends of what is expected of the next President,
    I am sometimes terrified at the task that would await me in case I
    should be elected. For instance, my daughter, who is engaged in
    social-welfare work in Philadelphia, told me of a visit she paid a
    humble home in that city where the head of a large family told her
    that her husband was going to vote for me because it would mean
    cheaper bread. My God, gentlemen, just think of the responsibility an
    expectation of that kind creates! I can't reduce the price of bread. I
    can only strive in the few years I shall have in office to remove the
    noxious growths that have been planted in our soil and try to clear
    the way for the new adjustment which is necessary. That adjustment
    cannot be brought about suddenly. We cannot arbitrarily turn right
    about face and pull one policy up by the roots and cast it aside,
    while we plant another in virgin soil. A great industrial system has
    been built up in this country under the fosterage of the Government,
    behind a wall of unproductive taxes. Changes must be brought about,
    first here, then there, and then there again. We must move from step
    to step with as much prudence as resolution. In other words, we are
    called upon to perform a delicate operation, and in performing a
    delicate operation it is necessary for the surgeon who uses the knife
    to know where the foundation of vitality is, so that in cutting out
    the excrescence he shall not interfere with the vital tissues.

    And while we do so we must create by absolute fairness and open-
    mindedness the atmosphere of mutual concession. There are no old
    scores to be paid off; there are no resentments to be satisfied; there
    is no revolution to be attempted. Men of every interest must be drawn
    into conference as to what it behooves us to do, and what it is
    possible for us to do. No one should be excluded from the conference
    except those who will not come in upon terms of equality and the
    common interest. We deal with great and delicate matters.

    We should deal with them with pure and elevated purpose, without fear,
    without excitement, without undue haste, like men dealing with the
    sacred fortunes of a great country, and not like those who play for
    political advantage, or seek to reverse any policy in their own



The election being over, the President-elect proceeded with the selection
of his Cabinet and with that end in view immediately began those
conferences with his friends throughout the country in an effort to gather
information upon which to base a final selection. All sorts of suggestions
began to flow into the Executive offices at Trenton. Tentative slates were
prepared for consideration, and the records and antecedents of the men
whose names appeared on them, were subjected to a searching scrutiny.
Every now and then during this period the President-elect would discuss
with me the various candidates and ask me to investigate this or that
phase of the character of certain men under consideration.

One day as we were leaving the Executive offices at Trenton, the Governor
said: "Tumulty, you have read Gideon Wells's 'Diary of the Civil War',
have you not?" I told him that some months before he had generously
presented me with those three interesting volumes that contained a most
accurate and comprehensive inside view of Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet. "Who," he
said, "in Wells's discussion of the Lincoln Cabinet reminds you of William
F. McCombs?" I replied that, in some respects, William A. Seward, Mr.
Lincoln's Secretary of State. Not, of course, in the bigness of Seward's
mind, for I was not attempting to make any comparison between the
intellects of the two men, but in the effort of Seward to dominate Lincoln
and thus creating jealousies in other members of the Cabinet that were the
cause of continual embarrassment to Mr. Lincoln. Mr. Wilson turned to me
and said: "You are absolutely right, and that is one reason why I have not
seriously considered the claims of Mr. McCombs for a Cabinet post. I am
sure that if I did put him in my Cabinet, I should find him interfering
with the administration of the other departments in the same way that
Seward sought to interfere, for instance, with the Treasury Department
under Salmon P. Chase. McCombs is a man of fine intellect, but he is never
satisfied unless he plays the stellar role, and I am afraid he cannot work
in harness with other men and that I should never get any real team work
from him. There is another serious objection to McCombs for a place in my
Cabinet. A few days ago he boldly informed me that he desired to have the
post of Attorney General. When I asked him why he preferred to be Attorney
General, he informed me that, being a lawyer, the Attorney Generalship
would help him professionally after his term of office expired. What a
surprising statement for any man to make! Why, Tumulty, many of the
scandals of previous administrations have come about in this way, Cabinet
officers using their posts to advance their own personal fortunes. It must
not be done in our administration. It would constitute a grave scandal to
appoint such a man to so high an office."

It has often been charged by Mr. McCombs' friends that Mr. Wilson showed a
lack of appreciation of his services and an utter disregard of the fine
things McCombs did in his behalf. Those of us who were on the inside and
witnessed the patience of Woodrow Wilson in handling this most difficult
person know how untrue such statements are. I personally know that during
the trying days preceding the election most of Mr. Wilson's time was given
over to straightening out McCombs and attempting to satisfy his mind that
neither Mr. McAdoo, Colonel House, nor any other friends of Mr. Wilson
were seeking to unhorse him and to take his place in the candidate's
affections. Never did any man show greater patience than did Woodrow
Wilson in his attitude toward McCombs. The illness of McCombs during the
campaign fed fuel to the fires of his naturally jealous disposition. He
suspected everybody; trusted no one, and suspected that the President's
friends were engaged in a conspiracy to destroy him. Of course, it is true
that Mr. Wilson refused to give him the post of Attorney General which he
greatly coveted, for reasons I have fully stated above; but at the very
time when McCombs' friends were saying that the President had ignored him
and failed to offer him any place in his administration, the President had
already tendered McCombs his choice of two of the most important
diplomatic posts at his disposal--the Ambassadorship to Germany and the
Ambassadorship to France. An interesting incident in connection with the
offer of the French post to McCombs and his acceptance of it is worth

The President arrived in Washington on the third of March and went to the
Shoreham Hotel. McCombs had already received Mr. Wilson's offer of the
French Ambassadorship, and on the night of the third of March he concluded
he would accept it. He sent a messenger to the Shoreham Hotel with his
letter of acceptance. Before the arrival of McCombs' letter at the
Shoreham the President had retired for the night, and the message was
inserted under the door of his room. However, it seems that shortly after
sending the message of acceptance McCombs changed his mind and sent a
friend to the Shoreham to recover the letter, and at twelve o'clock at
night I found him outside of the President's room on his knees, busily
engaged in digging out McCombs' letter of acceptance from underneath the

From that time on, with every changing wind, McCombs would first accept
and then reject the offer of the French post. By his vacillation he
prevented the appointment of an Ambassador to France for four months. He
had easy access to the President and saw him frequently. As he left the
White House after calling on the President one day, Mr. Wilson showed
sharp irritation and said to me: "If McCombs would only discuss somebody
else for office save himself I would be more interested."

That the offer of the French post was made by the President and rejected
by McCombs is evidenced by the following letter, addressed to the
President by McCombs, under date of April 3, 1913:

    96 Broadway & 6 Wall Street
    New York

    April 3, 1913.

    My Dear Mr. President:

    Since I saw you on Saturday, I have been making continuous efforts to
    dispose of my affairs so that I might accept your very flattering
    offer. I have been in touch with Tumulty from day to day to find out
    whether my delay was embarrassing you in any way, and he told me it
    was not.

    Of course, I did not want to inconvenience you. As I have told you
    before, my difficulty in accepting the post has lain in the
    adjustments of my financial affairs here and in the forming of a
    connection which would continue, in some degree, my practice. The
    clientèle which any lawyer has is very largely personal to himself,
    and it is almost impossible to arrange that the affairs of such a
    clientèle be handled by others. This is the difficulty under which I
    have labored.

    After intimations to my clients, I find my absence would, in their
    view, be prejudicial to their interests and that they would each seek
    separate counsel. This would mean my return to New York without any
    clientèle whatsoever and a new start. After the statement which you so
    kindly issued, it occurred to me that I might make an arrangement
    under which my affairs could be handled. I am convinced now that it is
    impossible, and that I must remain here to maintain myself. During the
    past two years I have been compelled to neglect my business to a very
    large extent, and I feel that it is absolutely essential for me to
    recoup. In view of the very great honor of the French post, I was
    quite willing to sacrifice almost anything. I now know that the
    sacrifice would be complete.

    I was sorry to see in the New York papers of yesterday, under
    Washington date line, that I had accepted the embassy. It has placed
    me in a most embarrassing position, and has caused general comment of
    vacillation. I cannot imagine how the fact that I was re-considering
    became public. The press clippings I get in the matter are most
    annoying to me, and must be to you. I suppose the only thing to say in
    the matter is that my position is the same as it was when my statement
    was given out in Washington.

    Let me again thank you very deeply for the great honor you have
    conferred upon me. I sincerely wish it were within my power to accept.
    It is such a thing as rarely comes in a man's lifetime.

    Believe me as ever,
      Always yours to command,
      WM. F. MCCOMBS.

    The White House,
      Washington, D. C.

[Illustration: A letter from the man who could not make up his mind
[Transcriber's note: the illustration contains a reproduction of the
above-quoted letter.]]

Even after McCombs had declined the French post, as recited in the above
letter to the President, he continued to vacillate, and addressed the
following telegrams and cables to me in regard to the French

    New York, April 4, 1913.

      Washington, D. C.

    Confidentially, expect to come tomorrow. Please suspend on matter
    until I see you.

    W. F. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

    New York April 25, 1913.

      Washington, D. C.

    Confirm understanding that nothing be done for the present and nothing
    sent in.

    W. F. M

       *       *       *       *       *

    Sagaponac, N. Y., May 3, 1913.
    Radio S. S. _Olympic_.

      White House,
      Washington, D. C.

    Will cable about time sending name in when I reach Paris in
    _acceptance_ our understanding.

    W. F. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, Via French, May 13, 1913.

      White House,

    Have been ill, improving. Cable you Thursday in matter.

    W. F. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, June 1, 1913.

    J. P. TUMULTY,

    Some better. Operation doubtful. Question delayed a few days.

    W. F. M.

Then came the following cable to the President from Col. E. M. House:

    Paris, June 12, 1913.


    Damon [code name for McCombs] requests me to say that after he sees
    present incumbent tomorrow he will cable you. He is much improved.

    E. M. HOUSE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, June 18, 1913.


    Am sending conclusive message through usual channel so you get it
    tomorrow morning. This confirms message today which was incomplete.
    Hope everything will be o. k.


       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, July 6, 1913.

    J. P. TUMULTY,

    Accept if no previous arrangement cable at once care Monroe Banquier


       *       *       *       *       *

    Paris, July 7, 1913.


    Better wait a little or leave out for another strictly confidential.


By this last message McCombs meant that the President had better wait a
little for him to make up his mind, or to select another for the French
post, which the President refused to do.

The kindest explanation of Mr. McCombs' distorted and entirely untruthful
story is that his sensitive mind had brooded so long on fancied injuries
that he had come to believe that what he deposed was true. He was
sensitive to a pathological degree, jealous, suspicious of everybody, and
consumed with ambition to appear as the sole maker of President Wilson
politically. He is dead, and it would have been pleasanter to keep silent
about him. I should have remained silent had he not left his embittered
manuscript in the hands of friends, with directions to publish it after
his death, when those whom he attacks in its various chapters would feel a
hesitancy about challenging his statements and attempting in any way to
asperse his memory. That he was abnormal was known to all who came into
intimate contact with him during the campaign and after. His suspicions
and spites manifested themselves in ways so small that he would have been
laughable had he not been pitiable. The simple fact is that both the
nomination and the election of Governor Wilson were in spite of Mr.
McCombs, not because of him. Mr. McCombs was ill during most of the
campaign, which had to be directed by the assistant chairman, Mr. McAdoo,
with all possible embarrassing interference from the chairman's sick room.

The full force of McCombs' petty spite, malice, and jealousy was expended
upon Mr. William G. McAdoo of New York, who at the time had established a
high reputation for his courage and intrepidity in building the famous
Manhattan and Hudson tunnels. Mr. McAdoo, in the early days of Woodrow
Wilson's candidacy, took his place at the fore-front of the Wilson forces.
At the time of his espousal of the Wilson cause he was the only leader in
the New York financial world ready and courageous enough to take up the
cudgels for Mr. Wilson. His influence thrown to the Wilson side
strengthened the Wilson cause in every part of the country. Every
intimation that reached McCombs during the campaign that Mr. McAdoo, as
vice-chairman of the National Committee, was engaged in doing this or that
thing in connection with his duties as vice-chairman, was always
calculated to stir anew the fires of envy and jealousy which seemed always
burning in the breast of McCombs.

I was in close touch with Mr. Wilson and all the phases of his campaign at
the time, and on several occasions was asked to act as mediator in the
differences between Mr. McAdoo and Mr. McCombs, and I am, therefore, in a
position calmly to analyze and assess the reasons for McCombs' implacable
hatred of Mr. McAdoo. I found that the motives which actuated McCombs were
of the pettiest and meanest sort. At their base lay the realization that
Mr. McAdoo had, by his gallant and helpful support of Mr. Wilson, won his
admiration and deep respect, and now everything must be done by McCombs
and his friends to destroy Mr. McAdoo in the estimation of the Democratic
candidate for the Presidency. In the efforts put forth by McCombs and his
friends to destroy Mr. Wilson's high opinion of Mr. McAdoo every
contemptible and underhanded method was resorted to. Mr. McAdoo reacted to
these unfair attacks in the most kindly and magnanimous way. Never for a
single moment did he allow the McCombs campaign against him to stand in
the way of Woodrow Wilson's advancement to the Presidency.

During the whole time that Mr. McCombs was engaged in his vendetta, Mr.
McAdoo was generous, gallant, big, and forgiving, even suggesting to the
Democratic candidate, in my presence, that it might be wiser for him
(McAdoo) to withdraw from the campaign, so that "things at headquarters
might run easier and more smoothly." Mr. Wilson would not by any act of
his permit the sniping methods of McCombs to be rewarded in the withdrawal
of McAdoo from his campaign.

After the election and when it was certain that McAdoo was being seriously
considered for the post of Secretary of the Treasury, McCombs' jealousy
began to exert itself in the most venomous way. He tried to persuade Mr.
Wilson that the selection of Mr. McAdoo for the post of Secretary of the
Treasury would be too much a recognition of the Wall Street point of view,
and would be considered a repudiation of McCombs' leadership in the
National Committee.

The campaign of McCombs to prevent the nomination of Mr. McAdoo for a post
in the Cabinet failed utterly. His poison brigade then gathered at the
Shoreham Hotel in Washington on the day of the Inauguration and,
attempting to reform their broken lines, now sought to prevent his
confirmation at the hands of the Senate. Every agency of opposition that
McCombs could invoke to accomplish this purpose was put into action, but
like all his efforts against Mr. McAdoo they met with failure. Mr. McAdoo
was confirmed and took his place as Secretary of the Treasury, where his
constructive genius in matters of finance was soon brought into play, and
under his magnificent leadership the foundation stones of the Federal
Reserve system were laid, the fruitage of which is now being realized in
every business throughout the country.

Frequent conferences were held at Princeton with reference to the
selection of the President's Cabinet, and in these conferences Colonel
House and I participated. At a luncheon at the Sterling Hotel at Trenton
Mr. Bryan was offered the post of Secretary of State.

On the first of March the post of Secretary of War was still open. It had
been offered to Mr. A. Mitchell Palmer of Pennsylvania and had been
declined by him for an unusual reason. The President requested Mr. Palmer
to meet him at Colonel House's apartment in New York. When the President
tendered him the position of Secretary of War, Mr. Palmer frankly told the
President that he was a Quaker and that the tenets of his religion
prevented his acceptance of any position having to do with the conduct of
war. The President tried to overcome these scruples, but his efforts were
unavailing. The President then telephoned me and informed me of Palmer's
declination and asked if I had any suggestion regarding the vacancy in his
Cabinet. I told him that I was anxious to see a New Jersey man occupy a
place at his Cabinet table, and we discussed the various possibilities
over the 'phone, but without reaching any definite conclusion. I informed
the President that I would suggest the name of someone within a few hours.
I then went to the library in my home in New Jersey and in looking over
the _Lawyers' Diary_ I ran across the name of Lindley Garrison, who at the
time was vice-chancellor of the state of New Jersey. Mr. Garrison was a
resident of my home town and although I had only met him casually and had
tried a few cases before him, he had made a deep impression upon me as a
high type of equity judge.

I telephoned the President-elect that night and suggested the name of
Lindley Garrison, whose reputation as a distinguished judge of the
Chancery Court was known to the President-elect. He was invited to Trenton
the next day and without having the slightest knowledge of the purpose of
this summons, he arrived and was offered the post of Secretary of War in
Mr. Wilson's Cabinet, which he accepted.



A presidential inauguration is a picturesque affair even when the weather
is stormy, as it frequently is on the fourth of March in Washington. It is
a brilliant affair when the sun shines bright and the air is balmy, as
happened on March 4, 1913, when Woodrow Wilson took the oath of office at
noon, delivered his inaugural address a few minutes later, reviewed the
parade immediately after luncheon, and before nightfall was at his desk in
the White House transacting the business of the Government. To the popular
imagination Inauguration Day represents crowds and hurrahs, brass bands
and processions. The hotels, restaurants, and boarding houses of
Washington overflow with people from all parts of the country who have
come to "see the show." The pavements, windows, and housetops along
Pennsylvania Avenue from the east front of the Capitol to the western gate
of the White House are crowded with folk eager to see the procession with
its military column and marching clubs. From an improvised stand in front
of the White House, surrounded by his friends, the new President reviews
the parade.

Every four years the newspaper boys describe Inauguration Day, but I am
not aware of any novelist who has put it in a book. Why not? It offers
material of a high order for literary description. "Human interest"
material also in abundance, not merely in the aspects of the retiring and
incoming Presidents with their respective retinues of important officials,
but in the comedies and tragedies of the lesser figures of the motley
political world. Familiar faces vanish, new faces appear--especially when
a change of administration brings a change of party control. An evacuating
column of ousted and dejected office-holders, prophesying national
disaster at the hands of parvenus, meets an advancing column of would-be
office-holders rejoicing in general over their party's success and
palpitantly eager for individual advantage. As in life, so in Washington
on Inauguration Day, humour and pathos mingle. Inauguration Day is the
beginning of a period of uprooting and transplanting.

So it was when the Democrats came into office on March 4, 1913, after
sixteen years of uninterrupted Republican control and for only the third
time in the fifty-two years since Buchanan had walked out of the White
House and Lincoln had walked in. Hungry Democrats flocked to Washington,
dismayed Republicans looked on in silence or with sardonic comment.
Democratic old-timers who had been waiting, like Mr. Micawber, for
"something to turn up" through long lean years, mingled in the hotel
lobbies with youths flushed with the excitement of a first experience In
the political game and discussed the "prospects," each confident that he
was indispensable to the new administration. Minor officeholders who had,
so they said, been political neutrals during the past administration,
anxiously scanned the horizon for signs that they would be retained.
"Original Wilson men" from various parts of the country were introducing
themselves or being introduced by their friends. And there were the
thousands, with no axes to grind, who had come simply to look on, or to
participate in a long-postponed Democratic rejoicing, or to wish the new
President Godspeed for his and the country's sake. It is not my business
in a book wholly concerned with the personal side of Woodrow Wilson's
political career to attempt a description of Inauguration Day, with its
clamours and its heartaches and its hopes. To the new President the day
was, as he himself said, not one of "triumph" but of "dedication." For him
the occasion had a significance beyond the fortunes of individuals and
parties. Something more had happened than a replacement of Republicans by
Democrats. He believed that he had been elected as a result of a stirring
of the American conscience against thinly masked "privilege" and, a
reawakening of American aspiration for government which should more nearly
meet the needs of the plain people of the country. He knew that he would
have to disappoint many a hungry office-seeker, whose chief claim to
preferment lay in his boast that he "had always voted the Democratic
ticket." Among the new President's first duties would be the selection of
men to fill offices and, of course, in loyalty to his party, he would give
preference to Democrats, but it did not please him to think of this in
terms of "patronage" and "spoils." With the concentration of a purposeful
man he was anxious chiefly to find the best people for the various
offices, those capable of doing a day's work and those who could sense the
opportunities for service in whole-hearted devotion to the country's
common cause. His inaugural address met the expectations of thoughtful
hearers. It was on a high plane of statesmanship, uncoloured by
partisanship. It was the announcement of a programme in the interest of
the country at large, with the idea of trusteeship strongly stressed.
There was nothing very radical in the address: nothing to terrify those
who were apprehensive lest property rights should be violated. The
President gave specific assurance that there would be due attention to
"the old-fashioned, never-to-be-neglected, safeguarding of property," but
he also immediately added "and of individual right." Legitimate property
claims would be scrupulously respected, but it was clear that they who
conceived that the chief business of government is the promotion of their
private or corporate interests would get little aid and comfort from this
administration. The underlying meaning of the President's progressivism
was clear: the recovery of old things which through long neglect or misuse
had been lost, a return to the starting point of our Government,
government in the interest of the many, not of the few: "Our work is a
work of restoration"; "We have been refreshed by a new insight into our

A deep humanity pervaded the message. To the thoughtful hearer it must
have been clear that the President's mind was more occupied with the
masses than with special classes. He was not hostile to the classes. He
was simply less interested in them. He suggested a social as well as a
political programme: "Men and women and children" must be "shielded in
their lives, their very vitality, from the consequences of great
industrial and social processes which they cannot alter, control, or
singly cope with." "The first duty of law is to keep sound the society it
serves." Such was the first utterance of the President who in a few weeks
was to appear as the champion, not of the special interests, native and
foreign, in Mexico, but of the fifteen million Mexican people, groping
blindly, through blood and confusion, after some form of self-government,
and who in a few years was to appear as the champion of small nations and
the masses throughout the world in a titanic struggle against the old
principles of autocracy.

Mingled with the high and human tone of it all was a clear and itemized
forecast of proposed legislation: a revised tariff, a federal reserve
banking system, a farmers' loan bank. And all who knew Woodrow Wilson's
record in New Jersey were aware that the Executive would be the leader in
the enactment of legislation. The executive and legislative branches of
the Government in this administration would, all informed people knew, be
in partnership in the promotion of an enterprise as practical as it was

After Chief Justice White administered the oath of office, the President
read the brief address, of which the following are the concluding words:

    This is not a day of triumph; it is a day of dedication. Here muster,
    not the forces of party, but the forces of humanity. Men's hearts wait
    upon us; men's lives hang in the balance; men's hopes call upon us to
    say what we will do. Who shall live up to the great trust? Who dares
    fail to try? I summon all honest men, all patriotic, all forward-
    looking men, to my side. God helping me, I will not fail them, if they
    will but counsel and sustain me!



Many grave matters inherited from the Taft regime pressed upon the new
Administration for immediate solution. One of the most serious was the
situation in Mexico, growing out of the revolution against the Madero
Government which broke out in Mexico City on February 9, 1913. The murder
of ex-President Madero and Vice-President Suarez, and the usurpation of
presidential authority by General Victoriano Huerta, Minister of Foreign
Affairs, and the general industrial and social chaos of Mexico, made it
necessary for the new administration, only a month in power, quickly to
act and to declare its policy with reference to the question then pending
as to the recognition of the provisional government, the head of which was
Huerta. After becoming "President" of Mexico, the usurper had brazenly
addressed the following telegram to President Taft: "I have overthrown the
Government and, therefore, peace and order will reign," and boldly
asserted a claim to recognition by the Government of the United States.
This was the state of affairs in Mexico when President Wilson was
inaugurated. The duly-elected President of Mexico, Francisco Madero, had
been overthrown by a band of conspirators headed by Huerta. Were the
fruits of the hard-won fight of the Mexican masses against the arbitrary
rule of the favoured few to be wasted? President Wilson answered this
question in his formal statement of March 12, 1913, eight days after his
inauguration. With respect to Latin-American affairs, he said:

    One of the chief objects of my administration will be to cultivate the
    friendship and deserve the confidence of our sister republics of
    Central and South America, and to promote in every proper and
    honorable way the interests which are common to the peoples of the
    two continents. I earnestly desire the most cordial understanding and
    cooperation between the peoples and leaders of America, and,
    therefore, deem it my duty to make this brief statement:

    "Coöperation is possible only when supported at every turn by the
    orderly processes of just government based upon law, not upon
    arbitrary or irregular force. We hold, as I am sure all thoughtful
    leaders of republican governments everywhere hold, that just
    government rests always upon the consent of the governed, and that
    there can be no freedom without order based upon law and upon the
    public conscience and approval. We shall look to make these principles
    the basis of mutual intercourse, respect, and helpfulness between our
    sister  republics and ourselves.... _We can have no sympathy with
    those who seek to seize the power of government to advance their own
    personal interests or ambition._"

Two considerations animated the President in the formulation of his
Mexican policy and compelled his adherence in it throughout his
administration, namely:

_The firm conviction that all nations, both the weak and the powerful,
have the inviolable right to control their internal affairs.

The belief, established from the history of the world, that Mexico will
never become a peaceful and law-abiding neighbour of the United States
until she has been permitted to achieve a permanent and basic settlement
of her troubles without outside interference._

Steadfastly, Woodrow Wilson refused to recognize Huerta as the Provisional
President of Mexico. He said: "Huerta, the bitter, implacable foe of
everything progressive and humane in Mexico, boldly defending the
privileges of the old scientifico group which he represented, openly
defied the authority of the United States and sneered at the much-
ridiculed policy of 'watchful waiting' proclaimed by the new
administration, and laughed to scorn the high idealism which lay behind
it." To him the declaration of the American President that "we can have no
sympathy with those who seek to seize the power of government to advance
their own personal interests or ambition" was a mere gesture, too puerile
to be seriously considered.

While Huerta in Mexico was blatantly denouncing this benevolent policy of
coöperation and helpfulness, aid and comfort were rendered the usurper by
the jingoistic criticisms of the President's enemies in the United States
Congress and throughout the country, many of whom, urged on by the oil
interests, in their mad delirium, cried out for a blood-and-iron policy
toward Mexico. Resisting the American interests in Mexico was a part of
the President's task. Those who cried loudest for intervention were they
who had land, mineral, and industrial investments in Mexico. The "vigorous
American policy" which they demanded was a policy for personal enrichment.
It was with this phase of the matter in mind that the President said: "I
have to pause and remind myself that I am President of the United States
and not of a small group of Americans with vested interests in Mexico."

But the new President, having mapped out the course he was to follow, a
course fraught with a great deal of danger to his administration, seeking
to bring about the moral isolation of Huerta himself, calmly moved on,
apparently unmindful of the jeers and ridicule of his critics in America
and elsewhere. "I am willing," he said, "no matter what my personal
fortunes may be, to play for the verdict of mankind. Personally, it will
be a matter of indifference to me what the verdict on the 7th of November
is, provided I feel any degree of confidence that when a later jury sits I
shall get their judgment in my favour. Not my favour personally--what
difference does that make?--but my favour as an honest and conscientious
spokesman of a great nation."

What an utterly foolish thing, said his critics, it is to attempt in this
day to oust a Mexican dictator by mere rhetoric and high-sounding phrases!

When Wilson said: "The situation must be given a little more time to work
itself out in the new circumstances; I believe that only a little while
will be necessary.... We must exercise the self-restraint of a really
great nation which realizes its own strength and scorns to misuse it," his
enemies smugly shrugged their shoulders and said, with disgust: "Well,
what's the use? what can you expect from a dreamer of dreams, a mere
doctrinaire? Doesn't Wilson, the historian, know that force and force
alone can bring that grizzly old warrior Huerta to his senses?"

What was the President seeking to do in proclaiming his policy of
"watchful waiting"? He was merely seeking to establish in Pan-American
affairs the principle that no president of a South American republic who
came to power by usurpation and assassination should receive, while he was
president, the recognition of the United States. This doctrine was not
only good statesmanship, but it was likewise sound in morals.

It was disheartening to find bitter criticism of this policy from the
outside, and depressing to find the enemies of watchful waiting "boring
from within" through his own Cabinet officers. Lindley Garrison, his own
Secretary of War, had no sympathy for this idealistic policy. His only
antidote for what was happening in Mexico was force and intervention and
he honourably urged this view upon the President, but without succeeding
in bringing about the consummation so dear to his heart.

    And one denies, and one forsakes, and still unquestioning he goes, who
    has his lonely thoughts.

But the President stood firm in his resolve that the people of Mexico
should not be punished for the malefactions of their usurping president,
and steadily, against great odds, he moved forward to vindicate his
policy, unmindful of the jeers and criticisms of his enemies. The heart of
that policy he eloquently exposed when he said: "I am more interested in
the fortunes of oppressed men, pitiful women and children, than in any
property rights whatever. The people of Mexico are striving for the rights
that are fundamental to life and happiness--fifteen million oppressed men,
overburdened women, and pitiful children in virtual bondage in their own
home of fertile lands and inexhaustible treasure! Some of the leaders of
the revolution may often have been mistaken and violent and selfish, but
the revolution itself was inevitable and is right. The unspeakable Huerta
betrayed the very comrades he served, traitorously overthrew the
government of which he was a trusted part, impudently spoke for the very
forces that had driven his people to rebellion with which he had pretended
to sympathize. The men who overcame him and drove him out represent at
least the fierce passion of reconstruction which lies at the very heart of
liberty; and so long as they represent, however imperfectly, such a
struggle for deliverance, I am ready to serve their ends when I can. So
long as the power of recognition rests with me the Government of the
United States will refuse to extend the hand of welcome to any one who
obtains power in a sister republic by treachery and violence."

But the President's policy of watchful waiting did win. The days of the
Huerta regime slowly wended their uneasy way. Huerta suspended the Mexican
Constitution and, having imprisoned half of the Mexican Congress,
proceeded to administer the Government as an arbitrary ruler. Slowly but
surely he began to feel the mighty pressure of the unfriendly Government
of the United States upon him. Still defiant, he sought to unite behind
him the Mexican people, hoping to provoke them to military action against
the United States. To hold his power he was willing to run the risk of
making his own country a bloody shamble, but President Wilson had the
measure of the tyrant Huerta from the beginning, and soon his efforts to
isolate him began to bear fruit. Even now his bitter critics gave a
listening ear to the oft-repeated statement of the American President, as
if it contained the germ of a prophecy:

    The steady pressure of moral force will before many days break the
    barriers of pride and prejudice down, and we shall triumph as Mexico's
    friends sooner than we could triumph as her enemy--and how much more
    handsomely and with how much higher and finer satisfactions of
    conscience and of honour!

Little by little the usurper was being isolated. By moral pressure every
day his power and prestige were perceptibly crumbling. His collapse was
not far away when the President declared: "We shall not, I believe, be
obliged to alter our policy of watchful waiting." The campaign of Woodrow
Wilson to force Huerta finally triumphed. On July 15th, Huerta resigned
and departed from Mexico. Wilson's humanity and broad statesmanship had
won over the system of cruel oppression for which the "unspeakable Huerta"
had stood.

During the Huerta controversy a thing happened which aggravated the
Mexican affair, and which culminated in the now-famous Tampico incident.

On April 9, 1914, a paymaster of the United States steamship _Dolphin_
landed at the Iturbide bridge at Tampico with a whaleboat and boat's crew
to obtain supplies needed aboard the _Dolphin._ While loading these
supplies the paymaster and his men were arrested by an officer and squad
of the army of General Huerta. Neither the paymaster nor any of the boat's
crew were armed. The boat flew the United States flag both at the bow and
stern. Two of the men were in the boat when arrested and hence were taken
from United States "soil." Admiral Mayo, senior American officer stationed
off Tampico, immediately demanded the release of the sailors. Release was
ordered after the paymaster and the sailors had been detained about an
hour. Not only did Admiral Mayo demand the release of the sailors but
insisted on a formal apology by the Huerta Government consisting of a
twenty-one-gun salute to the flag.

During the critical days following the refusal of Huerta to accede to
Admiral Mayo's request the State Department was notified that there would
arrive at Vera Cruz the German steamship _Ypirango_ about to deliver to
Huerta 15,000,000 rounds of ammunition and 500 rapid-fire guns.

About 2.30 o'clock in the morning of the 21st day of April, 1914, the
telephone operator at the White House called me at my home, and rousing me
from bed, informed me that the Secretary of State, Mr. Bryan, desired to
speak to me at once upon a very urgent and serious matter. I went to the
telephone and was informed by Mr. Bryan that he had just received a
wireless informing him that the German steamship _Ypirango,_ carrying
munitions would arrive at Vera Cruz that morning about ten o'clock and
that he thought the President ought to be notified and that, in his
opinion, drastic measures should at once be taken to prevent the delivery
of these munitions to the Customs House at Vera Cruz. While Mr. Bryan and
I were talking, Mr. Daniels, the Secretary of the Navy, got on the wire
and confirmed all that Mr. Bryan had just told me. Soon the President was
on the 'phone, and in a voice indicating that he had just been aroused
from sleep, carried on the following conversation with Messrs. Bryan,
Daniels, and myself: Mr. Bryan reported to him the situation at Vera Cruz
and informed him of the receipt of the wireless:

"Mr. President, I am sorry to inform you that I have just received a
wireless that a German ship will arrive at Vera Cruz this morning at ten
o'clock, containing large supplies of munitions and arms for the Mexicans
and I want your judgment as to how we shall handle the situation."

Replying to Mr. Bryan, the President said: "Of course, Mr. Bryan, you
understand what drastic action in this matter might ultimately mean in our
relations with Mexico?"

Mr. Bryan said, by way of reply:

"I thoroughly appreciate this, Mr. President, and fully considered it
before telephoning you." For a second there was a slight pause and then
the President asked Mr. Daniels his opinion in regard to the matter.

Mr. Daniels frankly agreed with Mr. Bryan that immediate action should be
taken to prevent the German ship from landing its cargo. Without a
moment's delay the President said to Mr. Daniels:

"Daniels, send this message to Admiral Fletcher: '_Take Vera Cruz at

As I sat at the 'phone on this fateful morning, away from the hurly-burly
world outside, clad only in my pajamas, and listened to this discussion,
the tenseness of the whole situation and its grave possibilities of war
with all its tragedy gripped me. Here were three men quietly gathered
about a 'phone, pacifists at heart, men who had been criticized and
lampooned throughout the whole country as being anti-militarist, now
without hesitation of any kind agreeing on a course of action that might
result in bringing two nations to war. They were pacifists no longer, but
plain, simple men, bent upon discharging the duty they owed their country
and utterly disregarding their own personal feelings of antagonism to
every phase of war.

After Mr. Bryan and Mr. Daniels had left the telephone the President said:
"Tumulty, are you there? What did you think of my message?" I replied that
there was nothing else to do under the circumstances. He then said: "It is
too bad, isn't it, but we could not allow that cargo to land. The Mexicans
intend using those guns upon our own boys. It is hard to take action of
this kind. I have tried to keep out of this Mexican mess, but we are now
on the brink of war and there is no alternative."

Discussing this vital matter that morning with the Commander-in-Chief of
the Army and Navy, I could visualize the possible tragedy of the whole
affair. I pictured the flagship of Admiral Fletcher with its fine cargo of
sturdy young marines, riding serenely at anchor off Vera Cruz, and those
aboard the vessel utterly unmindful of the message that was now on its way
through the air, an ominous message which to some of them would be a
portent of death. When the President concluded his conversation with me
his voice was husky. It indicated to me that he felt the solemnity of the
whole delicate business he was now handling, while the people of America,
whose spokesman he was, were at this hour quietly sleeping in their beds,
unaware and unmindful of the grave import of this message which was
already on its way to Vera Cruz.

When I arrived at the White House the next morning I found the newspaper
correspondents attached to the Executive offices uninformed of what had
happened in the early morning, but when I notified them that the President
had ordered Admiral Fletcher at 2.30 o'clock in the morning to take Vera
Cruz, they jumped, as one man, to the door, to flash this significant news
to the country and the world.

With Huerta's abdication Venustiano Carranza took hold, but the Mexican
troubles were not at an end. The constant raiding expeditions of Villa
across the American border were a source of great irritation and
threatened every few days a conflagration. While Villa stood with Carranza
as a companion in arms to depose Huerta, the _"entente cordiale"_ was at
an end as soon as Huerta passed off the stage. With these expeditions of
Villa and his motley crew across the border our relations with our
neighbour to the south were again seriously threatened. With Villa
carrying on his raids and Carranza always misunderstanding the purpose and
attitude of our Government and spurning its offer of helpful cooperation,
difficulties of various sorts arose with each day, until popular opinion
became insistent in its demand for vigorous action on the part of the
American President. Every ounce of reserve patience of the President was
called into action to keep the situation steady. How to do it, with many
incidents happening each day to intensify and aggravate an already acute
situation, was the problem that met the President at every turn. At this
time the President was the loneliest figure in Washington.

  Grotesque uncertain shapes infest the dark
    And wings of bats are heard in aimless flight;
  Discordant voices cry and serpents hiss,
    No friendly star, no beacon's beckoning ray.

Even the members of his own party in the Senate and House were left
without an apology or excuse for the seeming indifference of the President
to affairs in Mexico. Day after day from outraged senators would come
vigorous demands for firm action on the part of America, insistent that
something radical be done to establish conditions of peace along our
southern borders. From many of them came the unqualified demand for
intervention, so that the Mexican question should be once and for all


    Dear Tumulty,

    Can't talk less than half an hour to save his life, and when he is
    through he has talked on so many different subjects that I never can
    remember what he said. It is literally impossible for me with the
    present pressure upon me to see him, and I hope you will ask him if he
    can't submit a memorandum.

    The President.

    Dear Tumulty:

    I should like to see Mr. ---- but just now it does not seem possible
    because I know he is a gentleman who needs a good deal of sea room. I
    am taking his suggestions up with the Secretary of the Navy.

    The President.

Dealing with bores.]

In the Cabinet, the Secretary of War, the vigorous spokesman of the
Cabinet group, demanding radical action in the way of intervention, was
insisting that we intervene and put an end to the pusillanimous rule of
Carranza and "clean up" Mexico. Even I, who had stood with the President
during the critical days of the Mexican imbroglio, for a while grew faint
hearted in my devotion to the policy of watchful waiting. To me, the
attack of Villa on Columbus, and the killing of some of our soldiers while
asleep, was the last straw. The continuance of this impossible situation
along the border was unthinkable. To force the President's hand, if
possible, I expressed my feelings in the following letters to him:


    March 15, 1916.


    I have been thinking over what we discussed this morning with
    reference to the Mexican situation. I am not acting on impulse and
    without a full realization, I hope, of everything that is involved. I
    am convinced that we should pursue to the end the declared purpose
    announced by you last Friday and endorsed by Congress and the people
    of the United States of "getting Villa." If the _de facto_ government
    is going to resist the entrance of our troops, a new situation will be
    presented. I feel that you ought to advise Congress at the earliest
    possible moment of what the situation really is in order to secure its
    support and cooperation in whatever action is needed to accomplish the
    purpose you have in mind. To retrace our steps now would be not only
    disastrous to our party and humiliating to the country, but would be
    destructive of our influence in international affairs and make it
    forever impossible to deal in any effective way with Mexican affairs.

    Your appeal to Congress ought to deal with this matter in an
    affirmative way, asking for the requisite power which you may feel
    assured will be granted you in ungrudging fashion.

    My apology for writing you is my distress of mind and my deep interest
    in everything that affects you and your future and, I hope, the
    country's welfare. I would not be your friend if I did not tell you
    frankly how I feel.


      The White House.

           *       *       *       *       *


    June 24, 1916.


    The Mexican authorities admit that they have taken American soldiers
    and incarcerated them. The people feel that a demand should be made
    for their immediate release, and that it should not take the form of
    an elaborate note. Only firmness and an unflinching insistence upon
    our part will bring the gentlemen in Mexico City to their senses.

    If I were President at this moment, or acting as Secretary of State,
    my message to Carranza would be the following:

    "Release those American soldiers or take the consequences."

    This would ring around the world.


      The White House.

After reading these letters, the President sent for me one day to visit
with him in his study, and to discuss "the present situation in Mexico."
As I sat down, he turned to me in the most serious way and said: "Tumulty,
you are Irish, and, therefore, full of fight. I know how deeply you feel
about this Columbus affair. Of course, it is tragical and deeply
regrettable from every standpoint, but in the last analysis I, and not the
Cabinet or you, must bear the responsibility for every action that is to
be taken. I have to sleep with my conscience in these matters and I shall
be held responsible for every drop of blood that may be spent in the
enterprise of intervention. I am seriously considering every phase of this
difficult matter, and I can say frankly to you, and you may inform the
Cabinet officers who discuss it with you, that '_there won't be any war
with Mexico if I can prevent it_,' no matter how loud the gentlemen on the
hill yell for it and demand it. It is not a difficult thing for a
president to declare war, especially against a weak and defenceless nation
like Mexico. In a republic like ours, the man on horseback is always an
idol, and were I considering the matter from the standpoint of my own
political fortunes, and its influence upon the result of the next
election, I should at once grasp this opportunity and invade Mexico, for
it would mean the triumph of my administration. But this has never been in
my thoughts for a single moment. The thing that daunts me and holds me
back is the aftermath of war, with all its tears and tragedies. I came
from the South and I know what war is, for I have seen its wreckage and
terrible ruin. It is easy for me as President to declare war. I do not
have to fight, and neither do the gentlemen on the Hill who now clamour
for it. It is some poor farmer's boy, or the son of some poor widow away
off in some modest community, or perhaps the scion of a great family, who
will have to do the fighting and the dying. I will not resort to war
against Mexico until I have exhausted every means to keep out of this
mess. I know they will call me a coward and a quitter, but that will not
disturb me. Time, the great solvent, will, I am sure, vindicate this
policy of humanity and forbearance. Men forget what is back of this
struggle in Mexico. It is the age-long struggle of a people to come into
their own, and while we look upon the incidents in the foreground, let us
not forget the tragic reality in the background which towers above this
whole sad picture. The gentlemen who criticize me speak as if America were
afraid to fight Mexico. Poor Mexico, with its pitiful men, women, and
children, fighting to gain a foothold in their own land! They speak of the
valour of America. What is true valour? I would be just as much ashamed to
be rash as I would to be a coward. Valour is self-respecting. Valour is
circumspect. Valour strikes only when it is right to strike. Valour
withholds itself from all small implications and entanglements and waits
for the great opportunity when the sword will flash as if it carried the
light of heaven upon its blade."

As the President spoke, his eyes flashed and his lips quivered with the
deep emotion he felt. It was the first time he had unburdened himself and
laid bare his real feelings toward Mexico. Rising from his chair, he
walked toward the window of his study, the very window out of which
Lincoln had looked upon the Potomac and the hills of Virginia during the
critical days of the Civil War when he was receiving bad news about the
defeat of the Northern army. Continuing his talk, he said: "Tumulty, some
day the people of America will know why I hesitated to intervene in
Mexico. I cannot tell them now for we are at peace with the great power
whose poisonous propaganda is responsible for the present terrible
condition of affairs in Mexico. German propagandists are there now,
fomenting strife and trouble between our countries. Germany is anxious to
have us at war with Mexico, so that our minds and our energies will be
taken off the great war across the sea. She wishes an uninterrupted
opportunity to carry on her submarine warfare and believes that war with
Mexico will keep our hands off her and thus give her liberty of action to
do as she pleases on the high seas. It begins to look as if war with
Germany is inevitable. If it should come--I pray God it may not--I do not
wish America's energies and forces divided, for we will need every ounce
of reserve we have to lick Germany. Tumulty, we must try patience a little
longer and await the development of the whole plot in Mexico."

Did not the publication of the famous Zimmerman note show that German
intrigue was busy in Mexico?

    Berlin, January 19, 1917.

    On the first of February we intend to begin submarine warfare
    unrestricted. In spite of this it is our intention to keep neutral
    with the United States of America. If this attempt is not successful,
    we propose an alliance with Mexico on the following basis: That we
    shall make war together and together make peace. We shall give general
    financial support and it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the
    lost territory in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. The details are left
    to you for settlement.

    You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in
    the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain that there will be an
    outbreak of war with the United States, and suggest that the President
    of Mexico, on his own initiative, should communicate with Japan,
    suggesting adherence at once to this plan; at the same time offer to
    mediate between Germany and Japan.

    Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that the
    employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to compel
    England to make peace in a few months.


      Mexico City.

In the President's Flag Day address, delivered at Washington on June 14,
1917, appeared the following:

    They [meaning Germany] sought by violence to destroy our industries
    and arrest our commerce. They tried to incite Mexico to take up arms
    against us and to draw Japan into an hostile alliance with her; and
    that, not by indirection, but by direct suggestion _from the Foreign
    Office at Berlin_.

As the storm of ridicule and criticism of his policy of watchful waiting
beat fiercely upon him, I often wondered if he felt the petty meanness
which underlay it, or was disturbed or dispirited by it. As the unkind
blows fell upon him, thick and fast from every quarter, he gave no
evidence to those who were close to him of any irritation, or of the deep
anger he must have felt at what appeared to be a lack of sympathy on the
part of the country toward the idealistic policy in the treatment of
Mexican affairs. Never for a single moment was he driven from the course
he had mapped out for himself. He had given his heart and soul to a great
humane task and he moved toward its consummation amid a hurricane of
protests and criticisms.

There was a time, however, when I thought he displayed chagrin and
disappointment at the obstacles placed in his path in settling the affairs
of Mexico. It was in a little speech delivered at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
on the occasion of the burial of the Marines who fell at Vera Cruz. The
following paragraph contained a note of sadness and even depression.
Perhaps, in the following words, he pictured his own loneliness and utter

    I never went into battle; I never was under fire; but I fancy there
    are some things just as hard to do as to go under fire. I fancy that
    it is just as hard to do your duty when men are sneering at you as
    when they are shooting at you. When they shoot at you, they can only
    take your natural life; when they sneer at you, they can wound your
    living heart, and men who are brave enough, steadfast enough, steady
    in their principles enough, to go about their duty with regard to
    their fellow-men, no matter whether there are hisses or cheers, men
    who can do what Rudyard Kipling in one of his poems wrote, "Meet with
    triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same," are
    men for a nation to be proud of. Morally speaking, disaster and
    triumph are imposters. The cheers of the moment are not what a man
    ought to think about, but the verdict of his conscience and of the
    consciences of mankind.



In an introduction to "The Panama Canal Tolls Controversy," edited by Hugh
Gordon Miller and Joseph C. Freehoff, Mr. Oscar S. Straus wrote: "There is
no more honourable chapter in the highly creditable history of the
diplomacy of our country than the repeal of the Panama Tolls Act under the
present administration. Being a controversy affecting our international
relations, it is gratifying that, aside from the leadership of the
President, the repeal was effected not solely by the party in power, but
by the help of leaders in all three parties, rising above the plane of
partisan politics to the higher reaches of broad statesmanship, guided by
a scrupulous regard for our international character in accord with 'a
decent respect for the opinions of mankind,' as expressed in the
Declaration of Independence." President Wilson himself, after the
repealing act had been passed, remarked, "When everything else about this
Administration has been forgotten, its attitude on the Panama Tolls treaty
will be remembered as a long forward step in the process of making the
conduct between nations the same as that which obtains between honourable
individuals dealing with each other, scrupulously respecting their
contracts, no matter what the cost."

In making his recommendations to Congress he, almost with high disdain,
ignored legal technicalities and diplomatic quibbles and took high moral
ground. Said he, "The large thing to do is the only thing we can afford to
do, a voluntary withdrawal from a position everywhere quoted and
misunderstood. We ought to reverse our action without raising the question
whether we were right or wrong, and so once more deserve our reputation
for generosity and for the redemption of our every obligation without
quibble or hesitation."

An act passed in 1912 had exempted American coastwise shipping passing
through the Canal from the tolls assessed on other vessels, and the
British Government had protested against this on the ground that it
violated the Hay-Pauncefote treaty of 1901, which had stipulated that the
Canal should be open to the vessels of all nations "on terms of entire
equality." Other nations than England had an interest in this question,
and there was a suspicion that some of them were even more keenly if not
more heavily interested; but England took the initiative, and the struggle
to save the exemption was turned, in the United States, into a
demonstration by the Irish, Germans, and other anti-British elements.
Innate hostility to England and coastwise shipping interests formed the
backbone of the opposition to any repeal of this exemption, but the Taft
Administration had held that the exemption did not conflict with the
treaty (on the ground that the words "all nations" meant all nations
except the United States), and British opposition to the fortification of
the Canal, as well as the attitude of a section of the British press
during the Canadian elections of 1911, had created a distrust of British
motives which was heightened by the conviction of many that the Hay-
Pauncefote Treaty had been a bad bargain.

It was understood early in President Wilson's Administration that he
believed the exemption was in violation of the treaty, but not until
October did he make formal announcement that he intended to ask Congress
to repeal it. The question did not come into the foreground, however,
until March 5, 1914, when the President addressed this request to Congress
in ominous language, which to this day remains unexplained. "No
communication I addressed to Congress," he said, "has carried with it more
grave and far-reaching implications to the interests of the country."
After expressing his belief that the law as it stood violated the treaty
and should be repealed as a point of honour, he continued: "I ask this of
you in support of the foreign policy of the Administration. I shall not
know how to deal with other matters of even greater delicacy and nearer
consequence if you do not grant it to me in ungrudging measure."

The first word I received that the President contemplated addressing
Congress, asking for the repeal of Panama Tolls, came about in this way: I
was notified after dinner one evening that the President wished to confer
with me in his study. When I arrived at the White House Mrs. Wilson met me
and informed me of the plan which the President had in mind with reference
to this matter and of his decision to issue a statement that night which
would be carried in the newspapers the following morning, and of his
determination to address Congress, asking for a repeal of the Panama
Tolls. Mrs. Wilson showed considerable excitement over the President's
proposed step when she discussed the matter with me as I arrived at the
White House. She said she had argued with the President and had tried to
persuade him that if he intended to do so unusual a thing that now was the
inopportune moment for it for the reason that it would create a party
crisis and probably a split, the result of which we could not foresee.
When I went into the President's study, he read me the announcement he had
prepared for the papers. The full significance and the possible danger
which lay in the proposed move that the President was about to make struck
me at once. Frankly I put the whole political situation in the country
before him as it would be affected by his attitude in this matter, saying
to him that the stand he was about to take would irritate large blocks of
Irish, Germans, and other anti-British elements in the country, and that
we might expect that the leaders in our own party, the heads of the
various committees, like Fitzgerald of Appropriations, Underwood of the
Ways and Means, and Clark, the Speaker of the House, would be found in
solid opposition, and that, at a time when we needed every bit of strength
to put our party programme of domestic legislation into effect, it seemed
to me unwise to inject this matter, which could only be a disturbing
element, into our party's councils. In discussing the matter with me,
after I had presented the objections to it, which I did with great feeling
and probably some irritation, he said: "I knew the view you would take of
it, but, unfortunately, every argument you lay before me in opposition to
the programme I have outlined in this statement is purely a partisan one
and one whose value I cannot recognize at this time. I must not count the
effect of a move of this kind upon my own personal political fortunes. I
am the trustee of the people and I am bound to take cognizance of the fact
that by reason of our attitude on Panama Tolls our treaties are
discredited in every chancellery of Europe, where we are looked upon as a
nation that does not live up to its plighted word. We may have made a very
bad bargain with England on Panama Tolls, but it will be all the more
credit to us if we stand by an agreement even when it entails a sacrifice
on our part. The men who were parties to this treaty, like Joseph Choate,
all agree that we have been indulging in hair-splitting and that we have
done a great injustice to England. I ought not, therefore, to be afraid,
because of the antagonisms that will be created, to do my duty and risk my
political future if necessary in righting a great wrong. We cannot expect
to hold the friendship of the world, especially of England, France, and
Japan, if we are to treat agreements not as inviolable contracts, but as
mere matters of convenience, whose plain terms are to be ignored when
matters of expediency dictate. I know that the Irish, through the Hearst
newspapers, will cry out that I have surrendered to England, that I am
attempting to hand over to Europe a quasi-control over the Panama Canal.
As a matter of fact, we are in bad by reason of our attitude on Panama
Tolls with various leading nations of Europe, and some unforeseen
contingency may arise where it will be found that the reason for their
withdrawal of friendship for us was our petty attitude in this matter. I
realize, as you urge, that the leaders of our party will be found in
opposition, but I must forget this and try to work the matter out so that
at least I shall have cleared my skirts and have done what is possible for
me to do to right a great wrong."

When the President concluded his statement I put before him the possible
reaction against his administration and him personally which might be
reflected in the returns of the Congressional elections to be held that
year. He replied by saying: "I have calculated every element in the
situation and I have concluded where the path of duty lies. If we begin to
consider the effect upon our own political fortunes of every step we take
in these delicate matters of our foreign relations, America will be set
adrift and her word questioned in every court in Europe. It is important
that every agreement that America subscribes her name to shall be carried
out in the spirit of those who negotiated it."

On March 5, 1914, the President addressed Congress and asked for a repeal
of Panama Tolls and immediately the fierce fires of party opposition began
to burn. His party leaders expressed their opposition to the repeal in
open, honourable, and vigorous fashion and the fight was on. Now that the
leading Democrats in the Senate and House had left us, it was necessary
for us to reorganize our forces at once. This task devolved upon me and I
immediately got in touch with younger men of the House, like Mitchell
Palmer, Judge Covington, and that sturdy Republican from Minnesota, Fred
Stevens, and over night we had a militant organization in the trenches,
prepared to meet the onslaught of our enemies.

The President was adamant under the bitterest criticism. His attitude
brought down on him a shower of personal abuse and vituperation from Irish
organs and from a group of newspapers which presently were to appear as
the chief supporters of Germany. The arguments against the repeal were
unusually bitter, and even though Elihu Root, leading Republican senator,
in a brilliant and effective speech took his stand by the President and
against the recent Republican Administration, partisan criticism seized
upon the opening. Nevertheless, the tolls exemption was repealed in June
and the events of July and August, 1914, and especially after Von
Bethmann-Hollweg stood up in the German Reichstag and characterized the
treaty between Germany and Belgium as a mere scrap of paper, gave a
certain satisfaction to those who stood by the President for the sanctity
of treaties.

Sir Edward Grey, then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, commenting
upon the action in the House of Commons said: "It has not been done to
please us, or in the interest of good relations, but I believe from a much
greater motive--the feeling that a government which is to use its
influence among nations to make relations better must never, when the
occasion arises, flinch or quail from interpreting treaty rights in a
strictly fair spirit."



I have bitterly resented at times the imputation and charge that Woodrow
Wilson is so egotistical, self-willed, and so wedded to his own ideas that
he not only does not invite suggestion from the outside but that he
resents it and refuses to be guided by it.

I feel that my daily intimacy with him for eleven years gives me the right
to speak frankly in the matter. Of course, like every great man, he is
firmly set in his opinions. He holds and cleaves to them with a passionate
devotion and tenacity but only after the fullest consideration of all the
facts and information upon which he bases a final conviction. Time and
again I have seen him gallantly retreat under the fire of a better
argument in a matter that he had been previously disposed to favour.

And what of his attitude toward those who came to the Executive offices to
argue with him on some vital matter in which he had formed what appeared
to be an unalterable judgment? Never did he assume the unfriendly or
unyielding attitude of the doctrinaire or the man of a single idea. I
recall a case in point. He was discussing the revenue situation with
Representative Claude Kitchin of North Carolina, at a time when it was the
subject of bitter controversy in the ranks of the Democratic party. The
President and Mr. Kitchin held radically divergent views on this matter;
the President sought to lead the party in one direction and Mr. Kitchin
openly pursued an opposite course. I was present at this conference. No
warm friendship existed between these two men; but there was never any
evidence of hostility in the President's attitude toward Mr. Kitchin. He
listened politely and with patience to every argument that Mr. Kitchin
vigorously put forward to sustain his contention in the matter, and took
without wincing the sledgehammer blows often dealt by Mr. Kitchin. The
President replied to Mr. Kitchin's arguments in an open, frank manner and
invited him to the fullest possible discussion of the matter.

I recall the conclusion of this interview, when it seemed that, having
driven the President from point to point, Mr. Kitchin was the victor.
There was no disappointment or chagrin evident in the President's manner
as he faced Mr. Kitchin to accept his defeat. He met it in true
sportsmanlike fashion. At the conclusion of Mr. Kitchin's argument the
President literally threw up his hands and said, quietly, without showing
a trace of disappointment: "I surrender, Mr. Kitchin. You have beaten me.
I shall inform my friends on the Hill that I was mistaken and shall
instruct them, of course, to follow you in this matter."

I could crowd this chapter with similar incidents, but it would be a work
of supererogation.

Never before was Mr. Wilson's open-minded desire to apply in practice the
principle of common counsel better illustrated than in his handling of the
important work in connection with the establishment of the Federal Reserve
Act, the keystone of the great arch of the Democratic Administration. It
was the first item in his programme to set business free in America and to
establish it upon a firm and permanent basis. He aptly said to me, when he
first discussed the basic reason for the legislation, he wished not only
to set business free in America, but he desired also to take away from
certain financial interests in the country the power they had unjustly
exercised of "hazing" the Democratic party at every Presidential election.

Shortly after the Presidential election in 1912, while he was burdened
with the responsibilities of the Executive office at Trenton, New Jersey,
he began, in collaboration with that fine, able, resourceful Virginian,
Representative Carter Glass, then chairman of the Banking and Currency
Committee of the House, the preparation of the Federal Reserve Banking and
Currency Act. For hours at the Executive office in Trenton the Virginia
Congressman conferred with the Governor of New Jersey over the preliminary
drafts of this most vital piece of legislation. For days the work of
preparation was carried on, so that when Mr. Wilson arrived in Washington
to take up the duties of the Presidency, the Banking and Currency Bill was
in shape and ready for immediate introduction in the Senate and House.

Looking back over the struggle that ensued from the time this measure was
introduced into the Senate and House, I often wonder if the people "back
home," especially the various business interests of the country, who have
been saved from financial disaster by this admirable and wholesome piece
of legislation, ever realized the painstaking labour and industry, night
and day, which Woodrow Wilson, in addition to his other multitudinous
duties, put upon this task. Could they but understand the character of the
opposition he faced even in his own party ranks, and how in the midst of
one of Washington's most trying summers, without vacation or recreation of
any kind, he grappled with this problem in the face of stubborn
opposition, they would, perhaps, be willing to pay tribute to the
earnestness and sincerity of this man who finally placed upon the statute
books one of the greatest constructive pieces of legislation of half a
century. Having given his heart to this important task, whose enactment
into law was a boon to business and established for the first time in
America a "Democracy of Credit," as he was pleased to call it, he
relentlessly pursued his object until senators and representatives yielded
to his insistent request for the enactment of this law, not under the
stress of the party whip, but through arguments which he passionately
presented to those who sought his counsel in this matter.

During this time I gladly accepted the President's invitation to spend the
summer with him at the White House, where I occupied the bedroom that had
been used as Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet Room, and where Mr. Lincoln had signed
his famous Emancipation Proclamation. My presence, during that summer, as
a member of the President's family, gave me a good opportunity to see him
in action in his conferences in regard to the Federal Reserve Act. Never
was greater patience, forbearance, or fortitude, shown by a chief
executive under such trying circumstances. Day after day, when it seemed
as if real progress was being made, unexpected opposition would develop
and make it necessary to rebuild our shattered lines, until finally the
bill was out of the House and on its way to the Senate.

Its arrival in the Senate was but the beginning of what appeared an almost
interminable struggle. The President's stalwart adviser in the Treasury,
Mr. McAdoo, was always at hand to rally and give encouragement to our
forces, many of whom at times were in despair over the prospects of the
bill. The leaders of the opposition on the committee were Senator Root on
the Republican side and Senators O'Gorman and Reed on the Democratic.

It seemed at times as if they had succeeded in blocking an agreement on
the Conference Report. At last word was brought to the President by
Representative Glass that the opposition of these gentlemen might succeed
in killing the bill. The President up to this time, although fighting
against great odds, showed no impatience or petulancy, but the message
brought by Mr. Glass was the last straw. Looking at Mr. Glass, with a show
of fire and in a voice that indicated the impatience he felt, the
President said: "Glass, have you got the votes in the committee to
override these gentlemen [meaning O'Gorman and Reed]?" Glass replied that
he had. "Then," said the President, "outvote them, damn them, outvote

Mr. McAdoo came to the White House a few days later to make a report about
the situation in the Senate, with reference to the Federal Reserve Act.
His report was most discouraging as to the final passage of the bill. He
said that his information from the Hill was that the leaders of the
opposition in the Senate were bent upon a filibuster and that the
probabilities were that the Senate would finally adjourn without any
action being taken on the Federal Reserve Act.

This conversation took place on the White House portico, which overlooks
the beautiful Potomac and the hills of Virginia. It was one of the hottest
days in June, a day which left all of us who were about the President low
in spirit. Only those who know the depressing character of Washington's
midsummer heat can understand the full significance of this statement. The
President on this occasion was seated in an old-fashioned rocker, attired
in a comfortable, cool-looking Palm Beach suit. Mr. McAdoo reported the
situation in detail and said that, in his opinion, it was hopeless to try
to do more with the bill: that an impasse had been reached between the
Senate and the House. The President quickly interrupted Mr. McAdoo,
saying, with a smile: "Mac, when the boys at Princeton came to me and told
me they were going to lose a football game, they always lost. We must not
lose this game; too much is involved. Please say to the gentlemen on the
Hill who urge a postponement of this matter that Washington weather,
especially in these days, fully agrees with me and that unless final
action is taken on this measure at this session I will immediately call
Congress in extraordinary session to act upon this matter." This
challenge, brought to the Hill by Mr. McAdoo, quickly did the job and the
bill was soon on its way to the White House.

Mr. Wilson conducted the conferences in this matter with friends and foes
alike with a quiet mastery and good temper diametrically contrary to the
reports sedulously circulated for political purposes, that he was
autocratic and refused to cooperate with the members of the Senate and
House in an effort to pass legislation in which the whole country was

We have only to recall the previous attempts made by former
administrations to legislate upon the currency question, especially the
efforts of the Harrison and Cleveland administrations, to understand and
appreciate the difficulties that lay in the path of Woodrow Wilson in his
efforts to free the credit of the country from selfish control and to push
this vital legislation to enactment. Previous attempts had always resulted
in failure and sometimes in disaster to the administrations in control at
the time. The only evidences of these frequent but abortive efforts to
pass currency legislation were large and bulky volumes containing the
hearings of the expensive Monetary Commission that had been set up by
Senator Aldrich of Rhode Island. As an historian and man of affairs,
Woodrow Wilson realized the difficulties and obstacles that lay in his
path in attempting to reform the currency, but he was not in the least
daunted by the magnitude of the task which confronted him. He moved
cautiously forward and pressed for early action at the first session of
the Congress following his inauguration. He realized that with the passage
of the tariff legislation, which always acts as a business depressant, it
was necessary at the same time to have the stimulus the Currency Bill
would afford when enacted into law. The split of '96 in the Democratic
ranks over the money question was an additional reason for cautious and
well-considered action if the Federal Reserve Bill was to become a

The presence of Mr. Bryan in the Cabinet and his well-known views on this
question were strong reasons for watchful and careful prevision. It was
obvious to Mr. Wilson from the outset that insurmountable difficulties lay
in his path, but he brushed them aside as if they were inconsequential.

In the Committee on Banking and Currency, in both the Senate and House,
were many ardent and devoted friends of Mr. Bryan, who thought that his
radical views on the money question could be used as a rallying point for
opposition to the President's plan for currency reform. But those who
counted on Mr. Bryan's antagonism were doomed to disappointment and
failure, for while it is true that Mr. Bryan found serious objections to
certain parts of the bill, when these were eliminated he moved forward
with the President in the most generous fashion and remained with him
until the Federal Reserve Act was made part of the law of the land.

It was in a conference with members of the Banking and Currency Committee
that I first saw the President in action with the gentlemen of the Senate
and House. He had invited the Democratic members of the Banking and
Currency Committee to confer with him in the Cabinet Room in the White
House offices. From my desk in an anteroom I heard all the discussions of
the bill. There was full, open discussion of the bill in all its phases at
this conference in which were collected the conservatives of the East, the
radicalists of the West, and those who came to be known as the "corn
tassel" representatives of the South, all holding widely divergent views
and representing every shade of opinion, some of it sharply antagonistic
to the President's views. Some of the members were openly hostile to the
President, even in a personal way, particularly one representative from
the South, and some of the questions addressed to the President were
ungracious to the verge of open insult. It was an exasperating experience,
but Mr. Wilson stood the test with patience, betraying no resentment to
impertinent questions, replying to every query with Chesterfieldian grace
and affability, parrying every blow with courtesy and gentleness,
gallantly ignoring the unfriendly tone and manifest unfairness of some of
the questions, keeping himself strictly to the merits of the discussion,
subordinating his personal feelings to the important public business under
consideration, until all his interrogators were convinced of his sincerity
and fair-mindedness and some were ashamed of their own ungracious bearing.

It was clear to me as I watched this great man in action on this trying
occasion that in the cause he was defending he saw, with a vision
unimpaired and a judgment unclouded by prejudice or prepossessions, far
beyond the little room in which he was conferring. He saw the varied and
pressing needs of a great nation labouring now under a currency system
that held its resources as if in a strait-jacket. He saw in the old
monetary system which had prevailed in the country for many years a
prolific breeder of panic and financial distress. He saw the farmer of the
West and South a plaything of Eastern financial interests. And thus, under
the leadership of Woodrow Wilson was begun the first skirmish in the great
battle to free the credit of the country from selfish control, a movement
which led to the establishment of a financial system that ended for all
time the danger or possibility of financial panic.

There was an interesting incident in connection with the handling of the
currency legislation that brought about what threatened to be the first
rift in the President's Cabinet. It concerned Mr. Bryan's attitude of
opposition to certain features of the bill as drafted by the Banking and
Currency Committee of the House. My connection with this particular affair
arose in this way: In the early stages of the discussion of the Federal
Reserve Act, and while Mr. Glass's committee was considering the matter, a
messenger from the White House informed me that the President wished to
confer with me in his study. As I walked into the room, I saw at once from
his general attitude and expression that something serious was afoot and
that he was very much distressed. Turning around in his chair he said: "It
begins to look as if W. J. B. [he thus referred to Mr. Bryan] and I have
come to the parting of the ways on the Currency Bill. He is opposed to the
bank-note feature of the bill as drawn. We had a long discussion about the
matter after Cabinet meeting to-day. In thoroughly kindly way Mr. Bryan
informed me that he was opposed to that feature of the bill. Of course,
you know, W. J. B. and I have never been in agreement on the money
question. It is only fair, however, to say that in our discussion Mr.
Bryan conducted himself in the most generous way, and I was deeply touched
by his personal attitude of friendliness toward me. He even went so far as
to say that in order that I might not be embarrassed in the handling of
the bill, he was willing to resign and leave the country and make no
public criticism of the measure. In the meantime, Mr. Bryan has promised
to say nothing to any one about the matter until he has a further
discussion with me."

The President then frankly discussed with me the effect of the possible
resignation of Mr. Bryan. The President suggested that I drop in on Mr.
Bryan very soon and if possible casually invite a discussion of the
Federal Reserve Act, telling Mr. Bryan of his [the President's] interests
in it, and how much he appreciated Mr. Bryan's personal attitude toward

I realized the seriousness and delicacy of the situation I was asked to
handle, and, being on the friendliest terms with Mr. Bryan, I telephoned
him and invited myself to his home--the old Logan Mansion, a beautiful
place in the northwest part of Washington. I found Mr. Bryan alone when I
arrived. We went at once to his library and, in a boyish way, he showed me
a picture which the President had autographed for him only a few days
previous. As we stood before this picture Mr. Bryan gave expression to his
sincere admiration and affection for the President. He related, with deep
feeling, how much Mr. Bryan had enjoyed his contact and official
companionship with him and how he had come to have a very deep affection
for him. As we turned away from the picture, he grew serious and began the
discussion of the very thing the President and I had conferred on only a
few hours before. He freely discussed his differences with the President
over the Federal Reserve Act, and asked me the direct question: "Who from
Wall Street has been discussing this bill with the President? I am afraid
that some of the President's friends have been emphasizing too much the
view of Wall Street in their conferences with the President on this bill."
I frankly told Mr. Bryan that this imputation did a great injustice to the
fine men with whom the President conferred on the matter of banking reform
and that I was certain that the President's only intimate advisers in this
matter were Mr. McAdoo, Senator Owen of Oklahoma, and Mr. Glass of
Virginia, and that I personally knew that in their discussions the
President never argued the point of view of the Eastern financial
interests. Mr. Bryan was reassured by my statement and proceeded to lay
before me his objections to the character of the currency issue provided
for in the bill. He then took from the library shelves a volume containing
all the Democratic National platforms and read excerpts from them bearing
upon the question of currency reform. He soon convinced me that there was
great merit in his contention. Before leaving him, I told him of my
interview with the President and how deeply distressed he [the President]
was that Mr. Bryan was not disposed to support him in the matter of the
Federal Reserve Act. It was evident that Mr. Bryan felt a keen sympathy
for the President and that he was honestly trying to find a way out of his
difficulties that would enable him to give the President his whole-hearted
support. He showed real emotion when I disclosed to him the personal
feelings of the President toward him, and I feel sure I left him in a more
agreeable frame of mind. I told him that I would talk with the President,
Mr. McAdoo, and Mr. Glass and report to him on the following day.

I returned to the President's study and reported to him in detail the
results of my conference with Mr. Bryan. I called his attention to Mr.
Bryan's criticism of the bill and then ventured the opinion that Mr.
Bryan, according to the traditional policy of the Democratic party, was
right in his attitude and that I felt that he [Mr. Wilson] was wrong. For
a moment the President showed a little impatience with this statement and
asked me to point out to him where the party in the National platforms had
ever taken the view Mr. Bryan indicated in his discussion with me. I then
showed him the book Mr. Bryan had given me, containing the Democratic
platforms, and he read very carefully plank after plank on the currency.
He finally closed the book, placed it on his desk, and said: "I am
convinced there is a great deal in what Mr. Bryan says." We then discussed
ways of adjusting the matter. I finally suggested that the President allow
me to talk with Mr. Glass and place before him Mr. Bryan's position and
that he have Mr. Glass confer with Secretary McAdoo and Senator Owen. This
was arranged. I had no way of ascertaining just what took place at this
conference, but after the Cabinet meeting on the following Tuesday Mr.
Bryan walked around to where the President was sitting, and said to him:
"Mr. President, we have settled our differences and you may rely upon me
to remain with you to the end of the fight." The President thanked him
cordially, and thus the first break in the Cabinet line was averted.



As the days of the 1916 Convention at St. Louis approached, it was a
foregone conclusion that there would be no serious contender against the
President for the nomination and that he would win the prize by a
practically unanimous vote. While at times the friends of Mr. Bryan and
Mr. Clark were hopeful that the President might withdraw from the contest,
after the Democrats at the Convention were assured that the President was
ready to accept a renomination, the field was made clear for the setting
of the Convention stage to accomplish that end.

It was thought that the St. Louis Convention would be a trite affair; that
there would be no enthusiasm in it. This anticipation arose from the idea
expressed by many of the devoted friends of the Democratic party, that the
cause of Democracy in 1916 was little less than hopeless. Much of this
feeling came from the inordinately high estimate which many placed upon
Mr. Justice Hughes both as a candidate and as a campaigner. Indeed, many
Democrats who had canvassed the national situation felt that without a
continuation of the split in the ranks of the Republican party the road to
Democratic success was indeed a hard and difficult one to travel.

There is no doubt that in the opinion of the country Mr. Justice Hughes
was the strongest man the Republicans could put forward. The fact that he
was resigning from the Supreme Court bench and that he had a remarkably
progressive record as Governor of New York added a glamour and prestige to
this nomination. I, myself, never lost confidence, however, in our ability
to win. The Congressional elections of 1914, when the Democratic majority
in the House was reduced to thirty-five, had dispirited Democratic friends
throughout the country and made them feel that the nomination at St. Louis
would be a purely formal matter and without fruitful results.

In a letter addressed to Colonel Harvey in 1914 I had expressed the
opinion that the reduced Democratic majority in the Congressional
elections of 1914, which was being construed as an apparent defeat of the
party, was not a final judgment upon the work of the President and the
achievements of his administration; that it was not a reversal
irretrievable in character; that it should not depress the Democratic
workers throughout the country, and that the field of conquest for the
Democratic party in 1916 _was the West and the Pacific coast_. A calm
analysis of the election results in 1914 convinced me that if the
Presidential election of 1916 was to be won, our efforts for victory had
to be concentrated upon a cultivation of sentiment throughout the West in
favour of the Democratic cause.

My letter to Colonel Harvey is as follows:


    November 7, 1914.


    Now that the clouds have cleared away, let me send you just a line or
    two expressing an opinion of last Tuesday's election.

    It is my feeling that we are making unmistakable gains in sections of
    the country where Democratic hopes never ran high before this time.
    Note the results in the states of Utah, Michigan, Minnesota,
    Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington and California. It
    now appears from the returns, regardless of what the Eastern papers
    may say, that our majority in the House will be approximately from
    thirty-five to forty; that our majority in the Senate will be sixteen.

    We have elected for the first time in the history of the Democratic
    party, so far as I can recall, Democratic Senators in the great
    Republican States of California, Wisconsin and South Dakota. The gains
    we have made in the West, along the Pacific coast, are mighty
    interesting and show a new field of conquest for the Democratic party
    in 1916. To elect a congress, retaining a majority of the party in
    power, after a revision of the tariff, is unprecedented. Once before
    it happened, in 1897, after the passage of the Dingley Tariff Act when
    the Republican majority was reduced from 47 to 10. We are not in the
    least bit disturbed by the situation. We have for the first time
    elected Democratic Congressmen from the states of Utah, Washington,
    South Dakota and North Dakota.

    With best wishes, I am,
    Cordially and sincerely yours,
      J. P. TUMULTY,
     Secretary To The President.

      Hotel Chamberlain,
     Old Point Comfort, Virginia.

While the Democratic Convention was in session at St. Louis the President
remained in the White House, keeping in close touch by direct telephonic
communication with affairs there.

What at first appeared to be an ordinary and rather spiritless convention
was quickly turned into a most enthusiastic and fervent one by the notable
speeches of Governor Glynn, of New York, the temporary chairman of the
Convention, and Senator Ollie M. James, of Kentucky, the permanent

The key-note speech delivered by Governor Glynn, contained this ringing
defense of the President's policy of neutrality:

    "This policy may not satisfy those who revel in destruction and find
    pleasure in despair. It may not satisfy the fire-eater or the
    swashbuckler but it does satisfy those who worship at the altar of the
    god of peace. It does satisfy the mothers of the land at whose hearth
    and fireside no jingoistic war has placed an empty chair. It does
    satisfy the daughters of the land from whom bluster and brag have sent
    no loving brother to the dissolution of the grave. It does satisfy the
    fathers of this land and the sons of this land who will fight for our
    flag, and die for our flag when Reason primes the rifle, when Honor
    draws the sword, when Justice breathes a blessing on the standards
    they uphold."

And Senator James in a masterly oration paid this splendid tribute to
Woodrow Wilson:

    "Four years ago they sneeringly called Woodrow Wilson the school-
    teacher; then his classes were assembled within the narrow walls of
    Princeton College. They were the young men of America. To-day he is
    the world teacher, his class is made up of kings, kaisers, czars,
    princes, and potentates. The confines of the schoolroom circle the
    world. His subject is the protection of American life and American
    rights under international law. The saving of neutral life, the
    freedom of the seas, and without orphaning a single American child,
    without widowing a single American mother, without firing a single
    gun, without the shedding of a single drop of blood, he has wrung from
    the most militant spirit that ever brooded above a battlefield an
    acknowledgment of American rights and an agreement to American

These eloquent utterances prepared the way for the great slogan of the
1916 campaign: "_He kept us out of war._"

The President himself never used that slogan, however. From the first
declaration of hostilities in Europe he realized the precarious position
of the United States and the possibility that, whether we would or not, we
might be swept into the conflict. As early as August, 1914, he expressed
his anxious apprehension that "something might occur on the high seas
which would make our neutrality impossible." He emphatically believed at
that time that America's neutrality would best serve the interests of the
world; he respected the American tradition of noninterference in European
quarrels; with his almost mystic ability to assess and understand the
opinion of the people of the country at large he knew that the American
people did not want war; in his comparative seclusion he read the mind of
America clearer than did the "mixers" of the Pullman smoking compartments
who mistook the clamour for intervention among certain classes along the
north Atlantic seaboard for the voice of America at large; while the
German rape of Belgium stirred his passionate indignation, he knew that
there was no practical means by which the United States could stop it,
that we could not immediately transport armies to the theatre of war, and
that public opinion, especially in the West and South, was not prepared
for active intervention; and in addition to all this he was genuinely, not
merely professedly, a passionate lover of peace. But with all this he,
realizing the magnitude of the war, had already glimpsed its wider
significance, which caused him to say later that "this is the last war of
its kind, or of any kind that involves the world, that the United States
can keep out of. The business of neutrality is over." He saw that if the
war should continue long, as it promised to do, our participation might be
inevitable and the American tradition of isolation for ever destroyed by
circumstances beyond human control. With patience mingled with firmness,
he trod his difficult path, doing all he could to keep us from getting
involved without sacrificing fundamental principles of human and national
rights, but he neither believed nor pretended to believe that he could
give guaranties for the future. Nor did any of those who were closest to
him make rash promises. For instance, the Cabinet officers who actively
participated in the campaign were careful to say in their speeches that he
had done all that a president could honourably do to keep us out of war
and that he could be depended upon to continue in the future the same
course so long as it should prove humanly possible, for "peace" was not
merely a word on his lips but a passion in his heart, but that neither he
nor any other mortal could "look into the seeds of time" and say what
would be and what would not be. The event was on the knees of the gods.
Those who spoke with responsibility adhered strictly to the tense of the
verb, the past tense: "kept." None rashly used, explicitly or by
implication, the future tense: "will keep." In strictest truth they
recited what had been, and, from their knowledge of the President's
character and convictions, said that he would not be driven into war by
the clamour of his critics, that he would refrain from hostility so long
as it was humanly and honourably possible to refrain.



    CORNISH, N. H.,
      August 6, 1915

    Dear Tumulty:

    Thank you for sending me the editorials from the World and from Life.
    You don't need to have me tell you that I say Amen to everything that
    Life says in the article "Tumulty and Rome." The attitude of some
    people about this irritates me more than I can say. It is not only
    preposterous, but outrageous, and of course you know it never makes
    the slightest impression on me.

    Affectionately yours,
    (signed) Woodrow Wilson

    Hon. Joseph P. Tumulty,
      Secretary to the President.

Showing the President's confidence in and loyalty toward his secretary.]

The President had sent Secretary of War Baker to the Convention to
represent him before the various committees and to collaborate with the
Committee on Resolutions in the preparation of a suitable platform.

Shortly after Mr. Baker's arrival in St. Louis the question of the
attitude of the Convention and the party toward the "hyphen" vote came up
for consideration, and there were indications that certain members of the
Committee on Resolutions were inclined to ignore the matter of the hyphen
and to remain silent on this grave issue.

While the Committee on Resolutions was meeting at St. Louis, it was
reported to me by Mr. Henry C. Campbell, one of the editors of the
Milwaukee _Journal_, and a devoted friend, that the Democratic party,
through its representatives on the Committee on Resolutions, was engaged
in "pussyfooting" on the hyphen issue and that this would result in bitter
disappointment to the country. At the time of the receipt of this
telephone message from St. Louis the President was away from town for a
day and I called his attention to it in the following letter:


    June 13, 1916.


    It is clear, as the editorial appearing in this morning's New York
    _World_ says, that the "hyphenate vote is a definite factor that
    cannot be discredited"; and that from the activities of the German-
    American Alliance every effort, as their own supporters declare,
    should be made to elect Justice Hughes. That there is abundant proof
    of this is clear, so that he who runs may read. This is evident from
    the attitude of the German-American press, and from the statements of
    professional German agitators, and from the campaign that has been
    carried on against you from the very beginning.

    I have not read the platform to be proposed by you. The only part that
    I have any knowledge of is that which you read to me over the
    telephone some nights ago; that had to do with the question of

    Frankly, your mention of Americanism is on all fours with the
    declarations found in the Bull Moose and regular Republican platforms.
    The characteristic of all these references to Americanism is vagueness
    and uncertainty as to what is really meant. I believe that the time
    has come when the Democratic party should set forth its position on
    this vital matter in no uncertain terms. Efforts will soon be made,
    from stories now appearing in the newspapers, by professional German-
    Americans, to dominate our Convention, either in an effort to
    discredit you or to have embodied in the platform some reference to
    the embargo question, or a prohibition against the sale of munitions
    of war. We ought to meet these things in a manly, aggressive and
    militant fashion. It is for that reason that I suggest an open letter
    to the chairman of the Committee on Resolutions, setting forth your
    position in this matter so that the Convention may know before it
    nominates you the things for which you stand. Mr. Baker at the
    Convention will doubtless know when the representatives of the German-
    American Alliance make their appearance, asking for consideration at
    the hands of the Committee of their resolutions. As soon as they do,
    it appears to me to be the time for you to strike.

    I discussed this matter over the telephone yesterday with Mr. Henry C.
    Campbell, one of our devoted friends, and editor of the Milwaukee
    _Journal_. Mr. Frank Polk, Counsellor of the State Department, who was
    at the Convention, tells me that he was discussing this matter with
    Mr. Nieman, of the Milwaukee _Journal_, and that Mr. Nieman made the
    statement that both parties were "pussyfooting" and that he would not
    support the Democratic party unless its attitude in this matter was
    unequivocal. When Mr. Campbell discussed this matter with me over the
    telephone, I told him to send me a telegram, setting forth what he
    thought ought to find lodgment in the platform, by way of expressing
    our attitude in the matter. This morning I received the attached
    telegram from Senator Husting, expressing Mr. Campbell's and Mr.
    Nieman's views. The part I have underlined I think should be expressed
    in less emphatic language.

    The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to urge you as strongly as I
    can to address at once an open letter to the chairman of the Committee
    on Resolutions, expressing fully your views in the matter.


As a result of the Husting telegram, the President wired Secretary Baker,
insisting upon a definite and unequivocal repudiation of the hyphen vote.
The President's "fighting" telegram to Baker which contained the substance
of Husting's telegram resulted in the insertion in the platform of the
following plank:

    Whoever, actuated by the purpose to promote the interest of a foreign
    power, in disregard of our own country's welfare or to injure this
    Government in its foreign relations or cripple or destroy its
    industries at home, and whoever by arousing prejudices of a racial,
    religious or other nature creates discord and strife among our people
    so as to obstruct the wholesome processes of unification, is faithless
    to the trust which the privileges of citizenship repose in him and is
    disloyal to his country. We, therefore, condemn as subversive of this
    nation's unity and integrity, and as destructive of its welfare, the
    activities and designs of every group or organization, political or
    otherwise, that has for its object the advancement of the interest of
    a foreign power, whether such object is promoted by intimidating the
    Government, a political party, or representatives of the people, or
    which is calculated and tends to divide our people into antagonistic
    groups and thus to destroy that complete agreement and solidarity of
    the people and that unity of sentiment and purpose so essential to the
    perpetuity of the nation and its free institutions. We condemn all
    alliances and combinations of individuals in this country of whatever
    nationality or descent, who agree and conspire together for the
    purpose of embarrassing or weakening the Government or of improperly
    influencing or coercing our public representatives in dealing or
    negotiating with any foreign power. We charge that such conspiracies
    among a limited number exist and have been instigated for the purpose
    of advancing the interests of foreign countries to the prejudice and
    detriment of our own country. We condemn any political party which in
    view of the activity of such conspirators, surrenders its integrity or
    modifies its policy.

There is no doubt that for a while after the Convention at Chicago which
nominated Mr. Hughes there was deep depression in the ranks of our party
throughout the country, the opinion being that the former Supreme Court
Justice was an invincible foe. I had engaged in sharp controversies with
many of my friends, expressing the view that Mr. Hughes would not only be
a sad disappointment to the Republican managers, but that in his
campaigning methods he would fall far short of the expectations of his
many Republican friends.

Previous to the nomination of Mr. Hughes the President was his cordial
admirer and often spoke to me in warm and generous terms of the work of
Mr. Hughes as Governor of New York, which he admired because of its
progressive, liberal character. Previous to the Republican Convention, he
and I had often discussed the possible nominee of the Republican
Convention. The President, for some reason, could not be persuaded that
Mr. Justice Hughes was a serious contender for the nomination and often
expressed the opinion that the idea of a nomination for the Presidency was
not even remotely in the thoughts of the then Justice of the Supreme
Court. I did not share this view. Although the newspaper men who conferred
with Justice Hughes from day to day at his home in Washington informed me
of the Judge's feelings toward the nomination for the Presidency, I was
always strongly of the opinion that the Justice was in no way indifferent
to the nomination and that he was not inclined to go out of his way
publicly to resent the efforts that his friends were making to land it for
him. When I expressed the opinion to the President, that as a matter of
fact Mr. Justice Hughes was a candidate and was doing nothing outwardly to
express his disapproval of the efforts being made by his friends, the
President resented my statements.

There was a warm feeling of friendship on the part of all the members of
the President's family toward Mr. Justice Hughes, and at the Sayre
wedding, held in the White House, one of Justice Hughes' sons had played a
prominent part. Owing to the personal feelings of friendship of the whole
Wilson family for Mr. Hughes, the curt character of the Justice's letter
of resignation to the President deeply wounded the President and the
members of his family who had been Mr. Hughes' stout defenders and

I recall that on the day Mr. Hughes was nominated, and after the news of
his nomination was published throughout the country, there came to the
Executive offices a coloured messenger, bearing the following abrupt note
to the President:


    June 10, 1916.


    I hereby resign the office of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
    of the United States.

    I am, Sir,
    Respectfully yours,

When I brought this letter of resignation to the White House the President
was in conference with that sturdy Democrat from Kentucky, Senator Ollie
M. James. When the President read the letter and observed its rather harsh
character he was deeply wounded and disappointed. When he showed it to
Senator James, the Senator read it and advised that by reason of its
character the President ought not to dignify it by any acknowledgment. The
President turned quickly to the Kentucky statesman and said: "No, my dear
Senator, the President of the United States must always do the gentlemanly

The President replied to Mr. Hughes in the following note:


    June 10, 1916.


    I am in receipt of your letter of resignation and feel constrained to
    yield to your desire. I, therefore, accept your resignation as Justice
    of the Supreme Court of the United States to take effect at once.

    Sincerely yours,

      Washington, D. C.

On the first of August, 1916, I prepared the following memorandum which
explained my feelings regarding the campaign of 1916 and what appeared to
me to be the weakness of the Republican party and the strength of our own

    One of the principal arguments upon which the Republican managers lay
    great stress in favour of Hughes' candidacy is his strength as a
    campaigner as evidenced in his Youngstown speech delivered years ago
    in a campaign in which Mr. Bryan was the leader of the Democratic
    hosts. The strength of that speech lies in its cool analysis of the
    attitude of a great emotional orator [Bryan] on public questions at a
    time when the Democracy was advocating economic principles of doubtful
    strength and virtue. In other words, the position of Justice Hughes in
    that campaign was that of attacking an economic principle which had
    cut the Democratic party in two.

    The position of Hughes as a candidate in this the [1916] campaign will
    be radically different for he will have to face a candidate
    representing a united party; one whose power of analysis is as great
    as Hughes', and to this will be added this feature of strength in the
    Democratic candidate--the power of appeal to the emotional or
    imaginative side of the American people. Added to this will be the
    strength of conviction in urging his cause that comes to a man who has
    passed through a world crisis amid great dangers and who has brought
    to consummation substantial (not visionary) achievements unparalleled
    in the political history of the country. He will not speak to the
    country as the representative of a party divided in its counsels or as
    a dreamer or doctrinaire, but rather will he stand before the country
    as the practical idealist, defending, not apologizing for, every
    achievement of his administration.

    In his Youngstown speech, Justice Hughes found no difficulty in
    attacking the economic theories of Bryan. In this attack he not only
    had the sympathy of his own party but there came to him the support of
    many Democrats. In this campaign he will have to attack achievements
    and not principles of doubtful virtue. _I predict that the trip of
    Hughes to the West will be a disastrous failure._

When Justice Hughes' Western trip was announced, there was consternation
in the ranks of the Democratic party, especially those Democrats with whom
I came in contact in Washington. They declared that he would make a
tremendous impression on the West and that he would destroy that great
salient, and make it impossible for the Democrats to make any gains there.

In a letter which I addressed to Mr. Raymond T. Baker, Director of the
Mint, I expressed the opinion that Mr. Hughes' Western trip would prove as
distinct a disappointment to his friends as had his speech of acceptance.
The letter is as follows:


    August 4, 1916.


    You have rightly sensed the feelings of the East as to the Hughes
    speech of acceptance, and I was indeed glad to know from your
    telegram, which came as welcome news from you, that the sentiment that
    the speech was a hit-and-miss affair was well nigh universal
    throughout the West.

    There is no apparent slump that I can find here in Democratic ranks;
    the same buoyancy and optimism which pervaded the whole Washington
    atmosphere while you were here still predominate.

    _My belief is that Hughes' trip to the West will prove another
    distinct disappointment to his friends._ A candidate following the
    path of expediency as exemplified by Hughes will find himself in an
    unenviable position in the West, merely criticizing, finding fault,
    and setting forth no policy of a constructive character.

    _As I told you and the boys some weeks ago, Mr. Hughes is going to
    prove a distinct disappointment as a candidate._ He is so eager for
    the office that he will follow any path that may lead to it, even
    though it may be the rough path of expediency. We face the foe
    unafraid, and will soon have our big guns trained upon the frowning
    fortresses of the enemy. They look formidable at this time, but as we
    approach them it is my belief that they will be found to be made of
    cardboard and will fall at the touch of the President's logic and the
    record of his great achievements.

    Sincerely yours,

      Oakland, California.



Between the Democratic Convention and the time of his departure for his
summer home at Long Branch, New Jersey, the President was engaged in
Washington in completing the most important items of his legislative
programme, including the Income Tax, Child Labour Law, and the Adamson
Eight-Hour Law.

A disastrous strike, involving the whole system of railroad
transportation, now seemed imminent. At this critical juncture the
President intervened. On August 13th he invited the disputants, before
reaching any final decision, to confer with him personally at Washington.
His intervention evoked general expressions of relief and approval.

At these conferences the railway men stood firm for an eight-hour day. The
railway managers refused these demands. How to meet this grave situation,
which if not checked might have resulted in giving Germany a victory, was
one of the pressing problems that confronted the President that critical
summer. Not only were American business interests involved in this matter,
but the Allied governments of western Europe, then in the throes of the
great war, were no less anxious, for a railroad strike would have meant a
cutting off of the supplies to the Allied forces that were so much needed
at this important juncture.

The President sent for the Brotherhood representatives and for the
managers, to confer with him at the White House, and suggested arbitration
by way of settling the controversy. The labour leaders, conscious of their
strength, refused to arbitrate. The railroad managers were equally
obdurate. I well remember the patience of the President at these
conferences day after day. He would first hold conferences with the
Brotherhood representatives and then with the railroad managers; but his
efforts were unavailing. It is regrettable that the men on both sides were
indifferent to the President's appeal and apparently unmindful of the
consequences to the country that would inevitably follow a nation-wide

I remember what he said to me as he left the Green Room at the conclusion
of his final conference with the heads of the Brotherhoods. Shaking his
head in a despairing way, he said: "I was not able to make the slightest
impression upon those men. They feel so strongly the justice of their
cause that they are blind to all the consequences of their action in
declaring and prosecuting a strike. I was shocked to find a peculiar
stiffness and hardness about these men. When I pictured to them the
distress of our people in case this strike became a reality, they sat
unmoved and apparently indifferent to the seriousness of the whole bad
business. I am at the end of my tether, and I do not know what further to

His conferences with the managers were equally unproductive of result.
Gathered about him in a semicircle in his office, they were grim and
determined men, some of them even resentful of the President's attempt to
suggest a settlement of any kind to prevent the strike. I shall never
forget his last appeal to them. I sat in a little room off the Cabinet
room and could hear what went on. Seated about him were the heads of all
the important railroads in the country. Looking straight at them, he said:
"I have not summoned you to Washington as President of the United States
to confer with me on this matter, for I have no power to do so. I have
invited you merely as a fellow-citizen to discuss this great and critical
situation. Frankly, I say to you that if I had the power as President I
would say to you that this strike is unthinkable and must not be permitted
to happen. What I want you to see, if you will, is the whole picture that
presents itself to me and visualize the terrible consequences to the
country and its people of a nation-wide strike at this time, both as
affecting our own people and in its effect upon the Allied forces across
the sea. For a moment I wish you to forget that I am President, and let us
as fellow-citizens consider the consequences of such action. A nation-wide
strike at this time would mean absolute famine and starvation for the
people of America. You gentlemen must understand just what this means.
Will your interests be served by the passions and hatreds that will flow
from such an unhappy condition in the country? If this strike should
occur, forces will be released that may threaten the security of
everything we hold dear. Think of its effect upon the people of this
country who must have bread to eat and coal to keep them warm. They will
not quietly submit to a strike that will keep these things of life away
from them. The rich will not suffer in case these great arteries of trade
and commerce are temporarily abandoned, for they can provide themselves
against the horror of famine and the distress of this critical situation.
It is the poor unfortunate men, and their wives and children, who will
suffer and die. I cannot speak to you without a show of emotion, for, my
friends, beneath the surface in America there is a baneful seething which
may express itself in radical action, the consequences of which no man can
foresee. In asking your cooperation to settle this dispute I am but
striving, as we stand in the shadow of a great war, to keep these forces
in check and under control."

Getting closer to the men, and lowering his voice, he said: "The Allies
are fighting our battle, the battle of civilization, across the way. They
cannot 'carry on' without supplies and means of sustenance which the
railroads of America bring to them. I am probably asking you to make a
sacrifice at this time, but is not the sacrifice worth while because of
the things involved? Only last night I was thinking about this war and its
far-reaching effects. No man can foresee its extent or its evil effects
upon the world itself. It is a world cataclysm, and before it ends it may
unsettle everything fine and wholesome in America. We of America, although
we are cut off from its terrible sweep, cannot be unmindful of these
consequences, for we stand in the midst of it all. We must keep our own
house in order so that we shall be prepared to act when action becomes
necessary. Who knows, gentlemen, but by to-morrow a situation will arise
where it shall be found necessary for us to get into the midst of this
bloody thing? You can see, therefore, that we must go to the very limit to
prevent a strike that would bring about a paralysis of these arteries of
trade and commerce. If you will agree with me in this matter, I will
address Congress and frankly ask for an increase of rates and do
everything I can to make up for the loss you may sustain. I know that the
things I ask you to do may be disagreeable and inconvenient, but I am not
asking you to make a bloody sacrifice. Our boys may be called upon any
minute to make that sacrifice for us."

On August 29, 1916, the President appeared before a joint session of the
Congress and recommended immediate legislation to avert the impending
strike. Following this, the chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission
of the House, Mr. Adamson, of Georgia, brought in a bill, now known as the
Adamson Eight-Hour Law, which, after several unsuccessful attempts by
members of the House and Senate to amend it, was signed by the President
on September 5th.



Early in January, 1916, German sympathizers throughout the country began a
drive on both Houses of Congress for the passage of a resolution warning
or forbidding Americans to travel on passenger ships belonging to citizens
or subjects of the belligerent nations. Petitions of various kinds,
demanding vigorous action in this matter, began to pour in upon us at the
White House from various parts of the country. While these petitions were
signed by many devoted, patriotic Americans, it was clear to those of us
who were on the inside of affairs that there lay back of this movement a
sinister purpose on the part of German sympathizers in this country to
give Germany full sway upon the high seas, in order that she might be
permitted to carry on her unlawful and inhuman submarine warfare. This
movement became so intense that leading Democratic and Republican senators
and representatives soon became its ardent advocates, until it looked as
if the resolution might pass with only a small minority found in
opposition to it. Those of us who were in the Executive offices, and
intimately associated with the President, kept in close touch with the
situation on Capitol Hill and were advised that the movement for the
resolution was in full swing and that it could not be checked. A
resolution was finally introduced by Representative McLemore, of Texas,
and quickly received the support of Senator Gore of Oklahoma, and Senator
Stone of Missouri, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations. What
the attitude of the President should be toward it was the subject of
discussion between the President, two of his Cabinet officers, and myself,
after a session of the Cabinet early in February, 1916.

The President was advised by the Cabinet officers with whom he conferred
regarding the matter that it would be a hopeless task on his part to
attempt to stem the tide that was now running in favour of the passage of
the McLemore resolution, and that were he to attempt to prevent its
passage it might result in a disastrous defeat of his leadership, that
would seriously embarrass him on Capitol Hill and throughout the nation.

At the conclusion of this conference the President asked me whether my
information about affairs on Capitol Hill and the attitude of the members
of the House and Senate toward the McLemore resolution was in accord with
the information he had just received from his Cabinet officers. I told him
that it was, but that so far as I was concerned I did not share the
opinion of the Cabinet officers and did not agree with the advice which
they had volunteered, to the effect that it would be useless for him to
throw down the gage of battle to those who sought to pass the McLemore
resolution. I informed him that regardless of what the attitude of those
on Capitol Hill was toward the resolution, he could not afford to allow
the matter to pass without a protest from him, and that, indeed, he could
afford to be defeated in making a fight to maintain American rights upon
the high seas. The discussion between the President, the Cabinet officers,
and myself became heated. They were reluctant to have the President go
into the fight, while I was most anxious to have him do so. Evidently,
what I said made an impression upon the President and he asked me, as our
conference was concluded, to let him have as soon as possible a memorandum
containing my views upon the subject.

Shortly after the conference, Senator Stone, chairman of the Committee on
Foreign Relations of the Senate, asked for an appointment with the
President, to confer with him on the next morning, February 25th,
regarding the McLemore resolution. I suggested to the President that
inasmuch as Senator Stone was to see him in the morning it would be wise
and prudent if, in answer to his letter asking for an appointment, the
President should frankly state his views with reference to the proposed
resolution. The President acted upon this suggestion and the letter was
immediately dispatched to Senator Stone.

My letter to the President, advising him of the situation, was as follows:


    February 24, 1916.


    What I have heard since leaving you this morning confirms me in my
    belief that now is the time (before the night passes) to set forth
    your position to the country on the McLemore resolution in terms that
    no one can misunderstand. In the last hour I have talked with Speaker
    Clark, Senator Pittman, and Mr. Sims of Tennessee, and have received
    impressions from them which lead me to conclude: first, that the
    consideration of this resolution cannot much longer be postponed, as
    Speaker Clark so informed me, although Congressman Doremus and Senator
    Pittman say the situation on the hill is quieting down. I am more than
    convinced that underlying this resolution is a purpose to discredit
    your leadership, for the forces that are lined up for this fight
    against you are the anti-preparedness crowd, the Bryan-Kitchen-Clark
    group, and some of the anti-British Senators like Hoke Smith and Gore.
    Therefore, I cannot urge you too strongly at once to send an identic
    letter to both Representative Flood, chairman of the Foreign Relations
    Committee of the House, and Senator Stone, chairman of the Foreign
    Relations Committee of the Senate. The letter, in my opinion, should
    embody the following ideas:

    First, explain in the frankest fashion just what Secretary Lansing
    attempted to obtain when he suggested to the Entente nations an
    agreement on the arming of merchantmen, how this government was
    informed by Germany of her intention to destroy armed merchantmen
    without giving the passengers a moment of warning, and how, in order
    to stave off such a contingency, we tried as the friend and in the
    interest of humanity to get an agreement between both sides that would
    bring submarine warfare within the bounds of international law.

    Second, explain that a possible adjustment of this matter is in
    process of negotiation right now, and that, of course, while we cannot
    change international law upon our own initiative, we are still of the
    hope that some general agreement among the belligerents may eventually
    be obtained. Explain how embarrassing such a resolution as the
    McLemore one will be to negotiations now being threshed out between
    the executive branches of the Government charged with the conduct of
    foreign relations, and foreign governments.

    Third, then say that in the absence of any general agreement, the
    United States cannot yield one inch of her rights without destroying
    the whole fabric of international law, for in the last analysis this
    is what is involved. To yield one right to-day means another to-
    morrow. We cannot know where this process of yielding on the ground of
    convenience or expediency may lead us. These laws are the product of
    centuries. Our forefathers fought to establish their validity, and we
    cannot afford for the sake of convenience when our very life is
    threatened, to abandon them on any ground of convenience or

    Fourth, to pass such a resolution at this time would seriously
    embarrass the Department of State and the Executive in the conduct of
    these most delicate matters at a time when everything is being done to
    bring about a peaceful solution of these problems.

    Fifth, might you not diplomatically suggest, in your letter to Senator
    Stone, that to pass favorably upon a resolution of this kind at this
    time would be showing lack of confidence in the Government, and
    particularly in its Chief Executive?

    The morning papers have outlined the details of the opposition among
    the Democrats. The afternoon papers are repeating the same thing with
    emphasis on the fact that Joe Cannon, Jim Mann, and Lodge are going to
    support you. I would suggest that you insert the following in your
    letter to Senator Stone:

        "I think that not only would such a vote on this resolution be
        construed as a lack of confidence in the executive branch of the
        Government in this most delicate matter but if the division
        continues as I am informed within the ranks of the Democratic
        party, it will be difficult for me to consider that the majority
        party speaks the will of the nation in these circumstances and as
        between any faction in my party and the interests of the nation, I
        must always choose the latter, irrespective of what the effect
        will be on me or my personal fortunes. What we are contending for
        in this matter is of the very essence of the things that have made
        America a sovereign nation. She cannot yield them without
        admitting and conceding her own impotency as a nation and the
        surrender of her independent position among the nations of the


The letter of the President to Senator Stone was published in the morning
papers of February 25, 1916, and is as follows:


    February 25, 1916.


    I very warmly appreciate your kind and frank letter of to-day, and
    feel that it calls for an equally frank reply. You are right in
    assuming that I shall do everything in my power to keep the United
    States out of war. I think the country will feel no uneasiness about
    my course in that respect. Through many anxious months I have striven
    for that object, amid difficulties more manifold than can have been
    apparent upon the surface, and so far I have succeeded. I do not doubt
    that I shall continue to succeed.

    The course which the central European powers have announced their
    intention of following in the future with regard to undersea warfare
    seems for the moment to threaten insuperable obstacles, but its
    apparent meaning is so manifestly inconsistent with explicit
    assurances recently given us by those powers with regard to their
    treatment of merchant vessels on the high seas that I must believe
    that explanations will presently ensue which will put a different
    aspect upon it. We have had no reason to question their good faith or
    their fidelity to their promises in the past, and I for one feel
    confident that we shall have none in the future.

    But in any event our duty is clear. No nation, no group of nations,
    has the right, while war is in progress, to alter or disregard the
    principles which all nations have agreed upon in mitigation of the
    horrors and sufferings of war; and if the clear rights of American
    citizens should very unhappily be abridged or denied by any such
    action we should, it seems to me, have in honour no choice as to what
    our own course should be.

    For my own part I cannot consent to any abridgment of the rights of
    American citizens in any respect. The honour and self-respect of the
    nation is involved. We covet peace, and shall preserve it at any cost
    but the loss of honor. To forbid our people to exercise their rights
    for fear we might be called upon to vindicate them would be a deep
    humiliation, indeed. It would be an implicit, all but an explicit,
    acquiescence in the violation of the rights of mankind everywhere and
    of whatever nation or allegiance. It would be a deliberate abdication
    of our hitherto proud position as spokesmen, even amid the turmoil of
    war, for the law and the right. It would make everything this
    government has attempted and everything that it has accomplished
    during this terrible struggle of nations meaningless and futile.

    It is important to reflect that if in this instance we allowed
    expediency to take the place of principle the door would inevitably be
    opened to still further concessions. Once accept a single abatement of
    right, and many other humiliations would follow, and the whole fine
    fabric of international law might crumble under our hands piece by
    piece. What we are contending for in this matter is of the very
    essence of the things that have made America a sovereign nation. She
    cannot yield them without conceding her own impotency as a nation and
    making virtual surrender of her independent position among the nations
    of the world.

    I am speaking, my dear Senator, in deep solemnity, without heat, with
    a clear consciousness of the high responsibilities of my office and as
    your sincere and devoted friend. If we should unhappily differ, we
    shall differ as friends, but where issues so momentous as these are
    involved we must, just because we are friends, speak our minds without

    Faithfully yours,

      United States Senate.

The publication of the letter of the President to Senator Stone worked a
complete reversal of opinion on the Hill.

Quickly the effect of the President's letter was seen, and the McLemore
resolution was overwhelmingly defeated.

Early in August, 1916, the President took up his residence at Shadow Lawn,
New Jersey, and began the preparation of his speech of acceptance. He
forwarded me a draft of this speech which brought from me the following
comment upon it:


    August 22, 1916.


    I think the failure to bring out the hyphen question in your speech of
    acceptance will be vigorously criticized even by our loyal friends.
    Mr. Hughes will soon be compelled to speak out on this question.
    Roosevelt's speeches in the main will force him to do this. You might
    open the subject in that part of your speech in which you discuss
    neutrality, showing the embarrassments under which you have laboured
    in trying to keep the Nation at peace. After discussing these
    embarrassments, consisting of plots against our industries, etc.,
    could you not introduce a sentence like this?: "While I am the
    candidate of the Democratic party, I am above all else an American
    citizen. I neither seek the favour nor fear the wrath of any alien
    element in America which puts loyalty to any foreign power first."

    As to Huerta: I believe your reference to him could be strengthened. I
    think you ought to bring out the fact that the work of assassination
    shall never receive the endorsement, so far as you are concerned, of
    this American Republic. I suggest the following: "The United States
    will refuse, so long as that power remains with me, to extend the hand
    of welcome to one who gains power in a republic through treachery and
    bloodshed." (This is not only sound statesmanship but good morals.)
    "No permanency in the affairs of our sister republics can be attained
    by a title based upon intrigue and assassination."


The President, always welcoming advice, approved and embodied some of
these suggestions in his speech of acceptance.

It has often been said by unfair critics that Mr. Wilson was so tenacious
of his own opinion and views that he resented suggestions from the outside
in any matter with which he was called upon to deal.

As an intimate associate of his for eleven years, I think I was in a
position to find out and to know how unfair the basis of this criticism
really was. In my contact with public men I never met a more open-minded
man; nor one who was more willing to act upon any suggestion that had
merit in it. I have seen him readily give up his own views and often yield
to the influence of a better argument. I always felt free in every public
matter that he discussed and in every attitude which he took on public
questions frankly to express my own opinion and openly to disagree with
him. In his speeches and public statements he had no pride of opinion, nor
did he attempt to hold his friends off at arms' length when they had
suggestions of any kind to make.


    Dear Tumulty,

    Here is the expurgated stuff. Do what you please with it.

    W. W.

           *       *       *       *       *

    19 Nov., 1916.

    Dear Tumulty,

    Here is the message. I wish you would read it and give me your
    impression of it.

    And please keep it very carefully from any eyes but your own. It is
    still in provisional shape only, and there are a number of points I am
    still keeping under advisement.

    (signed) W. W.

           *       *       *       *       *

    17 May, 1916.


    Dear Tumulty,

    Thank you for the memorandum about peace suggestions. I have read it
    very carefully and find my own thoughts travelling very much the same
    route. You may be sure I am doing a great deal of serious thinking
    about it all.

    (signed) W. W.

Some insights into day-to-day affairs at the White House]

In these reminiscences I am including my letters to him, embodying
suggestions of various kinds, many of which he acted upon and many of
which he rejected, in order that proof may be given of the fact, that
despite what his critics may say, he not only did not resent suggestions,
but openly invited them.



After the delivery of the speech of acceptance on September 2nd quiet
ruled over the Wilson camp at Shadow Lawn. This lull in the matter of
politics was intensified by the President's absence from Shadow Lawn
because of the death of his only sister, which called him away and for a
while took his mind and his energies from the discussion of politics.

On September 11th, the state elections in Maine were carried by the
Republicans. The total vote was the largest ever cast in Maine in a state
election. The Republican majorities ranged from 9,000 to 14,000. There had
been a vigorous contest in Maine by both parties and the Republicans were
greatly heartened by the result in the hope that "as goes Maine so goes
the Union."

There is no doubt that the result in Maine, which many Democrats were of
the opinion was a forecast of the results throughout the nation in
November, had a depressing effect. The Republicans accepted it as a
harbinger of victory and the Democrats as an indication of defeat. On the
night of the Maine elections I kept close to the telephone at the
Executive offices and engaged in conferences with two or three practical
politicians from New Jersey. It was interesting to watch the effects of
the returns from Maine upon these men. When the returns, as complete as we
could get them at twelve o'clock on the night of September 11th, came in,
James Nugent, one of the leading politicians of Essex County, New Jersey,
who was in the room, took from my desk a copy of the "World Almanac", and
referring to the returns of previous elections, said: "Of course, the
Republicans will hail this as a great victory, but if they will sit down
and analyze the gains they have made, they will find no comfort in them,
for to me they indicate a Democratic victory in November. If the Democrats
make proportionate gains in other states, you can absolutely count upon a
Democratic victory in 1916."

This prophecy was verified by the results of the election of November 7th.

It was difficult and almost impossible between the date of the speech of
acceptance and the first of October to revive interest in the Democratic
campaign and to bring about a renewal of hope of success that had almost
been destroyed by the psychological results of the Maine election.

Frequent demands were made upon us at the Executive offices at Asbury Park
to get busy and to do something. "Wilson was not on the front page and
Hughes was busily engaged in campaigning throughout the West." But the
President in his uncanny way knew better than we the psychological moment
to strike. He went about his work at the Executive offices and gave to us
who were closely associated with him the impression that nothing unusual
was afoot and that no Presidential campaign was impending. I made frequent
suggestions to him that he be up and doing. He would only smile and calmly
say: "The moment is not here. Let them use up their ammunition and then we
will turn our guns upon them."

The psychological moment came, and the President took full advantage of
it. One afternoon in September the President telephoned me at the
Executive offices at Asbury Park to have the newspaper men present for a
conference that afternoon; that he would give out a reply to a telegram he
had received. With the newspaper group, I attended this conference. It
appeared that an Irish agitator named Jeremiah O'Leary, who had been
organizing and speaking against the President and trying to array the
Irish vote against him, wrote an offensive letter to the President,
calling attention to the results of the Maine elections and to the New
Jersey primaries, and to his anticipated defeat in November. The President
handed to the newspaper men the following reply to O'Leary:

    I would feel deeply mortified to have you or anybody like you vote for
    me. Since you have access to many disloyal Americans and I have not, I
    will ask you to convey this message to them.

This sharp and timely rebuke to the unpatriotic spirit to which O'Leary
gave expression won the hearty and unanimous approval of the country to
the President. Nothing like this bold defiance came from Hughes until a
few days before the election.

The Democratic campaign, within twenty-four hours after the publication of
the O'Leary telegram, was on again in full swing.

At this same newspaper conference the President, who had not seen the
newspaper group since his arrival at Long Branch, discussed the campaign,
so that they might have what he called the "inside of his mind." His
criticism of the campaign that Justice Hughes was conducting contained
bitter irony and, sarcasm. Evidently, the petty things to which Mr. Hughes
had adverted in his campaign speeches by way of criticizing the President
and his administration had cut the President to the quick. One of the
newspaper men asked him what he thought of Mr. Hughes' campaign, and he
laughingly replied: "If you will give that gentleman rope enough he will
hang himself. He has forgotten many things since he closeted himself on
the bench, and he will soon find himself out of touch with the spirit of
the nation. His speeches are nothing more or less than blank cartridges
and the country, unless I mistake the people very much, will place a true
assessment upon them."

The newspaper men left this conference heartened by the reply he had made
to O'Leary and with the firm conviction that the Democratic candidate was
just "playing" with Hughes and would pounce upon him at the psychological

In the delivery of the campaign speeches at Shadow Lawn each Saturday
afternoon President Wilson took full advantage of the swing toward the
Democratic side which was manifest after the publication of the famous
O'Leary telegram. While the Republican candidate was busily engaged in
invading the West in his swing around the circle, the Democratic candidate
each week from his porch at Shadow Lawn was delivering sledge-hammer blows
at the Republican breastworks. As the Republican candidate in an effort to
win the West was heaping maledictions upon Dr. E. Lester Jones, the head
of the Geodetic Survey, a Wilson appointee, the President calmly moved on,
ripping to pieces and tearing to shreds the poor front behind which the
Republican managers were seeking to win the fight.

Mr. Hughes campaigned like a lawyer, Mr. Wilson like a statesman. Mr.
Hughes was hunting small game with bird shot, Mr. Wilson trained heavy
artillery on the enemies' central position. The essential difference
between the two men and the operations of their minds was made clear in
the campaign. No one would wish to minimize the unusual abilities of Mr.
Hughes, but they are the abilities of an adroit lawyer. He makes "points."
He pleases those minds which like cleverness and finesse. He deals with
international affairs like an astute lawyer drawing a brief. But has he
ever quickened the nation's pulse or stirred its heart by a single
utterance? Did he ever make any one feel that behind the formalities of
law, civil or international, he detected the heartbeats of humanity whom
law is supposedly designed to serve? Mr. Wilson was not thinking of Mr.
Hughes, but perhaps he was thinking of the type of which Mr. Hughes is an
eminent example when he said in Paris: "This is not to be a lawyers'

Every speech of President Wilson's was, to use a baseball phrase, a home
run for the Democratic side. They were delivered without much preparation
and were purely extemporaneous in character. The Republican opposition
soon began to wince under the smashing blows delivered by the Democratic
candidate, and outward proof was soon given of the fear and despair that
were now gathering in the Republican ranks. With a few short trips to the
West, and his final speech at Long Branch, President Wilson closed his
campaign, with Democratic hopes on the rise.

The happenings of Election Day, 1916, will long linger in my memory. I was
in charge of the Executive offices located at Asbury Park, while the
President remained at Shadow Lawn, awaiting the news of the first returns
from the country. The first scattered returns that filtered in to the
Executive offices came from a little fishing town in Massachusetts early
in the afternoon of Election Day, which showed a slight gain for the
President over the election returns of 1912. Then followed early drifts
from Colorado and Kansas, which showed great Wilson gains. Those of us who
were interested in the President's cause were made jubilant by these early
returns. Every indication, though imperfect, up to seven o'clock on the
night of the election, forecasted the President's reëlection.

In the early afternoon the President telephoned the Executive offices to
inquire what news we had received from the country and he was apprised of
the results that had come in up to that time. Then, quickly, the tide
turned against us in the most unusual way. Between seven and nine o'clock
the returns slowly came in from the East and Middle West that undeniably
showed a drift away from us.

About nine-thirty o'clock in the evening I was seated in my office, when a
noise outside in the hallway attracted my attention and gave me the
impression that something unusual was afoot. The door of my office opened
and there entered a galaxy of newspaper men connected with the White House
offices, led by a representative of the New York _World_, who held in his
hands a bulletin from his office, carrying the news of Hughes' election.
The expression in the men's faces told me that a crisis was at hand. The
_World_ man delivered his fateful message of defeat for our forces,
without explanation of any kind. To me the blow was stunning, for the New
York _World_ had been one of our staunchest supporters throughout the
whole campaign and yet, I had faith to believe that the news carried in
the bulletin would be upset by subsequent returns. Steadying myself behind
my desk, I quickly made up my mind as to what my reply should be to the
_World_ bulletin and to the query of the newspaper men whether we were
ready to "throw up the sponge" and concede Hughes' election. Concealing
the emotion I felt, I dictated the following statement, which was flashed
through the country:

    When Secretary Tumulty was shown the _World_ bulletin, conceding
    Hughes' election, he authorized the following statement: "Wilson will
    win. The West has not yet been heard from. Sufficient gains will be
    made in the West and along the Pacific slope to offset the losses in
    the East."

Shortly after the flash from the _World_ bulletin was delivered to me,
conceding Hughes' election, the President again telephoned me from Long
Branch to find out the latest news of the election. From what he said he
had already been apprised by Admiral Grayson of the bulletin of the New
York _World_. Every happening of that memorable night is still fresh in my
memory and I recall distinctly just what the President said and how
philosophically he received the news of his apparent defeat. Laughingly he
said: "Well, Tumulty, it begins to look as if we have been badly licked."
As he discussed the matter with me I could detect no note of sadness in
his voice. In fact, I could hear him chuckle over the 'phone. He seemed to
take an impersonal view of the whole thing and talked like a man from
whose shoulders a great load had been lifted and now he was happy and
rejoicing that he was a free man again. When I informed him of the drifts
in our favour from other parts of the country and said that it was too
early to concede anything, he said: "Tumulty, you are an optimist. It
begins to look as if the defeat might be overwhelming. The only thing I am
sorry for, and that cuts me to the quick, is that the people apparently
misunderstood us. But I have no regrets. We have tried to do our duty." So
far as he was concerned, the issue of the election was disposed of, out of
the way and a settled thing. That was the last telephone message between
the President and myself until twenty-four hours later, when the tide
turned again in our favour.

An unusual incident occurred about 8:30 o'clock in the evening, shortly
after my talk with the President. I was called to the telephone and told
that someone in New York wished to speak to me on a highly important
matter. I went to the 'phone. At the other end in New York was an
individual who refusing to give his name, described himself as a friend of
our cause. I thought he was one of the varieties of crank, with whom I had
been accustomed to deal at the White House on frequent occasions during my
life there; but there was something about his talk that convinced me that
he was in close touch with someone in authority at Republican
headquarters. In his first talk with me, and in subsequent talks during
the night of the election and on the following day, there was a warning to
us, in no way, or by the slightest sign, to give up the fight, or to
concede Hughes' election. He said: "Early returns will naturally run
against Wilson in the East, particularly in Illinois and Iowa," and
intimated to me that the plan at Republican headquarters would be to
exaggerate these reports and to overwhelm us with news of Republican
victories throughout the country. Continuing his talk he said: "The Wilson
fight will be won in the West. I shall keep you advised of what is
happening in Republican headquarters. I can only tell you that I will
_know_ what is happening and you may rely upon the information I shall
give you."

All night long the loyal newspaper men and I kept vigil at the Executive
offices. As I read over the bulletins that came to me, particularly those
from Republican headquarters in New York, I was quick to notice that
although the Republican managers were blatantly proclaiming to the country
that the fight was over, for some reason or other, the Republican
candidate, Mr. Hughes, who was at his headquarters at the Hotel Astor, was

Just about this time there was another message from the mysterious
stranger in New York. The message, as I recall it, was as follows: "They
[meaning the Republican managers] are trying to induce Hughes to claim the
election, but he is unwilling to make an announcement and is asking for
further returns. You boys stand pat. Returns that are now coming in are
worrying them. Don't be swept off your feet by claims from Republican
headquarters. I know what is happening there."

Shortly after this telephone message came a bulletin from Republican
headquarters, stating that the Republican managers were then in conference
with Mr. Hughes and that a statement from Mr. Hughes would soon be
forthcoming. This unusual coincidence convinced me that the man who was
telephoning me either was on the inside of affairs at Republican
headquarters, or had an uncanny way of knowing just what the managers were

Up to eleven o'clock every bit of news ran against us. Finally, the
Brooklyn _Eagle_, a supporter of the President, and then the New York
_Times_, our last line of defense, gave way and conceded Hughes' election,
but the unterrified Democrats at the Executive offices stood out against
any admission of defeat.

The mysterious stranger was again on the wire, saying that there was
consternation in the Republican ranks; that George Perkins had just
conferred with National Chairman Willcox and had left Willcox's room,
shaking his head and saying to one of the attachés of headquarters, that
"things were not looking well." A few minutes later a bulletin came from
Republican headquarters confirming the story the mysterious stranger had
just told over the 'phone.

All the while I was keeping in touch with our headquarters in New York
City, and about 10:30 o'clock Robert W. Woolley, the publicity man of the
Democratic National Committee, 'phoned me and advised me not to concede
anything and assured me that the returns from the West, now coming in
greater drifts, indicated Wilson's reelection.

When I left the telephone booth, David Lawrence, the Washington
correspondent of the New York _Evening Post_, who a few weeks before had
predicted, in a remarkable article, the election of Wilson, and who was my
friend and co-labourer during that night (in conjunction with Mr. L. Ames
Brown, a noted newspaper man of Washington, connected with the Democratic
National Committee) conferred with me, and from a table he had prepared
showed me how the small states of the West, which the returns indicated
were now coming into the Wilson column, would elect the Democratic
candidate, and that under no circumstances must we, by any chance, in any
statement, concede the election of Hughes.

All night long telephone messages, very brief, would come from the
mysterious stranger in New York, and quickly there would follow bulletins
from Republican headquarters confirming everything that he said. These
messages came so rapidly that I was soon convinced that this individual,
whoever he was, had the real inside of the Republican situation. So
convinced was I that I followed up my statement of the early evening with
additional statements, claiming the election for Mr. Wilson.

Just about the break of day on Wednesday morning, as David Lawrence, Ames
Brown, and my son Joe, were seated in my office, a room which overlooked a
wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, we were notified by Democratic
headquarters of the first big drift toward Wilson. Ohio, which in the
early evening had been claimed by the Republicans, had turned to Wilson by
an approximate majority of sixty thousand; Kansas followed; Utah was
leaning toward him; North Dakota and South Dakota inclining the same way.
The Wilson tide began to rise appreciably from that time on, until state
after state from the West came into the Wilson column. At five o'clock in
the morning the New York _Times_ and the New York _World_ recanted and
were now saying that the election of Mr. Hughes was doubtful.

Without sleep and without food, those of us at the Executive offices kept
close to the telephone wire. We never left the job for a minute. The last
message from the mysterious stranger came about one o'clock, the day
following the election, when he 'phoned me that, "George Perkins is now at
Republican headquarters and is telephoning Roosevelt and will soon leave
to inform Roosevelt that, to use his own words, 'the jig is up,' and that
Wilson is elected." Shortly after, from Republican headquarters came a
bulletin saying: "George Perkins is on his way to confer with Mr.

Some months after the election the mysterious stranger came to the White
House offices, and without identifying himself, informed me that he was
the individual who on the night of the election had kept me in touch with
Republican headquarters, and then astounded me by telling me that in some
mysterious way, which he did not disclose, he had succeeded in breaking in
on the Republican National Committee wire and had listened in on every
conversation that had passed between Willcox, Hughes, George Perkins,
Harvey, and Theodore Roosevelt himself during the night of the election
and the day following.

Mr. Wilson arose the morning after the election, confident that he had
been defeated. He went about his tasks in the usual way. The first news
that he received that there had been a turn in the tide came from his
daughter, Margaret, who knocked on the door of the bathroom while the
President was shaving and told him of the "Extra" of the New York _Times_,
saying that the election was in doubt, with indications of a Wilson
victory. The President thought that his daughter was playing a practical
joke on him and told her to "tell that to the Marines," and went on about
his shaving.

When the President and I discussed the visit of his daughter, Margaret, to
notify him of his reëlection, he informed me that he was just beginning to
enjoy the reaction of defeat when he was notified that the tide had turned
in his favour. This will seem unusual, but those of us who were close to
the man and who understood the trials and tribulations of the Presidency,
knew that he was in fact for the first time in four years enjoying the
freedom of private life.

Mr. Wilson's imperturbability on election night was like that of sturdy
Grover Cleveland, though temperamentally the men were unlike. Mr.
Cleveland used to tell his friends how in 1884 he had gone to bed early
not knowing who was elected, and how he learned the news of his election
next morning from his valet, after having first made inquiries about the
state of the weather. In 1892 Mr. Cleveland, his wife, and two friends
played a quiet game of cards while the returns were coming in. In reciting
these reminiscences, the old warrior used to say that he never could
understand the excitement of candidates on election nights. "The fight is
all over then," he would say, "and it is merely a matter of counting the
ballots." Mr. Wilson preserved the same calmness, which appeared almost
like indifference. In 1912 he sat in the sitting room of his little
cottage in Cleveland Lane in Princeton quietly reading from one of his
favourite authors and occasionally joining in the conversation of Mrs.
Wilson and a few neighbours who had dropped in. In a rear room there was a
telegraphic ticker, an operator, and some newspaper boys who at intervals
would take an especially interesting bulletin in to Mr. Wilson, who would
glance at it casually, make some brief comment, and then return to his
book. One of the guests of the evening who read in a newspaper next day a
rather melodramatic and entirely imaginative account of the scene, said:
"The only dramatic thing about the evening was that there was nothing



While President Wilson was giving his whole thought and effort to the
solution of exacting domestic tasks, the European war broke upon him and
thus turned his attention and study to the age-long and complicated
political struggle between Germany, France, and England.

Fully conscious from the very beginning of the difficulties that lay in
his path, he was aware of the eventualities the war now beginning might
lead to. As a profound student of history he saw with a clear vision the
necessity of neutrality and of America remaining disentangled in every way
from the embroilments of Europe. To the people of the country it at first
appeared that the war was one more in a long series of European quarrels
and that we must play our part in the great conflict as mere spectators
and strictly adhere to the American policy of traditional aloofness and
isolation, which had been our immemorial custom and habit. Although we
were bound to maintain a policy of isolation, Woodrow Wilson from the
beginning foresaw its futility, and afterward gave expression to this
conviction in a campaign speech in 1916, when he said:

    This is the last war [meaning the World War] of its kind or of any
    kind that involves the world that the United States can keep out of. I
    say that because I believe that the business of neutrality is over;
    not because I want it to be over, but I mean this, that war now has
    such a scale that the position of neutrals sooner or later becomes

He knew how difficult it would be to keep a people so variously
constituted strictly neutral. No sooner was his proclamation of neutrality
announced than the differences in points of view in racial stocks began to
manifest themselves in language both intemperate and passionate, until his
advice to his country "to be neutral in fact as well as in name" became a
dead and spiritless thing.

I have often been asked if the policy of neutrality which the President
announced, and which brought a fire of criticism upon him, represented his
own personal feelings toward the European war, and whether if he had been
a private citizen, he would have derided it as now his critics were
engaged in doing.

As an intimate associate of Woodrow Wilson during the whole of the
European war, and witnessing from day to day the play of his feelings,
especially after the violation of the neutrality of Belgium, I am certain
that had he been free to do so he would have yielded to the impulse of
championing a cause that in his heart of hearts he felt involved the
civilization of the world. But it was his devotion to the idea of
trusteeship that held him in check, and the consciousness that in carrying
out that trusteeship he had no right to permit his own passionate feelings
to govern his public acts.

It would have been a dramatic adventure to accept Germany's assault on
Belgium as a challenge to the humane interest of America, but the
acceptance would have been only a gesture, for we were unable to transport
armies to the theatre of war in time to check the outrage. Such action
would have pleased some people in the East, but the President knew that
this quixotic knight errantry would not appeal to the country at large,
particularly the West, still strongly grounded in the Washingtonian
tradition of non-interference in European quarrels.

Colonel Roosevelt himself, who subsequently attacked so strongly the
"pusillanimity" of the Administration's course, said on September 23,

    A deputation of Belgians has arrived in this country to invoke our
    assistance in the time of their dreadful need. What action our
    government can or will take I know not. It has been announced that no
    action can be taken that will interfere with our entire neutrality. It
    is certainly eminently desirable that we should remain entirely
    neutral and nothing but urgent need would warrant breaking our
    neutrality and taking sides one way or the other.

It was not the policy of a weakling or a timid man. It was the policy of a
prudent leader and statesman, who was feeling his way amid dangers and who
as an historian himself knew the difficulties of an imprudent or
incautious move.

I recall the day he prepared his neutrality proclamation. At the end of
one of the most strenuous days of his life in Washington, he left the
Executive offices where he was engaged in meeting and conferring with
senators and congressmen, and I found him comfortably seated under an elm
tree, serenely engaged with pad and pencil in preparing his neutrality
proclamation, which was soon to loose a fierce storm of opposition and
ridicule upon him. He and I had often discussed the war and its effect
upon our own country, and one day in August, 1914, just after the Great
War had begun, he said to me: "We are going through deep waters in the
days to come. The passions now lying dormant will soon be aroused and my
motives and purposes at every turn will soon be challenged until there
will be left but few friends to justify my course. It does not seem clear
now, but as this war grows in intensity it will soon resolve itself into a
war between autocracy and democracy. Various racial groups in America will
seek to lead us now one way and then another. We must sit steady in the
boat and bow our heads to meet the storm."

Bound as he was by the responsibilities of trusteeship to adhere to a
policy of neutrality, personally he saw that the inevitable results would
be only bitter disappointment. "We cannot remain isolated in this war," he
said, "for soon the contagion of it will spread until it reaches our own
shores. On the one side Mr. Bryan will censure the Administration for
being too militaristic, and on the other we will find Mr. Roosevelt
criticizing us because we are too pacifist in our tendencies."

Dr. William E. Dodd, in his book "Woodrow Wilson and His Work," has sensed
the complicated situation in which the President found himself: "The
British blockade, becoming more effective every day, barred the way of
American goods to Germany and even neutral countries. Hoke Smith and a
score of southern senators and representatives urged him to protest
against the blockade. Representatives of the packers of Chicago and the
farmers of the Northwest urged him to open the way to hungry markets for
their goods. He made his fight during the autumn of 1914 and 1915 against
all the more drastic phases of the British blockade, against British
interference with our cargoes for neutral ports." Every artificial device
for increasing our trade with neutral countries was suggested by those who
sought his aid and counsel in the matter. Cotton of all the commodities
was the hardest hit. When a friend from Georgia urged action by the
President to help in the matter of cotton, the President tried to impress
upon him that, with the World War in progress, the law of supply and
demand was deeply affected and that the sales of cotton were necessarily
restricted by reason of the closure of certain markets to our goods. This
friend, in urging his views upon the President, said: "But you, Mr.
President, can suspend the law of supply and demand." The President
responded fey saying: "If I did, Judge, and you ran your head up against
it, you might get hurt."

Every sympathizer with Germany pursued the President relentlessly with
insistent demand that England should be brought to book for the
unreasonable character of the blockade which she was carrying on against
our commerce on the high seas. The President in every diplomatic way
possible pressed America's claims against England, but these demands did
not satisfy the German sympathizers throughout the country who covertly
sought to bring about a real breach between the two countries. Even I felt
that we should go further in our demands upon England than the President
seemed willing to go.

The pressure upon us at the White House for satisfaction at the hands of
England grew more intense with each day. I recall a conversation I had
with the President shortly before the Congressional elections when the
President's political enemies were decrying his kind treatment of England
and excoriating him for the stern manner in which he was holding Germany
to strict accountability for her actions. This conversation was held while
we were on board the President's train on our way to the West. After
dinner one evening I tactfully broached the subject of the British
blockade and laid before the President the use our enemies were making of
his patient action toward England. My frank criticism deeply aroused him.
Replying to me he pitilessly attacked those who were criticizing him for
"letting up on Great Britain." Looking across the table at me he said: "I
am aware of the demands that are daily being made upon me by my friends
for more vigorous action against England in the matter of the blockade; I
am aware also of the sinister political purpose that lies back of many of
these demands. Many senators and congressmen who urge radical action
against England are thinking only of German votes in their districts and
are not thinking of the world crisis that would inevitably occur should
there be an actual breach at this time between England and America over
the blockade." Then looking squarely at me, he said: "I have gone to the
very limit in pressing our claims upon England and in urging the British
Foreign Office to modify the blockade. Walter Page, our Ambassador to
England, has placed every emphasis upon our insistence that something be
done, and something will be done, but England, now in the throes of a
great war crisis, must at least be given a chance to adjust these matters.
Only a few days ago Mr. Page wrote me a most interesting letter,
describing the details of a conference he had had with Sir Edward Grey,
the British Foreign Secretary, to discuss our protests against the British
blockade. Mr. Page described the room in which the conference was held, on
the wall of which was hung as a memorial the fifteen-million-dollar check
with which Great Britain paid the _Alabama_ claims in the Civil War. Mr.
Page pointed to this _Alabama_ check and said: 'If you don't stop these
seizures, Sir Edward, some day you will have your entire room papered with
things like that.' Sir Edward replied: 'That may be so, but we will pay
every cent. Of course, many of the restrictions we have laid down and
which seriously interfere with your trade are unreasonable. But America
must remember that we are fighting her fight, as well as our own, to save
the civilization of the world. You dare not press us too far!'" Turning to
me, the President said: "He was right. England is fighting our fight and
you may well understand that I shall not, in the present state of the
world's affairs, place obstacles in her way. Many of our critics suggest
war with England in order to force reparation in these matters. War with
England would result in a German triumph. No matter what may happen to me
personally in the next election, I will not take any action to embarrass
England when she is fighting for her life and the life of the world. Let
those who clamour for radical action against England understand this!"

While the critics of the President were busily engaged in embarrassing and
"hazing" him at every point and insisting upon a "show-down" with Great
Britain over the blockade, the world was startled on May 7, 1915, by the
news of the sinking of the _Lusitania_, off the coast of Ireland,
resulting in the loss of many American lives. A few days later came the
news that the German people were rejoicing at the fine stroke of the
submarine commander in consummating this horrible tragedy.

The President's critics who, a few days before, were assailing him for his
supposed surrender to England, were now demanding an immediate declaration
of war against Germany, but not for a moment did the President waver
before these clamorous demands. To such an extent did he carry this
attitude of calmness and steadiness of purpose that on "the outside" the
people felt that there was in him a heartlessness and an indifference to
the deep tragedy of the _Lusitania_. At my first meeting with him I tried
to call to his attention many of the tragic details of the sinking of the
great ship in an effort to force his hands, so to speak, but he quickly
checked what appeared to be my youthful impetuosity and said: "Tumulty, it
would be much wiser for us not to dwell too much upon these matters." When
he uttered this admonition there was no suggestion of coldness about him.
In fact, he seemed to be deeply moved as I adverted to some of the facts
surrounding this regrettable and tragic affair. At times tears stood in
his eyes, and turning to me he said: "If I pondered over those tragic
items that daily appear in the newspapers about the _Lusitania_, I should
see red in everything, and I am afraid that when I am called upon to act
with reference to this situation I could not be just to any one. I dare
not act unjustly and cannot indulge my own passionate feelings."

Evidently he saw that his turning away from the topic in this apparently
indifferent way did not sit well with me. Quickly he understood my
dissatisfaction and said: "I suppose you think I am cold and indifferent
and little less than human, but, my dear fellow, you are mistaken, for I
have spent many sleepless hours thinking about this tragedy. It has hung
over me like a terrible nightmare. In God's name, how could any nation
calling itself civilized purpose so horrible a thing?"

At the time we were discussing this grave matter we were seated in the
President's study in the White House. I had never seen him more serious or
careworn. I was aware that he was suffering under the criticism that had
been heaped upon him for his apparent inaction in the matter of the
_Lusitania_. Turning to me he said: "Let me try to make my attitude in
this matter plain to you, so that you at least will try to understand what
lies in my thoughts. I am bound to consider in the most careful and
cautious way the first step I shall take, because once having taken it I
cannot withdraw from it. I am bound to consider beforehand all the facts
and circumstances surrounding the sinking of the _Lusitania_ and to
calculate the effect upon the country of every incautious or unwise move.
I am keenly aware that the feeling of the country is now at fever heat and
that it is ready to move with me in any direction I shall suggest, but I
am bound to weigh carefully the effect of radical action now based upon
the present emotionalism of the people. I am not sure whether the present
emotionalism of the country would last long enough to sustain any action I
would suggest to Congress, and thus in case of failure we should be left
without that fine backing and support so necessary to maintain a great
cause. I could go to Congress to-morrow and advocate war with Germany and
I feel certain that Congress would support me, but what would the country
say when war was declared, and finally came, and we were witnessing all of
its horrors and bloody aftermath. As the people pored over the casualty
lists, would they not say: 'Why did Wilson move so fast in this matter?
Why didn't he try peaceably to settle this question with Germany? Why
could he not have waited a little longer? Why was he so anxious to go to
war with Germany, yet at the same time why was he so tender of the
feelings of Great Britain in the matter of the blockade?' Were I to advise
radical action now, we should have nothing, I am afraid, but regrets and
heartbreaks. The vastness of this country; its variegated elements; the
conflicting cross-currents of national feelings bid us wait and withhold
ourselves from hasty or precipitate action. When we move against Germany
we must be certain that the whole country not only moves with us but is
willing to go forward to the end with enthusiasm. I know that we shall be
condemned for waiting, but in the last analysis I am the trustee of this
nation, and the cost of it all must be considered in the reckoning before
we go forward."

Then leaning closer to me, he said: "It will not do for me to act as if I
had been hurried into precipitate action against Germany. I must answer
for the consequences of my action. What is the picture that lies before
me? All the great nations of Europe at war, engaged in a death grapple
that may involve civilization. My earnest hope and fervent prayer has been
that America could withhold herself and remain out of this terrible mess
and steer clear of European embroilments, and at the right time offer
herself as the only mediating influence to bring about peace. We are the
only great nation now free to do this. If we should go in, then the whole
civilized world will become involved. What a pretty mess it would be!
America, the only nation disconnected from this thing and now she is
surrendering the leadership she occupies and becomes involved as other
nations have. Think of the tragedy! I am not afraid to go to war. No man
fit to be President of this nation, knowing the way its people would
respond to any demand that might be made upon them, need have fears or
doubts as to what stand it would finally take. But what I fear more than
anything else is the possibility of world bankruptcy that will inevitably
follow our getting into this thing, Not only world chaos and bankruptcy,
but all of the distempers, social, moral, and industrial, that will flow
from this world cataclysm. No sane man, therefore, who knows the dangerous
elements that are abroad in the world would, without feeling out every
move, seek to lead his people without counting the cost and
dispassionately deliberating upon every move."

In a speech delivered at Helena, Montana, he frankly spoke of the "break
down" of neutrality in these words:

    In the Providence of God, the leadership of this nation was intrusted
    to me during those early years of the war when we were not in it. I
    was aware through many subtle channels of the movements of opinion in
    this country, and I know that the thing that this country chiefly
    desired, the thing that you men out here in the West chiefly desired
    and the thing that of course every loving woman had at her heart, was
    that we should keep out of the war, and we tried to persuade ourselves
    that the European business was not our business. We tried to convince
    ourselves that no matter what happened on the other side of the sea,
    no obligation of duty rested upon us, and finally we found the
    currents of humanity too strong for us. We found that a great
    consciousness was welling up in us that this was not a local cause,
    that this was not a struggle which was to be confined to Europe, or
    confined to Asia, to which it had spread, but that it was something
    that involved the very fate of civilization; and there was one great
    nation in the world that could not afford to stay out of it. There are
    gentlemen opposing the ratification of this treaty who at that time
    taunted the Administration of the United States that it had lost touch
    with its international conscience. They were eager to go in, and now
    that they have got in, and are caught in the whole network of human
    conscience, they want to break out and stay out. We were caught in
    this thing by the action of a nation utterly unlike ourselves. What I
    mean to say is that the German nation, the German people, had no
    choice whatever as to whether it was to go into that war or not, did
    not know that it was going into it until its men were summoned to the
    colours. I remember, not once, but often, that while sitting at the
    Cabinet table in Washington I asked my colleagues what their
    impression was of the opinion of the country before we went into the
    war, and I remember one day one of my colleagues said to me: "Mr.
    President, I think the people of the country would take your advice
    and do what you suggested." "Why," I said, "that is not what I am
    waiting for; that is not enough. If they cannot go in with a whoop
    there is no use of their going in at all. I do not want them to wait
    on me. I am waiting on them. I want to know what the conscience of
    this country is speaking. I want to know what purpose is arising in
    the minds of the people of this country with regard to this world
    situation." When I thought I heard that voice, it was then that I
    proposed to the Congress of the United States that we should include
    ourselves in the challenge that Germany was giving to mankind.

On May 10, 1915, he made a speech in Philadelphia, which contained the
regrettable and much-criticized phrase, "Too proud to fight."
Unfortunately, the headlines of the papers carried only the phrase, "Too
proud to fight," and little or no attention was paid to the context of the
speech in which the phrase was lodged. As a matter of fact, there was
nothing unusual about the character of this speech. The phrase, "Too proud
to fight," was simply expressive of the President's policy since the
outbreak of the war. It was not a new thought with him. Some weeks before
he had said the same thing, only in different words, in a speech delivered
at a banquet of the Associated Press in New York: "My interest in the
neutrality of the United States is not a petty desire to keep out of
trouble. I am interested in neutrality because there is something so much
greater to do than fight. There is a distinction awaiting this nation that
no nation has ever yet got. That is the distinction of absolute self-
control and mastery." The phrase, "Too proud to fight," was simply
expressive of the idea that was close to his heart: a reliance upon means
of settling our difficulties with Germany other than a resort to war. On
our way to Philadelphia on the day of the delivery of this speech I read a
copy of it which the President handed to me, and when I ran across the
phrase, "Too proud to fight," I scented the political danger in it and
warned him, but he declined to be admonished because he was confident in
the moral strength of his position, namely, that self-mastery is sometimes
more heroic than fighting, or as the Bible states it, "He that ruleth his
own spirit is greater than he that taketh a city," and trusted the people
to understand his full meaning. The President himself was so above the
petty tricks by which politicians wrest words from their context and force
upon them unfavourable meaning that he sometimes incautiously played into
the hands of this type of foe. Nor did he fully realize that his gift for
making striking and quotable phrases added to the danger. It was an
unfortunate phrase, "Too proud to fight," but none who thoughtfully read
the context with unprejudiced mind could fail to see the moral grandeur of
the President's position.



The feelings of the people throughout the country began to be aroused as
they witnessed the outlawry of Germany in ruthlessly attacking and
wantonly interfering with American commerce on the high seas. The
agitation for preparedness to meet a critical world situation was on in
full swing. Congress and the President were harassed by conflicting
demands from every side immediately to "put our house in order" and to set
America safely on the road to national preparedness. Theodore Roosevelt
was clamorously demanding universal compulsory military service and was
ably aided by General Wood and Admiral Peary, who urged the adoption of
conscription. Secretary of War Garrison and Senator Chamberlain, of
Oregon, were converted to this radical movement and unwittingly became
part and parcel of the Roosevelt-Wood preparedness propaganda. These
gentlemen could see only the direct route to the accomplishment of the
purpose they had in mind and were alike unmindful of the difficulties and
obstacles that lay in the President's path. To them it appeared that all
it was necessary for the President to do was boldly to announce his
programme of preparedness and serenely to await its approval at the hands
of Congress. They were unmindful of the difficulties of the situation and
of the consummate tact that Would be required on the part of the President
to induce Congress to turn away from the old volunteer system and to put
into effect at once a system that overnight would transform America into
an armed camp. The President was bound to consider the stern actualities
of the situation and to withhold himself as far as possible from a too
vigorous insistence on any programme of preparedness that was not
traditionally, fundamentally American. It was a case of honest men seeing
the same thing in the same way but differing as to the practicable means
of accomplishing it. The President early realized that the volunteer
system was unsuited to our present needs and that it could not be quickly
turned into an active force to answer emergencies, but he was certain,
also, that the people of the country must be convinced of this before they
would agree to cut themselves away from the volunteer system under which
previous American wars had been fought to a successful conclusion. The
President felt that the old volunteer system was antiquated and not to be
considered, but the duty lay upon him to convince the leaders of the
Senate and House and the people that this was a fact. This was no easy
task to accomplish. Haste or impetuous action on his part in advocating
conscription could only, in his opinion, delay matters and embarrass the
very purpose that lay in his mind.

While Roosevelt and Garrison were criticizing Congressional inaction, the
President's mind was "open and to let" on the question of what constituted
the best means of putting America in a state of actual and aggressive
preparedness. As President, he was bound to take cognizance of the deep-
seated antagonism on the part of the American people to any system of
military preparedness that had a compulsory feature as its basic element.
It was the President's opinion that the people of a country so big and
varied as America had to be convinced by alternative methods as to what,
in the last analysis, was the best means of preparing the country against

While he was convinced that we had to be prepared and ready to meet any
emergency, he was not to be rushed in the matter and was keeping his mind
open to find the best and most practical method of accomplishing what he
thought the average opinion of the country demanded in the way of

I had often discussed the matter with the President and, watching the
agitation for preparedness from the side-lines, had stated my views in
letters reading in part as follows:


    In my opinion, there is left to the Republican party but two available
    issues for the campaign of 1916,--the tariff and the question of
    national defense. How we are to meet the enemy on these questions is a
    subject which we ought thoroughly to consider and discuss in the
    coming months.

    As to National Defense: In this matter we must have a sane, reasonable
    and workable programme. That programme must have in it, the
    ingredients that will call forth the hearty support of, first, the
    whole Cabinet (and particularly the Secretary of War); second, the
    leaders of the party in the Senate and House; third, the rank and file
    of Democrats in both Houses; fourth, the Army and the Navy; and last
    but not least, the great body of the American people.

    Successfully to carry through this programme will tax your leadership
    in the party to the last degree. On the eve of the campaign of 1916,
    your attitude and accomplishment in this matter will be accepted by
    the country as the final test of your leadership and will be of
    incalculable psychological importance to the party; and, therefore, in
    the carrying out of this programme we cannot afford to hesitate or to
    blunder, because as election day approaches trivial mistakes will be
    magnified and exaggerated by the opposition, to the hurt and injury of
    our party and your prestige as leader.


      Cornish, New Hampshire.

           *       *       *       *       *


    I cannot impress upon you too forcibly the importance of an appeal to
    the country at this time on the question of preparedness. No matter
    what the character of the information is that you are receiving, I
    have it from all sources that there is no enthusiasm on the "hill" for
    preparedness, and that the country itself is indifferent because of
    its apparent inability to grasp the importance and full significance
    of this question. This indifference arises out of two things: first,
    the attitude of the pacifists whose feelings have been nurtured by the
    preachings of Mr. Bryan; second, the attitude of those in the country
    who believe in preparedness and who are frightened because of the big
    talk of Roosevelt and others on their plan for military conscription.

    There is no doubt how the body of the American people feel on this
    question of preparedness. You can, therefore, with much greater
    reason, address them on this question and with greater force and
    earnestness. I am afraid if you delay in this matter, it will be too
    late to act, because our enemies are already busy and active.

    If some unfortunate thing should arise in international affairs or in
    Mexico within the next few weeks and announcement came then that you
    were to make an appeal to the country, it would appear as an anti-
    climax and an attempt upon your part to retrieve yourself. Now is the
    psychological moment to make your plea for national defense and
    incidentally to discuss Mexico and our foreign relations. In other
    words, you must ask the country to accept your leadership or the
    leadership of others who can't lead. Your voice is the only
    responsible voice in America that can speak with certainty, authority,
    and calmness as to the need for preparedness. There is no doubt of the
    will of a large majority of our people, but it lacks articulate
    expression. I am sure they will not fail to respond.


Upon conferring with the President in the matter of preparedness, I found
that he had been slowly and patiently revolving the whole matter in his
own mind and was then considering the advisability of taking a direct
message to the people concerning the situation and was only awaiting the
psychological moment to strike.

On January 27, 1916, the President commenced his tour of the North and
Middle West, assuming the leadership of the movement for preparedness that
had been started by his opponents, and called the attention of the country
to the critical world situation and to the necessity that America "put her
house in order." In St. Louis he declared that America must have
comparably the greatest navy in the world. It was noticeable in his
speeches that he never employed the term "universal military service" and
that he was careful to explain that there was to be no militarism in the

When the President returned from his preparedness tour, he found himself
at the centre of conflicting views as to method; on the one hand,
Representative Hay of the Military Affairs Committee, advocated the use of
the National Guard as the new army; on the other hand, Secretary Garrison
advocated an increase of the Regular Army to 142,000 men and a new
"continental army" of 400,000 men, with reserves of state militia. It was
the recurrent conflict between the Army and Congress, between the military
department's desire for a strong force and Congress' fear of "militarism."
The Garrison plan met with decided opposition in the House, and upon the
President's refusal to lend support to his Secretary of War in the
programme he had outlined in his report of 1915, Mr. Garrison resigned.
Immediately all the enemies of the President centred about the retiring
Secretary and proclaimed him a very much abused official. The letter which
the President addressed to Secretary Garrison is as follows:


    January 17, 1916.


    I am very much obliged to you for your letters of January twelfth and
    January fourteenth. They make your views with regard to adequate
    measures of preparation for national defence sharply clear. I am sure
    that I already understood just what your views were, but I am glad to
    have them restated in this succinct and striking way. You believe, as
    I do, that the chief thing necessary is, that we should have a trained
    citizen reserve and that the training, organization and control of
    that reserve should be under immediate federal direction.

    But apparently I have not succeeded in making my own position equally
    clear to you, though I feel sure that I have made it perfectly clear
    to Mr. Hay. It is that I am not irrevocably or dogmatically committed
    to any one plan of providing the nation with such a reserve and am
    cordially willing to discuss alternative proposals.

    Any other position on my part would indicate an attitude towards the
    Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representatives which I
    should in no circumstances feel at liberty to assume. It would never
    be proper or possible for me to say to any committee of the House of
    Representatives that so far as my participation in legislation was
    concerned they would have to take my plan or none.

    I do not share your opinion that the members of the House who are
    charged with the duty of dealing with military affairs are ignorant of
    them or of the military necessities of the nation. On the contrary, I
    have found them well informed and actuated with a most intelligent
    appreciation of the grave responsibilities imposed upon them. I am
    sure that Mr. Hay and his colleagues are ready to act with a full
    sense of all that is involved in this great matter both for the
    country and for the national parties which they represent.

    My own duty toward them is perfectly plain. I must welcome a frank
    interchange of views and a patient and thorough comparison of all the
    methods proposed for obtaining the objects we all have in view. So far
    as my own participation in final legislative action is concerned, no
    one will expect me to acquiesce in any proposal that I regard as
    inadequate or illusory. If, as the outcome of a free interchange of
    views, my own judgment and that of the Committee should prove to be
    irreconcilably different and a bill should be presented to me which I
    could not accept as accomplishing the essential things sought, it
    would manifestly be my duty to veto it and go to the country on the
    merits. But there is no reason to anticipate or fear such a result,
    unless we should ourselves take at the outset the position that only
    the plans of the Department are to be considered; and that position,
    it seems to me, would be wholly unjustifiable. The Committee and the
    Congress will expect me to be as frank with them as I hope they will
    be with me, and will of course hold me justified in fighting for my
    own matured opinion.

    I have had a delightfully frank conference with Mr. Hay. I have said
    to him that I was perfectly willing to consider any plan that would
    give us a national reserve under unmistakable national control, and
    would support any scheme if convinced of its adequacy and wise policy.
    More he has not asked or desired.

    Sincerely yours,

      Secretary of War.

It was clear from the President's letter and the attitude of Secretary
Garrison that there was to be no meeting of minds between the President
and his Secretary of War on the matter of preparedness. Their views could
not be reconciled, and when the President refused to support Garrison's
programme, hook, line, and sinker, the Secretary tendered his resignation,
which the President under the circumstances readily accepted. Immediately
the friends of Garrison declared that the Administration had lost its
strongest man and that it was now on the way to destruction. Neither the
President nor his many friends, however, were disturbed by these direful
predictions of disaster; and as the people pondered the President's letter
of acceptance of Mr. Garrison's resignation, wherein he showed his own
mind was open to the best method of preparing the country and that Mr.
Garrison showed petulance and impatience in handling the matter--the
sober, second thought of the country readily and quickly came to the
President's support in the belief that the dogmatic attitude of the
Secretary of War, instead of helping, was embarrassing national

Garrison had rendered distinguished service to the Administration and had
won many friends, especially the newspaper group of Washington, by his
open, frank method of dealing with public questions; but unfortunately for
him he was swept off his feet by the unstinted praise that came to him
from Republican journals throughout the country whenever it appeared that
he was taking an attitude--especially in the two questions of major
importance, preparedness and Mexico--that seemed to be at variance with
the Administration's point of view.

When the President's letter to Garrison was read and the contents fully
understood it showed Garrison autocratic and unyielding, and the President
open-minded and willing to adopt any plan for preparedness that seemed to
be workable. The gentle rebuke of Mr. Garrison contained in the
President's statement that he did not share Mr. Garrison's opinion that
the members of the House charged with the duty of dealing with military
affairs "are ignorant of them or of the military necessities of the
nation," completely won to the President the support of the members of
that committee and put the President in the position of asking for and
obtaining their hearty cooperation and support. Garrison's resignation,
which at first blush appeared to be disastrous to the Administration, was
soon turned to its advantage, with the result that a national defence act
was passed during the summer. It was a compromise measure but it added
very greatly to the military power of the country. In addition, it gave
great powers to the President over the railroads in the event of war and
authorized the establishment of a council of national defence.

Of course, the enemies of the President interpreted the episode as another
example of his inability to cooperate with "strong men" and continued in
the next breath to repeat their accusations that he was autocratic in his
dealings with Congress, ignoring their own inconsistency. It was precisely
because the President respected the constitutional prerogatives of the
Congress, and Mr. Garrison did not, that the break came.

Every method of propaganda was resorted to to force the hand of the
President in the matter of preparedness and to induce him to advocate and
support a programme for universal military service put forth by the
National Security League, whose backers and supporters throughout the
country were mainly Republicans. Publicity on a grand scale, public
meetings and great parades throughout the country were part of this
propaganda. While many sincere, patriotic men and women, without realizing
the politics that lay behind it, aided in this movement, it was easy to
see that back of it was a sinister political purpose to embarrass and, if
possible, to force the hand of the President. One of the leaders of this
movement was General Wood, who established, with the permission of the War
Department, the famous Plattsburg Camp. It will be recalled that this was
the stage from which Mr. Roosevelt, on an occasion, freely gave expression
to his views of bitter antagonism to the President for his seemingly
slothful attitude in urging his views on Congress with reference to the
preparedness programme. One of the favourite methods of rousing the
people, to which the National Security League resorted, was demonstrations
throughout the country in the form of preparedness parades. It was clear
to us at the White House that these parades were part of an organized
movement to "agitate" in favour of a radical programme of preparedness.
The President and I had often discussed these demonstrations. One day I
asked him if they were embarrassing him in any way and he said that they
were not, but that they might affect opinion throughout the country in
such a way as unreasonably to influence Congress for legislation so
radical in its character as to be unnecessary and burdensome to the
taxpayers of the country.

Our Republican opponents on the outside were claiming great political
results from these demonstrations and felt sure they were a mighty force
in embarrassing and weakening the President. It was finally suggested to
the President that he ought to embrace the first opportunity presented to
him of leading in one of the parades himself. Shortly after, the District
of Columbia parade took place, and the President, upon my initiative, was
invited to lead it. The effect of the President's personal participation
in this parade and in the New York parade held subsequently was quickly
evident. As soon as the moving pictures throughout the country began to
feature the President leading the demonstrations, these parades became
less frequent and finally obsolete. By getting into the "front line" the
President had cleverly outwitted his enemies and took command of the
forces in the country demanding preparedness.



In October, 1916, during the Presidential campaign, while the President
was at Shadow Lawn, New Jersey, Ambassador Gerard, at the President's
invitation, paid a visit to him and reported in detail the general
situation in Germany as to the submarine warfare. He said that the
restrictions as to submarines imposed by Germany's acceptance of the
President's ultimatum after the Sussex affair, were growing burdensome and
intolerable to the military and naval masters of Germany and that they
were bringing all kinds of pressure to bear upon the leaders of the Civil
Government, notably Von Bethmann-Hollweg and Foreign Minister Von Jagow,
to repudiate the undertaking. From the critical situation in Germany,
arising out of the controversy over the question of unrestricted submarine
warfare, which Ambassador Gerard laid before him, the President was
convinced that we were now approaching a real crisis in our relations with
Germany and that unless peace could be quickly obtained, the European
struggle would soon enter upon a phase more terrible than any in the
preceding two years, with consequences highly dangerous to the interests
of our country. The passionate wish and deep desire of the President from
the beginning was that we could keep aloof and by conserving our energies
and remaining neutral, hold ourselves in reserve as the only mediating
influence for peace; but with each passing week some untoward event
brought about by the ruthlessness of Germany made the prospect for the
interposition of America's influence daily more unlikely.

The following memorandum prepared by me on January 4, 1916, of a
conversation between the President and myself, shortly after the sinking
of the _Persia_ by a submarine, imperfectly sets forth his idea with
reference to war with Germany:

    About ten minutes to ten o'clock this morning I had a very interesting
    conversation with the President at the White House, my purpose being
    to bring to him the atmosphere of Washington and the country as far as
    I could ascertain with reference to the sinking of the _Persia_ by a
    submarine. The other purpose of my visit was to warn him that Senator
    Stone might induce him to make some admission with reference to his
    attitude which might embarrass the President in the future.

    The President looked very well after his trip and seemed to be in a
    fine mood, although it was plainly evident that the _Persia_ affair
    rested heavily upon him. My attitude toward this matter was for
    action, and action all along the line. This did not seem to meet with
    a very hearty response from the President. He informed me that it
    would not be the thing for us to take action against any government
    without our government being in possession of all the facts. I replied
    that that was my attitude, but I thought there should be action and
    vigorous action as soon as all the facts were ascertained. He agreed
    with me in this. When I began to tell him about the attitude of the
    country and the feeling in the country that there was a lack of
    leadership, he stiffened up in his chair and said: "Tumulty, you may
    as well understand my position right now. If my rejection as President
    depends upon my getting into war, I don't want to be President. I have
    been away, and I have had lots of time to think about this war and the
    effect of our country getting into it, and I have made up my mind that
    I am more interested in the opinion that the country will have of me
    ten years from now than the opinion it may be willing to express to-
    day. Of course, I understand that the country wants action, and I
    intend to stand by the record I have made in all these cases, and take
    whatever action may be necessary, but I will not be rushed into war,
    no matter if every last Congressman and Senator stands up on his hind
    legs and proclaims me a coward." He continued, speaking of the
    severance of diplomatic relations,--"You must know that when I
    consider this matter, I can only consider it as the forerunner of war.
    I believe that the sober-minded people of this country will applaud
    any efforts I may make without the loss of our honour to keep this
    country out of war." He said that if we took any precipitate action
    right now, it might prevent Austria from coming across in generous

The President, ten months later, was re-elected, on the slogan, "_He kept
us out of War_." If it was possible to continue at peace on terms that
would protect and conserve our national honour, he was determined to do
so. I recall how passionately he laid before Senator Tillman of South
Carolina, chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, his desire to keep
the nation out of war. At the conclusion of the talk with the Senator, he
said: "But, Senator, it rests with Germany to say whether we shall remain
at peace." Turning to the President, Senator Tillman said: "You are right,
Mr. President, we must not go around with a chip on our shoulder. I am for
peace, but I am not for peace at any damn price." This was really
expressive of the President's attitude. He earnestly desired peace, but he
was not willing to remain at peace at the price of the nation's honour.

Early in May, 1916, the President and I had conferred regarding the
European situation and had discussed the possibility of our suggesting to
both sides that they consider the United States as a mediating influence
to bring about a settlement. Early in May, 1916, I had addressed the
following letter to the President with reference to the matter:


    May 16, 1916.


    As I have discussed with you on frequent occasions, it seems to me
    that the time is now at hand for you to act in the matter of _Peace_.
    The mere process of peace negotiations may extend over a period of
    months. Why should we wait until the moment of exhaustion before ever
    beginning a discussion? Everybody admits that the resources of the
    nations involved cannot last through another year without suffering of
    an untold character. It is now May. Let us assume that everybody
    accepts your offer. It would be physically impossible to get
    commissioners from various parts of the world, including Japan, in
    less than two months. Then the discussion would perhaps last until the
    fall, no matter what conclusion might be reached. Therefore, allowing
    for the time that might be consumed in persuading all the parties that
    the time is now ripe, the whole business will require almost a year in
    itself, during which time the hostilities would be continuing and
    certainly the chance of getting a truce would be better after the
    discussion had been in progress for some time. Similarly, as the time
    for the winter campaign approached, the inducement to agree on a truce
    on any terms would become more powerful each day.

    Let us look at it from the point of view of postponement. If we waited
    until the fall and the negotiations stretched out through the winter,
    the temptation for making new drives in the spring, with the
    preparations made throughout the winter, would incline the
    militaristic element in the various countries involved to block peace
    negotiations. _It seems, therefore, that the time to act is now when
    these drives are spending their force._

    As to the Procedure:

    It seems that no belligerent should be put in the position by your
    note of weakening or of suing for peace, for we must keep in mind the
    pride and sensibilities of all. The initiative must be ours--to all
    nations, on equal terms. One way to do this would be to send a note,
    saying that from the German note and from statesmen representing the
    Entente powers the Government of the United States assumes that the
    belligerent powers are willing at least to discus suggestions for
    peace, each only reserving to itself liberty of action. The United
    States can, therefore, announce that it is willing to meet at The
    Hague a commission sent by the respective governments to discuss means
    for making peace, _and for establishing a world court or international
    tribunal to safeguard the peace of the world after the close of the

    In the latter, namely, _world peace_, the United States has a direct
    interest. The United States can in the note assume that commissioners
    will meet with it and hopes to be advised if there is any feeling to
    the contrary.

    My idea is to go ahead with the plan on the theory that all the
    belligerents are in accord with the idea, so that in answering our
    note they will not have accepted anything but our proposals to
    discuss, first, the suggestion of peace, and, secondly, the idea of a
    world court.

    The President should say, in order to elicit the sympathy of the world
    and mankind in general, that the note of the United States suggesting
    a meeting between the powers will be made public within a few days and
    after its receipt by the respective powers. This will give each
    government not only its own public opinion to reckon with, but the
    public opinion of the civilized world. The nation that objects to a
    discussion of peace will by no means be in an enviable position.

    I hope you will read the article I am sending you by Mr. Strunsky,
    "Post Impressions," especially that part I have indicated in the
    margin. It is from this article that I got the idea of suggesting the
    alternative proposition of a world court. Your note setting forth your
    position in this matter should be an appeal to the heart and to the
    conscience of the world.


Evidently the President seriously had been considering this very matter as
was shown by the following reply to my note:



    Thank you for the memorandum about peace suggestions. I have read it
    very carefully and find my own thoughts travelling very much the same
    route. You may be sure I am doing a great deal of serious thinking
    about it all.

      W. W.

The President, through the State Department and various instrumentalities
to which he had access for information, was keeping in touch with the
German situation and understood from the beginning what the German game
was with reference to peace, and to the various offers which he was
making. He knew that the German peace offers were merely an attempt on the
part of the civil government of Germany to avert a resumption of
ruthlessness at sea; that they were mere gestures on the part of the
German Government made to bolster up the morale of the German people and
that these German offers did not indicate the real desire for peace on
equitable terms, as subsequent events showed, but that they were the terms
of peace of a nation which thought itself the victor, and, therefore, in a
position ruthlessly to dictate a final settlement.

Many of the advisers of the President suggested that he should ignore
these offers. But the President was wiser than those around him in
accepting the German bid at its face value, and he finally called upon
Germany to state the practical terms upon which she was willing to
consider a settlement for peace. There was another reason for the
President's patience. Foreseeing an inevitable crisis with Germany over
the frequent sinking of our ships, he was fully conscious that he could
not draw the whole country with him in aggressive action if before he took
the step leading to war he had not tried out every means of peace. While
his enemies denounced his meekness and apparent subservience to German
diplomacy, and while some went so far as to characterize his conduct as
cowardly, he serenely moved on and forced Germany to a show-down. He not
only asked Germany to state her terms, but he frankly asked the Allies to
give to the world their statement of what they considered the basis of

One of the phrases in his note to the Allies which caused great irritation
was that "neither side had stated the object for which the war had been
started." While he was criticized for this at the time, it did just what
he intended it to do. It forced Germany openly to avow what she believed
to be the basis of peace, and gave the Allies their chance, as if they
were being forced to do it by the American President, to say what they
thought would be a just settlement.

In the latter part of January Germany announced to the United States that
she was going to begin, on February first, unrestricted submarine warfare
in the zone around the British Isles, and undertook to specify the route
which a restricted number of American ships might take through this zone.

I vividly recall the day the Associated Press bulletin reached the White
House. I took it immediately to the President who was at his desk in his
private office. As I entered, he looked up from his writing, casual
inquiry in his eyes. Without comment I laid the fateful slip of paper on
his desk, and silently watched him as he read and then re-read it. I
seemed to read his mind in the expressions that raced across his strong
features: first, blank amazement; then incredulity that even Germany could
be guilty of such perfidy; then gravity and sternness, a sudden grayness
of colour, a compression of the lips and the familiar locking of the jaw
which always characterized him in moments of supreme resolution. Handing
the paper back to me, he said in quiet tones: "This means war. The break
that we have tried so hard to prevent now seems inevitable."

On February 4th, he addressed Congress, announcing the severance of
diplomatic relations with Germany, and stating his hope that Germany would
pause before it was too late. On February 26th, the steamship. _Aneona_,
with Americans on board, was sunk, and on the next day the President
addressed Congress, suggesting the proclamation of armed neutrality as a
final effort to apply pressure to the Government of Germany, to show that
the United States was in earnest and would protect its rights against
lawless attacks at sea; but these measures failed. Germany seemed bent
upon a break with us, and on April 6, 1917, in response to a memorable
address delivered by the President on April second, the Congress of the
United States declared solemnly that a state of war existed between the
United States and the Imperial German Government.

In concluding his war message, the President said:

    It is a fearful thing to lead this great, peaceful people into war,
    into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself
    seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than
    peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried
    nearest our hearts, for democracy, for the right of those who submit
    to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights
    and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by
    such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all
    nations and make the world itself at last free. To such a task we can
    dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and
    everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day
    has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might
    for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace
    which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.

I accompanied the President to Capitol Hill on the day of the delivery of
his war message, and on that fateful day I rode with him from the Capitol
back to the White House, the echo of applause still ringing in my ears.

For a while he sat silent and pale in the Cabinet Room. At last he said:
"Think what it was they were applauding" [he was speaking of the people
who were lined along the streets on his way to the Capitol]. "My message
to-day was a message of death for our young men. How strange it seems to
applaud that."

That simple remark is one key to an understanding of Woodrow Wilson. All
politicians pretend to hate and to dread war, but Woodrow Wilson really
hates and dreads it in all the fibres of his human soul; hates it and
dreads it because he has an imagination and a heart; an imagination which
shows his sensitive perception the anguish and the dying which war
entails; a heart which yearns and aches over every dying soldier and
bleeds afresh with each new-made wound.

I shall never forget that scene in the Cabinet Room between the President
and myself. He appeared like a man who had thrown off old burdens only to
add new ones.

It was apparent in his talk with me that he felt deeply wounded at the
criticism that for months had been heaped upon him for his seeming
unwillingness to go to war with Germany. As he discussed the step he had
just taken, it was evident to me that he keenly felt the full solemnity
and tragedy of it all. Turning to me, he said: "Tumulty, from the very
beginning I saw the end of this horrible thing; but I could not move
faster than the great mass of our people would permit. Very few understood
the difficult and trying position I have been placed in during the years
through which we have just passed. In the policy of patience and
forbearance I pursued I tried to make every part of America and the varied
elements of our population understand that we were willing to go any
length rather than resort to war with Germany. As I told you months ago,
it would have been foolish for us to have been rushed off our feet and to
have gone to war over an isolated affair like the _Lusitania_. But now we
are certain that there will be no regrets or looking back on the part of
our people. There is but one course now left open to us. Our consciences
are clear, and we must prepare for the inevitable--a fight to the end.
Germany must be made to understand that we have rights that she must
respect. There were few who understood this policy of patience. I do not
mean to say this in a spirit of criticism. Indeed, many of the leading
journals of the country were unmindful of the complexities of the
situation which confronted us."

The President then took out of his pocket an old and worn newspaper
clipping, saying: "I wish to read you an analysis of my position and my
policy by a special writer for the _Manchester Guardian_, who seemed,
without consulting me or ever conferring with me, to know just what I am
driving at."

This special writer, commenting upon the Wilson policy, had said:

    Mr. Wilson's patience, now derided and criticized, will inevitably be
    the means by which he will lead his people by easy stages to the side
    of the Allies. By his methods of patience and apparent subservience to
    Germany, he will convince the whole American people that no other
    course save war is possible. This policy of Wilson's, now determined
    on, will work a complete transformation in his people. It will not
    evidence itself quickly or overnight. The moral preachment of Wilson
    before and after war will be the cause that will finally bring his
    people to the side of the Allies.

Again turning to me, the President said: "Our course from this time on is
clear. The whole business of war that we are now engaged upon is fraught
with the gravest difficulties. There will be great enthusiasm in the
country from this day. I trust it will not slacken or weaken as the
horrors of the war and its tragedies are disclosed. Of course our motives
will be misconstrued, our purposes misunderstood; some of our best friends
will misinterpret what we seek to do. In carrying on the war we will be
obliged to do certain unusual things, things that will interfere with the
lives and habits of our people, which will bring down upon us a storm of
criticism and ridicule. Our life, therefore, until this thing is over, and
God only knows when it will be over, will be full of tragedy and

As he spoke, he was no longer Woodrow Wilson, the protagonist of peace,
but Woodrow Wilson, the stern warrior, now grimly determined to pursue the
great cause of America to the end.

The President continued talking to me. He said: "It has not been easy to
carry these burdens in these trying times. From the beginning I saw the
utter futility of neutrality, the disappointment and heartaches that would
flow from its announcement, but we had to stand by our traditional policy
of steering clear of European embroilments. While I have appeared to be
indifferent to the criticism which has been my portion during these
critical days, a few have tried to understand my purpose and have
sympathized throughout with what I sought to do."

Then, as he lowered his voice, he said: "There is a fine chap in
Springfield, Massachusetts, editor of a great paper there, who understood
my position from the beginning and who has sympathized with me throughout
this whole business." For a moment he, paused, and then went on: "I want
to read you the letter I received from this fine man." As he read, the
emotion he felt at the tender sympathy which the words conveyed gripped
him. The letter is as follows:

    Springfield, Massachusetts,
    March 28, 1917.


    In acknowledging your very kind and appreciative note of March 22nd, I
    must say at once that the note has given me the greatest possible
    pleasure. I prize this word from you all the more because after the
    political experience and conflicts of the past few years, I am
    conscious of a very real yet peculiar feeling of having summered and
    wintered with you, in spite of the immeasurable and rather awful
    distance that separates our respective places in the life and work of
    our time. Your note, for the moment, suddenly annihilates the distance
    and brings to me what I recognize as a very human touch.

    There is summering and wintering to come,--with more wintering perhaps
    than we shall enjoy;--even so, I shall hope to be of timely service,
    as opportunity favours me.

    I have the honour to be your admirer and friend.

    Most sincerely,
      (Signed) WALDO L. COOK.

"That man understood me and sympathized." As he said this, the President
drew his handkerchief from his pocket, wiped away great tears that stood
in his eyes, and then laying his head on the Cabinet table, sobbed as if
he had been a child.



The critics of the President will ask the question: "What was the
President doing to prepare the country for war, which to him seemed
inevitable?" From the inside, and without the blare of trumpets, he was
quietly engaged in conferring with the heads of the Army and Navy
departments. Indeed, from the minute the third _Lusitania_ note was
dispatched, actual preparations for war were begun. Immediately upon the
dispatch of the note, the following statement was issued from the White
House, under date of July 21, 1916.


    July 21, 1916.

    The President in association with the heads of departments, regardless
    of present-day conditions or controversies, has long been giving a
    great deal of consideration to the preparation of a reasonable and
    adequate naval programme, which he intends to propose to Congress at
    the proper time.

    That is one of the things he is now considering in the quiet of
    Cornish. He feels, now that the note has been dispatched, that it is
    best, for the time being, to drop the discussion of it as far as he is
    concerned and is turning to questions of permanent national policy.

    Of course, he realizes that he must have the best practical advice
    obtainable in this matter and is seeking for it from every available
    source. In fact, it is known that the best minds of the various
    departments of the Government, both of the Army and the Navy, are now
    and have been at work on these important matters for some time; that
    is, he is seeking advice from the men in those departments who have
    been most directly in touch with the new conditions of defence that
    have been evolved out of modern experience. He not only wishes advice
    from those who have a knowledge of actual modern conditions of
    warfare, but he is seeking light from those who are able to understand
    and comprehend the altered conditions of land and naval warfare. He
    wishes the Navy to stand upon an equality with the most efficient and

    As to the Army, it is known here that he is preparing to incorporate
    in his next message to Congress a programme in regard to the
    development and equipment of the Army and a proper training of the
    citizens of the United States to arms which, while in every way
    consistent with American traditions and national policy, will be of
    such a character as to commend itself to every patriotic and practical
    mind. In this matter he is working with the Secretary of War and his
    professional associates, who, it is understood, have reached some very
    definite conclusions on these exceedingly important matters. He is
    anxious to have a programme that will be definite and positive, and
    wishes to have the information in hand before laying the matter before
    the committees of the Senate and the House.

 Contemporaneously with this statement was issued the following, which was
prepared by the President, but issued over my name, the full significance
of which was not apparent at the time:

    The note [Third _Lusitania_ note] having been dispatched, the
    President felt that it was best to drop further discussion of the
    matter for the present, as far as he was concerned. He will be free
    now to devote his time to a full consideration of a matter that the
    country has for a long time been thoughtful of, that is a reasonable
    programme of national defense. Of course, this programme will be
    considered regardless of present-day conditions.

    It is known that the President has been considering this important
    matter in all its aspects, and has been in touch with the Secretary of
    War and the Secretary of the Navy regarding it. It is also known in
    official circles here that the President had taken steps before
    leaving for Cornish to instruct the Army and Navy departments to make
    ready for his consideration a careful programme of national defense in
    preparation for the presentation of his views to Congress at the
    proper time.

    He desires to have the programme based on the most practicable lines
    obtainable from the departments and it is said that the best minds in
    the departments are at present at work on the subject. He hopes that
    the programme will express the best traditions of the country and not
    lose sight of modern experience. He is anxious to have a programme
    that will be definite and positive, and wishes to have the information
    in hand before laying the matter before the committees of the Senate
    and the House.

On July 21, 1915, he addressed the following letters to the Secretary of
War and the Secretary of the Navy, respectively:


    July 21, 1915.


    I have been giving scarcely less thought than you yourself have to the
    question of adequate preparation for national defense, and I am
    anxious, as you know, to incorporate in my next message to Congress a
    programme regarding the development and equipment of the Army and a
    proper training of our citizens to arms which, while in every way
    consistent with our traditions and our national policy, will be of
    such a character as to commend itself to every patriotic and practical

    I know that you have been much in conference with your professional
    associates in the department and that you have yourself come to some
    very definite conclusions on these exceedingly important matters. I
    shall be away from Washington for a few days, but I would be very much
    obliged if you would be kind enough to prepare for me a programme,
    with estimates, of what you and the best-informed soldiers in your
    counsels think the country ought to undertake to do. I should like to
    discuss this programme with you at as early a time as it can be made
    ready. Whether we can reasonably propose the whole of it to the
    Congress immediately or not we can determine when we have studied it.
    The important thing now is to know and know fully what we need.
    Congress will certainly welcome such advice and follow it to the limit
    of its opportunity.

    Cordially and faithfully yours,

           *       *       *       *       *

      Secretary Of War.


    July 21, 1915.


    I have been giving, as I am sure you have also, a great deal of
    thought to the matter of a wise and adequate naval programme to be
    proposed to the Congress at its next session, and I would like to
    discuss the whole subject with you at the earliest possible date.

    But first we must have professional advice. I would be very much
    obliged to you if you would get the best minds in the department to
    work on the subject: I mean the men who have been most directly in
    contact with actual modern conditions, who have most thoroughly
    comprehended what the Navy must be in the future in order to stand
    upon an equality with the most efficient and most practically
    serviceable. I want their advice, a programme by them formulated in
    the most definite way. Whether we can reasonably propose the whole of
    it to the Congress immediately or not we can determine when we have
    studied it. The important thing now is to know fully what we need.
    Congress will certainly welcome such advice and follow it to the limit
    of its opportunity.

    It should be a programme planned for a consistent and progressive
    development of this great defensive arm of the nation and should be of
    such a kind as to commend itself to every patriotic and practical man.

    I shall return to Washington in a few days and shall be glad to take
    this important matter up with you at your early convenience.

    Cordially and faithfully yours,

      Secretary of the Navy.

Immediately after the war message there arose an insistent demand for a
coalition cabinet. It was the beginning of the Republican drive for what
was called a bi-partisan government. Republicans chose to forget the
experiences of England and France under their coalition cabinets, and when
the President refused to act upon the suggestion, the impression was
subtly conveyed to the unthinking that the President's refusal arose from
his dislike of counsel and coöperation, and his unwillingness to share the
responsibilities and glories of the war with people outside his own party.

As an historian, the President knew the troubles of Washington with a
coalition cabinet, Lincoln's embarrassments from Cabinet members not of
his own party, McKinley's sagacious refusal in 1898 to form a coalition
cabinet. He also knew human nature; knew that with the best intentions,
men sometimes find it difficult to work whole-heartedly with a leader of a
political party not their own. He could not risk a chance of division, in
his own official family in the face of the common enemy.

The President looked upon the agitation for a coalition cabinet as a
partisan effort to hamper and embarrass his administration, and so he
coldly turned away from every suggestion that looked toward the
establishment of a cabinet of the kind suggested by his too-solicitous
Republican friends.

The following note which I addressed to the President and his reply, bear
upon the subject:



    The newspaper men asked me this morning what the attitude of the
    Administration was toward the proposed super-cabinet. I hedged as much
    as I could, but I asked if it was not the same proposition that came
    up some months ago, advocated by Senator Weeks, in a new disguise--if
    it was not the same kind of a commission that had harassed Mr.
    Lincoln. I think we ought to let our attitude be known unofficially
    for the guidance of men who wish to help us. If we do nothing at this
    time to let it be known, it would seem that our opposition to this
    kind of legislation had been silenced by the furore over the fuel
    order. In other words, we ought to show by our attitude that the
    tantrums on the Hill are making no impression on us whatever.


           *       *       *       *       *


    Of course, I am opposed to the idea of a "super-cabinet," and regard
    it as nothing more nor less than a renewal of the perpetual effort of
    the Republicans to force representation in the Administration.
    Republicans of the finest sort and of the finest capacity are working
    for and with the Administration on all hands and there is no need
    whatever for a change at the head of the administering departments. I
    am utterly opposed to anything of the sort and will never consent to
    it. You will know how to create the impression on the minds of the
    newspaper men that I regard it as merely a partisan effort to hamper
    and embarrass the Administration.


There were many misgivings in the minds of the people when war was
declared in April, 1917, and the nation embarked upon the most gigantic of
all its wars, under the leadership of a college professor, a doctrinaire,
who did not believe in war as a method of permanently solving
international problems, and a Secretary of War who was an avowed pacifist.
There was another matter which greatly disturbed the peace of mind of the
average American. The political party that was conducting the struggle was
the Democratic party, the party of the plain folk, of the average men and
women of America. Our Republican friends had so cleverly "advertised"
their conduct of the Civil War and the Spanish-American War, that many
people in the country felt that the Republican party, because of its
leading minds and the business genius of its masters, was the only
political organization that could be depended upon successfully to carry
on a great war.

Colonel Roosevelt's diary, first made public on September 28, 1921, throws
interesting light on Republican claims of efficient management by
Republicans of the Spanish-American War. Under date of May 7, 1898, the
Colonel, then a lieutenant-colonel, recorded in his diary: "The delays and
stupidity of the Ordnance Department surpass belief. The Quartermaster's
Department is better, but bad. The Commissary Department is good. There is
no management whatever in the War Department. Against a good nation we
should be helpless," and these animadversions are reiterated in subsequent
entries. Interesting comments from the greatest of contemporary
Republicans on the divine right of the Republican party to conduct all
American wars and transact all other American business of importance. But
doubtless the Colonel had forgotten all this in 1917, and many other good
Americans had also forgotten what was notorious in 1898 and the ineptitude
of the Republican War Department, which, as Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt
said under date of May 21, 1898, had "no head, no energy, no
intelligence." But the old myth sedulously cultivated by Republicans
continued in 1917, that only Republicans are fit to govern, no matter how
badly they govern. Direful prophecies and predictions of disaster to the
country by reason of the Democratic auspices under which the war was to be
conducted were freely made.

It is an unpleasant fact that some of the leading Republicans in the
Senate and the House harboured for the President a partisan and personal
hatred which made the wish father to the thought. Yet the expected did not
happen, to the amazement and chagrin of the Republican enemies of the
President. No other war was attended with so little scandal and with
greater expedition. The cause was plain. It was the magnificent and
aggressive leadership of Woodrow Wilson exerting itself all along the
line, and that leadership was based upon certain fundamental resolutions
which had been taking form in the President's mind for many months
previous to his appearance before Congress asking for the passage of a war
declaration. They were as follows: (1) There was to be no "politics" in
the conduct of the war; (2) no political generals would be selected; (3)
every ounce of energy and force in the nation was to be put back of the
heads of the Army and the Navy in a supreme effort to make our influence,
moral and physical, quickly felt. Every effort was made to cut out scandal
and to put an absolute embargo on the activities of army speculators,
contractors, and profiteers.

Speaking to me one day about the conduct of the war, shortly after the
delivery of his war message, he said: "We must not in our conduct of this
war repeat the scandals of the Civil and the Spanish-American wars. The
politics of generals and admirals must be tabooed. We must find the best
trained minds that we can get and we must back them up at every turn. Our
policy must be 'the best man for every job,' regardless of his political
affiliations. This must be the only test, for, after all, we are the
trustees of the boys whose lives will be spent in this enterprise of war."

This was not an easy policy to pursue. Every kind of harassing demand came
from Democratic senators and representatives to induce the President to
recognize political considerations in the conduct of the war, the argument
being that after all the responsibility for its conduct resting with the
Democrats, the administration of the war ought to be under Democratic
tutelage throughout. But the President was firm--in his resolve to see the
war through to the end without political considerations. The political
predilections of generals, admirals, and war workers of every kind was

Mr. Creel by furnishing a list of Republicans appointed by the President
to conspicuous office has disproved the charge against the President of
niggard partisanship. Although the President would not tolerate a
coalition cabinet, he gave to Republicans all manner of opportunities to
share in the conduct and the credit of the war. I quote from Mr. Creel:

    The search for "the best man for the place" was instituted without
    regard to party, faction, blood strain, or creed, and the result was a
    composite organization in which Democrats, Republicans, and
    Independents worked side by side, partisanship forgotten and service
    the one consideration.

    It stood recognized as a matter of course that the soldier selected to
    command our forces in France might well develop into a presidential
    possibility, yet this high place was given without question to Gen.
    John J. Pershing, a life-long Republican and the son-in-law of Senator
    Warren, one of the masters of the Republican machine.

    Admiral William S. Sims, a vociferous Republican, was sent to English
    waters in high command, and while Secretary Daniels was warned at the
    time that Sims's partisanship was of the kind that would not recognize
    the obligations of loyalty or patriotism, he waved the objection aside
    out of his belief that Sims was "the best man for the job".

    For the head of the Aircraft Board, with its task of launching
    America's great aviation programme, Mr. Howard E. Coffin, a
    Republican, was selected and at his right hand Mr. Coffin placed Col.
    Edward A. Deeds, also a Republican of vigour and regularity.

    It is to be remembered also that when failure and corruption were
    charged against the Aircraft Board, the man appointed by the President
    to conduct the highly important investigation was Charles E. Hughes.

    Three Assistant Secretaries of War were appointed by Mr. Baker--Mr.
    Benedict Crowell, a Cleveland contractor; Doctor F. E. Keppel, dean of
    Columbia University, and Emmet J. Scott, formerly Booker Washington's
    secretary--and all three were Republicans. Mr. E. R. Stettinius of the
    J. P. Morgan firm and a Republican was made special assistant to the
    Secretary of War and placed in charge of supplies, a duty that he had
    been discharging for the Allies. Maj. Gen. George W. Goethals, after
    his unfortunate experience in shipbuilding, was given a second chance
    and put in the War Department as an assistant Chief of staff. The
    Chief of Staff himself, Gen. Peyton C. March, was a Republican no less
    definite and regular than General Goethals. Mr. Samuel McRoberts,
    president of the National City Bank and one of the pillars of the
    Republican party, was brought to Washington as chief of the
    procurement section in the Ordnance Section, with the rank of
    brigadier-general, Maj. Gen. E. H. Crowder was appointed Provost-
    Marshal-General, although his Republicanism was well known, and no
    objection of any kind was made when General Crowder put Charles B.
    Warren, the Republican National Committeeman from Michigan, in charge
    of appeal cases, a position of rare power.

    The Emergency Fleet Corporation was virtually turned over to
    Republicans under Charles M. Schwab and Charles Piez. Mr. Vance
    McCormick, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was made
    chairman of the War Trade Board, but of the eight members the
    following five were Republicans: Albert Strauss of New York, Alonzo E.
    Taylor of Pennsylvania, John Beaver White, of New York, Frank C.
    Munson of New York, and Clarence M. Woolley of Chicago.

    The same conditions obtained in the Red Cross. A very eminent
    Republican, Mr. H. P. Davison, was put in supreme authority, and on
    the Red Cross War Council were placed ex-President Taft; Mr. Charles
    D. Norton, Mr. Taft's secretary while President; and Mr. Cornelius N.
    Bliss, former treasurer of the Republican National Committee. Not only
    was Mr. Taft thus honoured, but upon the creation of a National War
    Labour Board the ex-President was made its chairman and virtually
    empowered to act as the administration's representative in its contact
    with industry.

    Mr. Frank A. Vanderlip, a Republican of iron regularity, was placed in
    charge of the War Savings Stamps Campaign, and when Mr. McAdoo had
    occasion to name Assistant Secretaries of the Treasury he selected
    Prof. L. S. Rowe of the University of Pennsylvania and Mr. H. C.
    Leffingwell of New York.

    Harry A. Garfield, son of the Republican President, was made Fuel
    Administrator, and Mr. Herbert Hoover, now a candidate for President,
    on a platform, of unadulterated Republicanism, was nominated as head
    of the Food Administration.

    The Council of National Defense was an organization of high importance
    and one of tremendous influence from a partisan standpoint, yet its
    executive body was divided as follows: Republicans--Howard E. Coffin,
    Julius Rosenwald, Dr. Hollis Godfrey, Dr. Franklin Martin, Walter S.
    Gifford, Director; Democrats--Daniel Willard and Bernard M. Baruch;
    Independent--Samuel Gompers.

No sooner had the war begun than the preliminary war work of the President
began to bear fruit.

Within a month from the declaration of war the traditional policy of the
nation was reversed, by the enactment of the Selective Service Act. A vast
machinery of registration was created that ran without a hitch, and on
June 5th more than 10,000,000 men were registered quickly and efficiently.

Thirty-two encampments--virtual cities, since each had to house 40,000
men--were built in ninety days from the driving of the first nail,
complete in every municipal detail, a feat declared impossible, and which
will stand for all time as a building miracle.

In June, scarcely two months after the President's appearance before
Congress, General Pershing and his staff reached France, and on July 3rd
the last of four groups of transports landed American fighting men in the
home of La Fayette and Rochambeau. On October 10th our soldiers went on
the firing-line.

Training camps for officers started in June, and in August there were
graduated 27,341 successful aspirants, ready to assume the tasks of

In a notable speech, confidential in character, the President on the 8th
day of April, 1918, addressed the foreign correspondents at the White
House concerning "our resolutions" and "actions in the war." The speech
was as follows:

    I am very glad to have this opportunity to meet you. Some of you I
    have met before, but not all. In what I am going to say I would prefer
    that you take it in this way, as for the private information of your
    minds and not for transmission to anybody, because I just want, if I
    may, in a few words to create a background for you which may be
    serviceable to you. I speak in confidence.

    I was rendered a little uneasy by what Mr. Lloyd George was quoted as
    having said the other day that the Americans have a great surprise in
    store for Germany. I don't know in what sense he meant that, but there
    is no surprise in store. I want you to know the sequence of resolves
    and of actions concerning our part in the war. Some time ago it was
    proposed to us that we, if I may use the expression feed our men into
    the French and English armies in any unit that might be ready--
    companies or regiments or brigades--and not wait to train and
    coordinate the larger units of our armies before putting them into
    action. My instinctive judgment in the face of that proposition was
    that the American people would feel a very much more ardent interest
    in the war if their men were fighting under their own flag and under
    their own general officers, but at that time, which was some months
    ago, I instructed General Pershing that he had full authority whenever
    any exigency that made such a thing necessary should occur to put the
    men in any units or in any numbers or in any way that was necessary--
    just as he is doing. What I wanted you to know was that that was not a
    new action, that General Pershing was fully instructed about that all

    Then, similarly with regard to the impression that we are now going to
    rush troops to Europe. Of course, you cannot rush any faster than
    there is means of rushing and, what I have said recently is what I
    have said all along, that we are getting men over there just as fast
    as we can get them ready and as quickly as we can find the ships to
    transport them. We are doing that now and we have been doing it all
    along. Let me point out some of the circumstances: Our first programme
    was to send over ninety thousand men a month, but for several months
    we were sending over only thirty thousand--one third of the programme.
    Why? Not because we didn't have the men ready, not even because we
    didn't have the means of transportation, but because--and there is no
    criticism of the French Government involved in this--because the ports
    assigned to us for landing couldn't take care of the supplies we had
    to send over. We had to send materials and engineers, and workmen,
    even, over to build the docks and the piers that would be adequate to
    handle the number of men we sent over, because this was happening: We
    began with the ninety-thousand programme and the result was that cargo
    ships that we needed were lying in those ports for several weeks
    together without being unloaded, as there was no means of unloading
    them. It was bad economy and bad practice from every point of view to
    have those ships lying there during a period when they could have made
    two or three voyages. There is still this difficulty which I am afraid
    there is no means of overcoming rapidly, that the railroad
    communication between those ports and the front is inadequate to
    handle very large bodies of men. You may notice that General Pershing
    recommended that Christmas boxes should not be sent to the men. That
    sounded like a pretty hard piece of advice, but if you could go to
    those ports and see those Christmas boxes which are still there, you
    would know why he didn't want them sent. There was no means of getting
    them to the front. Vast accumulations of these gifts were piled up
    there with no means of storing them adequately even.

    I just wanted to create for you this picture, that the channels have
    been inevitably choked. Now we believe that, inasmuch as the
    impediments on the other side are being largely removed, we can go
    ahead with the original programme and add to it in proportion as the
    British can spare us the tonnage, and they are going to spare us the
    tonnage for the purpose. And with the extra tonnage which the British
    are going to spare us we will send our men, not to France but to Great
    Britain, and from there they will go to the front through the channel
    ports. You see that makes a new line where the means of handling them
    are already established and where they are more abundant than they are
    at the French ports. Now, I want to say again that none of this
    involves the least criticism of the French authorities, because I
    think they have done their very best in every respect, but they
    couldn't make ports out of hand, they couldn't build new facilities
    suddenly, and their man power was being drawn on in very much larger
    proportion than our man power. Therefore, it was perfectly proper that
    we should send men over there and send materials to make the means of
    handling the troops and the cargoes more expeditiously.

    I want you gentlemen to realize that there was no wave-like motion in
    this thing so far as our purpose and preparation are concerned. We
    have met with delays, of course, in production, some of which might
    have been avoided and ought to have been avoided, and which are being
    slowly corrected, but apart from that the motive power has been back
    of this thing all the time. It has been the means of action that has
    oscillated, it has been sometimes greater and sometimes less than was
    necessary for the programme.

    I for my own part don't like the idea of having surprises. I would
    like the people to be surprised if we didn't do our duty, but not
    surprised that we did do it. Of course, I don't mean that Mr. Lloyd
    George meant that we would surprise everybody by doing our duty, but I
    don't just know how to interpret his idea of it, because I have said
    the same thing to the British representatives all along as I
    informally expressed it to Lord Reading, that we had been and always
    would be doing our damnedest, and there could not be a more definite
    American expression of purpose than that.

    As to another matter (I am just giving you things to think about and
    not things to say, if you will be kind enough to take it that way).
    That speech I made on Saturday I hope was correctly understood. We are
    fighting, as I understand it, for justice to everybody and are ready
    to stop just as soon as justice to everybody is everybody's programme.
    I have the same opinion privately about, I will not say the policy,
    but the methods of the German Government that some gentlemen have who
    see red all the time, but that is not a proper part of my thought. My
    thought is that if the German Government insist that the thing shall
    be settled unjustly, that is to say by force, then of course we accept
    that and will settle it by force. Whenever we see sincere symptoms of
    their desire to settle it by justice, we will not only accept their
    suggestions but we will be glad and eager to accept them, as I said in
    my speech. I would be ashamed to use the knock-down and drag-out
    language; that is not the language of liberty, that is the language of
    braggadocio. For my part, I have no desire to march triumphantly into
    Berlin. If they oblige us to march triumphantly into Berlin, then we
    will do it if it takes twenty years. But the world will come to its
    senses some day, no matter how mad some parts of it may be now, and
    this is my feeling, that we ought when the thing is over to be able to
    look back upon a course which had no element in it which we need be
    ashamed of. So it is so difficult in any kind of a speech, this kind
    or any other, to express two things that seem to be going in opposite
    directions that I wasn't sure that I had succeeded in expressing them
    on Saturday--the sincere willingness to discuss peace whenever the
    proposals are themselves sincere and yet at the same time the
    determination never to discuss it until the basis laid down for the
    discussion is justice. By that I mean justice to everybody. Nobody has
    the right to get anything out of this war, because we are fighting for
    peace if we mean what we say, for permanent peace. No injustice
    furnishes a basis for permanent peace. If you leave a rankling sense
    of injustice anywhere, it will not only produce a running sore
    presently which will result in trouble and probably war, but it ought
    to produce war somewhere. The sore ought to run. It is not susceptible
    to being healed except by remedying the injustice. Therefore, I for my
    part wouldn't want to see a peace which was based upon compelling any
    people, great or small, to live under conditions which it didn't
    willingly accept.

    If I were just a sheer Machiavelli and didn't have any heart but had
    brains, I would say: "If you mean what you say and are fighting for
    permanent peace, then there is only one way to get it, whether you
    like justice or not." It is the only conceivable intellectual basis
    for it, because this is not like the time, years ago, of the Congress
    of Vienna. Peoples were then not willing, but so speechless and
    unorganized and without the means of self-expression, that the
    governments could sit on their necks indefinitely. They didn't know
    how to prevent it. But they are wide awake now and nobody is going to
    sit comfortably on the neck of any people, big or little, and the more
    uncomfortable he is who tries it, the more I am personally pleased. So
    that I am in the position in my mind of trying to work out a purely
    scientific proposition: "What will stay put?"

    A peace is not going to be permanent until that principle is accepted
    by everybody, that, given a political unit, every people has the right
    to determine its own life. That, gentlemen, is all I have to say to
    you, but it is the real inside of my mind, and it is the real key to
    the present foreign policy of the United States which for the time
    being is in my keeping. I hope it will be useful to you, as it is
    welcome to me to have this occasion of telling you what I really think
    and what I understand we are really doing.



During this time the President was constantly on guard at the Executive
offices, never for a moment out of touch with the situation. He was the
intimate associate of the men who were his co-labourers on the various
boards that had been set up to prosecute the work of the war. He seemed to
know what was going on in every phase. His evenings were given to
examination of the long dispatches that came from diplomatic and consular
representatives of America at the various capitals of Europe, apprising
him of the developments of the great war.

One of the most effective measures for weakening the enemy was the method
of attacking the Central Powers from within by propaganda designed to
incite the masses to rebellion and to drive wedges between Germany and
Austria. As George Creel says, "The projectile force of the President's
idealism, its full military value may be measured by the fact that between
April 6 and December 8, 1917, sixteen States, great and small, declared
war against Germany, or severed diplomatic relations with her. From the
very first the Allies accepted the President as their spokesman." It was
under the influence of Woodrow Wilson's clear vision and magic power of
statement that the true significance of the war became clear. At first it
had seemed a war of nations, and the belligerents had eagerly published
official documents, Red Books, White Books, Yellow Books, and so forth,
through all the colours of the spectrum, to show who had "started the
war." The question of who began it became after a while quite secondary to
the question of the fundamental principles at stake in the contest which
was no longer a national conflict, but a world war, waged to the death
between two irreconcilable views of the relationship of government to
individuals, the autocratic view on the one hand, on the other the
democratic. It was one man who brought the fundamental principle of the
division into the clear light. A contemporary writer has said that the
magical effect of Woodrow Wilson's utterances on all the Allies was due,
not to his rhetoric but to his sublime gift of seeing and stating a
profound truth after which others had been only groping. That is the
prophet's power, to voice the latent, inarticulate aspirations of the
multitude. Proof of the value of the President's method of attacking the
Central Powers from within by propaganda was disclosed in General
Ludendorff's and Von Tirpitz's revelations. In Ludendorff's opinion, the
President's note to Germany had forced the Central Empires to yield to the
President. Ludendorff says:

    In his answer to our second note, Wilson gave us nothing; he did not
    even tell us whether the Entente took its stand on the Fourteen
    Points. He demanded, however, the suspension of the submarine
    campaign, stigmatized our conduct of the war in the west as a
    violation of international law, and once again sought to meddle with
    intimate questions of our domestic politics.

Speaking again of the answer to one of the Wilson notes, Ludendorff says:

    The answer to Wilson was dispatched on the 20th of October. The
    submarine campaign was abandoned. This concession to Wilson was the
    deepest blow to the army, and especially to the navy. The injury to
    the morale of the fleet must have been immeasurable. The Cabinet had
    thrown up the sponge.

On October 23rd, President Wilson sent the following peremptory message to
the Germans:

    It is evident that the German people have no means of commanding the
    acquiescence of the military authorities of the Empire in the popular
    will; that the purpose of the King of Prussia to control the policy of
    the Empire is still unimpaired. If the United States must deal with
    the military masters and monarchical authorities now, or if it is
    likely to have to deal with them later in regard to international
    obligations of the German Empire, it must demand not peace
    negotiations but surrender. Nothing can be gained by leaving this
    essential thing unsaid.

In discussing this and the other Wilson notes, Ludendorff says that they
had dealt a vital blow at the heart of militaristic Germans and finally
loosed the grip they held on the German people. This entire situation is
best expressed in Ludendorff's own words:

    On October 23rd or 24th Wilson's answer arrived. It was a strong
    answer to our cowardly note. This time he had made it quite clear that
    the armistice conditions must be such as to make it impossible for
    Germany to resume hostilities, and to give the powers allied against
    her unlimited power to settle themselves the details of the peace
    accepted by Germany. In my view, there could no longer be doubt in any
    mind that we must continue the fight. I felt quite confident that the
    people were still to be won over to this course.

    On the evening of the 24th, shortly after leaving Spa for Berlin,
    there was brought to me the following proclamation already signed by
    the Field Marshal, which expressed the views prevailing at G. H. Q. on
    the third Wilson note. It appeared essential that G. H. Q. in its
    dealings with Berlin should take up a definite stand to the note in
    order to eliminate its ill effects on the army. The telegram to the
    Army ran thus:

        "For the information of all troops: Wilson says in his answer that
        he is ready to propose to his allies that they should enter into
        armistice negotiations; but that the armistice must render Germany
        so defenseless that she cannot take up arms again. He will only
        negotiate with Germany for peace if she concedes all the demands
        of America's associates as to the internal constitutional
        arrangements of Germany; otherwise, there is no choice but
        unconditional surrender.

        "_Wilson's answer is a demand for unconditional surrender._ It is
        thus unacceptable to us soldiers. It proves that our enemies'
        desire for our destruction, which let loose the war in 1914, still
        exists undiminished. It proves, further, that our enemies use the
        phrase 'peace of justice' merely to deceive us and break our
        resistance. Wilson's answer can thus be nothing for us soldiers
        but a challenge to continue our resistance with all our strength.

        "When our enemies know that no sacrifices will achieve the rupture
        of the German front, then they will be ready for a peace which
        will make the future of our country safe for the broad masses of
        our people.

        "At the front, October 24th, 10 P.M."

This proclamation which was signed by Field Marshal Von Hindenburg was
later signed by Ludendorff. It resulted in the Kaiser's immediate orders
for a special conference at which both of these officials were dismissed
from the Imperial German army.

Von Tirpitz in his Memoirs laid stress on the effect of the Wilson
submarine notes. Ludendorff declares in his book that the "Wilson
propaganda" that found root in Berlin and finally grew there eventually
convinced the German people that it was not they themselves, but the
Government and militarism that the United States was warring against.
_This was the seed of dissension that ruined German morale at home._

_Tirpitz declared that the beginning of the end came when in answer to the
President's_ Sussex _note, "We showed the world that we were going down
before America."_

Probably the most enlightening chapter of either book is that containing
Tirpitz's contention that the influence of the Wilson submarine notes
resulted in Japan's stronger and more active alliance with the Allies. In
this connection Von Tirpitz says:

    Only the transmitting to Germany of the threatening notes of President
    Wilson, when he inveighed against my submarine campaign during the
    latter stages of the war, prevented Japan from coming to us in a great
    Germano-Japanese alliance, which would have ended the war at once.

The overtures of the Pope, in August, 1917, were rejected and again the
attention of the world was arrested by the masterly leadership of the
American President. On August 16, 1917, I addressed the following letter
to the President with reference to the offers of peace made by His
Holiness Pope Benedict XV:

    The White House, Washington,
      16 August, 1917.


    I do not believe that the proposals the Pope has submitted should lead
    us into a statement as to the terms of peace beyond that which the
    President has already given expression to in his address in the Senate
    and in his Russian note. In these two documents are discussed the
    fundamentals of international peace. Some of these fundamentals the
    Pope recognizes in his statement to the belligerents. To go beyond a
    discussion of these now might lead to a conflict of opinion even among
    our own allies (for instance, France hopes for the return of Alsace
    Lorraine; Russia, for Constantinople, etc.).

    When the President said in his address of April second, last, that we
    were not making war on the German people, I believe he set the stage
    for the abdication of the Kaiser. And I think our whole note in reply
    to the Pope should be so framed that this idea would always be kept in
    the forefront of our discussion so as to bring home to the people of
    Germany the distrust and utter contempt in which the ruling powers of
    Germany are held by the peoples of the world.

    Our note in reply to the Pope should, I believe, embody the following

    "First--More important now than the terms of peace are the spirit and
    character of the nations who wish to end the war.

    "Second--How can any international agreement to bring an end to the
    conflict be discussed until those who brought it about can be made to
    realize the inviolability of treaty obligations?

    "Third--Attack the good faith of the ruling powers of Germany, calling
    attention to the fact that Germany brought on the war; that Germany
    invaded Belgium; that Germany ravished France, sank the _Lusitania_,
    ravished the women and children of the conquered territories; that
    Germany decreed submarine warfare, and 'erected barbarism into a

    "Fourth--And the democratic nations of the world are asked to confide
    their future and the future of the world to a nation that believes
    that force of arms should be substituted for the moral force of right.
    In other words, the ruling powers of Germany must purge themselves of
    contempt before they shall be given the hearing that the Pope feels
    they are entitled to."

    This form of reply will, I am sure, rouse the people of Germany to a
    realization of the situation which confronts them, for there is
    abundant evidence that they are gradually arriving at the conclusion
    that the Kaiser no longer represents them or their ideals.

    In other words, what I should like to see the President do is not to
    discuss in extenso our terms of peace but rather confine himself to a
    general attack upon the lack of good faith on the part of Germany in
    all of her dealings with us.


On August 27, 1917, the President, through, his Secretary of State,
addressed the following reply to the Pope:


    In acknowledgment of the communication of Your Holiness to the
    belligerent peoples, dated August 1, 1917, the President of the United
    States requests me to transmit the following reply:

    Every heart that has not been blinded and hardened by this terrible
    war must be touched by this moving appeal of His Holiness the Pope,
    must feel the dignity and force of the humane and generous motives
    which prompted it, and must fervently wish that we might take the path
    of peace he so persuasively points out. But it would be folly to take
    it if it does not in fact lead to the goal he proposes. Our response
    must be based upon the stern facts and upon nothing else. It is not a
    mere cessation of arms he desires: it is a stable and enduring peace.
    This agony must not be gone through with again, and it must be a
    matter of very sober judgment what will insure us against it.

     His Holiness in substance proposes that we return to the _status quo
    ante bellum_, and that then there be a general condonation,
    disarmament, and a concert of nations based upon an acceptance of the
    principle of arbitration; that by a similar concert freedom of the
    seas be established; and that the territorial claims of France and
    Italy, the perplexing problems of the Balkan States, and the
    restitution of Poland be left to such conciliatory adjustments as may
    be possible in the new temper of such a peace, due regard being paid
    to the aspirations of the peoples whose political fortunes and
    affiliations will be involved.

    It is manifest that no part of this programme can be carried out
    successfully unless the restitution of the _status quo ante_ furnishes
    a firm and satisfactory basis for it. The object of this war is to
    deliver the free peoples of the world from the menace and the actual
    power of a vast military establishment controlled by an irresponsible
    government which, having secretly planned to dominate the world,
    proceeded to carry the plan out without regard either to the sacred
    obligations of treaty or the long-established practices and long-
    cherished principles of international action and honour; which chose
    its own time for the war; delivered its blow fiercely and suddenly;
    stopped at no barrier either of law or mercy; swept a whole continent
    within the tide of blood--not the blood of soldiers only, but the
    blood of innocent women and children also and of the helpless poor;
    and now stands balked but not defeated, the enemy of four fifths of
    the world. This power is not the German people. It is the ruthless
    master of the German people. It is no business of ours how that great
    people came under its control or submitted with temporary zest to the
    domination of its purpose: but it is our business to see to it that
    the history of the rest of the world is no longer left to its

    To deal with such a power by way of peace upon the plan proposed by
    His Holiness the Pope would, so far as we can see, involve a
    recuperation of its strength and a renewal of its policy; would make
    it necessary to create a permanent hostile combination of nations
    against the German people who are its instruments; and would result in
    abandoning the newborn Russia to intrigue, the manifold subtle
    interference, and the certain counter-revolution which would be
    attempted by all the malign influences to which the German Government
    has of late accustomed the world. Can peace be based upon a
    restitution of its power or upon any word of honour it could pledge in
    a treaty of settlement and accommodation?

    Responsible statesmen must now everywhere see, if they never saw
    before, that no peace can rest securely upon political or economic
    restrictions meant to benefit some nations and cripple or, embarrass
    others, upon vindictive action of any sort, or any kind of revenge or
    deliberate injury. The American people have suffered intolerable
    wrongs at the hands of the Imperial German Government, but they desire
    no reprisal upon the German people who have themselves suffered all
    things in this war which they did not choose. They believe that peace
    should rest upon the rights of peoples, not the rights of governments
    --the rights of peoples great or small, weak or powerful--their equal
    right to freedom and security and self-government and to a
    participation upon fair terms in the economic opportunities of the
    world, the German people of course included if they will accept
    equality and not seek domination.

    The test, therefore, of every plan of peace is this: Is it based upon
    the faith of all the peoples involved or merely upon the word of an
    ambitious and intriguing government on the one hand and of a group of
    free peoples on the other? This is a test which goes to the root of
    the matter; and it is the test which must be applied.

    The purposes of the United States in this war are known to the whole
    world, to every people to whom the truth has been permitted to come.
    They do not need to be stated again. We seek no material advantage of
    any kind. We believe that the intolerable wrongs done in this war by
    the furious and brutal power of the Imperial German Government ought
    to be repaired, but not at the expense of the sovereignty of any
    people--rather a vindication of the sovereignty both of those that are
    weak and those that are strong. Punitive damages, the dismemberment of
    empires, the establishment of selfish and exclusive economic leagues,
    we deem inexpedient and in the end worse than futile, no proper basis
    for a peace of any kind, least of all for an enduring peace. That must
    be based upon justice and fairness and the common rights of mankind.

    We cannot take the word of the present rulers of Germany as a guaranty
    of anything that is to endure, unless explicitly supported by such
    conclusive evidence of the will and purpose of the German people
    themselves as the other peoples of the world would be justified in
    accepting. Without such guaranties treaties of settlement, agreements
    for disarmament, covenants to set up arbitration in the place of
    force, territorial adjustments, reconstitutions of small nations, if
    made with the German Government, no man, no nation could now depend
    on. We must await some new evidence of the purposes of the great
    peoples of the Central Powers. God grant it may be given soon and in a
    way to restore the confidence of all peoples everywhere in the faith
    of nations and the possibility of a covenanted peace.

      Secretary of State of the United States.



It will be recalled that early in the war Colonel Roosevelt called at the
White House to confer with the President regarding his desire to lead a
brigade to the other side. I recall distinctly every fact of that meeting.
I was seated a few feet away in the Red Room of the White House at the
time these two men were conferring. Nothing could have been pleasanter or
more agreeable than this meeting. They had not met since they were
political opponents in 1912, but prior to that they had had two or three
friendly visits with each other. Mr. Wilson had once lunched with Colonel
Roosevelt at Sagamore Hill, and when the Colonel was President, he and his
party had been luncheon guests of President and Mrs. Wilson of Princeton
University on the occasion of an Army and Navy game played on the
Princeton gridiron.

They met in the White House in the most friendly fashion, told each other
anecdotes, and seemed to enjoy together what the Colonel was accustomed to
call a "bully time."

The object of the Colonel's call was discussed without heat or bitterness.
The President placed before the Colonel his own ideas regarding Mr.
Roosevelt's desire to serve, and the attitude of the General Staff toward
the volunteer system, a system that would have to be recognized if the
Colonel's ambition was to be realized. As a matter of fact, instead of
being moved by any ill will toward the Colonel, the inclination of the
President was to overrule the recommendation of the General Staff and urge
that the Colonel be granted permission to go over seas. The salutations at
the end of the conference were most friendly and the Colonel, on his way
out, stopped in to see me. He slapped me on the back in the most friendly
way, and said: "By Jove, Tumulty, you are a man after my own heart! Six
children, eh? Well now, you get me across and I will put you on my staff,
and you may tell Mrs. Tumulty that I will not allow them to place you at
any point of danger."

Some weeks later, I received the following letter from Colonel Roosevelt:

    Oyster Bay, Long Island, N. Y.
      April 12, 1917.


    That was a fine speech of Williams. I shall write him and congratulate

    Now, don't forget that it might be a very good thing to have you as
    one of my commissioned officers at Headquarters. You could do really
    important work there, and tell Mrs. Tumulty and the six children, that
    this particular service would probably not be dangerous. Come, sure!

    Sincerely yours,

      Secretary to the President,
      Washington, D.C.

After the Colonel departed, the President in a boyish way said: "Well, and
how did the Colonel impress you?" I told the President of the very
favourable impression the Colonel had made upon me by his buoyancy, charm
of manner, and his great good nature. The President replied by saying:
"Yes, he is a great big boy. I was, as formerly, charmed by his
personality. There is a sweetness about him that is very compelling. You
can't resist the man. I can easily understand why his followers are so
fond of him."

[Illustration: Colonel Roosevelt sent this letter to Mr. Tumulty shortly
after his one and only call upon President Wilson at the White House.
[Transcriber's note: contains a reproduction of the letter from Roosevelt
quoted above.]]

It was, therefore, with real pain that the President read the account of
this interview as contained in John J. Leary's book entitled "Talks with
T. R.," containing many slighting references made by the Colonel to the
President. It appears that Mr. Leary accompanied the Colonel to the White
House and immediately upon the conclusion of the conference was the
recipient of a confidential statement of the Colonel's impression of the
President. The account in Mr. Leary's book is as follows:

    I found that, though I had written plainly enough, there was confusion
    in his [Wilson's] mind as to what I wanted to do. I explained
    everything to him. He seemed to take it well, but--remember I was
    talking to Mr. Wilson.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Tumulty, by way of a half joke, said he might go to France with me. I
    said: 'By Jove, you come right along! I'll have a place for you.' I
    would, too, but it wouldn't be the place he thinks. It is possible he
    might be sent along as sort of a watchdog to keep Mr. Wilson informed
    as to what was being done. He wouldn't be, though. He'd keep his
    distance from headquarters except when he was sent for.

           *       *       *       *       *

    He [Wilson] has promised me nothing definitely, but as I have said, if
    any other man than he talked to me as he did, I would feel assured. If
    I talked to another man as he talked to me it would mean that that man
    was going to get permission to fight. But I was talking to Mr. Wilson.
    His words may mean much, they may mean little. He has, however, left
    the door open.

Of course, what ultimately happened is clear to everyone, civilian and
soldier, who pauses a moment to reflect; as plans for the conduct of the
war matured, it became continually clearer that it must be a professional
war, conducted by professionals with complete authority over subordinates.
There could be no experimenting with volunteer commanders, no matter how
great their valour, how pure their motives, or how eminent their positions
in the nation. To make an exception of Colonel Roosevelt would have been
to strike at the heart of the whole design. Military experts and the
majority of Congressional opinion were at one in this matter, though
Congress put upon the President the responsibility of making the final
decision, together with whatever obloquy this would entail. It was purely
as a step in the interest of waging the war with greatest effectiveness
that the President announced the decision adverse to the Colonel's wishes.
Personally it would have been pleasanter for the President to grant the
Colonel's request, but President Wilson has never adopted "the easiest

A great deal of criticism was heaped upon the President for what appeared
to the outside as his refusal to send General Leonard Wood to France.
Although a fierce storm of criticism beat upon him, the President
displayed no resentment, nor, indeed, did he seem to notice what his
critics were saying.

As a matter of fact, the President played no part in the movement to keep
General Wood from realizing his ambition to lead his division to France.
Mr. George Creel in his book, "The War, The World and Wilson," has
succinctly summarized this incident; has told how the name of General Wood
did not appear in any of the lists of officers received from General
Pershing; how the President took this as a plain indication that General
Pershing did not desire General Wood in France (the absence of so eminent
a name from the lists was certainly not an oversight 011 the part of the
Commanding General in France); how President Wilson was determined to
support General Pershing in every detail so long as General Pershing in
the President's opinion was meeting the requirements of the great
responsibility laid upon him; how the President was insistent that General
Pershing should not be embarrassed by political considerations of any kind
in the discharge of his great military duty; how the unfortunate feature
of the whole matter was that the recall of General Wood did not come until
"after he had taken his brigade to New York preparatory to sailing for the
other side"; how "General March treated the circumstance as one of
military routine entirely, utterly failing to realize its political
importance"; how "instead of informing General Wood at once that he had
not been chosen to go to France, General March followed the established
procedure and waited for the completion of the training period before
issuing orders to the division commanders"; how "General Wood left Camp
Funston in advance of his division and without waiting to receive his
orders"; how General March sent these orders to New York; how "in
consequence there was an appearance of eleventh-hour action, an effect of
jerking General Wood from the very deck of the transport"; how "General
Wood carried his complaint to the President and was told plainly that the
list would not be revised in the personal interest of any soldier or

I discussed the matter with General Wood immediately upon the conclusion
of his conference with the President. Walking into my office after his
interview, the General informed me that his talk with the President was
most agreeable and satisfactory and that he was certain, although the
President did not intimate it to him, that the reason for his being held
in America could not be attributed to the President. Turning to me, the
General said: "I know who is responsible for this. It is that man
Pershing." I assured the General that there was nothing in the President's
attitude toward him that was in the least degree unfriendly, and reminded
him how the President had retained him as Chief of Staff when he assumed
office in 1913. The General, very much to my surprise, intimated that back
of Pershing's attitude toward him was political consideration. I tried to
reassure him and, indeed, I resented this characterization of General
Pershing as an unjust and unwarranted imputation upon the Commander of the
American Expeditionary Forces.

I myself felt that General Wood was being unfairly treated, although I did
not admit this to him in our interview. I took the liberty of saying this
to the President over the telephone from my house that evening. I tried to
convince the President that there was a feeling rapidly spreading
throughout the country that Wood was being unfairly treated and that it
was not just that the Administration, which I knew was blameless in the
matter, should be compelled to bear the responsibility of the whole thing
and pay what I was certain would be a great price in the loss of popular

The President in his reply to my statement showed irritation at what I
said in General Wood's behalf, and used very emphatic language in
conveying to me the idea that he would not interfere in having the list,
upon which General Wood's name appeared, revised. I urged that if General
Wood was not to be sent to France, he should be given a chance to go to
Italy. Our conversation over the telephone in reference to the Wood matter
was as follows: "I trust, Governor, that you can see your way clear to
send General Wood either to France or to Italy."

Without a moment's hesitation, the President said: "I am sorry, but it
cannot be done."

Whereupon, I said: "It is not fair that the Administration should be
carrying the burden of this whole affair. If General Pershing or the
General Staff is responsible for holding General Wood in this country,
surely they have good reason, and the public ought to be apprised of it,
and thus remove the suspicion that we are playing politics."

The President quickly interrupted me and said: "I am not at all interested
in any squabble or quarrel between General Pershing and General Wood. The
only thing I am interested in is winning this war. I selected General
Pershing for this task and I intend to back him up in every recommendation
he makes."

When I tried to emphasize the feeling of dissatisfaction throughout the
country over the Wood incident, he replied that the responsibility of
winning the war was upon General Pershing and himself and not upon the
critics who thought that General Wood was being badly treated. I then
said: "But it is not fair to you to have it said that by reason of some
feeling that you may have against Wood you are keeping him on this side."

The President replied: "I am sorry, but I do not care a damn for the
criticism of the country. It would not be fair to Pershing if I tried to
escape what appears to be my responsibility. I do not intend to embarrass
General Pershing by forcing his hand. If Pershing does not make good, I
will recall him, but it must not be said that I have failed to support him
at every turn."

His attitude toward Wood and Roosevelt was consistently maintained, in
supporting the General Staff and the War Department throughout the war.
The only thing that seemed to interest him was how quickly and effectively
to do the job and to find the man who could do it.



The President had but one object: to throw all the nation's energy into
the scale for the defeat of Germany. Because he did not bluster and voice
daily hymns of hate against Germany, he was singularly misunderstood by
some of his fellow-citizens, who, in their own boiling anger against the
enemy, would sometimes peevishly inquire: "Does he really hate Germany?"
The President was too much occupied with deeds to waste time in word-
vapouring. By every honourable means he had sought to avoid the issue, but
a truculent and fatuous foe had made war necessary, and into that war the
peace-loving President went with the grim resolution of an iron warrior.
In his attitude before and during the war his motto might have been the
familiar words of Polonius:

  Beware of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
  Bear't, that the opposed may beware of thee.

Occasionally, as at Baltimore, on April 6, 1918, the public heard from him
brief, ringing speeches of warlike resolution:

    Germany has once more said that force and force alone shall decide
    whether Justice and Peace shall reign in the affairs of men, whether
    Right as America conceives it or Dominion as she conceives it shall
    determine the destinies of mankind. There is therefore but one
    response possible from us. Force, Force to the utmost, Force without
    stint or limit, the righteous and triumphant Force which shall make
    Right the law of the world, and cast every selfish Dominion down in
    the dust.

Months after hostilities had ended, there appeared from time to time in
the newspapers, without his or my knowledge of proposed publication,
utterances of his to military men during the conflict which showed his
warrior heart and his extraordinary ability to grasp a technical military
problem such as his dispatch to Admiral Sims, his address to the officers
of the Atlantic Fleet, and his interview with Marshal Joffre in the White
House. Perhaps it is not generally known that Mr. Wilson, who has
constantly read and loved the philosophic poetry of Wordsworth, has also
been an intense admirer of Shakespeare's warrior-hero, Henry the Fifth,
and has frequently read aloud to friends, with exclamations of admiration,
the stirring speeches of Henry in the Shakespearean play.

The cable message to Admiral Sims is as follows:

       American Embassy, London, July 5, 1917.

    _Strictly confidential_.

    From the beginning of the war, I have been greatly surprised at the
    failure of the British Admiralty to use Great Britain's great naval
    superiority in an effective way. In the presence of the present
    submarine emergency they are helpless to the point of panic. Every
    plan we suggest they reject for some reason of prudence. In my view,
    this is not a time for prudence but for boldness even at the cost of
    great losses. In most of your dispatches you have quite properly
    advised us of the sort of aid and cooperation desired from us by the
    Admiralty. The trouble is that their plans and methods do not seem to
    us efficacious. I would be very much obliged to you if you would
    report to me, confidentially, of course, exactly what the Admiralty
    has been doing, and what they have accomplished, and add to the report
    your own comments and suggestions, based upon independent thought of
    the whole situation, without regard to the judgments of any one on
    that side of the water. The Admiralty was very slow to adopt the
    protection or convoy and it is not now, I judge [protecting] convoys
    on adequate scale within the danger zone, seeming to keep small craft
    with the grand fleet. The absence of craft for convoy is even more
    apparent on the French coast than on the English coast and in the
    Channel. I do not see how the necessary military supplies and supplies
    of food and fuel oil are to be delivered at British ports in any other
    way within the next few months than under adequate convoy. There will
    presently not be ships or tankers enough and our shipbuilding plans
    may not begin to yield important results in less than eighteen months.
    I believe that you will keep these instructions absolutely and
    entirely to yourself, and that you will give me such advice as you
    would give if you were handling and if you were running a navy of your

    (Signed) WOODROW WILSON.

For sheer audacity, there is not much that can be compared with his
address to the officers of the Atlantic Fleet on August 11, 1917:

    Now, the point that is constantly in my mind, gentlemen, is this: This
    is an unprecedented war and, therefore, it is a war in one sense for
    amateurs. Nobody ever before conducted a war like this and therefore
    nobody can pretend to be a professional in a war like this. Here are
    two great navies, not to speak of the others associated with us, our
    own and the British, outnumbering by a very great margin the navy to
    which we are opposed and yet casting about for a war in which to use
    our superiority and our strength, because of the novelty of the
    instruments used, because of the unprecedented character of the war,
    because, as I said just now, nobody ever before fought a war like
    this, in the way that this is being fought at sea, or on land either,
    for that matter. The experienced soldier--experienced in previous
    wars--is a back number so far as his experience is concerned; not so
    far as his intelligence is concerned. His experience does not count,
    because he never fought a war as this is being fought, and therefore
    he is an amateur along with the rest of us. Now, somebody has got to
    think this war out. Somebody has got to think out the way not only to
    fight the submarine, but to do something different from what we are

    We are hunting hornets all over the farm and letting the nest alone.
    None of us know how to go to the nest and crush it; and yet I despair
    of hunting for hornets all over the sea when I know where the nest is
    and know that the nest is breeding hornets as fast as I can find them.
    I am willing for my part, and I know you are willing because I know
    the stuff you are made of--I am willing to sacrifice half the navy
    Great Britain and we together have to crush out that nest, because if
    we crush it the war is won. I have come here to say that I do not care
    where it comes from, I do not care whether it comes from the youngest
    officer or the oldest, but I want the officers of this navy to have
    the distinction of saying how this war is going to be won. The
    Secretary of the Navy and I have just been talking over plans for
    putting the planning machinery of the Navy at the disposal of the
    brains of the Navy and not stopping to ask what rank those brains
    have, because, as I have said before and want to repeat, so far as
    experience in this kind of war is concerned we are all of the same
    rank. I am not saying that I do not expect the admirals to tell us
    what to do, but I am saying that I want the youngest and most modest
    youngster in the service to tell us what we ought to do if he knows
    what it is. Now I am willing to make any sacrifice for that. I mean
    any sacrifice of time or anything else. I am ready to put myself at
    the disposal of any officer in the Navy who thinks he knows how to run
    this war. I will not undertake to tell you whether he does or not,
    because I know that I do not, but I will undertake to put him in
    communication with those who can find out whether his idea will work
    or not. I have the authority to do that and I will do it with the
    greatest pleasure.

           *       *       *       *       *

    We have got to throw tradition to the wind. Now, as I have said,
    gentlemen, I take it for granted that nothing that I say here will be
    repeated and therefore I am going to say this: Every time we have
    suggested anything to the British Admiralty the reply has come back
    that virtually amounted to this, that it had never been done that way,
    and I felt like saying: "Well, nothing was ever done so systematically
    as nothing is being done now." Therefore I should like to see
    something unusual happen, something that was never done before; and
    inasmuch as the things that are being done to you were never done
    before, don't you think it is worth while to try something that was
    never done before against those who are doing them to you. There is no
    other way to win, and the whole principle of this war is the kind of
    thing that ought to hearten and stimulate America. America has always
    boasted that she could find men to do anything. She is the prize
    amateur nation of the world. Germany is the prize professional nation
    of the world. Now when it comes to doing new things and doing them
    well, I will back the amateur against the professional every time,
    because the professional does it out of the book and the amateur does
    it with his eyes open upon a new world and with a new set of
    circumstances. He knows so little about it that he is fool enough to
    try to do the right thing. The men that do not know the danger are the
    rashest men, and I have several times ventured to make this suggestion
    to the men about me in both arms of the service. Please leave out of
    your vocabulary altogether the word "prudent." Do not stop to think
    about what is prudent for a moment. Do the thing that is audacious to
    the utmost point of risk and daring, because that is exactly the thing
    that the other side does not understand, and you will win by the
    audacity of method when you cannot win by circumspection and prudence.
    I think that there are willing ears to hear this in the American Navy
    and the American Army because that is the kind of folk we are. We get
    tired of the old ways and covet the new ones.

    So, gentlemen, besides coming down here to give you my personal
    greeting and to say how absolutely I rely on you and believe in you, I
    have come down here to say also that I depend on you, depend on you
    for brains as well as training and courage and discipline.

When Marshal Joffre visited the President in the spring of 1917, he was
surprised, as he afterward said to Secretary Daniels, "to find that
President Wilson had such a perfect mastery of the military situation. He
had expected to meet a scholar, a statesman, and an idealist; he had not
expected to meet a practical strategist fully conversant with all the
military movements.

"In answer to my question as to whether it would be feasible to send in
advance of his army the general who was to command American troops in
France, the President said at once that it could be arranged."

The President and Marshal Joffre considered together a number of technical
military problems. General Joffre gave the President his expert opinion as
to what should be done in every instance and was surprised at the
promptness with which in each case the President said: "It shall be done."

A little incident at the White House at the luncheon given by the
President to the members of the Democratic National Committee throws light
upon the fighting qualities of the man. He asked Mr. Angus W. McLean, a
warm and devoted friend from North Carolina, who was seated near him at
the table, what the Scots down in North Carolina were saying about the
war. Mr. McLean replied he could best answer the question by repeating
what a friend of the President's father and an ardent admirer of the
President had said about the President's attitude a few days previous. "I
am afraid our President is not a true Scot, he doesn't show the fighting
spirit characteristic of the Scots." The President promptly replied: "You
tell our Scotch friend, McLean, that he does not accurately interpret the
real Scottish character. If he did, he would understand my attitude. The
Scotsman is slow to begin to fight but when once he begins he never knows
when to quit."

Two capital policies which contributed enormously to the winning of the
war received their impulse from Woodrow Wilson--the unification of command
of the Allied armies on the western front and the attack of submarines at
their base in the North Sea. On November 18, 1918, Colonel House let it be
known in London that he had received a cable from President Wilson stating
emphatically that the United States Government considered unity of plan
and control between the Allies and the United States to be essential in
order to win the war and achieve a just and lasting peace.

It was Woodrow Wilson, a civilian, who advised, urged, and insisted that a
mine barrage be laid across the North Sea to check German submarine
activities at their source. Naval experts pronounced the plan impossible:
it would take too long to lay the barrage, and, when laid, it would not
hold. A great storm would sweep it away. But the President insisted that
the thing could be done, and that nothing else could check the submarine
devastation amounting by July, 1917, to 600,000 tons a month of destroyed
shipping. The President's audacity and persistence prevailed, and it is
not too much to say that his plan ended the submarine menace.

It will be recalled that European newspapers carried a story of a farewell
reception to Mr. Bonar Law, in which he paid his compliments to his chief,
Mr. Lloyd George, saying, in substance, that he had seen Lloyd George
discouraged only once. It was on the morning when the news came of the
great German offensive in March, 1918. Mr. Lloyd George told Mr. Bonar Law
that morning that only a vast increase in American reinforcements could
save the Allies. A cable was immediately framed, asking Mr. Wilson to send
the number of reinforcements necessary. Mr. Bonar Law stated in his speech
that an affirmative answer was received from Mr. Wilson the same day.

A prominent Englishman, discussing the President's work in connection with
the war, while criticizing what he characterized as the President's
ignorance of European conditions, said: "I feel ashamed to be criticizing
President Wilson for anything when I remember his practical services in
prosecuting the war. No other man in any country gave such firm and
instant support to every measure for making operations effective. His
decisions were fearless and prompt and he stood by them like a rock. In
sending troops promptly and in sending plenty of them, in cooperating in
the naval effort, in insisting on the unity of command under Foch, in
backing the high command in the field, and in every other practical detail
Mr. Wilson had big, clear conceptions and the courage to carry them out."

Those who were critical of the President's conduct of the war forget the
ringing statement that came from Lloyd George when the great offensive was
on, when he said: "The race is now between Von Hindenburg and Wilson." And
Wilson won.

The most important speech made by the President during the war was
delivered at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, on September 27,
1918, opening the campaign for the Fourth Liberty Loan.

I recall a talk the President had with me on the way to New York on the
afternoon of the delivery of this speech when he requested me to read the
manuscript. As he gave it to me he said: "They [meaning the Allies] will
not like this speech, for there are many things in it which will displease
the Imperialists of Great Britain, France, and Italy. The world must be
convinced that we are playing no favourites and that America has her own
plan for a world settlement, a plan which does not contain the germs of
another war. What I greatly fear, now that the end seems inevitable, is
that we shall go back to the old days of alliances and competing armaments
and land grabbing. We must see to it, therefore, that there is not another
Alsace-Lorraine, and that when peace finally comes, it shall be a
permanent and a lasting peace. We must now serve notice on everybody that
our aims and purposes are not selfish. In order to do this and to make the
right impressions, we must be brutally frank with friends and foes alike."

As we discussed the subject matter of this momentous speech, I gathered
from the President's statements to me that he clearly foresaw the end of
the war and of the possible proposal for a settlement that might be made
by the Allies. Therefore, he felt it incumbent upon him frankly to discuss
America's view of what a just and lasting settlement should be. As one
examines this speech to-day, away from the excitement of that critical
hour in which it was delivered, he can easily find in it statements and
utterances that must have caused sharp irritation in certain chancelleries
of Europe. In nearly every line of it there was a challenge to European
Imperialism to come out in the open and avow its purposes as to peace.
Many of the Allied leaders had been addressing their people on the matter
of peace; now they were being challenged by an American president to place
their cards face up on the table. An examination of the speech, in the
light of subsequent events, reëmphasizes the President's pre-vision:

    At every turn of the war we gain a fresh consciousness of what we mean
    to accomplish by it. When our hope and expectation are most excited we
    think more definitely than before of the issues that hang upon it and
    of the purposes which must be realized by means of it. For it has
    positive and well-defined purposes which we did not determine and
    which we cannot alter. No statesman or assembly created them; no
    statesman or assembly can alter them. They have arisen out of the very
    nature and circumstances of the war. The most that statesmen or
    assemblies can do is to carry them out or be false to them. They were
    perhaps not clear at the outset; but they are clear now. The war has
    lasted more than four years and the whole world has been drawn into
    it. The common will of mankind has been substituted for the particular
    purposes of individual states. Individual statesmen may have started
    the conflict, but neither they nor their opponents can stop it as they
    please. It has become a peoples' war, and peoples of all sorts and
    races, of every degree of power and variety of fortune, are involved
    in its sweeping processes of change and settlement. We came into it
    when its character had become fully defined and it was plain that no
    nation could stand apart or be indifferent to its outcome. Its
    challenge drove to the heart of everything we cared for and lived for.
    The voice of the war had become clear and gripped our hearts. Our
    brothers from many lands, as well as our own murdered dead under the
    sea, were calling to us, and we responded, fiercely and of course.

    The air was clear about us. We saw things in their full, convincing
    proportions as they were; and we have seen them with steady eyes and
    unchanging comprehension ever since. We accepted the issues of the war
    as facts, not as any group of men either here or elsewhere had defined
    them, and we can accept no outcome which does not squarely meet and
    settle them. Those issues are these:

    Shall the military power of any nation or group of nations be suffered
    to determine the fortunes of peoples over whom they have no right to
    rule except the right of force?

    Shall strong nations be free to wrong weak nations and make them
    subject to their purpose and interest?

    Shall peoples be ruled and dominated, even in their own internal
    affairs, by arbitrary and irresponsible force or by their own will and

    Shall there be a common standard of right and privilege for all
    peoples and nations or shall the strong do as they will and the weak
    suffer without redress?

    Shall the assertion of right be haphazard and by casual alliance or
    shall there be a common concert to oblige the observance of common

    No man, no group of men, chose these to be the issues of the struggle.
    They _are_ issues of it; and they must be settled--by no arrangement
    or compromise or adjustment of interests, but definitely and once for
    all and with a full and unequivocal acceptance of the principle that
    the interest of the weakest is as sacred as the interest of the

    That is what we mean when we speak of a permanent peace, if we speak
    sincerely, intelligently, and with a real knowledge and comprehension
    of the matter we deal with.

           *       *       *       *       *

    As I have said, neither I nor any other man in governmental authority
    created or gave form to the issues of this war. I have simply
    responded to them with such vision as I could command. But I have
    responded gladly and with a resolution that has grown warmer and more
    confident as the issues have grown clearer and clearer. It is now
    plain that they are issues which no man can pervert unless it be
    wilfully. I am bound to fight for them, and happy to fight for them as
    time and circumstance have revealed them to me as to all the world.
    Our enthusiasm for them grows more and more irresistible as they stand
    out in more and more vivid and unmistakable outline.

    And the forces that fight for them draw into closer and closer array,
    organize their millions into more and more unconquerable might, as
    they become more and more distinct to the thought and purposes of the
    peoples engaged. It is the peculiarity of this great war that while
    statesmen have seemed to cast about for definitions of their purpose
    and have sometimes seemed to shift their ground and their point of
    view, the thought of the mass of men, whom statesmen are supposed to
    instruct and lead, has grown more and more unclouded, more and more
    certain of what it is that they are fighting for. National purposes
    have fallen more and more into the background and the common purpose
    of enlightened mankind has taken their place. The counsels of plain
    men have become on all hands more simple and straightforward and more
    unified than the counsels of sophisticated men of affairs, who still
    retain the impression that they are playing a game of power and
    playing for high stakes. That is why I have said that this is a
    peoples' war, not a statesmen's. Statesmen must follow the clarified
    common thought or be broken.

    I take that to be the significance of the fact that assemblies and
    associations of many kinds made up of plain workaday people have
    demanded, almost every time they came together, and are still
    demanding, that the leaders of their governments declare to them
    plainly what it is, exactly what it is, that they were seeking in this
    war, and what they think the items of the final settlement should be.
    They are not yet satisfied with what they have been told. They still
    seem to fear that they are getting what they ask for only in
    statesmen's terms--only in the terms of territorial arrangements and
    divisions of power, and not in terms of broad-visioned justice and
    mercy and peace and the satisfaction of those deep-seated longings of
    oppressed and distracted men and women and enslaved peoples that seem
    to them the only things worth fighting a war for that engulfs the
    world. Perhaps statesmen have not always recognized this changed
    aspect of the whole world of policy and action. Perhaps they have not
    always spoken in direct reply to the questions asked because they did
    not know how searching those questions were and what sort of answers
    they demanded.

    But I, for one, am glad to attempt the answer again and again, in the
    hope that I may make it clearer and clearer that my one thought is to
    satisfy those who struggle in the ranks and are, perhaps above all
    others, entitled to a reply whose meaning no one can have any excuse
    for misunderstanding, if he understands the language in which it is
    spoken or can get someone to translate it correctly into his own. And
    I believe that the leaders of the governments with which we are
    associated will speak, as they have occasion, as plainly as I have
    tried to speak. I hope that they will feel free to say whether they
    think I am in any degree mistaken in my interpretation of the issues
    involved or in my purpose with regard to the means by which a
    satisfactory settlement of those issues may be obtained. Unity of
    purpose and of counsel are as imperatively necessary as was unity of
    command in the battlefield, and with perfect unity of purpose and
    counsel will come assurance of complete victory. It can be had in no
    other way. "Peace drives" can be effectively neutralized and silenced
    only by showing that every victory of the nations associated against
    Germany brings the nations nearer the sort of peace which will bring
    security and reassurance to all peoples and make the recurrence of
    another such struggle of pitiless force and bloodshed for ever
    impossible, and that nothing else can. Germany is constantly
    intimating the "terms" she will accept; and always finds that the
    world does not want terms. It wishes the final triumph of justice and
    fair dealing.

When I had read the speech, I turned to the President and said: "This
speech will bring Germany to terms and will convince her that we play no
favourites and will compel the Allies openly to avow the terms upon which
they will expect a war settlement to be reached. In my opinion, it means
the end of the war." The President was surprised at the emphasis I laid
upon the speech, but he was more surprised when I ventured the opinion
that he would be in Paris within six months discussing the terms of the
treaty. The Washington _Post_, a critic of the President, characterized
this speech, in an editorial on September 29, 1918, as "a marvellous
intellectual performance, and a still more marvellous exhibition of moral



Germany had begun to weaken, and suddenly aware of the catastrophe that
lay just ahead, changed her chancellor, and called upon the President for
an armistice upon the basis of the Fourteen Points. The explanation of
Germany's attitude in this matter was simply that she knew she was beaten
and she recognized that Wilson was the only hope of a reasonable peace
from the Berlin point of view. Germany professed to be a liberal and was
asking Wilson for the "benefit of clergy."

On the 6th day of October, 1918, the following note from Prince Max of
Baden was delivered to the President by the Secretary of State:

    The German Government requests the President of the United States of
    America to take steps for the restoration of peace, to notify all
    belligerents of this request, and to invite them to delegate
    plenipotentiaries for the purpose of taking up negotiations. The
    German Government accepts, as a basis for the peace negotiations, the
    programme laid down by the President of the United States in his
    Message to Congress of January 8,1918, and in his subsequent
    pronouncements particularly in his address of September 27, 1918. In
    order to avoid further bloodshed, the German Government requests the
    President of the United States of America to bring about the immediate
    conclusion of a general armistice on land, on water, and in the air.

    (Signed) MAX, Prince Of Baden,
      Imperial Chancellor.

The President was not surprised when the offer of peace came for on all
sides there was abundant evidence of the decline of Germany and of the
weakening of her morale. The President felt that Germany, being desperate,
it would be possible for him, when she proposed a settlement, like that
proposed by Prince Max, to dictate our own terms, and to insist that
America would have nothing to do with any settlement in which the Kaiser
or his brood should play a leading part. I stated to him that the basis of
our attitude toward Germany should be an insistence, in line with his
speech of September 27, 1918, wherein he said:

    We are all agreed that there can be no peace obtained by any kind of
    bargain or compromise with the governments of the Central Empires,
    because we have dealt with them already and have seen them deal with
    other governments that were parties to this struggle, at Brest-Litovsk
    and Bucharest. They have convinced us that they were without honour
    and do not intend justice. They observe no covenants, accept no
    principle but force and their own interest. We cannot come to terms
    with them. They have made it impossible. The German people must by
    this time be fully aware that we cannot accept the word of those who
    forced this war upon us. We do not think the same thoughts or speak
    the same language of agreement.

At the time of the receipt of Prince Max's note by the State Department,
on October 5, 1918, the President was in New York, staying at the Waldorf-
Astoria, preparatory to attending a concert given by the Royal Italian
Grenadiers. A message from the Army Intelligence Department, conveyed to
me by General Churchill, at the Knickerbocker Hotel, in New York, where I
was staying, was the first word we had of Germany's desire for an
armistice. General Churchill read me the German proposal over the 'phone
and I carried it to the President, who was in conference with Colonel
House at the Waldorf. The offer of Germany was so frank and unequivocal in
seeming to meet the terms of the President's formal proposals of peace,
that when Colonel House read it to the President, he turned and said:
"This means the end of the war." When I was interrogated as to my opinion,
I replied that, while the German offer of peace seemed to be genuine, in
my opinion no offer from Germany could be considered that bore the
Hohenzollern-Hapsburg brand. For a moment this seemed to irritate the
President, and he said: "But, at least, we are bound to consider in the
most serious way any offer of Germany which is practically an acceptance
of my proposals of peace." There our first discussion regarding the German
peace offer ended.

At the conclusion of this talk I was invited to take dinner with the
President and Colonel House and with the members of the President's
family, but the matter of the note which we had just received weighed so
heavily upon me that my digestive apparatus was not in good working order,
and yet the President was seemingly unmindful of it, and refused to permit
the evening to be interfered with because of the note, attending the
concert and apparently enjoying every minute of the evening, and
applauding the speeches that were made by the gentlemen who addressed us.

After the concert began, I left the Presidential box and, following a
habit I had acquired since coming to the Executive offices, I conferred
with the newspaper men in our party, endeavouring to obtain from them,
without expressing any personal opinion of my own, just how they felt
toward the terms proposed in the Max note. I then called up the State
Department and discussed the note with Mr. Polk, expressing the same
opinion to him that I had already expressed to the President, to the
effect that we could not accept a German offer which came to us under the
auspices of the Hohenzollerns. Upon the conclusion of the concert, we left
the Metropolitan Opera House, I accompanying the President to the Waldorf.
As I took my place in the automobile, the President leaned over to Mrs.
Wilson and whispered to her the news of the receipt of the German note.
Then, turning to me, he said: "Have you had any new reaction on the note
since I last talked with you?" I told him I had not, but that what I had
learned since talking with him earlier in the evening had only confirmed
me in the opinion that I had already expressed, that it would not be right
or safe for us to accept the German proposals. When we arrived at the
Waldorf it was 12:30 A. M. and the President asked me to his rooms, and
there, for an hour and a half, we indulged in a long discussion of the
German offer. As was usual with the President in all these important
matters, his mind was, to use his own phrase, "open and to let."

I emphasized the idea that we could not consider a peace proposal in which
the Kaiser and his brood played a part, and that the only proffer we could
consider must come from the German people themselves; that in his Mexican
policy he had proclaimed the doctrine that no ruler who came to power by
murder or assassination would ever receive the recognition of the United
States; that we must broaden the morality which underlay this policy, and
by our attitude say to the European rulers who started this war, that
guilt is personal and that until they had purged themselves from the
responsibility of war, we could not consider any terms of peace that came
through them.

The next day the President left for Cleveland Dodge's home on the Hudson,
with Colonel House and Doctor Grayson. I remained in New York at the
Knickerbocker Hotel, busily engaged in poring over the newspaper files to
find out what the editorial attitude of the country was toward the German
proposal of peace, and in preparing a brief on the whole matter for the
President's consideration. Before Colonel House left, I again impressed
upon him my view of the note and my conviction that it would be a
disastrous blunder for us to accept it.

The President returned to Washington in the early afternoon, Colonel House
accompanying him. I was eager and anxious to have another talk with him
and was given an opportunity while in the President's compartment in the
train on our way back to Washington. As I walked into the compartment, the
President was conferring with Colonel House, and as I took a seat, the
President asked me if I still felt that the German proposal should be
rejected. I replied, that, if anything, I was stronger in the judgment I
had already expressed. He said: "But it is not an easy matter to turn away
from an offer like this. There is no doubt that the form of it may be open
to objection, but substantially it represents the wishes of the German
people, even though the medium through which it may be conveyed is an
odious and hateful one, but I must make up my own mind on this and I must
not be held off from an acceptance by any feeling of criticism that may
come my way. The gentlemen in the Army who talk about going to Berlin and
taking it by force are foolish. It would cost a million American lives to
accomplish it, and what lies in my thoughts now is this: If we can accept
this offer, the war will be at an end, for Germany cannot begin a new one,
and thus we would save a great deal of bloodshed."

I remember, as I pointed out to him the disappointment of the people were
he to accept the German offer, he said: "If I think it is right to accept
it, I shall do so regardless of consequences. As for myself, I can go down
in a cyclone cellar and write poetry the rest of my days, if necessary."
He called my attention to the fact that John Jay, who negotiated the
famous treaty with Great Britain, was burned in effigy and Alexander
Hamilton was stoned while defending the Jay Treaty on the steps of the
Treasury Building in New York City. I pointed out to him that there was no
comparison between the two situations; that our case was already made up
and that to retreat now and accept this proposal would be to leave intact
the hateful dynasty that had brought on the war.

As was his custom and habit, he was considering all the facts and every
viewpoint before he finally took the inevitable step.

Never before was the bigness of the President shown better than in this
discussion; never was he more open-minded or more anxious to obtain all
the facts in the grave situation with which he was called upon to deal. In
the action upon which his mind was now at work he was not thinking of
himself or of its effect upon his own political fortunes. All through the
discussion one could easily see the passionate desire of the man to bring
this bloody thing of war honourably to an end.

Mr. Edward N. Hurley furnishes me with a characteristic anecdote connected
with a session of the War Conference Board, which Mr. Hurley calls "one of
the most historic conferences ever held at the White House."

"The question," says Mr. Hurley, "was whether the President would be
justified in agreeing to an armistice. Many people throughout the country
were demanding an insistence upon unconditional surrender. Very little
news was coming from abroad." Mr. Hurley says that the President met the
Conference Board with the statement: "Gentlemen, I should like to get an
expression from each man as to what he thinks we should or should not do
regarding an unconditional surrender or an armistice." Mr. Hurley says
that "every man at the meeting except one was in favour of an armistice."
After the President had ascertained the opinpn of each he said in a quiet
way: "I have drawn up a tentative note to Germany which I should like to
submit for your approval." After the paper had been passed Around one
member of the Board said: "Mr. President, I think it would be better
politics if you were to change this paragraph"--indicating a particular
paragraph in the document. The President replied, in what Mr. Hurley calls
"a slow and deliberate manner": "I am not dealing in politics, I am
dealing in human lives."

While the President was engaged in conference with Colonel House, I
addressed a letter to him, as follows:


    October 8, 1918.


    I do not know what your attitude is toward the late German and
    Austrian offers. The record you have made up to this time, however, is
    so plain that in my judgment there can be only one answer and that is
    an absolute and unqualified rejection of these proposals.

    There is no safer counsellor in the country than the Springfield
    _Republican_. Speaking of the peace programme of the new German
    Chancellor, the _Republican_ says:

    "It [referring to the offer of Prince Max] does not meet the minimum
    requirements for the opening of negotiations. These have been
    variously stated, but in general may be reduced to restitution,
    reparation and guarantees. Under none of these heads has Germany yet
    come even measurably near meeting the plain requirements of the
    Allies, which have not been reduced in defeat and will not be
    increased with victory. Take, for example, the question of Belgium,
    now that Germany knows it cannot be kept, it makes a merit of giving
    it up, but beyond that Prince Maximilian is not authorized more than
    to say that 'an effort shall also be made to reach an understanding on
    the question of indemnity'.... What is needed first of all from
    Germany is a clear, specific and binding pledge in regard to the
    essential preliminaries. It does not advance matters an inch for the
    Chancellor, like Baron Burian, to offer to take President Wilson's
    points as a 'basis' for negotiations, They will make a first-rate
    basis, but only when Germany has offered definite preliminary

    I beg to call your attention to another editorial in the Springfield
    _Republican_, entitled "Why Germany Must Surrender," hereto attached.

    Speaking of Germany's promises, I mention still another editorial from
    the Springfield _Republican_ which concludes by saying, "Even Mr.
    Wilson is not so simple-minded as the Kaiser may once have thought him
    to be."

    It is the hand of Prussianism which offers this peace to America. As
    long ago as last June you exposed the hollowness of peace offered
    under such conditions as are now set forth by the German Chancellor.
    Referring to the German Government, you said: "It wishes to close its
    bargain before it is too late and it has little left to offer for the
    pound of flesh it will demand."

    In your speech of September 27th, you said:

    "We are all agreed that there can be no peace obtained by any kind of
    bargain or compromise with the governments of the Central Empires,
    because we have dealt with them already and have seen them deal with
    other governments that were parties to this struggle, at Brest-Litovsk
    and Bucharest. They have convinced us that they were without honour
    and do not intend justice. They observe no covenants, accept no
    principle but force and their own interest We cannot 'come to terms'
    with them. They have made it impossible. The German people must by
    this time be fully aware that we cannot accept the word of those who
    forced this war upon us. We do not think the same thoughts or speak
    the same language of agreement." Certainly, the German people are not
    speaking through the German Chancellor. It is the Kaiser himself. He
    foresees the end and will not admit it. He is still able to dictate
    conditions, for, in the statement which appeared in the papers
    yesterday, he said: "It will only be an honourable peace for which we
    extend our hand."

    The other day you said: "We cannot accept the word of those who forced
    this war upon us." If this were true then, how can we accept this
    offer now? Certainly nothing has happened since that speech that has
    changed the character of those in authority in Germany. Defeat has not
    chastened Germany in the least. The tale of their retreat is still a
    tale of savagery, for they have devastated the country and carried off
    the inhabitants; burned churches, looted homes, wreaking upon the
    advancing Allies every form of vengeance that cruelty can suggest.

    In my opinion, your acceptance of this offer will be disastrous, for
    the Central Powers have made its acceptance impossible by their


While the President was conferring with Secretaries Lansing, Daniels,
Baker, and Colonel House, I addressed the following letter to President
Wilson and a practically identic letter to Colonel House:


    7 October, 1918.


    Since I returned, every bit of information that comes to me is along
    one line and that is, that an agreement in which the Kaiser is to play
    the smallest part will be looked upon with grave suspicion and I
    believe its results will be disastrous. In my opinion, it will result
    in the election of a Republican House and the weakening, if not
    impairing of your influence throughout the world. I am not on the
    inside and so I do not know, but I am certain that Lloyd George and
    Clemenceau will take full advantage of this opportunity in declaring
    that, so far as they are concerned, they are not going to sit down at
    the Council Table with William the Second, and you may be put in a
    position before the world, by your acceptance of these conditions, of
    seeming to be sympathetic with the Kaiser and his brood.

    May not Germany be succeeding in splitting the Allies by this offer,
    just as Talleyrand succeeded, at the Congress of Vienna, in splitting
    the allies who had been victorious over Napoleon? You cannot blot out
    the record you have made in your speeches, which in every word and
    line showed a distrust of this particular autocracy, with which you
    are now asked to deal. Have you considered the possibility that as
    soon as Germany read your New York speech of September 27th, knowing,
    as they did, that it was neither palatable to the Allies nor in
    accordance with that which they had hitherto stood for, promptly
    accepted your attitude as a means of dividing the Entente at a
    critical moment and robbing her of the benefits of the military
    triumph? Did not Talleyrand do the very same thing to them, as the
    representative of defeated France, when he sided with Russia and
    Prussia as against England and thus made possible the return of

    I realize the great responsibility that rests upon the President. In
    any other matter, not so vital as this, you could be wrong and time
    would correct it, but in a thing like this, when you are dealing with
    a question which goes to the very depths of international action and
    world progress, you are at the parting of the ways. If you wish to
    erect a great structure of peace, you must be sure and certain that
    every brick in it, that every ounce of cement that goes in it is solid
    and lasting, and above all, you must preserve your prestige for the
    bigger moments to come.


Upon the conclusion of the conference, I had a talk with Colonel House and
Secretaries Daniels, Lansing, and Baker, and again urged the necessity of
a refusal on the part of the President to accept the German peace terms.
Secretary Lansing informed me that the President had read my letter to the
conference and then said: "We will all be satisfied with the action the
President takes in this matter."

While at luncheon that afternoon, the President sent for me to come to the
White House. I found him in conference with Secretary Lansing, Colonel
House, and Mr. Polk. The German reply was discussed and I was happy when I
found that it was a refusal on the part of the President to accept the
German proposal.

The gist of the President's reply was a demand from him of evidence of a
true conversion on the part of Germany, and an inquiry on the part of the
President in these words:

"Does the Imperial Chancellor mean that the German Government accepts the
Fourteen Points?" "Do the military men of Germany agree to withdraw all
their armies from occupied territories?", and finally: "The President
wishes to know whether the Chancellor speaks for the old group who have
conducted the war, or does he speak for the liberated peoples of Germany?"

Commenting upon the receipt of the President's reply to the Germans, André
Tardieu says:

    It is a brief reply which throws the recipients into consternation
    they cannot conceal. No conversation is possible, declares the
    President, either on peace or on an armistice until preliminary
    guarantees shall have been furnished. These are the acceptation pure
    and simple of the bases of peace laid down on January 8, 1918, and in
    the President's subsequent addresses; the certainty that the
    Chancellor does not speak only in the names of the constituted
    authorities who so far have been responsible for the conduct of the
    war; the evacuation of all invaded territories. The President will
    transmit no communication to his associates before having received
    full satisfaction on these three points.

What must be the thought of those partisans in America who were crying out
against the preliminary course of the President in dealing with Germany,
who read this paragraph from Tardieu's book as to the impressions made in
France and Germany by the notes which the President from week to week
addressed to the Germans with reference to the Armistice?

Again Tardieu says:

    Then comes the thunderbolt. President Wilson refuses to fall into the
    trap and, crossing swords in earnest, presses his attack to the utmost
    in the note of October 14. A mixed commission for evacuation? No!
    These are matters which like the Armistice itself "must be left to the
    judgment and advice of the military advisers of the Allied and
    Associated Governments." Besides no armistice is possible if it does
    not furnish "absolutely satisfactory safeguards and guarantees of the
    maintenance of the present military supremacy of the armies of the
    United States and of its allies." Besides, no armistice "so long as
    the armed forces of Germany continue the illegal and inhuman practices
    which they still persist in." Finally, no armistice so long as the
    German nation shall be in the hands of military power which has
    disturbed the peace of the world. As to Austria-Hungary, Germany has
    no interest therein and the President will reply directly. In a single
    page the whole poor scaffolding of the German Great General Staff is
    overthrown. The Armistice and peace are not to be the means of
    delaying a disaster and of preparing revenge. On the main question
    itself the reply must be Yes or No!

In the books of Ludendorff and Hindenburg we see the shattering effect of
the President's answer upon the German military mind. Whatever
misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the President's position there
might be in his own country, whatever false rumours spread by party malice
to the effect that he had entered into negotiations with Germany without
the knowledge of the Allies and was imposing "soft" terms on Germany to
prevent a march to Berlin, the German commanders were under no illusions.
They knew that the President meant capitulation and that in his demand he
had the sanction of his European associates.

Says Ludendorff:

    This time he made it quite clear that the Armistice conditions must be
    such as to make it impossible for Germany to resume hostilities and to
    give the powers allied against her unlimited power to settle
    themselves the details of the peace accepted by Germany. In my view,
    there could no longer be doubt in any mind that we must continue the

Said Hindenburg in an order "for the information of all troops," an order
never promulgated:

    He [Wilson] will negotiate with Germany for peace only if she concedes
    all the demands of America's allies as to the internal constitutional
    arrangements of Germany.... Wilson's answer is a demand for
    unconditional surrender. It is thus unacceptable to us soldiers.

In André Tardieu's book we read that from October 5th, the day when
Germany first asked for an armistice, President Wilson remained in daily
contact with the European governments, and that the American Government
was in favour of writing into the Armistice harsher terms than the Allies
thought it wise to propose to the Germans. It will be recalled that the
popular cry at the time was "On to Berlin!" and an urgent demand upon the
part of the enemies of the President on Capitol Hill that he should stand
pat for an unconditional surrender from Germany; that there should be no
soft peace or compromise with Germany, and that we should send our
soldiers to Berlin. At the time we discussed this attitude of mind of
certain men on the Hill, the President said: "How utterly foolish this is!
Of course, some of our so-called military leaders, for propaganda purposes
only, are saying that it would be more advantageous for us to decline the
offer of Germany and to go to Berlin. They do not, however, give our
people any estimate of the cost in blood and money to consummate this

The story was also industriously circulated that Marshal Foch was
demurring to any proposition for a settlement with Germany.

It appears now that in the negotiations for the Armistice Colonel House,
representing the President's point of view in this vital matter, asked
this fundamental question of Foch: "Will you tell us, Marshal, purely from
a military point of view and without regard to any other condition,
whether you would prefer the Germans to reject or sign the Armistice as
outlined here?" Marshal Foch replied: "The only aim of war is to obtain
results. If the Germans sign an armistice now upon the general lines we
have just determined, we shall have obtained the results we asked. Our
aims being accomplished, no one has the right to shed another drop of

It was said at the time that the President was forcing settlement upon the
military leaders of the Allies. General Foch disposed of this by saying,
in answer to a question by Colonel House and Lloyd George: "The conditions
laid down by your military leaders are the very conditions which we ought
to and could impose after the success of our further operations, so that
if the Germans accept them now, it is useless to go on fighting."

It was all over, and the protagonist of the grand climax of the huge drama
was Woodrow Wilson, the accepted spokesman of the Allies, the Nemesis of
the Central Powers, who by first isolating them through his moral appeal
to the neutral world was now standing before them as the stern monitor,
demanding that they settle not on their terms, but on his terms, which the
Allies had accepted as their terms.

I shall never forget how happy he looked on the night of the Armistice
when the throngs surged through Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington, and
he, unable to remain indoors, had come to the White House gates to look
on, in his face a glow of satisfaction of one who realizes that he has
fought for a principle and won. In his countenance there was an expression
not so much of triumph as of vindication.

As a light ending to a heavy matter, I may say here that when the
Armistice terms were finally accepted, the President said: "Well, Tumulty,
the war's over, and I feel like the Confederate soldier General John B.
Gordon used to tell of, soliloquizing on a long, hard march, during the
Civil War: 'I love my country and I am fightin' for my country, but if
this war ever ends, I'll be dad-burned if I ever love another country.'"



The President's appeal to the country of October 24, 1918, asking for the
election of a Democratic Congress, brought down upon him a storm of
criticism and ridicule. Many leading Democrats who had strongly urged an
appeal by the President as a necessary and proper thing in the usual war
situation which confronted him, as the criticism directed toward it grew
more bitter, turned away from it and criticized what they said was the
ineptitude and lack of tact of the President in issuing it. As a matter of
fact, opinion in the Democratic ranks as to the wisdom and necessity of a
general appeal was unanimous prior to the issuance of the statement. What
the President was seeking to do when he asked the support of the country
through the election of a Democratic Congress was to prevent divided
leadership at a moment when the President's undisputed control was a
necessity because of the effect a repudiation of his administration would
work upon the Central Powers. He realized that the defeat of his
administration in the midst of the World War would give aid and comfort to
the Central Powers, and that the Allied governments would themselves
interpret it as a weakening of our war power and while the enemy would be
strengthened, our associates would be distressed and disheartened.

He looked upon it, therefore, not as a partisan matter but as a matter
involving the good faith of America.

At previous elections the White House had been inundated with requests
from particular senators and congressmen, urging the President to write
letters in their behalf, and this had resulted in so much embarrassment to
the Chief Executive that as the critical days of the November elections of
1918 approached, the President was forced to consider a more general and,
if possible, a more diplomatic method of handling this difficult
situation. The gentlemen who criticized the appeal as outrageously
partisan evidently forgot that for months Will Hays, chairman of the
Republican National Committee, had been busily engaged in visiting various
parts of the country and, with his coadjutors in the Republican National
Committee, openly and blatantly demanding an emphatic repudiation of the
Administration from the country.

The President and I discussed the situation in June, 1918, and I was asked
by him to consider and work out what might be thought a tactful, effective
plan by which the President, without arousing party rancour or bitterness,
might make an appeal to the country, asking for its support. I considered
the matter, and under date of June 18, 1918, I wrote him a letter, part of
which was given over to a discussion of the way the matter might
discreetly be handled:


    June 18, 1918.


    I think the attitude of the leaders of the Republican party, as
    reflected in the speeches of Will Hays, National Chairman, and Senator
    Penrose, on Saturday last, will give you the opportunity at the
    psychological moment to strike and to define the issue in this
    campaign. I think for the present our policy should be one of silence
    and even a show of indifference to what the leaders on the other side,
    Messrs. Hay and Penrose, are saying and doing. This will, no doubt,
    embolden them to make rash statements and charges and by the time you
    are ready to make your general appeal, the whole country will realize
    how necessary it is for you frankly to ask for the reelection of the
    Democratic Congress. In a speech on Friday night, delivered at
    Philadelphia, in urging the election of a Republican Congress, Will
    Hays said: "We will bring the Government back to the limitations and
    principles of the Constitution in time of peace and establish policies
    which will again bind up the wounds of war, renew our prosperity,
    administer the affairs of government with the greatest economy,
    enlarge our strength at home and abroad, etc...."

    Senator Penrose at the same time urging a Republican Congress said:
    "Let us keep up an efficient Republican organization in Pennsylvania
    and all through the United States, and make a successful Republican
    contest at every opportunity in every congressional district and at
    the next Presidential election, and endeavour to assure the election
    of Republican candidates."

    I think these speeches will give you an opportunity some time in
    September or October frankly to state just what your attitude is
    toward the coming campaign, and thus lay before the country what the
    Republicans hope to gain by bringing about the election of a
    Republican Congress. I would suggest that some man of distinction in
    the country write you a letter, calling your attention to partisan
    speeches of this character, emphasizing the parts I have mentioned,
    and ask your opinion with reference to the plan of the Republican
    party to regain power. In other words, we ought to accept these
    speeches charging incompetency and inefficiency as a challenge, and
    call the attention of the country to the fact that the leadership of
    the Republican party is still reactionary and standpat, laying
    particular emphasis on what the effect in Europe would be of a divided
    leadership at this time. I think a letter along the lines of the
    Indiana platform which I suggested a few weeks ago would carry to the
    country just the impression we ought to make. This letter should be
    issued, in my opinion, some time in September or October.


    In view of the unprecedented record or this Congress, doesn't the
    President wish to make some statement?

    The Secretary.

    (Transcriber's note: also contains two manuscript letters.)

Incidents in the daily routine at the White House.]

While it would seem from a reading of my confidential letter to the
President that we were engaged in preparing the way for an appeal, we were
simply doing what other administrations had done.

Some time after this the President communicated with Colonel House, and
when I next discussed the matter with the President, he informed me that
he and Colonel House had finally agreed that the thing to do was frankly
to come out without preliminaries of any kind and boldly ask for the
election of a Democratic Congress. I told him that I thought the method I
had proposed for bringing him into the discussion was one that would be
most effective and would cause least resentment; but he was firm in his
resolve to follow the course he finally pursued. He was of the opinion
that this was the open and honourable way to ask for what he thought would
be a vote of confidence in his administration.

It has often been stated that in this matter the President had acted upon
the advice of Postmaster General Burleson, and many of those individuals
throughout the country who criticized the President's appeal, pointed an
accusing finger at General Burleson and held him responsible for what they
said were the evil consequences of this ill-considered action. Simply by
way of explanation, it can be truthfully said, in fairness to General
Burleson, that he had nothing to do with the appeal and that he had never
been consulted about it.

These facts are now related by me not by way of apology for what the
President did, for in openly appealing to the country he had many
honourable precedents, of which the gentlemen who criticized him were
evidently ignorant. As Mr. George Creel, in his book, "The War, the World,
and Wilson," says: "In various elections George Washington pleaded for
'united leadership,' and Lincoln specifically urged upon the people the
unwisdom of 'swapping horses in midstream.'"

In a paragraph in Herndon's "Life of Lincoln," I find the following

    He did his duty as President, and rested secure in the belief that he
    would be reflected whatever might be done for or against him. The
    importance of retaining Indiana in the column of Republican States was
    not to be overlooked. How the President viewed it, and how he proposed
    to secure the vote of the state is shown in the following letter
    written to General Sherman:

    Executive Mansion,
    Washington, September 19, 1864.


    The State election of Indiana occurs on the 11th of October and the
    loss of it to the friends of the Government would go far toward losing
    the whole Union cause. The bad effect upon the November election, and
    especially the giving the State Government to those who will oppose
    the war in every possible way, are too much to risk if it can be
    avoided. The draft proceeds, notwithstanding its strong tendency to
    lose us the State. Indiana is the only important State voting in
    October whose soldiers cannot vote in the field. Anything you can
    safely do to let her soldiers or any part of them go home and vote at
    the State election will be greatly in point. They need not remain for
    the Presidential election, but may return to you at once. This is in
    no sense an order, but is merely intended to impress you with the
    importance to the army itself of your doing all you safely can,
    yourself being the judge of what you can safely do.

    Yours truly,
      A. LINCOLN.

Mr. Creel shows that the precedents established by Washington and Lincoln
were followed by Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft:

    In a speech delivered at Boone, Iowa, October 11, 1898, President
    McKinley pleaded for a Republican Congress in these words:

    This is no time for divided councils. If I would have you remember
    anything I have said in these desultory remarks, it would be to
    remember at this critical hour in the nation's history we must not be
    divided. The triumphs of the war are yet to be written in the articles
    of peace.

In the same year Theodore Roosevelt, argued for a Republican Congress as

    Remember that whether you will or not, your votes this year will be
    viewed by the nations of Europe from one standpoint only. They will
    draw no fine distinctions. A refusal to sustain the President this
    year will, in their eyes, be read as a refusal to sustain the war and
    to sustain the efforts of our peace commission to secure the fruit of
    war. Such a refusal may not inconceivably bring about a rupture of the
    peace negotiations. It will give heart to our defeated antagonists; it
    will make possible the interference of those doubtful neutral nations
    who in this struggle have wished us ill.

Ex-President Benjamin Harrison besought the people to "stand behind the
President," saying:

    If the word goes forth that the people of the United States are
    standing solidly behind the President, the task of the peace
    commissioners will be easy, but if there is a break in the ranks--if
    the Democrats score a telling victory, if Democratic Senators,
    Congressmen, and governors are elected--Spain will see in it a gleam
    of hope, she will take fresh hope, and a renewal of hostilities, more
    war, may be necessary to secure to us what we have already won.

When Colonel Roosevelt himself became President, he followed the usual
precedent without even the excuse of a war emergency. In a letter dated
August 18, 1906, to James E. Watson, he wrote:

    If there were only partisan issues involved in this contest, I should
    hesitate to say anything publicly in reference thereto. But I do not
    feel that such is the case. On the contrary, I feel that all good
    citizens who have the welfare of America at heart should appreciate
    the immense amount that has been accomplished by the present Congress,
    organized as it is, and the urgent need of keeping this organization
    in power. To change the leadership and organization of the House at
    this time means to bring confusion to those who have been successfully
    engaged in the steady working out of a great and comprehensive scheme
    for the betterment of our social, industrial, and civic conditions.
    Such a change would substitute a purposeless confusion, a violent and
    hurtful oscillation between the positions of the extreme radical and
    the extreme reactionary for the present orderly progress along the
    lines of a carefully thought out policy.

Is it not clear in the light of the events that followed the repudiation
of the President and his administration in 1918 that he was justified by
reason of the unusual circumstances of a great world war, in asking for a
"team" that would work in cooperation with him? Some of those who most
indignantly criticized him for his partisan appeal attacked him and the
measures which he recommended for the peace of the world with a
partisanship without parallel in the history of party politics. Some who
most bitterly condemned what he did gave the most emphatic proof that what
he did was necessary. Nor can they honestly defend themselves by saying
that their partisan attacks on the treaty were justifiable reprisal.
Before he ever made his appeal they were doing all in their power to
undermine his influence at home and abroad, and he knew it. The appeal was
no reflection on Republicans as such, nor any minimization of the heroic
service rendered in the war by Republicans and Democrats alike in the
fighting and civilian services, but the President knew that Republicans
organized in party opposition in Congress would not assist but obstruct
the processes of peace-making under his leadership. And all the world now
knows that his judgment was correct. It will be interesting to read the
President's appeal to the country, written by him on the typewriter:

    _My Fellow Countrymen:_ The Congressional elections are at hand. They
    occur in the most critical period our country has ever faced or is
    likely to face in our time. If you have approved of my leadership and
    wish me to continue to be your unembarrassed spokesman in affairs at
    home and abroad, I earnestly beg that you will express yourself
    unmistakably to that effect by returning a Democratic majority to both
    the Senate and the House of Representatives. I am your servant and
    will accept your judgment without cavil, but my power to administer
    the great trust assigned me by the Constitution would be seriously
    impaired should your judgment be adverse, and I must frankly tell you
    so because so many critical issues depend upon your verdict. No
    scruple of taste must in grim times like these be allowed to stand in
    the way of speaking the plain truth.

    I have no thought of suggesting that any political party is paramount
    in matters of patriotism. I feel too keenly the sacrifices which have
    been made in this war by all our citizens, irrespective of party
    affiliations, to harbour such an idea. I mean only that the
    difficulties and delicacies of our present task are of a sort that
    makes it imperatively necessary that the nation should give its
    undivided support to the Government under a unified leadership, and
    that a Republican Congress would divide the leadership.

    The leaders of the minority in the present Congress have
    unquestionably been pro-war, but they have been anti-Administration.
    At almost every turn, since we entered the war, they have sought to
    take the choice of policy and the conduct of the war out of my hands
    and put it under the control of instrumentalities of their own
    choosing. This is no time either for divided counsel or for divided
    leadership. Unity of command is as necessary now in civil action as it
    is upon the field of battle. If the control of the House and Senate
    should be taken away from the party now in power, an opposing majority
    could assume control of legislation and oblige all action to be taken
    amidst contest and obstruction.

    The return of a Republican majority to either House of the Congress
    would, moreover, certainly be interpreted on the other side of the
    water as a repudiation of my leadership. Spokesmen of the Republican
    party are urging you to elect a Republican Congress in order to back
    up and support the President, but even if they should in this way
    impose upon some credulous voters on this side of the water, they
    would impose on no one on the other side. It is well understood there
    as well as here that the Republican leaders desire not so much to
    support the President as to control him. The peoples of the Allied
    countries with whom we are associated against Germany are quite
    familiar with the significance of elections. They would find it very
    difficult to believe that the voters of the United States had chosen
    to support their President by electing to the Congress a majority
    controlled by those who are not in fact in sympathy with the attitude
    and action of the Administration.

    I need not tell you, my fellow countrymen, that I am asking your
    support not for my own sake or for the sake of a political party, but
    for the sake of the nation itself, in order that its inward unity of
    purpose may be evident to all the world. In ordinary times I would not
    feel at liberty to make such an appeal to you. In ordinary times
    divided counsels can be endured without permanent hurt to the country.
    But these are not ordinary times. If in these critical days it is your
    wish to sustain me with undivided minds, I beg that you will say so in
    a way which it will not be possible to misunderstand either here at
    home or among our associates on the other side of the sea. I submit my
    difficulties and my hopes to you.

[Illustration: The President's appeal for a Democratic Congress,
as he wrote it on his typewriter and with his corrections.
[Transcriber's note: contains a reproduction of the first page of the
above-quoted letter.]]

In an address at the White House to members of the Democratic National
Committee, delivered February 28, 1919, which was never published, the
President expressed his own feelings with reference to the defeat of the
Democratic party at the Congressional elections a few months before.
Discussing this defeat, he said:

    Personally, I am not in the least discouraged by the results of the
    last Congressional election. Any party which carries out through a
    long series of years a great progressive and constructive programme is
    sure to bring about a reaction, because while in the main the reforms
    that we have accomplished have been sound reforms, they have
    necessarily in the process of being made touched a great many definite
    interests in a way that distressed them, in a way that was counter to
    what they deemed their best and legitimate interests. So that there
    has been a process of adaptation in the process of change. There is
    nothing apparently to which the human mind is less hospitable than
    change, and in the business world that is particularly true because if
    you get in the habit of doing your business a particular way and are
    compelled to do it in a different way, you think that somebody in
    Washington does not understand business, and, therefore, there has
    been a perfectly natural reaction against the changes we have made in
    the public policies of the United States. In many instances, as in the
    banking and currency reform, the country is entirely satisfied with
    the wisdom and permanency of the change, but even there a great many
    interests have been disappointed and many of their plans have been
    prevented from being consummated. So that, there is that natural
    explanation. And then I do not think that we ought to conceal from
    ourselves the fact that not the whole body of our partisans are as
    cordial in the support of some of the things that we have done as they
    ought to be.

    You know that I heard a gentleman from one of the southern States say
    to his Senator (this gentleman was himself a member of the State
    Legislature)--he said to his Senator: "We have the advantage over you
    because we have no publication corresponding with the _Congressional
    Record_ and all that is recorded in our state is the vote, and while
    you have always voted right we know what happened in the meantime
    because we read the _Congressional Record_." Now, with regard to a
    great many of our fellow partisans in Washington, the _Congressional
    Record_ shows what happened between the beginning of the discussion
    and the final Vote, and our opponents were very busy in advertising
    what the _Congressional Record_ disclosed. And to be perfectly plain,
    there was not in the minds of the country sufficient satisfactory
    evidence that we had supported some of the great things that they were
    interested in any better than the other fellows. The voting record was
    all right and the balance in our favour; but they can show a great
    many things that discount the final record of the vote.

    Now, I am in one sense an uncompromising partisan. Either a man must
    stand by his party or not. Either he has got to play the game or he
    has got to get out of the game, and I have no more sufferance for such
    a man than the country has. Not a bit. Some of them got exactly what
    was coming to them and I haven't any bowels of compassion for them.
    They did not support the things they pretended to support. And the
    country knew they didn't,--the country knew that the tone of the
    cloakroom and the tone of the voting were different tones. Now, I am
    perfectly willing to say that I think it is wise to judge of party
    loyalty by the cloakroom, and not by the vote and the cloakroom was
    not satisfactory. I am not meaning to imply that there was any kind of
    blameworthy insincerity in this. I am not assessing individuals. That
    is not fair. But in assessing the cause of our defeat we ought to be
    perfectly frank and admit that the country was not any more sure of us
    than it ought to be. So that we have got to convince it that the ranks
    have closed up and that the men who constitute those ranks are all on
    the war-path and mean the things they say and that the party
    professes. That is the main thing.

    Now, I think that can be accomplished by many processes.
    Unfortunately, the members of Congress have to live in Washington, and
    Washington is not a part of the United States. It is the most
    extraordinary thing I have ever known. If you stay here long enough
    you forget what the people of your own district are thinking about.
    There is one reason on the face of things. The wrong opinion is
    generally better organized than the right opinion. If some special
    interest has an impression that it wants to make on Congress it can
    get up thousands of letters with which to bombard its Senators and
    Representatives, and they get the impression that that is the opinion
    at home and they do not hear from the other fellow; and the
    consequence is that the unspoken and uninsisted-on views of the
    country, which are the views of the great majority, are not heard at
    this distance. If such an arrangement were feasible I think there
    ought to be a Constitutional provision that Congressmen and Senators
    ought to spend every other week at home and come back here and talk
    and vote after a fresh bath in the atmosphere of their home districts
    and the opinions of their home folks.



As we conferred together for the last time before the President left
Washington for the other side, I had never seen him look more weary or
careworn. It was plain to me who had watched him from day to day since the
Armistice, that he felt most keenly the heavy responsibility that now lay
upon him of trying to bring permanent peace to the world. He was not
unmindful of the criticism that had been heaped upon him by his enemies on
the Hill and throughout the country. The only thing that distressed him,
however, was the feeling that a portion of the American people were of the
opinion that, perhaps, in making the trip to Paris there lay back of it a
desire for self-exploitation, or, perhaps, the idea of garnering certain
political advantages to himself and his party. If one who held this
ungenerous opinion could only have come in contact with this greatly
overworked man on the night of our final talk and could understand the
handsome, unselfish purpose that really lay behind his mission to France
and could know personally how he dreaded the whole business, he would
quickly free himself of this opinion. Discussing the object of the trip
with me in his usually intimate way, he said: "Well, Tumulty, this trip
will either be the greatest success or the supremest tragedy in all
history; but I believe in a Divine Providence. If I did not have faith, I
should go crazy. If I thought that the direction of the affairs of this
disordered world depended upon our finite intelligence, I should not know
how to reason my way to sanity; but it is my faith that no body of men
however they concert their power or their influence can defeat this great
world enterprise, which after all is the enterprise of Divine mercy, peace
and good will."

As he spoke these fateful words, he clearly foresaw the difficulties and
dangers and possible tragedy of reaction and intrigue that would soon
exert themselves in Paris, perhaps to outwit him and if possible to
prevent the consummation of the idea that lay so close to his heart: that
of setting up a concert of powers that would make for ever impossible a
war such as we had just passed through. Indeed, he was ready to risk
everything--his own health, his own political fortunes, his place in
history, and his very life itself--for the great enterprise of peace.
"This intolerable thing must never happen again," he said.

No one more than Woodrow Wilson appreciated the tragedy of disappointment
that might eventually follow out of his efforts for peace, but he was
willing to make any sacrifice to attain the end he had so close to his

He realized better than any one the great expectations of the American
people. Discussing these expectations with Mr. Creel, who was to accompany
him, he said: "It is to America that the whole world turns to-day, not
only with its wrongs but with its hopes and grievances. The hungry expect
us to feed them, the homeless look to us for shelter, the sick of heart
and body depend upon us for cure. All of these expectations have in them
the quality of terrible urgency. There must be no delay. It has been so
always. People will endure their tyrants for years, but they tear their
deliverers to pieces if a millennium is not created immediately. Yet, you
know and I know that these ancient wrongs, these present unhappinesses,
are not to be remedied in a day or with a wave of the hand. What I seem to
see--with all my heart I hope that I am wrong--is a tragedy of

The President and I had often discussed the personnel of the Peace
Commission before its announcement, and I had taken the liberty of
suggesting to the President the name of ex-Secretary of State Elihu Root.
The President appeared to be delighted with this suggestion and asked me
to confer with Secretary Lansing in regard to the matter. I conferred with
Mr. Lansing, to whom the suggestion, much to my surprise, met with hearty
response. At this conference Mr. Lansing said that he and the President
were attempting to induce some members of the Supreme Court--I think it
was either Mr. Justice Day or Chief Justice White--to make the trip to
Paris as one of the Commission; but that they were informed that Chief
Justice White was opposed to the selection of a Supreme Court Judge to
participate in any conference not connected with the usual judicial work
of the Supreme Court.

After this conference I left for New York, there to remain with my father
who lay seriously ill, and when I returned to the White House the
President informed me that he and Mr. Lansing had had a further conference
with reference to the Root suggestion and that it was about concluded that
it would be inadvisable to make Mr. Root a member of the Commission. The
President felt that it would be unwise to take Mr. Root, fearing that the
reputation which Mr. Root had gained of being rather conservative, if not
reactionary, would work a prejudice toward the Peace Commission at the

Mr. Taft's name was considered, but it was finally decided not to include
him among the commissions to accompany the President.

The personnel of the Commission, as finally constituted, has been much
criticized, but the President had what were for him convincing reasons for
each selection: he had formed a high opinion of Col. E. M. House's ability
to judge clearly and dispassionately men and events; Mr. Robert Lansing as
Secretary of State was a natural choice; Mr. Henry White, a Republican
unembittered by partisanship, had had a life-long and honourable
experience in diplomacy; General Tasker Bliss was eminently qualified to
advise in military matters, and was quite divorced from the politics of
either party. The President believed that these gentlemen would cooperate
with him loyally in a difficult task.

I quote from Mr. Creel:

    The truly important body--and this the President realized from the
    first--was the group of experts that went along with the Commission,
    the pick of the country's most famous specialists in finance, history,
    economics, international law, colonial questions, map-making, ethnic
    distinctions, and all those other matters that were to come up at the
    Peace Conference. They constituted the President's arsenal of facts,
    and even on board the _George Washington_, in the very first
    conference, he made clear his dependence upon them. "You are in truth,
    my advisers," he said, "for when I ask you for information I will have
    no way of checking it up, and must act upon it unquestioningly. We
    will be deluged with claims plausibly and convincingly presented. It
    will be your task to establish the truth or falsity of these claims
    out of your specialized knowledges, so that my positions may be taken
    fairly and intelligently."

    It was this expert advice that he depended upon and it was a well of
    information that never failed him. At the head of the financiers and
    economists were such men as Bernard Baruch, Herbert Hoover, Norman
    Davis, and Vance McCormick. As head of the War Industries Board, in
    many respects the most powerful of all the civil organizations called
    into being by the war, Mr. Baruch had won the respect and confidence
    of American business by his courage, honesty, and rare ability. At his
    side were such men as Frank W. Taussig, chairman of the Tariff
    Commission; Alex Legg, general manager of the International Harvester
    Company; and Charles McDowell, manager of the Fertilizer and Chemical
    departments of Armour & Co.--both men familiar with business
    conditions and customs in every country in the world; Leland Summers,
    an international mechanical engineer and an expert in manufacturing,
    chemicals, and steel; James C. Pennie, the international patent
    lawyer; Frederick Neilson and Chandler Anderson, authorities on
    international law; and various others of equal calibre.

    Mr. Hoover was aided and advised by the men who were his
    representatives in Europe throughout the war, and Mr. McCormick, head
    of the War Trade Board, gathered about him in Paris all of the men who
    had handled trade matters for him in the various countries of the

    Mr. Davis, representing the Treasury Department, had as his associates
    Mr. Thomas W. Lament, Mr. Albert Strauss, and Jeremiah Smith of

    Dr. Sidney E. Mezes, president of the College of the City of New York,
    went with the President at the head of a brilliant group of
    specialists, all of whom had been working for a year and more on the
    problems that would be presented at the Peace Conference. Among the
    more important may be mentioned: Prof. Charles H. Haskins, dean of the
    Graduate School of Harvard University, specialist on Alsace-Lorraine
    and Belgium; Dr. Isaiah Bowman, director of the American Geographical
    Society, general territorial specialist; Prof. Allyn A. Young, head of
    the Department of Economics at Cornell; George Louis Beer, formerly of
    Columbia, and an authority on colonial possessions; Prof. W. L.
    Westermann, head of the History Department of the University of
    Wisconsin and specialist on Turkey; R. H. Lord, professor of History
    at Harvard, specialist on Russia and Poland; Roland B. Dixon,
    professor of Ethnography at Harvard; Prof. Clive Day, head of the
    Department of Economics at Yale, specialist on the Balkans; W. E.
    Lunt, professor of History at Haverford College, specialist on
    northern Italy; Charles Seymour, professor of History at Yale,
    specialist on Austria-Hungary; Mark Jefferson, professor of Geography
    at Michigan State Normal, and Prof. James T. Shotwell, professor of
    History at Columbia. These groups were the President's real
    counsellors and advisers and there was not a day throughout the Peace
    Conference that he did not call upon them and depend upon them.

No man ever faced a more difficult or trying job than the President, when
he embarked upon the _George Washington_ on his voyage to the other side.
The adverse verdict rendered against the President in the Congressional
elections was mighty dispiriting. The growing bitterness and hostility of
the Republican leaders, and the hatred of the Germans throughout the
country, added more difficulties to an already trying situation. America
had seemed to do everything to weaken him at a time when united strength
should have been behind him. Again I quote from Mr. Creel:

    On November 27th, five days before the President's departure, Mr.
    Roosevelt had cried this message to Europe, plain intimation that the
    Republican majority in the Senate would support the Allies in any
    repudiation of the League of Nations and the Fourteen Points:

    "Our allies and our enemies and Mr. Wilson himself should all
    understand that Mr. Wilson has no authority whatever to speak for the
    American people at this time. His leadership has just been
    emphatically repudiated by them. The newly elected Congress comes far
    nearer than Mr. Wilson to having a right to speak the purposes of the
    American people at this moment. Mr. Wilson and his Fourteen Points and
    his four supplementary points and his five complementary points and
    all his utterances every which way have ceased to have any shadow of
    right to be accepted as expressive of the will of the American people.

    "He is President of the United States. He is a part of the treaty-
    making power; but he is only a part. If he acts in good faith to the
    American people, he will not claim on the other side of the water any
    representative capacity in himself to speak for the American people.
    He will say frankly that his personal leadership has been repudiated
    and that he now has merely the divided official leadership which he
    shares with the Senate."

    What Mr. Roosevelt did, in words as plain as his pen could marshal,
    was to inform the Allies that they were at liberty to disregard the
    President, the League of Nations, and the Fourteen Points, and that
    the Republican party would stand as a unit for as hard a peace as Foch
    chose to dictate.

As the President left his office on the night of his departure for New
York, preparatory to sailing for the other side, he turned to me and said:
"Well, Tumulty, have you any suggestions before I leave?" "None, my dear
Governor," I replied, "except to bid you Godspeed on the great journey."
Then, coming closer to me, he said: "I shall rely upon you to keep me in
touch with the situation on this side of the water. I know I can trust you
to give me an exact size-up of the situation here. Remember, I shall be
far away and what I will want is a frank estimate from you of the state of
public opinion on this side of the water. That is what I will find myself
most in need of. When you think I am putting my foot in it, please say so
frankly. I am afraid I shall not be able to rely upon much of the advice
and suggestions I will get from the other end."

Before the President left he had discussed with me the character of the
Peace Conference, and after his departure I kept him apprised by cable of
opinion in this country. Appendix "A", which contains this cabled
correspondence shows how he welcomed information and suggestion.


    The Secretary thinks the President would like to read this letter.

    (Manuscript: Thank you, what's his game?
    W. W.

    Dear Tumulty

    I have not sufficient confidence in the man.

    W. W.)

    Dear Tumulty,

    There is absolutely nothing new in Root's speech and I do not see any
    necessity to answer it. Certainly I would not be willing to have so
    conspicuous a representative of the Administration as Mr. Colby take
    any notice of it. Let me say again that I am not willing that answers
    to Republican speakers or writers should emanate from the White House
    or the Administration.

    The President.

Some characteristic White House memoranda]

As my duty held me in Washington, I am dependent upon others, especially
Mr. Creel and Mr. Ray Stannard Baker, a member of the President's official
family, for a connected narrative of events in Europe.

Speaking of his attitude in the trials that confronted the President on
the other side, Mr. Baker said:

    No one who really saw the President in action in Paris, saw what he
    did in those grilling months of struggle, fired at in front, sniped at
    from behind--and no one who saw what he had to do after he came home
    from Europe in meeting the great new problems which grew out of the
    war--will for a moment belittle the immensity of his task, or
    underrate his extraordinary endurance, energy, and courage.

    More than once, there in Paris, going up in the evening to see the
    President, I found him utterly worn out, exhausted, often one side of
    his face twitching with nervousness. No soldier ever went into battle
    with more enthusiasm, more aspiration, more devotion to a sacred cause
    than the President had when he came to Paris; but day after day in
    those months we saw him growing grayer and grayer, grimmer and
    grimmer, with the fighting lines deepening in his face.

    Here was a man 63 years old--a man always delicate in health. When he
    came to the White House in 1913, he was far from being well. His
    digestion was poor and he had a serious and painful case of neuritis
    in his shoulder. It was even the opinion of so great a physician as
    Dr. Weir Mitchell, of Philadelphia, that he could probably not
    complete his term and retain his health. And yet such was the iron
    self-discipline of the man and such was the daily watchful care of
    Doctor Grayson, that instead of gradually going down under the
    tremendous tasks of the Presidency in the most crowded moments of our
    national history, he steadily gained strength and working capacity,
    until in those months in Paris he literally worked everybody at the
    Peace Conference to a stand-still.

    It is so easy and cheap to judge people, even presidents, without
    knowing the problems they have to face. So much of the President's
    aloofness at Paris, so much of his unwillingness to expend energy upon
    unnecessary business, unnecessary conferences, unnecessary visiting--
    especially the visitors--was due directly to the determination to
    husband and expend his too limited energies upon tasks that seemed to
    him essential.

    As I say, he worked everybody at the Peace Conference to a standstill.
    He worked not only the American delegates, but the way he drove the
    leisurely diplomats of Europe was often shameful to see. Sometimes he
    would actually have two meetings going on at the same time. Once I
    found a meeting of the Council of the Big Four going on in his study,
    and a meeting of the financial and economic experts--twenty or thirty
    of them--in full session upstairs in the drawing room--and the
    President oscillating between the two.

    It was he who was always the driver, the initiator, at Paris: he
    worked longer hours, had more appointments, granted himself less
    recreation, than any other man, high or low, at the Peace Conference.
    For he was the central figure there. Everything headed up in him.

    Practically all of the meetings of the Council of Four were held in
    his study in the Place des États-Unis. This was the true capitol of
    the Peace Conference; here all the important questions were decided.
    Everyone who came to Paris upon any mission whatsoever aimed first of
    all at seeing the President. Representatives of the little,
    downtrodden nationalities of the earth--from eastern Europe, Asia, and
    Africa--thought that if they could get at the President, explain their
    pathetic ambitions, confess their troubles to him, all would be well.

While the President was struggling in Europe, his friends in America had
cause for indignation against the course adopted by the Republican
obstructionists in the Senate, which course, they saw, must have a serious
if not fatal effect upon developments overseas. Occurrences on both sides
of the Atlantic became so closely interwoven that it is better not to
separate the two narratives, and as Mr. Creel, upon whose history I have
already drawn, tells the story with vigour and a true perception of the
significance of events, I quote at length from him:

    The early days of February, 1919, were bright with promise. The
    European press, seeming to accept the President's leadership as
    unshakable, was more amiable in its tone, the bitterness bred by the
    decision as to the German colonies had abated. Fiume and the Saar
    Basin had taken discreet places in the background with other deferred
    questions, and the voice of French and English and Italian liberalism
    was heard again. On February 14th the President reported the first
    draft of the League constitution--a draft that expressed his
    principles without change--and it was confirmed amid acclaim. It was
    at this moment, unfortunately, that the President was compelled to
    return to the United States to sign certain bills, and for the
    information of the Senate he carried with him the Covenant as agreed
    upon by the Allies.

    We come now to a singularly shameful chapter in American history. At
    the time of the President's decision to go to Paris the chief point of
    attack by the Republican Senators was that such a "desertion of duty"
    would delay the work of government and hold back the entire programme
    of reconstruction. Yet when the President returned for the business of
    consideration and signature, the same Republican Senators united in a
    filibuster that permitted Congress to expire without the passage of a
    single appropriation bill. This exhibition of sheer malignance,
    entailing an ultimate of confusion and disaster, was not only approved
    by the Republican press, but actually applauded.

    The draft of the League Constitution was denounced even before its
    contents were known or explained. The bare fact that the document had
    proved acceptable to the British Empire aroused the instant antagonism
    of the "professional" Irish-Americans, the "professional" German-
    Americans, the "professional" Italian-Americans, and all those others
    whose political fortunes depended upon the persistence and
    accentuation of racial prejudices. Where one hyphen was scourged the
    year before a score of hyphens was now encouraged and approved. In
    Washington the President arranged a conference with the Senators and
    Representatives in charge of foreign relations, and laid the Covenant
    frankly before them for purposes of discussion and criticism. The
    attitude of the Republican Senators was one of sullenness and
    suspicion, Senator Lodge refusing to state his objections or to make a
    single recommendation. Others, however, pointed out that no express
    recognition was given to the Monroe Doctrine; that it was not
    expressly provided that the League should have no authority to act or
    express a judgment on matters of domestic policy; that the right to
    withdraw from the League was not expressly recognized; and that the
    constitutional right of the Congress to determine all questions of
    peace and war was not sufficiently safeguarded.

    The President, in answer, gave it as his opinion that these points
    were already covered satisfactorily in the Covenant, but that he would
    be glad to make the language more explicit, and entered a promise to
    this effect. Mr. Root and Mr. Taft were also furnished with copies of
    the Covenant and asked for their views and criticism, and upon receipt
    of them the President again gave assurance that every proposed change
    and clarification would be made upon his return to Paris. On March
    4th, immediately following these conferences, and the day before the
    sailing of the President, Senator Lodge rose in his place and led his
    Republican colleagues in a bold and open attack upon the League of
    Nations and the war aims of America. The following account of the
    proceedings is taken from the _Congressional Record_:

    _Mr. Lodge_: Mr. President, I desire to take only a moment of the time
    of the Senate. I wish to offer the resolution which I hold in my hand,
    a very brief one:

    Whereas under the Constitution it is a function of the Senate to
    advise and consent to, or dissent from, the ratification of any treaty
    of the United States, and no such treaty can become operative without
    the consent of the Senate expressed by the affirmative vote of two
    thirds of the Senators present; and

    Whereas owing to the victory of the arms of the United States and of
    the nations with whom it is associated, a Peace Conference was
    convened and is now in session at Paris for the purpose of settling
    the terms of peace; and

    Whereas a committee of the Conference has proposed a constitution for
    the League of Nations and the proposal is now before the Peace
    Conference for its consideration; Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Senate of the United States in the discharge of its
    constitutional duty of advice in regard to treaties, That it is the
    sense of the Senate that while it is their sincere desire that the
    nations of the world should unite to promote peace and general
    disarmament, the constitution of the League of Nations in the form now
    proposed to the Peace Conference should not be accepted by the United
    States; and be it

    Resolved further, That it is the sense of the Senate that the
    negotiations on the part of the United States should immediately be
    directed to the utmost expedition of the urgent business of
    negotiating peace terms with Germany satisfactory to the United States
    and the nations with whom the United States is associated in the war
    against the German Government, and that the proposal for a League of
    Nations to insure the permanent peace of the world should be then
    taken up for careful and serious consideration.

    I ask unanimous consent for the present consideration of this

    _Mr. Swanson_: I object to the introduction of the resolution.

    _Mr. Lodge_: Objection being made, of course I recognize the
    objection. I merely wish to add, by way of explanation, the following:
    The undersigned Senators of the United States, Members and Members-
    Elect of the Sixty-sixth Congress, hereby declare that, if they had
    had the opportunity, they would have voted for the foregoing

        Henry Cabot Lodge              James E. Watson
        Philander C. Knox              Thomas Sterling
        Lawrence Y. Sherman            J. S. Frelinghuysen
        Harry S. New                   W. G. Harding
        George H. Moses                Frederick Hale
        J. W. Wadsworth, Jr.           William E. Borah
        Bert M. Fernald                Walter E. Edge
        Albert B. Cummins              Reed Smoot
        F. E. Warren                   Asle J. Gronna
        Frank B. Brandegee             Lawrence C. Phipps
        William M. Calder              Selden P. Spencer
        Henry W. Keyes                 Hiram W. Johnson
        Boies Penrose                  Charles E. Townsend
        Carroll S. Page                William P. Dillingham
        George P. McLean               I. L. Lenroot
        Joseph Irwin France            Miles Poindexter
        Medill McCormick               Howard Sutherland
        Charles Curtis                 Truman H. Newberry
        L. Heisler Ball

     I ought to say in justice to three or four Senators who are absent at
    great distances from the city that we were not able to reach them; but
    we expect to hear from them to-morrow, and if, as we expect, their
    answers are favourable their names will be added to the list.

    A full report of this action was cabled to Europe, as a matter of
    course, and when the President arrived in Paris on March 14th, ten
    days later, he was quick to learn of the disastrous consequences. The
    Allies, eagerly accepting the orders of the Republican majority, had
    lost no time in repudiating the President and the solemn agreements
    that they had entered into with him. The League of Nations was not
    discarded and the plan adopted for a preliminary peace with Germany
    was based upon a frank division of the spoils, the reduction of
    Germany to a slave state, and the formation of a military alliance by
    the Allies for the purpose of guaranteeing the gains. Not only this,
    but an Allied army was to march at once to Russia to put down the
    Bolshevists and the Treaty itself was to be administered by the Allied
    high command, enforcing its orders by an army of occupation. The
    United States, as a rare favour, was to be permitted to pay the cost
    of the Russian expedition and such other incidental expenses as might
    arise in connection with the military dictatorship that was to rule

    While primarily the plan of Foch and the other generals, it had the
    approval of statesmen, even those who were assumed to represent the
    liberal thought of England being neck-deep in the conspiracy.

    Not a single party to the cabal had any doubt as to its success. Was
    it not the case that the Republican Senators, now in the majority,
    spoke for America rather than the President? Had the Senators not
    stated formally that they did not want the League of Nations, and was
    the Republican party itself not on record with the belief that the
    Allies must have the right to impose peace terms of their own
    choosing, and that these terms should show no mercy to the "accursed
    Hun"? ... The President allowed himself just twenty-four hours in
    which to grasp the plot in all its details, and then he acted,
    ordering the issuance of this statement:

    "The President said to-day that the decision made at the Peace
    Conference in its Plenary Session, January 25, 1919, to the effect
    that the establishment of a League of Nations should be made an
    integral part of the Treaty of Peace, is of final force and that there
    is no basis whatever for the reports that a change in this decision
    was contemplated."

     ...On March 26th, it was announced, grudgingly enough, that there
    would be a league of nations as an integral part of the Peace Treaty.
    It was now the task of the President to take up the changes that had
    been suggested by his Republican enemies, and this was the straw that
    broke his back. There was not a single suggested change that had
    honesty back of it. The League was an association of sovereigns, and
    as a matter of course any sovereign possessed the right of withdrawal.
    The League, as an international advisory body, could not possibly deal
    with domestic questions under any construction of the Covenant. No
    power of Congress was abridged, and necessarily Congress would have to
    act before war could be declared or a single soldier sent out of the
    country. Instead of recognizing the Monroe Doctrine as an American
    policy, the League legitimized it as a world policy. The President,
    however, was bound to propose that these plain propositions be put in
    kindergarten language for the satisfaction of his enemies, and it was
    this proposal that gave Clemenceau, Lloyd George, and their associates
    a new chance for resistance. All of the suggested changes were made
    without great demur until the question of the Monroe Doctrine was
    reached, and then French and English bitterness broke all restraints.
    Why were they expected to make every concession to American prejudice
    when the President would make none to European traditions? They had
    gone to the length of accepting the doctrine of Monroe for the whole
    of the earth, but now, because American pride demanded it, they must
    make public confession of America's right to give orders. No! A
    thousand times no! It was high time for the President to give a little
    consideration to French and English and Italian prejudices--time for
    him to realize that the lives of these governments were at stake as
    well as his own, and that Lloyd George, Clemenceau, and Sonnino had
    parliaments to deal with that were just as unreasonable as the
    Congress of the United States. If the President asked he must be
    willing to give.

    As if at a given signal, France renewed her claim for the Rhine Valley
    and the Saar Basin; Italy clamoured anew for Fiume and the Dalmatian
    coast; and Japan, breaking a long silence, rushed to the fore with her
    demand for Shantung in fee simple and the right of her nationals to
    full equality in the United States.

Around this time the President fell suddenly ill and took to his bed. That
the illness was serious is evidenced by the following letter which Doctor
Grayson wrote me:

    Paris, 10 April 1919.


    While the contents of this letter may possibly be somewhat out of date
    by the time it reaches you, nevertheless you may find something in it
    of interest.

    This has been one of the most complexing and trying weeks of my
    existence over here. The President was taken violently sick last
    Thursday. The attack was very sudden. At three o'clock he was
    apparently all right; at six he was seized with violent paroxysms of
    coughing, which were so severe and frequent that it interfered with
    his breathing. He had a fever of 103 and a profuse diarrhoea. I was at
    first suspicious that his food had been tampered with, but it turned
    out to be the beginning of an attack of influenza. That night was one
    of the worst through which I have ever passed. I was able to control
    the spasms of coughing but his condition looked very serious. Since
    that time he has been gradually improving every day so that he is now
    back at work--he went out for the first time yesterday. This disease
    is so treacherous, especially in this climate, that I am perhaps over-
    anxious for fear of a flare-back--and a flare-back in a case of this
    kind often results in pneumonia. I have been spending every minute of
    my time with him, not only as physician but as nurse. Mrs. Wilson was
    a perfect angel through it all.


Continuing the narrative Mr. Creel writes:

    On April 7th, the President struggled to his feet and faced the
    Council in what everyone recognized as a final test of strength. There
    must be an end to this dreary, interminable business of making
    agreements only to break them. An agreement must be reached once for
    all. If a peace of justice, he would remain; if a peace of greed, then
    he would leave. He had been second to none in recognizing the wrongs
    of the Allies, the state of mind of their peoples, and he stood as
    firmly as any for a treaty that would bring guilt home to the Germans,
    but he could not, and would not, agree to the repudiation of every war
    aim or to arrangements that would leave the world worse off than
    before. The _George Washington_ was in Brooklyn. By wireless the
    President ordered it to come to Brest at once.

    The gesture was conclusive as far as England and France were
    concerned. Lloyd George swung over instantly to the President's side,
    and on the following day Le Temps carried this significant item:

    "Contrary to the assertions spread by the German press and taken up by
    other foreign newspapers, we believe that the Government has no
    annexationist pretensions, openly or under cover, in regard to any
    territory inhabited by a German population. This remark applies
    peculiarly to the regions comprised between the frontier of 1871 and
    the frontier of 1814."

    Again, in the lock of wills, the President was the victor, and the
    French and English press, exhausted by now, could only gasp their
    condemnation of Clemenceau and Lloyd George.

The statement of Mr. David Hunter Miller, the legal adviser of the
American Peace Commission, with reference to the debate on the Monroe
Doctrine, in which the President played the leading part, is conclusive on
this point. Mr. Miller speaks of the President's devotion to the Monroe
Doctrine in these words:

    But the matter was not at an end, for at the next meeting, the last of
    all, the French sought by amendment to obtain some definition, some
    description of the Monroe Doctrine that would limit the right of the
    United States to insist upon its own interpretation of that Doctrine
    in the future as in the past. The French delegates, hoping for some
    advantage for their own proposals, urged such a definition: and at
    that last meeting I thought for a moment, in despair, that President
    Wilson would yield to the final French suggestion, which contained
    only a few seemingly simple words: but he stood by his position
    through the long discussion, and the meeting and the proceedings of
    the Commission ended early in the morning in an atmosphere of
    constraint and without any of the speeches of politeness customary on
    such an occasion.

Of all the false reports about the President's attitude none was more
erroneous than the combined statements that he was lukewarm about the
Monroe Doctrine and that he declined to ask for or receive advice from
eminent Americans outside of his own party.

In Appendix "B" there will be found a series of letters and cable
messages, too long for insertion in the chapter, which will support the
statement that he not only listened to but had incorporated in the
Covenant of the League of Nations suggestions from Mr. Taft, including
important reservations concerning the Monroe Doctrine, and suggestions
from Mr. Root as to the establishment of an International Court of

Former-President Taft had intimated to me a desire to make certain
suggestions to Mr. Wilson, and, upon my notification, Mr. Wilson cabled me
that he would "appreciate Mr. Taft's offer of suggestions and would
welcome them. The sooner they are sent the better." Whereupon, Mr. Taft's
suggestions were cabled to the President together with Mr. Taft's
statement that, "My impression is that if the one article already sent, on
the Monroe Doctrine, be inserted in the Treaty, sufficient Republicans who
signed the Round Robin would probably retreat from their position and vote
for ratification so that it would carry. If the other suggestions were
adopted, I feel confident that all but a few who oppose any league would
be driven to accept them and to stand for the League."

Mr. Taft's recommendations were in substance incorporated in the Covenant
of the League of Nations.

Emphasizing further the President's entire willingness to confer with
leading Republicans, even those outside of official relationship, on March
27, 1919, Mr. Polk, Acting Secretary of State, dispatched to Secretary of
State Lansing, for the President, proposed amendments offered by Mr. Root
to the constitution of the League of Nations, involving the establishment
of a Court of Justice. Immediately upon receipt of Mr. Polk's cable, the
President addressed to Colonel House, a member of the Peace Commission,
the following letter, marked "Confidential."

    Paris. March 30, 1919.


    Here is a dispatch somewhat belated in transmission stating Mr. Root's
    ideas as to amendments which should be made to the Covenant. I think
    you will find some of these very interesting. Perhaps you have already
    seen it.

    In haste.

    Affectionately yours,

      Hotel Crillon,

A comparison of the suggestions presented by Mr. Taft and Mr. Root, which
will be found in the Appendix, with the existing Covenant of the League of
Nations, will readily convince any person desiring to reach the truth of
the matter, that all the material amendments proposed by these eminent
Republicans which had any essential bearing on the business in hand were
embodied in the Covenant of the League of Nations as brought back by
President Wilson.



It has often been said by certain gentlemen who were associated with
President Wilson on the other side that he was unyielding and dogmatic,
that he insisted upon playing a "lone hand," that he was secretive and
exclusive, and that he ignored the members of the Peace Commission and the
experts who accompanied him to the Conference.

Contrary to this criticism, after an uninterrupted, continuous, and most
intimate association with him for eleven years, an association which
brought me into close contact with him in the most delicate crises through
which his administration and the nation passed, a time which threw upon
the Chief Executive of the nation a task unparalleled in the history of
the world, I wish to say that there is no franker or more open-minded man,
nor one less dogmatic in his opinion than Woodrow Wilson. In him the
desire for information and guidance is a passion. Indeed, the only thing
he resents is a lack of frankness upon the part of his friends, and no man
is more ready courageously to act and to hold to his opinions after he has
obtained the necessary information upon, which he bases his position. It
is his innate modesty and a certain kind of shyness that people mistake
for coldness and aloofness. He is not a good fellow in the ordinary sense
of that term. His friendship does not wear the cheap or tawdry trappings
of the politician, but there is about it a depth of genuineness and
sincerity, that while it does not overwhelm you, it wins you and holds
you. But the permanent consideration upon which this friendship is based
is sincerity and frankness.

No man ever worked under greater handicaps than did Woodrow Wilson at
Paris. Repudiated by his own people in the Congressional elections;
harassed on every side and at every turn by his political enemies, he
still pursued the even tenor of his way and accomplished what he had in
mind, against the greatest odds.

In the murky atmosphere of the Peace Conference, where every attitude of
the President was grossly exaggerated, in order that his prestige might be
lessened, it was not possible to judge him fairly, but it is now possible
in a calmer day to review the situation from afar through the eyes of
those who were actual participants with him in the great assembly,
onlookers, as it were, who saw every move and witnessed every play of the
Peace Conference from the side lines, and who have not allowed petty
motives to warp their judgments.

This testimony, which forms part of "What Really Happened in Paris,"
edited by Edward M. House and Charles Seymour, comes from gentlemen who
were his friends and co-labourers and who daily conferred with him upon
the momentous questions that came up for consideration at the Peace

Mr. Thomas W. Lamont, a member of the great banking house of J. P. Morgan
& Company, one of the representatives of the United States Treasury with
the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, gives the lie to the unfair
criticisms uttered about the President, to the effect that he was
exclusive, secretive, and refused to confer with those associated with
him. Mr. Lamont in speaking of the President's attitude throughout the
Peace Conference said:

    I am going to take this opportunity to say a word, in general, as to
    President Wilson's attitude at the Peace Conference. He is accused of
    having been unwilling to consult his colleagues. I never saw a man
    more ready and anxious to consult than he. He has been accused of
    having been desirous to gain credit for himself and ignore others. I
    never saw a man more considerate of those of his co-adjutors who were
    working immediately with him, nor a man more ready to give them credit
    with the other chiefs of state. Again and again would he say to Mr.
    Lloyd George or Mr. Clemenceau: "My expert here, Mr. So-and-So, tells
    me such-and-such, and I believe he is right. You will have to argue
    with him if you want me to change my opinion." President Wilson
    undoubtedly had his disabilities. Perhaps, in a trade, some of the
    other chiefs of state could have "out-jockeyed" him; but it seldom
    reached such a situation, because President Wilson, by his manifest
    sincerity and open candour, always saying precisely what he thought,
    would early disarm his opponents in argument. President Wilson did not
    have a well-organized secretarial staff. He did far too much of the
    work himself, studying until late at night papers and documents that
    he should have largely delegated to some discreet aides. He was, by
    all odds, the hardest worked man at the Conference; but the failure to
    delegate more of his work was not due to any inherent distrust he had
    of men--and certainly not any desire to "run the whole show" himself--
    but simply to his lack of facility in knowing how to delegate work on
    a large scale. In execution, we all have a blind spot in some part of
    our eye. President Wilson's was in his inability to use men; and
    inability, mind you, not a refusal. On the contrary, when any one of
    us volunteered or insisted upon taking responsibility off his
    shoulders he was delighted. Throughout the Peace Conference, Mr.
    Wilson never played politics. I never witnessed an occasion when I saw
    him act from unworthy conception or motive. His ideals were of the
    highest, and he clung to them tenaciously and courageously. Many of
    the so-called "Liberals" in England have assailed Mr. Wilson bitterly
    because, as they declare, he yielded too much to their own Premier,
    Mr. Lloyd George, and to Mr. Clemenceau. But could he have failed to
    defer to them on questions in which no vital principle was involved? I
    well remember his declaration on the question, whether the Allies
    should refuse, for a period of five years during the time of France's
    recuperations to promise Germany reciprocal tariff provisions. What
    Mr. Wilson said to Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Clemenceau was this:
    "Gentlemen, my experts and I both regard the principle involved as an
    unwise one. We believe it will come back to plague you. But when I see
    how France has suffered, how she has been devastated, her industries
    destroyed--who am I to refuse to assent to this provision, designed,
    wisely or unwisely, to assist in lifting France again to her feet."

The question has often been asked, whether the President freely consulted
his experts on the other side, or ignored them. The experience of the
gentlemen who conferred with him is the best refutation of this
insinuation against the President. Charles Homer Haskins, Chief of the
Division of Western Europe, a member of the American Peace Conference,
answers this question in these words:

    The President was anxious to have the exact facts before him in every
    situation. Doubtless, there were a number of occasions when he could
    not consult with experts at a particular moment, but, in general, the
    President sought such advice, although he naturally had to use his own
    judgment whether that advice was to be adopted in any particular case.

Answering this same question, Mr. Douglas Wilson Johnson, Chief of the
Division of Boundary Geography, and a member of the Peace Commission,

    Whenever we, in our capacity as specialists, thought we had found
    something that the President ought to know about, and believed we
    could not get it across effectively in any other manner, we could ask
    for a personal conference with him. He was, of course, a very busy man
    because, unlike the experts who usually had only one problem to
    consider, he had to do not only with all the territorial problems but
    in addition with all the problems bearing on the League of Nations,
    the economic problems, and many other aspects of the peace. Despite
    this fact I wish to state that while I repeatedly asked for personal
    conferences with the President on this and certain other problems, he
    never failed to respond immediately with an appointment. He had a
    private wire and on occasion he would call us at the Crillon to make
    appointments on his own initiative or to secure papers, maps, or other
    documents that he needed in his studies. I will not forget that in one
    instance he called me on the telephone late at night in my bedroom,
    asking for some papers which I had promised to supply him, and which
    had not reached him with sufficient promptness. You can judge from
    this that he kept closely in touch with the problems he was called
    upon to consider.

Another question that has been asked is: Did the President have an
intimate knowledge of the complicated questions that came before him like
the Adriatic problem, for instance? That criticism was answered by Mr.
Douglas Wilson Johnson in these words:

    In answer to that question I will say that the President kept in
    constant touch with the experts on the Adriatic problem, not only
    through the memoranda furnished by the experts but in other ways. I
    can assure you that there was sent to him a voluminous quantity of
    material, and I want to say that when we had personal discussions with
    him upon the question it immediately became apparent that he had
    studied these memoranda most carefully. _It is only fair to say that
    of the details and intricacies of this most difficult problem the
    President possessed a most astonishing command._

It has also been said that the President in his attitude toward Germany
was ruthless, and yet we have the testimony of Mr. Isaiah Bowman, Chief
Territorial Adviser of the Peace Commission who, in answer to the direct
question: "Was there not a time when it looked as if the Peace Conference
might break up because of the extreme policy of one of the Allies?" said:
"Yes, there were a number of occasions when the Peace Conference might
have broken up. Almost anything might have happened with so many nations
represented, so many personalities and so many experts--perhaps half a
thousand in all! Owing to the fact that President Wilson has been charged
on the one hand with outrageous concessions to the Allies and on the other
hand that he had always been soft with the Germans, particularly with
Bulgaria, let us see just how soft he was! On a certain day three of us
were asked to call at the President's house, and on the following morning
at eleven o'clock we arrived. President Wilson welcomed us in a very
cordial manner. I cannot understand how people get the idea that he is
cold. He does not make a fuss over you, but when you leave you feel that
you have met a very courteous gentleman. You have the feeling that he is
frank and altogether sincere. He remarked: 'Gentlemen, I am in trouble and
I have sent for you to help me out. The matter is this: the French want
the whole left bank of the Rhine. I told M. Clemenceau that I could not
consent to such a solution of the problem. He became very much excited and
then demanded ownership of the Saar Basin. I told him I could not agree to
that either because it would mean giving 300,000 Germans to France.'
Whereupon President Wilson further said: 'I do not know whether I shall
see M. Clemenceau again. I do not know whether he will return to the
meeting this afternoon. In fact, I do not know whether the Peace
Conference will continue. M. Clemenceau called me a pro-German and
abruptly left the room. I want you to assist me in working out a solution
true to the principles we are standing for and to do justice to France,
and I can only hope that France will ultimately accept a reasonable
solution. I want to be fair to M. Clemenceau and to France, but I cannot
consent to the outright transfer to France of 300,000 Germans.' A solution
was finally found--the one that stands in the Treaty to-day."

Among the unfair things said about the President during the last campaign
and uttered by a senator of the United States, was that the President
promised Premier Bratiano of Rumania to send United States troops to
protect the new frontiers. Mr. Charles Seymour, a member of the American
Peace Commission, answers this charge in the following way:

    The evidence against it is overwhelming. The stenographic notes taken
    during the session indicate that nothing said by President Wilson
    could be construed into a promise to send United States troops abroad
    to protect frontiers. The allegation is based upon the report of the
    interpreter, Mantoux, and a book by a journalist, Dr. E. W. Dillon,
    called "The Inside Story of the Peace Conference," M. Mantoux, though
    a brilliant and cultivated interpreter, whose work enormously
    facilitated the progress of the Conference, did not take stenographic
    notes and his interpretations sometimes failed to give the exact
    meaning of the original. Doctor Dillon's evidence is subject to
    suspicion, since his book is based upon gossip, and replete with
    errors of fact. The stenographic report, on the other hand, is worthy
    of trust. I have heard the President on more than one occasion explain
    to M. Clemenceau and Lloyd George _that if troops were necessary to
    protect any troubled area, they must not look to the United States for
    assistance, for public opinion in this country would not permit the
    use of American forces_.

Even Mr. Lansing himself in his book testified to the open-mindedness and
candour of the President in these words:

    It had always been my practice as Secretary of State to speak to him
    with candour and to disagree with him whenever I thought he was
    reaching a wrong decision in regard to any matter pertaining to
    foreign affairs. There was a general belief that Mr. Wilson was not
    open-minded and that he was quick to resent any opposition however
    well founded. I had not found him so during the years we had been
    associated. Except in a few instances he listened with consideration
    to arguments and apparently endeavoured to value them correctly.

No men ever winced less under the criticism or bitter ridicule of his
enemies than did Woodrow Wilson. Whether the criticism was directed at him
or at some member of his Cabinet, or, mayhap, at a subordinate like
myself, for some act, statement, or even an indiscretion, he bore up under
the criticism like a true sportsman. I remember how manfully he met the
storm of criticism that was poured upon him after the issuance of the
famous Garfield Fuel Order. He courageously took the responsibility for
the issuance of the order and stood by Doctor Garfield to the last.

It will be recalled what a tremendous impression and reaction the Garfield
order caused when it was published throughout the country. Many about the
President were greatly worried and afraid of the disastrous effect of it
upon the country. Cabinet officers rushed in upon him and endeavoured to
persuade him to recall it and even to repudiate Garfield for having issued
the order without consulting the Cabinet, but their remonstrances fell
unheeded upon the President's ears. I remember at the time that I wrote
the President regarding the matter and called his attention to what
appeared to me to be the calamitous results of the issuance of the Fuel

My letter to the President is as follows:


    17 January, 1918.


    At twelve o'clock last night, Mr. Lincoln of the New York World called
    me out of bed by telephone to notify me that the Fuel Administration
    had issued a drastic order shutting down the factories of the country
    for five days, etc.

    I do not know about the details of the order. I assume of course that
    it was necessary because of the tremendous shortage throughout the
    country. But what I am afraid of is that my own readiness to accept
    this assumption may not be shared by people outside. In other words,
    has the groundwork been laid for this radical step? Do the people know
    how much coal we have on hand and what the real shortage is? Have they
    not been led to believe that our chief ill was transportation and that
    by subjecting themselves to hardships by cutting down trains, etc.,
    enough cars have been provided to carry coal?

    In other words, I am afraid the country will want to be shown that the
    step just taken was absolutely necessary and if this cannot be proved,
    I greatly fear the consequences upon the morale of the people. I am so
    afraid that it will weaken their confidence in any action the
    Government may take hereafter which depends for its execution on the
    voluntary cooperation of the people. Again, it seems to me unjust that
    all industries are put on the same footing. It is a difficult thing I
    know to distinguish between the essential and non-essential
    industries, but I am sure the country will understand if such a
    distinction is made of, for instance, institutions that make pianos
    and talking machines and candy and articles that are not immediately
    necessary for our life, were cut down altogether and things necessary
    to our sustenance kept.

    Sincerely yours,


[Illustration: An inside view of a well-remembered national crisis.
[Transcriber's note: contains a reproduction of the above-quoted letter.]]

The President's reply, written on his own typewriter, is as follows:


    Of course, this is a tremendous matter and has given me the deepest
    concern, but I really think this direct road is the road out of
    difficulties which never would have been entirely remedied if we had
    not taken some such action. We must just bow our heads and let the
    storm beat.


Even to Mr. James M. Beck, a prominent Republican lawyer and one of his
bitterest opponents and critics, he showed a tolerance and magnanimity
that were worthy of the man himself. It appears that Mr. Beck was invited
to confer at the White House on a matter having to do with the war, and
the question was presented to the President by Mr. Creel as to whether the
President considered Mr. Beck _persona non grata_. The President at once
sent me the following note:


    Mr. James M. Beck expressed some hesitation about coming with the
    committee which Creel has organized and which is coming to see me on
    Monday afternoon, because he was not sufficiently _persona grata_ at
    the White House. I think his criticism and his whole attitude before
    we went into the war were abominable and inexcusable, but I "ain't
    harbouring no ill will" just now and I hope that you will have the
    intimation conveyed to him through Mr. Creel or otherwise that he will
    be welcomed.


While the President was busily engaged in France in laying the foundation
stones of peace, his partisan enemies were busily engaged in destroying
the things he held so dear, and had industriously circulated the story
that the mission to France was a mere political one, that the purpose back
of it was personal exploitation, or an attempt on the part of the
President to thrust himself into the councils of the Democratic party as
an active and aggressive candidate for a third term. The President's
attitude in this matter, his fear that talk of this kind would embarrass
the League of Nations, is disclosed by the following correspondence:

    Received at the White House,
      June 2, 1919.

      White House, Washington.

    Have just read the editorial in the Springfield _Republican_,
    discussing "_Wilson the Third Term and the Treaty_," and would very
    much value your opinion with regard to the situation as it analyzes
    it. Please talk with Glass, Secretary Baker, Secretary Wilson, and
    Cummings and let me know what your opinion is and what theirs is. _We
    must let nothing stand in the way of the Treaty and the adoption of
    the League._ I will, of course, form no resolution until I reach home
    but wish to think the matter out in plenty of time.


           *       *       *       *       *


    2 June, 1919.


    Cummings on campaign trip covering Middle West and coast. Will be away
    six weeks. My own opinion is that it would be unwise at this time to
    act upon suggestion contained in Springfield _Republican_ editorial.
    [The editorial suggested that the President withdraw his name from
    consideration in connection with a third term.] This is not the time
    to say anything about your attitude toward matter discussed in
    editorial because there is a depression in our ranks and a feeling
    that our prospects for 1920 are not bright. Republicans would say you
    had retreated under the threat of defeat and the cause of the League
    of Nations would be weakened instead of strengthened. The issue of the
    League of Nations is so clear-cut that your attitude toward a third
    term at present is not a real cause of embarrassment. In fact, I can
    see great advantage to be gained for the ratification of the League by
    giving the impression that you are seriously considering going to the
    country on the League of Nations. Am strongly of belief, as you know,
    that you should not under any circumstances consider or accept
    nomination for third term. In this matter I have very few supporters
    in our party. A trip I just made to Illinois and St. Louis over
    Decoration Day convinces me that a big drive will be made to induce
    you to allow your name to be used again. The Presidency for another
    four years would not add one whit to the honour that will be yours and
    the place of dignity that you will occupy in the hearts of our people
    when the League of Nations is consummated and your present term

    Upon your return to this country and with a clearer perception of what
    you are trying to do, there will come a turn of the tide in our
    favour. Many factors not now very clear are leading in that direction.
    The Republicans by the selection of Penrose have made the Republican
    party again the stand-pat party of America and their failure, which
    will become more evident as the days pass, to correct abuses that some
    months ago they called grave, will prove more and more the strength
    and value of Democratic policies.

    Prosperity now sweeping in from coast and Middle West will soon be
    upon us. Even business which turned away from us in last campaign in
    the hope that Excess Profit Tax and other burdensome taxes would be
    reduced, will soon find out how fatuous and futile is the Republican
    policy. Many Progressive leaders will soon come to the front and will
    take up the work left undone by Roosevelt. My opinion, therefore, is
    that what action you take in this matter should await the turn of the
    tide so that as the hopes of Democracy rise and success for 1920 looks
    more promising than it does to-day, then that time in my opinion will
    offer the psychological moment for you to say what really is in your
    heart about a third term and thus help not only the party but the
    League of Nations. Therefore, until the psychological moment comes,
    the politic thing to do is to keep "mum" about this matter and await
    the happenings of the future.


A clear, inside view of the feeling of the man toward the Treaty, his deep
heart interest in it, and his characterization of the opposition were
disclosed in a speech delivered by him to the members of the Democratic
National Committee at the White House on February 28, 1919. This speech is
now published for the first time, and is as follows:

    The real issue of the day, gentlemen, is the League of Nations, and I
    think we must be very careful to serve the country in the right way
    with regard to that issue. We ought not, as I know you already feel
    from the character of the action you have just taken--we ought not
    even to create the appearance of trying to make that a party issue.
    And I suggested this to Mr. Cummings and the others who sat by me: I
    think it would be wise if the several National Committeemen were to
    get in touch with their state organizations upon returning home and
    suggest this course of action--that the Democratic state organizations
    get into conference with the Republican state organizations and say to
    them: "Here is this great issue upon which the future peace of the
    world depends; it ought not to be made a party issue or to divide upon
    party lines; the country ought to support it regardless of party (as
    you stated in your resolution); now we propose to you that you pass
    resolutions supporting it, as we intend to do, and we will not
    anticipate you in the matter if you agree to that policy; let us stand
    back of it and not make a party issue of it." Of course, if they
    decline, then it is perfectly legitimate, it seems to me, for the
    Democratic organization if it pleases to pass resolutions, framing
    these resolutions in as non-partisan language as is possible, but
    nevertheless doing what citizens ought to do in matters of this sort.
    But not without first making it a matter of party record that it has
    made these approaches to the Republican organizations and has proposed
    this similarity of action. In that way we accomplish a double object.
    We put it up to them to support the real opinion of their own people
    and we get instructed by the resolutions, and we find where the weak
    spots are and where the fighting has to be done for this great issue.
    Because, believe me, gentlemen, the civilized world cannot afford to
    have us lose this fight. I tried to state in Boston what it would mean
    to the people of the world if the United States did not support this
    great ideal with cordiality, but I was not able to speak when I tried
    fully to express my thoughts. I tell you, frankly, I choked up; I
    could not do it. The thing reaches the depth of tragedy. There is a
    sense in which I can see that the hope entertained by the people of
    the world with regard to us is a tragical hope--tragical in this
    sense, that it is so great, so far-reaching, it runs out to such
    depths that we cannot in the nature of things satisfy it. The world
    cannot go as fast in the direction of ideal results as these people
    believe the United States can carry them, and that is what makes me
    choke up when I try to talk about it--the consciousness of what they
    want us to do and of our relative inadequacy. And yet there is a great
    deal that we can do, and the immediate thing that we can do is to have
    an overwhelming national endorsement of this great plan. If we have
    that we will have settled most of the immediate political difficulties
    in Europe. The present danger of the world--of course, I have to say
    this in the confidence of this company--but the present danger in this
    world is that the peoples of the world do not believe in their own
    governments. They believe these governments to be made up of the kind
    of men who have always run them, and who did not know how to keep them
    out of this war, did not know how to prepare them for war, and did not
    know how to settle international controversies in the past without
    making all sorts of compromising concessions. They do not believe in
    them, and therefore they have got to be buttressed by some outside
    power in which they do not believe. Perhaps it would not do for them
    to examine us too narrowly. We are by no means such ideal people as
    they believe us to be, but I can say that we are infinitely better
    than the others. We do purpose these things, we do purpose these great
    unselfish things; that is the glory of America, and if we can confirm
    that belief we have steadied the whole process of history in the
    immediate future; whereas if we do not confirm that belief I would not
    like to say what would happen in the way of utter dissolution of

    The only thing that that ugly, poisonous thing called Bolshevism feeds
    on is the doubt of the man on the street of the essential integrity of
    the people he is depending on to do his governing. That is what it
    feeds on. No man in his senses would think that a lot of local Soviets
    could really run a government, but some of them are in a temper to
    have anything rather than the kind of thing they have been having; and
    they say to themselves: "Well, this may be bad but it is at least
    better and more immediately in touch with us than the other, and we
    will try it and see whether we cannot work something out of it."

    So that our immediate duty, not as Democrats, but as American
    citizens, is to concert the most powerful campaign that was ever
    concerted in this country in favour of supporting the League of
    Nations and to put it up to everybody--the Republican organizations
    and every other organization--to say where they stand, and to make a
    record and explain this thing to the people.

    In one sense it does not make any difference what the Constitution of
    the League of Nations is. This present constitution in my judgment is
    a very conservative and sound document. There are some things in it
    which I would have phrased otherwise. I am modest enough to believe
    that the American draft was better than this, but it is the result of
    as honest work as I ever knew to be done. Here we sat around the table
    where there were representatives of fourteen nations. The five great
    powers, so-called, gave themselves two delegates apiece and they
    allowed the other nine one delegate apiece. But it did not count by
    members--it counted by purpose.

    For example, among the rest was a man whom I have come to admire so
    much that I have come to have a personal affection for him, and that
    is Mr. Venizelos, Prime Minister of Greece, as genuine a friend of man
    as ever lived and as able a friend honest people ever had, and a man
    on whose face a glow comes when you state a great principle, and yet
    who is intensely practical and who was there to insist that nothing
    was to be done which would put the small nations of the world at the
    disposal of the big nations. So that he was the most influential
    spokesman of what may be called the small powers as contrasted with
    the great. But I merely single him out for the pleasure of paying him
    this tribute, and not because the others were less earnest in pursuing
    their purpose. They were a body of men who all felt this. Indeed,
    several of them said this to us: "The world expects not only, but
    demands of us that we shall do this thing successfully, and we cannot
    go away without doing it." There is not a statesman in that conference
    who would dare to go home saying that he had merely signed a treaty of
    peace no matter how excellent the terms of that treaty are, because he
    has received if not an official at least an influential mandate to see
    to it that something is done in addition which will make the thing
    stand after it is done; and he dare not go home without doing that. So
    that all around that table there was coöperation--generous coöperation
    of mind to make that document as good as we could make it. And I
    believe it is a thoroughly sound document. There is only one
    misleading sentence in it--only one sentence that conveys a wrong
    impression. That can, I dare say, be altered, though it is going to be
    extremely difficult to set up that fourteen-nation process again as
    will have to be done if any alteration is made.

    The particular and most important thing to which every nation that
    joins the League agrees is this: That it won't fight on any question
    at all until it has done one of two things. If it is about a question
    that it considers suitable for arbitration it will submit it to
    arbitration. You know, Mr. Taft and other serious advocates of this
    general idea have tried to distinguish between justiciable and non-
    justiciable subjects, and while they have had more or less success
    with it, the success has not been satisfactory. You cannot define
    expressly the questions which nations would be willing to submit to
    arbitration. Some question of national pride may come in to upset the
    definition. So we said we would make them promise to submit every
    question that they considered suitable to arbitration and to abide by
    the result. If they do not regard it as suitable for arbitration they
    bind themselves to submit it to the consideration of the Executive
    Council for a period not exceeding six months, but they are not bound
    by the decision. It is an opinion, not a decision. But if a decision,
    a unanimous decision, is made, and one of the parties to the dispute
    accepts the decision, the other party does bind itself not to attack
    the party that accepts the opinion. Now in discussing that we saw this
    difficulty. Suppose that Power B is in possession of a piece of
    territory which Power A claims, and Power A wins its claim so far as
    the opinion of the Executive Council is concerned. And suppose that
    the power in possession of the territory accepts the decision but then
    simply stands pat and does nothing. It has got the territory. The
    other party, inasmuch as the party that has lost has accepted the
    decision, has bound itself not to attack it and cannot go by force of
    arms and take possession of the country. In order to cure that
    quandary we used a sentence which said that in case--I have forgotten
    the phraseology but it means this--in case any power refuses to carry
    out the decision the Executive Council was to consider the means by
    which it could be enforced. Now that apparently applies to both
    parties but was intended to apply to the non-active party which
    refuses to carry it out. And that sentence is open to a
    misconstruction. The Commission did not see that until after the
    report was made and I explained this to the General Conference. I made
    an explanation which was substantially the same as I have made to you,
    and that this should be of record may be sufficient to interpret that
    phrase, but probably not. It is not part of the Covenant and possibly
    an attempt ought to be made to alter it.

    But I am wandering from my real point. My point is that this is a
    workable beginning of a thing that the world insists on. There is no
    foundation for it except the good faith of the parties, but there
    could not be any other foundation for an arrangement between nations.

    The other night after dinner Senator Thomas, of Colorado, said: "Then
    after all it is not a guarantee of peace." Certainly not. Who said
    that it was? If you can invent an actual guarantee of peace you will
    be a benefactor of mankind, but no such guarantee has been found. But
    this comes as near being a guarantee of peace as you can get.

    I had this interesting experience when the Covenant was framed. I
    found that I was the only member of the Committee who did not take it
    for granted that the members of the League would have the right to
    secede. I found there was a universal feeling that this treaty could
    be denounced in the usual way and that a state could withdraw. I
    demurred from that opinion and found myself in a minority of one, and
    I could not help saying to them that this would be very interesting on
    the other side of the water, that the only Southerner on this
    conference should deny the right of secession. But nevertheless it is
    instructive and interesting to learn that this is taken for granted;
    that it is not a covenant that you would have to continue to adhere
    to. I suppose that is a necessary assumption among sovereign states,
    but it would not be a very handsome thing to withdraw after we had
    entered upon it. The point is that it does rest upon the good faith of
    all the nations. Now the historic significance of it is this:

    We are setting up right in the path that German ambition expected to
    tread a number of new states that, chiefly because of their newness,
    will for a long time be weak states. We are carving a piece of Poland
    out of Germany's side; we are creating an independent Bohemia below
    that, an independent Hungary below that, and enlarging Rumania, and we
    are rearranging the territorial divisions of the Balkan States. We are
    practically dissolving the Empire of Turkey and setting up under
    mandatories of the League of Nations a number of states in Asia Minor
    and Arabia which, except for the power of the mandatories, would be
    almost helpless against any invading or aggressive force, and that is
    exactly the old Berlin-to-Bagdad route. So that when you remember that
    there is at present a strong desire on the part of Austria to unite
    with Germany, you have the prospect of an industrial nation with
    seventy or eighty millions of people right in the heart of Europe, and
    to the southeast of it nothing but weakness, unless it is supported by
    the combined power of the world.

    Unless you expect this structure built at Paris to be a house of
    cards, you have got to put into it the structural iron which will be
    afforded by the League of Nations. Take the history of the war that we
    have just been through. It is agreed by everybody that has expressed
    an opinion that if Germany had known that England would go in, she
    never would have started. What do you suppose she would have done if
    she had known that everybody else would have gone in? Of course she
    would never have started. If she had known that the world would have
    been against her, this war would not have occurred; and the League of
    Nations gives notice that if anything of that sort is tried again, the
    world will be against the nation that tries it, and with that
    assurance given that such a nation will have to fight the world, you
    may be sure that whatever illicit ambitions a nation may have, it
    cannot and will not attempt to realize them. But if they have not that
    assurance and can in the meantime set up an infinite network of
    intrigue such as we now know ran like a honeycomb through the world,
    then any arrangement will be broken down. This is the place where
    intrigue did accomplish the disintegration which made the realization
    of Germany's purposes almost possible. So that those people will have
    to make friends with their powerful neighbour Germany unless they have
    already made friends with all the rest of the world. So that we must
    have the League of Nations or else a repetition of the catastrophe we
    have just gone through.

    Now if you put that case before the people of the United States and
    show them that without the League of Nations it is not worth while
    completing the treaty we are making in Paris, then you have got an
    argument which even an unidealistic people would respond to, and ours
    is not an unidealistic people but the most idealistic people in the
    world. Just let them catch the meaning which really underlies this and
    there won't be any doubt, as to what the response will be from; the
    hearts and from the judgments of the people of the United States.

    I would hope, therefore, that forgetting elections for the time being
    we should devote our thought and our energies and our plans to this
    great business, to concert bi-partisan and non-partisan action, and by
    whatever sort of action, to concert every effort in support of this
    thing. I cannot imagine an orator being afforded a better theme, so
    trot out your orators and turn them loose, because they will have an
    inspiration in this that they have never had before, and I would like
    a guarantee that the best vocabulary they can mobilize won't be equal
    to the job. It surpasses past experience in the world and seems like a
    prospect of realizing what once seemed a remote hope of international
    morale. And you notice the basis of this thing. It guarantees the
    members of the League, guarantees to each their territorial integrity
    and political independence as against external aggression.

    I found that all the other men around the conference table had a great
    respect for the right of revolution. We do not guarantee any state
    against what may happen inside itself, but we do guarantee against
    aggression from the outside, so that the family can be as lively as it
    pleases, and we know what generally happens to an interloper if you
    interfere in a family quarrel. There was a very interesting respect
    for the right of revolution; it may be because many of them thought it
    was nearer at hand than they had supposed and this immediate
    possibility breathed a respect in their minds. But whatever the reason
    was, they had a very great respect for it. I read the Virginia Bill of
    Rights very literally but not very elegantly to mean that any people
    is entitled to any kind of government it pleases and that it is none
    of our business to suggest or to influence the kind that it is going
    to have. Sometimes it will have a very riotous form of government, but
    that is none of our business. And I find that that is accepted, even
    with regard to Russia. Even conservative men like the representatives
    of Great Britain say it is not our business to dictate what kind of
    government Russia shall have. The only thing to do is to see if we can
    help them by conference and suggestion and recognition of the right
    elements to get together and not leave the country in a state of

    It was for that reasonable purpose that we tried to have the
    Conference at a place I had never heard of before--a place called
    Prinkipos. I understand it is a place on the Bosphorus with fine
    summer hotels, etc., and I was abashed to admit that I had never heard
    of it--but having plenty of house room, we thought that we could get
    the several Russian elements together there and see if we could not
    get them to sit down in one room together and tell us what it was all
    about and what they intended to do. The Bolshevists had accepted, but
    had accepted in a way that was studiously insulting. They said they
    would come, and were perfectly ready to say beforehand that they were
    ready to pay the foreign debt and ready to make concessions in
    economic matters, and that they were even ready to make territorial
    readjustments, which meant, "we are dealing with perjured governments
    whose only interest is in striking a bargain, and if that is the price
    of European recognition and cooperation, we are ready to pay it."

    I never saw anybody more angered than Mr. Lloyd George, who said: "We
    cannot let that insult go by. We are not after their money or their
    concessions or their territory. That is not the point. We are their
    friends who want to help them and must tell them so." We did not tell
    them so because to some of the people we had to deal with the payment
    of the foreign debt was a more interesting and important matter, but
    that will be made clear to them in conference, if they will believe
    it. But the Bolshevists, so far as we could get any taste of their
    flavour, are the most consummate sneaks in the world. I suppose
    because they know they have no high motives themselves, they do not
    believe that anybody else has. And Trotsky, having lived a few months
    in New York, was able to testify that the United States is in the
    hands of capitalists and does not serve anybody else's interests but
    the capitalists'. And the worst of it is, I think he honestly believes
    it. It would not have much effect if he didn't. Having received six
    dollars a week to write for a socialistic and anarchistic paper which
    believed that and printed it, and knowing how difficult it is to live
    on nothing but the wages of sin, he believes that the only wages paid
    here are the wages of sin.

    But we cannot rescue Russia without having a united Europe. One of my
    colleagues in Paris said: "We could not go home and say we had made
    peace if we left half of Europe and half of Asia at war--because
    Russia constitutes half of Europe and Siberia constitutes half of
    Asia." And yet we may have to go home without composing these great
    territories, but if we go home with a League of Nations, there will be
    some power to solve this most perplexing problem.

    And so from every point of view, it is obvious to the men in Paris,
    obvious to those who in their own hearts are most indifferent to the
    League of Nations, that we have to tie in the provisions of the Treaty
    with the League of Nations because the League of Nations is the heart
    of the Treaty. It is the only machinery. It is the only solid basis of
    masonry that is in the Treaty, and in saying that I know that I am
    expressing the opinion of all those with whom I have been conferring.
    I cannot imagine any greater historic glory for the party than to have
    it said that for the time being it is thinking not of elections, but
    of the salvation of the plain people of the world, and the plain
    people of the world are looking to us who call ourselves Democrats to
    prove to the utmost point of sacrifice that we are indeed Democrats,
    with a small d as well as a large D, that we are ready to put the
    whole power and influence of America at the disposal of free men
    everywhere in the world no matter what the sacrifice involved, no
    matter what the danger to the cause.

    And I would like, if I am not tiresome, to leave this additional
    thought in your mind. I was one of the first advocates of the
    mandatory. I do not at all believe in handing over any more territory
    than has already been handed over to any sovereign. I do not believe
    in putting the people of the German territories at the disposition,
    unsubordinated disposition, of any great power, and therefore I was a
    warm advocate of the idea of General Smuts--who, by the way, is an
    extraordinary person--who propounded the theory that the pieces of the
    Austro-Hungarian Empire and the pieces of the Turkish Empire and the
    German colonies were all political units or territorial units which
    ought to be accepted in trust by the family of nations, and not turned
    over to any member of the family, and that therefore the League of
    Nations would have as one of its chief functions to act as trustee for
    these great areas of dismembered empires. And yet the embarrassing
    moment came when they asked if the United States would be willing to
    accept a mandatory. I had to say off-hand that it would not be
    willing. I have got to say off-hand that in the present state of
    American opinion, at any rate, it wants to observe what I may call
    without offense Pharisaical cleanliness and not take anything out of
    the pile. It is its point of pride that it does not want to seem to
    take anything even by way of superintendence. And of course they said:
    "That is very disappointing, for this reason" (The reason they stated
    in as complimentary terms as I could have stated it myself): "You
    would be the most acceptable mandatory to any one of these peoples,
    and very few of us, if any, would be acceptable." They said that in so
    many words, and it would greatly advance the peace of the world and
    the peace of mind of Europe if the United States would accept
    mandatories. I said: "I am perfectly willing to go home and stump the
    country and see if they will do it," but I could not truthfully say
    off-hand that they would, because I did not know. Now what I wanted to
    suggest is this: Personally, and just within the limits of this room,
    I can say very frankly that I think we ought to. I think there is a
    very promising beginning in regard to countries like Armenia. The
    whole heart of America has been engaged for Armenia. They know more
    about Armenia and its sufferings than they know about any other
    European area; we have colleges out there; we have great missionary
    enterprises, just as we have had Robert College in Constantinople.
    That is a part of the world where already American influence extends,
    a saving influence and an educating and an uplifting influence.
    Colleges like Beirut in Syria have spread their influence very much
    beyond the limits of Syria, all through the Arabian country and
    Mesopotamia and in the distant parts of Asia Minor, and I am not
    without hope that the people of the United States would find it
    acceptable to go in and be the trustee of the interests of the
    Armenian people and see to it that the unspeakable Turk and the almost
    equally difficult Kurd had their necks sat on long enough to teach
    them manners and give the industrious and earnest people of Armenia
    time to develop a country which is naturally rich with possibilities.

    Now the place where they all want us to accept a mandate most is at
    Constantinople. I may say that it seems to be rather the consensus of
    opinion there that Constantinople ought to be internationalized. So
    that the present idea apparently is to delimit the territory around
    Constantinople to include the Straits and set up a mandate for that
    territory which will make those Straits open to the nations of the
    world without any conditions and make Constantinople truly
    international--an internationalized free city and a free port--and
    America is the only nation in the world that can undertake that
    mandate and have the rest of the world believe that it is undertaken
    in good faith that we do not mean to stay there and set up our own
    sovereignty. So that it would be a very serious matter for the
    confidence of the world in this treaty if the United States did not
    accept a mandate for Constantinople.

    What I have to suggest is that questions of that sort ought to be
    ventilated very thoroughly. This will appeal to the people of the
    United States: Are you going to take advantage of this and not any of
    the burden? Are you going to put the burden on the bankrupt states of
    Europe? For almost all of them are bankrupt in the sense that they
    cannot undertake any new things. I think that will appeal to the
    American people: that they ought to take the burdens--for they are
    burdens. Nobody is going to get anything out of a mandatory of
    Constantinople or Armenia. It is a work of disinterested philanthropy.
    And if you first present that idea and then make tentative expositions
    of where we might go in as a mandatory, I think that the people will
    respond. If we went in at Constantinople, for example, I think it is
    true that almost all the influential men who are prominent in the
    affairs of Bulgaria and were graduates of Robert College would be
    immediately susceptible to American interests. They would take
    American guidance when they would not take any other guidance.

    But I wish I could stay home and tackle this job with you. There is
    nothing I would like to do so much as really to say in parliamentary
    language what I think of the people that are opposing it. I would
    reserve the right in private to say in unparliamentary language what I
    think of them, but in public I would try to stick to parliamentary
    language. Because of all the blind and little, provincial people, they
    are the littlest and most contemptible. It is not their character so
    much that I have a contempt for, though that contempt is
    thoroughgoing, but their minds. They have not got even good working
    imitations of minds. They remind me of a man with a head that is not a
    head but is just a knot providentially put there to keep him from
    ravelling out, but why the Lord should not have been willing to let
    them ravel out I do not know, because they are of no use, and if I
    could really say what I think about them, it would be picturesque. But
    the beauty of it is that their ignorance and their provincialism can
    be made so perfectly visible. They have horizons that do not go beyond
    their parish; they do not even reach to the edges of the parish,
    because the other people know more than they do. The whole impulse of
    the modern time is against them. They are going to have the most
    conspicuously contemptible names in history. The gibbets that they are
    going to be executed on by future historians will scrape the heavens,
    they will be so high. They won't be turned in the direction of heaven
    at all, but they will be very tall, and I do not know any fate more
    terrible than to be exhibited in that future catalogue of the men who
    are utterly condemned by the whole spirit of humanity. If I did not
    despise them, I would be sorry for them.

    Now I have sometimes a very cheering thought. On the fifth of March,
    1921, I am going to begin to be an historian again instead of an
    active public man, and I am going to have the privilege of writing
    about these gentlemen without any restraints of propriety. The
    President, if my experience is a standard, is liable some day to burst
    by merely containing restrained gases. Anybody in the Senate or House
    can say any abusive thing he pleases about the President, but it
    shocks the sense of propriety of the whole country if the President
    says what he thinks about them. And that makes it very fortunate that
    the term of the President is limited, because no president could stand
    it for a number of years. But when the lid is off, I am going to
    resume my study of the dictionary to find adequate terms in which to
    describe the fatuity of these gentlemen with their poor little minds
    that never get anywhere but run around in a circle and think they are
    going somewhere. I cannot express my contempt for their intelligence,
    but because I think I know the people of the United States, I can
    predict their future with absolute certainty. I am not concerned as to
    the ultimate outcome of this thing at all, not for a moment, but I am
    concerned that the outcome should be brought about immediately, just
    as promptly as possible. So my hope is that we will all put on our war
    paint, not as Democrats but as Americans, get the true American
    pattern of war paint and a real hatchet and go out on the war path and
    get a collection of scalps that has never been excelled in the history
    of American warfare.



One of the settlements embodied in the Versailles Treaty upon which the
enemies of the President in this country concentrated their fires of wrath
and hatred against the President was the so-called Shantung settlement.
The partisan enemies of the President, realizing the irreconcilable
antagonism of certain of our people to the Japanese, did everything they
could to intensify this antagonism, picturing the President as one who had
conceded something to Japan at the expense of helpless China.

Not love of China, but hatred of Woodrow Wilson led partisan Republicans,
without careful investigation of the actual situation, to seize on the
Shantung affair as an opportunity to embarrass the President. The
ignorances and prejudices of many of our people on the subject of China
played into the hands of those Republicans, whose main object was to
injure the President and defeat the Treaty. Very few sought to understand
the settlement or to ascertain the facts that formed the historic
background of it.

These facts were clearly set forth by the President himself in a speech
delivered at Los Angeles, California, on September 20, 1919. The President

    Let me recall some circumstances which probably most of you have
    forgotten. I have to go back to the year 1898, for it was in March of
    that year that these cessions which formerly belonged to Germany were
    transferred to her by the Government of China. What had happened was
    that two German missionaries in China had been murdered. The Central
    Government at Peking had done everything that was in its power to do
    to quiet the local disturbances, to allay the local prejudice against
    foreigners which led to the murders, but had been unable to do so, and
    the German Government held them responsible, nevertheless, for the
    murder of the missionaries. It was not the missionaries that the
    German Government was interested in. That was a pretext. Germany
    insisted that, because this thing had happened for which the Peking
    Government could not really with justice be held responsible, a very
    large and important part of one of the richest provinces of China
    should be ceded to her for sovereign control, for a period of 99
    years, that she should have the right to penetrate the interior of
    that province with a railway, and that she should have the right to
    exploit any ores that lay within 30 miles either side of that railway.
    She forced the Peking Government to say that they did it in gratitude
    to the German Government for certain services which she was supposed
    to have rendered but never did render. That was the beginning. I do
    not know whether any of the gentlemen who are criticizing the present
    Shantung settlement were in public affairs at that time or not, but I
    will tell you what happened, so far as this Government was concerned.

    One of the most enlightened and humane presidents we have ever had was
    at the head of the Government--William McKinley, a man who loved his
    fellow men and believed in justice--and associated with him was one of
    our ablest secretaries of state--Mr. John Hay. The state of
    international law was such then that they did not feel at liberty to
    make even a protest against these concessions to Germany. Neither did
    they make any protest when, immediately following that, similar
    concessions were made to Russia, to Great Britain, and to France. It
    was almost immediately after that that China granted to Russia the
    right of the possession and control of Port Arthur and a portion of
    the region of Talienwan. Then England, not wishing to be outdone,
    although she had similar rights elsewhere in China, insisted upon a
    similar concession and got Weihaiwei. Then France insisted that she
    must have a port, and got it for 99 years. Not against one of those
    did the Government of the United States make any protest whatever.
    They only insisted that the door should not be shut in any of these
    regions against the trade of the United States. You have heard of Mr.
    Hay's policy of the open door. That was his policy of the open door--
    not the open door to the rights of China, but the open door to the
    goods of America. I want you to understand, my fellow countrymen, I am
    not criticizing this because, until we adopt the Covenant of the
    League of Nations, it is an unfriendly act for any government to
    interfere in the affairs of any other unless its own interests are
    immediately concerned. The only thing Mr. McKinley and Mr. Hay were at
    liberty to do was to call attention to the fact that the trade of the
    United States might be unfavourably affected and insist that in no
    circumstances it should be. They got from all of these powers the
    promise that it should not be a promise which was more or less kept.
    Following that came the war between Russia and Japan, and at the close
    of that war Japan got Port Arthur and all the rights which Russia
    enjoyed in China, just as she is now getting Shantung and the rights
    her recently defeated enemy had in China--an exactly similar
    operation. That peace that gave her Port Arthur was concluded, as you
    know, on the territory of the United States--at Portsmouth, N.H.
    Nobody dreamed of protesting against that. Japan had beaten Russia.
    Port Arthur did not at that time belong to China; it belonged for the
    period of the lease to Russia, and Japan was ceded what Japan had
    taken by the well-recognized processes of war.

    Very well, at the opening of this war, Japan went and took Kiauchow
    and supplanted Germany in Shantung Province. The whole process is
    repeated, but repeated with a new sanction. In the meantime, after
    this present war began, England and France, not at the same time, but
    successively, feeling that it was essential that they should have the
    assistance of Japan on the Pacific, agreed that if Japan would go into
    this war and take whatever Germany had in the Pacific she should
    retain everything north of the equator which had belonged to Germany.
    That treaty now stands. That treaty absolutely binds Great Britain and
    France. Great Britain and France can not in honour, having offered
    Japan this inducement to enter the war and continue her operations,
    consent to an elimination of the Shantung provision from the present
    treaty. Very well, let us put these gentlemen who are objecting to the
    Shantung settlement to the test. Are they ready to fight Great Britain
    and France and Japan, who will have to stand together, in order to get
    this province back for China? I know they are not, and their interest
    in China is not the interest of assisting China, but of defeating the
    Treaty. They know beforehand that a modification of the Treaty in that
    respect cannot be obtained, and they are insisting upon what they know
    is impossible; but if they ratify the Treaty and accept the Covenant
    of the League of Nations they do put themselves in a position to
    assist China. They put themselves in that position for the very first
    time in the history of international engagements. They change the
    whole faith of international affairs, because after you have read the
    much-debated Article 10 of the Covenant, I advise you to read Article
    11. Article 11 says that it shall be the friendly right of any member
    of the League to call attention at any time to anything, anywhere,
    that threatens to disturb the peace of the world or the good
    understanding between nations upon which the peace of the world
    depends. That in itself constitutes a revolution in international
    relationships. Anything that affects the peace of any part of the
    world is the business of every nation. It does not have simply to
    insist that its trade shall not be interfered with; it has the right
    to insist that the rights of mankind shall not be interfered with. Not
    only that, but back of this provision with regard to Shantung lies, as
    everybody knows or ought to know, a very honourable promise which was
    made by the Government of Japan in my presence in Paris, namely, that
    just as soon as possible after the ratification of this treaty they
    will return to China all sovereign rights in the Province of Shantung.
    Great Britain has not promised to return Weihaiwei; France has not
    promised to return her part. Japan has promised to relinquish all the
    sovereign rights which were acquired by Germany for the remaining 78
    of the 99 years of the lease, and to retain only what other
    governments have in many other parts of China, namely, the right to
    build and operate the railway under a corporation and to exploit the
    mines in the immediate neighbourhood of that railway. In other words,
    she retains only the rights of economic concessionaries. Personally, I
    am frank to say that I think all of these nations have invaded some of
    the essential rights of China by going too far in the concessions
    which they have demanded, but that is an old story now, and we are
    beginning a new story. In the new story we all have the right to balk
    about what they have been doing and to convince them, by the pressure
    of the public opinion of the world, that a different course of action
    would be just and right. I am for helping China and not turning away
    from the only way in which I can help her. Those are the facts about

Of all the important decisions of the Peace Conference, none worried the
President so much as that relating to the Shantung settlement, and in a
speech at Des Moines, on September 6, 1919, he expressed his
dissatisfaction in the following words:

    There is the settlement, which you have heard so much discussed, about
    that rich and ancient province of Shantung in China. I do not like
    that settlement any better than you do, but these were the
    circumstances: In order to induce Japan to cooperate in the war and
    clear the Pacific of the German power, England, and subsequently
    France, bound themselves without any qualifications to see to it that
    Japan got anything in China that Germany had and that Japan would take
    it away from her, upon the strength of which promise Japan proceeded
    to take away Kiauchow and occupy the portions of Shantung Province
    which had been ceded by China for a term of years to Germany. The most
    that could be got out of it was that in view of the fact that America
    had nothing to do with it, the Japanese were ready to promise that
    they would give up every item of sovereignty which Germany would
    otherwise have enjoyed in Shantung Province and return it without
    restriction to China, and that they would retain in the province only
    the economic concessions such as other nations already had elsewhere
    in China--though you do not hear anything about that--concessions in
    the railway and the mines which had become attached to the railway for
    operative purposes. But suppose that you say that is not enough. Very
    well, then, stay out of the Treaty, and how will that accomplish
    anything? England and France are bound and cannot escape their
    obligation. Are you going to institute a war against Japan and France
    and England to get Shantung back for China? That is an operation which
    does not commend itself to the present generation.

Mr. Ray Stannard Baker, in his book "What Wilson Did in Paris," says:

    Of all the important decisions at the Peace Conference none worried
    the President so much as that relating to the disposition of the
    Shantung peninsula--and none, finally, satisfied him less. Not one of
    the problems he had to meet at Paris, serious as they all were, did he
    take more personally to heart than this. He told me on one occasion
    that he had been unable to sleep on the previous night for thinking of

    Those last days before the Treaty was finished were among the hardest
    of the entire Conference. As I have said before, the most difficult
    and dangerous problems had inevitably been left to the last, and had
    all to be finally settled in those crowded days of late April.

    Consider, for a moment, the exact situation at Paris on April 29th,
    when the Japanese-Chinese crises reached the explosive point.

    It was on that very day that the German delegates were coming morosely
    into Versailles, ready for a treaty that was not yet finished. The
    Three--for Orlando had then withdrawn from the Conference--had been
    gradually lengthening their sessions, the discussions were longer and
    more acrimonious. They were tired out. Only six days before, on April
    23rd, the High Council had been hopelessly deadlocked on the Italian
    question. The President had issued his bold message to the world
    regarding the disposition of Fiume and the Italian delegation departed
    from Paris with the expectation that their withdrawal would either
    force the hands of the Conference, or break it up.

    While this crisis was at its height the Belgian delegation, which had
    long been restive over the non-settlement of Belgian claims for
    reparations, became insistent. They had no place in the Supreme
    Council and they were worried lest the French and British--neither of
    whom could begin to get enough money out of Germany to pay for its
    losses--would take the lion's share and leave Belgium unrestored. The
    little nations were always worried at Paris lest the big ones take
    everything and leave them nothing! Very little appeared in the news at
    the time concerning the Belgian demands, but they reached practically
    an ultimatum: if Belgium were not satisfied she also would withdraw
    from the Conference and refuse to sign the Treaty.

    It was at this critical moment that the Chinese-Japanese question had
    to be settled. It had to be settled because the disposition of German
    rights in China (unlike Italian claims in the Adriatic) had to go into
    the German Treaty before it was presented to Brockdorff Rantzau and
    his delegates at Versailles; and because the Japanese would not sign
    the Treaty unless it was settled. The defection of Japan, added to
    that of Italy and the possible withdrawal of Belgium, would have made
    the situation desperate.

    The two principal things that Japan wanted at the Peace Conference
    were: first, a recognition in the Covenant of the League of Nations of
    the "equality of the nations and the just treatment of their
    nationals"; and, second, the recognition of certain rights over the
    former German concessions in China (Shantung.)

    After a struggle lasting all through the Conference, Japan had finally
    lost out, in the meeting of the League of Nations Commission on April
    11th, in her first great contention. She was refused the recognition
    of racial or even national equality which she demanded although a
    majority of the nations represented on the League of Nations
    Commission agreed with her that her desire for such recognition was
    just and should find a place in the Covenant....

    Few people realize how sharply the Japanese felt this hurt to their
    pride: and few people realize the meaning of this struggle, as a
    forerunner of one of the great coming struggles of civilization--the
    race struggle....

    Having lost out in their first great contention the Japanese came to
    the settlement of their second demand with a feeling of irritation but
    with added determination. The Japanese delegates were the least
    expressive of any at the Conference: they said the least: but they
    were the firmest of any in hewing to the line of their interests and
    their agreements. It must not be forgotten also, in all fairness, that
    the Japanese delegates, not less than the British, French, and
    American, had their own domestic political problems, and opposition,
    and that there was a powerful demand in Japan that, while all the
    other nations were securing some return for their losses and
    sacrifices in the war, Japan should also get some return.

    At the same time Japan was in a stronger position than any other of
    the Allied and Associated Powers except the United States. She had
    been little hurt, and much strengthened by the war. She was far
    distant from danger; she did not need the League of Nations as much as
    did the countries of Europe; and, more than anything else, she
    occupied a strong legal status, for her claims were supported by
    treaties both with China and the Allies; and she was, moreover, in a
    position, if she were rendered desperate, to take by force what she
    considered to be her rights if the Allies refused to accord them.

    At a dark moment of the war, the spring of 1917, the British and
    French, in order to sharpen Japanese support of the allied cause, made
    private agreements to sustain the claims of Japan at the Peace
    Conference to German rights in Shantung. It thus happened, in the
    Council of Three, for Orlando had then gone home, that two of the
    powers, Great Britain and France, were bound by their pledged word to
    Japan. Indeed, the British argued that they felt themselves indebted
    to the Japanese not only as a long-friendly ally but for helping to
    keep the Pacific free of the enemy while Australian troops were being
    transported to Europe and thus relieving a great burden for the
    British fleet. It must not be forgotten that China was also bound by
    the Treaty and Notes of 1915 and the Notes of 1918 with Japan--
    although China vigorously asserted that all of these agreements were
    entered into upon her part under coercion by Japan. In fact, one of
    the Chinese delegates at Paris had actually signed one of the
    agreements which he was now asking the Conference to overthrow.

    It was not only this wire entanglement of treaties which Mr. Wilson
    found in his advance, but it must be said, in all frankness, that, in
    opposing Japan's demands for economic privileges and a "sphere of
    influence" in China, he was also opposing a principle which every
    other strong nation at the Conference believed in and acted upon, if
    not in China, then elsewhere in the world. Japan asserted that she was
    only asking for the rights already conceded to other nations. Japan
    was thus in a very strong position in insisting upon her claims, and
    China in a very weak position.

    In this crisis Mr. Wilson was face to face with difficult
    alternatives. If he stood stiffly for immediate justice to China, he
    would have to force Great Britain and France to break their pledged
    word with Japan. Even if he succeeded in doing this, he still would
    have had to face the probability, practically the certainty, that
    Japan would withdraw from the Conference and go home. This would not
    only keep Japan out of the League, but it would go far toward
    eventually disrupting the Peace Conference, already shaken by the
    withdrawal of Italy and the dangerous defection of Belgium. Such a
    weakening of the Peace Conference and of the Alliance of the Great
    Powers would have the immediate effect of encouraging the Germans not
    to sign the Treaty and of holding off in the hope that the forces of
    industrial unrest then spreading all over Europe might overwhelm
    France or Italy. It would also have a highly irritating effect upon
    all the bolshevist elements in Europe--increasing uncertainty, and the
    spread of anarchical conditions. With Japan out of the association of
    western nations there was also the possibility, voiced just at this
    time in both French and British newspapers, that she would begin
    building up alliances of her own in the East--possibly with Germany
    and Russia. Indeed, if the truth were told, this was probably the most
    important consideration of all in shaping the final decision. It was
    the plain issue between the recrudescence, in a new and more dangerous
    form, of the old system of military alliances and balances of power,
    and the new system of world organization in a league of nations. It
    was the militaristic Prussian idea against the American Wilsonian

    No statesman probably ever had a more difficult problem presented to
    him than did Mr. Wilson upon the momentous 29th of April, 1919. At
    that moment three things seemed of extreme importance if anything was
    to be saved out of the wreckage of the world. The first was a speedy
    peace, so that men everywhere might return to the work of production
    and reconstruction and the avenues of trade everywhere be opened.
    Peace and work! The second was of supreme importance--keeping the
    great Allies firmly welded together to steady a world which was
    threatened with anarchy. It was absolutely necessary to keep a going
    concern in the world! The third was to perpetuate this world
    organization in a league of nations: this the most important of all,
    for it had reference to the avalanche of new problems which were just

    If the Conference were broken up, or even if Italy remained out, and
    Japan went out, these things would be impossible. On the other hand,
    if the Allies could be kept firmly together, peace established, and a
    league of nations brought into being, there was a chance of going
    forward with world reconstruction on the broadest lines, and of the
    full realization of the principles of justice laid down in the
    Armistice terms and accepted by all nations. The Treaty, after all, is
    no final settlement; it is only one step in the great process of world

    It was with all these considerations in view that the Shantung
    settlement was made by the Council of Three sitting in the President's
    house in the Place des États-Unis--with the Japanese in full

    This settlement was in two parts, the first set forth in the Treaty
    itself, and the second a special agreement of the three Great Powers
    with Japan. I find that this fact is not clear to many people, who
    look for the entire settlement in the Treaty itself.

    Under sections 156, 157, and 158 of the Treaty all the rights at
    Kiauchow and in Shantung Province formerly belonging to Germany are
    transferred without reservation to Japan. This conforms broadly with
    the various treaties, and gives a proud nation what it considered its
    full rights.

    On the other hand, the Japanese delegates at the Conference, on behalf
    of their government, made a voluntary agreement "to hand back the
    Shantung peninsula in full sovereignty to China, retaining only the
    economic privileges granted to Germany and the right to establish a
    settlement under the usual conditions at Tsingtao."

    Under this agreement, by which Japan makes an unqualified recession of
    the sovereign rights in Shantung to China, she also agrees to remove
    all Japanese troops remaining on the peninsula "at the earliest
    possible time."

    Japan thus gets only such rights as an economic concessionaire as are
    already possessed by one or two great powers and the whole future
    relationship between the two countries falls at once under the
    guarantee of the League of Nations, by the provisions of which the
    territorial integrity and political independence of China will be

    If the President had risked everything in standing for the immediate
    and complete realization of the Chinese demands, and had broken up the
    Conference upon that issue, it would not have put Japan either
    politically or economically out of China. Neither our people nor the
    British would go to war with Japan solely to keep her out of Shantung.
    The only hope of China in the future--and Wilson looks not only to the
    removal of the sphere of influence which Japan controls but to the
    removal of all other spheres of foreign influence in China--is
    through a firm world organization, a league of nations in which these
    problems can be brought up for peaceful settlement.... "The
    settlement, of course, was a compromise: a balance of considerations.
    It was the problem of the President, all through the Conference, when
    to 'accommodate' and when to use decided policies. 'The wisdom of the
    statesman,' said Cavour (quoted by Thayer in his admirable 'Life'),
    'consists in discerning when the time has come for the one or the

    "The Shantung decision is about as good a settlement as could be had
    out of a dirty past."

Even I felt bitterly critical of what seemed to me to be the President's
surrender to Japan in the matter of Shantung. But when he returned and
told me the whole story and explained the complicated and delicate world
situation which confronted him, I agreed with him that he had obtained out
of a bad mess the best possible settlement.

In addition to the various cabled messages which passed between the
President and myself, which will be found in Appendix "C," was the

  Received at The White House, Washington,
  April 30, 1919.

  TUMULTY, White House,

    The Japanese-Chinese matter has been settled in a way which seems to
    me as satisfactory as could be got out of the tangle of treaties in
    which China herself was involved, and it is important that the exact
    facts should be known. I therefore send you the following for public
    use at such time as the matter may come under public discussion. In
    the Treaty all the rights at Kiao-Chau and in Shantung Province
    belonging to Germany are to be transferred without opposition to
    Japan, but Japan voluntarily engages, in answer to the questions put
    in Conference, that it will be her immediate policy to _Quote_ hand
    back the surveyed peninsula in full sovereignty to China, retaining
    only the economic privileges granted to Germany and the right to
    establish a settlement under the usual conditions at Tsingtau. Owners
    of the railway will use special police only to insure security for
    traffic. They will be used for no other purpose. The police force will
    be composed of Chinese and such Japanese instructors as the directors
    of the railway may select will be appointed by the Chinese government
    _End quote_.

    It was understood in addition that inasmuch as the sovereign rights
    receded to China were to be unqualified, all Japanese troops remaining
    on the peninsula should be withdrawn at the earliest possible time.
    Japan thus gets only such rights as an economic concessionaire as are
    possessed by one or two other great powers and are only too common in
    China, and the future relationship between the two countries falls at
    once under the guarantee of the League of Nations of territorial
    integrity and political independence. I find a general disposition to
    look with favour upon the proposal that at an early date throughout
    the mediation of the League of Nations all extraordinary foreign
    rights in China and all spheres of influence should be abrogated by
    the common consent of all the nations concerned. I regard the
    assurances given by Japan as very satisfactory in view of the
    complicated circumstances. Please do not give out any of the above as
    a quotation from me, but use it in some other form for public
    information at the right time.




To one standing on the side-lines in the capital of the nation and
witnessing the play of the ardent passions of the people of the Irish
race, demanding that some affirmative action be taken by our government to
bring about the realization of the right of self-determination for
Ireland, it seemed as if the American President, Woodrow Wilson, who first
gave utterance to the ideal of self-determination for all the oppressed
peoples of the world, was woefully unmindful of the age-long struggle that
Irishmen had been making to free their own beloved land from British
domination. But to those, like myself, who were on the inside of affairs,
it was evident that in every proper and legitimate way the American
President was cautiously searching for efficient means to advance the
cause of self-government in Ireland and to bring about a definite and
satisfactory solution of this complicated problem.

Embarrassed as he was by a delicate diplomatic situation, which to a great
extent governed his conduct, he was not free openly to espouse the cause
of Ireland. To have done so would have been to add difficulties to an
already chaotic world situation. He was compelled in what he was seeking
to do for Ireland to move quietly and by informal conferences impressively
to lay the case of Ireland before those who sought his counsel in the
matter. Unfortunately, these quiet methods of helpfulness which he brought
to the task were the things that drew the fire of criticism and even
distrust of many men of the Irish race in America, who in their passionate
devotion to the cause which lay so close to their hearts could see only a
direct route to accomplishing what they had in mind.

Long before the European war the President and I had often discussed the
Irish cause and how to make his influence felt in a way that would bring
results without becoming involved in diplomatic snarls with Great Britain.
He was of the opinion that the Irish problem could not be settled by
force, for the spirit of Ireland, which for centuries had been demanding
justice, was unconquerable. He pointed out to me on many occasions when we
discussed this delicate matter, that the policy of force and reprisal
which the English Government had for centuries practised in had but
strengthened the tenacious purpose of the Irish people and had only
succeeded in keeping under the surface the seething dissatisfaction of
that indomitable race.

I recall that at the conclusion of one of our talks after a Cabinet
meeting, shaking his head as if he despaired of a settlement, the
President said: "European statesmen can never learn that humanity can be
welded together only by love, by sympathy, and by justice, and not by
jealousy and hatred." He was certain that the failure of England to find
an adjustment was intensifying feeling not only in our own country, but
throughout the world, and that the agitation for a settlement would spread
like a contagion and would inevitably result in a great national crisis.

An interesting comment on the President's attitude toward the Irish
question appears in an article in the _Atlantic Monthly_ for October,
1921. The article is by Joseph Fort Newton, in his series, "Preaching in
London." The comment is as follows:

    To-day a distinguished London minister told me a story about the
    President, for which he vouches. He had it from the late Sylvester
    Horne--Member of Parliament and minister of Whitefield's Chapel--who
    had known the President for years before he was elevated to his high
    office. Home happened to be in America--where he was always a welcome
    guest--before the war, shortly after the President was inaugurated,
    and he called at the White House to pay his respects. In the course of
    the talk, he expressed satisfaction that the relations between England
    and America would be in safe hands while the President was in office.
    The President said nothing, and Horne wondered at it. Finally he
    forced the issue, putting it as a question point-blank. The President
    said, addressing him in the familiar language of religious fellowship:
    "Brother Horne, one of the greatest calamities that has befallen
    mankind will come during my term of office. It will come from Germany.
    Go home and settle the Irish question, and there will be no doubt as
    to where America will stand."

In discussing the matter with me, he said: "The whole policy of Great
Britain in its treatment of the Irish question has unfortunately been
based upon a policy of fear and not a policy of trusting the Irish people.
How magnificently the policy of trust and faith worked out in the case of
the Boers. Unfortunately, the people of Ireland now believe that the basis
of England's policy toward them is revenge, malice, and destruction. You
remember, Tumulty, how the haters of the South in the days of
reconstruction sought to poison Lincoln's mind by instilling into it
everything that might lead him in his treatment of the South toward a
policy of reprisal, but he contemptuously turned away from every
suggestion as a base and ignoble thing. Faith on the part of Great Britain
in the deep humanity and inherent generosity of the Irish people is the
only force that will ever lead to a settlement of this question. English
statesmen must realize that in the last analysis force never permanently
settles anything. It only produces hatreds and resentments that make a
solution of any question difficult and almost impossible. I have tried to
impress upon the Englishmen with whom I have discussed this matter that
there never can be a real comradeship between America and England until
this issue is definitely settled and out of the way."

Many times in informal discussions with British representatives that came
to the White House the President sought to impress upon them the necessity
for a solution, pointing out to them how their failure was embarrassing
our relations with Great Britain at every point. I am sure that if he
could with propriety have done so, Woodrow Wilson would long ago have
directly suggested to Great Britain a settlement of the Irish question,
but, unfortunately, serious diplomatic obstacles lay in the way of an open
espousal of the Irish cause. He was sadly aware that under international
law no nation has the right to interest itself in anything that directly
concerns the affairs of another friendly nation, for by the traditions of
diplomacy such "interference" puts in jeopardy the cordial relations of
the nations involved in such controversy.

Long before he became president, Woodrow Wilson had eloquently declared
his attitude with reference to self-government for Ireland and had openly
espoused the cause of Irish freedom. In a speech delivered at New
Brunswick, New Jersey, on October 26, 1910, he said:

    Have you read the papers recently attentively enough to notice the
    rumours that are coming across the waters? What are the rumours? The
    rumours are that the English programme includes, not only self-
    government for Ireland, but self government for Scotland, and the
    drawing together in London or somewhere else of a parliament which
    will represent the British Empire in a great confederated state upon
    the model, no doubt, of the United States of America, and having its
    power to the end of the world. What is at the bottom of that
    programme? At the bottom of it is the idea that no little group of men
    like the English people have the right to govern men in all parts of
    the world without drawing them into real substantial partnership,
    where their voice will count with equal weight with the voice of other
    parts of the country.

    This voice that has been crying in Ireland, this voice for home rule,
    is a voice which is now supported by the opinion of the world; this
    impulse is a spirit which ought to be respected and recognized in the
    British Constitution. It means not mere vague talk of men's rights,
    men's emotions, and men's inveterate and traditional principles, but
    it means the embodiment of these things in something that is going to
    be done, that will look with hope to the programme that may come out
    of these conferences.

    If those who conduct the Government of Great Britain are not careful
    the restlessness will spread with rapid agitation until the whole
    country is aflame, and then there will be revolution and a change of

In this speech he plainly indicated that his plan for the settlement of
the Irish question was the establishment of some forum to which the cause
of Ireland might be brought, where the full force of the public opinion of
the world, including the United States, could be brought to play in a
vigorous and whole-hearted insistence upon a solution of this world-
disturbing question.

As we read the daily papers, containing accounts of the disturbances in
Ireland, what a prophetic vision underlay the declaration contained in the
speech of Woodrow Wilson in 1910!

    If those who conduct the Government of Great Britain are not careful
    the restlessness will spread with rapid agitation until the whole
    country is aflame, and then there will be revolution and a change of

I recall his passionate resentment of the attitude and threats of Sir
Edward Carson, leader of the Unionist forces in the British Parliament,
when he read the following statement of Carson carried in the American
Press, after the passage of Home Rule through the House of Lords: "In the
event of this proposed parliament being thrust upon us, we solemnly and
mutually pledge ourselves not to recognize its authority. I do not care
two pence whether this is treason or not."

Discussing Carson's utterance the President said: "I would like to be in
Mr. Asquith's place. I would show this rebel whether he would recognize
the authority of the Government or flaunt it. He ought to be hanged for
treason. If Asquith does not call this gentleman's bluff, the contagion of
unrest and rebellion in Ireland will spread until only a major operation
will save the Empire. Dallying with gentlemen of this kind who openly
advocate revolution will only add to the difficulties. If those in
authority in England will only act firmly now, their difficulties will be
lessened. A little of the firmness and courage of Andrew Jackson would
force a settlement of the Irish question right now."

The President did not agree with the friends of Irish freedom in America
that coercive methods put upon England through the instrumentality of the
United States could accomplish anything. When he left for the other side
to take part in the Peace Conference, the future of Ireland was much in
his thoughts, but his solution of the problem lay in the establishment of
a forum under the League of Nations before which not only the cause of
Ireland but the cause of any oppressed people might be brought to the
judgment of mankind.

Ireland's affairs were always in the background of the President's
thoughts and he welcomed conversations with those who were in a position
to offer helpful suggestions. I append a correspondence, intimate in
character and now for the first time "exposed to the public view," between
the President, Mr. Sidney Brooks, a noted English writer, and myself:

    Friday, April 20, 1917.


    After several months in America I am now returning to England,
    returning, I need not say, in a very happy mood and with the
    consciousness that the relations between our two countries are at
    length set fair. There is nothing nearer to my heart than improving
    them, and I believe I see how they could be improved and particularly
    how the last great obstacle to their betterment--I mean, of course,
    Ireland--could be lessened, if not removed. I should very greatly
    value an opportunity of setting before you some views I have formed on
    the matter, if an opportunity could be found before the arrival of the
    British Commission.

    I leave Washington on Sunday and sail for England on the following
    Saturday, but not, I trust, without being able to pay you my respects
    and say my adieux in person.

    Believe me, dear Mr. President,

    Yours very sincerely,

      The White House.

In forwarding this letter to the President, I accompanied it by the
following note:


    April 20, 1917.


    I just had a little talk with Sidney Brooks who says he has been in
    correspondence with Lloyd George and Lord Northcliffe with reference
    to the Home Rule question. He believes that just a little push by you
    in your private talk with Mr. Balfour would put over home rule. He
    says if you could bring home to Balfour the amount of American public
    sentiment which favours it and how a denial of it is working to the
    disadvantage of England in this country, it would make a great
    impression. He says after the war there will of course be a great and
    generous cooperation between England and this country; but that there
    will never be genuine cooperation between the people of America and
    the people of England until the Irish question is settled.

    Sincerely yours,

The President replied to me in the following note:


    Confidentially (for I beg that you will be careful not to speak of or
    intimate this), I have been doing a number of things about this which
    I hope may bear fruit.


Mr. John D. Crimmins, a leading Irish sympathizer, addressed the following
letter to the President:

    Washington, D. C., April 28, 1917.


    The press this morning leads to the impression that at some timely
    hour, in your own manner, you will have a word on the Irish problem
    that at this moment appears to be near solution.

    It would be most timely and would have the heartfelt gratitude of
    millions of people in this and other lands who have long hoped, and
    many prayed, for Ireland as a small nation to have autonomy, thereby
    establishing peace with England and among English-speaking people.
    Then if an emergency should arise there would be all for one and one
    for all. Mr. President, you have gone a long step in that direction in
    declaring the rights of small nations--another step may be the means
    of reaching the goal for the Irish people.

    Faithfully yours,

    His Excellency,
    Woodrow Wilson.

The President read this letter with a great deal of interest and sent me
the following note, evidencing his sincere interest in all that Mr.
Crimmins had said:


    You are right about Mr. Crimmins having been a good friend, but I
    don't like to write any letters on this subject at present. I would
    appreciate it very much if you would assure him of my interest and of
    your knowledge of the fact that I am showing in every way I possibly
    can my sympathy with the claim of Ireland for home rule.


On December 3, 1919, Bishop Shahan, of the Catholic University, addressed
a letter to the President in behalf of the rector and faculties of the
Catholic University of America with reference to the question of Home
Rule, to which the President replied:


    3 December, 1919.


    Allow me to acknowledge your letter of November 30th written in behalf
    of the rector and faculties of the Catholic University of America, and
    to say that it will be my endeavour in regard to every question which
    arises before the Peace Conference to do my utmost to bring about the
    realization of the principles to which your letter refers. The
    difficulties and delicacy of the task are very great, and I cannot
    confidently forecast what I can do. I can only say that I shall be
    watchful of every opportunity to insist upon the principles I have

    Cordially and sincerely yours,

    The Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Shahan, Rector,
      Catholic University of America,
      Washington, D. C.

On December 3, 1918, he addressed a letter to Senator Thomas J. Walsh, of
Montana, as follows:


    3 December, 1919.


    I appreciate the importance of a proper solution of the Irish question
    and thank you for the suggestions of your letter of yesterday. Until I
    get on the other side and find my footing in delicate matters of this
    sort I cannot forecast with any degree of confidence what influence I
    can exercise, but you may be sure that I shall keep this important
    interest in mind and shall use my influence at every opportunity to
    bring about a just and satisfactory solution.

    I greatly value the expressions of your confidence and feel very much
    strengthened by them.

    With the best wishes,

    Cordially and sincerely yours,

    Hon. Thomas J. Walsh,
      United States Senate.

While the President was in Paris, I constantly kept him in touch with the
situation in this country, and that he was interested in bringing to the
attention of the Peace Conference the cause of Ireland is made clear by
the following cables that were exchanged between us.

On June 7, 1919, I cabled Admiral Grayson, for the President as follows:

    The White House, Washington,
    7 June, 1919.

    You cannot overestimate real intensity of feeling behind Irish
    question here. It is growing every day and is not at all confined to
    Irishmen. The passage of resolution of sympathy with almost unanimous
    vote in Senate last night is but a slight evidence of interest here. I
    wish the President could do just a little for I fear reaction here
    upon League of Nations. If this situation could be straightened out,
    it would help a great deal.


The President himself replied to this cable, showing the depth of his
interest in the matter:

    Paris, 8 June, 1919.

    I have tried to help in the Irish matter, but the extraordinary
    indiscretion of the American delegation over here has almost
    completely blocked everything.


On June 9, 1919, I received a further cable from the President, as

    Paris, 9 June, 1919.

    The American Committee of Irishmen have made it exceedingly difficult,
    if not impossible, to render the assistance we were diligently trying
    to render in the matter of bringing the Irish aspirations to the
    attention of the Peace Conference. By our unofficial activity in the
    matter we had practically cleared the way for the coming of the Irish
    Representatives to Paris when the American Commission went to Ireland
    and behaved in a way which so inflamed British opinion that the
    situation has got quite out of hand, and we are utterly at a loss how
    to act in the matter without involving the Government of the United
    States with the Government of Great Britain in a way which might
    create an actual breach between the two. I made an effort day before
    yesterday in this matter which shows, I am afraid, the utter futility
    of further efforts. I am distressed that the American Commission
    should have acted with such extreme indiscretion and lack of sense,
    and can at the moment see nothing further to do.


To this cable I replied as follows:

    The White House, Washington,
    9 June, 1919.

    Thanks for message about Ireland, Hope you will not allow
    indiscretions of American Commission to influence your judgment
    against Ireland. Lloyd George's mistakes in handling this will be his
    undoing, for it has in it the elements of a revolution. It is our own
    political situation here and the fate of the Treaty itself that
    concern me. In this country the Irish are united in this matter and in
    every large city and town are carrying on a propaganda, asking that
    Ireland be given the right of self-determination. George Creel, in a
    powerful article yesterday in the newspapers, said: _Quote_ The
    question of Ireland cannot be ignored, either in honour or decency
    _End quote_. I trust you can say a word. Could you not ask that Irish
    delegates be given a chance to present their case to the Conference?


On June 25, 1919, I sent the following cable to the President:

    General Maurice, in wonderful article in New York _Times_ on League of
    Nations, says about Ireland: _Quote_ One obvious need to complete the
    process of bringing all nations together is that we should show that
    we know what America did in the war, but there is another obvious
    need, which presents greater difficulties. We must have a policy in
    regard to Ireland, which we can explain to the American people. At
    present Ireland threatens to reopen all the rifts which comradeship in
    the war is closing _End quote_.

    The New York Evening _Post_ of last night prints the following

    _Quote_ Self-Government for the Irish people, short of independence,
    is a right and a necessity, and it is a satisfaction that once more a
    movement is under way for the establishment of Ireland on the basis
    which logic and history have determined--a dominion on an equal
    footing with the other dominions under the British crown _End quote_.

    Frankly, this represents the opinion of the average man in America,
    without regard to race or religion. The arrival of De Valera in
    America is going to intensify the feeling and the Republicans will
    take full advantage of it. Now that the League of Nations is on its
    feet, we should take the lead in this matter. It would do more toward
    bringing about a real comradeship between England and America than
    anything that could happen. I think that the situation in Africa,
    India, and the seriousness of the situation in Canada, will inevitably
    force England to consider these matters. It is in anticipation of this
    that I am anxious to have you play a leading part in this situation.
    It would do much to make the League of Nations a living, vital force
    in the affairs of the world. There are no boundary lines between free
    peoples any more.


           *       *       *       *       *

      White House, Washington.

      June 27, 1919.

    I entirely agree with the general tenor of your cable of the twenty-
    fifth about the Irish question and I firmly believe when the League of
    Nations is once organized it will afford a forum not now available for
    bringing the opinion of the world and of the United States in
    particular to bear on just such problems.


Of course, the thing which lay close to Woodrow Wilson's heart was the
setting up of the League of Nations. Unless England and France should
consent to the establishment of a league as part of a world settlement,
any solution of the Irish question through the influence of world opinion
was not in the reckoning. The wise, prudent thing, therefore, to do was
first to establish a world court before which the cause of any oppressed
peoples might be brought. This is just what he had in mind and what he
succeeded in doing. To have thrust a settlement of Ireland's affairs into
the foreground of the Peace Conference and to have made it a _sine qua
non_ would have been futile and foolish and might have resulted in
disaster. Unfortunately, the friends of Irish freedom, deprecating and
bitterly resenting well-considered methods like this, were desirous of
having the matter thrust into the early conferences at Paris. The
President knew that England would never consent to this and would resent
any attempt on his part to carry out idea. If the President had done so,
England would undoubtedly have withdrawn from the Conference and thus the
great cause of the League of Nations, which formed the foundation stone
upon which the Armistice was based, would have gone by the board. The
President was looking far beyond a mere recognition of the Irish Republic.
He was seeking to accomplish its security and guarantee its permanency
through the instrumentality of a world court like the League of Nations.
What would it have availed Ireland to have been granted Dominion
government or independence unless contemporaneously with the grant there
was set up an instrumentality that would guarantee and protect it? The
only thing upon which the Peace Conference functioned was the settlement
of the affairs of those nations affected by the war.

Why didn't Wilson bring Ireland's cause to the attention of the Peace
Conference? was the query which frequently reached us at the White House.
The President in his Western speeches discussed this matter in the
following way:

"It was not within the privilege of the Conference of peace to act upon
the right of self-determination of any peoples except those which had been
included in the territories of the defeated empires--that is to say, it
was not then within their power--but the moment the Covenant of the League
of Nations is adopted it becomes their right. If the desire for self-
determination of any people in the world is likely to affect the peace of
the world or the good understanding between nations it becomes the
business of the League; it becomes the right of any member of the League
to call attention to it; it becomes the function of the League to bring
the whole process of the opinion of the world to bear upon that very

"Article XI is the favourite article in the Treaty so far as I am
concerned. It says that every matter which is likely to affect the peace
of the world is everybody's business; that it shall be the friendly right
of any nation to call attention of the League to anything that is likely
to affect the peace of the world or the good understanding between
nations, upon which the peace of the world depends, whether that matter
immediately concerns the nation drawing attention to it or not. In other
words, at present we have to mind our own business, under the rules of
diplomacy and established custom. Under the covenant of the League of
Nations we can mind other people's business, and anything that affects the
peace of the world, whether we are parties to it or not, can by our
delegates be brought to the attention of mankind. We can force a nation on
the other side of the globe to bring to that bar of mankind any wrong that
is afoot in that part of the world which is likely to affect the good
understanding between nations, and we can oblige them to show cause why it
should not be remedied. There is not an oppressed people in the world
which cannot henceforth get a hearing at that forum, and you know what a
hearing will mean if the cause of those people is just. The one thing that
those doing injustice have most reason to dread is publicity and
discussion. At present what is the state of international law and
understanding? No nation has the right to call attention to anything that
does not directly affect its own affairs. If it does, it cannot only be
told to mind its own business, but it risks the cordial relationship
between itself and the nation whose affairs it draws under discussion;
whereas, under Article XI, which I had the honour of advocating, the very
sensible provision is made that the peace of the world transcends all the
susceptibilities of nations and governments, and that they are obliged to
consent to discuss and explain anything which does affect the good
understanding between nations."

Sir Frederick Pollock, in his valuable work on the League of Nations,
comments pointedly on this privilege:

    Various Irish writers, including some who deserve serious attention,
    have raised the question whether the standing problem of Irish
    autonomy can come before the League of Nations. There is only one way
    in which this could happen--namely, that the Government of the United
    States should declare Irish-American sympathy with unsatisfied
    nationalist claims in Ireland to be capable of disturbing good
    understanding between Great Britain and the United States. That is a
    possible event if a solution is not reached within a reasonable time,
    but it is more likely that a confidential intimation from the United
    States would not only precede a formal reference to the Council, but
    avoid the necessity for it.

 The friends of Ireland in this country have often asked me the question:
"Would Woodrow Wilson have intervened in behalf of Ireland?"

 I can answer this question only by saying that Ireland has never had a
truer friend than Woodrow Wilson. From the day that we went to war it has
been his steadfast purpose to induce the Government of England to settle
the Irish question justly and permanently. His statesmanlike approach to a
settlement of the problem is the only one that holds hope of success.

 As I completed this chapter, an article appeared in a Washington
newspaper apparently confirmatory of the President's foresight, showing
that by September, 1921, Mr. De Valera had arrived at the same view. The
article seems to show Mr. De Valera as insisting that the British
Government grant Ireland membership in the League of Nations as one of the
guarantees of autonomy.

 As for myself, I believe that Ireland is going to be free in company with
the rest of the world and in accordance with a new world order which shall
function through the machinery for justice and liberty which is provided
for in the Covenant of the League of Nations, and is provided for nowhere



One of the things for which the Wilson Administration was held to "strict
accountability" was the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Federal
Constitution, establishing nation-wide prohibition.

Unfair critics of the President, in their foolish attempt to charge the
Administration with every unusual happening in the eight years of
Democratic control, had stated that the President was the real motive
force that lay back of the movement to establish the Eighteenth Amendment
as part of the fundamental law of the country. As a matter of fact, during
the discussion of this amendment in the Senate and House, the President
maintained toward it an attitude of absolute neutrality. While he was an
ardent advocate of temperance, he felt that Congress in enforcing the
amendment by the passage of the Volstead Act, so extreme and unreasonable
in character, had gone a long way toward alienating the support of every
temperance-loving citizen in the country, and that certain of its
provisions had struck at the foundation of our government by its arbitrary
interference with personal liberty and freedom. He felt that the practical
unanimity with which the Eighteenth Amendment was supported arose from a
nation-wide resentment against abuses by the American saloon and the
economic evils that had grown out of the unorganized liquor traffic. He
felt that it was unreasonable for Congress, in the Volstead Act, to
declare any beverage containing an excess of one half of one per cent. of
alcohol intoxicating and that to frame a law which arbitrarily places
intoxicating and non-intoxicating beverages within the same classification
was openly to invite mental resentment against it. He was of the opinion
that it required no compromise or weakening of the Eighteenth Amendment in
order to deal justly and fairly with the serious protests that followed
the enactment into law of the Volstead Act. He was, therefore, in favour
of permitting the manufacture and sale, under proper governmental
regulations, of light wines and beers, which action in his opinion would
make it much easier to enforce the amendment in its essential particulars
and would help to end the illicit traffic in liquor which the Volstead Act
fostered by its very severity. This would put back of the enforcement of
the Eighteenth Amendment the public sentiment always necessary to the
execution of laws. Satisfied with a reasonable recognition of their rights
to personal liberty and control of their personal habits, he believed that
the American people would be the readier to turn their attention to the
grave issues of reconstruction and steadier in meeting these issues which
would test to the utmost our capacity for progressive self-government.

Time and time again when we discussed the Volstead Act, he would say: "The
wrong way of doing the right thing. You cannot regulate the morals and
habits of a great cosmopolitan people by placing unreasonable restrictions
upon their liberty and freedom. All such attempts can only end in failure
and disappointment. In the last analysis, in these matters that seek to
regulate personal habits and customs, public opinion is the great

In New Jersey, where he served as governor, the liquor question had been
for many years a burning issue and had been thrust into every
gubernatorial campaign up to the time when Woodrow Wilson as governor took
hold of the situation. Many political futures had been wrecked and wasted
by ambitious politicians who tried to "pussyfoot" on this issue. But there
was no shying away from it by Woodrow Wilson. When the question was
presented to him by the ardent advocates of the Anti-Saloon League early
in his administration as governor, without evasion of any kind, he stated
his views in the following letter addressed to the head of the Anti-Saloon

    Executive Office,
      Trenton, New Jersey.

    I am in favour of local option. I am a thorough believer in local
    self-government and believe that every self-governing community which
    constitutes a social unit should have the right to control the matter
    of the regulation or the withholding of licenses.

    But the questions involved are social and moral, not political, and
    are not susceptible of being made parts of a party programme. Whenever
    they have been made the subject matter of party contests, they have
    cut the lines of party organization and party action athwart, to the
    utter confusion of political action in every other field. They have
    thrown every other question, however important, into the background
    and have made constructive party action impossible for long years

    So far as I am myself concerned, therefore, I can never consent to
    have the question of local option made an issue between political
    parties in this state. My judgment is very clear in this matter. I do
    not believe that party programmes of the highest consequence to the
    political life of the state and the nation ought to be thrust to one
    side and hopelessly embarrassed for long periods together by making a
    political issue of a great question that is essentially non-
    political, non-partisan, moral and social in its nature.

Holding these views, that the liquor question was one which was
"essentially non-political, non-partisan, moral and social in its
nature," the President refused by any act of his to influence public
opinion when the Eighteenth Amendment was up for consideration in the
Senate and House.

He deeply resented and strenuously opposed the passage of war-time
prohibition as uncalled for and unnecessary. In his opinion, it was not a
food-conservation measure, but an out-and-out attempt by the anti-saloon
forces to use the war emergency to declare the country "dry" by
Congressional action. There was another reason for his attitude of
opposition to war-time prohibition. He believed with an embargo placed
upon beer, the consumption of whiskey, of which there were large stocks in
the country, would be stimulated and increased to a great extent. In this
opinion he was supported by Mr Herbert Hoover, Food Administrator. In a
letter of May 28, 1918, to Senator Sheppard, the leader of the prohibition
forces in the Senate, he explained his opposition to war-time prohibition
in these words:


    May 28, 1918.

      United States Senate.


    I was very much distressed by the action of the House. I do not think
    that it is wise or fair to attempt to put such compulsion on the
    Executive in a matter in which he has already acted almost to the
    limit of his authority. What is almost entirely overlooked is that
    there were, as I am informed, very large stocks of whiskey in this
    country, and it seems to me quite certain that if the brewing of beer
    were prevented entirely, along with all other drinks, many of them
    harmless, which are derived from food and food stuffs, the consumption
    of whiskey would be stimulated and increased to a very considerable

    My own judgment is that it is wise and statesmanlike to let the
    situation stand as it is for the present, until at any rate I shall be
    apprised by the Food Administration that it is necessary in the way
    suggested still further to conserve the supply of food and food
    stuffs. The Food Administration has not thought it necessary to go any
    further than we have in that matter already gone.

    I thank you most cordially, Senator, for your kindness in consulting
    me in this matter, which is of very considerable importance, and has a
    very distinct bearing upon many collateral questions.

    Cordially and sincerely yours,

War-time prohibition was ingenuously made part of the Agricultural
Appropriation Bill, which contained many items necessary for the effective
prosecution of the war. So strongly did the President feel about the
matter, that I am frank to say that if war-time prohibition had stood
alone and was disconnected from any other bill, I believe it would have
been vetoed.

After the Armistice, agitation at once began, inspired by the "dry"
advocates throughout the country, to prolong war-time prohibition, but the
President felt that the object and purpose of war-time prohibition, if any
ever existed, having been served, it was only right, proper, and fair that
there should be an immediate repeal of it, and that only resentment and
restlessness throughout the country would follow the attempt to prolong
war-time prohibition beyond the time provided in the statute which created

It was unfortunate that the "dry" advocates did not see the thing through
the eyes of the President. Apparently not fully satisfied with the victory
they had won through the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment, they sought
to push the advantage thus gained still further, and through war-time
prohibition to establish their policy of restriction as a permanent policy
of the country. Realizing that prohibition as a permanent policy and by
constitutional amendment had been definitely established in a
constitutional way, the President was reluctant to take a stand that would
even in spirit be a violation of this, but he also felt that the "dry"
advocates were simply using a war crisis ruthlessly to press forward their
views and to cajole vacillating congressmen into supporting it because it
was known as a "dry" measure. In a letter which I addressed to the
President on September 7, 1918, I strongly urged the veto of the
Agricultural Appropriation Bill containing war-time prohibition:


    September 7, 1918.


    In the discussion we had a few days ago with reference to the pending
    "dry" legislation, I tried to emphasize the fact that under the Food
    Control Law you had the power to do what Congress is now seeking to do
    in a way that will cause great irritation. Your action of yesterday
    fixing December first as the day on which the prohibition of the
    manufacture of beer is to take place, I believe, strengthens what I
    said. Your action and the action of the Senate a day or two ago in
    giving you the right to establish zones about shipyards and munitions
    plants again shows the unnecessary character of this legislation. You
    are, therefore, now in a strong position to veto this legislation as
    unnecessary and unwarranted.

    In view of all of this, I wish to emphasize the dangers, both of a
    political and industrial character, that confront us should we agree
    to go forward with those who favour legislation of this radical and
    restricted character. Even the most ardent prohibitionists fear the
    reactionary effect of this legislation upon the pending constitutional
    amendment. I am afraid of its effects upon the voters of our party in
    the large centres of population throughout the country, and of the
    deep resentment from all classes that is bound to follow.

    In matters of legislation that seek to regulate the morals and habits
    of the people, the average American feels the only safe course to
    follow is the method set forth in the Constitution for the regulation
    of these vital matters. The proponents of this measure agree that it
    is not a conservation measure, but that it is an out-and-out attempt
    to declare the country "dry." In my opinion, it is mob legislation,
    pure and simple.

    The danger of submitting quietly to any class legislation that has its
    basis in intolerance, especially at a time like this where the
    emotions of people can be whipped into a fury, is obvious. Your
    strength in the country comes from the feeling on the part of the
    people that under no circumstances can you be "hazed" by any class. If
    you yield in this instance, similar demands from other sources will
    rise to harass and embarrass you.

    The viewpoint of the gentlemen on the Hill in charge of this bill is
    provincial. They have no idea of the readjustments that will have to
    come in the finances of our largest cities and municipalities through
    the country. Tax rates are bound to go up. Increased taxation in large
    cities, coming at a time when federal taxes are growing more
    burdensome, is bound to play a large part in the opinion of the
    people, and we cannot escape our responsibility if we seem to be
    afraid to oppose legislation of this kind. Our policy in every matter
    at this time should be one based upon magnanimity and tolerance toward
    every class and interest in the country.

Under date of May 9, 1919, I sent the following cable to the President who
was then in Paris:

    I sincerely hope you will consider the advisability of raising the
    embargo on beer. The most violent reaction has taken place throughout
    the country since the enactment of this law, especially in the larger
    cities. It is not, I assure you, the result of brewery propaganda. It
    comes from many of the humbler sort who resent this kind of federal
    interference with their rights. We are being blamed for all this
    restrictive legislation because you insist upon closing down all
    breweries and thus making prohibition effective July first. The
    country would be more ready to accept prohibition brought about by
    Constitutional amendment than have it made effective by Presidential
    ukase. The psychological effect of raising this embargo would be of
    incalculable benefit to America in every way at this time. The
    Springfield _Republican_ says, _Quote_ The establishment of national
    prohibition by Federal statute, through the mere act of Congress, does
    not appeal to one as so desirable as the establishment of national
    prohibition by the direct action of three fourths of the states _End
    Quote_. The war-time Prohibition Law, according to the text of the
    Act, was enacted for the purpose of conserving the man-power of the
    nation and to increase the efficiency in the production of arms,
    munitions, ships, and for the Army and Navy.

    The New York _World_, in an editorial, says: _Quote_ This war-time
    prohibition act is breeding social, industrial, and economic
    discontent every day. What makes it still more infamous is that under
    its provisions the rich man, because he has money, can accumulate for
    his personal consumption whatever stocks of wines and liquors he
    pleases, but the workingman, because he cannot afford to lay in a
    supply of anything, is deprived even of a glass of beer with his
    evening meal. There has never been another such measure of outrageous
    class and social discrimination on the statute books of the United
    States. It should never have been enacted by Congress. It should never
    have been signed by the President. If it is not repealed it is bound
    to cause more trouble than any other piece of Federal legislation
    since the Fugitive Slave Act _End Quote_.

    By taking vigorous action in this matter, you would do more for the
    cause of real temperance and hearten those people who feel the sting
    of the wave of intolerance which is now spreading over the country
    than anything you could think of. I wish I could meet you face to face
    and try to impress upon you the utter necessity for this action. You
    will have to take action soon.


On May 12, 1919, I received the following cable from the President:


  TUMULTY, White House,

    Please ask the Attorney General to advise me what action I can take
    with regard to removing the ban from the manufacture of drink and as
    to the form the action should take.


On May 12, 1919, I replied to this cable as follows:

  White House, Washington,
    May 12, 1919.

    Paris, France.

    Have consulted Attorney General with regard to removing ban upon
    manufacture of alcoholic liquor. Am in receipt of a letter from him in
    which he says: _Quote_ The only action you can take until
    demobilization may be determined and proclaimed, will be to issue a
    public statement or send a message to Congress declaring that since
    the purpose of the Act has been entirely satisfied, nothing prevents
    your lifting the ban on the manufacture and sale of beer, wine, or
    other intoxicating malt or vinous liquors except the limitations
    imposed by the Act which maintains it in force until demobilization is
    terminated after the conclusion of the war. _End Quote_


On May 20, 1919, in a message to Congress, the President made the
following recommendation with reference to war-time prohibition:

    The demobilization of the military forces of the country has
    progressed to such a point that it seems to me entirely safe now to
    remove the ban upon the manufacture and sale of wines and beers, but I
    am advised that without further legislation I have not the legal
    authority to remove the present restrictions. I therefore recommend
    that the Act approved November 21, 1918, entitled "an Act to enable
    the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out, during the fiscal year
    ending June 30, 1919, the purposes of the Act, entitled 'An Act to
    provide further for the national security and defense by stimulating
    agriculture and facilitating the distribution of agricultural
    products, and for other purposes,' be amended and repealed in so far
    as it applies to wines and beers."

Congress refused to act upon the President's recommendation.

Under date of June 27, 1919, I sent the following cable to the President:

    There are only four days left until nation-wide prohibition becomes
    effective and the country will go on a whiskey basis unless you act to
    suspend it. Everything that has happened in the last few weeks
    confirms the views I expressed to you in May excepting that added
    force has been given to every argument made, especially by the action
    of the American Federation of Labour whose membership almost
    unanimously voted at its convention for lifting the ban. The action of
    Canada in lifting the ban is regarded by the country as significant.
    Workingmen and common people all over the country cannot understand
    why light wines and beer cannot be permitted until the Constitutional
    amendment becomes effective. Only this week the Pennsylvania
    Legislature voted to legalize two and three-quarters per cent, beer
    and light wines. Similar action will follow in other states. The
    consensus of opinion in the press is that if prohibition is to be
    effective, it might better be by action of three quarters of the
    states rather than by Presidential proclamation for which you alone
    and our party would bear the responsibility. The prohibitionists in
    Congress are fearful that the enforcement of wartime prohibition will
    cause a harmful reaction on real prohibition, and I believe that they
    are secretly in favour of your lifting the ban for this reason.
    Demobilization figures officially announced by the War Department show
    that the number of troops now remaining in service is practically only
    the number of troops in the Regular Army. Samuel Gompers, Mary Roberts
    Rinehart, Mrs. Douglass Robinson, sister of the late Theodore
    Roosevelt, Miss Gertrude Atherton, Frank S. Goodnow, president of
    Johns Hopkins University, and Cardinal Gibbons out in strong statement
    favouring retention of beer and light wines. If you do not intend to
    lift the ban on July first, you can announce your intention to suspend
    it as soon as the War Department notifies you demobilization is
    accomplished which, the best opinion says, will be August first. The
    feeling all over the country is one of harmful uncertainty and I
    strongly recommend that a definite announcement, of some nature which
    will clear the atmosphere, be made.


On June 28, 1919, I again cabled the President, as follows:

    The White House, Washington,
      28 June, 1919.


    Received your message saying that you do not intend to lift the ban.
    The Republicans have been industriously spreading the story throughout
    the country that you in fact have power under the Act of November 21,
    1918, to lift the ban. I think it important, wise, and politic,
    therefore, for you to make a statement which we can issue from the
    White House along the following lines: _Quote_ I am convinced that I
    have no legal power at this time in the matter of the ban of liquor.
    Under the Act of November 21, 1918, my power to take action is
    restricted. The Act provides that after June 30, 1919, until the
    conclusion of the present war and thereafter until the termination of
    demobilization, the date of which shall be determined and proclaimed
    by the President, it shall be unlawful, etc. This law does not specify
    that the ban shall be lifted with the signing of peace but with the
    termination of the demobilization of the troops, and I cannot say that
    that has been accomplished. My information from the War Department is
    that there are still a million men in the service under the emergency
    call. It is clear, therefore, that the failure of Congress to act upon
    the suggestion contained in my message of the 20th of May, 1919,
    asking for a repeal of the Act of November 21, 1918, so far as it
    applies to wines and beers, makes it impossible to act in this matter
    at this time. Of course when demobilization is terminated, my power to
    act without congressional action will be exercised _End quote_.


The President replied to my cables as follows:

    Paris, June 28, 1919.

      White House, Washington.

    Please issue following statement: I am convinced that the Attorney
    General is right in advising me that I have no legal power at this
    time in the matter of the ban on liquor. Under the act of November,
    1918, my power to take action is restricted. The act provides that
    after June 30, 1919, until the conclusion of the present war and
    thereafter until the termination of demobilization, the date of which
    shall be determined and proclaimed by the President, it shall be
    unlawful, etc. This law does not specify that the ban shall be lifted
    with the signing of peace but with the termination of the
    demobilization of the troops and I cannot say that that has been
    accomplished. My information from the War Department is that there are
    still a million men in the service under the emergency call. It is
    clear therefore that the failure of Congress to act upon the
    suggestion contained in my message of the twentieth of May, 1919,
    asking for a repeal of the Act of November 21, 1918, so far as it
    applies to wines and beers makes it impossible to act in this matter
    at this time. When demobilization is terminated my power to act
    without congressional action will be exercised.


When the Volstead Act reached the President, he found, upon examining it,
that it in no way repealed war-time prohibition, and so he vetoed it.

In vetoing it, he admonished Congress, that "in all matters having to do
with the personal habits and customs of large numbers of people, we must
be certain that the established processes of legal change are followed. In
no other way can the salutary object sought to be accomplished by great
reforms of this character be made satisfactory and permanent."

The House of Representatives with its overwhelming "dry" majority passed
the Volstead Act over the President's veto. The President clearly foresaw
the inevitable reaction that would follow its passage and its enforcement
throughout the country.

As the days of the San Francisco Convention approached, he felt that it
was the duty of the Democratic party frankly to speak out regarding the
matter and boldly avow its attitude toward the unreasonable features of
the Volstead enforcement act. In his conferences with the Democratic
leaders he took advantage of every opportunity to put before them the
necessity for frank and courageous action. So deep were his convictions
about this vital matter, that it was his intention, shortly after the
passage of the Volstead Act over his veto, to send a special message to
Congress regarding the matter, asking for the repeal of the Volstead Act
and the passage of legislation permitting the manufacture and sale of
light wines, or at least a modification of the Volstead Act, changing the
alcoholic content of beer.

Upon further consideration of the matter it was agreed that it would be
unwise to ask for any change at the hands of a congress that had so
overwhelmingly expressed its opinion in opposition to any such
modification. We, therefore, thought it wise to conserve our energies and
to await the psychological moment at the Convention for putting forward
the President's programme.

A few days before the Convention the President delivered to a trusted
friend a copy of a proposed "wet" plank, and asked his friend to submit it
to the Committee on Resolutions at the Convention in San Francisco. The
tentative draft of the plank was as follows:

    We recognize that the American saloon is opposed to all social, moral,
    and economic order, and we pledge ourselves to its absolute
    elimination by the passage of such laws as will finally and
    effectually exterminate it. But we favour the repeal of the Volstead
    Act and the substitution for it of a law permitting the manufacture
    and sale of light wines and beer.

Evidently, the trusted friend who had this matter in charge felt that the
"dry" atmosphere of the Convention was unfavourable and so the President's
plank, prepared by himself, was not even given a hearing before the
Committee on Resolutions.



Upon his return home from Paris, the President immediately invited, in
most cordial fashion, the members of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee to confer with him at the White House. Some of those who
received the invitation immediately announced that as a condition
precedent to their acceptance they would insist that the conference should
not be secret in character and that what would happen there should be
disclosed to the public. The President quickly accepted the conditions
proposed by the Republican senators and made a statement from the White
House that the conditions which the conferees named were highly acceptable
to him and that he was willing and anxious to give to the public a
stenographic report of everything that transpired.

In view of subsequent history, the conversation between the President and
Senator Harding about the distinction between "legal" and "moral"
obligations, which was interesting at the time, takes on an added
interest. Said Senator Harding: "If there is nothing more than a moral
obligation on the part of any member of the league, what avail articles X
and XI?"

_The President_: Why, Senator, it is surprising that that question should
be asked. If we undertake an obligation, we are bound in the most solemn
way to carry it out.

_Senator Harding_: If you believe there is nothing more to this than a
moral obligation, any nation will assume a moral obligation on its own
account. Is it a moral obligation? The point I am trying to get at is:
Suppose something arises affecting the peace of the world, and the council
takes steps as provided here to conserve or preserve, and announces its
decision, and every nation in the League takes advantage of the
construction that you place upon these articles and says: "Well, this is
only a moral obligation, and we assume that the nation involved does not
deserve our participation or protection," and the whole thing amounts to
nothing but an expression of the league council.

_The President_: There is a national good conscience in such a matter. I
should think that was one of the most serious things that could possibly
happen. When I speak of a legal obligation, I mean one that specifically
binds you to do a particular thing under certain sanctions. That is a
legal obligation, and, if I may say so, has a greater binding force; only
there always remains in the moral obligation the right to exercise one's
judgment as to whether it is indeed incumbent upon one in those
circumstances to do that thing. In every moral obligation there is an
element of judgment. In a legal obligation there is no element of

Never before did the President show himself more tactful or more brilliant
in repartee. Surrounded by twenty or thirty men, headed by Senator Lodge,
who hated him with a bitterness that was intense, the President, with
quiet courtesy, parried every blow aimed at him.

No question, no matter how pointed it was, seemed to disturb his serenity.
He acted like a lawyer who knew his case from top to bottom, and who had
confidence in the great cause he was representing. His cards were frankly
laid upon the table and he appeared like a fighting champion, ready to
meet all comers. Indeed, this very attitude of frankness, openness,
sincerity, and courtesy, one could see from the side-lines, was a cause of
discomfort to Senator Lodge and the Republicans grouped about him, and one
could also see written upon the faces of the Democratic senators in that
little room a look of pride that they had a leader who carried himself so
gallantly and who so brilliantly met every onslaught of the enemy. The
President anticipated an abrupt adjournment of the conference with a
courteous invitation to luncheon. Senator Lodge had just turned to the
President and said: "Mr. President, I do not wish to interfere in any way,
but the conference has now lasted about three hours and a half, and it is
half an hour after the lunch hour." Whereupon, the President said: "Will
not you gentlemen take luncheon with me? It will be very delightful."

It was evident that this invitation, so cordially conveyed, broke the ice
of formality which up to that time pervaded the meeting, and like boys out
of school, forgetting the great affair in which they had all played
prominent parts, they made their way to the dining room, the President
walking by the side of Senator Lodge. Instead of fisticuffs, as some of
the newspaper men had predicted, the lion and the lamb sat down together
at the dining table, and for an hour or two the question of the
ratification of the Treaty of Versailles was forgotten in the telling of
pleasant stories and the play of repartee.

Although, at this conference of August 19, 1919, the President had frankly
opened his mind and heart to the enemies of the Treaty, the opposition
instead of moderating seemed to grow more intense and passionate. The
President had done everything humanly possible to soften the opposition of
the Republicans, but, alas, the information brought to him from the Hill
by his Democratic friends only confirmed the opinion that the opposition
to the Treaty was growing and could not be overcome by personal contact of
any kind between the President and members of the Foreign Relations

It is plain now, and will become plainer as the years elapse, that the
Republican opposition to the League was primarily partisan politics and a
rooted personal dislike of the chief proponent of the League, Mr. Wilson.
His reëlection in 1916, the first reëlection of an incumbent Democratic
President since Andrew Jackson, had greatly disturbed the Republican
leaders. The prestige of the Republican party was threatened by this
Democratic leader. His reception in Europe added to their distress. For
the sake of the sacred cause of Republicanism, this menace of Democratic
leadership must be destroyed, even though in destroying it the leaders
should swallow their own words and reverse their own former positions on
world adjustment.

An attempt was made by enemies of the President to give the impression to
the country that an association of nations was one of the "fool ideas" of
Woodrow Wilson; that in making it part of his Fourteen Points, he was
giving free rein to his idealism. As a matter of fact, the idea did not
originate with Woodrow Wilson. If its American origin were traced, it
would be found that the earliest supporters of the idea were Republicans.

I remember with what reluctance the President accepted the invitation of
the League to Enforce Peace, tendered by Mr. Taft, to deliver an address
on May 27, 1916, at the New Willard Hotel, Washington, a meeting at which
one of the principal speakers was no less a personage than Senator Henry
Cabot Lodge, with Mr. Taft presiding. For many months the President had
been revolving this idea in his mind and for a long time he was reluctant
to accept any invitation that would seem to give approval to the idea. He
patiently waited to make a complete survey of the whole world situation,
to be convinced that the permanent participation of the United States in
world affairs was a necessity if peace was to be secured.

It was not an easy thing to draw the President away from the traditional
policy of aloofness and isolation which had characterized the attitude of
the United States in all international affairs. But the invitation to
discuss universal peace, urged upon the President by ex-President William
H. Taft, was finally accepted.

In that speech he said: "We are participants, whether we would or not, in
the life of the world, and the interests of all nations are our own;
henceforth, there must be a common agreement for a common object, and at
the heart of that common object must lie the inviolable rights of peoples
and of mankind. We believe these fundamental things: First, that every
people has a right to choose the sovereignty under which they shall live.
Second, that the small states of the world have a right to enjoy the same
respect for their sovereignty and for their territorial integrity that
great and powerful nations expect and insist upon. [This idea was
substantially embodied in Article X]; and third, that the world has a
right to be free from every disturbance of its peace that has its origin
in aggression and disregard of the rights of peoples and nations."

These statements were uttered in the presence of Senator Lodge and
applauded by Mr. Taft and his Republican associates gathered at the

The President, continuing his address, then gave expression to his views
regarding the means to attain these ends. He was convinced that there
should be an "universal association of the nations to maintain the
inviolate security of the highway of the seas for the common use of all
nations of the world, and to prevent any war begun either contrary to
treaty agreements or without warning and full submission of the causes to
the opinion of the world--a virtual guarantee of territorial integrity and
political independence." And he ventured to assert, in the presence of
Senator Lodge, who afterward became the leader of the opposition to these
very ideas, "that the United States is willing to become a partner in any
feasible association of nations formed in order to realize these objects
and make them secure against violation."

Woodrow Wilson believed that the League of Nations was the first modern
attempt to prevent war by discussion in the open and not behind closed
doors or "within the cloistered retreats of European diplomacy." To him
the League of Nations was the essence of Christianity. Yet when he took up
the advocacy of the League of Nations, Senator Lodge, the spokesman of the
Republican party at the dinner of the League to Enforce Peace, became the
leader in bitter opposition to it.

Senator Lodge at this very dinner on May 27, 1916, delivered the following

    I know, and no one, I think, can know better than one who has served
    long in the Senate, which is charged with an important share of the
    ratification and confirmation of all treaties; no one can, I think,
    feel more deeply than I do the difficulties which confront us in the
    work which this league--that is, the great association extending
    throughout the country, known as the League to Enforce Peace--
    undertakes, but the difficulties cannot be overcome unless we try to
    overcome them. I believe much can be done. Probably it will be
    impossible to stop all wars, but it certainly will be possible to stop
    some wars, and thus diminish their number. The way in which this
    problem must be worked out must be left to this league and to those
    who are giving this great subject the study which it deserves. I know
    the obstacles. I know how quickly we shall be met with the statement
    that this is a dangerous question which you are putting into your
    argument, that no nation can submit to the judgment of other nations,
    and we must be careful at the beginning not to attempt too much. I
    know the difficulties which arise when we speak of anything which
    seems to involve an alliance, but I do not believe that when
    Washington warned us against entangling alliances he meant for one
    moment that we should not join with the other civilized nations of the
    world if a method could be found to diminish war and encourage peace.

    It was a year ago in delivering the chancellor's address at Union
    College I made an argument on this theory, that if we were to promote
    international peace at the close of the present terrible war, if we
    were to restore international law as it must be restored, we must find
    some way in which the united forces of the nations could be put behind
    the cause of peace and law. I said then that my hearers might think
    that I was picturing a Utopia, but it is in the search of Utopias that
    great discoveries are made. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime.
    This league certainly has the highest of all aims for the benefits of
    humanity, and because the pathway is sown with difficulties is no
    reason that we should turn from it.

Theodore Roosevelt, in his Nobel Prize thesis, also expressed himself as
follows, with reference to an association of nations:

    The one permanent move for obtaining peace which has yet been
    suggested with any reasonable chance of obtaining its object is by an
    agreement among the great powers, in which each should pledge itself
    not only to abide by the decisions of a common tribunal, but to back
    with force the decision of that common tribunal. The great civilized
    nations of the world which do not possess force, actual or immediately
    potential, should combine by solemn agreement in a great world league
    for the peace of righteousness.

Upon the President taking up the League of Nations fight, Senator Lodge
drew away from it as if in fear and trembling and began discussing our
responsibilities abroad, evidencing a complete change of heart. He no
longer asked Americans to be generous and fearless, but said:

    The hearts of the vast majority of mankind would beat on strongly
    without any quickening if the League were to perish altogether.

The first objection to the League of Nations, urged by Senator Lodge, was
that it involved the surrender of our sovereignty. There is a striking
analogy between the argument of Senator Lodge and those put forth by
gentlemen in Washington's day who feared that the proposed Constitution
which was designed to establish a federal union would mean danger,
oppression, and disaster. Mr. Singletary of Massachusetts, Mr. Lowndes of
South Carolina, Mr. Grayson of Virginia, even Patrick Henry himself,
foresaw the virtual subjugation of the States through a Constitution which
at that time was often called the Treaty between the Thirteen States.

As Senator Brandegee and others contended that the Covenant of the League
of Nations was a "muddy, murky, and muddled document," so Mr. Williams of
New York, in 1788, charged "ambiguity" against the proposed Constitution,
saying that it was "absolutely impossible to know what we give up and what
we retain."

Mandates and similar bogies had their counterpart in Washington's day.
George Mason, fearful like Senator Sherman of Illinois in a later day,
"apprehended the possibility of Congress calling in the militia of Georgia
to quell disturbances in New Hampshire."

The attitude of George Washington in his day was very similar to that of
Woodrow Wilson. Writing to Knox, on August 19, 1797, he said: "I am fully
persuaded it [meaning the Federal Constitution] is the best that can be
obtained at this time. And, as a constitutional door is open for amendment
hereafter, our adoption of it, under the present circumstances of the
union, is in my opinion desirable." And of the opponents of the proposed
Constitution he said, "The major part of them will, it is to be feared, be
governed by sinister and self-important motives."

The storm centre of the whole fight against the League was the opposition
personally conducted by Senator Lodge and others of the Republican party
against the now famous Article X. The basis of the whole Republican
opposition was their fear that America would have to bear some
responsibility in the affairs of the world, while the strength of Woodrow
Wilson's position was his faith that out of the war, with all its blood
and tears, would come this great consummation.

It was the President's idea that we should go into the League and bear our
responsibilities; that we should enter it as gentlemen, scorning
privilege. He did not wish us to sneak in and enjoy its advantages and
shirk its responsibilities, but he wanted America to enter boldly and not
as a hypocrite.

With reference to the argument made by Senator Lodge against our going
into the League, saying that it would be a surrender of American
sovereignty and a loss of her freedom, the President often asked the
question on his Western trip: How can a nation preserve its freedom except
through concerted action? We surrender part of our freedom in order to
save the rest of it. Discussing this matter one day, he said: "One cannot
have an omelet without breaking eggs. By joining the League of Nations, a
nation loses, not its individual freedom, but its selfish isolation. The
only freedom it loses is the freedom to do wrong. Robinson Crusoe was free
to shoot in any direction on his island until Friday came. Then there was
one direction in which he could not shoot. His freedom ended where
Friday's rights began."

There would have been no Federal Union to-day if the individual states
that went to make up the Federal Union were not willing to surrender the
powers they exercised, to surrender their freedom as it were.

Opponents of the League tried to convey the impression that under Article
X we should be obliged to send our boys across the sea and that in that
event America's voice would not be the determining voice.

Lloyd George answered this argument in a crushing way, when he said:

    We cannot, unless we abandon the whole basis of the League of Nations,
    disinterest ourselves in an attack upon the existence of a nation
    which is a member of that league and whose life is in jeopardy. That
    covenant, as I understand it, does not contemplate, necessarily,
    military action in support of the imperilled nation. It contemplates
    economic pressure; it contemplates support for the struggling people;
    and when it is said that if you give any support at all to Poland it
    involves a great war, with conscription and with all the mechanism of
    war with which we have been so familiar in the last few years, that is
    inconsistent with the whole theory of the covenant into which we have
    entered. We contemplated other methods of bringing pressure to bear
    upon the recalcitrant nation that is guilty of acts of aggression
    against other nations and endangering their independence.

The Republicans who attacked the President on Article X had evidently
forgotten what Theodore Roosevelt said about the one effective move for
obtaining peace, when he urged: "The nations should agree on certain
rights that should not be questioned, such as territorial integrity, their
rights to deal with their domestic affairs, and with such matters as whom
they should admit to citizenship." They had, also, evidently forgotten
that Mr. Taft said: "The arguments against Article X which have been most
pressed are those directed to showing that under its obligations the
United States can be forced into many wars and to burdensome expeditionary
forces to protect countries in which it has no legitimate interest. This
objection will not bear examination."

Mr. Taft answered the question of one of the Republican critics if Article
X would not involve us in war, in the following statement:

How much will it involve us in war? Little, if any. In the first place,
the universal boycott, first to be applied, will impose upon most nations
such a withering isolation and starvation that in most cases it will be
effective. In the second place, we'll not be drawn into any war in which
it will not be reasonable and convenient for us to render efficient aid,
because the plan of the Council must be approved by our representatives,
as already explained. In the third place, the threat of the universal
boycott and the union of overwhelming forces of the members of the League,
if need be, will hold every nation from violating Article X, and Articles
XII, XIII, and XV, unless there is a world conspiracy, as in this war, in
which case the earliest we get into the war, the better.

Evidently Mr. Taft did not look upon Article X as the bugaboo that Mr.
Lodge pretended it was, for he said:

Article X covers the Monroe Doctrine _and extends it to the world_. The
League is not a super-sovereign, but a partnership intended to secure to
us and all nations only the sovereignty we can properly have, i.e.,
sovereignty regulated by the international law and morality consistent
with the same sovereignty of other nations. The United States is not under
this constitution to be forced into actual war against its will. This
League is to be regarded in conflict with the advice of Washington only
from a narrow and reactionary viewpoint.

Mr. Herbert Hoover, now a member of Mr. Harding's Cabinet, in a speech
delivered on October 3, 1919, answering the argument that America would be
compelled to send her boys to the other side, said:

    We hear the cry that the League obligates that our sons be sent to
    fight in foreign lands. Yet the very intent and structure of the
    League is to prevent wars. There is no obligation for the United
    States to engage in military operations or to allow any interference
    with our internal affairs without the full consent of our
    representatives in the League.

And further discussing the revision of the Treaty, Mr. Hoover said:

    I am confident that if we attempt now to revise the Treaty we shall
    tread on a road through European chaos. Even if we managed to keep our
    soldiers out of it we will not escape fearful economic losses. If the
    League is to break down we must at once prepare to fight. Few people
    seem to realize the desperation to which Europe has been reduced.



Tentative plans for a Western trip began to be formed in the White House
because of the urgent insistence from Democratic friends on the Hill that
nothing could win the fight for the League of Nations except a direct
appeal to the country by the President in person.

Admiral Grayson, the President's physician and consistent friend, who knew
his condition and the various physical crises through which he had passed
here and on the other side, from some of which he had not yet recovered,
stood firm in his resolve that the President should not go West, even
intimating to me that the President's life might pay the forfeit if his
advice were disregarded. Indeed, it needed not the trained eye of a
physician to see that the man whom the senators were now advising to make
a "swing around the circle" was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. More
than once since his return from the Peace Conference I had urged him to
take a needed rest; to get away from the turmoil of Washington and
recuperate; but he spurned this advice and resolved to go through to the

No argument of ours could draw him away from his duties, which now
involved not only the fight for the ratification of the Treaty, but the
threatened railway strike, with its attendant evils to the country, and
added administrative burdens growing out of the partisanship fight which
was being waged in Congress for the ostensible purpose of reducing the
high cost of living.

One day, after Democratic senators had been urging the Western trip, I
took leave to say to the President that, in his condition, disastrous
consequences might result if he should follow their advice. But he
dismissed my solicitude, saying in a weary way: "I know that I am at the
end of my tether, but my friends on the Hill say that the trip is
necessary to save the Treaty, and I am willing to make whatever personal
sacrifice is required, for if the Treaty should be defeated, God only
knows what would happen to the world as a result of it. In the presence of
the great tragedy which now faces the world, no decent man can count his
own personal fortunes in the reckoning. Even though, in my condition, it
might mean the giving up of my life, I will gladly make the sacrifice to
save the Treaty."

He spoke like a soldier who was ready to make the supreme sacrifice to
save the cause that lay closest to his heart.

As I looked at the President while he was talking, in my imagination I
made a comparison between the man, Woodrow Wilson, who now stood before me
and the man I had met many years before in New Jersey. In those days he
was a vigorous, agile, slender man, active and alert, his hair but
slightly streaked with gray. Now, as he stood before me discussing the
necessity for the Western trip, he was an old man, grown grayer and
grayer, but grimmer and grimmer in his determination, like an old warrior,
to fight to the end.

There was another whose heroism was no less than his, Mrs. Wilson. She has
since referred to the Western trip as "one long nightmare," though in the
smiling face which she turned upon the crowds from Columbus to San Diego
and back to Pueblo none could have detected a trace of the anxiety that
was haunting her. She met the shouting throngs with the same reposeful
dignity and radiant, friendly smile with which she had captivated the
people of England, France, Italy, and Belgium.

At home and abroad she has always had a peculiar power to attract the
populace, though she herself has never craved the spotlight. Like her
husband, she finds home more congenial, and, like him, she prefers not to
be written about.

In her husband's career she has played a notable rôle, the more noble
because self-effacing. She has consistently disavowed intention to
participate actively in public affairs, and yet in many a crisis she, out
of her strong intelligence and sagacity, has been able to offer timely,
wise suggestion. No public man ever had a more devoted helpmeet, and no
wife a husband more dependent upon her sympathetic understanding of his
problems. The devotion between these two has not been strengthened, for
that would be impossible, but deepened by the President's long illness.
Mrs. Wilson's strong physical constitution, combined with strength of
character and purpose, has sustained her under a strain which must have
wrecked most women. When the strong man broke, she nursed him as tenderly
as a mother nurses a child.

Mrs. Wilson must have left the White House for that ill-omened journey
with a sinking heart, for she knew, none better, that her husband was
suffering from accumulated fatigue, and that he should be starting on a
long vacation instead of a fighting tour that would tax the strength of an
athlete in the pink of condition. For seven practically vacationless years
he had borne burdens too great for any constitution; he had conducted his
country through the greatest of all wars; he had contended, at times
single-handed, in Paris with the world's most adroit politicians; he had
there been prostrated with influenza, that treacherous disease which
usually maims for a time those whom it does not kill, and he had not given
himself a chance to recuperate; he had returned to America to engage in
the most desperate conflict of his career with the leaders of the
opposition party; and now, when it was clear even to his men friends, and
much clearer to the intuition of a devoted wife, that nature was crying
out for rest, he was setting out on one of the most arduous programmes of
public speaking known even in our country, which is familiar with these
strenuous undertakings. Mrs. Wilson's anxieties must have increased with
each successive day of the journey, but not even to we of the immediate
party did she betray her fears. Her resolution was as great as his.

When the great illness came she had to stand between him and the peril of
exhaustion from official cares, yet she could not, like the more
fortunately obscure, withdraw her husband from business altogether and
take him away to some quiet place for restoration. As head of the nation
he must be kept in touch with affairs, and during the early months of his
illness she was the chief agent in keeping him informed of public
business. Her high intelligence and her extraordinary memory enabled her
to report to him daily, in lucid detail, weighty matters of state brought
to her by officials for transmission to him. At the proper time, when he
was least in pain and least exhausted, she would present a clear, oral
resume of each case and lay the documents before him in orderly

As woman and wife, the first thought of her mind and the first care of her
heart must be for his health. Once at an acute period of his illness
certain officials insisted that they must see him because they carried
information which it was "absolutely necessary that the President of the
United States should have," and she quietly replied: "I am not interested
in the President of the United States. I am interested in my husband and
his health."

With loving courage she met her difficult dilemma of shielding him as much
as possible and at the same time keeping him acquainted with things he
must know. When it became possible for him to see people she, in counsel
with Admiral Grayson, would arrange for conferences and carefully watch
her husband to see that they who talked with him did not trespass too long
upon his limited energy.

When it became evident that the tide of public opinion was setting against
the League, the President finally decided upon the Western trip as the
only means of bringing home to the people the unparalleled world

At the Executive offices we at once set in motion preparations for the
Western trip. One itinerary after another was prepared, but upon examining
it the President would find that it was not extensive enough and would
suspect that it was made by those of us--like Grayson and myself--who were
solicitious for his health, and he would cast them aside. All the
itineraries provided for a week of rest in the Grand Canyon of the
Colorado, but when a brief vacation was intimated to him, he was obdurate
in his refusal to include even a day of relaxation, saying to me, that
"the people would never forgive me if I took a rest on a trip such as the
one I contemplate taking. This is a business trip, pure and simple, and
the itinerary must not include rest of any kind." He insisted that there
be no suggestion of a pleasure trip attaching to a journey which he
regarded as a mission.

As I now look back upon this journey and its disastrous effects upon the
President's health, I believe that if he had only consented to include a
rest period in our arrangements, he might not have broken down at Pueblo.

Never have I seen the President look so weary as on the night we left
Washington for our swing into the West. When we were about to board our
special train, the President turned to me and said: "I am in a nice fix. I
am scheduled between now and the 28th of September to make in the
neighbourhood of a hundred speeches to various bodies, stretching all the
way from Ohio to the coast, and yet the pressure of other affairs upon me
at the White House has been so great that I have not had a single minute
to prepare my speeches. I do not know how I shall get the time, for during
the past few weeks I have been suffering from daily headaches; but perhaps
to-night's rest will make me fit for the work of tomorrow."

No weariness or brain-fag, however, was apparent in the speech at
Columbus, Ohio. To those of us who sat on the platform, including the
newspaper group who accompanied the President, this speech with its
beautiful phrasing and its effective delivery seemed to have been
carefully prepared.

Day after day, for nearly a month, there were speeches of a similar kind,
growing more intense in their emotion with each day. Shortly after we left
Tacoma, Washington, the fatigue of the trip began to write itself in the
President's face. He suffered from violent headaches each day, but his
speeches never betrayed his illness.

In those troublous days and until the very end of our Western trip the
President would not permit the slightest variation from our daily
programme. Nor did he ever permit the constant headaches, which would have
put an ordinary man out of sorts, to work unkindly upon the members of his
immediate party, which included Mrs. Wilson, Doctor Grayson, and myself.
He would appear regularly at each meal, partaking of it only slightly,
always gracious, always good-natured and smiling, responding to every call
from the outside for speeches--calls that came from early morning until
late at night--from the plain people grouped about every station and
watering place through which we passed. Even under the most adverse
physical conditions he was always kind, gentle, and considerate to those
about him.

I have often wished, as the criticisms of the Pullman smoking car, the
cloak room, and the counting house were carried to me, picturing the
President's coldness, his aloofness and exclusiveness, that the critics
could for a moment have seen the heart and great good-nature of the man
giving expression to themselves on this critical journey. If they could
have peeped through the curtain of our dining room, at one of the evening
meals, for instance, they would have been ashamed of their
misrepresentations of this kind, patient, considerate, human-hearted man.

When he was "half fit," an expression he often used, he was the best
fellow in the little group on our train--good-natured, smiling, full of
anecdotes and repartee, and always thinking of the comforts and pleasure
of the men gathered about him. The illness of a newspaper man, or of one
of the messengers or conductors, or attachés of the train was a call to
service to him, and one could find the President in one of the little
compartments of the train, seated at the bed of a newspaper man or some
attaché who had been taken ill on the trip. There is in the President a
sincere human sympathy, which is better than the cheap good-fellowship
which many public men carefully cultivate.

It was on the Western trip, about September 12th, while the President,
with every ounce of his energy, was attempting to put across the League of
Nations, that Mr. William C. Bullitt was disclosing to the Committee on
Foreign Relations at a public hearing the facts of a conference between
Secretary Lansing and himself, in which Mr. Bullitt declared that Mr.
Lansing had severely criticized the League of Nations.

The press representatives aboard the train called Mr. Bullitt's testimony
to the President's attention. He made no comment, but it was plain from
his attitude that he was incensed and distressed beyond measure. Here he
was in the heart of the West, advancing the cause so dear to his heart,
steadily making gains against what appeared to be insurmountable odds, and
now his intimate associate, Mr. Lansing, was engaged in sniping and
attacking him from behind.

On September 16th, Mr. Lansing telegraphed the following message to the

    On May 17th, Bullitt resigned by letter giving his reasons with which
    you are familiar. I replied by letter on the 18th without any comment
    on his reasons. Bullitt on the 19th asked to see me to say good-bye
    and I saw him. He elaborated on the reasons for his resignation and
    said that he could not conscientiously give countenance to a treaty
    which was based on injustice. I told him that I would say nothing
    against his resigning since he put it on conscientious grounds, and
    that I recognized that certain features of the Treaty were bad, as I
    presumed most everyone did, but that was probably unavoidable in view
    of conflicting claims and that nothing ought to be done to prevent the
    speedy restoration of peace by signing the Treaty. Bullitt then
    discussed the numerous European commissions provided for by the Treaty
    on which the United States was to be represented. I told him that I
    was disturbed by this fact because I was afraid the Senate and
    possibly the people, if they understood this, would refuse
    ratification, and that anything which was an obstacle to ratification
    was unfortunate because we ought to have peace as soon as possible.

When the President received this explanation from Mr. Lansing, he sent for
me to visit with him in his compartment. At the time I arrived he was
seated in his little study, engaged in preparing his speech for the
night's meeting. Turning to me, with a deep show of feeling, he said:
"Read that, and tell me what you think of a man who was my associate on
the other side and who confidentially expressed himself to an outsider in
such a fashion? Were I in Washington I would at once demand his
resignation! That kind of disloyalty must not be permitted to go
unchallenged for a single minute. The testimony of Bullitt is a
confirmation of the suspicions I have had with reference to this
individual. I found the same attitude of mind on the part of Lansing on
the other side. I could find his trail everywhere I went, but they were
only suspicions and it would not be fair for me to act upon them. But here
in his own statement is a verification at last of everything I have
suspected. Think of it! This from a man whom I raised from the level of a
subordinate to the great office of Secretary of State of the United
States. My God! I did not think it was possible for Lansing to act in this
way. When we were in Paris I found that Lansing and others were constantly
giving out statements that did not agree with my viewpoint. When I had
arranged a settlement, there would appear from some source I could not
locate unofficial statements telling the correspondents not to take things
too seriously; that a compromise would be made, and this news, or rather
news of this kind, was harmful to the settlement I had already obtained
and quite naturally gave the Conference the impression that Lansing and
his kind were speaking for me, and then the French would say that I was

I am convinced that only the President's illness a few days later
prevented an immediate demand on his part for the resignation of Mr.

That there was no real devotion on the part of Mr. Lansing for the
President is shown by the following incident.

A few days after the President returned from the West and lay seriously
ill at the White House, with physicians and nurses gathered about his bed,
Mr. Lansing sought a private audience with me in the Cabinet Room. He
informed me that he had called diplomatically to suggest that in view of
the incapacity of the President we should arrange to call in the Vice-
President to act in his stead as soon as possible, reading to me from a
book which he had brought from the State Department, which I afterward
learned was "Jefferson's Manual," the following clause of the United
States Constitution:

    In case of the removal of the President from office, or his death,
    resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the
    said office, the same shall devolve upon the Vice-President.

Upon reading this, I coldly turned to Mr. Lansing and said: "Mr. Lansing,
the Constitution is not a dead letter with the White House. I have read
the Constitution and do not find myself in need of any tutoring at your
hands of the provision you have just read." When I asked Mr. Lansing the
question as to who should certify to the disability of the President, he
intimated that that would be a job for either Doctor Grayson or myself. I
immediately grasped the full significance of what he intimated and said:
"You may rest assured that while Woodrow Wilson is lying in the White
House on the broad of his back I will not be a party to ousting him. He
has been too kind, too loyal, and too wonderful to me to receive such
treatment at my hands." Just as I uttered this statement Doctor Grayson
appeared in the Cabinet Room and I turned to him and said: "And I am sure
that Doctor Grayson will never certify to his disability. Will you,
Grayson?" Doctor Grayson left no doubt in Mr. Lansing's mind that he would
not do as Mr. Lansing suggested. I then notified Mr. Lansing that if
anybody outside of the White House circle attempted to certify to the
President's disability, that Grayson and I would stand together and
repudiate it. I added that if the President were in a condition to know of
this episode he would, in my opinion, take decisive measures. That ended
the interview.

It is unnecessary to say that no further attempt was made by Mr. Lansing
to institute ouster proceedings against his chief.

I never attempted to ascertain what finally influenced the action of the
President peremptorily to demand the resignation of Mr. Lansing. My own
judgment is that the demand came as the culmination of repeated acts of
what the President considered disloyalty on Mr. Lansing's part while in
Paris, and that the situation was aggravated by Mr. Lansing's notes to
Mexico during the President's illness.

When I received from the President's stenographer the letter to Mr.
Lansing, intimating that his resignation would not be a disagreeable thing
to the President, I conferred with the President at once and argued with
him that in the present state of public opinion it was the wrong time to
do the right thing. At the time the President was seated in his invalid
chair on the White House portico.

Although physically weak, he was mentally active and alert. Quickly he
took hold of my phrase and said, with a show of the old fire that I had
seen on so many occasions: "Tumulty, it is never the wrong time to spike
disloyalty. When Lansing sought to oust me, I was upon my back. I am on my
feet now and I will not have disloyalty about me."

When the announcement of Lansing's resignation was made, the flood-gates
of fury broke about the President; but he was serene throughout it all.
When I called at the White House on the following Sunday, I found him
calmly seated in his bathroom with his coloured valet engaged in the not
arduous task of cutting his hair. Looking at me with a smile in his eye,
he said: "Well, Tumulty, have I any friends left?" "Very few, Governor," I
said. Whereupon he replied: "Of course, it will be another two days'
wonder. But in a few days what the country considers an indiscretion on my
part in getting rid of Lansing will be forgotten, but when the sober,
second thought of the country begins to assert itself, what will stand out
will be the disloyalty of Lansing to me. Just think of it! Raised and
exalted to the office of Secretary of State, made a member of the Peace
Commission, participating in all the conferences and affixing his
signature to a solemn treaty, and then hurrying to America and appearing
before the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate to repudiate the very
thing to which he had given his assent."

During the illness of the President his political enemies sought to convey
the impression that he was incapacitated for the duties of his office. As
one who came in daily contact with him I knew how baseless were these
insinuations. As a matter of fact, there was not a whole week during his
entire illness that he was not in touch with every matter upon which he
was called to act and upon which he was asked to render judgment. The
White House files contain numerous memoranda showing his interest in all
matters to which department heads felt it incumbent to call his attention
during his illness. One of the most critical things upon which he passed
was the question of the miners' strike, which resulted in the beginning
from an injunction suit by the Attorney General, Mr. Palmer, to restrain
the miners from carrying out their purpose to strike. This was one of the
most critical situations that arose during his illness and with which he
daily kept in touch.

Uncomplainingly the President applied himself to the difficult tasks of
the Western trip. While the first meeting at Columbus was a disappointment
as to attendance, as we approached the West the crowds grew in numbers and
the enthusiasm became boundless. The idea of the League spread and spread
as we neared the coast. Contrary to the impression in the East, the
President's trip West was a veritable triumph for him and was so
successful that we had planned, upon the completion of the Western trip,
to invade the enemy's country, Senator Lodge's own territory, the New
England States, and particularly Massachusetts. This was our plan, fully
developed and arranged, when about four o'clock in the morning of
September 26, 1919, Doctor Grayson knocked at the door of my sleeping
compartment and told me to dress quickly, that the President was seriously
ill. As we walked toward the President's car, the Doctor told me in a few
words of the President's trouble and said that he greatly feared it might
end fatally if we should attempt to continue the trip and that it was his
duty to inform the President that by all means the trip must be cancelled;
but that he did not feel free to suggest it to the President without
having my cooperation and support. When we arrived at the President's
drawing room I found him fully dressed and seated in his chair. With great
difficulty he was able to articulate. His face was pale and wan. One side
of it had fallen, and his condition was indeed pitiful to behold. Quickly
I reached the same conclusion as that of Doctor Grayson, as to the
necessity for the immediate cancellation of the trip, for to continue it,
in my opinion, meant death to the President. Looking at me, with great
tears running down his face, he said: "My dear boy, this has never
happened to me before. I felt it coming on yesterday. I do not know what
to do." He then pleaded with us not to cut short the trip. Turning to both
of us, he said: "Don't you see that if you cancel this trip, Senator Lodge
and his friends will say that I am a quitter and that the Western trip was
a failure, and the Treaty will be lost." Reaching over to him, I took both
of his hands and said: "What difference, my dear Governor, does it make
what they say? Nobody in the world believes you are a quitter, but it is
your life that we must now consider. We must cancel the trip, and I am
sure that when the people learn of your condition there will be no
misunderstanding." He then tried to move over nearer to me to continue his
argument against the cancellation of the trip; but he found he was unable
to do so. His left arm and leg refused to function.

I then realized that the President's whole left side was paralyzed.
Looking at me he said: "I want to show them that I can still fight and
that I am not afraid. Just postpone the trip for twenty-four hours and I
will be all right."

But Doctor Grayson and I resolved not to take any risk, and an immediate
statement was made to the inquiring newspaper men that the Western trip
was off.

Never was the President more gentle or tender than on that morning.
Suffering the greatest pain, paralyzed on his left side, he was still
fighting desperately for the thing that was so close to his heart--a
vindication of the things for which he had so gallantly fought on the
other side. Grim old warrior that he was, he was ready to fight to the
death for the League of Nations.

In the dispatches carried to the country, prepared by the fine newspaper
men who accompanied us on the trip, it was stated that evidences of a
breakdown on the part of the President were plainly visible in the speech
he delivered at Pueblo.

I had talked to him only a few minutes before the delivery of that speech,
and the only apparent evidence that he was approaching a breakdown was in
his remark to me that he had a splitting headache, and that he would have
to cut his speech short. As a matter of fact, this last speech he made, at
Pueblo, on September 25, 1919, was one of the longest speeches delivered
on the Western trip and, if I may say so, was one of the best and most
passionate appeals he made for the League of Nations.

Many things in connection with the Pueblo meeting impressed themselves
upon me. In the peroration of the speech he drew a picture of his visit on
Decoration Day, 1919, to what he called a beautiful hillside near Paris,
where was located the cemetery of Suresnes, a cemetery given over to the
burial of the American dead. As he spoke of the purposes for which those
departed American soldiers had given their lives, a great wave of emotion,
such as I have never witnessed at a public meeting, swept through the
whole amphitheatre. As he continued his speech, I looked at Mrs. Wilson
and saw tears in her eyes. I then turned to see the effect upon some of
the "hard-boiled" newspaper men, to whom great speeches were ordinary
things, and they were alike deeply moved. Down in the amphitheatre I saw
men sneak their handkerchiefs out of their pockets and wipe the tears from
their eyes. The President was like a great organist playing upon the heart
emotions of the thousands of people who were held spell-bound by what he

It is possible, I pray God it may not be so, that the speech at Pueblo was
the last public speech that Woodrow Wilson will ever make, and I,
therefore, take the liberty of introducing into this story the concluding
words of it:

    What of our pledges to the men that lie dead in France? We said that
    they went over there not to prove the prowess of America or her
    readiness for another war but to see to it that there never was such a
    war again. It always seems to make it difficult for me to say
    anything, my fellow citizens, when I think of my clients in this case.
    My clients are the children; my clients are the next generation. They
    do not know what promises and bonds I undertook when I ordered the
    armies of the United States to the soil of France, but I know, and I
    intend to redeem my pledges to the children; they shall not be sent
    upon a similar errand.

    Again, and again, my fellow citizens, mothers who lost their sons in
    France have come to me and, taking my hand, have shed tears upon it
    not only, but they have added: "God bless you, Mr. President!" Why, my
    fellow citizens, should they pray God to bless me? I advised the
    Congress of the United States to create the situation that led to the
    death of their sons. I ordered their sons overseas. I consented to
    their sons being put in the most difficult parts of the battle line,
    where death was certain, as in the impenetrable difficulties of the
    forest of Argonne. Why should they weep upon my hand and call down the
    blessings of God upon me? Because they believe that their boys died
    for something that vastly transcends any of the immediate and palpable
    objects of the war. They believe, and they rightly believe, that their
    sons saved the liberty of the world. They believe that wrapped up with
    the liberty of the world is the continuous protection of that liberty
    by the concerted powers of all the civilized world. They believe that
    this sacrifice was made in order that other sons should not be called
    upon for a similar gift--the gift of life, the gift of all that died--
    and if we did not see this thing through, if we fulfilled the dearest
    present wish of Germany and now dissociated ourselves from those
    alongside whom we fought in the war, would not something of the halo
    go away from the gun over the mantelpiece, or the sword? Would not the
    old uniform lose something if its significance? These men were
    crusaders. They were going forth to prove the might of justice and
    right, and all the world accepted them as crusaders, and their
    transcendent achievement has made all the world believe in America as
    it believes in no other nation organized in the modern world. There
    seems to me to stand between us and the rejection or qualification of
    this treaty the serried ranks of those boys in khaki, not only those
    boys who came home, but those dear ghosts that still deploy upon the
    fields of France.

    My friends, on last Decoration Day I went to a beautiful hillside near
    Paris, where was located the cemetery of Suresnes, a cemetery given
    over to the burial of the American dead. Behind me on the slopes was
    rank upon rank of living American soldiers, and lying before me on the
    levels of the plain was rank upon rank of departed American soldiers.
    Right by the side of the stand where I spoke there was a little group
    of French women who had adopted those graves, had made themselves
    mothers of those dear ghosts by putting flowers every day upon those
    graves, taking them as their own sons, their own beloved, because they
    had died in the same cause--France was free and the world was free
    because America had come! I wish some men in public life who are now
    opposing the settlement for which these men died could visit such a
    spot as that. I wish that the thought that comes out of those graves
    could penetrate their consciousness. I wish that they could feel the
    moral obligation that rests upon us not to go back on those boys, but
    to see the thing through, to see it through to the end and make good
    their redemption of the world. For nothing less depends upon this
    decision, nothing less than the liberation and salvation of the world.

    Now that the mists of this great question have cleared away, I believe
    that men will see the trust, eye to eye and face to face. There is one
    thing that the American people always rise to and extend their hand
    to, and that is the truth of justice and of liberty and of peace. We
    have accepted that truth and we are going to be led by it, and it is
    going to lead us, and through us the world, out into pastures of
    quietness and peace such as the world never dreamed of before.



On June 25, 1919, I received from President Wilson the following cabled

    My clear conviction is that the adoption of the treaty by the Senate
    with reservations will put the United States as clearly out of the
    concert of nations as a rejection. We ought either to go in or stay
    out. To stay out would be fatal to the influence and even to the
    commercial prospects of the United States, and to go in would give her
    a leading place in the affairs of the world. Reservations would either
    mean nothing or postpone the conclusion of peace, so far as America is
    concerned, until every other principal nation concerned in the treaty
    had found out by negotiation what the reservations practically meant
    and whether they could associate themselves with the United States on
    the terms of the reservations or not.


The President consistently held to the principle involved in this
statement. To his mind the reservations offered by Senator Lodge
constituted a virtual nullification on the part of the United States of a
treaty which was a contract, and which should be amended through free
discussion among all the contracting parties. He did not argue or assume
that the Covenant was a perfected document, but he believed that, like our
American Constitution, it should be adopted and subsequently submitted to
necessary amendment through the constitutional processes of debate. He was
unalterably opposed to having the United States put in the position of
seeking exemptions and special privileges under an agreement which he
believed was in the interest of the entire world, including our own
country. Furthermore, he believed that the advocacy for reservations in
the Senate proceeded from partisan motives and that in so far as there was
a strong popular opinion in the country in favour of reservations it
proceeded from the same sources from which had come the pro-German
propaganda. Before the war pro-German agitation had sought to keep us out
of the conflict, and after the war it sought to separate us in interest
and purpose from other governments with which we were associated.

By his opposition to reservations the President was seeking to prevent
Germany from taking through diplomacy what she had been unable to get by
her armies.

The President was so confident of the essential rightness of the League
and the Covenant and of the inherent right-mindedness of the American
people, that he could not believe that the people would sanction either
rejection or emasculation of the Treaty if they could be made to see the
issue in all the sincerity of its motives and purposes, if partisan attack
could be met with plain truth-speaking. It was to present the case of the
people in what he considered its true light that he undertook the Western
tour, and it was while thus engaged that his health broke. Had he kept
well and been able to lead in person the struggle for ratification, he
might have won, as he had previously by his determination and conviction
broken down stubborn opposition to the Federal Reserve system.

So strong was his faith in his cause and the people that even after he
fell ill he could not believe that ratification would fail. What his
enemies called stubbornness was his firm faith in the righteousness of the
treaty and in the reasonableness of the proposition that the time to make
amendments was not prior to the adoption of the Treaty and by one nation,
but after all the nations had agreed and had met together for sober,
unpartisan consideration of alterations in the interest of all the
contracting parties and the peace and welfare of the world.

Even when he lay seriously ill, he insisted upon being taken in his
invalid chair along the White House portico to the window of my outer
office each day during the controversy in the Senate over the Treaty.
There day after day in the coldest possible weather I conferred with him
and discussed every phase of the fight on the Hill. He would sit in his
chair, wrapped in blankets, and though hardly able, because of his
physical condition, to discuss these matters with me, he evidenced in
every way a tremendous interest in everything that was happening in the
Capitol that had to do with the Treaty. Although I was warned
by Doctor Grayson and Mrs. Wilson not to alarm him unduly by bringing
pessimistic reports, I sought, in the most delicate and tactful way I
could, to bring the atmosphere of the Hill to him. Whenever there was an
indication of the slightest rise in the tide for the League of Nations a
smile would pass over the President's face, and weak and broken though he
was, he evidenced his great pleasure at the news. Time and time again
during the critical days of the Treaty fight the President would appear
outside my office, seated in the old wheel chair, and make inquiry
regarding the progress of the Treaty fight on Capitol Hill.

One of the peculiar things about the illness from which the President
suffered was the deep emotion which would stir him when word was brought
to him that this senator or that senator on the Hill had said some kind
thing about him or had gone to his defense when some political enemy was
engaged in bitterly assailing his attitude in the Treaty fight. Never
would there come from him any censure or bitter criticism of those who
were opposing him in the fight. For Senator Borah, the leader of the
opposition, he had high respect, and felt that he was actuated only by
sincere motives.

I recall how deeply depressed he was when word was carried to him that the
defeat of the Treaty was inevitable. On this day he was looking more weary
than at any time during his illness. After I had read to him a memorandum
that I had prepared, containing a report on the situation in the Senate, I
drew away from his wheel chair and said to him: "Governor, you are looking
very well to-day." He shook his head in a pathetic way and said: "I am
very well for a man who awaits disaster," and bowing his head he gave way
to the deep emotion he felt.

A few days later I called to notify him of the defeat of the Treaty. His
only comment was, "They have shamed us in the eyes of the world."
Endeavouring to keep my good-nature steady in the midst of a trying
situation, I smiled and said: "But, Governor, only the Senate has defeated
you. The People will vindicate your course. You may rely upon that." "Ah,
but our enemies have poisoned the wells of public opinion," he said. "They
have made the people believe that the League of Nations is a great
Juggernaut, the object of which is to bring war and not peace to the
world. If I only could have remained well long enough to have convinced
the people that the League of Nations was their real hope, their last
chance, perhaps, to save civilization!"

I said, by way of trying to strengthen and encourage him at this, one of
the critical moments of his life--a moment that I knew was one of despair
for him--"Governor, I want to read a chapter from the third volume of
your 'History of the American People,' if it will not tire you." He
graciously gave his assent and I took from under my arm the volume
containing an account of the famous John Jay treaty, in the defense of
which Alexander Hamilton was stoned while he stood defending it on the
steps of the New York City Hall. There was, indeed, a remarkable
similarity between the fight over the John Jay treaty and the Versailles
Treaty. I read an entire chapter of Woodrow Wilson's "History of the
American People," including the passage:

    Slowly the storm blew off. The country had obviously gained more than
    it had conceded, and tardily saw the debt it owed Mr. Jay and to the
    administration, whose firmness and prudence had made his mission
    possible. But in the meantime things had been said which could not be
    forgotten. Washington had been assailed with unbridled license, as an
    enemy and a traitor to the country; had even been charged with
    embezzling public moneys during the Revolution; was madly threatened
    with impeachment, and even with assassination; and had cried amidst
    the bitterness of it all that "he would rather be in his grave than in
    the presidency."

    The country knew its real mind about him once again when the end of
    his term came and it was about to lose him. He refused to stand for
    another election. His farewell address, with its unmistakable tone of
    majesty and its solemn force of affection and admonition, seemed an
    epitome of the man's character and achievements, and every man's heart
    smote him to think that Washington was actually gone from the nation's

When I concluded reading this chapter, the President's comment was, "It is
mighty generous of you to compare my disappointment over the Treaty with
that of Washington's. _You have placed me in mighty good company._"



There is no one who wishes to feel the camaraderie of life, "the familiar
touch," more than Woodrow Wilson; but it seems that it cannot be so, and
the knowledge that it could not saddened him from the outset of his public

I remember a meeting between us at the Governor's Cottage at Sea Girt, New
Jersey, a few hours after the news of his nomination for the Presidency
had reached us from Baltimore in 1912. In this little talk he endeavoured
in an intimate way to analyze himself for my benefit. "You know, Tumulty,"
he said, "there are two natures combined in me that every day fight for
supremacy and control. On the one side, there is the Irish in me, quick,
generous, impulsive, passionate, anxious always to help and to sympathize
with those in distress." As he continued his description of himself, his
voice took on an Irish brogue, "And like the Irishman at the Donnybrook
Fair, always willin' to raise me shillalah and to hit any head which
stands firninst me. Then, on the other side," he said, "there is the
Scotch--canny, tenacious, cold, and perhaps a little exclusive. I tell
you, my dear friend, that when these two fellows get to quarrelling among
themselves, it is hard to act as umpire between them."

For every day of my eleven years' association with Woodrow Wilson I have
seen some part of these two natures giving expression to itself. I have
witnessed the full play of the Irish passion for justice and sympathy for
the under-dog, the man whom he was pleased to call the "average man,"
whose name never emerges to the public view. I have seen the full tide of
Irish passion and human sympathies in him flow at some story of injustice
which I had called to his attention; that Irish sympathy in him expressed
itself not dramatically, but in some simple, modest way; an impulse to
lift someone, to help an unfortunate person in distress. That sympathy
might be expressed in the presence of some father, seeking pardon at the
hands of the President in behalf of a wayward son, or some mother pleading
for the release of a loved one, or it would show itself in full sway, as
it often did, when I called his attention to some peculiar case that had
evoked my sympathy and pity. And again I saw the Scotch in him--strict,
upstanding, intractable, and unrelenting. I saw the Scotch rise in him
when an attempt would be made by personal friends to influence his action
where it was evident to him there was at the base of it some hint of
personal privilege, of favouritism on grounds of friendship. I saw the
full sweep of that Scotch tenacity during the war, in the very midst of
that bloody thing, at a time when bitter ridicule and jeers were his
portion. Throughout it he was calm, imperturbable, undisturbed by the
frenzied passions of the moment.

I saw him express the Irish sense of gratitude in a striking way in the
White House, in my presence, as the result of a conference, in which the
participants were the President and Senators Stone and Reed, both of

The incident arose out of Senator Reed's failure to get the President to
agree to appoint an intimate friend of Reed's postmaster of St. Louis.
Charges, many of them unfounded, had been made to the Postmaster General's
office against the Reed candidate and, although Reed had made many appeals
to Postmaster General Burleson to send the appointment of his friend to
the President for his approval, Burleson refused to do so, and Reed
thereupon brought his case to the President. I remember how generous and
courteous the President was in his treatment of Reed and Stone on this
occasion. Senator Stone, in his usual kindly way, walked over to the
President and putting his hand on his shoulder, said: "Now, Mr. President,
I want you to do this favour for my friend, Jim Reed. Jim is a damned good
fellow." The President laughingly replied, "Why, Senator, you just know
that there is nothing personal in my attitude in this matter. I have no
desire to injure or humiliate Senator Reed, but the Postmaster General has
refused to recommend the appointment of the Senator's friend for the St.
Louis postmastership." The President then turned to Senator Reed and said,
"Senator, I will tell you what I will do for you. I will allow you to name
any other man, outside of the one whose name you have already suggested,
and I will appoint him at once without making any inquiry or investigation
whatever as to his qualifications. This I will do in order to convince you
that I have no personal feeling whatever toward you in this matter." But
Senator Reed continued to argue for the appointment of his friend. The
President was adamant. Senator Stone and Senator Reed then turned away
from the President and made their way to my office which was adjoining
that of the President. It was plain that the two Senators were deeply
disappointed and highly displeased with the President. As the President
opened the door for the Senators to make their entrance into my room
Senator Reed turned to the President again and in the most emphatic way,
said, "Mr. President, Senator Stone told me before I came to see you that
you were not a cold man and that you were a good fellow. It was upon that
hypothesis that I took the liberty of appealing to you personally in
behalf of my friend." Senator Reed then continued, and in the most
eloquent short speech I have ever heard, said, "They tell me that before
you became governor of New Jersey you had a fight at Princeton with the
Trustees of that University. You better than any one else in this country
know what it is to have a pack of enemies at your heels. This is what is
happening in my friend's case. My enemies in Missouri have conspired to
destroy this man because he has been my friend and has fought my battles
for me. This man whom I have asked you to appoint has been my campaign
manager. He has visited my home; we have been life-long friends, and I
will stake my life upon his reputation and upon his standing. But because
he has been my friend he is now to be punished and now by your action you
will complete the conspiracy that is afoot to defeat and destroy him."

The President then said, "But, Senator, I have tried to convince you that
there is nothing personal in my attitude and that I will appoint any other
man you may name." Whereupon Senator Reed said, "If God Almighty himself
asked me to surrender in this fight for my friend, I would not do it. I
think I know you well enough to know that in the fight you had for your
ideals and your friends at Princeton, you would not have surrendered to
anybody. I am fighting now for the reputation and the character of my
friend, and you ought not to ask me to surrender him to his executioners."

The President was standing with his arms folded while the Senator was
addressing him and was evidently deeply touched by Reed's appeal. As Reed
concluded his eloquent speech in behalf of his friend quickly the
President reached out his hand to Reed and said, "Senator, don't surrender
your friend; stick by him to the end and I will appoint him." Whereupon he
turned from the Senators, walked over to the telephone which stood on my
desk, called up the Postmaster General and directed him to send over to
the White House at once the appointment of Senator Reed's friend for the
postmastership at St. Louis. The Postmaster General protested but was
overruled by the President. As the two Senators left my room, Senator
Stone said to Senator Reed, "By God, Jim, I told you so. There is a great
man and a true friend. I told you he was a regular fellow."

It has been said by the enemies of Woodrow Wilson that he was ungrateful,
that he never appreciated the efforts of his friends in his behalf, and
that when it came to the question of appointments he was unmindful of big
obligations to them.

The following letter is so characteristic of the man that I beg leave to
introduce it:

    The White House,
      Washington D. C.

    April 14, 1916.


    Thank you for having let me read this letter again.

    There is one thing that distresses me. The implication of Mr. Alward's
    letter is (or would seem to one who did not know the circumstance to
    be) that I had not shown my gratitude for all the generous things he
    did in promoting my candidacy. Surely he does not feel that. Is it not
    true that I appointed him to the office he now holds? that I did so
    with the greatest pleasure as gratifying his own personal wish, and
    that the office itself has afforded him an opportunity of showing his
    real quality and mettle to the people of his state in the performance
    of duties for which he is eminently qualified? And have I not tried,
    my dear Davies, in every possible way to show my warm and sincere
    appreciation and my loyal friendship both to you and to him? It
    distresses me to find any other implication even latent between the
    lines, and the inference left to be drawn is that if I should not
    appoint him to the Federal Bench, it would be virtually an act of
    ingratitude on my part. I am sure he cannot soberly mean that, for it
    is so far from just.

    It seems to me my clear duty to do in this case as in all others, the
    thing which commends itself to my judgment after the most careful
    consideration as the wisest and best thing, both for the interests of
    the Bench and the interests of the party.

    Always, with real affection,

    Faithfully yours,

    Hon. Joseph E. Davies,
      Federal Trade Commission.

On one of the most critical days of the war, when Lloyd George was crying
out in stentorian tones from across the sea that the war was now a race
between Von Hindenburg and Wilson, a fine old Southern gentleman appeared
at my office at the White House, dressed in an old frock coat and wearing
a frayed but tolerably respectable high hat. He was the essence of
refinement and culture and seemed to bring with him to the White House a
breath of the old Southland from which he had come. In the most courteous
way he addressed me, saying, "Mr. Secretary, I am an old friend of the
President's father, Doctor Wilson, and I want to see Woodrow. I have not
seen the boy since the old days in Georgia, and I have come all the way up
here to shake him by the hand."

So many requests of a similar nature came to my desk during the critical
days of the war and at a time when the President was heavily burdened with
weighty responsibilities that I was reluctant to grant the old man's
request and was about to turn him away with the usual excuse as to the
crowded condition of the President's calendar, etc., when the old man
said, "I know Woodrow will see me for his father and I were old friends."
He then told me a story that the President had often repeated to me about
his father. It seems that the old gentleman who was addressing me was on a
hot summer's day many years ago sitting in front of a store in the
business street of Augusta, Georgia, where the President's father was
pastor of the Presbyterian Church, when he sighted the parson, in an old
alpaca coat, seated in his buggy driving a well-groomed gray mare, and
called out to him, "Doctor, your horse looks better groomed than
yourself." "Yes," replied Doctor Wilson dryly as he drove on, "I take care
of my horse; my congregation takes care of me."

I knew that if I repeated this story to the President it would be the open
sesame for the old man. I excused myself and quickly made my way to the
Cabinet Room where the President was holding a conference with the Cabinet
members. After making my excuses to the Cabinet for my interruption, I
whispered into the President's ear that there was an old man in my office
who knew his father very well in the old days in Georgia and that he
wanted an opportunity to shake hands with him. I then said to the
President, "He told me the old horse story, the one that you have often
told me. I am sure that he is an old friend of your father's." This struck
the President's most tender spot, for many times during the years of our
association the President had regaled me with delightful stories of his
father and of the tender, solicitous way in which his father had cared for
him. One of the passions of President Wilson's life was his love for and
recollection of that old father, himself a man of remarkable force of
character and intellect. Turning to the members of the Cabinet, the
President said, "Gentlemen, will you please excuse me for a few minutes?"
When I told the fine old chap that the President would see him at once he
almost collapsed. Then, fixing himself up, rearranging his old frock coat,
taking his high hat in hand, striking a statesmanlike posture, he walked
into the President's office. No words passed between the two men for a few
seconds. The old man looked silently at the President, with pride and
admiration plainly visible in his eyes, and then walked slowly toward the
President and took both his hands. Releasing them, he put one of his arms
around the President's shoulder and looking straight into the President's
eyes, he said, "Woodrow, my boy, your old father was a great friend of
mine and he was mighty proud of you. He often told me that some day you
would be a great man and that you might even become President." While the
old man was addressing him the President stood like a big bashful
schoolboy, and I could see that the old man touched the mystic chord of
memories that were very sweet and dear to the President. Removing his arm
from about the President's shoulder, the old man said, "Well, well,
Woodrow, what shall I say to you?" Then, answering his own question, he
said, "I shall say to you what your dear old father would have said were
he here: 'Be a good boy, my son, and may God bless you and take care of

The President said nothing, but I could see that his lips were quivering.
For a moment he stood still, in his eyes the expression of one who
remembers things of long ago and sacred. Then he seemed, as with an
effort, to summon himself, and his thoughts back to the present, and I saw
him walk slowly toward the door of the Cabinet Room, place one hand on the
knob, with the other brush his handkerchief across his eyes. I saw him
throw back his shoulders and grow erect again as he opened the door, and I
heard him say in quiet, steady tones, "I hope you will pardon the
interruption, gentlemen."

The popular cry of the unthinking against Woodrow Wilson in the early days
of his administration was that he was a pacifist and unwilling to fight.
The gentlemen who uttered these unkind criticisms were evidently unmindful
of the moral courage he manifested in the various fights in which he had
participated in his career, both at Princeton University, where he served
as president, and as governor of New Jersey, in challenging the "old
guard" of both parties to mortal combat for the measures of reform which
he finally brought to enactment. They also forgot the moral courage which
he displayed in fighting the tariff barons and ha procuring the enactment
of the Underwood tariff, and of the fine courage he manifested in
decentralizing the financial control of the country and bringing about the
Federal Reserve Act, which now has the whole-hearted approval of the
business world in America and elsewhere, but which was resisted in the
making by powerful interests.

I do not wish to make an invidious comparison between Woodrow Wilson and
his predecessors in the White House, but if one will examine the political
history of this country, he will find that very few Presidents had ever
succeeded, because of the powerful interests they were compelled to
attack, in finally putting upon the statute books any legislation that
could control the moneyed interests of the country. The reform of the
tariff and the currency had been the rocks upon which many administrations
had met disaster.

Nearly every adviser about Woodrow Wilson, even those who had had
experience in the capital of the nation, warned him that he might, after a
long fight, succeed in reforming the tariff, but that his efforts would
fail if he attempted to pass a bill that would establish currency reform.
But the President allowed nothing to stand in the way of the establishment
of the Federal Reserve system without which the financing of the greatest
war in the history of the world would have been impossible. It was his
courage and his persistency that provided the first uniform and harmonious
system of banking which the United States has ever had.

If Woodrow Wilson had accomplished nothing more than the passage of this
Federal Reserve Act, he would have been entitled to the gratitude of the
nation. This Act supplied the country with an elastic currency controlled
by the American people. Panics--the recurring phenomena of disaster which
the Republican party could neither control nor explain--are now but a
memory. Under the Republican system there was an average of one bank
failure every twenty-one days for a period of nearly forty years. After
the passage of the Federal Reserve system there were, in 1915, four bank
failures; in 1916 and 1917, three bank failures; in 1918, one bank
failure; and in 1919, no bank failures at all.

Woodrow Wilson is not a showy fighter, but he is a tenacious and a
courageous one.

A little story came to me at the White House, illustrating alike the
calmness and the fighting quality of Woodrow Wilson. The incident happened
while he was a student at the University of Virginia. It appears that some
of the University boys went to a circus and had got into a fight with the
circus men and been sadly worsted. They called a meeting at "wash hall,"
as they termed it. Many of the boys made ringing speeches, denouncing the
brutality and unfairness of the circus people and there was much
excitement. It was then moved that all the boys present should proceed to
the circus and give proper battle, to vindicate the honour of the college.
Just before the motion was put a slim, black-haired, solemn youth arose
from his seat in the rear of the hall, and walking up the aisle, requested
a hearing. He stated that perhaps he was being forward, because he was a
"first-year" man, in asking to be heard; that he felt that the action of
the circus men deserved the severest condemnation; that it was a natural
impulse to want to punish cowardly acts and to "clean up" the show; but
that it was lawlessness they were about to engage in; that it would bring
disgrace on the college, as well as on the state and the Southland; more
than this, many of the showmen would be armed with clubs, knives, and
pistols, and if the boys did go, some of them might not come back alive
and others might be maimed or crippled for life. He then paused, but
resuming, said, "However, if my views do not meet with your approval; if
you decide to go as a body, or if a single man wants to go to fight, I
shall ask to go with him."

Was not his attitude in this incident characteristic of his dealing with
Germany? He was patient with Germany and stood unmoved under the bitterest
criticism and ridicule; but when he found that patience was no longer a
virtue, he went into the war in the most ruthless way and punished Germany
for her attempt to control the high seas.

I recall my own antagonism to him in New Jersey when I was engaged, as now
certain of his enemies are engaged, in attacking him, and I recall how my
opposition abated and altogether disappeared by the recital by one of his
friends to me one day of the controversy among the Princeton Trustees that
arose over the now-famous Proctor gift. I was discussing the Princeton
professor with this old friend one day and I said to him that I suspected
that Wall Street interests were back of his candidacy for the
governorship. My friend said, "Tumulty, you are wrong. There is no
unwholesome interest or influence back of Wilson. I tell you he is a fine
fellow and if he is elected governor, he will be a free man." He then
cited the instance of the Princeton fight over the Proctor gift. It will
be recalled that Mr. Proctor bequeathed to Princeton University a large
sum of money, but attached certain conditions to the gift that had to do
with the policy or internal control of the University. The gift was made
at a time when Princeton was in sore need of funds. President Wilson, in a
prolonged fight, bitterly waged by some who had been his close personal
friends, persuaded the Board of Trustees to vote, by a narrow margin, for
rejection of the gift on the grounds that a great educational institution
could not afford to have its internal policies dictated by purchase on the
part of a rich man. By his position he alienated from his leadership many
of the wealthy, influential Princeton alumni, especially in the larger
Eastern cities, but he stood like a rock on the principle that the
educational policy of a college must be made by those authorized to make
it and not changed at the bidding of wealthy benefactors. This was a
convincing answer to my attack upon the Princeton professor.

This same moral courage was given free play on many an occasion during our
intimacy. It was made manifest in the famous Panama Tolls fight, at a time
when he was warned that a fight made to rectify mistakes in the matter of
Panama tolls would destroy his political future.

He was always a fair fighter and a gentleman throughout every contest he
engaged in. Many unkind and untrue things were said about Woodrow Wilson
from the time he entered politics, but there is one charge that has never
been made against him and that is the charge of untruthfulness or "hitting
below the belt." No one in the country during his eight years at the White
House ever charged him with making an untrue statement. No politician or
statesman ever said that Wilson had broken a promise, though many have
complained that he would not make promises.

In the matter of promises I never met a man who was so reluctant to give a
promise, especially in the matter of bestowing office upon willing
candidates. I have known him on many occasions to make up his mind for
months in advance to appoint a certain man and yet he would not say so to
his most intimate friends who urged it. Speaking to me one day about the
matter of promises, he said, "The thing to do is to keep your mind open
until you are bound to act. Then you have freedom of action to change your
mind without being charged with bad faith."

One reason for the charge made against him of coldness and "political
ingratitude" was that he steadfastly refused to barter public offices for
political support. He is by instinct, as well as by conviction, utterly
opposed to the "spoils system." He considers government the people's
business to be conducted as such and not as a matter of personal exchange
of political favours. Nor can those who failed to get from him what they
fancied their political services earned, complain truthfully that they
were deceived by him into supposing that he shared their own opinion of
their deserts. Frequently they had explicit warning to the contrary. There
was the case of Jim Smith and the New Jersey machine, for instance. When
those gentlemen paid the president of Princeton University an unsolicited
call to suggest that he be candidate for the Democratic nomination for the
governorship of New Jersey, Mr. Wilson, after thanking them for the
compliment, with disconcerting directness asked, "Gentlemen, why do you
want me as the candidate?" They replied, because they believed he could be
elected and they wanted a Democratic governor. He asked why they believed
he could be elected, he who had never held any public office. They
answered that the people of New Jersey would have confidence in him.
"Precisely," said Mr. Wilson; "they will have confidence in me because
they will believe that I am free of the political entanglements which have
brought distress to New Jersey, because they are tired of political
bargain and sale, because they want their government delivered back into
their hands. They want a government pledged to nobody but themselves. Now,
don't you see, gentlemen, that if I should consider your flattering
suggestion, I must be what the people think I am. I must be free to
consider nothing but their interests. There must be no strings tied to
your proposal. I cannot consider it an obligation of returned personal
favours to any individual. We must clearly understand that we are acting
in the interest of the people of New Jersey and in the interest of nobody
else." If the self-constituted committee thought this merely handsome
talk without specific meaning, they had only themselves to thank for their
subsequent predicament. They found he meant exactly what he said.

There has never been a public man in America with a profounder faith in
popular government, or a stronger conviction that the bane of free
government is secret bargaining among those ambitious to trade public
office for private benefits. Mr. Wilson could no more pay for political
support from public offices than he could pay for it from the public
treasury. He abhors all forms of political favoritism including nepotism.
He not only would not appoint kinsmen to office; he would discountenance
their appointment by others. He resisted the efforts of well-meaning
friends to have his brother, Mr. Joseph R. Wilson, Jr., who had rendered a
substantial service to the 1912 campaign by his effective work as a
trained journalist, elected secretary of the United States Senate, saying
that his brother in this position would inevitably be misunderstood, would
be thought a spy on the Senate to report matters to the President. His
son-in-law, Mr. Francis B. Sayre, is by profession a student of
international law, a professor of the subject in Harvard University, and
as such was employed by Colonel House on the research committee
preparatory to the Paris Conference. Mr. Sayre assumed he was to go to
Paris, but the President set his personal veto on this, saying that it
would not do for the President's son-in-law to be on a list of those who
were going abroad at the public expense. When Mr. Sayre asked if he could
not go and pay his own expenses, the President replied, "No, because it
would not be believed that you had really paid your own expenses." Mr.
Sayre, respecting the President's views, did not press the claim.

If it has appeared that the President has sometimes "leaned backward" in
these matters, it is because of his strong conviction that politicians
have leaned too far forward in using public office for private rewards, a
bad system toward which the President's attitude may be stated in Hamlet's
impatient injunction to the players, "Oh, reform it altogether!"

My experiences with him, where one could witness the full play of the
Scotch and Irish strains in him, came particularly in the matter of the
numerous pardon cases and the applications for Executive Orders, placing
this man or that woman under the classified civil service. The latter were
only issued in rare instances and always over the protest of the Civil
Service Commission. In many of these applications there was a great
heartache or family tragedy back of them and to every one of them he gave
the most sympathetic consideration.

I remember his remark to me one day when I was urging him to sign an
Executive Order in behalf of a poor woman, the widow of an old soldier.
After I had argued with him for a time he turned to me and said, "Every
unfortunate person in distress seems to come to me for relief, but I must
not let my sympathies get the best of me, it would not be right to do
these things upon any basis of sympathy." Although I stood rebuked, the
order was signed. It was a thing urged against him in the last campaign,
that he held the record for the number of Executive Orders issued by him.
His Scotch nature would also assert itself on many occasions. While I was
living with the President at the White House one summer, on a night after
dinner we engaged in the discussion of an article which appeared that
month in one of the popular magazines of the country. In this article
Woodrow Wilson was portrayed as a great intellectual machine. Turning to
me, he said, "Tumulty, have you read that article? What do you think of
it?" I said that I thought in many respects it was admirable. "I don't
agree with you at all," he said. "It is no compliment to me to have it
said that I am only a highly developed intellectual machine. Good God,
there is more in me than that!" He then said, rather sadly, "Well, I want
people to love me, but I suppose they never will." He then asked me this
question, "Do you think I am cold and unfeeling?" I replied, "No, my dear
Governor, I think you are one of the warmest hearted men I ever met."

And when I say this of Woodrow Wilson I mean it. I hope I have all of the
generous tendencies of my race and that I know a great heart when I see
its actions. I could not have been associated with him all these years,
witnessing the great heart in action, without having full faith in what I
now say. No man of all my acquaintance, with whom I have discussed life in
all of its phases and tragedies, at least those tragedies that stalked in
and out of the White House, was more responsive, more sympathetic, and
more inclined to pity and help than Woodrow Wilson. His eyes would fill
with tears at the tale of some unfortunate man or woman in distress. It
was not a cheap kind of sympathy. It was quiet, sincere, but always from
the heart. The President continued talking to me--and now he spoke as the
canny Scot--"I am cold in a certain sense. Were I a judge and my own son
should be convicted of murder, and I was the only judge privileged to pass
judgment upon the case, I would do my duty even to the point of sentencing
him to death. It would be a hard thing to do but it would be my solemn
duty as a judge to do it, but I would do it, because the state cannot be
maintained and its sovereignty vindicated or its integrity preserved
unless the law is strictly enforced and without favour. It is the business
of the judge to uphold it and he must do it to the point of every
sacrifice. If he fails, justice fails, the state falls. That looks cold-
blooded, doesn't it? But I would do it." Then his voice lowered and he
said, "Then, after sentencing my own son to death, I would go out and die
of a broken heart, for it would surely kill me."

That is one key to the character of the man that was revealed before my
own eyes in the years of our intimacy.

It showed itself on many other occasions. It was his idea of the duty of
the trustee, the judge, the guardian.

I remember a visit that two very warm friends from the Pacific Coast made
to him, both of whom had worked night and day for his cause in the great
state of the Golden West.

Their son had been convicted and was incarcerated in the Federal Prison.
They had every personal reason for feeling that a mere appeal on their
part on behalf of this son would be a winning one, for their friendship
with the President was one of long standing and most affectionate in
character. I can see him now, standing in the centre of the room, with the
two old people grouped about him, shaking his head and saying, "I wish I
could do it, but I must not allow personal consideration to influence me
in the least. I know it is hard for you to believe that I will turn away
from your request, but the only basis upon which you make it is our
friendship. I would be doing an injustice to many a boy like yours who has
similarly offended and for whom no one is able to speak or approach me in
the intimate contact which is your privilege. Please do not think me cold-
hearted, but I cannot do it."

I remember one of the last pardon cases we handled in the White House was
that of an old man, charged with violating the banking laws and sentenced
to imprisonment. I pleaded with the President to pardon the old man; the
Attorney General had recommended it, and some of the warm-hearted members
of the President's family had gone to him and sought to exert their
influence in behalf of the old man. It seemed as if everything was moving
smoothly and that the old man might be pardoned, until the family
influence was brought to bear. It was the last pardon case I brought to
his attention before the fall of the curtain on March fourth. I went to
him, and said, "My dear Governor, I hope you will close your official
career here by doing an act of mercy." He smiled at me and I thought I
could see the prison gates open for the old man, but when I mentioned the
name in the case, the President stiffened up, stopped smiling, and looking
at me in the coldest way, said, "I will not pardon this man. Certain
members of my family to whom I am deeply devoted, as you know, have sought
to influence my judgment in this matter. They have no right to do it. I
should be unworthy of my trust as President were I to permit family
interference of any kind to affect my public actions, because very few
people in the country can exert that kind of influence and it must not be
tolerated." The case was closed; the pardon refused.

He often spoke to me in the frankest way of his personal appearance; how
he looked and appeared and of the "old Scotch face," as he called it,
which gave him the appearance of what Caesar called a "lean and hungry
look." Speaking at the annual banquet of the Motion Picture Board of
Trade, he discussed his personal appearance in this way:

"I have sometimes been very much chagrined in seeing myself in a motion
picture. I have wondered if I really was that kind of a 'guy.' The
extraordinary rapidity with which I walked, for example, the instantaneous
and apparently automatic nature of my motion, the way in which I produced
uncommon grimaces, and altogether the extraordinary exhibition I made of
myself sends me to bed very unhappy. And I often think to myself that,
although all the world is a stage and men and women but actors upon it,
after all, the external appearance of things are very superficial indeed."

He knew that his facial expression gave one the impression that he was a
cold and canny Scot. In repose one would get that impression, but when
that old Scotch face took on a winning smile it was most gracious and
appealing. One of his favourite limericks was:

  For beauty I am not a star,
  There are others more handsome by far.
  But my face I don't mind it,
  For I am behind it,
  It's the people in front that I jar.

Behind the cold exterior and beneath the "gleam of the waters" there was a
warm, generous heart. I have often thought of the character discussed by
Israel Zangwill in his book "The Mantle of Elijah." These lines, in my
opinion, draw a perfect picture of Woodrow Wilson as I knew him:

Speaking of Allegra's father Zangwill said:

"With him freedom was no nebulous figure, aureoled with shining rhetoric,
blowing her own trumpet, but Free Trade, Free Speech, Free Education. He
did not rail against the Church as the enemy, but he did not count on it
as a friend. His Millennium was earthly, human; his philosophy sunny,
untroubled by Dantesque depths or shadows; his campaign unmartial,
constitutional, a frank focussing of the new forces emergent from the slow
dissolution of Feudalism and the rapid growth of a modern world. Towards
such a man the House of Commons had an uneasy hostility. He did not play
the game. Whig and Tory, yellow and blue, the immemorial shuffling of
Cabinet cards, the tricks and honours--he seemed to live outside them all.
He was no clubman in 'The best club in England.' He did not debate for
argument's sake or to upset Ministers. He was not bounded by the walls of
the Chamber nor ruler from the Speaker's chair; the House was resentfully
conscious it had no final word over his reputation or his influence. He
stood for something outside it, something outside himself, something
large, vague, turbulent, untried, unplumbed, unknown--the People."

A little incident illustrating the warmth of the heart of Woodrow Wilson
and the sympathetic way he manifested his feeling came to me in a letter
received at the White House in 1920 from a Red Cross nurse, who was
stationed at the Red Cross Base Hospital at Neuilly, France. An excerpt
from it follows:

    I might interest you to recite an incident within my own personal
    knowledge that proves the depths of his sympathy--his sincerity. I was
    one of the unit of Red Cross Workers who went to France to help our
    soldiers blinded in battle. I was at the time of this incident
    stationed at the Red Cross Base Hospital No. I at Neuilly. After a
    visit of the President and Mrs. Wilson to the hospital, one of my
    charges, a totally blind private to whom Mr. Wilson had spoken, said
    to me: "Miss Farrell, I guess the President must be very tired." I
    said, "Why do you think that, Walter?" "Well, because," replied the
    soldier, "he laughed and joked with all the other fellows but was so
    quiet when he talked with me and just said, 'Honourable wound, my
    boy,' so low I could hardly hear him. But say," continued Walter,
    "look at my hand please and see if it is all there, will you? The
    President sure has some hand and he used it when he shook hands. I'll

    The fact was, Walter was the first blind soldier the President had met
    in France and knowing from experience the appeal the blind make to our
    emotions, I knew the President was so touched that he was overcome and
    couldn't joke further--he was scarcely able to manage the one remark
    and could not trust himself to venture another, 'Twas with tears in
    his eyes and a choking voice that he managed the one. Both he and Mrs.
    Wilson wept in that blind ward.

As a political fighter, he was gallant and square. No one ever heard him
call an opponent a name or knew him unworthily to take advantage of an

Illustrative of the magnanimous attitude of the President toward his
political enemies was the striking incident that occurred a few weeks
before the close of the last Presidential campaign, 1920. Early one
afternoon two Democratic friends called upon me at the Executive offices
and informed me that they could procure certain documents that would go a
long way toward discrediting the Republican campaign and that they could
be procured for a money consideration. They explained the character of the
documents to me and left it to me to say what I considered a fair price
for them. They explained the serious nature of these documents, and it was
certainly a delicate situation for me to handle and embarrassed me
greatly. I was reluctant to offend these gentlemen, and yet I was certain
from what they said that the documents, as they explained them to me, even
though they might discredit the Republican campaign, were not of a
character that any party of decent men ought to have anything to do with.
When the gentlemen told me the name of the person who claimed to have
these damaging papers in his possession, I at once recalled that we had in
the files of the White House certain letters that could be used to
discredit this very man who claimed to possess these incriminating
documents. I thought it wise, therefore, to listen politely to these
gentlemen until I could get a chance to confer with the President. I did
this at once.

At this time the President was lying ill in his sick room at the White
House. The nurse raised him up in the bed and I explained the whole
situation to him, saying to him that it was my opinion that the Democratic
party ought not to have anything to do with such a matter and that I
thought we should at once apprise the Republican managers of the plan that
was afoot to discredit by these unfair means the Republican candidate and
campaign. When I told the President of the character of these documents
that had been offered to me he was filled with indignation and said, "If
we can't win this fight by fair means, we will not attempt to win it by
unfair means. You have my authority to use whatever files we have against
this party who would seek unfairly to attack the Republican nominee and
you must at once notify the Republican managers of the plan proposed and
explain the whole situation to them. Say to the Attorney General that he
must place at the disposal of Mr. Harding and his friends every officer he
has, if necessary, to disclose and overcome this plot. I am sure that
Governor Cox will agree with me that this is the right and decent thing to

Acting upon the President's suggestion, I at once called upon a certain
Republican senator from the West, now a member of President Harding's
Cabinet, and told him of the proposed plot that was afoot to discredit the
Republican campaign. I told him I was acting upon the express authority of
the President. He expressed his high appreciation of the information I had
brought him and informed me that he would place the matter in our hands
with the utmost confidence in us to handle it honourably.

It ought to be said here that upon investigation, personally made by
myself, I found that there was nothing in this whole matter that in the
slightest degree reflected upon the honour or the integrity or high
standing of President Harding.

One of the things for which President Wilson was unduly censured shortly
after he took office was the recognition he gave to his political enemies
in the Democratic party. The old-line politicians who had supported him in
1912 could not understand why the loaves and fishes were dealt out to
these unworthy ones. Protests were made to the President by some of his
close personal friends, but he took the position that as the leader of the
party he was not going to cause resentment and antagonisms by seeming to
classify Democrats; that as leader of his party he had to recognize all
factions, and there quickly followed appointments of Clark men, Underwood
men, Harmon men, all over the country. A case in point illustrates the
bigness of the President in these matters--that of George Fred Williams as
Minister to Greece. In the campaign of 1912 Mr. Williams had travelled up
and down the state of Massachusetts making the bitterest sort of attacks
upon Woodrow Wilson. I remember how I protested against this appointment.
The President's only reply was that George Fred Williams was an eccentric
fellow, but that he believed he was thoroughly honest. "I have no fault to
find, Tumulty, with the men who disagree with me and I ought not to
penalize them when they give expression to what they believe are honest

I have never seen him manifest any bitterness or resentment toward even
his bitterest, most implacable enemies. Even toward William Randolph
Hearst, whose papers throughout the country have been his most unrelenting
foes, he never gave expression to any ill feeling or chagrin at the unfair
attacks that were made upon him. I remember a little incident that shows
the trend of his feelings in this regard, that occurred when we were
discussing the critical Mexican situation. At this time the Hearst papers
were engaged in a sensational propaganda in behalf of intervention in
Mexico. The President said to me, "I heard of a delightful remark that
that fine old lady, Mrs. Phoebe Hearst, made with reference to what she
called her 'big boy Willie.' You know," he continued, "Mrs. Hearst does
not favour intervention in Mexico and it was reported to me that she
chided her son for his flaming headlines urging intervention, and told him
that unless he behaved better she would have to take him over her knee and
spank him."

The President has one great failing, inherent in the very character of the
man himself, and this is his inborn, innate modesty--his unwillingness to
dramatize the part he played in the great events of the war, so that the
plain people of the country could see him and better understand him. There
is no man living to-day who has a greater power of personal appeal or who
is a greater master in the art of presenting ideals, facts, and arguments
than Woodrow Wilson. As his secretary for nearly eleven years, I was often
vexed because he did not, to use a newspaper phrase, "play up" better, but
he was always averse to doing anything that seemed artificially contrived
to win applause. Under my own eyes, seated in the White House offices, I
have witnessed many a great story walk in and out but the President always
admonished us that such things must not be pictured or capitalized in any
way for political purposes; and thus every attempt we made to dramatize
him, as Colonel Roosevelt's friends had played him up, was immediately
placed under the Presidential embargo.

His unwillingness to allow us in the White House to "play him up" as the
leading actor in this or that movement was illustrated in the following
way: On July 1, 1919, a cable reached the White House from His Holiness,
Pope Benedict, expressing the appreciation of His Holiness for the
magnificent way in which the President had presented to the Peace
Conference the demands of the Catholic Church regarding Catholic missions,
and conveying to the President his thanks for the manner in which the
President had supported those demands. The cable came at a time when
certain leaders of my own church, the Roman Catholic Church, were
criticizing and opposing the President for what they thought was his anti-
Catholic attitude. I tried to induce the President to allow me to give
publicity to the Pope's cable, but he was firm in his refusal. The cable
from the Pope and the President's reply are as follows:

    Rome, The Vatican.
      1 July, 1919.

      Doctor Woodrow Wilson,
      President of the United States.


    Monsignor Carretti, upon his return from Paris, hastened to inform us
    with what spirit of moderation Your Excellency examined the demands
    regarding the Catholic Missions which we presented to the Peace
    Conference, and with what zeal Your Excellency subsequently supported
    these demands. We desire to express to you our sincere gratitude and
    at the same time we urge Your Excellency to be good enough to employ
    your great influence, also, in order to prevent the action, which
    according to the Peace Treaty with Germany it is desired to bring
    against the Kaiser and the highly placed German commanders. This
    action could only render more bitter national hatred and postpone for
    a long time that pacification of souls for which all nations long.
    Furthermore, this trial, if the rules of justice are to be observed,
    would meet insurmountable difficulties as may be seen from the
    attached article from the _Osservatore Romano_, which deals
    exclusively with the trial of the Kaiser, the newspaper reserving
    right to treat in another article the question of the trial of the

    It pleases us to take advantage of this new occasion to renew to Your
    Excellency the wishes which we entertain for your prosperity and that
    of your family, as well as for the happiness of the inhabitants of the
    Confederation of the United States.

    (Signed) BENEDICTUS PP. XV.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The White House,
      Washington, D. C.

    15 August, 1919.


    I have had the pleasure of receiving at the hands of Monsignor Cossio
    the recent letter you were kind enough to write me, which I now beg to
    acknowledge with sincere appreciation. Let me assure you that it was
    with the greatest pleasure that I lent my influence to safeguarding
    the missionary interests to which you so graciously refer, and I am
    happy to say that my colleagues in the Conference were all of the same
    mind in this wish to throw absolute safeguards around such missions
    and to keep them within the influences under which they had hitherto
    been conducted.

    I have read with the gravest interest your suggestion about the
    treatment which should be accorded the ex-Kaiser of Germany and the
    military officers of high rank who were associated with him in the
    war, and beg to say that I realize the force of the considerations
    which you urge. I am obliged to you for setting them so clearly, and
    shall hope to keep them in mind in the difficult months to come. With
    much respect and sincere good wishes for your welfare,

    Respectfully and sincerely yours,
      (Signed) WOODROW WILSON.

    His Holiness,
      Pope Benedict XV.

[Illustration: Correspondence with the Pope
(Transcriber's note: contains a reproduction of the two above-quoted

There was something too fine in his nature for the dramatics and the
posturings of the political game, as it is usually played. He is a very
shy man, too sincere to pose, too modest to make advances. He craves the
love of his fellow-men with all his heart and soul. People see only his
dignity, his reserve, but they cannot see his big heart yearning for the
love of his fellow-men. Out of that loving heart of his has come the
passion which controlled his whole public career--the passion for justice,
for fair dealing, and democracy.

Never during the critical days of the war, when requests of all kinds
poured in upon him for interviews of various sorts, did he lose his good-
nature. Nor did he show that he was disturbed when various requests came
from this or that man who claimed to have discovered some scientific means
of ending the war.

The following letter to his old friend, Mr. Thomas D. Jones of Chicago, is
characteristic of his feeling toward those who claimed to have made such a
scientific discovery:

    The White House, Washington,
      25 July 1917.

    My dear friend:

    It was generous of you to see Mr. Kenney and test his ideas. I hope
    you derived some amusement from it at least. I am afraid I have grown
    soft-hearted and credulous in these latter days, credulous in respect
    to the scientific possibility of almost any marvel and soft-hearted
    because of the many evidences of simple-hearted purpose this war has
    revealed to me.

    With warmest regard,

    Cordially and faithfully yours,
      (Signed) WOODROW WILSON.

Nor did the little things of life escape him, as is shown by the following
letter to Attorney General Gregory:

    The White House, Washington,
      1 October, 1918.


    The enclosed letter from his wife was handed to me this morning by a
    rather pitiful old German whom I see occasionally looking after the
    flowers around the club house at the Virginia Golf Course. I must say
    it appeals to me, and I am sending it to you to ask if there is any
    legitimate way in which the poor old fellow could be released from his
    present restrictions.

    In haste,

    Faithfully yours,
      (Signed) WOODROW WILSON.

[Illustration: An evidence of the tender-heartedness which Mr. Tumulty
claims for the President.
(Transcriber's note: contains a reproduction of the above-quoted letter.)]

I recall a day when he sat at his typewriter in the White House, preparing
the speech he was to deliver at Hodgensville, Kentucky, in connection with
the formal acceptance of the Lincoln Memorial, built over the log cabin
birthplace of Lincoln. When he completed this speech, which I consider one
of his most notable public addresses--perhaps in literary form, his best--
he turned to me and asked me if I had any comment to make upon it. I read
it very carefully. I then said to him, "Governor, there are certain lines
in it that might be called a self-revelation of Woodrow Wilson." The
lines that I had in mind were:

    I have read many biographies of Lincoln; I have sought out with the
    greatest interest the many intimate stories that are told of him, the
    narratives of nearby friends, the sketches at close quarters, in which
    those who had the privilege of being associated with him have tried to
    depict for us the very man himself "in his habit as he lived"; but I
    have nowhere found a real intimate of Lincoln. I nowhere get the
    impression in my narrative or reminiscence that the writer had in fact
    penetrated to the heart of his mystery, or that any man could
    penetrate to the heart of it. That brooding spirit had no real
    familiars. I get the impression that it never spoke out in complete
    self-revelation, and that it could not reveal itself complete to any
    one. It was a very lonely spirit that looked out from underneath those
    shaggy brows, and comprehended men without fully communing with them,
    as if, in spite of all its genial efforts at comradeship, it dwelt
    apart, saw its visions of duty where no man looked on. There is a very
    holy and very terrible isolation for the conscience of every man who
    seeks to read the destiny in the affairs for others as well as for
    himself, for a nation as well as for individuals. That privacy no man
    can intrude upon. That lonely search of the spirit for the right
    perhaps no man can assist.

To Woodrow Wilson the business of government was a solemn thing, to which
he gave every ounce of his energy and his great intellectual power. No
President in the whole history of America ever carried weightier
responsibilities than he. Night and day, with uncomplaining patience, he
was at his post of duty, attending strictly to the pressing needs of the
nation, punctiliously meeting every engagement, great or small. Indeed, no
man that I ever met was more careless about himself or thought less of
vacations for the purpose of rest and recuperation.

There are three interesting maps which show the mileage covered by
Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson. These maps show the states
traversed by each of the Presidents. Great black smudges show the trail
covered by President Roosevelt, which included every state in the Union,
and equally large black marks show the territory covered by President
Taft, but only a thin line shows the peregrinations and wanderings of
President Wilson. The dynamic, forceful personality of Mr. Roosevelt,
which radiated energy, charm, and good-nature, and the big, vigorous,
lovable personality of Mr. Taft, put the staid, simple, modest, retiring
personality of the New Jersey President, Mr. Wilson, at a tremendous
disadvantage. Into the atmosphere created by these winning personalities
of Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Taft the personality of Mr. Wilson did not easily
fit, and he realized it, when he said to me one day, "Tumulty, you must
realize that I am not built for the dramatic things of politics. I do not
want to be displayed before the public, and if I tried it, I should do it

Without attempting to belittle the great achievements of former Presidents
of the United States, particularly Roosevelt, it is only fair to say that,
comparing the situations which confronted them with those that met
President Wilson from the very beginning of his incumbency, their jobs
were small. As a genial Irishman once said to me, "Hell broke loose when
Wilson took hold." Every unusual thing, every extraordinary thing, seemed
to break and break against us. From the happening of the Dayton flood,
which occurred in the early days of the Wilson Administration, down to the
moment when he laid down the reins of office, it seemed as if the world in
which we lived was at the point of revolution. Unusual, unprecedented, and
remarkable things began to happen, things that required all the patience,
indomitable courage, and tenacity of the President to hold them steady.
The Mexican situation, left on our door-step, was one of the great burdens
that he carried during his administration. Then came the fight for the
revision of the tariff, the establishment of the Federal Reserve System,
all items that constituted the great programme of domestic reform which
emanated from the brain of Woodrow Wilson, and then in the midst of it all
came the European war, the necessity for neutrality, the criticism which
was heaped upon the President for every unusual happening which his
critics seemed to think called for intervention of the United States in
this great cataclysm. It was not a time for the camaraderie and good-
fellowship that had characterized the good old days in which Mr. Roosevelt
served as President.

And yet no man was less exclusive in dealing with the members of the
Senate and House. In preparing the Federal Reserve Act in collaboration
with Senator Glass, he was constantly in touch with the members of the
Senate Banking and Currency Committee, in an endeavour to make clear the
road for the passage of this important piece of constructive legislation.
Constant demands were made upon his time and he gave of his energy and of
the small reserve of strength that he had uncomplainingly and without a
protest. No rest, no recreation, no vacation intervened. Every measure
that he sought to press to enactment was the challenge to a great fight,
as, for instance, the tariff, the currency, the rural credits, and the
Panama tolls acts.

I have often been asked whether anger or passion ever showed itself in the
President, and I am reminded of a little incident that happened at the
White House during one of those conferences with the newspaper men, which,
before the days of the war, and for a long time afterward, took place in
the Executive offices. At the time of this particular conference, the
President's first wife lay seriously ill at the White House, and stories
were carried in the various newspapers exaggerating the nature of her
illness, some of them going so far as to say she was suffering from this
or from that disease. At the very time these stories were appearing in the
newspapers there were also articles that his daughter, Margaret, was
engaged to marry this man or that man. The President came to the newspaper
men's conference this morning fighting mad. It was plain that something
serious was afoot. Taking hold of the back of the chair, as if to
strengthen himself for what he had to say, he looked squarely at the
newspaper men and said, "I hope that you gentlemen will pardon me for a
personal word this morning. I have read the stories that have appeared in
certain newspapers of the country, containing outrageous statements about
the illness of my wife and the marriage of my daughter. I realize that as
President of the United States you have a perfect right to say anything
you damn please about me, for I am a man and I can defend myself. I know
that while I am President it will be my portion to receive all kinds of
unfair criticism, and I would be a poor sport if I could not stand up
under it; but there are some things, gentlemen, that I will not tolerate.
You must let my family alone, for they are not public property. I acquit
every man in this room of responsibility for these stories. I know that
you have had nothing to do with them; but you have feelings and I have
feelings, even though I am President. My daughter has no brother to defend
her, but she has me, and I want to say to you that if these stories ever
appear again I will leave the White House and thrash the man who dares to
utter them."

A little letter came to my notice in which the President replies to an old
friend in Massachusetts who had asked him to attempt to interpret himself:


    You have placed an impossible task upon me--that of interpreting
    myself to you. All I can say in answer to your inquiry is that I have
    a sincere desire to serve, to be of some little assistance in
    improving the condition of the average man, to lift him up, and to
    make his life more tolerable, agreeable, and comfortable. In doing
    this I try hard to purge my heart of selfish motives. It will only be
    known when I am dead whether or not I have succeeded.

    Sincerely your friend,



During the winter of 1919-1920 President Wilson was the target of vicious
assaults. Mrs. Wilson and Admiral Grayson with difficulty curbed his
eagerness to take a leading hand in the fight over the Peace Treaty in the
Senate, and to organize the Democratic party on a fighting basis. It was
not until after the Chicago Convention had nominated Mr. Harding and
enunciated a platform repudiating the solemn obligations of the United
States to the rest of the world that the President broke his silence of
many months. Because he had something he wanted to say to the country he
asked me to send for Louis Seibold, a trusted friend and an experienced
reporter, then connected with the New York _World_. When Mr. Seibold
arrived in Washington on the Tuesday following Mr. Harding's nomination,
the President talked unreservedly and at length with him, discussed the
Republican Convention, characterized its platform as "the apotheosis of
reaction," and declared that "it should have quoted Bismarck and Bernhardi
rather than Washington and Lincoln." During the two days of Mr. Seibold's
visit to the White House he had abundant opportunity to observe the
President's condition of health which had been cruelly misrepresented by
hostile newspapers. Mr. Seibold found him much more vigorous physically
than the public had been given to understand and mentally as alert and
aggressive as he had been before his illness. Mr. Seibold's article, which
by the way was regarded as a journalistic classic and for which Columbia
University awarded the author the Pulitzer prize for the best example of
newspaper reporting of the year, exposed the absurd rumours about the
President's condition and furnished complete evidence of his determination
to fight for the principles to establish which he had struggled so
valiantly and sacrificed so much.

As the days of the San Francisco Convention approached those of us who
were intimately associated with the President at the White House were
warned by him that in the Convention fight soon to take place we must play
no favourites; that the Convention must be, so far as the White House was
concerned, a free field and no favour, and that our attitude of "hands
off" and strict neutrality must be maintained. Some weeks before the
Convention met the President conferred with me regarding the nominations,
and admonished me that the White House must keep hands off, saying that it
had always been charged in the past that every administration sought to
use its influence in the organization of the party to throw the nomination
this way or that. Speaking to me of the matter, he said, "We must make it
clear to everyone who consults us that our attitude is to be impartial in
fact as well as in spirit. Other Presidents have sought to influence the
naming of their successors. Their efforts have frequently brought about
scandals and factional disputes that have split the party. This must not
happen with us. We must not by any act seek to give the impression that we
favour this or that man."

This attitude was in no way an evidence of the President's indifference to
the nominee of the Convention, or to what might happen at San Francisco.
He was passionately anxious that his party's standard bearer should win at
the election if for no other reason than to see his own policies continued
and the League of Nations vindicated.

There was another and personal reason why he insisted that no White House
interference should be brought into play for any particular nominee. His
son-in-law, Mr. William G. McAdoo, was highly thought of in connection
with the nomination, and therefore the President felt that he must be more
than ordinarily strict in insisting that we keep hands off, for anything
that savoured of nepotism was distasteful to him and, therefore, he
"leaned backward" in his efforts to maintain a neutral position in the
Presidential contest and to take no part directly or indirectly that might
seem to give aid and comfort to the friends of his son-in-law. While Mr.
McAdoo's political enemies were busily engaged in opposing him on the
ground of his relationship to the President, as a matter of fact, the
President was making every effort to disassociate himself and his
administration from the talk that was spreading in favour of McAdoo's
candidacy. While every effort was being made by Mr. McAdoo's enemies to
give the impression that the Federal machine was being used to advance his
candidacy, the President was engaged wholly in ignoring Mr. McAdoo's

Every family visit which Mr. McAdoo and his wife, the President's
daughter, paid the White House, was distorted in the newspaper reports
carried to the country into long and serious conferences between the
President and his son-in-law with reference to Mr. McAdoo's candidacy. I
know from my own knowledge that the matter of the nomination was never
discussed between the President and Mr. McAdoo. And Mr. McAdoo's real
friends knew this and were greatly irritated at what they thought was the
gross indifference on the part of the President to the political fortunes
of his own son-in-law. So meticulously careful was the President that no
one should be of the opinion that he was attempting to influence things in
Mr. McAdoo's behalf, that there was never a discussion even between the
President and myself regarding Mr. McAdoo's candidacy, although we had
canvassed the availability of other Democratic candidates, as well as the
availability of the Republican candidates.

I had often been asked what the President's attitude would be toward Mr.
McAdoo's candidacy were he free to take part in the campaign. My only
answer to these inquiries was that the President had a deep affection and
an admiration for Mr. McAdoo as a great executive that grew stronger with
each day's contact with him. He felt that Mr. McAdoo's sympathies, like
his own, were on the side of the average man; and that Mr. McAdoo was a
man with a high sense of public service.

And while the President kept silent with reference to Mr. McAdoo, the
basis of his attitude was his conviction that to use his influence to
advance the cause of his son-in-law was, in his opinion, an improper use
of a public trust.

That he was strictly impartial in the matter of Presidential candidates
was shown when Mr. Palmer, the Attorney General, requested me to convey a
message to the President with reference to his [Palmer's] candidacy for
the nomination, saying that he would be a candidate and would so announce
it publicly if the President had no objection; or that he would resign
from the Cabinet if the announcement would embarrass the President in any
way, and that he would support any man the President saw fit to approve
for this great office.

I conveyed this message to the President and he requested me to notify Mr.
Palmer that he was free to do as he pleased, that he had no personal
choice and that the Convention must be left entirely free to act as it
thought proper and right and that he would gladly support the nominee of
the Convention.

Mr. Homer S. Cummmgs, the permanent chairman of the Convention, Senator
Glass of Virginia, and Mr. Colby, Secretary of State, called upon the
President at the White House previous to taking the train for San
Francisco to inquire if the President had any message for the Convention
or suggestion in the matter of candidates or platforms. He informed them
that he had no message to convey or suggestions to offer.

Thus, to the end, he maintained this attitude of neutrality. He never
varied from this position from the opening of the Convention to its
conclusion. There was no direct wire between the White House and the San
Francisco Convention, although there were frequent long-distance telephone
calls from Colby, Cummings, and others to me; never once did the President
talk to any one at the Convention. At each critical stage of the
Convention messages would come from someone, urging the President to say
something, or send some message that would break the deadlock, but no
reply was forthcoming. He remained silent.

There came a time when it looked as if things at the Convention had
reached an impasse and that only the strong hand of the President could
break the deadlock.

I was informed by long-distance telephone that the slightest intimation
from the President would be all that was necessary to break the deadlock
and that the Convention would nominate any one he designated.



    26 September 1920.

    My dear Governor:

    I think I have found a suitable way to begin our attack if you care to
    take part in this campaign. The whole country is filled with the
    poison spread by Lodge and his group and it has to do principally with
    the attacks made upon you for failing to consult anyone about possible
    changes in the Treaty and your reluctance toward suggesting to your
    associates on the other side changes of any kind.

    George Creel and I have examined the cables that passed between you
    and Mr. Taft and we have prepared a statement which is attached to
    this letter. This statement, with the Taft cables will be a knockout
    (I know that Mr. Taft is already preparing a book on the Treaty which
    will carry these cables) and will clear the air and show how
    contemptible our enemies have been in circulating stories. We have
    carefully gone over the Covenant and find that nearly every change
    suggested by Mr. Taft was made and in come cases you went further than
    he asked.

    George Creel is of the opinion that the statement should come from the
    White House.

    (signed) Tumulty

           *       *       *       *       *

    Dear Tumulty,

    I have read your letter of September twenty-sixth with a sincere
    effort to keep an open mind about the suggestions you make, but I must
    say that it has not changed my mind at all. No answers to Harding of
    any kind will proceed from the White House with my consent.

    It pleases me very much that you and Creel are in collaboration on
    material out of which smashing answers can be made, and I beg that you
    will press those materials on the attention of the Speakers' Bureau of
    the National Committee. It is their clear duty to supply those
    materials in turn to the speakers of the campaign. If they will not, I
    am sorry to say I know of no other course that we can pursue,

    The President.
    C. L. S.

An inside view of the Cox campaign]

I conveyed this information to the President. He shook his head. This told
me that he would not act upon my suggestion and would in no way interfere
with the Convention. To the end he steered clear of playing the part of
dictator in the matter of the nomination. That he took advantage of every
occasion to show that he was playing an impartial hand is shown by the
documents which follow. The Associated Press had carried a story to the
effect that Senator Glass had notified certain delegates that Governor Cox
was persona non grata to the President. When Governor Cox's friends got me
on the long-distance telephone and asked me if there was any foundation
for such a story and after Governor Cox himself had talked with me over
the 'phone from Columbus, I addressed the following note to the President:

    4 July, 1920.


    Simply for your information:

    Governor Cox just telephoned me from Columbus. He felt greatly
    aggrieved at the statement which it is claimed Glass gave out last
    night, and which he says prevented his nomination. He says that Glass
    made the statement that the President had said that "Governor Cox
    would not be acceptable to the Administration."

    He says he has been a loyal supporter of the Administration and has
    asked no favours of it. He also says that Mr. Bryan has been attacking
    him in the most relentless way and that Mr. Bryan's antagonism toward
    him became particularly aggravated since the Jackson Day dinner, when
    the Governor went out of his way to disagree with Mr. Bryan in the
    matter of the Lodge reservations.

    He thinks, whether he himself is nominated or not, this action of
    Glass's has hurt the Democratic chances in Ohio. He says he does not
    ask for any statement from the Administration, but he would leave it
    to the President's sense of justice whether or not he has been treated
    in fairness.


The President read my note and immediately authorized me to issue the
following statement:

    The White House, Washington,
      4 July, 1920.

    When a report was brought to Secretary Tumulty's attention of rumours
    being circulated in San Francisco that the President had expressed an
    opinion with reference to a particular candidate, he made the
    following statement:

    "This is news to me. I had discussed all phases of this convention
    with the President and had been in intimate touch with him during its
    continuance, and I am positive that he has not expressed an opinion to
    any one with reference to a particular candidate for the Presidency.
    It has always been his policy to refrain from taking any stand that
    might be construed as dictation."

The proceedings of the Convention finally resulted in the nomination of
Governor Cox. The President expressed his great pleasure at the nomination
for Governor Cox had long been a devoted friend and admirer of his, and he
was certain that he would not desert him on the issue so close to his
heart--the League of Nations.

When Governor Cox visited the White House and conferred with the
President, the Governor assured the President that he intended to stand by
him. The President showed deep emotion and expressed his appreciation to
Governor Cox. Governor Cox afterward told me that no experience of his
life had ever touched him so deeply as that through which he had just
passed at the White House. He spoke of the modesty of the President, his
simplicity and the great spiritual purpose that lay back of his advocacy
of the League of Nations. Turning to me, he said, "No man could talk to
President Wilson about the League of Nations and not become a crusader in
its behalf." Governor Cox may have entered the White House that day as a
politician. He left it as a crusader, ready to fight for the cause.

As the campaign progressed we attempted to induce the President to issue
weekly statements from the White House, but after long consideration he
concluded that in view of the Republican strategy of trying to make him
personally, instead of Governor Cox and the League of Nations, the issue,
it would be better tactics for him to remain silent. He broke his silence
only once, a week before the election, in a message to the people
insisting upon the League of Nations as the paramount issue of the

It was really touching when one conferred with him to find him so hopeful
of the result. Time and time again he would turn to me and say, "I do not
care what Republican propaganda may seek to do. I am sure that the hearts
of the people are right on this great issue and that we can confidently
look forward to triumph."

I did not share his enthusiasm, and yet I did not feel like sending
reports to him that were in the least touched with pessimism because of
the effect they might have upon his feelings.

Then came the news of Governor Cox's defeat and with it the news of the
defeat of the solemn referendum on the League of Nations.

The loneliest place in the country on election night is the White House
Office, especially when the tide of opinion throughout the country is
running strongly against you. I have noticed the difference in the
atmosphere of the place and in the crowds that come to congratulate and to
rejoice when you are winning and the few loyal ones that remain with you
throughout the night of defeat. It takes a stout heart to withstand the
atmosphere of the White House on election night.

The first reports from the country were overwhelming, and there was no
spot in the country where we could look for hope and consolation. In the
early hours of the evening I sent whatever few optimistic reports I could
get to the President, so that at least he would not feel the full weight
of the blow on election night. His intimate friends had told me that they
feared the effect of defeat upon his health; but these fears were
groundless and never disturbed me in the least, for I had been with him in
many a fight and I was sure that while he would feel the defeat deeply and
that it would go to his heart, its effect would only be temporary.

My feeling in this regard was justified for in my talk with him the day
after the election no bitterness was evident. He said, "They have
disgraced us in the eyes of the world. The people of America have
repudiated a fruitful leadership for a barren independence. Of course, I
am disappointed by the results of the election for I felt sure that a
great programme that sought to bring peace to the world would arouse
American idealism, and that the Nation's support would be given to it. It
is a difficult thing, however, to lead a nation so variously constituted
as ours quickly to accept a programme such as the League of Nations. The
enemies of this enterprise cleverly aroused every racial passion and
prejudice, and by poisonous propaganda made it appear that the League of
Nations was a great Juggernaut which was intended to crush and destroy
instead of saving and bringing peace to the world. The people will have to
learn now by bitter experience just what they have lost. There will, of
course, be a depression in business for the isolation which America covets
will mean a loss of prestige which always in the end means a loss of
business. The people will soon witness the tragedy of disappointment and
then they will turn upon those who made that disappointment possible."



    20 October 1920.

    My Dear Governor:

    Of course nothing will be done in the Root matter, according to your
    suggestion to me of this morning; but I feel it my duty to advise you
    that nearly all the reports from the men whose judgment and opinion
    are usually good are to the effect that unless you will intervene and
    take a more active interest in the campaign, the Administration will
    be repudiated at the election.

    There is a slight drift towards Cox, but unless you take advantage of
    it and speed it up, there is very little hope.

    The President.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The White House,

    (Manuscript: Of course I will help. I was under the impression that I
    was helping. But I will do it at my own time and in my own way.
    W. W.)

Further light on the Cox campaign.]

When I intimated to him that the Cox defeat might in the long run prove a
blessing, he rebuked me at once by saying: "I am not thinking of the
partisan side of this thing. It is the country and its future that I am
thinking about. We had a chance to gain the leadership of the world. We
have lost it, and soon we will be witnessing the tragedy of it all."

After this statement to me with reference to the result of the election,
he read to me a letter from his old friend, John Sharp Williams, United
States senator from Mississippi, a letter which did much to bolster and
hearten him on this, one of the most trying days of his life in the White
House. The letter follows:


    God didn't create the world in one act. I never expected that we would
    win in the United States the first battle in the campaign for a league
    of nations to keep the peace of the world. Our people were too "set"
    by our past history and by the _apparent_ voice of the Fathers in an
    opposite course, a course of isolation. This course was hitherto the
    best for accomplishing the very purpose we must now accomplish by a
    seemingly contrary course. We must now begin the war in earnest. We
    will win it. Never fear, the stars in their courses are fighting with
    us. The League is on its feet, learning to walk, Senate coteries

    As for the vials of envy and hatred which have been emptied on your
    head by all the un-American things, aided by demagogues who wanted
    their votes and got them, abetted by yellow journals, etc., these
    lines of Byron can console you:

      "There were two cats in Kilkenny
      They fit and fit until of cats there weren't any."

    This is almost a prophecy of what will happen now between Borah,
    Johnson & Co. and Root, Taft & Co., with poor Lodge mewing "peace"
    when there is no peace--except a larger peace outside their horizon.
    They have been kept united by hatred of you, by certain foreign
    encouragements, and by fear of the Democratic party. With the
    necessity to act, to do something, the smouldering fire of differences
    will break forth into flame. Conserve your health. Cultivate a cynical
    patience. _Give them all the rope you can._ Now and then when they
    make too big fools of themselves, throw in a keynote veto--not often--
    never when you can give them the benefit of the doubt and with it
    responsibility. They have neither the coherence nor the brains to
    handle the situation. Events will work their further confusion, events
    in Europe. God still reigns. The people can learn, though not quickly.

    With regards,

One would think that after the election the President would show a
slackening of interest in the affairs of the nation; that having been
repudiated by a solemn referendum, he would grow indifferent and listless
to the administrative affairs that came to his desk. On the contrary, so
far as his interest in affairs was concerned, one coming in contact with
him from day to day after the election until the very night of March 3rd
would get the impression that nothing unusual had happened and that his
term of office was to run on indefinitely.

One of the things to which he paid particular attention at this time was
the matter of the pardon of Eugene V. Debs. The day that the
recommendation for pardon arrived at the White House, he looked it over
and examined it carefully, and said: "I will never consent to the pardon
of this man. I know that in certain quarters of the country there is a
popular demand for the pardon of Debs, but it shall never be accomplished
with my consent. Were I to consent to it, I should never be able to look
into the faces of the mothers of this country who sent their boys to the
other side. While the flower of American youth was pouring out its blood
to vindicate the cause of civilization, this man, Debs, stood behind the
lines, sniping, attacking, and denouncing them. Before the war he had a
perfect right to exercise his freedom of speech and to express his own
opinion, but once the Congress of the United States declared war, silence
on his part would have been the proper course to pursue. I know there will
be a great deal of denunciation of me for refusing this pardon. They will
say I am cold-blooded and indifferent, but it will make no impression on
me. This man was a traitor to his country and he will never be pardoned
during my administration."



I was greatly concerned lest the President should be unable by reason of
his physical condition to stand the strain of Inauguration Day. Indeed,
members of his Cabinet and intimate friends like Grayson and myself had
tried to persuade him not to take part, but he could not by any argument
be drawn away from what he believed to be his duty--to join in the
inauguration of his successor, President-elect Harding. The thought that
the people of the country might misconstrue his attitude if he should
remain away and his firm resolve to show every courtesy to his successor
in office were the only considerations that led him to play his part to
the end. When I arrived at the White House early on the morning of the 4th
of March, the day of the inauguration, I found him in his study, smiling
and gracious as ever. He acted like a boy who was soon to be out of school
and free of the burdens that had for eight years weighed him down to the
breaking point. He expressed to me the feeling of relief that he was
experiencing now that his term of office was really at an end. I recalled
to him the little talk we had had on the same day, four years before, upon
the conclusion of the ceremonies incident to his own inauguration in 1917.
At the time we were seated in the Executive office. Turning away from his
desk and gazing out of the window which overlooked the beautiful White
House lawn and gardens, he said: "Well, how I wish this were March 4,
1921. What a relief it will be to do what I please and to say what I
please; but more than that, to write my own impressions of the things that
have been going on under my own eyes. I have felt constantly a personal
detachment from the Presidency. The one thing I resent when I am not
performing the duties of the office is being reminded that I am President
of the United States. I feel toward this office as a man feels toward a
great function which in his working hours he is obliged to perform but
which, out of working hours, he is glad to get away from and resume the
quiet course of his own thought. I tell you, my friend, it will be great
to be free again."

On this morning, March 4, 1921, he acted like a man who was happy now that
his dearest wish was to be realized. As I looked at Woodrow Wilson, seated
in his study that morning, in his cutaway coat, awaiting word of the
arrival of President-elect Harding at the White House, to me he was every
inch the President, quiet, dignified; ready to meet the duties of the
trying day upon which he was now to enter, in his countenance a calm
nobility. It was hard for me to realize as I beheld him, seated behind his
desk in his study, that here was the head of the greatest nation in the
world who in a few hours was to step back into the uneventful life of a
private citizen.

A few minutes and he was notified that the President-elect was in the Blue
Room awaiting his arrival. Alone, unaided, grasping his old blackthorn
stick, the faithful companion of many months, his "third leg," as he
playfully called it, slowly he made his way to the elevator and in a few
seconds he was standing in the Blue Room meeting the President-elect and
greeting him in the most gracious way. No evidence of the trial of pain he
was undergoing in striving to play a modest part in the ceremonies was
apparent either in his bearing or attitude, as he greeted the President-
elect and the members of the Congressional Inaugural Committee. He was an
ill man but a sportsman, determined to see the thing through to the end.
President-elect Harding met him in the most kindly fashion, showing him
the keenest consideration and courtesy.

And now the final trip to the Capitol from the White House. The ride to
the Capitol was uneventful. From the physical appearance of the two men
seated beside each other in the automobile, it was plain to the casual
observer who was the out-going and who the in-coming President. In the
right sat President Wilson, gray, haggard, broken. He interpreted the
cheering from the crowds that lined the Avenue as belonging to the
President-elect and looked straight ahead. It was Mr. Harding's day, not
his. On the left, Warren Gamaliel Harding, the rising star of the
Republic, healthy, vigorous, great-chested, showing every evidence in his
tanned face of that fine, sturdy health so necessary a possession in order
to grapple with the problems of his country. One, the man on the right, a
battle-scarred veteran, a casualty of the war, now weary and anxious to
lay down the reins of office; the other, agile, vigorous, hopeful, and
full of enthusiasm for the tasks that confronted him. Upon the face of the
one were written in indelible lines the scars and tragedies of war; on
that of the other, the lines of confidence, hope, and readiness for the

The Presidential party arrived at the Capitol. Woodrow Wilson took
possession of the President's room. Modestly the President-elect took a
seat in the rear of the room while President Wilson conferred with
senators and representatives who came to talk with him about bills in
which they were interested, bills upon which he must act before the old
clock standing in a corner of the room should strike the hour of twelve,
noon, marking the end of the official relationship of Woodrow Wilson with
the affairs of the Government of the United States. It was about eleven-
thirty. Senators and congressmen of both parties poured into the office to
say good-bye to the man seated at the table, and then made their way over
to congratulate the President-elect.

It was a few minutes before twelve o'clock. The weary man at the table was
still the President, still the ruler of a great people, the possessor for
a little while longer, just a little while longer, of more power than any
king in Christendom.

Presently there appeared at the door a gray-haired man of imperious
manner. Addressing the President in a sharp, dry tone of voice, he said:
"Mr. President, we have come as a committee of the Senate to notify you
that the Senate and House are about to adjourn and await your pleasure."
The spokesman for the committee was Henry Cabot Lodge, the distinguished
senator from Massachusetts, the implacable political foe of the man he was

It was an interesting study to watch the face and manner of Woodrow Wilson
as he met the gaze of Senator Lodge who by his attacks had destroyed the
great thing of which the President had dreamed, the thing for which he had
fought and for which he was ready to lay down his life. It appeared for a
second as if Woodrow Wilson was about to give full sway to the passionate
resentment he felt toward the man who, he believed, had unfairly treated
him throughout the famous Treaty fight. But quickly the shadow of
resentment passed. A ghost of a smile flitted across his firm mouth, and
steadying himself in his chair, he said in a low voice: "Senator Lodge, I
have no further communication to make. I thank you. Good morning."

Senator Lodge and the committee withdrew from the room. I looked at the
clock in the corner. A few minutes more and all the power which the weary
man at the table possessed would fall from his shoulders. All left the
room except the President, Mrs. Wilson, Admiral Grayson, and myself.

The old clock in the corner of the room began to toll the hour of twelve.
Mechanically I counted, under my breath, the strokes: "One, two, three,"
on through "twelve," and the silent room echoed with the low vibration of
the last stroke.

Woodrow Wilson was no longer President. By the votes of the American
people he had been returned to the ranks of his fellow countrymen. A great
warrior had passed from the field, a leading actor had made his exit. The
dearest wish of his political enemies had at last been realized. The
prayers of his devoted friends that he would live to see the eight years
of his administration through, had been answered. His own bearing and
attitude did not indicate that anything unusual had happened.

Quickly Woodrow Wilson, now the private citizen, turned to make his way to
the elevator, leaning on his cane, the ferrule striking sharply on the
stone pavement as he walked; but his spirit was indomitable. A few minutes
before all interest had been centred upon him. Now but a few loyal friends
remained behind. Interest was transferred to the scene being enacted a few
feet away in the Senate Chamber, the induction into office of Vice-
President Coolidge. By the time we reached the elevator, the brief
ceremony in the Senate Chamber had ended, and the multitude outside were
cheering Mr. Harding as he appeared at the east front of the Capitol to
deliver his inaugural address. We heard the United States Marine Band
playing "Hail to the Chief." For a few seconds I looked toward the
reviewing stand. The new President, Warren G. Harding, was taking his
place on the stand amid the din and roar of applause. He was the focus of
all eyes, the pivot around which all interest turned. Not one of the
thousands turned to look at the lonely figure laboriously climbing into
the automobile. The words of Ibsen flashed into my mind:

  The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.




The White House, Washington,
  10 December, 1918.

  Paris, France.

Stories that you have agreed to sinking of German ships have caused great
deal of unfavourable comment here.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  16 December, 1918.

  C/O American Embassy, Paris, France.

Most popular note in this country in your speech are the words _Quote_ We
must rebuke acts of terror and spoliation and make men everywhere aware
that they cannot be ventured upon without certainty of just punishment
_End Quote._


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  21 December, 1918.


If it is America's intention to back up the Allies in sinking German
ships, the idea is so vague in this country that there ought to be a great
deal of elucidation if the President intends to take this stand. Hope the
President will be more definite than he has been in speeches in reference
to League of Nations and freedom of the seas. His enemies here and abroad
hope that he will particularize so that they can attack him. People of the
world are with him on general principles. They care little for details.


        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  22 December, 1918.

  American Embassy, Paris.

Springfield _Republican _editorially gives expression to fear that
President may be made captive by Allied Imperialism and says _Quote_ The
conditions and atmosphere which now envelop him may be calculated to fill
his mind with doubts as to the wisdom of his previous views and to expose
him to the peril of vacillation, compromise, and virtual surrender of
vital principles _End Quote_. Country deeply pleased by impression Mrs.
Wilson has made abroad.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  24 December, 1918

  Care Of American Embassy, Paris, France.

Stories appearing here stating in effect that you intend to appeal to
people of Europe bound to do great deal of harm. My affectionate Christmas
Greetings to Mrs. Wilson and you.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  31 December, 1918.

  Paris, France.

Clemenceau's speech, wherein he advocated a world settlement based upon
the old balance of power ideas, demonstrates necessity for and wisdom of
your trip, and has set stage for final issue between balance of power and
League of Nations. If America fails now, socialism rules the world and if
international fair-play under democracy cannot curb nationalistic
ambitions, there is nothing left but socialism upon which Russia and
Germany have already embarked. You can do nothing more serviceable than
without seeming to disagree with Clemenceau, drive home in your speeches
differences between two ideals, one, the balance of power means
continuance of war; other, concert of nations means universal peace. One
has meant great standing armies with larger armaments and burdensome
taxation, consequent unrest and bolshevism. If the statesmanship at
Versailles cannot settle these things in the spirit of justice, bolshevism
will settle them in a spirit of injustice. The world is ready for the
issue. Clemenceau has given you great chance; this country and whole world
will sustain you. Country ready to back you up when you ask for its
support. Everything fine here.


        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  6 January, 1919.


Hope you will consider the suggestion for your return trip. Your personal
contact with peoples of Europe has done much to help your programme. Our
people will be with your programme, but it (the programme) must be
personally conducted. If you return here without reception or ovation,
public opinion on other side liable to misunderstand. The time of your
return (in my opinion) is the hour for you to strike in favour of League
of Nations. Lodge and leading Republicans constantly attacking, excepting
Taft, who is daily warning them of political dangers of their opposition
to your programme. Could you not consider stopping upon your return at
Port of Boston instead of New York. The announcement of your stopping at
Boston would make ovation inevitable throughout New England and would
centre attack on Lodge. You have not been to New England in six years. It
would be a gracious act and would help much. It would strengthen League of
Nations movement in House and Senate and encourage our friends in Senate
and House and throughout country. Our people just as emotional as people
of Europe. If you return without reception, Lodge and others will construe
it as weakness. If the people of our country could have seen you as people
of Europe, our situation would be much improved, especially result of last
November would have been different. My suggestion would be speech at
Faneuil Hall, Boston; speech in Providence, New Haven, New York and
reception upon return to Washington, to be participated in by returning


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  6 January, 1919.


The attitude of the whole country toward trip has changed. Feeling
universal that you have carried yourself magnificently through critical
situations, with prestige and influence greatly enhanced here and abroad.
The criticisms of the cloak-room statesmen have lost their force. I
realize difficulties still to be met, but have no doubt of result. Trip
admitted here by everybody to be wonderful success. Last week with perils
of visit to Vatican most critical. The whole psychology favours the
success of your trip. The peoples of Europe and the United States with you
for League of Nations and against settlements based upon balance of power.
Opinion here is that cards are stacked against you. My own opinion your
influence so great in Europe that European leaders cannot stand in your
way. Now is the critical moment and there must be no wasting away of your
influence in unnecessary delay of conference. Hearts of the peoples of the
world for League of Nations and they are indifferent to its actual terms.
They are against militarism and for any reasonable plan to effectuate


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  13 January 1919.


In past two weeks the trend of newspaper dispatches from Paris has
indicated a misunderstanding of your general attitude towards problems
pending at peace conference. One newspaper cablegram says today that
France, Italy and Great Britain have agreed to subordinate your league of
nations programme to the need for counteracting bolshevism and collecting
damages from Germany. Another a few days ago reported that Clemenceau had
made headway with his insistence upon maintenance of balance of power.
Still another outlined victory of Great Britain in her opposition to
freedom of seas, stating that you had abandoned your position in response
to arguments of France, supporting Great Britain. Similar stories would
give impression that you were yielding, although we are aware that some of
the suggestions for compromise are probably your own. Situation could
easily be remedied if you would occasionally call in the three press
association correspondents who crossed on _George Washington_ with you,
merely giving them an understanding of the developments as they occur and
asking them not to use information as coming from you, but merely for
their own guidance. It would show wisdom of various compromises as well as
circumstances of such compromises. Proposal of Lloyd George that the
Russian Bolshevik be invited to send peace delegates to Paris produced
very unfavourable impression everywhere. It is denounced here as amazing.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  16 January 1919.

  Care of President Wilson, Paris.

American newspapers filled with stories this morning of critical character
about rule of secrecy adopted for Peace Conference, claiming that the
first of the fourteen points has been violated. In my opinion, if
President has consented to this, it will be fatal. The matter is so
important to the people of the world that he could have afforded to go any
length even to leaving the conference than to submit to this ruling. His
attitude in this matter will lose a great deal of the confidence and
support of the people of the world which he has had up to this time.


       *        *        *        *        *


Received at White House, Washington,
  January 16, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

Your cable about misunderstandings concerning my attitude toward problems
created by the newspaper cablegrams concerns a matter which I admit I do
not know how to handle. Every one of the things you mention is a fable. I
have not only yielded nothing but have been asked to yield nothing. These
manoeuvres which the cablegram speaks of are purely imaginary. I cannot
check them from this end because the men who sent them insist on having
something to talk about whether they know what the facts are or not. I
will do my best with the three press associations.


       *        *        *        *        *


Received at White House, Washington,
  January 17, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

Distressed to hear of your illness. Beg that you will make it your chief
duty to take care of yourself and get well. All unite in most affectionate
messages. Everything going well here. Very few of the troubles spoken of
by the newspapers are visible to me on the spot.


       *        *        *        *        *


Received at White House, Washington,
  January 21, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

The issue of publicity is being obscured by the newspaper men and we have
won for the press all that is possible or wise to win, namely, complete
publicity for real conferences. Publicity for the conversations I am
holding with the small group of the great powers will invariably break up
the whole thing, whereas the prospects for agreement are now, I should
say, very good indeed. Delighted that you are up and beg that you will not
expose yourself or exert yourself too soon. Affectionate messages from us


        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  29 January, 1919.


Notice in morning papers discussion with reference to disposition of
German colonies. Call your attention to speech of British Premier
delivered in January as follows: _Quote_ with regard to German colonies, I
have repeatedly declared that they are held at the disposal of a
conference whose decision must have primary regard to the wishes of the
native inhabitants. The general principle of national self-determination
therefore is applicable in their cases as in those of the occupied
European territories _End quote_. I believe that Balfour made a similar


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  March 15, 1919.

President's Residence, Paris
  White House, Washington.

The Plenary Council has positively decided that the League of Nations is
to be part of the Peace Treaty. There is absolutely no truth in report to
the contrary.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  16 March 1919.


Believe your most critical time in setting forward America's position at
conference has come. Opposition to League growing more intense from day to
day. Its bitterness and pettiness producing reaction. New polls throughout
country indicate strong drift toward league. League of Nations and just
peace inseparable. Neither half can stand alone. Know you will not be
drawn away from announced programme to incorporate League covenant in
treaty. You can afford to go any length in insisting upon this. There is
no doubt of your success here and abroad. The real friends of a
constructive peace have not begun to fight. Everything fine here.


        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  25 March, 1919.


There is great danger to you in the present situation. I can see signs
that our enemies here and abroad would try to make it appear that you are
responsible for delay in peace settlement and that delay has increased
momentum of bolshevism and anarchy in Hungary and Balkans. Can
responsibility for delay be fixed by you in some way?


        *       *       *       *       *

_Cable From the Associated Press at Paris._

Paris, March 27, 1919.

President Wilson to-day issued the following statement:

_Quote_ in view of the very surprising impression which seems to exist in
some quarters, that it is the discussions of the commission on the league
of nations that are delaying the final formulation of peace, I am very
glad to take the opportunity of reporting that the conclusions of this
commission were the first to be laid before the plenary conference.

They were reported on February 14, and the world has had a full month in
which to discuss every feature of the draft covenant then submitted.

During the last few days the commission has been engaged in an effort to
take advantage of the criticisms which the publication of the covenant has
fortunately drawn out. A committee of the commission has also had the
advantage of a conference with representatives of the neutral states, who
are evidencing a very deep interest and a practically unanimous desire to
align themselves with the league.

The revised covenant is now practically finished. It is in the hands of a
committee for the final process of drafting, and will almost immediately
be presented a second time to the public.

The conferences of the commission have invariably been held at times when
they could not interfere with the consultation of those who have
undertaken to formulate the general conclusions of the conference with
regard to the many other complicated problems of peace, so that the
members of the commissions congratulate themselves on the fact that no
part of their conferences has ever interposed any form of delay _End

        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  25 March, 1919.


St. Louis _Republic_ of Saturday reporting speech of Senator Reed
referring to provision naming members of League says: _Quote_ he told of
what he called a secret protocol and intimated that Germany is included in
this secret protocol _End quote_. Advise whether or not there is any
secret protocol such as Senator claims or of any character, attached to
League Covenant.


        *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  March 27, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

Statement that there is any sort of secret protocol connected with or
suggested in connection with the League of Nations is absolutely false.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  March 28, 1919.


Stories here this morning that amendment for Monroe Doctrine and racial
discrimination to be excluded from covenant causing a great deal of


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  March 30, 1919.


In an editorial entitled _Treat or Fight_, Springfield _Republican_ says:
_Quote_ It is plain that the Allies dare not commit themselves to an
avowed war on the soviets and that it is not possible for the Allies with
the world in its present temper to take the position that the existence of
the soviet form of government in any country constitutes a casus belli;
that the world would recoil from the proposal to begin a new series of war
with so dubious an object; that Russia should be left to manage her own
affairs _End Quote_. Editorial disagreed with policy of French Government
towards Russia and soviets. Calls attention to disastrous results of
foreign intervention during French Revolution, Editorial further says:
_Quote_ Impossible to fight revolution in one place and be at peace
elsewhere. If Allies mean to fight Hungary because it has set up a soviet
form of government and allied itself to Russia they will have to fight
Russia. If they fight Russia they will have to fight the Ukraine. Such a
war would mean the end of the League of Nations. It is plain that the
Allies dare not commit themselves to an avowed war on the Soviets _End


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  March 30, 1919.


Dispatches from Simonds and others prove stories of weeks ago were most
optimistic now touched with deep pessimism. Simonds in article on Saturday
says: Quote No common objective in council; no dominating influence;
drifting, etc. End Quote. I fear your real position in council not
understood here and that lack of publicity strengthening many false
impressions. The responsibility attaching to those associated with you,
including France and England, when they accepted Fourteen Points evidently
lost sight of by them. Do not know what your real situation is, but it
appears to me that Germany is not prepared to accept the kind of peace
which is about to be offered, or if she does accept, with its burdensome
conditions, it means the spread of bolshevism throughout Germany and
central Europe. It seems to me that you ought in some way to reassert your
leadership publicly. I know the danger, but you cannot escape
responsibility unless you do so. Now is the moment in my opinion to strike
for a settlement permanent and lasting.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  2 April, 1919.


The proposed recognition of Lenine has caused consternation here.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  April 4, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

Am still confident that President will win. Encountering difficulties;
situation serious. President is the hope of the world more than ever, and
with his courage, wisdom, and force he will lead the way. Have you any
suggestions as to publicity or otherwise?


        *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  April 4, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

The President took very severe cold last night; confined to bed. Do not
worry; will keep you advised.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  April 5, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

We are naturally disappointed at progress being made but not discouraged.
Hopeful everything will turn out all right. Will advise you if anything
definite develops. The President is better this morning but confined to
bed. No cause for worry.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  April 5, 1919.

  % President Wilson, Paris.

In my opinion the President must in some dramatic way clear the air of
doubts and misunderstandings and despair which now pervade the whole world
situation. He must take hold of the situation with both hands and shake it
out of its present indecision, or political sabotage and scheming will
triumph. Only a bold stroke by the President will save Europe and perhaps
the world. That stroke must be made regardless of the cries and
admonitions of his friendly advisers. He has tried to settle the issue in
secret; only publicity of a dramatic kind now can save the situation. This
occasion calls for that audacity which has helped him win in every fight.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  April 6, 1919.


The President says the situation here is extremely complex and intricate,
but seems to be improving and he expects to have it in hand this week, but
if necessary will act according to your suggestions. The President is
confined to bed but steadily improving. Thanks for your telegram.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  April 8, 1919.


President attended conference in his study this afternoon. Situation shows
some improvement. President has ordered _George Washington_ to proceed
here immediately.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  April 9,1919.

  Care President Wilson, Paris.

The ordering of the _George Washington_ to return to France looked upon
here as an act of impatience and petulance on the President's part and not
accepted here in good grace by either friends or foes. It is considered as
an evidence that the President intends to leave the Conference if his
views are not accepted. I think this method of withdrawal most unwise and
fraught with the most dangerous possibilities here and abroad, because it
puts upon the President the responsibility of withdrawing when the
President should by his own act place the responsibility for a break of
the Conference where it properly belongs. The President should not put
himself in the position of being the first to withdraw if his 14 points
are not accepted. Either he should put himself in the position of being
the one who remained at the Conference until the very last, demanding the
acceptance of his 14 principles. Nothing should be said about his leaving
France, but he ought when the time and occasion arrive to re-state his
views in terms of the deepest solemnity and yet without any ultimatum
attached and then await a response from his associates. In other words,
let him by his acts and words place his associates in the position of
those who refuse to continue the Conference because of their unwillingness
to live up to the terms of the Armistice. Then the President can return to
this country and justify his withdrawal. He cannot justify his withdrawal
any other way. Up to this time the world has been living on stories coming
out of Paris that there was to be an agreement on the League of Nations.
Suddenly out of a clear sky comes an order for the _George Washington_ and
unofficial statements of the President's withdrawal. A withdrawal at this
time would be a desertion.


        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  9 April, 1919.


A great number of your friends here fear that the interposition of United
States in matter of indemnity and reparation which is a paramount question
with European nations and only of indirect interest to us will solidify
the opposition of England, France, Italy, and Belgium to a league of
nations. Our friends believe that any necessary sacrifices to assure a
league of nations should be made. Your supporters would be happy if you
could throw upon the other nations the burden of exacting indemnities and
at the same time win their support to a league of nations.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  10 April, 1919.


President made good progress to-day by hammering ahead with his own force.
His health is improving; out for a short drive this afternoon; first
outing since last Thursday.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  April 10, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

Have shown your message to the President. From your side of the water your
points are well taken, but he has formed his ideas through immediate
contact with actual conditions on this side of the world.... More progress
has been made in the last two days than has been made for the last two
weeks. Am spending all the time I can in guiding correspondents and
showing them every attention. I confer with Grasty every day. The
President is working too hard following his recent illness. To know that
things are going on and not properly handled, and yet be responsible for
them, causes him more worry and anxiety and does more harm than actual
participation. This is a matter that worries me. If his health ca hold out
I am still confident he will win handsomely. Am keeping as cheerful a
front as possible over here.


        *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  April 12, 1919.


So far as it is possible to tell amidst complexity of selfish interests
things seem to be slowly clearing. President sends you his love and says
keep stiff upper lip.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  April 24, 1919.

  White House.

Thank you for your cable about Industrial Board. On the whole I think they
have got into a blind alley, but I am glad you are going to obtain Hines'
opinion. _Do not give yourself any concern about secret treaties. You may
be sure I will enter into none._


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  30 April, 1919.


Beg to call your attention to following editorial from Springfield
_Republican_. _Quote_ The critical period in the peacemaking has been
reached when progress can win over reaction the very least of victories
only by a resolute stand of the most commanding figure in Paris. France
and England cannot desert the President without branding themselves as
hypocrites and ingrates. Worse things could happen than for the President
to come home without a peace treaty, leaving Europe to wallow in the mire
of national rivalries and hates to which reaction would sentence it for
all time. There is no compelling reason why America should sign a treaty
that would merely perpetuate ancient feuds and make new wars a certainty.
Our chief interest in the Conference at Paris, as the President declared
at Manchester, is the peace of the world. Unless that can be made
reasonably sure, with Europe's sincere cooperation, the time is near when
'pack up and come home' will be America's only policy _End Quote_.


        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  8 May, 1919.


In your cable you spoke of forwarding message to Congress. Have you made
up your mind as to what you will discuss? Would like to suggest certain
things I believe vital.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  May 9, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

Happily there is no mystery or privacy about what I have promised the
Government here. I have promised to propose to the Senate a supplement in
which we shall agree, subject to the approval of the Council of the League
of Nations, to come immediately to the assistance of France in case of
unprovoked attack by Germany, thus merely hastening the action to which we
should be bound by the Government of the League of Nations.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  22 May, 1919.


Great demonstration New York last night, addressed by Hughes, to protest
killings in Poland, Galicia, Roumania and elsewhere. Feeling in this
matter growing more intense throughout the country. Cannot something be
done? It is evident that Germany is doing everything to separate the
Allies. A great many newspapers in this country are worried lest you be
carried away by the pleadings of Germany for a _Quote_ softer peace _End
Quote_. I know you will not be led astray. There is an intense feeling in
the Senate in favour of the publication of the terms of the Treaty. Can
anything be done to straighten this out?


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  23 May, 1919.


Mr. Taft in signed article this morning says: _Quote_ Find it hard to
believe that President Wilson sent sympathetic note to women who plead for
Huns _End Quote_. I think this matter of sufficient importance to be
cleared up from this side. There is great deal of unrest here owing to
talk in newspapers of return of German ships to Great Britain.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  May 24,1919.


I think our friends in the Senate ought to be furnished very frankly with
the following reason, which seems to me quite convincing, for not at
present publishing the complete treaty: namely, that if our discussion of
the treaty with the Germans is to be more than a sham and a form it is
necessary to consider at least some of the details of the treaty as
subject to reconsideration and that, therefore, it would be a tactical
blunder to publish the details as first drafted, notwithstanding the fact
that there is no likelihood that they will be departed from in any
substantial way.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  May 25, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

No one need have any concern about the return of the German ships in our
possession. Full understanding has been reached about them. As for Mr.
Taft's criticism, I am quite willing to be responsible for any sympathetic
reply I make to appeals on behalf of starving women and children. Please
give following message to Glass: You may take it for granted that I will
sign the Urgent Deficiency Bill and go forward with the plans you mention
in your cable.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  26 May, 1919.


Every Republican member of new Foreign Relations Committee openly opposed
to treaty, a majority in favour of its amendment. Every Democratic member
of Committee, including Thomas, for treaty and against separation. There
is a decided reaction evident against the League, caused, in my opinion,
by dissatisfaction of Irish, Jews, Poles, Italians, and Germans.
Republicans taking full advantage and liable, in order to garner
disaffected vote, to make absolute issue against League, Reaction
intensified by your absence and lack of publicity from your end and
confusion caused by contradictory statements and explanations of _Quote_
so-called compromises _End Quote_. Simonds' article appearing in certain
American newspapers Sunday, admirable, explaining reasons for Saar Valley
and French pact and other controversial matters.

There is a tremendous drive against League, resembling German propaganda,
backed by Irish and Jews. Irish openly opposing; Jews attacking along
collateral lines. Could not Lansing or perhaps White, because he is a
Republican, or yourself inspire publicity or give interview explaining--
officially or unofficially--the following matters:

  _First_--America's attitude toward publication of terms of Treaty, along
           lines of your last cable to me.

  _Second_--That the fourteen points have not been disregarded.

  _Third_--The underlying reason for French pact emphasizing the point as
           Simonds' says _Quote_ That French pact is merely an
           underwriting of the League of Nations during the period
           necessary for that organization not merely to get to work, but
           to become established and recognized by all nations
           _End quote_.

I am not at all disturbed by this reaction--it was inevitable. The
consummation of your work in the signing of the Treaty will clear the air
of all these distempers. Your arrival in America, your address to the
Congress and some speeches to the country will make those who oppose the
League to-day feel ashamed of themselves. The New York _World_ had a very
good editorial favouring the mandatory of Turkey.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  June 16, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

If Germans sign the Treaty we hope to get off the first of next week,
about the 24th or 25th. It is my present judgment that it would be a
mistake to take any notice of the Knox amendment. The whole matter will
have to be argued from top to bottom when I get home and everything will
depend upon the reaction of public opinion at that time. I think that our
friends can take care of it in the meantime and believe that one of the
objects of Knox and his associates is to stir me up, which they have not
yet done. I may nevertheless take the opportunity to speak of the League
of Nations in Belgium.


        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  21 June, 1919.


The fight against the League in Knox resolution faces utter collapse. Root
and Hayes here advising Republican leaders. I learned that Root is
advising Republicans to vote for the League with reservations. He is
advising Republicans to concentrate their forces upon a resolution of
ratification, which would contain specific reservations on the Monroe
Doctrine, immigration, tariff, and other purely American questions. I
believe that this is the course the Republicans will finally adopt. A
confidant of Mr. Taft's yesterday wanted to know from me what your
attitude was in this matter, saying that Mr. Taft might favour this
reservation plan. I told him I had no knowledge on the subject. It is a
thing that you might consider. To me it looks like cowardice.

The American Federation of Labour adopted a resolution favouring the
League of Nations by a vote of twenty-nine thousand seven hundred fifty
against four hundred twenty. Andrew Furuseth led the fight against it. The
resolution supporting the League contained a reservation in favour of home
rule for Ireland.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House, Washington,
  June 23, 1919.


My clear conviction is that the adoption of the Treaty by the Senate with
reservations would put the United States as clearly out of the concert of
nations as a rejection. We ought either to go in or stay out. To stay out
would be fatal to the influence and even to the commercial prospects of
the United States, and to go in would give her the leadership of the
world. Reservations would either mean nothing or postpone the conclusion
of peace, so far as America is concerned, until every other principal
nation concerned in the Treaty had found out by negotiation what the
reservations practically meant and whether they could associate themselves
with the United States on the terms of the reservations or not. Moreover,
changes in the Treaty seem to me to belong to the powers of negotiation
which belong to the President and that I would be at liberty to withdraw
the Treaty if I did not approve of the ratifications. I do not think it
would be wise for me to wait here for the appropriation bills. I hope to
sail on the twenty-fifth or twenty-sixth and suggest that you consider
the plan of sending a vessel to meet me.


        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  June 23, 1919.


Your cable concerning reservations in ratification would make fine
statement for the public. The country would stand back of you in this. Can
I use it in this way or can I at least furnish copies to Senator Hitchcock
and Mr. Taft? If you allow me to make public use of it may I change
_Quote_ leadership of the world _End Quote_ to _Quote_ a notable place in
the affairs of the world _End Quote_. This in order to avoid possibility
of hurting feelings of other nations. Now is time to issue statement of
this kind as Lodge has practically withdrawn Knox resolution and opponents
seem to be concentrating on _Quote_ reservations _End Quote_.


       *       *       *       *       *


  White House, Washington.

June 25, 1919.

I am quite willing that you should make public use of my cable to you
about reservations by the Senate in regard to the treaty, with this change
in the sentence to which you call my attention:

_Quote_ And to go in would give her a leading place in the affairs of the
world, _End Quote_ omitting also the last sentence about changes belonging
to power to negotiate treaties.


       *       *       *       *       *

June 25, 1919.

Secretary Tumulty to-day gave out a message which he had received from the
President, as follows:

My clear conviction is that the adoption of the Treaty by the Senate with
reservations would put the United States as clearly out of the concert of
nations as a rejection. We ought either to go in or stay out. To stay out
would be fatal to the influence and even to the commercial prospects of
the United States, and to go in would give her a leading place in the
affairs of the world. Reservations would either mean nothing or postpone
the conclusion of peace, so far as America is concerned, until every other
principal nation concerned in the treaty had found out by negotiation what
the reservations practically meant and whether they could associate
themselves with the United States on the terms of the reservations or not.


        *       *       *       *       *

_Cablegram from Grasty to New York_ Times

June 29, 1919.

Aboard the _Oklahoma_.

President's sailing from Brest most auspicious. Most beautiful weather and
promise of more of same. President and Mrs. Wilson showed no ill effects
from strenuous activities of past few days and while both formed sincere
attachment for France, they are glad to turn faces homeward. Contrary to
some reports current in America he is in excellent health. While element
of novelty which entered his reception on arrival last December
disappeared, there was deeper feeling manifested toward him last night in
Paris than ever before. Thousands of _Quote_ Vive Wilson _End Quote_ came
from French heart and continuous ovation. Paris showed popular recognition
of leadership of American in securing peace. One very old Frenchman sprang
in front of President's carriage in Champs Élysées and shouted in English:
_Quote_ Mr. Wilson, thank you for peace _End Quote_. That was the keynote
and same sentiment was echoed in thousands of ways. Although owing to
different American viewpoints, Wilson has been frequently antagonistic
during this month, at end relations with other governments' heads most
cordial. Lloyd George came over to Place des États-Unis last night and
told President _Quote_ You've done more to bring English-speaking people
together than ever before done by any man _End Quote_. Clemenceau looked
as if losing his best friend when he said Good Bye in Invalides Station.
Many representatives of smaller nations have expressed to me within past
few days hope that President be able to return to Europe and continue his
work of reconciliation and reconstruction, which they said nobody else in
position to do or able to do so well.




The White House, Washington,
  16 March, 1919.


Former President Taft asks if he may cable to you direct, for your
consideration only, some suggestions about which he has been thinking a
great deal and which he would like to have you consider. He said that
these suggestions do not look to the change of the structure of the
League, the plan of its action or its real character, but simply to
removing objections in minds of conscientious Americans, who are anxious
for a league of nations, whose fears have been roused by suggested
constructions of the League which its language does not justify and whose
fears could be removed without any considerable change of language.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at White House,
  March 18, 1919.

In reply to your number sixteen, appreciate Mr. Taft's offer of
suggestions and would welcome them. The sooner they are sent the better.
You need give yourself no concern about my yielding anything with regard
to the embodiment of the proposed convention in the Treaty.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  18 March, 1919.


Following from Wm. H. Taft:

_Quote_ If you bring back the Treaty with the League of Nations in it,
make more specific reservations of the Monroe Doctrine, fix a term for the
duration of the League and the limit of armament, require expressly
unanimity of action in Executive Council and Body of Delegates, and add to
Article XV a provision that where the Executive Council of the Body of
Delegates finds the difference to grow out of an exclusively domestic
policy, it shall recommend no settlement, the ground will be completely
cut from under the opponents of the League in the Senate. Addition to
Article XV will answer objection as to Japanese immigration as well as
tariffs under Article XXI. Reservation of the Monroe Doctrine might be as

    Any American state or states may protect the integrity of American
    territory and the independence of the government whose territory it
    is, whether a member of the League or not, and may, in the interests
    of American peace, object to and prevent the further transfer of
    American territory or sovereignty to any European or non-American

Monroe Doctrine reservation alone would probably carry the treaty but
others would make it certain. (signed) Wm. H. Taft _End Quote_.


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  21 March, 1919.


The following letter from Hon. Wm. H. Taft. _Quote_ I have thought perhaps
it might help more if I was somewhat more specific than I was in the
memorandum note I sent you yesterday, and I therefore enclose another
memorandum _End Quote_.

    _Duration of the Covenant_

    Add to the Preamble the following:

    _Quote_ From the obligations of which any member of the League may
    withdraw after July 1, 1829, by two years' notice in writing, duly
    filed with the Secretary General of the League _End Quote_.


    I have no doubt that the construction put upon the agreement would be
    what I understand the President has already said it should be, namely
    that any nation may withdraw from it upon reasonable notice, which
    perhaps would be a year. I think, however, it might strengthen the
    Covenant if there was a fixed duration. It would completely remove the
    objection that it is perpetual in its operation.

    _Duration of Armament Limit_

    Add to the first paragraph of Article VIII, the following:

    _Quote_ At the end of every five years, such limits of armament for
    the several governments shall be reëxamined by the Executive Council,
    and agreed upon by them as in the first instance _End Quote_.


    The duration of the obligation to limit armament, which now may only
    be changed by consent of the Executive Council, has come in for
    criticism. I should think this might thus be avoided, without in any
    way injuring the Covenant. Perhaps three years is enough, but I should
    think five years would be better.

    _Unanimous Action by the Executive Council or Body of Delegates_

    Insert in Article IV, after the first paragraph, the following:

    _Quote_ Other action taken or recommendations made by the Executive
    Council or the Body of Delegates shall be by the unanimous action of
    the countries represented by the members or delegates, unless
    otherwise specifically stated _End Quote_.


    Great objection is made to the power of the Executive Council by a
    majority of the members and the Body of Delegates to do the things
    which they are authorized to do in the Covenant. In view of the
    specific provision that the Executive Council and the Body of
    Delegates may act by a majority of its members as to their procedure,
    I feel confident that, except in cases where otherwise provided, both
    bodies can only act by unanimous vote of the countries represented. If
    that be the right construction, then there can be no objection to have
    it specifically stated, and it will remove emphatic objection already
    made on this ground. It is a complete safeguard against involving the
    United States primarily in small distant wars to which the United
    States has no immediate relation, for the reason that the plan for
    taking care of such a war, to be recommended or advised by the
    Executive Council, must be approved by a representative of the United
    States on the Board.

    _Monroe Doctrine_

    Add to Article X.

    (a) _Quote_ A state or states of America, a member or members of the
    League, and competent to fulfil this obligation in respect to American
    territory or independence, may, in event of the aggression, actual or
    threatened, expressly assume the obligation and relieve the European
    or non-American members of the League from it until they shall be
    advised by such American state or states of the need for their aid
    _End Quote_.

    (b) _Quote_ Any such American state or states may protect the
    integrity of any American territory and the sovereignty of the
    government whose territory it is, whether a member of the League or
    not, and may, in the interest of American peace, object to and prevent
    the further transfer of American territory or sovereignty to any
    European or non-American power _End Quote_.


    Objection has been made that under Article X, European governments
    would come to America with force and be concerned in matters from
    which heretofore the United States has excluded them. This is not
    true, because Spain fought Chili, in Seward's time, without objection
    from the United States, and so Germany and England instituted a
    blockade against Venezuela in Roosevelt's time. This fear could be
    removed, however, by the first of the above paragraphs. Paragraph (b)
    is the Monroe Doctrine pure and simple. I forwarded this in my first
    memorandum. It will be observed that Article X only covers the
    integrity and independence of members of the League. There may be some
    American countries which are not sufficiently responsible to make it
    wise to invite them into the League. This second paragraph covers
    them. The expression _Quote_ European or non-American _End Quote_ is
    inserted for the purpose of indicating that Great Britain, though it
    has American dominion, is not to acquire further territory or

    _Japanese Immigration and Tariffs_

    Add to Article XV.

    _Quote_ If the difference between the parties shall be found by the
    Executive Council or the Body of Delegates to be a question which by
    international law is solely within the domestic jurisdiction and
    polity of one of the parties, it shall so report and not recommend a
    settlement of the dispute _End Quote_.


    Objection is made to Article XV that under its terms the United States
    would be found by unanimous recommendation for settlement of a dispute
    in respect to any issue foreign or domestic; that it therefore might
    be affected seriously, and unjustly, by recommendations forbidding
    tariffs on importations. In my judgment, we could only rely on the
    public opinion of the world evidenced by the Body of Delegates, not to
    interfere with our domestic legislation and action. Nor do I think
    that under the League as it is, we covenant to abide by a unanimous
    recommendation. But if there is a specific exception made in respect
    to matters completely within the domestic jurisdiction and legislation
    of a country, the whole criticism is removed. The Republican senators
    are trying to stir up anxiety among Republicans lest this is to be a
    limitation upon our tariff. The President has already specifically met
    the objection as to limitation upon the tariff when the Fourteen
    Points were under discussion. Nevertheless in this respect to the
    present language of the Covenant, it would help much to meet and
    remove objections, and cut the ground under senatorial obstruction.

    _Prospect of Ratification_

    My impression is that if the one article already sent, on the Monroe
    Doctrine, be inserted in the Treaty, sufficient Republicans who signed
    the Round Robin would probably retreat from their position and vote
    for ratification so that it would carry. If the other suggestions were
    adopted, I feel confident that all but a few who oppose any league
    would be driven to accept them and to stand for the League.

    (End letter)


       *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  28 March, 1919.


Following just received from Mr. Taft: _Quote_ Venture to suggest to
President that failure to reserve Monroe Doctrine more specifically in
face of opposition in Conference will give great weight to objection that
League as first reported endangers Doctrine. It will seriously embarrass
advocates of League, it will certainly lead to Senate amendments embodying
Doctrine and other provisions in form less likely to secure subsequent
acquiescence of other nations than proper reservation now. Deems some kind
of Monroe Doctrine amendment now to Article Ten vital to acceptance of
League in this country. I say this with full realization that
complications in Conference are many and not clearly understood here. A
strong and successful stand now will carry the League _End Quote_.


       *       *       *       *       *

_Letter from Mr. Taft._

New York, N, Y., April 10, 1919.


We are very much troubled over the report that the Monroe Doctrine
amendment to the Covenant is being opposed by England and Japan. Will you
be good enough to send the enclosed to the President? We had a meeting to-
day of the Executive Council of the League to Enforce Peace. Doctor Lowell
and I, at the instance of the League, will be glad to have this matter
presented directly to the President by cable.

Sincerely yours,
  WM. H. TAFT.

  Secretary To The President,
  The White House,
  Washington, D. C.

        *       *       *       *       *


The White House, Washington,
  13 April, 1919.


Following is sent at the request of Mr. Taft: _Quote_ Friends of the
Covenant are seriously alarmed over report that no amendment will be made
more specifically safeguarding Monroe Doctrine. At full meeting of
Executive Committee of League to Enforce Peace, with thirty members from
eighteen states present, unanimous opinion that without such amendment,
Republican senators will certainly defeat ratification of Treaty because
public opinion will sustain them. With such amendment, Treaty will be
promptly ratified.



       *       *       *       *       *

March 27, 1919.


For Secretary Lansing from Polk.

Following are proposed amendments to the Constitution of the League of
Nations which have been drafted by Mr. Root:

_First Amendment_: Strike out Article XIII, and insert the following: The
high contracting powers agree to refer to the existing Permanent Court of
Arbitration at The Hague, or to the Court of Arbitral Justice proposed at
the Second Hague Conference when established, or to some other arbitral
tribunal, all disputes between them (including those affecting honour and
vital interests) which are of a justiciable character, and which the
powers concerned have failed to settle by diplomatic methods. The powers
so referring to arbitration agree to accept and give effect to the award
of the Tribunal.

Disputes of a justiciable character are defined as disputes as to the
interpretation of a treaty, as to any question of international law, as to
the existence of any fact which if established would constitute a breach
of any international obligation, or as to the nature and extent of the
reparation to be made for any such breach.

Any question which may arise as to whether a dispute is of a justiciable
character is to be referred for decision to the Court of Arbitral Justice
when constituted, or, until it is constituted, to the existing Permanent
Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

_Second Amendment_. Add to Article XIV the following paragraphs:

The Executive Council shall call a general conference of the powers to
meet not less than two years or more than five years after the signing of
this convention for the purpose of reviewing the condition of
international law, and of agreeing upon and stating in authoritative form
the principles and rules thereof.

Thereafter regular conferences for that purpose shall be called and held
at stated times.

_Third Amendment_. Immediately before the signature of the American
Delegates, insert the following reservation:

Inasmuch as in becoming a member of the League the United States of
America is moved by no interest or wish to intrude upon or interfere with
the political policy or internal administration of any foreign state, and
by no existing or anticipated dangers in the affairs of the American
continents, but accedes to the wish of the European states that it shall
join its power to theirs for the preservation of general peace, the
representatives of the United States of America sign this convention with
the understanding that nothing therein contained shall be construed to
imply a relinquishment by the United States of America of its traditional
attitude towards purely American questions, or to require the submission
of its policy regarding such questions (including therein the admission of
immigrants) to the decision or recommendation of other powers.

_Fourth Amendment_. Add to Article X the following:

After the expiration of five years from the signing of this convention any
party may terminate its obligation under this article by giving one year's
notice in writing to the Secretary General of the League.

_Fifth Amendment_. Add to Article IX the following:

Such commission shall have full power of inspection and verification
personally and by authorized agents as to all armament, equipment,
munitions, and industries referred to in Article VIII.

_Sixth Amendment_. Add to Article XXIV the following:

The Executive Council shall call a general conference of members of the
League to meet not less than five nor more than ten years after the
signing of this convention for the revision thereof, and at that time, or
at any time thereafter upon one year's notice, any member may withdraw
from the League.

POLK, Acting.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first suggestion made by Mr. Root is not only substantially expressed
in Article XIII of the Treaty, but almost literally, in its very text,
appears in this section of the Covenant.

Mr. Root's proposition that "the high contracting powers agree to refer to
the existing permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague or to the court
of arbitral Justice proposed at the Second Hague, when established, or to
some other arbitral tribunal, all disputes between them," etc. This is
actually done by Article 13, the reference being not to the Hague or to
the proposal of the Second Hague Convention, but to a court of arbitration
"agreed on by the parties to the dispute or stipulated in any convention
existing between them."

As will readily be seen, Mr. Root's definition of "disputes of justiciable
character" is embodied literally in Article XIII of the Covenant, Mr.
Root's exact language having been appropriated at the Peace Commission.

Mr. Root's second proposed amendment provided for calling "a general
conference of the powers to meet in not less than two years, or more than
five years, after the signing of this convention for the purpose of
reviewing the condition of international law and of agreeing upon and
stating in authoritative form the principles and rules thereof."

In Article XIX of the Covenant it is provided that the Assembly meet from
time to time to engage in "the consideration of international conditions
whose continuance might endanger the peace of the world." If it may be
said that this provision of Article XIX does not make it mandatory upon
the council to meet at fixed periods, for the purpose of reviewing
international conditions, on the other hand it may be urged that it
empowers the Assembly to advise such a review at any time, and the Council
to make such review at any time and as often as the necessities might
permit. "The consideration of international conditions" certainly
comprehends a review of international law and a rectification of its
imperfections, so that substantially the whole of this suggestion by Mr.
Root is in the Covenant.

The third amendment of the Covenant suggested by Mr. Root is exceedingly
interesting in several particulars. Those who would invoke the aid and
sympathy of the Government of the United States in the effort for Irish
freedom will observe that Mr. Root herein precludes the United States from
having any interest in, or wish to intrude upon or interfere with, the
political policy of the internal administration of any foreign state.
Contrast this with Article XI of the Covenant, which President Wilson in a
speech on the Pacific coast said was peculiarly his own and in which it is
declared to be the friendly right of any member of the League to bring to
the attention of the Assembly or of the Council any circumstances whatever
affecting international relations which threaten to disturb the internal
peace or understanding between nations, and if this may be regarded as
outside the question, let it go, and turn to another significant phrase
contained in Mr. Root's suggested amendment. It will be noted that nowhere
in his suggested modifications of the Covenant does Mr. Root suggest any
alteration whatsoever of Article X, as it stands. On the contrary, in Mr.
Root's third suggested amendment he proposed to put the United States
definitely on record as acceding "to the wish of the European states that
this nation shall join its powers to theirs for the preservation of
general peace."

The final proposition contained in Mr. Root's proposed third amendment is
broadly cared for in Article XXI of the Covenant relating to the Monroe
Doctrine, and by implication in paragraph 8 of Article XV, which prohibits
any recommendation by the Council as to the settlement of the matters
solely within the domestic jurisdiction of any member of the League.

It may, furthermore, be stated that the President cheerfully agreed to a
reservation presented by Mr. Hitchcock, of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, even more specifically withholding all domestic questions from
the jurisdiction of the League.

Mr. Root's fourth suggested amendment proposed to permit any member of the
League to terminate its obligations, under Article X, by giving one year's
notice of its desire. While no such modification of Article X was made,
the much broader right was given to any nation to renounce all of its
obligations to the League and to terminate its membership of the League
upon two years' notice at any time after joining.

The fifth suggested amendment by Mr. Root, proposing a modification of
Article IX, by empowering a commission to inspect and verify, either
personally or by authorized agents, all armaments, equipment, munitions,
and industries relating to the manufacture of war material, does not
appear to have been adopted, nor can any one rationally insist that it was
essential to accept this suggestion. Article IX provides for the
appointment of a permanent commission to advise the Council of the
execution of those provisions of the Covenant. relating to armament,
equipment, munitions, etc., in the military and naval branches of

A sane interpretation of this article would imply that the commission has
power to inspect and verify facts, because in no other way could it
possibly function.

Mr. Root's sixth proposed amendment makes it mandatory upon the Executive
Council of the League to call a general conference of members to meet not
less than five years or more than ten years after the signing of the
Covenant for purposes of revision, etc. This modification of the Covenant
was not made, but the fact that it was omitted by no manner of means
precludes the exercise of that particular function by the Council. Without
Mr. Root's amendment it is perfectly competent for the Council to convene
such a meeting of the members of the League at any time. It might do this
in less time than five years, or it might postpone the doing of it for ten
years or a longer period.



24 April, 1919.


As we see it from this distance, the selfish designs of Japan are as
indefensible as are those of Italy. The two situations appear to parallel
each other in their bearing upon the fate of weak and helpless nations.
Would it not be an opportune time to cast another die, this one in the
direction of Japan, that the whole world may know once and for all where
America stands upon this, the greatest issue of the peace we are trying to
make? Now is the time to use your heavy artillery and emphasize the danger
of secret treaties and selfish designs of certain big nations.


       *       *       *       *       *

Received at The White House, Washington,
  11:48 A.M.

April 26, 1919.

  White House,

Am very grateful for your message of approval about the Japanese business.
It has warmed my heart mightily. The difficulties here would have been
incredible to me before I got here. Your support kept me in heart.


       *       *       *       *       *


26 April, 1919.


It appears to me from this end that the Japanese demands will soon produce
another crisis. If such a crisis arises, I hope you will in any statement
you make emphasize again America's purpose and her unwillingness to
consent to any imperialistic peace. The whole country will be with you in
this matter as never before. I think that your Italian statement was the
beginning of a real peace and a real league of nations.


       *       *       *       *       *

Received at The White House, Washington,
  April 29, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

Situation still difficult. President putting up great fight against odds.
Japanese claims now under discussion.


       *       *       *       *       *


Received at The White House, Washington.
  April 30, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

Japanese situation hanging by a thread. They are in conference now. These
are terrible days for the President physically and otherwise.


       *       *       *       *       *

Received at The White House, Washington,
  May 1, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

The solution of the Kiauchau question is regarded here both generally and
by special friends of China, like Charles R. Crane, as remarkably
favourable and fortunate considering its rotten and complicated past and
the tangle of secret treaties in which she was enmeshed and from which she
had to be extricated. It is regarded as a wonderful victory for the
President. The Japanese themselves admit that they have made far greater
concessions than they had even dreamed would be required of them. The
Chinese agreed that they have great confidence in their interests being
safeguarded in every way and they appreciate that the League of Nations
eventually will look after them.


       *       *       *       *       *


1 May, 1919.


I have not made use of the Japanese statement but am keeping my ear to the
ground and waiting. My feeling is that an attempt to explain the
compromise when no demand is made, would weaken our position instead of
strengthening it. I will therefore do nothing about the Japanese matter
unless you insist. It would help if I could unofficially say: First, the
date of your probable return to this country; Second, whether tour country
to discuss the League of Nations is possible. The adoption of the labour
programme as part of the peace programme is most important, but not enough
emphasis is being placed upon it. Could you not make a statement of some
kind that we could use here, showing the importance of this programme as
helping toward the stabilization of labour conditions throughout the


       *       *       *       *       *


2 May, 1919.


Sympathetic editorial New York _World_ reference Japanese settlement. I
have not given out statement as yet. It does not look now as if any would
be necessary.


       *       *       *       *       *

Received at The White House, Washington,
  2 May, 1919.

  White House, Washington.

Am perfectly willing to have you use your discretion about the use you
make of what I sent you about the Chinese-Japanese settlement. Sorry I
cannot predict the date of my return though I think it will be by June
first. Am expecting to make a tour of the country but even that is
impossible to predict with certainty.


       *       *       *       *       *


4 May, 1919.

  Care President Wilson, Paris.

Papers here very critical of Japanese settlement. Chinese statement given
great publicity.


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