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Title: All in a Life-time
Author: Strother, French, Morgenthau, Henry
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "All in a Life-time" ***

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                          ALL IN A LIFE-TIME

                   [Illustration: HENRY MORGENTHAU]

                          ALL IN A LIFE-TIME

                           HENRY MORGENTHAU

                         IN COLLABORATION WITH
                            FRENCH STROTHER



                         GARDEN CITY NEW YORK
                       DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

                       COPYRIGHT, 1921, 1922, BY

                       DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY


                     PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES

                            _First Edition_


                         MY DEVOTED COMPANION

                                MY WIFE

                         WHO ORIGINATED SOME,
                          AND STIMULATED ALL,
                         OF MY BEST ENDEAVOURS


CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

    I. NEW WORLDS FOR OLD                                              1

   II. SCHOOL DAYS                                                     7

  III. APPRENTICED TO THE LAW                                         18

   IV. REAL ESTATE                                                    39

    V. FINANCE                                                        63

   VI. SOCIAL SERVICE                                                 94

  VII. EARLY POLITICAL EXPERIENCES                                   109

 VIII. MY ENTRANCE INTO NATIONAL POLITICS                            128

   IX. THE CAMPAIGN OF 1912                                          150

    X. THE SOCIAL SIDE OF CONSTANTINOPLE                             174

   XI. MY TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND                                      211

  XII. THE CAMPAIGN OF 1916                                          234


  XIV. JOHN PURROY MITCHEL                                           278

   XV. A HECTIC FORTNIGHT--AND OTHERS                                287

  XVI. THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS                                   310

 XVII. THE PEACE CONFERENCE                                          322

XVIII. MY MISSION TO POLAND                                          348

  XIX. ZIONISM A SURRENDER, NOT A SOLUTION                           385

       APPENDIX                                                      407

       INDEX                                                         441


Henry Morgenthau                                           _Frontispiece_

                                                             FACING PAGE

Mr. Morgenthau playfully refers to this picture as
the Morgenthau dynasty                                                54

Mr. Morgenthau with Theodore Roosevelt, Charles
E. Hughes, Oscar Straus, and other distinguished
citizens                                                             118

Mr. Morgenthau as one of the group of financiers,
doctors, and sociologists who organized the international
association of Red Cross societies                                   267

Ignace Paderewski, Premier of Poland, and her representative
at Paris                                                             358

Joseph Pilsudski, Chief of State of Poland, who was
not, at first, in sympathy with the American
Mission                                                              374

Rabbi Rubenstein, a leader of the Jewish community
at Vilna                                                             390




I was born in 1856, at Mannheim, in the Grand Duchy of Baden. That was
the old Germany, very different from the Prussianized empire with which
America was to go to war sixty years later, and very different again
from the bustling life of the western world to which I was to be
introduced so soon and in which I was to play a part unlike anything
which my most fanciful dreams ever pictured.

Indeed, those were days of idyllic simplicity in South Germany and
especially in that little city on the Rhine. The life of the people was
best expressed by a word that was forever on their lips, _gemütlich_,
that almost untranslatable word that implies contentment, ease, and
satisfaction, all in one. It was a time of peace and fruitful industry
and quiet enjoyment. The highest pleasure of the children was netting
butterflies in the sunny fields; the great events of youth were the song
festivals and public exhibitions of the “Turners” and walking excursions
into the country; the recreation of the elders was at little tables in
the public gardens, where, while the band played good music and the
youngsters romped from chair to chair, the women plied their knitting
needles over endless cups of coffee, and the men smoked their pipes and
sipped their beer and talked of art and philosophy--of everything in the
world, except world politics and world war.

To us children who had seen no larger city, but had visited many small
villages in the neighbourhood, Mannheim seemed quite an important town.
It was at the point where the Neckar flows into the Rhine, and as this
river flowed through the Odenwald, it constantly brought big loads of
lumber and also many bushels of grain to Mannheim, which had become a
distributing centre for various cereals and lumber, and was also a great
tobacco centre. My father had cigar factories at Mannheim and also in
Lorsch and Heppenheim and sometimes employed as many as a thousand
hands. Nevertheless, the entire population of Mannheim was scarcely
21,000, and the thoughts of most of its inhabitants were bent on the
sober concerns of their every-day struggles and on raising their large
families, without ambition for great riches or hope of higher place.
None but the nobles dreamed of such grandeur as a carriage and pair; the
successful tradesman only occasionally gratified a modest love of
display or travel by hiring a barouche for a drive through the hop
fields and tobacco patches surrounding the city to one of the near-by
villages. Those whose mental powers were of a superior order exercised
them in a keen appreciation of poetry, music, and the drama; Schiller
and Goethe were their demi-gods, Mozart and Beethoven their companions
of the spirit. The Grand Duke’s fatherly devotion to his subjects’
welfare had won him their filial affection; with political matters they
concerned themselves almost not at all.

My childhood recollections reflect the quiet colours of this atmosphere.
My father was prosperous, and our home was blessed by the comforts and
little elegancies that his means made possible; it shared in the
artistic interests of the community by virtue both of his interest in
the theatre and my mother’s passion for the best in literature and
music. I was the ninth of eleven living children, and I recall the
visits of the music teachers who gave my sisters lessons on the piano
and taught my eldest brother to play the violin. We children learned by
heart the poems of Goethe and Schiller and shared the pride of all
Mannheimers that the latter poet had once lived in our city and that his
play, “The Robbers,” was first produced at our Stadt Theatre.

Those who like to reflect upon the smallness of the world will find it
amusing to read that among the various friends of my family were quite a
few with whom we are now on the most cordial relations in New York. Our
physician was Dr. Gutherz, one of whose daughters married my neighbour,
Nathan Straus. Their son and mine are intimate friends, and, in turn,
their sons, Nathan 3d and Henry 3d, are now playmates in Central Park.

Among such associations the first ten years of my life were passed. We
studied hard, but we played hard, too. Nor were our muscles forgotten:
we were given regular exercises, and great was my pride when I passed
the “swimming test” one summer’s day, by holding my own for the
prescribed half hour against the Rhine current and so winning the right
to wear the magic letters R. S.--“Rhine-Swimmer”--on my bathing suit.
Life was indeed gemütlich in the Mannheim of that period.

It was not long, however, before the faraway world of America began to
knock at our quiet door. A brother of my father had joined the gold rush
to the Pacific and settled in San Francisco; he wrote us tales of the
wild, free life of California, its adventures and its wealth. Strange
gifts came back from him--a cane for the Grand Duke, its head a piece of
gold-bearing quartz; for us children queer mementoes of an existence
that seemed all romance. From time to time, this “Gold-Uncle,” as we
called him, gave American friends touring Europe letters of introduction
to my father, and these visitors enhanced the charm of the United
States. One such especially filled our minds with narratives of easily
won riches; Captain Richardson, a bearded Forty-niner, whose accounts of
the land of opportunity were so much more moving than our fairy tales as
to affect even my father’s mature fancy.

For my father heard them at a moment when, by an odd coincidence, an act
of the American Congress had caused him great damage. In 1862 a tariff
had been enacted by the United States which greatly increased the duty
on cigars. For many years the largest part of his production had been
exported to the United States. Father had a representative in New York,
and his brother in San Francisco attended to the distribution on the
Pacific Coast--they both had urged him to rush over all the cigars he
could and land them before the law should go into effect. Unfortunately,
the slow freighter that carried the last and biggest shipment arrived
one day too late. Had she docked in time, my life might have been spent
differently. That day’s delay meant the difference between profit and
disaster to my father; the cigars, which, when duty free, would have
yielded him a good return, were a dead loss when to their cost was added
the burden of the new tariff charges. These changes in any event would
have compelled him to seek a new market, as they closed America forever
to goods of the cheap grade of German tobacco. That might have been
arranged, but when the necessity to seek new fields was coupled with the
crushing loss sustained upon this shipment, his finances were so
weakened that he realized he would have to start afresh and on a smaller

This was a heavy blow to the pride of a man who had achieved a great
business success and was a leading citizen in his community. The
instinct to seek another field for the fresh start was fortified by the
stories of opportunity in the land whose laws had just dealt the blow.
He resolved to emigrate to America.

I remember vividly the excitement in our household that was provoked by
this momentous decision. Whatever may have been the doubts and
heartburnings of our parents, to us children all was a joyous vista. We
were happy at the thought of travelling to that far land of golden
promise and strange people; we had visions only of adventure, and we
were the envy of our playmates who were not to share with us the voyage
across the Atlantic Ocean or the excitement of life in America.

The two eldest brothers and one of my sisters went ahead of us and
established a home in Brooklyn. They wrote back their first impressions
of New York; its great buildings and its crowded wharves; its masses of
busy people hastening through the maze of streets and the novelty (to
us) of horse cars pulled through the streets on railroad tracks. These
letters gave us fresh thrills of emotion and new material for our active
fancies. Then my father abandoned his now unprofitable business, sold
his factories and home, packed our household goods and furniture, and
possessed of about thirty thousand dollars in cash--all that remained of
his fortune--led his wife and remaining eight children upon the

I well remember the journey down the Rhine to Cologne, where we visited
the beautiful cathedral before we took the train to Bremen; the solemn
interview in the latter city at the offices of the North German Lloyd,
where the last formalities were disposed of; and finally settling in our
cabins of the slow old steamer _Hermann_ as she put forth on her way
across the wide Atlantic.

My memories of the eleven-day voyage itself are rather vague. I recall
playing around the deck with the other family of children on the ship.
The daughter of one of those little playmates is now conducting a
private school in New York City which three of my granddaughters
attend. I remember, too, that on the stormiest day of our passage, I was
proud of being the only child well enough to eat his meals, and that the
Captain honoured me with a seat beside him at his table.

Now, the newcomer to America, arriving at New York, stands on the deck
of a swift liner and is welcomed by the Statue of Liberty and
overwhelmed by the vaulting office-buildings springing high into the
blue. I shall tell later how I have contributed to the creation of some
of them. But on that June day of my arrival, in 1866, I simply felt that
one of the momentous hours in my life had come, when I found myself
stepping ashore into a vast garden of unlimited opportunities.



My family took up their residence at 92 Congress Street, Brooklyn, which
my elder brothers and two sisters, our pioneers, had prepared for us,
and though handicapped as we were by our small knowledge of English, we
younger children began our studies at the De Graw Street Public School
in the September following our arrival. Eight months later, on the first
day of May, 1867, we moved to Manhattan.

It was a very simple New York to which we came. In domestic economy,
portières were unknown, rugs a rarity; ingrain carpets, costing about
sixty cents a yard, were the usual floor coverings; when the walls were
papered, it was with the cheapest material; the only bathtubs were of
zinc, and one to a house was the almost universal rule. Our home was No.
1121 Second Avenue, corner of Fifty-ninth Street--a three-storey,
high-stoop brownstone house, rows of which were then being erected. It
still stands there, the high stoop removed from it; stores are in the
basements; the district has deteriorated to one of cheap tenements and
small retail businesses. But in those days there was an effort to make
Upper Second Avenue one of the chief residential streets of the city.
The householders were mostly well-to-do Germans--people who had
prospered on the Lower East Side and had outgrown their quarters there.
The monotony of the thoroughfare was relieved only by the old-fashioned
horse car that rumbled by every four or five minutes. Like the letter
carriers of that period, neither the drivers nor the conductors wore
uniforms. The line ended at Sixty-fourth Street where the truck-gardens
began. On our way to Sunday School, at Thirty-ninth Street near Seventh
Avenue, we would make a short-cut across the site where the first Grand
Central Station was being erected.

I had my little difficulties in school: I well remember how one of the
boys told me that he deeply sympathized with me, because I would have to
overcome the double handicap of being both a Jew and a German. So I
greatly rejoiced when I saw the steady disappearance of the prejudice
against the Germans after they had succeeded in winning the
Franco-Prussian War in 1871.

About the most picturesque and artistic parade that had ever taken place
in New York was arranged by all the German societies and their
sympathizers, the singing clubs and the _turn vereins_ participating.
Non-Germans lent their carriages. Among the generous people was the
famous Dr. Hemholdt, of patent medicine fame. He owned a rather
fantastic vehicle, which was drawn by five horses decorated with white
cockades and which he lent for the occasion to an uptown club of which
my brother was the secretary. I was permitted to fill in, so that I saw
with my own eyes and was deeply impressed by the crowds that lined the
streets and vociferously and heartily, for the first time, gave their
unstinted approval of the Germans.

We children did not lose a day in our pursuit of education; for on the
very day of our removal to Manhattan, I attended Grammar School No. 18,
in Fifty-first Street near Lexington Avenue. At recess-time we boys used
to play “tag” on the foundations of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the
construction of which had been stopped during the Civil War. I have very
pleasant recollections of my early grammar school teachers, and
especially of one who later was for years Clerk of the Board of
Education, the efficient Lawrence D. Kiernan, who, while at School 18,
was elected to the Assembly as a candidate of the “Young Democrats” and
whose talks to us pupils on civic duty seemed like great orations and
gave me my first impression of independence in politics.

Nevertheless, I laboured under two disadvantages--one was my English;
the difference in structure between my native and my adopted language
gave me considerable trouble; so did the pronunciation of the letters
_w_ and _d_, but my greatest difficulty was the diphthong _th_, and to
overcome it, I compiled and learned lists of words in which it occurred
and for weeks devoted some time, night and morning, to repeating:
“Theophilus Thistle, the great thistle-sifter, sifted one sieve-full of
unsifted thistles through the thick of his thumb.” However, as the
greatest stress was laid on proficiency in arithmetic, and as I had a
natural aptitude for that study, my proficiency there balanced these
deficiencies and took me into the highest class at the age of eleven.

It was a general belief that all “Dutchmen” were cowards, and on the
playground this idea was acted upon with considerable spirit. I was made
the target of many a joke that I took in good part, until I realized
that something positive was required of me. Then when a husky lad
taunted me with being a “square-headed Dutchman,” and refused my demand
that he “take it back,” my fighting blood was roused, and I administered
a sound thrashing, the result of sheer, unscientific force. Nothing
evokes the admiration of the gallant Irish so much as a good fight, and
the result of that battle was the liking of my comrades, and especially
one of the leaders among them, John F. Carroll, later familiar to New
Yorkers as a leader in Tammany.

About this time I made up my mind to enter City College and, to prepare
for that, I began looking about for a school which ranked higher than
No. 18. There were a number of these, foremost among which were the
Thirteenth and Twenty-third Street schools. I applied at both, but they
were full. The next in rank was No. 14, in Twenty-seventh Street near
Third Avenue, where they admitted me to the fourth class. I gladly
accepted this comparative demotion, so as to utilize advantageously the
two years remaining before I reached the college-entrance age, began my
studies there in March of ’68, under Miss Rosina Hartman, a fine old
spinster and a good teacher, and finished both her class and the third
class before I was twelve.

I was hardly settled in my seat in the second class when the following
incident took place:

Mr. Abner B. Holley, who taught the first class, came into the room and
complained about the mathematical shortcomings of the boys just promoted
into his care; he explained that in his method of teaching arithmetic,
it was essential to have someone for leader, as a sort of spur for the
pupils. He gave us fifteen examples: speed and accuracy were to be the
tests; and the boy who solved them most quickly and correctly was to be
promoted. I finished first and handed up my slate. Holley carefully
compared my answers with those on his slip and, before any other pupil
was ready to submit his work, rapped for attention, and said:

“As these answers are all correct, there is no need of any other boy
finishing. Morgenthau wins the promotion.”

Being too young to graduate in ’69, I remained under Holley until June,
1870. He was an excellent instructor, and it required no effort on my
part to keep the lead in mathematics. In fact, he took pride in
displaying my efficiency, and whenever any trustee, or other visitor,
came to school, they would have a general assembly of all the pupils
and then he would have me solve promptly some such problem in mental
arithmetic as computing the interest on $350 for three years, six
months, and twelve days at 6 per cent. Thus, as I required little of my
time for what was, to most of the boys, our most exacting study, I
devoted all my spare time to improving my pronunciation and mastering
the spelling of English which is so hard for a boy not born to the
language. I won 100 per cent. perfect marks throughout my second year
and when, with about nine hundred other boys, I took my City College
entrance-examination, I was well up among the three hundred selected for

I always look back with pleasure on those years in Public School No. 14.
Iron stairways, modern desks, and electric lights have been installed
since my day; the Irish and German pupils have passed, the Italian tide
is ebbing; on the student list Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, and Armenian
names now predominate--there is sometimes even a Chinese name to be
found. At exercises there, attended by three of my classmates and by Dr.
John H. Finley, New York’s Commissioner of Education, I celebrated, in
1920, the fiftieth anniversary of my graduation; I took the 1,900 pupils
to a moving-picture show, and commenced my now regular custom of giving
four watches twice a year to members of the graduating class; but as I
then reviewed the past and looked at the present, I felt that the old
spirit had been well preserved and that, whatever the nationality of the
children who enter the old school, they all leave it American citizens.

When I left there, I had my eyes longingly fixed upon the City College,
but the law was then already my ultimate aim and wages were essential,
so I spent my “vacation” as errand boy and general-utility lad in the
law offices of Ferdinand Kurzman, at $4.00 a week. In those days little
was known of “big business”; there were no vast corporations requiring
continuous legal advice, and so the lawyers clustered within three or
four blocks of the court-house; Kurzman’s quarters were at 306 Broadway,
at the corner of Duane Street.

My early duties were the copying and serving of papers, but the time
soon came when, young though I was, I was sent to the District Court to
answer the calendar and, occasionally, fight for an adjournment.
Stenographers and typewriters being practically unknown, the lawyer
would dictate and his clerks transcribe in longhand, make the required
number of copies with pen and ink and then compare the results and
correct any errors. It was only when more than twenty copies were
required that printing would be resorted to.

Such was my existence from June 21st until September 16, 1870. All the
while, I tried to further my education. I had joined the Mercantile
Library in the previous February. Within a short time, I was attending
the Cooper Institute classes in elocution and debating, and later
secured instruction in grammar and composition at the Evening High
School in Thirteenth Street. I tried to do as much good reading as I
could, and I find that my list for 1871 ranges from Cooper’s “Spy,”
“David Copperfield,” and “The Vicar of Wakefield” to Hume’s “History of
England,” Mill’s “Logic,” and “The Iliad.”

Of my life at City College I wish that I could write more, because I
wish I had been privileged to graduate with the Class of 1875. There
were 286 of us, and I remember very vividly some of the incidents of my
brief stay. The halo of military distinction that encircled the brow of
the president, General Alexander S. Webb, is still bright for me, and
bright that day when the great Christine Nilsson came to our classroom
and sang for us. Of the faculty, Professor Doremus remains especially
vivid in my memory; electricity for illuminating purposes was at that
time confined to powerful arc-lights; he tried to explain to us the
possibility of some inventor some day subdividing the power in one of
those lamps so that it could be used to illuminate private houses.
Though “stumped” in anatomy and chemistry through my unfamiliarity with
the long words employed, I stood well on the general roll and was No.
11. My college career was rudely ended on March 20, 1871, when my father
withdrew me and put me to work. His difficulty in mastering the English
language and American commercial methods were handicaps too severe for
him. He lost most of his original money, and his unreinforced efforts
could not support us all.

Early in our occupancy of the Second Avenue house, the back parlour had
to be rented as a doctor’s office, and shortly after my mother decided
that it was her duty to take in boarders. I cannot speak of my mother as
she was during these trials without the deepest emotion. There is nobody
to whom I owe so much; there was no debt which so profoundly affected my
entire career. In Mannheim her position had always been one of comfort.
I had seen her there with good friends, good books, good dramas, and
good music; she was the mistress of a commodious house, with a corps of
competent servants, in a city with every custom and tradition of which
she was intimately familiar; respected by the community, the mother of
thirteen children, she was calm, philosophic, considerate of every
domestic call upon her, not only supervising our education, physical and
mental, but also finding time to add continuously to her own broad
culture. Now a complete change had come. She was a stranger in a strange
land; most of her friends were new; the city of her husband’s adoption
was a puzzle, its manners foreign, its language long almost unknown;
there was small time for amusement; there was, on the contrary, the
ever-constant and ever-pressing strain of helping, by her own
endeavours, to make both ends meet.

All of this deeply affected my young and impressionable mind. I feared
lest my mother, who was my idol, and who was so superior in
accomplishments and knowledge to the people that boarded with us, might,
in the course of her duties, be compelled to render quasi-menial
services. Luckily, two things prevented this. On the one hand, her
wonderful poise and tact and her extraordinarily sweet nature won so
prompt a recognition that the least gentle of our lodgers instinctively
became worshippers at her shrine. On the other hand, my sisters,
themselves bred to comfort, rivalled one another in a friendly struggle
to shield her from every possible annoyance. High-spirited girls as they
were, they did not hesitate to assume everything that might in any way
hurt her sensibilities, and their devotion and self-sacrifice are among
my tenderest memories.

Appreciating how things were at home, I became quickly reconciled to
abandoning textbook education, and instead, to plunging into the rough
school of life.

The influence of the beautiful spirit of my mother had early given me
good ideals and a love of purity, and the ebb of the family fortunes
developed an irrepressible ambition to accomplish four things: to
restore my mother to the comforts to which she had been accustomed; to
save myself from an old age of financial stress such as my father’s; to
give my own children the chances in life that were all but denied to me,
and to try to attain a standard of thought and conduct consonant with
the fine concepts that characterized my mother’s mind and lips.

My experiences were not unique, nor were my high resolves exceptionally
heroic; they are found in the life history of most men. Nevertheless,
such histories are not often told at first hand, so that what may have
been commonplace in the happening becomes interesting in the narration.
Forsaking the chronological order of my story, let me look backward and
forward in an attempt to present this phase of my mental development.

I was full of energy, and had tremendous hopes as to my future success,
which gave me a certain assurance that was often misconstrued into
conceit, but which was really a conviction of the necessity to collect
religiously a mental, moral, physical, and financial reserve
guaranteeing the realization of my best desires.

Accordingly, I pursued a rather carefully ordered course. At the age of
fourteen I had taken very seriously my confirmation in the Thirty-ninth
Street Temple, and now I formed the habit of visiting churches of many
denominations and making abstracts of the sermons that I heard delivered
by Henry Ward Beecher, Henry W. Bellows, Rabbi Einhorn, Richard S.
Storrs, T. De Witt Talmage, and Dr. Alger, and many others of the famous
pulpit-orators who enriched the intellectual life of New York. It was
the era when Emerson led American thought, and I profited by passing my
impressionable years in that period whose daily press was edited by such
men as Horace Greeley, William Cullen Bryant, Charles A. Dana, Henry T.
Raymond, and Lawrence Godkin.

There lived with us a hunchbacked Quaker doctor, Samuel S. Whitall, a
beautiful character, softened instead of embittered by his affliction,
the physician at the coloured hospital, who gave half his time to
charitable work among the poor. I frequently opened the door for his
patients and ran his errands, and we became friends. I remember his
long, religious talks, and how deeply I was impressed by Penn’s “No
Cross, No Crown,” a copy of which he gave me. Largely because of it I
composed twenty-four rules of action, tabulating virtues that I wished
to acquire and vices that I must avoid. I even made a chart of these
maxims, and every night marked against myself whatever breaches of them
I had been guilty of. Looking over this record for February and March of
1872, I find that I charged myself with dereliction in not heeding my
self-imposed admonitions against indulgence in sweets, departures from
strict veracity, too much talking, extravagance, idleness, and vanity--a
heavy indictment!

The fact is that I had acquired an almost monastic habit of mind and
loved the conquest of my impulses much as the athlete loves the
subjection of his muscles to the demands of his will. In my commonplace
book for 1871 I find transcribed two quotations that governed me. The
one is from Dr. Hall’s “Happy Old Age” and runs:

     Stimulants ... are the greatest enemies of mankind; there is no
     middle ground which anyone can safely tread, only that of total and
     most uncompromising abstinence.

The other is from a sermon of Dr. Channing on “Self-Denial.”

     Young man, remember that the only test of goodness is moral
     strength, self-decrying energy.... Do you subject to your moral and
     religious convictions the love of pleasure, the appetites, the
     passions, which form the great trials of youthful virtue? No man
     who has made any observation of life but will tell you how often he
     has seen the promise of youth blasted ... honorable feeling, kind
     affection overpowered and almost extinguished ... through a tame
     yielding to pleasure and the passions.

I took these warnings very seriously.

How the state of mind engendered by these forces affected me in a purely
material way, we shall soon see. From the outset of my business career,
when an errand boy in Kurzman’s office, I found myself surrounded by
employees, not perhaps more vicious than most, but certainly sharing the
vices of the majority. They gave, at best, only what they were paid for,
and not an ounce of energy or a minute of time beyond.

I shrank from the possibility of becoming a mere clock clerk and gave
all of my best self and held back nothing. I made mistakes, I had my
failures from the standard that I had set; but my purpose held fast and
I cheerfully pursued the rugged uphill road to success.



When I left City College, my father wanted me to become a civil
engineer, but a brief experience in an engineer’s office convinced me
that I lacked the requisite mathematical foundation, so I gave it up and
accepted a position as assistant bookkeeper and errand boy at $6 a week
in the uptown branch of the Phœnix Fire Insurance Company.

In September, 1871, I improved myself by securing a $10 position with
Bloomingdale & Company, who were then in the wholesale “corset and
fancy-goods” business on Grand Street near Broadway. I kept the books
and also helped to pack hoop-skirts, bustles, and corsets until the
firm’s financial difficulties gave me an excuse for turning my ambition
again to the law. I returned to Kurzman’s office, January 16, 1872.

Though Kurzman’s perspicacity could pierce directly through the
intricacies of any tangled case, his accounts were shamefully neglected.
His check book was his only book of entry--he trusted his memory to keep
track of what his clients owed him--so I voluntarily and without
informing him arranged a regular system of accounts, and shall never
forget his surprise and appreciation when, at the end of the year, I
showed him what he had earned and the sources and also the amounts still
due him.

The most important branch of his practice was the searching of titles,
and this gave me my early taste for real estate. This department was
under the able management of Alfred McIntire, who graciously initiated
me into the intricacies of his work.

We were then in the midst of a real-estate boom mostly participated in
by the recently created middle class. Houses were dealt in almost as
freely as merchandise, the only hindrance being the delay occasioned by
the searching of titles, which was still confined to the lawyers, as
there were no title insurance companies. Contracts would frequently be
assigned twice and sometimes thrice, before the great event, “the
closing of the title.” Then the various couples involved--the seller,
the assignors of the contract, and the final purchaser--would all troop
into our offices. The women invariably were the bankers and pulled out
their roll of bills and sometimes Savings Bank Books, rarely checks, to
consummate the transaction. The moneys invested were seldom taken out of
the business, but were mostly the savings of the thrifty housewives.
When everything was completed, all adjourned to a neighbouring wine
cellar, to be treated to a bottle or two of Rhine wine by the vendor,
and frequently I had to go along to represent Kurzman, and as the
youngest listen attentively to the real estate stories told with all
kinds of embellishments.

Kurzman at that time took as his partner George H. Yeaman, who had been
a member of Congress from Kentucky and, more recently, American Minister
to Denmark, and subsequently became a lecturer at the Columbia Law
School. His native Southern chivalry had been polished by his experience
at the Danish court; he was a man of splendid education and wide
culture. I was fortunate in being chosen to take his dictation. I was
amused in 1916 when, as Ambassador, I visited Dr. Maurice Francis Egan
at our Legation in Copenhagen, and looked through the records made by
Yeaman in 1865 while he was the head of that Legation.

My private life I continued to order along the lines that I had laid
down for myself. I would get up at 6 A. M. and go to Central Park. Then
if I had not exercised at home, I would take a long walk; otherwise I
would sit under the trees and read. The hour that the horse car consumed
in wending its way from the Park to Duane Street I would devote to my
books, and I was so thrifty that I did not even buy a newspaper. I kept
myself so busy that I did not even see one, until, going home for the
night, I unfolded and read such as had been left in Kurzman’s office
during the day.

Thrift was, indeed, a necessary virtue. I had left commerce for the law
at something of a sacrifice: in 1872, my accounts, which I kept
scrupulously all this while, bear evidence of how careful I had to be of
my scanty income. “Carfare, 10 cts.; Dinner, 15 cts.; Sundries, 2 cts.”
That is a typical day’s expenditure.

No man that lived through the Panic of ’73 can ever forget it and on me
it made an indelible impression. At the root of the trouble was railway
over-expansion. The successful completion of the Union Pacific in 1869
caused the projection of many other roads. Jay Cooke launched the
Northern Pacific; Fisk and Hatch, the Chesapeake & Ohio; Kenyon, Cox &
Co., the Canadian Southern. The eminent New York banking concerns
floated the bonds; the large rate of interest promised--N. P. paid 8½
per cent.--attracted buyers, largely clergymen, school-teachers and
small professional men--and prices advanced until optimism bordered on
hysteria. Issue followed issue. Then, in the May of ’73, a panic on the
Vienna Bourse stopped European consumption and threw back on the New
York financiers obligations that strained their credit. Early in
September, after one unfortunate bank-statement followed on the heels of
another, call-money was at 7⅙ and commercial paper at from nine to
twelve per cent.

Minor failures were numerous in the week of September 8th. Kenyon, Cox
&. Co. failed on the 13th; the Eclectic Life Insurance Co. on the 17th.
On the 18th, the big bolt fell; word ran round that Jay Cooke & Co., in
many respects the greatest house of its time, was tottering. This news
greatly startled Kurzman, who had been a persistent purchaser of
Northern Pacific bonds. “On the floor of the Exchange,” said the
_Times_, “the brokers surged out, tumbling pell-mell over each other in
the general confusion, and reached their offices in race-horse time.”
Those were not the days of telephones; when the panic-stricken men had
got their orders, they ran back to the floor, on which absolute
confusion reigned. Men shouted themselves hoarse, contradicted
themselves and collapsed. A moment was enough to ruin many a dealer. Any
one with money to lend was beset by a mob of lunatics. Almost
immediately the effect was felt all the way down the financial line;
smaller companies went the way of the big ones and many of the smallest
were tottering after the smaller.

That week I took as usual all that I could spare from my scant salary
and went, according to my custom, to the German Uptown Savings Bank to
deposit it along with the little fund that I was laboriously setting
aside. There was a big line of confident depositors bent on similar
errands; many were ahead of me, and waiting my turn, as I looked into
the teller’s cage, I saw the president of the bank in a very earnest
conversation with three other men. Of course, I could not hear what they
were saying, but I thought the president seemed worried, and that those
with him also showed uneasiness.

I turned my head to find that the shuffling line had brought me before
the window that was my goal. The clerk behind it was both a receiving
and a paying teller. On a sudden impulse I thrust my dollar bill that I
intended to deposit back into my pocket, presented my pass-book, and
told the clerk that I wanted to withdraw the entire $80 that was to my

Three days later that bank closed. The other depositors ultimately got
about fifty cents on the dollar.

The real estate market had been as badly inflated as the stock market,
and foreclosures were the order of the day. Properties like the block
bounded by Park and Madison Avenue and Seventy-first and Seventy-second
streets went under the hammer. John D. Crimmins and his father had paid
$475,000 to James Lenox, who repurchased it for $374,150 at the
foreclosure sale under the mortgage. Equities disappeared like the snow
in spring-time. Where we had once been almost rushed to death with the
drawing of mortgages to consummate the many sales, we were now hard
pressed to keep pace with foreclosure proceedings.

I took charge of this work for Kurzman, who gave me 10 per cent. of the
net fees; the commission was most acceptable, the experience invaluable,
but a more depressing task it has never been my lot to perform. The
proud and prosperous men that had been our best clients from 1871 to
1873 now returned to shed their wealth and, with it, their
self-reliance. One who had owned eight or ten houses was reduced to
borrowing $100 from Kurzman for temporary relief. I made up my mind
never to “plunge”; if I had not lived through the Panic of ’73, I should
to-day be either many times richer than I am or, what is far more
likely, penniless.

The bad light in the Kurzman offices had injured my eyes, and, just
after the panic had subsided, my doctor ordered a sea trip. I sailed on
the barque _Dora_ for Hamburg--thirty days for $35, and no extra charge
for the excitement that was thrown in.

We were undermanned and underprovisioned. The first mate was ill when
we set out from Jersey Flats; because of that, two of the crew had
deserted, leaving only eight men aboard. There was no doctor among
these, and the Captain and I read a thumbed work on medicine that
adorned his cabin, studied the remedies that it suggested, and nearly
emptied the medicine chest in trying to cure the poor fellow, who lost
sixty pounds under our ministrations and, at the voyage’s end, went home
with his disease still undiagnosed.

Meanwhile, the crew were dissatisfied on account of the extra work
forced on them by the inactivity of the mate and the absence of the
deserters, and also with their rations. They won the second mate to
their side, and, on a day of storm when they declared themselves too few
to handle the sails, he led something like an old-fashioned mutiny. They
crowded toward the Captain.

“Run and get a pistol!” he whispered to me.

I obeyed. As I returned and slipped him the weapon, the mutineers were
just coming to a pause before him.

The Captain levelled his pistol. He made short work of the difficulty.
He offered them cold lead or hot grog. The crew, like sensible men,
chose the latter, but they continued to grumble at the food--which was
mostly hard-tack and cornmeal--until, on a day when we were becalmed in
the North Sea, we caught several dolphins weighing over 150 pounds. I
have rarely eaten anything better than that dolphin steak.

This is not to be a record of travel, but one phase of that early
journey of mine is well worthy of notice: I saw Germany just as she was
entering on the imperialistic career that ended so abruptly when her
crestfallen representatives signed the Treaty of Versailles. The
Franco-Prussian War had just ended in triumph; the German Empire had
been reborn. Its people were not the easygoing people that I remembered
from my earlier boyhood in Mannheim. Everywhere there were the
beginnings of commercial and military activity; everywhere there was
preached the doctrine of world power.

I passed several weeks at Kiel; I lived well on less than a dollar a
day. I had some difficulty in becoming friendly with a pensioned wounded
army captain because he held me personally responsible that American
ammunition had been sold to the French. The same complaint was made to
me by the German Ambassador, Baron Wangenheim, in Constantinople, in
1915. I saw the launching of the new Empire’s first battleship, the very
beginning of that colossal preparation for war which, at the cost of so
many millions in lives and money, was finally to bear its bloody fruit
in 1914. A wrinkled old man wearing a small military cap made the speech
on that occasion. It was the famous General von Moltke. I listened
intently to what he said. His words reached everyone in that crowd,
which was attentively listening to the great hero of the Franco-Prussian
War; and when I looked into his piercing eyes, I found that they seemed
to penetrate right through me, and I could understand the frequently
made statement that officers used to quiver in his presence, and that
his questions, accompanied by one of his fixed looks, always elicited
the exact truth.

On my return to America, I entered the law office of Chauncey Shaffer,
who was a leader of the New York Bar and had a nation-wide reputation.
He had been retained in many important cases, and some romantic. His
offices were first on the third floor in an old-fashioned private house
at No. 7 Murray Street, and later, he moved into the Bennett Building,
one of the city’s first modern office buildings.

In our new, well-lighted quarters, we had some interesting neighbours,
and these, along with many another, were constantly dropping in on
Shaffer. I still recall with pleasure my acquaintance in those
surroundings with Gildersleeve and Purroy, with Butzel and Bourke

Henry A. Gildersleeve had been born on a farm in Dutchess County, and in
early life was the handiest man with his fists in all that district. In
the Civil War he organized a company and was elected a captain. He
returned from that to complete his education and become a lawyer, but he
became a crack shot, too, at the international rifle matches; and when
he first visited Shaffer’s office, it was as an Apollo of a man with
romance in every feature of his face and every particle of attire.

He was offered by both parties the nomination as Judge of General
Sessions and came to consult Shaffer about it. I was in the room at the

The scene is still vivid. Shaffer never forgot his Napoleonic pose when
there was anybody present to observe it, and now he moved about with one
hand under his coat tails and the other thrust into his breast. The
harder he thought, the harder he chewed his tobacco and the more
frequent were his expectorations. Finally he stopped short in front of
Gildersleeve, who had been waiting patiently for this queer oracle to

“If you have to go down in this fight,” Shaffer said, “go down in good
company: take the Fusion nomination.”

Gildersleeve accepted that advice. He remained on the bench until he was
seventy years of age. He is in his eighties now and as keen of intellect
as in those far-off days when he used to visit Shaffer. He is still one
of my favourite golf companions.

On many Saturdays we did little work; the coterie met in Shaffer’s
office, and we talked; it would be nearer to the mark to say that one of
us talked and entertained the others by his endless flow of good stories
and sparkling reminiscences. He was a student under Shaffer, and his
name was Bourke Cochran. I never saw him poring over Blackstone or
Kent, but on Saturday when freed from his duties as principal of the
Public School at Tuckahoe, this exuberant young instructor would either
practise his future orations on us or pour out his flood of Cochranisms
and anecdotes. Not getting my name at the first meeting, he dubbed me
“Mortgagee” and still calls me so. He thrilled us with the account of
his early struggles at Dublin University, roused our enthusiasm by his
plans to restore oratory to the New York Bar, and evoked our applause by
his determination to Patrick Henryize the Assembly at Albany. The
Democrats promised him a nomination to the Assembly, but withdrew the
promise when they discovered that he was not yet twenty-one.

It was while at Shaffer’s that I began to find out how human great men
really are. The names of Benjamin F. Butler--the redoubtable Butler of
Massachusetts--and Preston Plumb of Kansas used to move me to awe. One
of my employer’s important cases involved some grants of land
to the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad and was brought
by John Leisenring, of Pennsylvania, whose attorney-of-record,
Congressman-at-large Charles P. Albright, of the same state, had, in
addition to Shaffer, associated with him in the affair, Butler and
Plumb. The latter used to dash into our office without a necktie and
then chafe at the former’s unpunctuality and indifference in the matter
of keeping appointments.

“It’s all very well for Butler to behave like this just now,” he would
say. “Wait a few more years. Then he will still be a mere Congressman,
while I’ll be a United States Senator! We’ll see who’ll kowtow to the
other then!”

Although Plumb was elected to the Senate not long after and served there
many years, I did not hear of Ben Butler doing any kowtowing.

In the summer of 1875 I felt that obtaining a knowledge of the law in
this scrappy, unsystematic fashion was unsatisfactory, and that,
therefore, I would leave Shaffer’s employ, attend Columbia Law School to
get a thorough grounding of the law, and arrange for future easy access
the odd bits of legal knowledge that I had absorbed in the offices. As I
needed an income to enable me to do this, I secured a position as
night-school teacher at $15 a week in the school on Forty-second Street
near Third Avenue.

At that time Forty-third Street had not yet been cut through, and on top
of the rocks was a shanty-town occupied by squatters. As I had the adult
class, my pupils were from eighteen to forty-five years old, some of
them denizens of the rocks, while others were hardworking carpenters,
brakemen, butchers, factory workers, a plumber’s assistant, a coachman,
and a blacksmith.

I particularly remember the latter three, because the plumber’s
assistant came to the school to inveigle some of the other boys to play
cards with him in one of the rear seats, and to amuse himself by
throwing tobacco quids and beans while I, with my back turned to the
class, would be engaged in explaining things on the blackboard. I was
nineteen years of age, husky, weighing 180 pounds, and unafraid even of
a plumber’s boy. As my weekly stipend of $15 was my sole support and its
retention depended upon my being able to maintain discipline and keep up
the attendance, I was not going to permit this loafer’s antics to defeat
me--and one evening when I caught him playing cards, I forcibly ejected
him from the classroom. Thenceforth my tenure of office was assured and
continued to the closing day exercises, at which I had the pleasure of
rewarding the coachman, Morgan O’Toole, with a prize for the greatest
advancement made by any pupil. This man was very anxious to learn
fractions. During the first three weeks of the session, every Friday
evening I had succeeded in teaching them to him. Every following Monday
evening his mind was an absolute blank as to fractions, and the fourth
week I asked him to come to my house both Saturday and Sunday, and gave
him private lessons. His joy on the next Monday when he found he had
retained his knowledge is still a vivid memory in my mind.

The blacksmith, a man named Whitney, had been a fellow pupil of mine in
Fifty-first Street School, and had been one of the best penmen. I was
surprised to see him come to reacquire that ability, which he had lost
through wielding the hammer and pulling the bellows.

One of the carpenters wanted to learn duodecimals. As I knew nothing
about them, I told him that I wanted him to brush up on ordinary
fractions for two days. In the meantime, I learned duodecimals and then
taught him.

It was really a great experience to divide impartially two hours every
evening so as to satisfy the twenty-five earnest seekers after

I deeply sympathized with these men who, wearied from their day’s
labour, preferred to forego needed rest or amusement and devote their
evenings to extricate themselves from the ignorance in which they had
been compelled, probably through poverty and the early need of
self-support, to live the better part of their existence.

It spurred me to still greater efforts to increase my own knowledge and
I was no longer content merely to perform my allotted tasks at the Law
School, but spent several hours a day at the Astor Library and drew deep
drafts from that fine well.

During that period I devoted all the daylight hours to study,
principally at the Law School, sitting in the midst of these hundreds of
men who had come from all parts of this country and Japan, to imbibe
from the lips of this great teacher, Professor Theodore W. Dwight, the
basis of the law of the land.

I joined the Columbia Club and was elected one of the team to debate
with the Barnard Club, all of whose members were college graduates,
while we had not had that advantage. I studied the subject of the
debate, “Whether Participation in Profits or Agency Is the Correct Test
of Partnership,” more thoroughly than I ever did any case on which I was
retained during my practice of law. Professor Dwight, who presided,
praised our thorough preparation and fine team work and declared us the
winners. When our class graduated, we had the great honour of having
that famous leader of the Bar, Charles O’Connor, come out of his
retirement to bid us “Godspeed” on our way.

I was formally admitted to the bar on June 1, 1877.

During my second year in Law School I did not teach night school, but
supported myself by accepting a position from that fine Southern
gentleman, General Roger A. Pryor, who had been Congressman, Minister to
Spain, and finally became a Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of
New York.

An interesting episode that occurred at that time was my representing
General Pryor at several meetings of the owners of the Greenwich Street
property, who had retained him to seek an injunction to prevent the
continued use and extension of the first Elevated road, which was on
their street and was propelled by a chain. They claimed that their
property would be ruined for private residences, and it was. They did
not visualize, however, that this was the first step forward in the
solution of the transit problem of New York, which was then totally
dependent upon its horse-car system; and that someone had to suffer for
the general good.

A very important and valuable after-effect of my connection with
Pryor’s office was my becoming acquainted with Mr. Valentine Loewi, for
whom I searched the title in a mortgage transaction. Loewi doubted my
experience and when Pryor confronted me with this, instead of resenting
the criticism, as Loewi expected me to do, I recognized its justice, and
satisfied Loewi by having my work checked up by Mr. McIntire. He became
my permanent friend and one of my firm’s first clients, and through his
recommendations we secured some of the most valuable clients we ever

A little later came the uproar consequent upon Tilton’s entering the
wrong berth in a sleeping-car. He came to Pryor, and I acted as
secretary while these two prepared the Tilton statement for the
newspapers. Curiously, both these six-footers had the habit, when
thinking intensely, of striding across the room with swinging arms, and
were that day doing it in opposite directions. I was constantly on the
alert for a collision. Tilton would dictate a phrase. Pryor would stop
and suggest another word. Tilton would weigh and test it, and would make
still further corrections. Not even my weightiest diplomatic notes from
Constantinople received the care and attention that these few lines were
given by these two masters of English.

In the summer of ’77, as Mr. Kurzman was going to Europe, he requested
me to come back to Kurzman & Yeaman, and as they offered me a
well-lighted office, I did so. Still associated with Kurzman was Alfred
McIntire to whom I have already referred, and with whom I had kept up
the pleasantest of relations during my clerkships with Shaffer and
Pryor, both of which positions he had secured for me. McIntire was a New
Englander of the very best type, considerably older than Mr. Kurzman,
and recognized as one of the best conveyancers of the City of New York.

One Sunday while I was visiting McIntire, we went rowing on the Harlem
River, and discussed plans for a prospective partnership. He was about
six foot two in height, and weighed fully 250 pounds, and I was to do
the rowing. Our skiff had not proceeded fifty yards before I discovered
that I could not pull such a load and get anywhere. I took this as an
omen, and then and there resolved that when I did select a law partner,
he should be of my own age and weight, so that he could do some of the

During this summer, one of the old clients of the office, Henry Behning,
got into very serious differences with his partner Diehl. The matter
became greatly complicated, and the more complicated it became, the more
excited Behning grew, and the more excited he was, the more incoherent
and less comprehensible was his English, so that Mr. Yeaman, who was
acting as his counsel in Mr. Kurzman’s absence, despaired of
understanding him. A climax was reached one day when Diehl’s attorneys
had secured the appointment of a receiver. Behning was accusing the
lawyers, and the judge, and everybody else of all kinds of conspiracies,
and Yeaman was so bewildered that he called me in to tell Behning that
he did not think he could do justice to him because he could not
understand his speech, and that he had better secure a German-speaking
attorney. Upon my explaining this to Behning, he said: “All right, I’ll
take you.” I explained the proposition to Mr. Yeaman, and he said that
if Behning would be contented to do all his consulting with me he would
be very glad to steer the legal proceedings. I discovered that some of
Behning’s fears of conspiracy were justified, and concluded that the
only way to counteract them was to throw the firm into bankruptcy. I
prepared the necessary papers, and had them signed by the judge of the
United States District Court. I then communicated with the pompous
ex-judge who represented Diehl, and had the tremendous satisfaction of
having completely checkmated him. A prompt settlement resulted. The
creditors realized that if they kept on fighting, the lawyers would be
dividing the assets, and therefore consented to have Behning and Diehl
divide them, and each continue in business for himself, and each assume
half the liabilities.

Behning greatly appreciated what I had accomplished. He wanted to give
me something to prove it. As he had no spare cash, he offered, and with
Yeaman’s consent I accepted, one share of the Celluloid Piano Key
Company stock. At that time, Arnold, Cheney & Company had cornered the
word’s ivory market, driving up the price of ivory for piano keys to
$30.00 a set. The piano manufacturers tried alabaster and other
substitutes with small success, when Behning thought of using celluloid
and formed the Celluloid Piano Key Company, securing for it the
exclusive right for the use of that substance in piano and organ keys.

The company was so successful that its president began to intrigue for
its control. The president was an Englishman, the treasurer a Dane, the
secretary an American, and most of the rest Germans. Themselves densely
ignorant of the manipulations of corporations, they finally feared that
the president was in a fair way to get the company away from them,
whereupon those representing over 70 per cent. of the stock held a
hurried meeting, but they could not agree on a common policy because
each mistrusted the others. I proposed that they all give their proxies
to one man who should obligate himself faithfully to represent the
interests of all against the president; they replied that this was
excellent, but they could not agree on the one man.

Then Behning spoke:

“What’s the use of fencing any longer? The only one we _all_ trust is
Henry. Let’s give him all our proxies.”

They did so, slated me for secretary, and as I wanted to prevent any
mischief until the next annual meeting, I called on the president, told
him I had the proxies of 70 per cent. and, with the audacity of my
years, warned him that, if he did anything improper for the remainder of
his term, I would bring him into court.

He asked me:

“Are you going to be an officer?”

“I am to be secretary,” I said.

“Will you protect my interest, and see that I get my proportionate share
of the profits?”

I went back to the others and obtained the authority to give him this
assurance, which I did.

“All right,” he declared, “make out my proxy to you and I’ll sign it.”

I had bearded a lion in his den and brought a lamb out with me. My
connection with this concern, in one capacity or another, continued
through two decades, and I was its president when I left it.

This adventure in celluloid put me in a position where it was possible
to realize my ambition to stop clerking and start for myself.

It was settled most unexpectedly. During my attendance at Law School,
Abraham Goldsmith, Wilbur Larremore, son of Judge Larremore, and I used
to hold weekly quizzes at my house. In that way I had renewed my
friendship with Goldsmith, who had been my classmate in the City
College. One evening, early in December, 1878, Goldsmith called and
informed me that Samson Lachman and he contemplated starting a law firm.
I had always been very fond of Goldsmith, and Samson Lachman had won my
unlimited admiration when I listened to his Commencement Day oration and
saw him receive eleven prizes, which were about all that one man could
take. Hence, Goldsmith found me very receptive, and before we separated
that evening, our partnership was an accomplished fact. We both agreed
that Lachman was entitled to head the firm. As Goldsmith expressed
indifference as to his position, and as Lachman, Morgenthau & Goldsmith
sounded more euphonious, that order was adopted. We agreed to start on
January 1, 1879. Our average ages were twenty-three. We hired offices at
No. 243 Broadway at an annual rental of $400. Our net receipts for the
year 1879 were $1,500.

Our practice, as well as our income, grew steadily, but I shall abstain
from relating many details, as most of the matters involved were not of
public interest.

A rather interesting affair, because some of the participants are well
known to the public, was the dissolution in February, 1893, of the firm
of Wechsler & Abraham, of Brooklyn. We represented Wechsler, and William
J. Gaynor, afterward Mayor of the City of New York, represented Abraham.
Their partnership agreement contained a very peculiar dissolution
clause. They were to meet on February 1, 1893, and bid for the business,
and a bid was to be final only if the non-bidding partner had failed to
increase it during a term of twenty-four hours. When we met, I drew
attention to the fact that if we acted under the contract, either side
could prolong the matter indefinitely, and recommended that we amend the
agreement by reducing the limit to one hour. This was agreed to on
condition that both parties would deposit $500,000 as an earnest of
their intentions to complete their bid, the unsuccessful bidder to have
his check returned to him. Isidor Straus pulled out a certified check of
$500,000 and I instructed Wechsler to make out his check. When Wechsler
admitted that he did not have that much in the bank, I showed them an
underwriting that I had secured from the Guaranty Trust Company and the
Title Guarantee & Trust Company, to finance our purchase to the extent
of $1,000,000. The auction then proceeded, and both factions were
cautiously watching each other. Gaynor, Abraham, and the Strauses
several times retired to the other end of the room for conference,
Nathan Straus constantly pulling at one of his big cigars and pretending
that they had about reached the limit of their bidding. I had arranged
definitely with Wechsler that we would bid an amount that would produce
$500,000 for the good will of the business. So, finally, when they came
within reach of about $100,000 of it, I bid the exact amount that would
produce the desired result. They saw what I meant, and, as it turned
out, had their last conference, which lasted about ten minutes, and
raised us $100. I then informed them that we would take our hour. We
(Wechsler, Mr. MacNulty, who was the manager of the store, and myself)
went to an adjoining restaurant to discuss the matter. Wechsler devoted
fully forty minutes of the hour in trying to persuade me to reduce the
fee that he had agreed to pay me. He and I had agreed that if he
purchased the property, and we had to complete the financing of it, my
firm’s fee was to be $25,000, while if Abraham bought him out, we were
to receive $10,000. Wechsler thought we had earned it too quickly, and
begged for a reduction. I was absolutely firm and finally told him the
story of the dentist who, with his modern methods, had painlessly
extracted two teeth for a farmer in two minutes, and when he demanded
his fee of $2.50, the exorbitancy of the charge was objected to by the
farmer, who stated that when he had his last tooth extracted, the
dentist had pulled him around the room for half an hour, and then only
charged him 50 cents for all that work. I said to Wechsler that I could
have protracted this matter for thirty days, and this delay would have
been most injurious to him on account of his diabetic condition. He
wanted me to bid another $10,000 so that Abraham would have had to pay
the fee, and he would have a net $250,000 for his good will. I was firm
in my advice that he was unwise to run the business alone and should not
risk securing it. We returned before the hour had expired, got
Wechsler’s check back, and his half interest in the business became the
property of Isidor and Nathan Straus, for whom Abraham had in reality
been bidding. Immediately thereafter they dropped Wechsler’s name and
created the well-known firm of Abraham & Straus.

Incidentally it may be of interest to the public to know that, when
Isidor and Nathan Straus divided their interests, Isidor and his sons
secured the business of R. H. Macy & Co., which they owned in common,
while Nathan and his sons secured the half interest in Abraham & Straus.
No doubt a good share of Nathan Straus’ munificent charities are
financed to-day by his share of the profits from that business.

One of the greatest surprises in our practice was when Judge Horace
Russell retained me as a business lawyer to advise him what to do about
the affairs of Hilton, Hughes & Company, who had succeeded to the
business of A. T. Stewart & Company, and who, in turn, were later
succeeded by John Wanamaker. Judge Russell’s brother-in-law, Mr. Hilton,
had been increasing the volume of the business rapidly, but his expense
ratio was increasing much faster in proportion, so that, at the end of
the year, he showed a tremendous loss. Some of the biggest banks in New
York were refusing to renew the notes, even though Judge Hilton was
willing to endorse them. They said they felt safe on all the paper they
had then with Judge Hilton’s endorsement and collateral, but they feared
that if they permitted the losses to continue much longer, it might
even engulf Judge Hilton in the unavoidable catastrophe. I finally
advised him that he should sell out the business and take his loss. He
retained Mr. Elihu Root as counsel. The three of us went over the whole
situation. I explained that, owing to the very large general expenses
due primarily to the excessive salaries which Hilton had agreed to pay
under five-year contracts to his buyers, heads of departments, and even
the superintendent of the engine room, and the bad credit in which the
firm then stood, the only wise course was to sell out the business. We
concluded to do so, but in the meantime decided that it would be
necessary to make a general assignment to preserve the assets and secure
a reasonable settlement with the men who held long contracts. When the
assignment was finally prepared, it had to be executed the following
day, and Root, Russell, and I first dined together, and then remained in
Russell’s office until five minutes past midnight, when young Hilton, in
our presence and that of Mr. Wright, the assignee, and a notary,
executed the document.

While waiting, Mr. Root told us of several cases in which he had
recently been retained, where the younger generation dissipated big
fortunes in a very short time. He laid particular stress on the case of
Cyrus W. Field, who, in his lifetime, prided himself that he had an
income of $1,000 a day, which at that time was enormous. I also recall
Root telling me that night that it was unwise for any lawyer to devote
himself entirely to politics, that he should, when called upon, render a
public service, complete it, and then return to his profession, but be
ready for any further calls that might be made upon him. Root has
pursued that course most successfully.

I felt a strange sensation to be present at this midnight dénouement of
the great business of A. T. Stewart & Company. I could not help but
think of the causes. Judge Hilton had offended the Jews in America
because his hotel, the “Grand Union” in Saratoga, had refused to
accommodate Joseph Seligman, whom both the New York Chamber of Commerce
and Union League Club honoured by electing as one of their
vice-presidents. Hilton did not then realize that this act not alone
involved the loss of his Jewish customers, but it would also influence a
great many of his Christian patrons who would resent such
discrimination, and withdraw their custom from his firm. Most of this
trade went to the rising firms of B. Altman & Co. and Stern Bros. and so
strengthened them that they became great competitors of Hilton, Hughes &
Company, and precipitated their downfall. John Wanamaker bought the
lease and stock of goods. I remember distinctly with what satisfaction,
when the transaction was closed, he told me that this was the first time
that he had ever heard of so valuable a franchise being given away for
nothing. Wanamaker shrewdly disregarded the short existence of Hilton,
Hughes & Company, and advertised John Wanamaker as the successor of A.
T. Stewart & Company.



My first purchase of real estate was No. 32 West Thirty-fifth Street, a
twenty-two-foot, white marble, high-stoop building. I bought it for the
modest sum of $15,000 and resold it at an advance of $500, and thought I
was doing well. To-day it is worth at least $110,000. This, however, was
not my first experience with real estate, for that was in 1872 when, at
the request of my preceptor, Mr. Ferdinand Kurzman, I undertook for an
extra compensation of $5 a month to collect for him the rents of No. 218
Chrystie Street.

The tenants of this building in 1872 were Irish and Germans, and one of
the stores was occupied as a saloon by an Irishman named Ryan who
catered to the worst element of the neighbourhood. Kurzman, failing to
get rid of him in a peaceful way, and knowing that there was a political
feud between him and Anthony Hartman, the odd though popular Justice of
the District Court, waited for the first of May, when only a
three-hours’ dispossess notice was required. Circumstances favoured the
plan because on that day the Thomas Ryan Association were giving a
picnic. So the notice was served by nailing it on the door at twelve
o’clock. Judge Hartman opened court at three o’clock, called the cases
of _Kurzman_ vs. _Ryan_, took Ryan’s default, signed the dispossess
warrant, and adjourned the court, compelling all other litigants to wait
for their justice until the next day. Instead of the usual one marshal,
all those attached to the court, with their assistants, were hurried to
No. 218 Chrystie Street, and within two hours had removed everything to
the sidewalk.

By that time word had reached Ryan, and he and some of his henchmen
returned. They were thoroughly aroused but quite helpless. As there was
no court in session, and the marshals were in possession of the
premises, Kurzman was rid of Ryan for good and all. This was the first
exhibition I ever saw of how justice might be travestied.

The next day Ryan’s attorneys appeared before Hartman and attempted to
have the proceedings reopened, and upon Hartman’s refusal to do so,
attacked him bitterly. The Judge said that if the learned counsel would
not at once stop his impudent remarks, the court would forget its
dignity long enough to leave the bench and “punch him in the jaw.”

My next experience brought me in contact with even a worse element.
Kurzman had foreclosed a second mortgage on some houses on West
Thirty-ninth Street between Tenth and Eleventh avenues. They were part
of the block that was called “Hell’s Kitchen.” Many of the tenants owned
only a mattress and a few chairs, and no kitchen utensils of any kind,
and frequently paid their rents in instalments of less than one dollar.
Twice I saw women carried out of the buildings the worse for the
“exciting arguments” they had indulged in with some of their visitors.
It would not have paid us to dispossess these people, as the new ones
would have been no better. We collected the rents for a few months
longer until the first mortgages were foreclosed.

This condition was very general throughout the City of New York. The
boom days of real estate had disappeared, and with them, the optimistic
speculators. Real estate was unsalable, and those who had received
mortgages in payment of some of their capital and all their profits were
confronted with the choice of either abandoning their mortgages or
foreclosing them and again assuming control of their property. The
conferences between the delinquent owners and the mortgagees to adjust
these matters reminded one as much of funerals as the joyous meetings in
the wine cellars had of weddings. These middle-class investors whom I
met in ’72 and ’73 were completely wiped out and never came back. Quite
the contrary was the case with most of those intrepid builders and
operators like John D. Crimmins and Terrence Farley, who forgot their
losses and went at it again with fresh vigour and new courage as soon as
the liquidation had ended. In 1879, when specie payment had been
resumed, the superintendents of both the insurance and bank departments
urged institutions under their supervision to market their real estate
as soon as possible. Their efforts and those of other recent plaintiffs
to dispose of their holdings started a new active period. Real estate
again became fashionable, and the plucky operators and builders who had
survived the drastic punishment they had received were soon reinforced
by a new set of men, of whom I was one.

In 1880, I turned my attention to Harlem where nearly all the brownstone
and brick houses that had been built in the seventies were in the hands
of mortgagees, and where the owners of the old frame houses were
thoroughly discouraged and could see little hope in the future. Nearly
all of Harlem was for sale. I bought plots of three to five adjoining
houses at a time, and quickly resold them at small profits. This
activity stopped when President Garfield was shot. The suspense during
his illness caused a complete cessation, so I, too, rested until
October, 1885. I was then worth only $27,000, and as a large part of
that was represented by my interest in the Celluloid Piano Key Company,
I had but little working capital.

My brother-in-law, William J. Ehrich, agreed to operate with me in real
estate, he to contribute $40,000 capital and I to do the work. All
profits, after paying him interest, were to be divided equally.

At that time my mother lived on One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Street in a
house I had purchased, a 17-foot brown-stone house with a pleasant yard
which she personally transformed into a delightful little garden. In my
frequent visits there I became impressed with the prospective importance
of One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street. It was the first broad street
north of Forty-second that ran from river to river, and I foresaw its
future value, particularly of the block between Seventh and Eighth
avenues. It seemed to me like the neck of a funnel into which the entire
neighbouring population was daily poured to reach the Elevated station
at One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street and Eighth Avenue.

Ehrich and I concluded to secure some property on this block. The first
that we obtained was the lease of seven lots for which, at the
beginning, we paid the annual rental of $4,000. We still own this
leasehold, and the gross rental now is $44,500. We subsequently
purchased the adjoining plot of five lots, improved the same, and were
delighted when we were enabled to sell it to the Knickerbocker Real
Estate Company among whose stockholders were Solomon Loeb, of Kuhn, Loeb
& Company; Henry O. Havemeyer, John D. Crimmins, and John E. Parsons, at
a price which netted us a profit of $100,000. This was in 1899.
Subsequently, I repurchased this plot jointly with my partners, Lachman
& Goldsmith, for $250,000, and within two years thereafter sold it to
Mr. Louis M. Blumstein for $425,000. This was the most profitable, but
not the only transaction we had on this street. With various associates
I owned, at one time or another, one half of the property on the south
side of that block, so that I made good use of my early judgment as to
its future value.

Our operations on One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street were not confined
to that block alone. We had also purchased various plots between Fifth
and Sixth avenues and, with a friend, I had collected a plot of eight
lots between Lexington and Fourth avenues. This made Oscar Hammerstein
one of my customers.

One day the optimistic Oscar came into my office with his serious,
flat-footed walk, his French silk hat on his head, and his eternal cigar
between his fingers. He had just completed the Harlem Opera House on
West One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street, and he told me that, for his
success there, it was essential to have also a theatre on the East Side,
and he negotiated for the eight lots that we had collected on One
Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street near Park Avenue. We spent several hours
arranging the details of the lease of our property, with privilege to
buy, which was what he wanted. He argued me into giving it to him on a 4
per cent. basis while the building was being constructed. When he was
all through, I said:

“Do not think that you have deceived me as to your real aim. You want to
secure this property and pay down as little as possible until your
building is completed! All of us who own property on One Hundred and
Twenty-fifth Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues greatly
appreciate the fine theatre you put there, and the consequent increase
in the value of our property, and I am therefore willing to help you
make this enterprise a success. I will at once give you a deed, and as
there is no broker in the transaction, you need only pay the equivalent
of six months’ rent on account of the purchase price.”

Hammerstein gratefully accepted the offer and, subsequently, told me how
he financed that entire operation without any capital. He struck a
sand-pit and saved all costs of excavation, besides realizing over
$30,000 for the sand. That furnished him nearly all the cash for the

A little later Hammerstein got into difficulties about an office
building next to the Harlem Opera House. He wanted to borrow $25,000 on
a second mortgage. He practically put a pistol to my head, and said:

“You folks must lend me this money, or I can’t finish the building--and
that will force me into bankruptcy.”

I looked at him and saw not the optimistic Oscar, but the harried
Hammerstein. He went on:

“You don’t know what that will mean. If I go into bankruptcy, the Bank
of Harlem will also have to go. I owe them over $50,000 and they have
agreed that, if I can finish the building, they will buy it from me,
giving me back my notes in part payment.”

“But that bank,” I protested, “has only $100,000 capital! How could it
lend you $50,000?”

“One day,” he said, “as I was seated in my little office underneath the
steps of the Harlem Opera House, the president of the Bank broke in, and
leaning over my shoulder, handed me a blank note, and asked me, for
God’s sake, to make it out to the order of the Bank for $10,000. ‘Don’t
ask any questions,’ he whispered, ‘but just do what I want, and do it
quick.’ I complied with his request, I didn’t stop to put on my hat and
coat, but followed him to the Bank; and just as I expected, there were
the bank-examiners!”

He paused in his narrative to give me one of those knowing, piercing
looks of his. This was still another Hammerstein: he was the
accomplished actor awaiting applause for securing such an extensive and
undeserved line of credit from so unexpected a source.

“Does that,” he asked, “explain to you how I could pull his leg?”

The impresario did not then go into bankruptcy. A few of us combined and
lent him the money. My activities in Harlem also included the purchase
of two solid blocks of lots.

In 1887 Ehrich and I bought from Oswald Ottendorfer the entire block
bounded by Lenox and Mount Morris avenues and One Hundred and Twentieth
and One Hundred and Twenty-first streets. I induced the Ottendorfers to
split the transaction and content themselves with our buying the Lenox
Avenue front outright and their giving us an option on the Mount Morris
front. This option was sold for $10,000 profit, to Walter and Frank
Kilpatrick, and our total profits, which we divided in May, 1887, were
$43,424.10. I always remembered the numbers because of the sequence, 43,
42, 41.

Immediately after we had sold the Ottendorfer block we purchased the
block to the north, also for $325,000. In this purchase the Kilpatricks
joined us. I had a peculiar experience when it came to drawing the
contracts. As the Ottendorfers had agreed to take back separate
mortgages on every four lots, I wanted the Astors, owners of this block,
to do the same. Mr. Southmayd, the partner of William M. Evarts and
Joseph H. Choate, attorneys for the Astors, refused to do so, and
insisted that we give him one mortgage for the entire $240,000 which
they had agreed they would allow to remain on the property. All my
pleadings were in vain. He even refused to take back four mortgages on
eight lots each, saying that he could not tell which was the most
valuable, and we might retain one or two of the plots and forfeit our
equities on the rest.

Mr. Southmayd told me that just prior to the Panic of 1857, when farms
of 160 acres in Brooklyn were being sold at very inflated prices, an old
German truck-farmer was asked what he wanted for his 160 acres. He
demanded $50,000, the prevailing price at that time; $35,000 cash and a
$15,000 mortgage. When they argued with him that he had reversed the
order of things, Hans still adhered to his terms, as he claimed that the
property was not worth over $15,000, and when asked why he then insisted
on $50,000, he answered, “because you paid that amount to my neighbour
Peter for the same size farm.” Southmayd sneeringly added that after the
Panic of 1857 Hans got his property back for his mortgage.

I would not submit to being balked by Southmayd. I made up my mind to
talk to the famous John Jacob Astor himself.

I had never met him, but he had often been pointed out to me, as,
shortly before 9 o’clock, he walked with his son, Waldorf, down Fifth
Avenue, from their home to their office in Twenty-fifth Street. Astor
was a portly figure with impressive side-whiskers. I watched for them
and followed them to their office and asked for an interview. My plain
statement of facts made no apparent impression on them. I tried again: I
told Southmayd’s story of Hans: a smile broke the severity of the
elder’s face.

“Mr. Astor,” I concluded, “you must admit that it’s unfair to your
property to compare the Harlem of to-day with the Brooklyn of 1856.”

“You’re right,” said Astor. “You make me a proposition of what relative
values you put on the various plots, and what will be the amounts of the
separate mortgages, and I will have it checked up.” I submitted my
figures and they were accepted without any change. The mortgages were
paid long before they were due, as all the property was promptly
improved. I believe this was the first time that the Astors broke away
from their policy of not selling any of their holdings.

While these activities were going on in Harlem, a great many builders
had erected rows and rows of private houses on the West Side,
principally between Central Park West and Amsterdam Avenue, so as to be
adjacent to the Elevated roads. In 1887 and 1888 there was a
considerable slump, and over three hundred new private houses were
unsold and unoccupied. Everything looked very gloomy. All of us who were
interested in the West Side were terrified when an announcement came
that there would be an unrestricted auction of the Joshua Jones Estate
on Seventy-fourth and Seventy-fifth streets from Central Park West to
within a few hundred feet of Amsterdam Avenue.

Ehrich and I attended the auction, and when the first lot on
Seventy-fourth Street was put up with the privilege of the balance of
the block, we astonished the auctioneer and all present by taking all
twenty-four lots.

That afternoon Ehrich and I went up to look at our purchase. As we
walked over the lots a couple of men shouted at us to get off the
property. We asked them why, and they said: “Don’t you see our traps? We
are catching birds here.”

There is not much bird-trapping in that neighbourhood to-day!

Success breeds enterprise. When we had disposed of these various plots
at a good profit, I was ambitious to undertake still larger
transactions. The original Rapid Transit Commission was then laying out
the routes of the first subway, and I, in search of another One Hundred
and Twenty-fifth Street, began to prospect for the district in which the
Commission would be likely to locate a northerly spur, concluding that
if Washington Heights were made accessible, One Hundred and Eighty-first
Street would become the important thoroughfare of that neighbourhood.

There were four hundred lots owned by Levi P. Morton, then
Vice-President of the United States, and George Bliss, of Morton, Bliss
& Company, for which I had practically concluded my negotiations in
September, 1890, when the Old World was shocked by the failure of Baring
Brothers, the largest banking house of England. All negotiations were
stopped. But, in February, 1891, about eighty lots located in this
vicinity were successfully disposed of at auction. Peter F. Meyer, who
conducted that sale, assured me that less than one half of the bidders
had secured lots.

On the strength of this success, I asked L. J. Phillips to ascertain
whether, owing to the financial stress of the times, the owners, Morton
and Bliss, would take $900,000 for their property, for which they had
formerly asked $1,000,000.

Phillips’s report was brief: “Nothing less than a million.”

This was what I really expected, and my directions were briefer: “Go
close it!”

On March 26th I signed the contract. I paid $50,000 down and agreed to
pay $300,000 more on May 27th. I then interested about fifteen people in
the syndicate, many of whom were very prominent in real estate. We were
granted special facilities to open One Hundred and Eighty-second Street,
and had all the work done before the auction.

This arrangement gave us sixteen complete blocks with sixty-four
corners, a most unusual percentage.

There were a number of fortuitous circumstances which helped to make for
success. James Gordon Bennett having large possessions in that
neighbourhood, directed that our sale receive generous attention in the
_Herald_. There had been a secession of some of the auctioneers from the
Real Estate Exchange, which then occupied its own building at No. 65
Liberty Street. Their manager called and said that their Board of
Directors were ready to do almost anything that I would ask to secure
the sale. They allowed me to display in the salesroom during all of May
a sign 60 feet wide and 20 feet in height, and they also agreed that
they would permit no other sale on May 26th.

We had numerous conferences, and none of my associates agreed with me
that it was possible to sell so many lots at one session, but I was
absolutely firm and insisted that it be tried. I conceded that I would
stop the auction if I found that the purchasers had been exhausted, or
that the lots were being sold at a loss. Thousands of people visited the
property on the preceding Saturdays and Sundays. We could have sold the
property on the 26th of May without having made our final payment, and
could have used the proceeds of the sale for that purpose, but to avoid
any possible question as to whether we had taken title or not, we closed
the title on the day before the sale. As we were about leaving Morton,
Bliss & Company’s offices, both Bliss and Morton expressed the wish that
we might have a great success the next day, and the genial
Vice-President of the United States added: “If there is anything I can
do, please call upon me.” In response, I asked him whether he would come
over to the auction-room and if necessary, to convince the public of our
authority to sell the property, whether he would make a statement from
the auctioneer’s stand. He consented to do so and waited at his office
until I notified him that there was no need of his remaining any longer.

When the auction started, the entire floor as well as the auction stands
and gallery were crowded to capacity. The bidding was very lively, and
when some of the One Hundred and Eighty-first Street corner lots sold
for over $10,000, there was considerable applause.

The auction lasted until seven o’clock, and every one of the 411 lots
was sold. Ex-Register John Reilly had paid the highest prices: he bought
the entire front on the west side of St. Nicholas Avenue from One
Hundred and Eightieth to One Hundred and Eighty-first streets, and he
afterward confided to me that he had succeeded where we failed in
finding out that the Subway was to go through St. Nicholas Avenue, and
that there was to be a station at One Hundred and Eighty-first Street.
The corners of One Hundred and Eighty-first Street and St. Nicholas
Avenue are to-day the most valuable on Washington Heights.

Our syndicate was well satisfied with the result, as we divided a profit
of $480,000 amongst the men who had invested $300,000. They showed their
appreciation of my work by presenting me with a magnificent silver
service, which was greatly admired by my Turkish visitors in

I was quite carried away with my success, and my enthusiasm made me an
easy prey to the temptation of participating in a still larger
scheme--the development of the Town of Bridgeport, Alabama. A few years
prior to 1891 there had been a great boom in Birmingham and Anniston, so
that I was easily persuaded by the firm that had been associated with me
in the purchase of the Astor Block to go in with them to develop

All of us in the North felt that the South was “coming back” and
Bridgeport was near coal and iron fields and had good water power. We
started development, stove- and iron-pipe companies, a hotel, and a bank.
We believed, with energetic New Yorkers back of it, this little town on
the Tennessee River could be made a great manufacturing centre; we all
forgot that it was very far from Broadway. Before I knew it, I had sunk
more than my Washington Heights profit, and I am still paying taxes on
some of the land that I bought at that time.

The loss of that money was a wholesome lesson, and I resolved to stick
to New York. I broke this resolve on only one other occasion, and that
was my venture into the Bamberger-Delaware gold mine: we took out plenty
of gold--something like $600,000 a year, but it cost us more than that
to do so. That investment also proved a total loss.

In the winter of 1891 we began an operation which was to result in
winning the record for rapid construction up to that date. Our tenants
in the Hoagland property at Fifteenth Street and Sixth Avenue failed. We
concluded to tear down the old buildings and erect a new one. We had
been negotiating unsuccessfully with Baumann, the furniture dealer, so
we planned with our architect to put up a four-story building. I was in
the architect’s office the latter part of January, when in walked Mr.
Baumann and told me that if I would guarantee to finish the building by
April 30th, he would pay the price I asked.

I consulted my architect, Albert Buchman.

“It’s impossible,” he declared, “four and a half months--June 15th is
the earliest date conceivable.”

“Even if we use double shifts?”

“Even if we use double shifts.”

“Well,” I said, “I’m going to chance it.”

Buchman’s allotment for the excavation was fifteen days. I sent for
Patrick Norton, who had done some excavating work for me in Harlem.

“Pat,” I asked, after I had sketched the case, “is there any objection
to working twenty-four hours a day?”

“That depends,” said he.

“Well, if you went at it on that basis, couldn’t you finish this job in
seven instead of fifteen days? I’ll pay for the light, and I’ll give you
25 per cent. extra.”

Norton belonged to the type of bluff, enterprising contractors. The
novelty appealed to him, and he accepted it on the spot and completed
the job on time.

Everything else went with similar speed. We were told that it would take
some time to get the iron posts required for the cellar; I showed our
plans to a man from Jackson & Company, and asked him whether, for an
extra consideration, he could have the posts required for the job
finished within a week. Within three days he made his deliveries. We
changed our specifications and substituted wooden ceilings for plaster.
We had the building finished and the elevators running on April 27th.
The building was a four-story structure with an iron front covering five
full lots, and we erected it for a trifle under $110,000.

I had another but less satisfactory experience with Pat Norton:

In the Winter of ’97 I bought from Collis P. Huntington a tract of land
running from One Hundred and Thirty-eighth to One Hundred and
Forty-first streets and from St. Ann Avenue eastward. The Title Company
discovered that Huntington did not own as large an area as was described
in the contract, so I called on him to ask for a reduction. It was a
memorable sight to behold this great old gentlemen, 6 feet 3 inches in
height, over eighty years of age, with as keen an intellect as a man of
thirty, trying to fathom my motives and playing with me as a cat plays
with a mouse. He leaned forward to get close to me, adjusting his little
skull cap a bit, and said:

“Suppose I make you no concession at all! Are you going to throw up that
contract, or take the property?”

“I will take the property because I expect to make a profit,” I said,
“but I am going to rely on you to do the fair thing by me.”

He sat back in his chair and told me his experiences with Trenor W.
Park, who wanted to buy a railroad from him. A dispute arose about it,
which resulted in a law-suit. Afterwards, Park wanted to settle and buy
him out. Huntington fixed the price, and as Park hesitated, he told him
that for every day he delayed in accepting the offer he would add
$100,000 to his price, and as seven days had expired since his first
offer, the price was $700,000 more that day. Park agreed to that figure
before he left the room.

“My experience,” said Huntington, “is that no man benefits by law-suits,
but that no man can succeed if he is afraid of them. Now, what do you
really think would be the fair thing for me to do in your case?”

I mentioned a sum, and he said:

“Strange to say, that is the figure I had in my mind.” He dictated a
letter then and there, agreeing to the reduction.

We were anxious to dispose of the Huntington property at auction, and
hurriedly prepared it. There was a stone fence running diagonally over
the southerly part of the property, and I thought it would improve the
appearance of this place to have the stones removed, and as Norton was
putting through the streets and laying the sidewalks, I made a contract
to have him do so for $800. The next morning I was impelled to visit the
Huntington property. I was amazed to find 150 Italians working shoulder
to shoulder, digging a trench alongside the stone wall, and dumping the
stones into it. I stopped them and sent for Norton. When he came,
instead of being ready to apologize, he wore a broad grin and said that
he never expected me to come there, as I always came alternate days: by
the second day no trace of that trench would have been left--what
difference would it make to me, as long as it had disappeared, where it
had gone?

We advertised an auction of this property for April 5, 1898. Because of
the expectation of a war with Spain, a number of people asked me to
abandon the sale. I agreed with their arguments that the sale would not
succeed, but I wanted to see if my analysis of the psychology of
prospective buyers was correct, which was, that some persons expecting
big bargains would come to the sale and would buy. So I concluded to put
up a few of the least valuable lots--those that had considerably more
rock above the surface--and then try some of the St. Ann Avenue fronts.
Just as I expected, the rock lots brought a very low price, but really
all they were worth, and were purchased by one of the shrewdest dealers
in New York. We stopped the sale after thirty were sold.

In the winter of 1894 great excitement was caused among the real estate
men by mysterious efforts to secure the block on the east side of Sixth
Avenue between Eighteenth and Nineteenth streets. I was keenly
interested because if the east side of Sixth Avenue was to be developed
it would injure our Hoagland property, especially if it were a retail
concern, which would throw the travel from Macy’s on the east side. I,
therefore, called on my old friend William R. Rose, who was acting as
attorney in the matter. On my assuring him that I wished to benefit by
my information without interfering with his scheme, he told me that the
site was being collected for a retail drygoods store with a main
entrance on Sixth Avenue, and it finally turned out to be Siegel-Cooper
& Company. I immediately negotiated for the properties on the east side
of Sixth Avenue adjoining this block and secured for Lachman, Morgenthau
& Goldsmith from William Waldorf Astor the Nineteenth Street corner now
occupied by the Alexander Building, and for myself alone the entire
block from Seventeenth to Eighteenth street to a depth of 180 feet, from
some of the descendants of John Jacob Astor. Simultaneously with the

[Illustration: Mr. Morgenthau playfully refers to this picture as the
Morgenthau dynasty]

of the Siegel-Cooper Company, I modernized the block front from
Seventeenth to Eighteenth Street, and we erected a new building on the
corner of Nineteenth Street, and sold it to Andrew Alexander.

One evening Alwyn Ball, Jr., told me that Henry Parish wanted to sell
his house at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Nineteenth Street. I
suggested that I would buy the property if Mr. Parish would take in part
payment the second mortgage of $100,000 that Alexander had given us on
his corner. The Astor Estate held the first mortgage of $100,000. Ball
looked aghast.

“Why,” he said, “that’s a preposterous proposition! The idea of offering
a second mortgage on a leasehold for the fee of a first-class Fifth
Avenue corner, and to make it to so conservative a man as Mr. Parish! He
has never even had a telephone in the offices of the New York Life
Insurance & Trust Company, of which he is president! You must want me to
be kicked downstairs.”

“You’re absolutely mistaken,” I answered. “Mr. Parish is constantly
buying mercantile notes for his Trust Company, and will know that this
personal bond of Andrew Alexander’s, guaranteed by me, is as good as any
note that he has in his wallet. His office is on the ground floor--you
needn’t be afraid of being kicked downstairs.”

Ball presented the offer and Parish accepted it. The mortgage was paid
on its due date: I made a small profit on the Parish house and disposed
of an almost unmarketable mortgage without any loss; Ball made a good
commission, and so all were happy.

Shortly after I had another deal with William Waldorf Astor. It involved
a part of the Semler farm on the east side from Fourth to Tenth streets.
My negotiations with Charles A. Peabody, now president of the Mutual
Life Insurance Company of New York, were drawn out for over six months,
as his letters had to follow Astor all over Europe. After we had come
to a definite arrangement, war was declared with Spain. Peabody
surprised me one day when he came unannounced to my office to ask me
whether I was still willing to make the purchase. I told him that I was
convinced that the war would not affect the thirty Germans who were
occupying these houses, and to whom I expected to sell the fees; and
that I would be more pleased if he would sell me one hundred houses
instead of forty. We entered into a contract to purchase forty lots on
which the leases expired within a year. There was tremendous excitement
among the tenants; protest meetings were called and cables sent to
Astor. This brought me another visit from Mr. Peabody.

“Now, Morgenthau,” he said after sketching his predicament, “will you
try to help us out?”

“I am perfectly willing,” I said, “to take other property of Mr.
Astor’s, and let him deal direct with the objecting tenants, but I want
a corner plot for a corner plot, and an inside avenue plot for an inside
avenue plot and as many inside street lots as I was to have had.
Although you have no properties on which the leases terminate the same
time as these for which I am under contract, I am willing to buy them on
the same basis,”--which was multiplying the annual ground rent by

Peabody said that this was eminently fair; he would try and show his
appreciation, which he did, by selling us forty-four plots instead of
forty. We consummated the transaction on July 18, 1898. The deed that
was given was the first in which William Waldorf Astor failed to
describe himself as “of the City of New York.” It was a very
satisfactory transaction, as all but three of the tenants availed
themselves of the privilege we gave them to buy the property from us at
a reasonable profit.

The year 1898 marked the twentieth anniversary of Lachman, Morgenthau &
Goldsmith. As I was leaving for my summer vacation, my partners urged
me to plan out how we could celebrate that event. While I was fishing in
the Thousand Islands, the infrequency of the bites of the black bass
left me ample time for reflection, and I concluded that instead of a
celebration, it would be a separation. I had felt so inclined for many
years, but the delightful association with my partners, the extreme
consideration they constantly showed me, the deep affection we felt for
one another, had caused me to delay, and their persuasion not to do so
had prevented my taking the final step. Here during these uninterrupted
hours on the St. Lawrence, I was able to look at myself objectively and
from both a retrospective and prospective point of view.

The success of my real estate operations had won me away from the
exclusive devotion to the law which is so essential to rise in that
profession. In figuring the profits that had been made by the various
real estate syndicates that I had managed since 1891, I was surprised at
the total, and realizing that at no one time had I had the use of more
than $500,000 of my friends’ and my own money, I concluded that if I had
had a company with that amount of capital, and could show the profits
that had been made as surplus, the good will of such a company would be
very valuable and would be reflected in the selling price of the stock.
So why not induce some leading financiers to join me in the formation of
a real estate trust company, which would do for real estate what the
banking institutions have done for the railroads and industrials?

I wrote my partners of my decision, and told them that I would withdraw
from the firm on January 1, 1899.

Among others with whom I discussed my scheme were Frederick Southack and
Alwyn Ball, Jr., who had surprised me by informing me that they had had
a similar thought and had already secured from the New York Legislature
a special charter granting the privileges that would fit my scheme.

They asked me to join them and accept the presidency of this company. I
accepted conditionally, telling them, however, that I would aim very
high as to my associates and would insist that as chairman of the
executive committee there be secured either the leading banker, J. P.
Morgan, or the leading bank president, James Stillman, or the leading
trust company president, F. P. Olcott.

Southack and James H. Post, who was a director in the National City
Bank, presented the scheme to Mr. Stillman, who kept it under advisement
for several weeks, but finally declined because he had been advised that
some of our operations might be too speculative. In the meantime,
Southack and Ball had, in addition to Mr. Post, interested Henry O.
Havemeyer, John D. Crimmins, and several others. They then presented the
matter to Mr. F. P. Olcott, president of the Central Trust Company, who
was a trustee of the estate of Southack’s father. Olcott listened to the
outlining of the plans of such a company, and when they proposed me as
president and told him of the great profits I had made in real estate,
he said that when it came to any proposition involving real estate, he
was entirely guided by Hugh J. Grant, whose office adjoined his.

Grant had, while Mayor of New York, appointed Olcott to the first Rapid
Transit Commission, and when he was appointed receiver of the St.
Nicholas Bank, Grant called on Olcott and availed himself of an offer
theretofore made him by Olcott to be of service to him. He told Olcott
that he was very anxious to make a record as receiver, and asked an
immediate loan of as much as the assets of the bank justified to enable
him to declare promptly a substantial dividend to the depositors. Olcott
not only did this, but was so pleased with the manner in which Grant
handled the receivership, that he urged him to abandon his railway
advertising business. He did so, and took offices next to Olcott and
above those of Brady, and became the third member of that famous
combination--Brady, the creator of the schemes; Olcott, the financier;
and Grant, the expert in political and municipal affairs.

He called Grant into the office. Grant listened most attentively to the
proposition, and then said:

“Morgenthau has been too successful to be willing to work for a salary
and accept the presidency of a company.”

As Southack and Ball insisted that he was mistaken, Grant, with his
usual directness, came right over to see me. That visit was a very
memorable one for me. We carefully canvassed the entire proposition and
concluded then and there that not only was I to take the presidency, but
that Grant should take the vice-presidency, and become a visible figure
in finance and cease being known as an unattached associate of Olcott
and Brady.

Grant’s greatest faculty was in being able to “sniff” success, and
through his tremendous amiability--which had made him so popular a man
in New York--he was able to appeal to successful men, who heartily
welcomed his coöperation on equal terms with themselves in their various
enterprises. He also had watched me during my career, and realized the
wisdom of a combination with me from his point of view; while I realized
that a close coöperation--a supplementing of one another--would benefit
us both, so we fell into each other’s arms. Grant and I then and there
agreed to join forces. He agreed to take 1,000 shares for himself, 1,000
shares for Mr. Olcott, and within an hour telephoned me to note also
Anthony N. Brady’s subscription for 1,000 shares. That afternoon when
Southack and Ball came in and heard of the subscriptions, they each
insisted upon the right to subscribe for 1,000 shares.

This disposed of one half of the stock. I wanted one half of the
remaining 5,000 shares, but unfortunately for me, the others insisted
that I should content myself with 1,000, and that the other 4,000 should
be distributed amongst the rest of the directors, and amongst lawyers
and real estate operators and brokers, whose interests would produce
business for the company. There was a tremendous scramble for the stock,
and it was impossible for us to satisfy the demand.

A few days later Grant introduced me to Olcott, who gave me quite a
dissertation on how to run a trust company. He said that the most
important thing was to have no men around who had any “yellow” in them
and that the president must get the business and leave it to the other
officers to execute it and carry out the details. He laid the greatest
stress on the fact that the head of a company must disregard details

“He ought constantly to have his mind,” said Olcott, “on the larger
matters, and should abstain from doing any work that can be done by any
expert help that can be hired.”

On my part, I gave to Olcott a sketch of how I thought the company
should be developed, explaining to him that the prejudice of the big
trust companies and banks against real estate was not justified, and
that the financial interests of New York had so far failed to recognize
the increased stability of real estate, due to the enlarged population
of the city and to the definite fixation of certain trades in certain
neighbourhoods. I instanced the financial centre in Wall Street; the
jewellery centre in Maiden Lane; the retail centres, and the definite
northward development of Broadway. I also explained how many very
substantial men had entered the real estate field, and how the general
prosperity of the country had improved values in New York City.

“Now,” I said, “this group of successful men can only handle the large
units that the exigencies of the time are demanding if they have
additional financial facilities given them. Those facilities our company
should provide.”

I explained how many groups of men had formed real estate corporations,
only to discover that even then their resources were inadequate to
handle all the profitable business that was coming to them. I told of
some of my own larger transactions; how I always had to get others to
help me finance them, and how, therefore, such a company as the one we
proposed forming would undoubtedly become the syndicate manager of some
of the larger operations. I told him if he had no objections, we could
secure large deposits. Olcott replied that my plans would in no way
conflict with his corporation, and that I should do any business that I
deemed profitable. He asked me whom I wanted on the board, and I told
him that I should like to have some representatives of the Mutual Life
Insurance Company, who were then the largest investors in mortgages on
New York City real estate, and suggested Messrs. Juilliard and Jarvie,
the two best known and most influential members of its board.

We settled on a number of other directors, and a few days later Stillman
sent word that he wanted some of the stock. Olcott agreed that he should
only be given some of the stock if he consented to serve on the
Executive Committee. Post and Southack, who had brought the message,
hesitated to deliver this answer, as they thought we ought heartily to
welcome Stillman’s interest in our corporation, and when they put the
proposition to Mr. Stillman, he asked them, in his mystifying manner,
whether this was an ultimatum. They hesitated to admit it. They were
really afraid of him, and he was simply tantalizing them about his
acceptance, which he finally gave them. He was allotted only 200 shares,
and within a year he sent for me and in his peculiar teasing way told me
that he was dissatisfied with his connection with the company. When I
asked him why, he said that he had not a sufficiently large interest. I
had to coax Olcott to sell 300 of his 1,000 shares for as much as he had
paid for his entire 1,000. I doubt if I could have persuaded him to sell
to any one else. It was simply, as he put it, that he wanted the
satisfaction of making “that smart neighbour of his”--as he often called
Stillman, their offices in adjoining buildings--“put him on velvet in
this transaction.”

I shall tell later on how, several times, I had to go on bended knees to
have some of these men accept what seemed to me tremendous profits.

I was now ready to proceed to business, as president of the Central
Realty, Bond & Trust Company.



I had suddenly been catapulted from my comparatively unknown law office
into the very midst of high finance. I was president of a board of
directors in which but a few weeks ago I should have rejoiced to have
been the junior member. My associates were all leaders in their various
pursuits, and gloried in the power and wealth that they had accumulated
while struggling to reach these eminent positions.

At first I was but a silent observer amongst a lot of gladiators. Here
was a set of dominators watching a newcomer who also had dared to try to
reach the top, and had the good sense to court their coöperation. To
most of them real estate was a closed book. They had looked upon it as
what might be called a frozen commodity, while they had dealt in liquid
assets. They were anxious to see whether this novice could capitalize
real estate equities. Stories of the successes that I had had in real
estate had been told and exaggerated until, even to these big
money-makers, they seemed attractive. Each one prided himself that his
joining the other eminent leaders in this enterprise increased its
chances of success. The fact that the stock was selling at double its
issue price within three months showed that the public was ready to
discount the possibilities. They bought me on my past performances. To
them I was just a new machine which must demonstrate its capacity. I
simply had to make good, or be displaced.

My position as president of this company involved me in a series of
financial encounters with the biggest men in Wall Street, encounters
that are worth describing because they illustrate the methods by which
the great fortunes of the greatest period of expansion in American
finance were made. I have not heard of any man who had intimate business
relations with the financial giants of that period, who has described,
from his own experience, the intrigues and passions, the personalities
and methods, of those men who dominated the financial structure of
America. My experiences with them were not connected with their biggest
deals, but they were thoroughly representative of all their
operations--and, as such, I feel they are of historical interest and
especially so as they are exceptional revelations of a type of
exceptional men whose business activities have influenced the great
development of American Commerce. I might almost entitle this chapter:
“How Big Financial Deals Are Made.” It is a very human story--full, I
mean, of human nature, with its foibles of ambition, jealousy, hatred,
pride, and cunning.

When, as president of my Board of Directors, I sat at the head of the
table at our meetings, and looked down either side of the table, my eyes
fell upon at least half a dozen of the greatest financial giants of the
day--men who, as heads of enormous and often clashing interests,
represented nearly every element in the epic struggle for the financial
supremacy of America--that savage struggle which the public at large
sensed but vaguely, and which it saw clearly only at the great moments
of climax, as when the veil was lifted by the famous life insurance
investigation, and later by the Pujo investigation. About this board
were six representative financiers. These men were as diverse in their
appearance and character and their methods as the interests they
personified. The battle between the banks on the one hand and the trust
companies on the other, was represented by James Stillman and Frederic
P. Olcott. Stillman, as became the champion of the older type of
institutions, the banks, was a perfect example of the well-built man of
the world, sartorially correct, soft spoken, with a tendency toward
cynical humour, and with a tongue capable of devastating sarcasms, while
Olcott, as became the representative of the more recent competitors in
the general banking business, the trust companies, was a type of the
rough-and-ready, physically powerful, hard-spoken, tumultuous fighter.
There was nothing conciliatory in his make-up. He rather enjoyed
wrangling with his competitors, and prided himself on never having
become money-mad, and looked commiseratingly on those who had. He was
more interested in this financial struggle as a test of intellectual
prowess, but wanted to remain an amateur gladiator rather than to become
a professional wealth accumulator. Olcott’s burly figure, carelessly
clad, surmounted by a huge, bucket-like head, adorned with unbelievably
big and protruding ears, and illuminated with eyes that could glare
terrifyingly, was in striking contrast with Stillman’s smooth-buttoned
figure, his keen, distinguished face, and eyes that menaced by their
subtlety and gleam of concentrated will, but whose whole manner
betokened a measured, studied self-restraint.

The war between the sugar trust and the independent sugar refiners was
represented by Henry O. Havemeyer and James N. Jarvie. They never sat on
the same side of the table, but always facing each other--Havemeyer big,
florid, and blustering--displaying in every move the consciousness of
long-exercised power, and resenting that the combination of all the
sugar interests should be compelled to defend its monopoly which was
threatened by the intrusion of a mere coffee concern, Arbuckle Bros., in
which Jarvie had infused such a vigorous, aggressive spirit--Jarvie who
had no prior generations of successful men to point to, but had risen
from the bottom and was then the leading spirit of his firm--a much
courted man for director in leading corporations--a man who not only
directed the investments and loaning out of the Arbuckle fortune, but
was also a leader in all the companies with which he was connected.
Possessed of all the strong and best points of a real Scotchman,
caution, cumulativeness, and stick-to-it-iveness, he was like an eager
bull terrier worrying at the haunches of a mastiff, and watching every
instant for a chance to spring.

The rivalry between the insurance companies was represented by A. D.
Juilliard and James Hazen Hyde. Juilliard, the distinguished merchant,
philanthropist, and patron of music, personified the Mutual Life
Insurance Company, of which he was one of the directing spirits; and
young Hyde, the perfumed dandy and spoiled child of quickly gotten
riches, personified the Equitable Life Insurance Company and its
astonishing rise to financial greatness.

By a strange irony of fate, my association with these men was destined
to make me one of the key figures in the life insurance investigation of
1905, which hurled young Hyde from a dazzling financial eminence and
limitless possibilities and transferred him to Paris among the
expatriates there, and which, by the legislation that followed the
exposure of corrupt financial practices, altered the whole financial
structure of America.

I shall tell that story at its proper place in this chapter, but, first,
I propose to give the reader a picture of the way in which some
financial deals were made in “Wall Street,” and the control of
corporations bandied about by a nod of the head, frequently given as a
reward for a personal favour, or withheld as punishment for a personal

The following incidents in my own financial transactions will illustrate
this system which I by no means indiscriminately condemn, as it is an
essential requirement of the broader development of the commerce of the
United States, but which, unfortunately, has again and again been
shamefully abused, so that the reputation of the deserving had suffered
almost as much as that of the evil doers.

In 1901 we bought some property from a client of D. B. Ogden, the
vice-president of the Lawyers’ Title Company, who mildly remonstrated
with me by saying:

“You are one of the original subscribers to the Lawyers’ Title Company,
yet you do all your business with the Title Guarantee & Trust Company.
Why not with us?”

I said:

“In all our large transactions, we have to borrow money on mortgages; we
do not want to wait until you offer them around and try and place them.
The other company with their enormous resources and backing gave us a
prompt answer. If you want to enter this very profitable field of large
loans, let me double your capital of $1,000,000 and also secure for you
similar backing to that possessed by your competitor. Though your stock
is selling below book value, I am willing to take the extra issue at
book value, and place it with interests that will give you a credit of
$5,000,000 and thus enable you promptly to handle the biggest
transactions, which are now monopolized by the Title Guarantee & Trust

Within an hour Edward W. Coggeshall, the president of the Lawyers’ Title
Company, called and asked me to repeat my proposition directly to him. I
did so, and he said to me: “When can you make a definite binding offer?”
I inquired whether he wanted my personal, or the Company’s offer, and
when he agreed to deal with me personally, I asked him to wait until I
dictated the proposition in his presence, and he did. Two days later he
informed me that his Board of Directors desired to offer 3,000 shares
of the new stock of their stockholders, and could therefore only sell me
7,000 shares, and hence they would be satisfied with a credit of four
million dollars. I consented to this change and immediately called on
the officials of the Equitable Life Insurance Company and arranged with
Mr. Squires, the chairman of the Finance Committee, that they would buy
2,000 shares of the stock, and agree to loan the company two million
dollars on mortgages. I suggested that Mr. Thomas N. Jordan, their
comptroller, should act as one of the experts to fix the value of the

I next called upon Mr. Olcott, who would not obligate the Central Trust
Company to make any definite loan, but authorized me to agree on behalf
of the Central Realty Bond & Trust Company to loan one million dollars
on mortgages and to subscribe 2,000 shares of the stock.

I then called up Mr. James Stillman and was informed that he was at home
nursing a cold. Within half an hour Mr. Stillman telephoned me to
inquire if it was something old or new that I wished to see him about.
When I answered “New,” he requested me to come to his house at three
o’clock that afternoon. I was dilating upon the matter for fully twenty
minutes when I suddenly became aware that Stillman had not asked a
single question, and I so told him, and asked whether this was because
he was not interested in the matter. He answered: “I have but one
question: how large an interest am I to have?” I offered him 1,500
shares if he would agree to loan the company one million dollars. He
said that he would take the stock, as he thoroughly believed in the
Title Insurance business and that the City Bank would be glad to make
the loan to the Title Company if the latter would keep a balance with
them which would justify them in doing so. So I had secured the required
credit and placed 5,500 shares of the stock. That same day Coggeshall
and I closed the matter. The 1,500 remaining shares were distributed
among some of our friends who we thought could help the Lawyers’ Title
Company. A few days later Mr. Olcott sent for me, and told me that my
handling of the increase of the Lawyers’ Title Company’s capital stock
had raised quite a tempest amongst the Mutual Life crowd: that its
president, Richard A. McCurdy, had asked Olcott at a directors’ meeting
of the Bank of Commerce why the Mutual Life had not been invited to
participate in this increase.

When Olcott explained to him that we had felt that the Mutual Life was
so largely interested in the Title Guarantee & Trust Company that they
would hardly be of much help to its greatest competitor, while the
Equitable Life was unattached in that respect and would prove a good
ally. Then McCurdy said: “Well, why was not I personally offered a few
hundred shares, as I understand that you and Jarvie and Juilliard have
received some?” This aggravated Olcott, and with a very emphatic
designation of McCurdy’s character, he said to him: “So, that’s your
size?” and that, of course, was pouring oil upon the flames.

Olcott told me that McCurdy intimated that he would expect Jarvie,
Juilliard and Coleman to resign from our company unless the Mutual Life
were taken care of in this matter. Olcott strongly advised me to defy
and fight them, while on the other hand Juilliard and Jarvie told me
that it was as much Mr. Olcott’s manner and forcible language as my
neglect in taking care of the Mutual Life interests that had aggravated
Mr. McCurdy. Juilliard told me that it would be a pity to break up our
happy little family, and that if I would use my tact, I could
satisfactorily adjust the matter. Although our company had progressed
very nicely, in my opinion it was hardly strong enough to antagonize so
important an interest as the Mutual Life. I, therefore, consented to let
Juilliard arrange an interview between McCurdy and myself. I was ushered
into the well-known throne-room and McCurdy told me at great length of
his connections with the Title Guarantee & Trust Company and that as the
Mutual Life was the largest lender on mortgages and some of its best
directors were on my board, I should have given the company an
opportunity to participate in this matter. He said that the company
could have divided their allegiance and have done business with both the
title companies. I informed him that I regretted that I had not known
his desire and that now it was too late, but that I was arranging to
increase the capital stock of the Lawyers’ Mortgage Company and would
gladly put the Mutual Life on the same basis as the Equitable Life. That
did not seem to satisfy him. He wanted to be interested in the Lawyers’
Title Company. He was insistent that he wanted some of the stock of the
Title Company and rather spurned the Lawyers’ Mortgage stock.

Coggeshall and I finally concluded that we would try to have Mr.
Stillman sell some or all of his stock to the Mutual Life. Stillman
absolutely refused to do so when first requested, and he made me accept
it as a personal favour when he finally consented to sell 1,000 shares
for which he had paid $174,000 for $350,000 to the Mutual Life. Stillman
thought that if the Mutual and Equitable were going to fight for the
control of the Lawyers’ Title Company, as he put it, the stock would go
to $500 a share. While I was arguing with him as to the splendid profit
this was, he said to me: “Morgenthau, you don’t understand what profits
we are in the habit of making,” and told me that when the Northern
Pacific was levying a $15 assessment, William Rockefeller and he had
agreed to pay the assessment on all the stock on which the stockholders
would default, and by so doing, had secured about 270,000 shares, had
agreed not to sell it until it showed them a profit of $100 a share,
which it did, and he said that even then they regretted that they had
sold it before the corner in Northern Pacific had occurred, because
thereby they lost a very big additional profit that they might otherwise
have made.

McCurdy urged me to try and consolidate the Title Guarantee & Trust
Company and the Lawyers’ Title Company, as this would have given him a
larger interest in the new company than the Equitable Life possessed. As
the leading spirits in neither company were very keen about it, it
failed of accomplishment; thereafter we consummated the increase of the
stock of the Lawyers’ Mortgage Company from $300,000 to $1,000,000. I
personally agreed to buy from the company 5,500 shares of an increase of
7,000 shares of the stock at $125. The Equitable Life interests received
1,500, and 1,000 shares went to the Mutual Life interests. It was the
distribution of these shares and the method in which they were finally
purchased by the respective companies that were material factors in the
condemnation of Messrs. McCurdy and Hyde by the Armstrong Committee, but
our company made excellent connections with both the Lawyers’ Title and
the Lawyers’ Mortgage companies, and made very substantial profits in
later on disposing of the stock.

After these two connections had been made, Grant and I felt that to
complete our circle we would also require a construction company.

The Fuller Company had made a great success in the West and was invading
the East. Mayor Grant was very much impressed with the scheme, but not
so Olcott, Brady, and Crimmins, who had serious objections to a
contracting company. Before abandoning the scheme, however, we submitted
it to Mr. James Stillman. He listened attentively, and then told us
that if we adhered to it, notwithstanding the opposition of Olcott,
Brady, and Crimmins, he would join us, with the distinct condition,
however, that he was not to dispose of any of the stock, or be asked to
interest any one in the enterprise. But he agreed that, as his
contribution to the matter, he would finance Grant and myself by loaning
us the full amount that was required at a very reasonable rate of
interest, and carry us for the life of the transaction.

A few days afterward Stillman sent for me and asked me how much of the
preferred stock we had actually sold. When I told him the amount, he
said: “Do not sell any more. As I was bicycling up Park Avenue
yesterday, I was constantly thinking of Mr. Black’s statement, that New
York had to be rebuilt, and the more I looked around me, the more
convinced I became that he was right. We ought to secure a substantial
share of the work at a profitable commission,” he said, “and therefore
we ought not to sell any more of the preferred stock.”

We did not do so until about ten months later when Black made us a
proposition on behalf of Charles M. Schwab, who was willing to exchange
U. S. Steel Preferred for Fuller Preferred, on even terms. Black
strongly recommended it, as he thought we might secure prompter
deliveries of our steel, which at that time were very slow and
unsatisfactory, if Mr. Schwab were interested in our company. Grant and
I immediately disposed of the 2,500 shares that each of us had taken and
it was rather amusing to have Stillman ask us in that knowing way of his
whether he was justified in concluding from the observations he had made
of the sales of U. S. Steel Preferred as recorded on the tape that we
had disposed of all our stock. We told him we had. A few days later, at
a meeting, he told us with great satisfaction that by letting us rush
ours off first, he, through careful selling, secured on an average of
three quarters of a point more than we had.

Mr. Schwab became a member of our board, and I had never before met any
one who equalled him in that extraordinary capacity of intelligently
reading and conclusively analyzing a financial statement at a single
glance that seemed hasty and superficial.

The foregoing incidents are samples of the minor tactics on the field of
battle in the vast struggle which was waging for the financial control
of America. I shall now outline the major strategy of that struggle as
it impressed me from my slight contact with it.

The decade from 1896 to 1906 was the period of the most gigantic
expansion of business in all American history, and, indeed, in all the
history of the world. In that decade the slowly fertilized economic
resources of the United States suddenly yielded a bewildering crop of
industries. Vast railroad systems were projected and built into being
with magic speed. The steel industry sprang with mushroom-like rapidity
into a business employing half a million men, and yielding the profits
of a Golconda. The Standard Oil Company spread its production and sales
to the ends of the earth. In every field of manufacture, expanding
companies were brought together into great trusts to unify their
finances and to stimulate their production.

All these swift growths demanded money: money for new plants--money for
expansion--money for working capital. The cry everywhere was for
money--more money--and yet more money. Wall Street was besieged with a
continual supplication for capital--that priceless fluid to water the
bursting fields of pulsing prosperities. It is an old law that he who
has what all men seek may make his own terms, and in that decade Wall
Street controlled the money of America. No wonder, then, that the
financiers of Wall Street leaped to a power greater for a time than the
power of presidents and kings. No wonder that heads were turned, that
power was abused, that tyranny developed, and that finally the nation,
sensing a life-and-death struggle between capitalism and organized
government itself, arose in fear and anger, and put shackles on the
money power that made it again the servant, and no longer the master, of
the people.

Let me trace briefly how this magic power was concentrated. Under the
old banking system, before the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, the
need for a common banking centre through which to “clear”
inter-community and inter-state debits and credits, following upon the
exchange of goods and the sale of crops, led the “country” banks all
over the United States to maintain in some New York bank a considerable
deposit of their funds, so that interbank transactions could be settled
expeditiously and without cost by the simple device of drawing a draft
against the New York account. The sum total of these country bank
deposits in the metropolitan banks placed in the control of the New York
bankers a vast reservoir of liquid capital. What should have been done
with this money was to use it as the basis for financing the movement of
crops in the fall and the exchange of commodities during the rest of the
year. What frequently was done with it was to lend it to New York
financiers for speculation in the price of crops and commodities,
preventing the farmers and country merchants and small industrials from
securing money at the times they needed it. Another use to which this
reservoir of capital was put, was to lend it to the great industrial
groups battling for supremacy in the fields of sugar, steel, textiles,
railroads, and the like.

But there were other reservoirs of capital, and these, too, centred in
New York. The great insurance companies were like pools at the bottom of
a great valley: down the hillsides from all directions trickled the
tiny streams of policy holders’ premiums--each in itself but a few drops
of the precious fluid but all together, when gathered in the pool, a
vast golden shining mass tempting the eyes of the speculative builders
of industry. The insurance company presidents, therefore, became, like
the bank presidents of New York, arbiters of financial destiny, because
by their nod of favour, or disapproval, they could grant or withhold the
golden stream of credit for which all men were begging.

Thus arose a natural struggle between the banks and the insurance
companies for the control of the finances of the country. If the bankers
could control the insurance companies, they would be masters of the
situation. If the insurance companies could control the banks, then the
insurance company presidents would be the great men. It may seem odd to
suggest that the insurance companies might have controlled the banks,
but I can easily demonstrate that this was quite within the realms of
possibility. One man with enough shrewdness and enough force, and
possessed of not more than $100,000,000, could at that time actually
have controlled the banking system of America. On August 5, 1899, when I
entered “Finance” with the organization of our company, the
capitalization of all the banks in the Clearing House was only
$58,000,000, and their total undivided profits were 77 millions--making
their entire resources 135 millions; the selling price of their stocks
was about 200 millions. One man with a private fortune of $100,000,000,
or McCurdy or Hyde controlling an insurance company with assets greatly
in excess of that amount, or the Standard Oil group might have been
shrewd enough to have bought a majority interest in all the important
banks in New York, and this majority interest would have placed in his
control, by virtue of the system I have described above, practically
the entire banking power of America. We should then have had a financial
octopus in the person of one man, with even weirder potentialities of
sinister control of American life than the only less dangerous small
group which actually did dominate the country financially in the early
years of the present century.

What actually happened was that the banking power, instead of being all
in the hands of one man, was held jointly by a group of a few men who,
although they fought incessantly and bitterly among themselves,
nevertheless often united for common profit. It may interest the reader
to be reminded of these groups and their leaders.

Towering above them all in the public mind, although in fact but little
more powerful than several of the others, was the massive figure and
threatening eye of J. Pierpont Morgan. Morgan ruled less by virtue of
his wealth than by the overpowering force of his character. Men feared
him, but they trusted him. Nearly every enterprise he financed turned to
gold, and his leadership became the most impressive fact in American
financial life. A close second to Morgan was James Stillman. Elected
president of the National City Bank in July of 1901, Stillman, then
forty-two years of age, heir to a profitable cotton brokerage business
that made him financially independent, had partially retired from active
business life, and was enjoying his cultivated tastes in semi-leisure.
When Percy R. Pyne, president of the National City Bank, retired from
office, and found that his two sons had no ambition to succeed him, he
offered Stillman the presidency, and Stillman accepted. The policies
which Stillman inaugurated at the National City Bank soon gave evidence
of that genius which was shortly to place him at the very top of the
financial world. Stillman previsioned the vast expansion of American
business, and took steps at once to share in the control of it. He
bought all the stock of his bank that came on the market, and then he
made it a leader in the financing of industry by attracting to his Board
of Directors the heads of the greatest enterprises in the country. These
men brought to his bank not only money for deposit, but they brought
what the subtle Stillman prized even more, and that was their knowledge
and their brains. At his board meetings Stillman learned, at first hand,
the inside facts about every business in the country, and this priceless
information gave him the key to all the mysteries of financing that lay
at the bottom of his success, and at these meetings Stillman had for the
asking the advice and counsel of the shrewdest business men in the land.
He once confided to me that by this simple device of putting these men
on his directorate he had secured their services at the absurd price of
about $400 a year apiece. As he expressed it: “These men attend a board
meeting once a week, and receive $10 for their attendance, and for that
price I am free to pick their brains.”

Stillman was allied with the Rockefeller family by the marriage of his
two daughters to the two sons of William Rockefeller, and through this
alliance gained all the direct and indirect advantages of a favoured
position with the Standard Oil Company and its measures.

Another group in the financial oligarchy was Kuhn, Loeb & Company,
originally clothing manufacturers in Cincinnati, then note-brokers and
finally bankers. Their great feat was taking over from the U. S.
Government Receivers the Union Pacific Railroad and reorganizing it.
They then made their famous alliance with E. H. Harriman and established
themselves in the first rank of American financiers, through the success
of this joint financing of the Union Pacific Railroad, one of the most
profitable of all the feats of financial legerdemain ever accomplished.

The trust companies entered the ranks of the financial oligarchs by
virtue of a peculiar provision of the banking laws which permitted them
to accept deposits and grant the checking privilege against them which
was enjoyed by the banks without being required to maintain the cash
reserve against deposits which was exacted of the banks. By paying
interest on daily balances they attracted the best--the non-borrowing

Under this anomaly of the law, the trust companies rose rapidly to
financial eminence. Their progress was bitterly contested by the banks,
but under the leadership of Frederic P. Olcott, the trust companies
became so powerful that they were taken into the oligarchy before the
laws were finally revised, placing them on a parity with the banks.
Olcott, as president of the Central Trust Company, had a hand in nearly
every one of the reorganizations of the railroads, a process through
which almost every railroad in the country was carried during the period
from 1878 to 1890. This experience had made Olcott an expert in every
detail of railroad finance, and his rugged honesty, his utter
fearlessness, his profane disregard of any man’s importance, no matter
how much it might have awed others, had placed him at the front as a
power to be reckoned with under all conditions.

So much for the bankers. The insurance companies were the other great
powers in the financial oligarchy. Hyde of the Equitable, McCurdy of the
Mutual, McCall of the New York Life--each of these men controlled the
lending of hundreds of millions of dollars of money taken in as
premiums. Before the eyes of each was laid the dazzling opportunity of
using this power to further speculative financing of industry with the
prospect of enormous profits. Some succumbed to these temptations, and
used some of this money, which was entrusted to them for the most sacred
of all financial purposes--the payments of death benefits to the
families of policy holders--as if they had been their own funds to be
risked in private speculation.

The case of Hyde is doubly appropriate for mention here, because he was
a representative sinner in these corrupt practices, and because it was
my fate to cross destinies at three critical moments in the life of his
son and heir, and to be, at one of these crises, the Nemesis for his

Henry B. Hyde had organized the Equitable Life Insurance Company years
before as a private stock company, capitalized at $100,000, of which he
retained ownership of slightly more than $50,000 worth of the stock. The
Equitable had prospered until it was one of the five great insurance
companies. Its assets had risen to over $500,000,000, its surplus to an
enormous sum. It was a moot question as to whether the stockholders or
the policy holders owned the surplus. Though the stock was restricted to
a 7 per cent. dividend, nevertheless its price had risen to $3,000 a
share, which showed the value that experts placed upon opportunities for
profit--whether legitimate or otherwise--that accrued to the possessor
of the majority of the stock--and the control of the company. The
insurance investigation conducted by Mr. Hughes showed the various
methods by which the men in control of this and other insurance
companies had abused this power and had personally enriched themselves.

When Henry B. Hyde died, he left to his son, James Hazen Hyde, his
controlling interest in the Equitable. It would be hard to over-state
the dazzling opportunity that now lay within reach of this boy of 24. If
fate had given him the vision of Stillman, or the wisdom and
over-mastering will of Morgan, or the rugged force of Olcott, young Hyde
might easily have become dictator of financial America. The method of
quick profits from the use of other people’s money had been
demonstrated for him by his father, and young Hyde himself was clever
enough to perceive the opening that lay in acquiring control of the
majority stock in banks and trust companies. He had the vision which I
have described above, of the possibility of controlling the banking
system of America by the use of one single fortune.

Destiny, however, had another fate in store. Fortune had indeed given
Hyde the means and the vision to attain preëminence. But her hand
withheld one essential gift--the gift of character. Reared to the
unrestrained enjoyment of pleasure, Hyde had never been disciplined, and
so had never had occasion to learn those amenities which, even in the
most powerful characters, temper the masterful assertion of authority.
With the pettish temper of a child, Hyde could not brook opposition; his
theory of action was the crude one of “rule or ruin.” Where tact would
have propitiated an antagonist, he tried giving orders. In rapid
succession, he antagonized the most powerful men in America--men who had
earned their spurs on the field of financial battle before he was born,
and who were not of a temper to brook the insolence of a youngster
merely because he had inherited a fortune. Their deep resentment long
boiled below the surface, and it was only when Hyde tried to wrest from
the presidency and transfer to the vice-presidency, which he was then
occupying, the main executive powers of the company that the opposition
to him became organized. President Alexander retained Bainbridge Colby,
who was then in partnership with his son, and also Frank Platt. The
latter by using the agents of the United States Express Company, of
which his father was president, secured the proxies of over 90,000
policy holders. They then tried to secure prominent and trusted men who
would act as a committee for the policy holders to force an
investigation of the management of the company. This task they found
more difficult. Several times they thought they had their committee
completed when Hyde and his associates exerted such pressure that these
men withdrew their consent to serve. Finally, a group of them put this
situation up to me. They pointed out that I owed a duty to the public to
clear up this lamentable misuse of the public’s funds.

I debated long whether I had a right to do this service. For myself,
personally, I had no fear of Hyde, but as president of a trust company,
I had the interests of my stockholders and depositors to consider. To
resolve my perplexities, I brought the matter up at a board meeting. I
wanted to accept, but I felt it my duty to explain the situation to my
directors, and I told them that if they felt I was jeopardizing their
interests, I would resign from the Trust Company, and serve on the
committee. Olcott resolved the question. With characteristic honesty and
force, he said: “If you feel that way, stay and serve, and let whoever
deserves, be hurt.”

I informed the attorneys of the committee of my inclination, but told
them I would not serve until they had submitted to me the evidence they
possessed. It was an interesting evening that Frank Platt and Bainbridge
Colby spent in my library. They brought a satchel full of documents, and
in a short time convinced me that their case against Hyde was complete.
They were very anxious to have me pledge myself to stay to the end,
which was to be the displacement of Hyde, and I exacted from them a
similar promise, so that we came to an understanding that this was to be
a fight to the finish.

With the Dreyfus trial fresh in my mind, I urged Colby that he should be
the man who would Americanize the “_J’accuse_” and charge Hyde with
these various malfeasances against the policy holders.

A few days later, Mr. Stillman called and told me that he wanted to
warn me to be very cautious in my activities of this policy holders’
committee; that public opinion was so excited and might easily be fanned
to fever heat if the conditions in the Equitable were published; and
that the people might demand investigations of all financial
institutions, and thereby create a panic. He also asked me to discuss
the matter with Mr. E. H. Harriman. I had no objection to doing so, and
a conference was arranged. Harriman asked me what the committee wanted,
and I told him that although Hyde owned a majority of the stock, the
assets belonged to the policy holders; and that they had enough
accusations which would condemn him before any court; and that the
committee demanded the removal of Hyde and control of the executive
committee which controlled the company. I told him that it would be much
better for them to make terms with us, who were reasonable men, than to
try to persuade any of our committee to compromise, because the proxies
we had would be taken from us and given to people who would see that
justice would be done. He saw the force of my argument and suggested my
meeting Mr. Elihu Root. We met the next day and went over the whole
situation. Mr. Root laid great stress on the fact that it was unheard of
to displace a man owning the majority of the stock of a company. On
behalf of the policy holders, I told Mr. Root that we were going to
arouse public opinion against the impropriety of having the funds of
widows and orphans subjected to the whims and fancies of a
quasi-irresponsible young man, and I also referred to the grave danger
that the whole financial fabric was being exposed to by permitting the
vast power that went with the control of the Equitable and its
subsidiary companies, to pass by inheritance, and not by election.

It finally was arranged that no one was to be placed on the executive
committee who was personally objectionable to Hyde. The new directors
were not to represent any faction, but all the policy holders. Thus we
got control of the board and the policy holders were allowed to elect a
majority of the executive committee and Mr. Hyde’s control was wrested
from him.

Thus, my action in standing fast with the committee of Equitable policy
holders, demanding their rights, was an essential prelude to the famous
life insurance investigation of 1905. The success of that investigation,
once it got under way, is, of course, to the eternal credit of Charles
Evans Hughes. His masterly grasp of the intricacies of the whole
situation; his extraordinarily logical mind which enabled him to bring
out the testimony in such a way as to build up an overwhelming and
complete sense of the right and wrong of the matter, made his conduct of
this investigation one of the most brilliant performances in the history
of American law, and placed Mr. Hughes in the front rank of public
servants. My own testimony at the investigation was useful in
establishing confirmatory evidence of the corrupt manner in which life
insurance moneys were used, as evidenced in the purchase, by Mr.
McCurdy, of stock in other companies with policy holders’ money, but to
the personal profit of the officers of the Mutual instead of to the
Mutual itself. The outcome of the whole investigation is, of course,
familiar to the public. It resulted in the enactment of laws which made
these corrupt practices impossible, and thereby took the insurance
company funds out of the speculative and promoting fields of American

The other needed reform--to clip the power of the New York bankers to
control the credit resources of the country--was delayed until, under
the compulsion of Woodrow Wilson’s leadership, the Federal Reserve Act
was passed, and the power of Wall Street over credit for ever crushed.
That Act democratized credit, and made it impossible for any man, or
group of men, to concentrate and control it.

Young Hyde was shorn of his glory. He was compelled to sell his majority
of ownership in the Equitable for two and one half million
dollars--whereas but a few years before I had been authorized by James
Stillman to offer him ten million dollars for the control of the
Equitable and its connections--and to remove himself from all authority
in its affairs, and from all influence upon finance in general. He
retired to that luxurious obscurity which was his natural level.
Disgusted with America, which did not “appreciate” him, he returned to
France where he had already spent several years, and there devoted
himself to a life of pleasure and of mild intellectual avocations.

I did not see him again until 1917 when the United States had entered
the World War, and I was visiting Paris. This third encounter with young
Hyde had in it the dramatic elements of a Greek comedy. Later in this
book, I describe how I made Hyde vice-president of the Metropolitan
Opera Company, and facilitated his ambition to become a social leader in
New York. Unappreciative of this service I had rendered him, and eager
for yet greater social opportunities, Hyde had not been content to await
the natural termination of my directorship, and had had the impudence to
ask me to resign in favour of one of his friends. I had indignantly
refused this preposterous request, and served out my term of office. In
the insurance investigation there had been, therefore, a certain element
of poetic justice in my being the instrument in the hand of destiny to
give the little essential fillip to the events that caused his headlong
fall from financial eminence. Our meeting in Paris in 1917 supplied the
final touch of classic irony. There, Hyde, out of touch with his native
land, somewhat chastened by contemplation of his abrupt fall from
financial heights, found himself almost a man without a country in the
midst of the World War, unable to gratify his ambition to be always in
style--and now the style was to be in the military uniform of one’s

I visited France soon after the entrance of America into that conflict,
and during a brief interval of rest at Aix-les-Bains, I chanced upon
John G. A. Leishmann and his vivacious daughter, who was Hyde’s wife.
She had heard of my political association with President Wilson, but
evidently she had forgotten, or was unaware of, my part in the financial
downfall of her husband. She confided to me young Hyde’s and her own
unhappiness that he had no active part in the service of his country,
and begged me to use my influence to obtain for him some position in the
American service where he could do his bit. I promised to do what I

Upon my return to Paris, young Hyde himself called upon me with words of
warm appreciation, both that I had been willing to overlook our late
unpleasantness, and that I had not mentioned its existence to his wife.
He was anxious to serve, and almost pathetically eager to convince me
that he could serve. He had been refused a position on General
Pershing’s staff, and wanted me to secure for him a commission from the
American Red Cross. He declared that he could obtain for me or others an
immediate audience from any person in the French Government, no matter
how exalted, and pointed out that by virtue of this capacity he could be
of indispensable service. He wished me to name any French official whom
I cared to meet. I said I should like very much to meet M. Painlevé
informally, and Hyde thereupon, hardly waiting to bid me good-bye,
hastened away to make the appointment. He easily made good his boast, so
that two days later I had dinner at Hyde’s house, and had a most
interesting conversation with Painlevé. I was so impressed with Hyde’s
earnestness and with the possibilities of usefulness that lay in his
remarkable affiliations with the best French society, that I did
intercede for him with Major Murphy and Major Perkins, the heads of the
Red Cross, and prevailed upon them to make him a uniformed officer. He
was attached to the Paris headquarters of our Red Cross work in France,
and, I was afterward told, rendered very useful service.

As I stated at the beginning of this chapter, the object of the
formation of the Central Realty Bond & Trust Company was to provide an
accumulation of capital for the purpose of dealing in real estate on a
large scale. I shall describe a few of the company’s transactions to
illustrate how the corporate form of operation gave wider scope than was
possible to an individual operator. One of our first transactions
illustrates this very point.

While looking for temporary quarters to house the company, Mr. Frederick
M. Hilton, the present head of William A. White & Sons, offered me the
space in Boreel Building that had just been vacated by the German
American Fire Insurance Company. Mr. Hilton told me that the Boreel
heirs were receiving a return of less than 3 per cent. on the tax value
of their property, and were facing a substantial diminution of even this
small income now that these insurance offices had been thrown upon their
hands. I said to him: “Why not inquire whether these heirs will sell the
property for $2,000,000?” He was amazed when he found that out of an
expected rental of $15,000 a year there might evolve a sale of the
entire property. I immediately communicated this fact to Grant who
authorized me to purchase the property without consulting the Executive
Committee, and said that both Olcott and he would each take one third
and I could take one third, if the Executive Committee failed to ratify
it. We secured the property for $2,050,000. Mr. Prescott Hall Butler
represented the heirs in this transaction and when I handed him the
check for $50,000, which was paid on account of the contract, he told me
that he intended to deposit it with a trust company until the deal was
completed. I said why not with us, which he agreed to do, so that we
thus owned the property without having parted with the possession of a
single dollar. The fact that we were both a real estate operating
company and a trust company enabled us to repeat this kind of operation

When Mr. Black of the Fuller Construction Company heard of our purchase,
he immediately bought our contract, and gave us a profit of 10 per
cent., so that we secured temporary quarters and made $205,000 without
losing the use of any of our funds.

Other large transactions followed in rapid succession. Among the most
interesting of these was the collecting of the plots that constitute the
present site of the Broad Exchange Building, directly opposite the Stock
Exchange; the purchase of the Knox Building at the corner of Fortieth
Street and Fifth Avenue; and my joining in the purchase of the Plaza
Hotel, by means of a brief telephone conversation, for $3,000,000.

In 1904, as the Subway neared completion, I was astonished to find that
there had been no activity in real estate in anticipation of the
benefits that would accrue from the increased transportation facilities
in the upper part of New York and the Bronx. I therefore enlisted the
assistance of my nephew, Robert E. Simon, and of J. Clarence Davies, and
organized what was dubbed by some of the real estate operators the
“Subway Boom.” On behalf of the company and some associates, we
purchased all the big plots that abutted the various transit lines, and
could be secured at reasonable prices. In a period of ninety days we
purchased in the Bronx, in the Dyckman district, in Washington Heights,
and Fort George, about 2,500 lots which were eventually sold for

In 1905, when I realized that a cessation of prosperity and the
necessary declining market that would follow was imminent, I called on
Mr. Olcott and asked him whether our young company could rely upon the
assistance of the Central Trust Company, with whom we kept our largest
account; he told me that if a panic such as I feared should come
everybody would have to look out for himself; that if my accounts and
securities would justify his making a loan at 6 per cent. he would do
so, but as far as his depositing with our company a few million dollars,
as I had suggested, he would not consider it. I went right next door to
Mr. Stillman, and asked him a similar question, first telling him the
attitude Mr. Olcott had taken. Mr. Stillman said I was but one of the
many customers of his bank; his holdings in my company were relatively
small; that the new, unseasoned financial institutions would be the
first to suffer in case the public commenced to doubt the stability of
the financial institutions. “Although it is known that you have a
splendid board of directors, and have the good will of some of the big
interests like the Mutual Life and the Central Trust Company, and my
institution also, still it is well known that none of us control your
institution and are, therefore, not responsible for it. You do not
belong to any one, but I am willing to see you through, no matter what

During the interview, I almost felt that the Stillman collar was
slipping around my neck and shook myself to see if I was free, and I
made up my mind that rather than wear any one’s collar, I would go out
of business. I deliberated at some length for some days, and then had a
long conference with Mr. Grant who, for the first time since our close
connection, was really annoyed at the stand I took. He felt that our
company was destined to become one of the important independent
financial institutions downtown and that my fears of a catastrophe were
exaggerated and that we should risk it, playing the game to the finish.
When I explained to him that I had no desire to quit personally, but to
dispose of the company as a whole, either by consolidation or
liquidation, he coöperated with me faithfully, as heretofore.

We merged the company into the Lawyers’ Title Insurance Company at a
price which enabled us to pay our stockholders $550 in cash and one half
share of Lawyers’ Title Stock for every share they owned in our company.

I personally purchased from the company all the real estate that it then

Having thus returned to the real estate business, only on a much larger
scale than I had ever operated before, I took my nephew, Robert E.
Simon, into partnership, and formed the Henry Morgenthau Company. This
company then developed all the properties I had left in the Bronx, and
built and financed housings for thousands of people in that section, and
also on Washington Heights, and in Fort George at One Hundred and
Ninetieth Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.

My venture into the trust company field led me ultimately into an
interest in a kind of business I had never before studied. One day my
friend, Mr. Charles Strauss, who had influenced many of his clients and
friends to open accounts with the Trust Company, came to my office and
asked me whether we would make a loan to one of his clients who, he
declared, was ready to put up as collateral some of the original
Standard Oil Company stock. I told him unhesitatingly that we would do

He said: “Now, Henry, don’t speak so fast. Before you definitely commit
yourself, I understand trust companies are not making loans on an
exclusively industrial collateral.” I told him that I knew how my board
felt about Standard Oil which was then selling at about $180 a share,
and to convince him that I was authorized I told him that if his friend
had any doubts, I would make him a time loan of six months. Mr. Strauss
brought in Mr. John T. Underwood, the president of the Underwood
Typewriter Company.

Strauss told me at the time that this transaction might lead to other
business. A few years afterward, Strauss came to see me and told me that
Underwood required additional money to proceed with his enterprise. He
then told me how Underwood had come to this country from England to
represent his father’s business--the John Underwood Company,
manufacturers of inks; how he had started business at No. 30 Vesey
Street; and how, shortly after typewriters had been introduced, had
manufactured supplies for them, carbon paper, ribbons, etc., and built
up a large and profitable business. His transactions were very largely
with the then existing typewriter companies, the Remington and Smith
Premier. Shortly after the Union Typewriter Company had been started,
these people notified Underwood that they would themselves go into the
typewriter supply business. This induced Underwood to go into the
typewriter business and to manufacture the first visible typewriter.

In 1901, when they came to me, he had invested in the enterprise about
$950,000, and as he wanted to buy a new factory in Hartford, and
increase his facilities, he wanted to secure an additional capital of
$500,000 and that was the proposition that Strauss had suggested to me.
We discussed the matter, and I proposed that he rearrange his
capitalization; sell $500,000 of 6 per cent. First Preferred stock; have
issued to himself, Strauss, and others who had advanced the $950,000,
Second Preferred of $1,000,000; and that he issue $2,000,000 Common
stock, of which he could give the First Preferred stockholders
$500,000. Messrs. Hugh J. Grant and James M. Jarvie of the Executive
Committee of the Trust Company subsequently joined me in the
deliberations, and in the course thereof Mr. Underwood told us that the
Trust had offered him $2,000,000 for his proposition. Jarvie said to
him: “You are a bachelor, you have no under-study. You have no one
dependent upon you. Your enterprise is a one-man enterprise, and much as
I would like to go into this matter with you, I strongly recommend that
you sell to the Trust.”

Jarvie talked so convincingly that Underwood again opened negotiations
with the Trust. They renewed their offer, but insisted upon making their
payments in installments, which, when analyzed, practically meant that
they would pay Underwood largely, if not entirely, out of his own
profits. Underwood and Strauss rebelled at that and determined to
continue their enterprise.

It was then February, 1903, and the panic of that year was imminent, and
Grant and Jarvie declined to go into anything new. It rather discouraged
me, but I took a small subscription of the First Preferred stock, more
out of compliment to Strauss and Underwood than for the sake of
investment. Strauss made a proposition to me, saying that they desired
to have me on the Board of Directors, and if I would agree to serve for
five years, they would give me $30,000 of Common stock for nothing. I
consented to do so upon one condition, that all meetings would have to
be held at the Trust Company office, as I did not wish to take the time
it would require for me to go up to their office. They promptly accepted
my condition, as they said they had no meeting room and, in fact, they
considered this, instead of being a condition, an accommodation. I
attended the directors’ meetings pretty regularly until 1909, when at
one of the meetings I was very much gratified to see that during the
current month, the Company had earned more than the $90,000, their
fixed charges on the First and Second Preferred stock for the entire
year. I invited Underwood and Strauss to lunch with me, and I then told
them that I had been a director now for six years, and the time had
arrived when I could be useful in creating a market for the stock, which
was not being dealt in at all. I asked them whether they would be
willing to sell me one half of their holdings, and I would undertake to
popularize the stock. Mr. Underwood gave me an option in November, 1909,
to purchase from him 40 per cent. of the Common stock. He gave this
option without any payment down. I invited Mr. Jacob Wertheim to join me
and when I gave him all the facts that I had learned while acting as
director for years--he found them so convincing that he waived making an
investigation and proposed that we confine the matter entirely to
ourselves--he offered to finance the operation to any extent that I was
unable to do. I accepted this on condition that he would give his son
Maurice, who had married my daughter Alma, an interest in his half. He
consented and I gave my son an interest in my share. After we had made
this arrangement, we decided that it would be better for Underwood and
the other stockholders of the enterprise that, instead of creating a
market for the then existing shares, we should create a new issue of
$5,000,000 of Preferred stock, dispose of it to the public, and with the
proceeds redeem the First and Second Preferred, and also the outstanding
Common stock, pay off the notes then outstanding, and have enough cash
left to more than double the facilities of the Company at Hartford. When
I made the suggestion to Underwood, he said he would not entertain it
until I had consummated my option. We did this promptly, and then
refinanced the Company. It was one of the first companies, if not the
very first, that sold its Preferred stock to the bankers without giving
them, or their purchasers, any of the Common stock as a bonus. My
experience as president of the Central Realty Trust Company had taught
me that this could be done, and I insisted upon trying it, so that when
we finished with the entire operation, Wertheim and I and our sons were
owners of very substantial amounts of the Common stock at a very
moderate price. Underwood and Strauss and the other Preferred and Common
stockholders of the Company were all, and still are, pleased with the
refinancing, as everybody concerned was benefitted by the operation.

In the meantime, the Underwood Company has completely outstripped all
the other companies, and Underwood has had the satisfaction of
metamorphosing from the discharged purveyor of supplies to the Remington
and other typewriter companies, into the unquestioned, outstanding
leader of the typewriter business, and he is still the same modest,
energetic, tireless executive that he was in 1903. It has been no small
satisfaction for all of us to see the steady, healthy growth of this
infant into the magnificent giant that it is to-day, and some of the
credit is due to our most efficient superintendent, Mr. Charles A. Rice.

In 1919, when the Underwood commenced to manufacture the portable
machines, I asked Mr. Underwood to give me No. 1, so that I could
present it to President Wilson, as I was about to go to Europe, and
expected to see him in Paris. I sent it to the President, and a few days
thereafter I met Miss Benham, Mrs. Wilson’s secretary, and she told me
that unintentionally I had almost caused a little quarrel between the
Presidential couple, and when I inquired how, she told me that Mrs.
Wilson had annexed the Underwood machine over the President’s protest.



During all these years of which I have been writing my spirit was in a
never-ceasing conflict with itself, a conflict between idealism and
materialism. My boyish imagination had been fired with a vision of a
life of unselfish devotion to the welfare of others, and in an earlier
chapter I have described the influence of religious and ethical
teachings upon my character and activities. But the necessity of earning
a livelihood had early thrust me into the arena of business. Once there,
I became absorbed in money-making. It was a fascinating game. It
challenged all my powers of brain and will to hold my own and forge
ahead in the fierce competition of my fellows. I lived business, ate
business, dreamed business. There came a time when the most interesting
lectures, the finest theatrical performances, or even the best staged
operas could not hold my entire attention. My schemes constantly
intruded themselves upon my consciousness and would absorb the mentality
that was required for me to understand and rejoice with what was going
on. As usual, as with all other business men, the day’s work had
practically absorbed my day’s supply of vitality. I had not the power to
shake off this exacting task-master.

But, though business could conquer pleasure, it could not conquer
idealism; and idealism resorted to similar tactics as business. It
asserted itself during business hours, and again and again demanded
opportunities to exercise itself. I shall now try to tell how it
successfully resisted complete annihilation.

When, in 1876, Felix Adler returned from his studies as a rabbi in
Europe, and Temple Emanu-El--the most important Jewish congregation in
the United States--was ready to welcome him to its pulpit, he found that
it would not coincide with his views to follow in the footsteps of his
father, who had been connected with that synagogue for forty years. The
son’s researches had led him to the conclusion that forms, ceremonies,
and customs did not make a religion when pursued in new and entirely
different surroundings. Dr. Adler hoped that the time had come when the
real spiritual essentials of the Jewish religion--its system of
ethics--could be developed, appreciated, and enforced, and that the
American Jews could adjust themselves to the land in which they were
living and drop all that they had had to adhere to in Ghettoized Europe.
He came back filled with an enthusiastic desire to remedy the glaring
evils, not only of the Jews, but of the entire community: he could
diagnose our ills and prescribe a remedy.

This appeal found a wonderful response amongst the flower of the
reformed Jews and some Christians of New York, who formed the Society
for Ethical Culture, of which the then leading Jew of America, Joseph
Seligman, was elected president. All these felt the need of readjustment
to fit their new surroundings. Some of those religious habits were
imposed upon them while their ancestors were suppressed people. Few, if
any, would adopt Christianity, but all were ready to subscribe to the
aims of a society which are most clearly stated in their present
invitation to members:

     Our Society is distinctly a religious body, interpreting the word
     “religion” to mean fervent devotion to the highest moral ends. But
     toward religion as a confession of faith in things superhuman, the
     attitude of our Society is neutral. Neither acceptance nor denial
     of any theological doctrine disqualifies for membership.

In short, the Jews in America very seriously wanted to complete their
Americanization. They were honestly striving for education, for
refinement, for community and public service, for devotion to art,
music, and culture. Welcome, then, this prophet Adler--this great
reformer! His sterling qualities as a thinker; his wonderful
resourcefulness; his pure and lofty private life, and his totally
uncompromising attitude toward evil, secured him the admiration of all
those who had in their own modest way been hopelessly striving to reach
this plane. Adler by inheritance and by studying the older prophets had
mingled that knowledge with the wisdom of the present day. Here was pure
ethics unencumbered by religious form, the way Emerson taught it, the
way Garrison and Lincoln practised it--and this man was trying to direct
this current, which led away from the old-fashioned religion into a new
field tending toward agnosticism and atheism, and bring it, instead,
into this new field of ethics. His sincerity could not be doubted. He
had voluntarily abandoned an honourable and care-free career that had
been offered him by Temple Emanu-El, and like a modern Moses had
undertaken the harassing and difficult task of satisfying the
unexpressed yearnings of these people, who were discontented with the
existing requirements of their religion and had hopelessly sought for
moral guidance.

I was among Adler’s earliest adherents. When he organized his United
Relief Work, I was one of its directors; I participated in his Cherry
Street experiment in model tenements--the first in America, which
eventually brought about legislation to do away with the dark rooms of
which there were over fifty thousand in New York City alone, and I
assisted in the establishment of the first Ethical Culture School, which
was started in Fifty-fourth Street, near Sixth Avenue, and was chairman
of the Site Committee that secured the present location on Central Park
West from Sixty-third to Sixty-fourth streets.

Above all, however, I treasure the fond remembrance of having been a
member of the “Union for Higher Life”--an organization of a few of
Adler’s devotees. He always maintained that, as every man expected
purity from his wife, it was his duty to enter the marriage state in the
same condition, and the members of this “Union” pledged themselves to
celibacy during bachelorhood. We met every week at the Sherwood Studio,
where he then lived. We read Lange’s “Arbeiter-Frage,” and studied the
Labour question. We discussed the problems of business and professional
men. I notice in my diary of April 24, ’82, that we debated the
simplicity of dress and the follies of extravagance. Then, as Dr. Adler
wanted us to feel that we were doing something definitely altruistic,
the members of the Union jointly adopted eight children; some of them
were half-orphans, and some had parents who could not support them
properly; we employed a matron and hired a flat for her on the corner of
Forty-fifth Street and Eighth Avenue.

We had considered starting a coöperative community for ourselves, and
Adler and I devoted some time looking at various properties. Our
intention was to have separate living quarters with a joint kindergarten
and a joint kitchen, thereby avoiding duplication of menial labour. This
would have enabled our wives to devote more of their time to community
work. It was to be an urban Brook Farm. Already having big ideas about
real estate, I suggested and investigated the Leake and Watts Orphan
Asylum property, now occupied by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine!
It could then have been bought for about $3,000 a lot. Adler, however,
considered it too inaccessible, as it could only be reached by the
Eighth Avenue street car, and so the idea was abandoned.

As many of my close friends were not adherents of Professor Adler, and
we wanted to share our intellectual developments and efforts, we
organized the Emerson Society; and under the guidance of my brother
Julius who had just received his degree of Doctor of Philosophy at
Leipzig, we not only read, but thoroughly studied, a number of Emerson’s
essays. I was chagrined to find that not only the college-bred men of
our group, but also many of the girls were much better English scholars
than I, so I determined to secure lessons from the best authority on
English at that time. Richard Grant White, the annotator of Shakespeare
and the author of “Words and their Uses,” was universally recognized as
such, but I was told by people whom I consulted that it was useless to
communicate with him as he undoubtedly would feel himself above giving
private lessons. Nevertheless I wrote him for an interview, stating my
age, vocation, and desire, and he answered:

“It is possible that I may be able to give you the assistance you seek
in your praiseworthy plan. I will see you with pleasure.”

The interview was successful. Mr. White undertook to give us lessons in
the origin and growth of language, nor shall I ever forget the delight
of that instruction. We used to meet in his apartment on Stuyvesant
Square, the home of an artist and scholar, and his talks on the
development of tongues from the Aryan to our modern English--his
readings from the classics in that beautiful, cultivated voice of his
with its perfect enunciation--are still fresh in my memory.

Two of my friends had joined me and when I was no longer contented to
meet Josephine Sykes merely as a member of the Emerson Club, and
therefore persuaded her to start a little club of our own, she joined
the class.

Shortly after the death of Maurice Grau in 1902, my wife and I, calling
on Mrs. Josephine Bonné, found the Conrieds there, and Conried told us
that he was looking for fourteen men whom he could get to join him in
subscribing the $150,000 required to secure the lease and management of
the Metropolitan Opera House, and as I was one that Mrs. Bonné had
suggested, he, with great earnestness, backed up by his fine dramatic
talent, pleaded his cause. He told us of his histrionic training in the
Burg Theatre at Vienna, and how his youthful ardour for the stage was
permanently influenced by the high artistic ideals prevailing there.

“When I came to America,” he said, “I hoped the prosperous Germans and
Jews would endow a similar institution here, and so I started the Irving
Place Theatre. What has happened? Instead of receiving the support I
expected, I have had to resort to all kinds of devices. I have become a
play broker, secured the American rights to current European
productions, demonstrating their possibilities to the American managers,
and selling them when I could, so that the Irving Place Theatre has
really become only a laboratory or testing room. It has never paid for
itself, and I have had to supplement my brokerage profits by securing
Herr Ballin’s help in founding the Ocean Comfort Company which rents
steamer chairs to transatlantic travellers! Have I put my small profits
in my own pocket? No, I have poured them back into the Irving Place
Theatre, still hoping to attract the support which would give me a
chance to demonstrate my ideals. Here is a short-cut, here is a chance
for me to realize all these ideals without having to risk my own or my
friends’ money. At last my opportunity has come, and I ask you to help
me secure this lease.”

I doubt if he ever played any rôle more earnestly or with greater
sincerity. Nobody could have resisted him, and I gracefully surrendered
and asked him:

“What progress have you made? What men have you secured?”

He answered: “Jacob H. Schiff, Ernest Thalman, Daniel Guggenheim,
Randolph Guggenheimer, and Henry R. Ickelheimer.” All of these men were
of the highest class, thoroughly cultured, and lovers of music, but
knowing as I did the management of the Metropolitan Opera House, I
jokingly said to Conried:

“If you could only secure a Mr. Hochheimer and a Mr. Niersteiner you
would have a complete wine list, but you could never secure the opera
house through it.”

He saw the point at once, and asked what I would suggest. I answered

“I have conceived a plan while sitting here, but to carry it out I must
have an absolutely free hand as to who are to be your associates. I
shall see Messrs. A. D. Juilliard and George G. Haven, who have the
final say in the matter, on Tuesday, and can tell you that evening
whether I can accomplish anything or not.”

Conried assented. I at once proceeded to carry out my plan to interest
the younger social leaders and communicated with Mr. James Hazen Hyde.
He was most favourably impressed, and suggested that he and I obligate
ourselves for $75,000 each, secure the lease, and then select our
associates. We did so, obtained the lease, and then invited the
following to make up the Board of Directors of the Conried Metropolitan
Opera Company: Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Henry Rogers Winthrop, H. P.
Whitney, Robert Goelet, R. H. McCurdy, Jacob H. Schiff, Clarence H.
Mackay, George J. Gould, Otto H. Kahn, J. Henry Smith, Eliot Gregory,
Bainbridge Colby, and William H. McIntyre. Heinrich Conried was elected
president and Hyde and myself vice-presidents. Success was assured from
the first. Conried took hold of the management with energy and wonderful
resourcefulness that promptly won him the admiration of the directors of
both companies.

He completely changed the interior of the Opera House, put in a new
ceiling, new chandelier, arranged the proper illumination of the boxes,
and the most important improvement of all being the discarding of the
old-fashioned drop curtain and replacing it with one divided in the
centre, making it unnecessary for the popular stars, when answering
repeated curtain-calls, to walk all the way across the stage from one
side to the other of the proscenium arch. He unsuccessfully fought the
demand of the boxholders for the famous horseshoe to be kept illuminated
all through the performance, and finally compromised by putting red
shades over the lights.

One week-end Mr. and Mrs. Conried spent with us at Elberon. They came
heavily laden. Mrs. Conried cautiously carried a circular bundle of
discs, and her husband bore what looked like a monster cornucopia, while
their son was bending under the weight of a big box. A very few minutes
after they had entered the house we were spellbound by “Elisir d’Amore,”
sung by the finest tenor voice. We and our children all rushed out to
the room from whence the singing came. We waited until it was finished
and rivalled each other with our applause. Conried, the impresario,
foreseeing in our unlimited applause the success of his future tenor,
benignly smiled and explained to us:

“This is the great Caruso--a man that is in Buenos Aires just now. Grau
engaged him, and it was these records that induced me to assume the

Conried startled us once more during that same week-end by confiding to
us that he possessed the complete score of “Parsifal.” He said:

“I shall produce it this winter.”

We were amazed at this proposition, particularly my wife, who reminded
Conried that when she was at Bayreuth she was informed that both Richard
Wagner and his widow had steadfastly withstood all propositions to
produce “Parsifal”--the chief attraction of its musical festivals--on
any other stage. I feared that many Wagnerians would condemn the
production as a sacrilege.

Conried waived aside the objections and said:

“Years ago I told Frau Casimir Wagner that some day I would produce
‘Parsifal’ in America. She ridiculed me. Here’s my chance. I will win
the approbation of thousands who have been yearning to hear this opera
and who will never get to Bayreuth.”

From that day on, he kept me informed of his progress. We were together
in Vienna when he chose the costumes for the “flower-maidens”; I visited
with him the studio where the revolving curtain was being painted; in
America, my wife and I attended many of the rehearsals.

His real troubles began as he approached the day of production. The
composer’s widow tried to enjoin him from making the production; for
fear of offending her, Mottl refused to conduct the orchestra; unlimited
abuse was showered on the producer through the press; certain clergymen
denounced the opera as blasphemous; some singers revolted; and, to cap
the climax, there came a warning that the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Children would stop the appearance of the boys who were to
sing in the choruses.

Conried’s patience and optimism were inexhaustible. He met every rebuff
squarely and surmounted every barrier. He won in the courts. The press
attacks and the pulpit onslaughts only furnished publicity; he found
other singers to take the place of the rebels, and so, as the event
proved, in conferring the leadership of the orchestra on Hertz, he
opened a brilliant career for an excellent conductor until then little
known in America. As for the public response, the demand for seats was
unparalleled, even in Metropolitan history: the directors were all
besieged by applications, and I alone made over a hundred people happy
by securing seats for them.

Nevertheless, on the eve of the first production everything within the
Opera House seemed in utter chaos. We were there until two o’clock in
the morning and beheld a never-to-be-forgotten sight. The famous Munich
stage manager Lautenschlager, imported for this special performance, was
then still rehearsing raising and lowering the drops for Kundry’s big
scene, and supernumeraries were scurrying about answering the
conflicting demands of their directors; weary stage carpenters and
“hands” were lying in the wings snatching such minutes of sleep as were
possible, while high up in the stage lofts were stowed away the chorus
boys to keep them out of the clutches of the S.P.C.C. To the onlooker,
professional or amateur--to everybody except the confident
Conried--there seemed nothing but disaster ahead. The brilliant success
that evolved is too much a matter of operatic history to require
recounting here.

Conried had always drawn unsparingly on his reserves of energy and
resistance, and there came at last a moment when those reserves were
exhausted. An unpleasant episode, involving not himself, but one of his
company, enlisted all his efforts. At its conclusion, he was met with a
piece of bad news: Dr. Holbrook Curtis told him that he feared that a
growth which had just appeared in the throat of Caruso would prevent
this, now his particular star, from singing during the coming season and
might end his career altogether. Conried went from the doctor’s office
to the Opera House to watch an important, long-drawn-out rehearsal.
Shortly thereafter he had a breakdown from which he never recovered.

When he died, his widow and son requested me to arrange the funeral, and
readily adopted my suggestion that as Heinrich Conried’s greatest
success had been won in the Metropolitan Opera House, so his obsequies
should be held there as Anton Seidl’s had been ten years before. I knew
that Conried had not been connected with any synagogue, but I asked
whether he had mentioned a preference.

“None,” said his son.

Being president of the Free Synagogue, I requested Rabbi Wise to
officiate. I communicated with the directors of the Conried Opera
Company, who consented to the plan, and every branch of the organization
from the orchestra to the scene-shifters volunteered to help.

It was an event which none who witnessed it will ever forget. The
proscenium arch was hung with black, and the “set” was the mediæval
interior used in the third act of “Lucia.” In the centre was the great
catafalque, its outlines almost obscured by masses of flowers--lilies,
roses, orchids, literally by tens of thousands--flanked by two Hebrew
candelabra, surmounted by the bust of the impresario that had been
presented to him, during his illness, by the members of the company.

Promptly at eleven the Metropolitan Orchestra began the funeral march
from Beethoven’s “Eroica,” and, carried by six skull-capped bearers, the
coffin, entirely covered by a pall of violets, was placed upon the
stage. Mme. Homer and Riccardo Martin and Robert Blass sang Handel’s
“Largo”; the choir-boys from Calvary Church who had appeared in the
first American production of “Parsifal” intoned a setting of Tennyson’s
“Crossing the Bar”; Dr. Wise and Professor William H. Carpenter, of
Columbia, spoke of the dead man’s work, and then, with the notes of the
Chopin funeral-march sobbing through the Opera House--attended by
music-lovers, judges, artists, financiers, leaders in almost every walk
of life, there was taken from the scene of his greatest work the body of
the weaver-boy of Bielitz.

These memories have taken me somewhat far afield and consumed much of
the space that I had intended to devote, in this chapter, to my own
activities. I should like to tell of my service as director of the
Educational Alliance, the consolidation of a dozen activities for the
benefit of children--and particularly the Jewish children--of that Lower
East Side neighbourhood; and, too, of my work on the Board of Directors
of the Mt. Sinai Hospital, the institution which my father helped so
many years before; and of my interest in the Henry Street Settlement so
ably developed by my friend Lillian Wald, my connection with which
eventually led Mrs. Morgenthau and me to establish the Bronx House. Mrs.
Morgenthau once taught in the Louis’ Downtown Sabbath School at 267
Henry Street, and right next door to it Miss Lillian D. Wald and Miss
MacDowell, the daughter of General MacDowell of Civil War fame, had
started an experiment that was to grow into a vast benefit for the
entire community. Up to that time the people of the Lower East Side who
were unable to afford regular medical treatment for themselves or their
babies went without it until the last minute and then sought the rare
dispensaries; for any other sort of help, they turned to the district
political bosses, who never failed to require a substantial return for
favours and who had few favours to dispense to those who neither voted
themselves nor controlled the votes of others. Miss Wald practically
originated the idea of the house-to-house, or the tenement-to-tenement,
visiting trained nurse, who made friends with the sick and needy in
their own homes, cared for the ill, showed their relatives how to care
for them, gave practical lessons on the bringing up of children, and
demonstrated that household hygiene is the ounce of prevention that is
worth a pound of cure. Out of this evolved the now famous Henry Street

This work deeply interested me, and I have been a constant and frequent
visitor at the house, and have supported a visiting nurse on Miss Wald’s
staff for the past twenty-two years.

Some years ago Miss Wald unfolded to me the needs of a sister settlement
house in the Bronx, and urged me to assist in organizing an
establishment similar to hers. At a meeting at my house, which was
attended by Angelo Patri and his wife, Simon Hirsdansky, and Jacob
Shufro--all three of the men being now principals of schools in the
Bronx--and Bernard Deutsch, and a few others, my wife and I were
persuaded by their statements of the great good that a settlement house
could do in the Bronx, and we agreed to finance it for a few years. We
combined with it a music school under the supervision of David Mannes
and Harriet Seymour who had been active in the Third Street Music School

We established it at once at 1,637 Washington Avenue, and, as the people
said, “with a golden spoon in its mouth.” The children in the
neighbourhood--and there were thousands of them--flocked to it from the
very day it was started. There seemed to be an insatiable demand for
instruction in music, and it has been a never-ending delight to see the
steady strides made by the little orchestra started in the beginning by
Mr. Edgar Stowell, up to 1922, when I saw them carry the entire musical
programme of the pageant of the joint settlement houses at Hunter
College. Several times we have been surprised by having this little
orchestra give us a performance at our house, and at other times we have
been regaled with the performance of “Alice in Wonderland” by one of the
clubs of the Bronx House. When I survey the progress made and the
happiness given the scholars of the music schools, and the members of
the thirty-odd clubs, I feel that the funds that I have invested in the
Bronx House have produced far greater dividends than any of my other

Another of my social activities was my work as a member of the Committee
on Congestion of Population in New York City, which really did excellent
service in calling attention to the housing conditions of the
metropolis. This committee owed a great deal to the inspiration of that
beautiful soul, Carola Woerishoefer, granddaughter of Oswald
Ottendorfer; Benjamin C. Marsh was its secretary, and it was active for
several years. Our social survey discovered that over fifty blocks in
New York had each a population of between 3,000 and 4,000 souls, and
that the city’s tenements contained some 346,000 dark rooms. We had
diagrams and models made, illustrating these conditions, listing the
plague-spots where tuberculosis thrived, calling attention to the
overcrowding in schools and the shortage of public playgrounds; in 1908
we held an exhibition in the Twenty-second Regiment Armoury and, by this
and other means, succeeded in securing considerable remedial
legislation. Then in 1911 there was the terrible fire in the Triangle
Shirt Factory--an “upstairs” factory--where, owing to the bad
conditions, 160 girl employees were killed. That resulted in a public
protest against inadequate factory inspection and the creation of a
“Committee of Safety” in which I served in company, among others, with
Miss Anne Morgan, Miss Mary Dreier, Miss Frances Perkins, George W.
Perkins, John A. Kingsbury, Peter Brady, and Amos Pinchot. When Henry
L. Stimson relinquished his duties as chairman to become Secretary of
War, I succeeded him. We were instrumental in having the legislature
appoint a factory investigating committee of which Alfred E. Smith was
chairman and Robert Wagner vice-chairman.

These men came to see me, soon after their appointments, in some
embarrassment. They seemed sincerely desirous of performing their
duties, but said they were badly handicapped.

“Are you folks going to finance this investigation?” they asked.
“Because, if you aren’t, we don’t see how it is to be carried on. The
legislature appropriated only $10,000, and it will take all that to pay
a good attorney to do the necessary legal work.”

“I can get you a first-class lawyer who will not demand any fee,” I
said, “and he will be satisfactory to everybody concerned, including
Tammany Hall.”

The man I had in mind was Abram I. Elkus. He agreed with me as to the
good he could do in this capacity, and the public honour to be won if he
would volunteer his services. Within two hours after my interview with
Smith & Wagner, Mr. Elkus had assumed the post. The result was
thirty-one successful bills constituting what is to my mind the best
labour legislation ever passed by a State Legislature.



My earliest contact with the inner workings of politics was reading the
dramatic story of the downfall of the infamous Tweed Ring.

Tweed had seemed a wonderful figure; we boys knew him only in his
largest successful aspects as a dictator: the originator of Riverside
Drive, the constructor of the lavish Court House, the arbiter of the
City’s destinies. He had made John T. Hoffman, Governor of the State,
and A. Oakey Hall, Mayor of the City.

I had come into personal touch with the picturesque Oakey Hall. I had to
serve a summons on him in his official capacity and found him in his
executive office wearing a red velvet coat.

“Young man,” he said, with all the patronage of an emperor addressing
some messenger from a remote province of his domains--and with a
splendid accentuation of his title--“you can now swear that you have
served the _Mayor_ of New York!”

Sometime thereafter I saw this same mayor act in “The Crucible,” a play
written by himself, to prove his innocence under the Tweed régime.

We law-students had looked with veneration to the Supreme Court. We
conceived of its members as men of immaculate morality, constantly
practising an even balance of the scales of Justice. Our deepest
admiration was evoked by their confidence and self-possession and the
awe-inspiring manner in which they exercised their powers. Many a time
when I went before one of these judges to ask an adjournment, or to
have an order signed, I marvelled at the rapidity with which he grasped
the contents of the papers submitted to him, and it was a severe blow to
my faith in our legal and political institutions when the impeachment of
several of these judges, and the removal of some of them, showed that
not a few had been tools in the hands of a corrupt boss.

Nor were we younger men alone in our disillusionment. Others had been
deceived; the leading citizens of New York had associated themselves in
business with the imposing dictator. I still have an advertisement of
the New York (Viaduct) Railroad Company, and in the list of its
directors the name of William M. Tweed appears between that of A. T.
Stewart and August Belmont; Richard B. Connolly next to Joseph Seligman;
John Jacob Astor has A. Oakey Hall on one side and Peter B. Sweeney on
the other; immediately after Sweeney comes Levi P. Morton. The “Big
Four” of Tammany were in good company.

How far the Ring might have extended its power, it is impossible to say.
Tweed had promoted Hoffman from the mayoralty to the governorship and no
doubt intended to present him as a presidential candidate in ’72.
Amongst my clippings I find one which shows that the West was already
considering Hoffman as a national figure. It is from a New York
newspaper and quotes the Western press as announcing the following

    R. Gratz Brown of Missouri, President;
    John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, Vice-President;
    Governor Hoffman of New York, Secretary of State;
    Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, Secretary of the Treasury;
    General Hancock of Pennsylvania, Secretary of War;
    Thomas A. Hendricks of Indiana, Secretary of the Interior;
    Horace Greeley of New York, Postmaster-General;
    George H. Pendleton of Ohio, Attorney-General.

As it happened, Greeley became a presidential and Gratz Brown a
vice-presidential candidate; Hancock subsequently ran for president, and
Hendricks achieved the vice-presidency; but the serious and
uncontradicted publication of that slate indicated the direction of
Tweed’s ambitions at the time when Samuel J. Tilden wrought his downfall
and relegated Hoffman into obscurity.

In the reaction from these disclosures, Tilden became the younger
generation’s hero: he had rescued New York from corruption. I was so
impressed with his services that, when my fellow law-student, Michael
Sigerson, ran for the State Assembly, while Tilden sought the
presidency, I made my first entry into politics--before I was even a
voter--by giving several October nights, in 1876, to speech-making for
Tilden and Sigerson in the latter’s district on the Lower East Side.

I am one of those who have always felt that Tilden was elected, and that
the National Republican machine prevented him from taking his seat.

My observation of the machine system convinced me, through such
happenings, that the gravest danger to democracy arose from within. I
soon saw that, in such a city as New York, where the mass of the voters
are unfamiliar with governmental functions and ignorant that a proper
administration thereof is the safeguard of liberty, the control of the
dominant party would frequently be secured by a character like Tweed.
The more I saw of Tammany Hall, the deeper this conviction became.

Tammany was then as well organized as at any time in its history. The
district leaders were generally selected by its boss and always
responsible to him. They, in turn, had their precinct leaders dependent
on them for preferment and continuance in office. The boss arranged his
appointments so that he could absolutely depend on the servility of a
majority of the district leaders. It was only now and then that one had
the courage to assert his independence and fight the machine. Then he
would either be summarily displaced, lose his own little organization by
his inability to dispense patronage, or else he would be brought back
into slavery by the gift of office.

This plan of organization has, with slight alterations, continued ever
since. After Tweed’s displacement, John Kelly came into the leadership;
his personal honesty was never doubted, but he had used the old system
to obtain power and had to continue it to hold what he had gained. The
story of his downfall, though not discreditable to him, is almost as
dramatic as Tweed’s.

In his political capacity, Kelly was Comptroller of the City of New
York, when a number of reformers determined to oust him; in his personal
capacity, he was the owner of an influential newspaper, the _Express_.
The loss of the comptrollership would, of course, involve the loss of
his Tammany leadership; but the policy of his paper was an important
factor in the fight.

William C. Whitney, then Corporation Counsel, headed the opposition; he
had planned to remove Kelly by a vote of the Board of Aldermen. Two
things were necessary: publicity in the press and votes in the Board.

James Gordon Bennett’s career was just then at its height. Not long
before Whitney began his quiet campaign the owner of the _Herald_--a
powerful six-footer--entering the old Delmonico’s restaurant at Chambers
Street and Broadway, tried to brush aside a slim young man who was
unconsciously crowding him at the bar. To Bennett’s amazement, the
stranger offered resistance. Quick blows were exchanged, and before the
newspaper proprietor knew what had happened, he had measured his length
on the floor; his antagonist was the pugilist Edwards, lightweight
champion of that period. Bennett exerted his influence on the newspapers
to suppress all accounts of this occurrence, and everyone agreed except
the _Express_. It published the story, and, in consequence, Whitney
found the owner of the _Herald_ perfectly willing to do his part toward
the political downfall of the owner of the _Express_. Bennett turned all
the guns of his paper on the Comptroller.

For action in the Board of Aldermen, however, some Republican votes were
required. Whitney consulted Roscoe Conkling, then leader of his party in
New York State and soon to win national fame for his all but successful
attempt to secure Grant’s nomination to a third term in the White House.
Conkling’s reply was what Whitney expected: the Republican state leader
would not interfere in local matters, but had no objection to Whitney’s
discussing them with his county lieutenants.

Whitney did. He went to the Republican county leaders, and they agreed
to deliver the necessary votes in the Board of Aldermen. Just what deal
was made, I, of course, do not know, but New York was soon surprised;
the Aldermen displaced Kelly, breaking his power; the Mayor appointed
Andrew H. Green in his stead, and two Republican leaders became police

Richard Croker, Kelly’s successor, I knew personally and had unusual
opportunities to study at close range, through my business dealings with
the firm of Peter F. Meyer &. Company, auctioneers. In that combination
Richard Croker was the “Company.”

Meyer’s career was colourful. Peter, as a mere lad, had a clerkship in
the two rooms on the ground floor occupied by Adrian H. Muller & Son,
one of the oldest and most reliable real estate auctioneers in New York.
By sheer ability he gradually rose to be its head. Through Croker’s
influence, the Supreme Court transferred the public auction rooms back
to 111 Broadway, from whence they had been shifted to the Real Estate
Exchange, 59 Liberty Street. Meyer, with gratitude for such past
favours, and perhaps with a lively anticipation of favours yet to come,
took Croker into partnership; the firm of Peter F. Meyer & Company
resulted. Peter wanted the Tammany nomination for Mayor, was
disappointed when he did not get it, and scornfully refused the post of
Sheriff as a stepping-stone. That his new association profited him in
other directions was, nevertheless, soon evident.

As I remained long one of the firm’s best customers I had the entrée to
their inner office and so was in frequent contact with the silent
partner. It was an instructive but not always an encouraging experience.
Croker’s real estate office was also his political headquarters; in
fact, as I saw him at work there, I realized that politics was far more
_his_ business than was the earning of the real estate commissions. It
was as his business that he treated the Democratic Organization of the
City of New York. Again and again I have seen this keen, forever busy
man, economic with his words, but always speaking to the point,
demonstrate that he felt he owned that organization just as much as any
man controls a concern in which he has a substantial majority of the

Generally as I passed through the outer room, there were district
leaders waiting there, to report to their commanding-general and receive
his orders. Beside them, and on much the same mission, there would
frequently be sitting men of considerable importance in other affairs
than those generally esteemed strictly political; but though these
included certain lawyers who later graced--and many of whom still
grace--the Supreme Court, I feel bound to add that Croker always
respected the sanctity of the Courts.

In any case, I have rarely seen a leader of whatever sort held in such
awe or so sought after for favours. Once, at a reception of the National
Democratic Club, Croker asked me to sit next to him, and talked to me
for a half-hour and more of real estate prospects and reminiscences;
from the corner of my eye I could see the guests watching him with
interest and me with envy; when I got up, several of my friends adroitly
tried to learn from me what political position I had just been
promised--they could not understand how anybody would be given thirty
minutes of Richard Croker’s time unless asking for, or being offered, an
important office! Many years later, I sat in Warsaw beside Pilsudski,
dictator of the new Poland; the glances that I then received were
exactly of the sort bestowed on me at that Fifth Avenue reception by the
citizens of our own Republic.

Croker’s withdrawal from the Tammany leadership was voluntary and due
largely to his recognition of his own limitations. During his
incumbency, political conditions gradually changed; they so shaped
themselves that Tammany--which, ever since Tweed’s downfall, had been
relegated to municipal affairs--would soon be called upon to play an
active part in State matters. To protect his organization, the boss
would have to control or check legislation at Albany affecting the City
of New York, and also endeavour to influence the New York delegations to
the National Conventions so as to secure federal patronage. To Croker,
these were unexplored fields; he knew municipal organization politics as
few men of his time, but he appreciated the proverb about teaching an
old dog new tricks. Partly through his connection with Andrew Freedman
of the Interborough System, and partly through that with Peter Meyer, he
had become rich beyond all his early hopes; he had the good sense,
unusual in champions, to quit the ring before losing his title to a
younger man.

Perhaps with some lingering desire to retain some hold on the affairs of
the organization which he had so long governed, Croker arranged to be
succeeded by a triumvirate--Charles F. Murphy, Thomas F. McManus, and,
to give the Bronx a voice, Louis F. Heins--but that arrangement did not
last long. Murphy had the nominal leadership and soon made it real. He
attached to himself a majority of the district leaders, fought the
remainder, and replaced all who were irreconcilable by creatures of his
own. He went further and accomplished what Croker had not dared to
attempt: the Cleveland Democrats in the up-state organization had
gradually lost their hold on that machine, and the many excellent men
who later became devotees of the Wilsonic teaching lacked the
propensities necessary to assuming control; they were men of affairs who
devoted thought to politics only during a campaign, whereas, the
professional element was “on the job” for three hundred and sixty-five
days in the year; in that element Tammany found its own type, and
converted these into its willing tools.

Within a comparatively short time, Murphy, who had begun as a humble
leader in the Gas House District of Manhattan, was both the head of the
City and State machine in New York. It has been most depressing for
Independents to see him absolutely control the Empire State delegation
in the last three National Democratic Conventions, casting the vote of
the ninety-six delegates, the largest vote possessed by any state--“as
though,” in Bryan’s phraseology, “he owned them.”

My personal experiences with him have been few, but they have served to
confirm my first impressions. In 1910 there was to be an election for
Borough President of the Bronx; Arthur D. Murphy, the Tammany leader of
the district, but not related to Charles F. Murphy, aspired to the
position. George F. and Frederick Johnson and I called on the Chief.

He is a large man, with a huge round face and heavy jowl. His eyes have
not the piercing quality that Croker’s had; they are blue and kindly and
his manner is altogether conciliatory. He knew our mission, but his
reception was cordial.

We put our case frankly. We were among the largest investors in the
Bronx. We wanted that section to be a desirable home-centre for the
over-flow of New York’s population. We, therefore, felt justified in
discussing with him the necessity of having a proper administration with
a respected citizen at its head.

“We feel,” we said, “that Arthur Murphy is not the man for the place. We
have no candidate of our own: we ask you to see that a man be selected
who is fitted by experience and character to be the head of this growing
borough. We want to tell you in advance that unless this is done, we
will be forced to defeat Tammany’s candidate at the polls.”

The Boss listened attentively and without evincing either surprise or
antagonism. When we were through, he said:

“I’ll try to prevent Arthur Murphy’s nomination.”

He sincerely did try. He sent his brother to represent him at the
Convention, but failed to prevent Arthur Murphy from securing the place
on the ticket.

A few days later the Tammany Chief sent for the Johnsons and myself.

“I did the best I could,” he said, “but I couldn’t stop this thing. I
want you men to recognize my good faith and abide by the decision of the

“Mr. Murphy,” I said, “I told you before that I never merely threaten.
If I withdrew my opposition, in deference to your wishes, all that we
said at our last visit would become mere bluff. Your unsuccessful
efforts don’t change the status of Arthur Murphy. We mean to run a third
candidate, and we will defeat your man.”

The manner of the Boss made me feel that far from being angry, he rather
liked my consistency and sincerity. At any rate, we followed our plan,
and Cyrus C. Miller, a Republican, who gave the Bronx an excellent
administration, was elected.

Within the party, I had seen Tammany fought by the Young Democracy and
then by the Irving Hall Democracy, but for a long time its best
enemy--until that, too, fell before it--was the County Democracy, at the
head of which was Police Judge Maurice J. Power, the discoverer of
Grover Cleveland and incidentally a client of our firm.

Power was a bronze-founder when Cleveland was Mayor of Buffalo. The
Mayor and the founder had some dealings about a statue that Power had
cast for the city, and the latter observed and admired the Executive’s
extraordinary ability. At the next state convention Dan Manning, Lamont,
and the other leaders had intended to nominate either General Henry W.
Slocum or Roswell P. Flower as Governor. They found it impossible. Power
formed a combination with the delegates of Erie, Chemung, and Kings, and
named Cleveland and Hill to head the ticket.

Power has told me the story. When he informed Cleveland that he was
expected to name the chairman and secretary of the State Committee for
his campaign, Cleveland asked him:

“Who have those positions now?”

“Manning and Lamont,” said Power.

“Are they good men?”

“They’re mighty capable men.”

“Well,” said Cleveland, “I have no personal friends that I want to put
there. Why shouldn’t I keep Manning and Lamont?”

Cleveland had been an unknown quantity to these men

[Illustration: © _Paul Thompson_

Mr. Morgenthau with Theodore Roosevelt, Charles E. Hughes, Oscar Straus,
and other distinguished citizens on the steps of the City Hall of New
York, urging Mayor Mitchel to accept a renomination.]

who opposed him in the Convention, and they were pleased by this sign of
his good will and political acumen. They accepted the offer, and later
became his warm friends for life.

After Cleveland’s second election as President, the newspapers announced
Power as the next postmaster of New York, but he did not attend the
inauguration. It was not until after that event that he went to
Washington, where he met Croker.

“Judge,” said the Tammany Boss, “if you want to be postmaster, we won’t
oppose you. We want you to have something that will satisfy you.”

Power went to the White House, where Lamont received him with the
statement that the President had been asking for him a number of times
and could not understand why he had been absent from the inaugural
ceremonies. The caller was taken into the President’s executive office,
where, although the month was March, Cleveland sat at his desk in
shirt-sleeves. He came at once to the point.

“Look here,” he said, “I’ve been wanting to know whether you’d accept
the New York postmastership. Will you? For old friendship’s sake, I
should like yours to be the first appointment I make for New York.”

“I’m not strong in administrative work, as I don’t like details,” said
Power. Then, jokingly, he added: “If you have some less exacting
position which will not conflict with my attending to my foundry, I’d be
glad to accept that.”

Cleveland said that he knew of no such position. However, at 10:30 that
night, Power was again sent for.

“I’ve found the place for you,” said the President. “They tell me that
the Shipping Commissionership in New York pays $5,000, and will require
but little of your time.”

To that post Power was duly appointed.

My relations with him were always pleasant. He once told me that the
lack of funds was about to result in the dissolution of the County
Organization and said that I could have the chairmanship if I were
willing to contribute $25,000 toward keeping it alive: I had no ambition
in that direction, and Charles A. Jackson got the place. Again, in 1887,
when Power was in the saddle, my partner, Lachman, wanted the nomination
of Judge in the Sixth District Court, but because he has always been a
very modest man, and because he had heard that Judge Kelly, then holding
that office, was seeking renomination, he would not follow the usual
custom of going personally to Power and urging his cause. One day within
a month of election, as I crossed Park Place, I saw Power seated on a
bootblack’s stand in front of his office at 235 Broadway. I immediately
went to our office at 243 Broadway, and stormed Lachman into visiting
that bootblack stand immediately.

“The queer thing is,” said Power, “that I should not have thought of you
for the place long ago. Of course you shall have the place.”

He went through the form of offering renomination to Kelly, who declined
it. I ran a fourteen-day campaign for Lachman, and he was elected. This
was my only experience in managing a political campaign until I became
chairman of the Democratic Finance Committee in the National Campaign of

In 1882, when the Sidney Webbs, husband and wife, the English
publicists, were visiting America, they told Miss Lillian D. Wald that
they would like to meet an American “boss,” and I arranged such a
meeting with Power as the star. With considerable pride and absolute
frankness, he explained in full detail how a boss came into being and
how he remained in control. He laid great stress on the fact that he
was a permanent substance, while the lesser leaders and the captors of
mere popularity were but passing shadows on the political glass. He
explained how the bosses named mayors and governors and sometimes even
presidents--how they played the ambitions of one aspirant against those
of another, and how they had a fatal advantage over opponents who gave
only part time to the business of politics.

Webb, looking at his wife for agreement, said:

“Isn’t this remarkable? It’s exactly the method that the executive
secretaries of the English labour unions use to maintain their

Before I had much to do with politics, I found out that neither New York
City nor New York State stood alone in its political obloquy. Some of
the greatest municipalities in the country, and many of the states,
were, and are to-day, under control of machines like Tammany. As these
bosses are of the same ilk, have the same aims and pursue the same
methods, and as many of them have maintained themselves for several
decades, a strong friendship has grown up amongst them, and they to-day
practically control the national committees and the national machinery
of both parties.

Thus, in 1920, Cox was nominated for the presidency by a combination of
Democratic State bosses, who, fearing defeat, were determined at least
to keep their control of the party organization. I know Judge Moore very
well. He was the only member of the National Committee in 1916 who
threatened to head an open revolt against President Wilson’s selection
of Vance McCormick as chairman of the National Committee, because
McCormick was not a member of that committee. Judge Hudspeth, of New
Jersey, National Committeeman, came to me in great dismay at the St.
Louis Convention, and told me so. We had a private telephone to the
White House, and, at Hudspeth’s request, I called up the President, and
stated the facts. The President answered that, as the campaign was to be
run by his own friends, his choice of one of them would have to be
ratified even if it displeased Judge Moore.

I was, therefore, much amused in 1920 to see how Judge Moore “beat the
devil around the stump” when he wanted George White selected as chairman
of the Democratic National Committee. Moore resigned his position as a
member of that committee, and White was elected in his place a few hours
before he was made chairman of the Democratic National Committee. It was
Murphy of New York; Brennan of Chicago, who had taken Roger Sullivan’s
place; Nugent of New Jersey; Taggart of Indiana; Moore of Ohio, and
Marsh of Iowa--all outstanding bosses--who combined to control the
nomination. McAdoo and Mitchell Palmer’s followers not agreeing to
combine their forces against this solid phalanx, the latter prevailed
and the Democratic National organization is temporarily in their hands.

This method of government is by no means confined to the Democratic
Party. The Republicans are even greater offenders. The three Democrats
that have been elected to the Presidency since the Civil War--Tilden,
Cleveland, and Wilson--were all outstanding reformers, and were
nominated in spite of the bosses or machines and not with their
coöperation. The Republicans, on the other hand, have perfected to a
greater degree the machine control of their party, and for many years
their senatorial oligarchy has controlled the party machinery.

At the convention that nominated McKinley this machinery worked
perfectly, and Mark Hanna, afterward senator from Ohio, was at the
throttle. When, however, McKinley died at the hand of an assassin, in
Buffalo, the party leaders as well as the country’s leading business
men were tremendously concerned lest Roosevelt should disregard their
wishes. The man that the bosses had reluctantly named Vice-President had
hurried down from the Adirondacks, but none of the oligarchs had been
able to get a word with him. Leaving Buffalo, he got aboard a train for
New York, en route to Washington; the leaders boarded the same train. A
member of that group himself told me what followed.

The leaders agreed that Hanna should come to a personal understanding
with the new President. They went to Roosevelt, who welcomed the idea of
the interview.

“I should be de-lighted to have him lunch with me here,” said Roosevelt.

The table was laid in the drawing-room, and as Hanna entered Roosevelt
held out both his hands.

“Now, old man,” he said, “let’s be friends.”

Hanna did not take the proffered hands.

“On two conditions,” he stipulated.

“State them,” said Roosevelt.

“First,” said the Senator, “we expect you to carry out McKinley’s
policies for the rest of his unexpired term.”

Roosevelt nodded. “I’ll do that, of course. What is your other

“It’s this,” said the Senator, “never call me ‘old man’ again.”

Then he shook hands. He did more; on his part he promised that if
Roosevelt kept his word, and if he retained McKinley’s cabinet and other
appointments, he would have Hanna’s support at the next National

It was a compact that neither man forgot. Before many months were over
rumour reported a conspiracy on Hanna’s part and Roosevelt
unhesitatingly repeated this to him.

“You are carrying out your part of the bargain,” said the Senator, “as
long as you continue to do so, I’ll carry out mine.”

When Hanna died, the machine that he had controlled fell for a time into
disuse and Roosevelt, taking advantage of the temporary absence of a
machine-bred leader, assumed leadership, not as the head of the old
machine, but by virtue of his position as President. He did not
recognize the machine leaders of the various states, nor did they stand
behind him, but he used his power to name Taft as his successor.

Chief Justice Taft has himself described to me how Roosevelt coached him
for the fight. When he called at the White House, the President asked

“Now, then, what are you doing about your campaign?”

“I’ve prepared some speeches,” Taft answered.

“What are they about?”

“Well, I’m just back from the Philippines. I understand them, and
thought I’d talk mostly about them.”

Roosevelt threw up his hands. “What in the world are you thinking of?
You cannot interest the American public at election-time in the

“If you don’t think they’ll want to hear about the Philippines, what do
you suggest they would like to hear about?”

“My currency measures,” said the President. “Talk to them about my
currency measures. That’s what they’re interested in.”

So the candidate disregarded what he had written and composed a new set
of speeches expounding Roosevelt’s ideas on the currency.

Nevertheless, Taft, as history soon demonstrated, did not recognize the
Colonel as his boss. He undoubtedly felt sincere friendship for
Roosevelt and was grateful to him, but he had a still stronger
appreciation of the responsibilities of his office. Consequently, there
soon came about a conflict between Roosevelt’s adherents and Taft’s, in
which the machine leaders, having got together the pieces of the broken
Hanna oligarchy, aligned themselves with the new President.

What followed is still fresh in the memory of most of us. Senator
Penrose, of Pennsylvania, gradually assumed leadership of the national
machine; the Senate oligarchy was again in control of the Republican
Party. Assured in 1912 that if Roosevelt reëntered the White House he
would construct an organization that would be the death of theirs,
they fought the most desperate of all fights--the fight for
self-preservation. They triumphed; the Colonel resented his defeat and
bolted the Party. It is one of the absolute principles of machine
politics that the welfare of the machine comes before everything else.
It is not necessary to be in office; a boss is often stronger when in
opposition, with fewer followers discontented through failure to receive
a portion of the spoils of victory; better keep the machine intact and
court defeat than win a national election for a party candidate that the
machine cannot control. These were the maxims that were applied by both
of the rival organizations within the Republican fold--the “regular”
Republicans and the Progressives--in 1912; together they polled over
7,600,000 as against the 6,293,000 Democratic ballots; but each
considered its organization more important than its candidate. The world
can, I think, be grateful: the result was Wilson.

From 1912 onward the Republican senatorial oligarchy mended its fences
and repaired its machine. With Penrose for the directing mind, this
group included Lodge, Knox, Brandegee, Frelinghuysen, Watson of Indiana,
Moses, Spencer, Hale, and Wadsworth. Some of these were bosses in their
own states; all were influential with their state bosses. Roosevelt they
could not ignore, but, when he died, in 1919, they were left absolutely
free-handed, and their National Chairman, Will H. Hays, originally a man
of Progressive tendencies, had successfully employed his great talents
as an organizer in healing the wounds of the internecine struggle of
1912. They nominated Senator Harding, and he was elected.

What has occurred since is important in this connection only as a
side-light on my general contention. President Harding knew the
senatorial ramifications from within; he understood the conflict of
personal ambitions that, human nature being what it is, went on behind
the general community of interest in the Senate group. His position was
strengthened by the long illness and subsequent death of Penrose and he
could, and did, manipulate these personal ambitions, playing one against
the other until he secured a practical stalemate. By this evolution of
events President Harding has been relieved of the odium of being
controlled by a senatorial oligarchy.

If I have elaborated my observations at some length, it is to show why I
am a foe to machine politics. This evil, which can reach as high as
Washington, has its roots in the city election precinct. The district
leader holds his power either through dispensing minor patronage or by
influence with magistrates and political clubs, and, to do this, he must
retain the favour of the city boss. This gives the latter a thoroughly
organized army that includes even a quasi spy system, and at the same
time confers a power unshakeable by anything short of an overt criminal
act. Personal criticism of the boss, ostracizing him from the better
sort of society, does not help matters, does not harm him. He is content
with holding what he has won; the thing to be attacked is not the
individual; it is the system, and, in combating that, the serious and
practically unchangeable difficulty consists in the fact that very few,
if any, self-respecting, high-class men will submit to being bossed.
They will not take orders from Crokers or Penroses, Hannas or Murphys;
therefore, they enter fields where the final arbiters, the men who have
to decide upon their worth and promotion, are of a different calibre,
and where the reward for their efforts and work is not dependent upon
the whims and fancies of a political boss.



“Conscience doth make cowards of us all.” Not mine--mine made me a
politician. At fifty-five years of age, financially independent, and
rich in experience, and recently released from the toils of materialism,
it ceaselessly confronted me with my duty to pay back, in the form of
public service, the overdraft which I had been permitted to make upon
the opportunities of this country. Repayment in money alone would not
suffice: I must pay in the form of personal service, for which my
experience had equipped me. And I must pay now, or never.

It was a great surprise to my friends when, in 1912, I suddenly entered
politics, and threw myself heart and soul in the enterprise of securing
the Presidential nomination for Woodrow Wilson. “Why,” they asked me,
“should a man like yourself, whose whole active life has been spent in
the thick of the battle for wealth, embark on the untried sea of
politics? And why, if you are determined to take the risks of this
experiment, do you choose so forlorn a hope, as the cause of the least
likely of all the candidates, for the nomination of the party that has
elected only one President since the Civil War?”

The answer was as simple to me as it was strange to them. My life had
been an intense struggle between idealism and materialism. In youth I
had burned with an enthusiasm for the ideal, which had fed alike upon
the teachings of the Reverend Dr. Einhorn in my boyhood, the inspiring
association which I had enjoyed with a saintly Quaker doctor in New
York, the noble messages to which I had listened from Christian
ministers, and the austere and lofty ethical philosophy of Dr. Felix

In early manhood, however, the temptation of materialism had beset me in
a familiar form. Shortly after my marriage I had some financial
disappointments; and I was compelled to devote more time than I had
expected to providing for my family. My intention was to make their
future modestly secure, and then to resume my idealistic avocation. I
soon found, however, that I had a special gift for making money. By the
time I had attained the competency which had been my ambition, I had
become fascinated with money-making as a game. Before I realized it, I
was immersed in a dozen enterprises, was obligated to a hundred business
friends, and, like all my associates, was deeply absorbed in the chase
for wealth.

Fortunately, in 1905, the prospect of disaster brought me to my senses.
I foresaw the Panic of 1907; and, while others all around me plunged
onward toward the brink, I paused and took stock of my future. I began
to sever my financial connections. This process of slowing down my
business pace gave me time for other introspection; and I realized, with
astonishment and dismay, how far the swift tide of business had swept me
from the course I had charted for my life in youth. I was ashamed to
realize that I had neglected the nobler path of duty. I resolved to
retire wholly from active business, and to devote the rest of my life to
making good the better resolutions of my boyhood.

It took me some years to divest myself of my business obligations on one
hand, and, on the other, to find a practical field for social service.
During this period, in which I was “finding myself,” I was attracted to
the career of Woodrow Wilson. I admired the courage with which he was
fighting the battle of democracy at Princeton. And, in the early months
of 1911, I was even more delighted to watch his progress as Governor of
New Jersey: the splendid fight he was making there to overthrow the rule
of the bosses, and to write into the statutes of the state those seven
measures of practical reform which his enemies derisively dubbed the
“Seven Sisters.”

“Here,” I said to myself, “is a man who does not merely preach political
righteousness; here is a practical reformer. This man has Roosevelt’s
gift for the dramatic diagnosis of political diseases; he has Bryan’s
moral enthusiasm for political righteousness. But he has qualities which
these men lack: these are, the constructive faculty, the imagination to
devise remedies, the courage to apply them, and the gift of leadership
to put them into effective action.” I wished to know more of this new
and promising character. I resolved to find an occasion for meeting him.

Such an opportunity came a few weeks later. As president of the Free
Synagogue in New York City, I invited Governor Wilson to be a guest of
honour at the dinner in celebration of the fourth anniversary of its
foundation. As I presided at the dinner, and as the Governor was seated
at my right, it gave me a chance to get acquainted. I found in him at
once a congenial spirit, and in that one intense conversation I got more
from him than I could have gotten from half a dozen casual meetings.

On my left was the other guest of honour, Senator Borah of Idaho. He and
Wilson proved instantly antagonistic. The air was electrical with the
clash of their dissimilar temperaments. How startled I would have been,
that evening, could I have realized that this discordance of their
natures, of which I was at that moment acutely conscious, had in it the
seeds of a future battle--an epic struggle, with the White House and the
Capitol for its headquarters; the world for its audience; and the
destiny of the nations, following the greatest war in history, the prize
that was staked on the issue.

I was then, in fact, aware only that I was seated between two men of
strong and mutually unsympathetic natures; and that they seemed equally
to feel this natural antagonism. Wilson revealed it by his request that
he be allowed to speak last: he plainly wished to study his rival before
he made his own oratorical appearance. Borah was even more palpably
depressed by the presence, at the same table with him, of this strange,
new, powerful personality, whose glittering intellect and polished
manner were so strikingly contrasted with his own blunter, though, in
their way, also powerful weapons and character. The Senator was so
disturbed by this impact with Wilson’s personality that his own speech
of the evening fell far below his usual high standard. He himself was so
deeply impressed with this deficiency that twice afterward he recalled
to me his comparative failure of that evening. These two men thus seemed
predestined to a combat which with natures so intense and powerful could
be nothing less than mortal. When, in 1920, Wilson lost (as I believe,
only for the moment) his gallant campaign for the League of Nations, and
fell truly a soldier stricken on the field of battle, partly because of
blows that were dealt by Senator Borah, I could not but revert in memory
to the vivid picture of that evening in New York in 1911, when the two
men met and took each other’s measure.

They were not alone in this measuring of mettle. Governor Wilson’s
speech of that evening was a revelation to all of us who listened. We
saw in him a man of lofty idealism, and a knightly spirit; his
convictions grounded on the secure foundation of a deep study of
governmental institutions, and of the history of the human race; his
political philosophy erected symmetrically upon these firm foundations;
its façade adorned with a beautiful conception of democracy and justice
as the ideals of political endeavour. I, for one, felt that here truly
was an inspired leader behind whom all men like myself could range
themselves and know that their efforts to advance his fortunes would be
an effective participation in the highest form of public service.

My own acceptance of his leadership was instant and decisive. I asked
him whether he was really a candidate for President of the United
States, and told him that I had a definite object in asking him the
question. I was delighted with his reply. Looking me squarely in the
eye, he said: “I know a great deal more about the United States than I
do about New Jersey.”

“Governor,” I said, “my object in asking you this question was to offer
my unreserved moral and financial support of your candidacy.”

The enthusiastic impression I gained upon that evening was confirmed and
strengthened two days later, when I attended the dinner of the National
Democratic Club, at which the Governor was again a guest of honour.
Here, again, he made a speech that was heartening to all who sought
leadership in the struggle for the regeneration of America.

Let me remind my readers what the political situation was in 1911. That
situation should be recalled in the light of the preceding fourteen
years. In that period (which began with the election of William McKinley
as President in 1896), the United States had passed through one of the
most momentous epochs in its political history. The election of McKinley
by the Republicans, under the leadership of Mark Hanna, marked the
culmination of thirty years of materialistic growth in this
country--three decades in which the energies of the people were absorbed
in the conquest of the West, in the building of our gigantic railroad
system, and in the magician-like creation of our stupendous
manufacturing industries. Pittsburgh was almost the new capital of a new
nation, with its marvellous development of iron and steel. It was
followed closely by the great manufacturing centres that sprang up in
New York, New England, the Middle West, and Alabama. Monstrous fortunes
grew up over night from the exploitation of our natural resources, our
boundless supplies of coal, iron, oil, zinc, and lead. Masters of
industry, like Carnegie and Rockefeller, amassed gold beyond the wildest
dreams of even gem-laden Oriental potentates. Masters of transportation
like Commodore Vanderbilt and James J. Hill created new empires for the
residence of man, and gathered to themselves princely fortunes. Masters
of finance, like J. Pierpont Morgan, sat at the golden headwaters of
national enterprise, directing the fertilizing streams of credit, and,
by taking toll of them as they passed, accumulated an imperial revenue.
Below these men were nameless thousands, of only less ability, aping the
masters, and dipping with feverish hands into the golden flood. Mingled
with these builders were pick-pockets of finance, pirates of promotion,
and skulking jackals of commerce. But--all alike were money-mad. From
the Morgans and Hills and Rockefellers and Carnegies, who wrought with
far-seeing vision, down to the shopkeepers and smallest manufacturers,
nine men in ten were absorbed in the game of riches.

Politics, too, had become infected. Public honours were no longer heaped
upon patriots and statesmen: the proudest title of distinction was to be
called “a captain of industry.” The best brains of the country had been
drained out of the public service into business life. Men who, in other
days, would have led great public causes, were now presidents of great
corporations. Their intellects were taxed to the last limit in the
fierce struggle of competition. Their characters were formed and
hardened into the inflexible will and ruthless determination of
commanders of vast competitive business armies. Men like Morgan, upon
whose shoulders rested the responsibility for billions of invested
capital, brooked no obstacle that threatened for an instant the security
of these vast aggregations of money, nor anything that would stand in
the way of their continuous return of profit.

Such gigantic financial operations inevitably affected those
inter-relationships of the people which are expressed in law; and
organized government soon confronted the danger of being swallowed by
organized business. By the close of McKinley’s first administration,
government, indeed, had become practically a vassal of business, little
better than another instrument of power in the hands of the leaders of
industry. Legislation was bought like merchandise; lawmakers and
administrators of law were corrupted. Politics had become an almost
disreputable profession. Lobbyists of the most odious type flaunted
their trade publicly. To the high-minded elements of the community it
seemed as if the nation were sliding down the declivity of destruction
to share the fate of Rome.

I was myself fresh from this seething caldron of materialistic
competition, and I knew personally the men and the methods of Big
Business, so that I had occasion to appreciate more keenly than most
people the reality of the danger which confronted the nation.

To us perplexed political idealists the country over, who looked on with
apprehension at this death grapple between the soul of the people and
the ugly octopus of Big Business, the appearance of Woodrow Wilson on
the horizon seemed a very act of Providence. Here at last was the
leader: the man who, thinking our thoughts, sharing our visions, brought
to us the promise of a political personality under whose banner we could
range ourselves, organize our enthusiasm, and take fresh hope for

True, the Democratic Party organization was no better than the
Republican. Nevertheless, I recalled with faith the words of that
valiant reformer, Carl Schurz, who years before had said:

“Between them [the old parties] stands an element which is not
controlled by the discipline of the party organization, but acts upon
its own judgment for the public interest. It is the Independent element
which in its best sense and shape may be defined as consisting of men
who consider it more important that the Government be well administered
than that this or that set of men administer it. This Independent
element is not very popular with party politicians in ordinary times;
but it is very much in requisition when the day of voting comes. It can
render inestimable service to the cause of good government by wielding
the balance of power it holds with justice and wisdom.”

Here, I thought, in this great body of thoughtful independents of both
parties, lies the hope of political regeneration. Woodrow Wilson is the
only man in either party who stands out clearly for the things which all
of us hold dear. If we can introduce him to these men, if we can lift
him up upon a platform high enough to permit his ringing words to reach
across the continent, they will rally to his banner as we have done.

It was from these motives, and in this splendid hope, that I threw
myself whole-heartedly into what my friends had called a “hopeless
cause.” Now was the opportunity to restore idealism to our government;
to place man, as of old, above the dollar; to place law once more
securely above the greed and personal ambition of the individual.
America was very dear to me! I had come to her an alien by race and
speech; she had thrown wide open the door of opportunity to me; I had
been free to find satisfaction for every one of my ambitions. Surely,
the utmost I could do in her service was little enough to repay the just
debt I owed her.

Let me return now to the dinner of the National Democratic Club, which I
have already mentioned. I sat at a table facing the guests of honour,
and before they seated themselves I went up and spoke to Governor
Wilson. On a sudden impulse, he exclaimed: “Come along with me, I want
to introduce you to someone.” He led me to another table, and there I
had my first meeting with Walter Hines Page, who was then editor of the
_World’s Work_ magazine, and who was destined later to play such a
momentous part in the salvaging of civilization while acting as
President Wilson’s Ambassador at the Court of St. James’s. Wilson and
Page had been acquainted for many years and they addressed each other

“This,” said the Governor, laying his hand on my shoulder, “is the Mr.
Morgenthau I talked about to you this afternoon. Now you two get
acquainted.” He then returned to the speakers’ table, and Page spoke to
me and expressed his hearty satisfaction at welcoming “the latest
recruit to the little band of Wilson adherents.” He invited me to call
upon him at his place of business, at Garden City, Long Island, for a
longer conference.

Two years later Page and I recalled this scene, under very altered
circumstances. I stopped in London on my way to Constantinople. There I
found Page installed in the American Embassy. When I entered his private
office, Page had cleared his room, and we faced each other there
alone--Page sitting forward on the edge of his chair, his elbow on the
table, his head leaning against his hand, and with the most quizzical
and expectant look upon his face. I said to him, “Ambassador, I know
what you are thinking about.”

“Well, what?” he challenged.

“You are thinking,” I said, “of the day when the Governor of New Jersey
introduced the retired financier to the magazine editor. That was only
two years ago; and now what a difference! He is President of the United
States; you are here as his Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s; and
I am his Ambassador at the Sublime Porte. And you are thinking that it’s
mighty funny.”

“No; you’re wrong,” said he.

“Then what are you thinking?”

Still giving me that quizzical look over the top of his glasses, and
dropping his voice to the very bottom of his diaphragm, he rumbled, “I
was thinking it’s _blanked_ funny!”

Some time after our first meeting I called on Mr. Page at Garden City,
and told him I was now ready to immerse myself completely in the
campaign; and some months after this William G. McAdoo invited me to
join him at a luncheon with William F. McCombs, who was then in full
charge of Wilson’s campaign for the nomination. I then agreed to
subscribe a substantial sum, and, also, to undertake raising money from
others. They accepted both offers gladly. I found the first by far the
easier to make good. To redeem the second was a very different matter:
my friends in the business world looked upon me almost as one who had
lost his reason. “Why,” they asked me, “should any one who has property
be willing to entrust the management of the United States to the
Democratic Party? How can a reasonable man hope for Wilson’s nomination
against veterans like Bryan, Clark, and Underwood? And how can any
Democrat hope for victory against the intrenched Republicans?”

It was the hardest proposition that I ever undertook to sell, but we
managed somehow to meet our financial emergencies as we came to them.

Meanwhile, the other candidates were busy. William Jennings Bryan had
been, for years, at once the prophet and the Nemesis of the Democratic
Party. He controlled its national machinery. Thrice he had led it to
defeat, and now, for the fourth time, he aspired to lead the charge.
Party politicians, who knew that Bryan’s economic heresies were fatal to
the party, did not dare call together the national committee, where his
discipline ruled their actions. The only other place where party
councils could be taken was in the National Capitol. For this reason,
the cloakroom of the House of Representatives became the whispering
gallery of other aspirants. The House developed two candidates for the
nomination: Champ Clark, the genial Speaker; and Oscar Underwood, the
popular and substantial floor leader of the majority.

Nevertheless, we adherents of Wilson were not dismayed. Our plan of
action was to secure a few state delegations, and, for the rest, to
concentrate our energies upon creating, through the press, a sentiment
among the Democratic masses, which, we hoped, at the end would prove
irresistible in the Convention.

The first great test of our success (and, what was more important, of
Wilson’s capacity to grow to national stature) came on the occasion of
the Jackson Day dinner at Washington on January 8, 1912. This classic
festival of Democracy has, every quadrennium, a special and a solemn
significance for candidates for the Presidency. It is somewhat like the
opening day of the Kentucky Derby at Louisville, when the favourite
horses are led out before the first race for the inspection of the
spectators. A seat at this dinner is as much prized by Democratic
politicians as a grandstand seat is at the races. The candidates and
their managers are as much excited as are the horse owners and their
trainers. Upon the showing made at this preliminary try-out depends much
of the crystallization of the sentiment amongst the politicians in
favour of one special candidate.

Our first experience with this dinner was a disappointment. We men who
were active in Governor Wilson’s behalf had our headquarters at the New
Willard Hotel; and we had gone there a day earlier to make arrangements
for more than one hundred of the leading Democratic politicians and
citizens of New Jersey who were coming on to Washington the next day, to
back up Wilson’s aspirations. Imagine our dismay when we found that, of
the sixty-five tickets for the dinner to which New Jersey was entitled,
fifty had been given to Mr. Nugent instead of to Mr. Grosscup, the
chairman of the state committee. Mr. Nugent was one of Governor Wilson’s
bitterest opponents, and well enough we knew that we could not get back
the tickets from him.

News of this blow came to me at 11 o’clock at night, just as I was
turning out my light preparatory to retiring. My telephone rang. I heard
the excited voice of Judge Hudspeth, the national committeeman from New
Jersey, exclaiming: “Come right over to our room! We need you at once!”
“But,” I protested, “I am just getting into bed for the night.” “Haven’t
you learned yet,” he cried impatiently, “that politicians never sleep?”

Reluctantly, I got back into my clothes and went to his rooms. There I
found McCombs, Congressman Hughes, Mr. Grosscup, Joe Tumulty, and
others. They were angry at the miscarriage of the tickets, which they
attributed to trickery; and gloomy at the thought of the poor showing we
would make to our hundred and more friends from New Jersey who were
coming down to the dinner, and who would charge us with lack of
influence in the higher councils of the party.

I turned the situation over in my mind while they were giving vent to
their indignation, and said:

“I think I see a way to turn this mishap into a victory. Let us arrange
an overflow dinner for Mr. Wilson’s friends exclusively, and give him an
opportunity to show his appreciation of their presence, and to get their

This idea of a separate dinner at the Shoreham Hotel was a happy
thought, for at the main dinner at the Raleigh not more than fifteen
diners were really friends of Wilson. It was a discouraging outlook for
a man who faced the ordeal of trying to win an audience. The overflow
meeting solved this difficulty. It gave him the encouragement of an
enthusiastic greeting from a large body of his friends before he had to
face the unsympathetic audience at the main gathering.

The morning of the day of the dinner Governor Wilson came to Washington
and went into conference with Dudley Field Malone, Franklin P. Glass of
Alabama, and myself at a luncheon in his room. He was confronted with a
serious problem. The newspapers of that very day were full of the letter
he had written to Adrian H. Joline, in which he had been guilty of that
famous indiscretion of saying that “William Jennings Bryan should be
knocked into a cocked hat.” As we sat at luncheon about twenty reporters
were waiting outside for Mr. Wilson to give them an explanation of this
letter. It might have the gravest political consequences. Bryan was
still the most powerful politician in the party, and, though he was not
able to gain the nomination for himself, he could easily keep any other
man from getting it. Wilson was deeply concerned to find a way out of
this difficulty; but though he was greatly worried, I can still recall
with what keen appetite he attacked a big steak and plateful of
vegetables, while he asked for our suggestions. He listened to us all,
and then he said:

“Now, let me bare my mind to you. What did I really mean when I wrote
that letter? I have always admired Mr. Bryan as a clean-thinking,
progressive citizen. I have always admired his methods of diagnosing the
troubles and difficulties of the country. But I have never admired, nor
approved, his remedies. What I really meant, then, was that _his
remedies_ should be knocked into a cocked hat.”

We then discussed the means by which this explanation should be given to
the public. We finally agreed that Wilson should not give it through the
press, but should wait until the Jackson Day dinner, that evening, to
make his explanation. Malone then went outside and told the reporters
our decision.

In the meantime, we had heard that Bryan was not really much annoyed at
Wilson, because he realized that the men who were trying to injure
Wilson were trying to injure him also. Hence we sent an emissary to
Bryan to ask whether he would be willing to speak at our overflow
dinner, and though he declined the invitation, he did so graciously.

The main dinner that evening at the Raleigh was attended by more than
seven hundred eager politicians from all parts of the country. It was an
exciting occasion for everyone, and an occasion of special apprehension
for us, because it was Wilson’s début in national politics.

About midway of that dinner Wilson slipped away from the speakers’
table, and drove over to the Shoreham. There, our happy gathering of a
hundred had been kept entertained and enlivened by speeches from
Tumulty, Dudley Malone, and others. When Wilson arrived, he found an
audience eager to be charmed, and it put him upon his mettle. He gave a
very happy speech; and when he left, to return to the Raleigh, there
were cheers and felicitations ringing in his ears. It put him in fine
feather for his masterly effort of the evening at the main dinner.

Here I had an opportunity to observe, at very close range, one of the
most interesting spectacles of my whole experience. At the speakers’
table sat Senator O’Gorman, the toastmaster of the evening. At his right
was William Jennings Bryan, the ever-hopeful leader of the Democrats,
who was playing each of the important candidates against the other, in
the hope of killing them all off, and securing the nomination himself.
There sat also Underwood and Clark and Foss and Hearst and Marshall.
Pomerene was there, as the representative of Governor Harmon of Ohio,
and Judge Parker, happily forgetting his defeat. Each man knew that this
moment was charged with fateful destiny. As each one made his speech, I
could see the others taking his measure, and watching the crowd of
diners to divine its reaction. Bryan, as the patriarch of the
candidates, was to make the last address of the evening. It was to be
his opportunity for a great oration that would restore to him the
mastery of the party.

Wilson was the last speaker to precede him. When he arose, there was a
brief applause of politeness, with an extra short outburst from the
little handful of fifteen adherents. Every speaker who had gone before
him had talked of party harmony. Wilson seized the opportunity of this
text to clear up, with one masterly stroke, the dilemma of the “cocked
hat” story. After a few happy remarks of acquiescence in the plea for
harmony, Wilson turned to Mr. Bryan and, with a really Chesterfieldian
gesture, said: “If any one has said anything about any of the other
candidates, for which he is sorry, now is the time to apologize,” and
made a smiling bow to the Commoner.

The audience broke into spontaneous and sincere applause at this stroke.
They appreciated both its manliness and its cleverness; and they sat up
with really expectant attention to hear the rest of his address.

Wilson rose to his opportunity. His speech revealed to these men a new
power in the party. He made a splendid exposition of the issues before
the country, and gave his vision of the remedies with beautiful
eloquence and unanswerable logic. The audience progressed from rapt
attention to enthusiasm.

All this time I was watching the face of Bryan. I have never seen a more
interesting play of expression on the stage than the exhibition which he
unconsciously gave. Here was the rising of a new political star, which
he well knew meant the setting of his own. His face expressed in turn
surprise, alarm, hesitation, doubt, gloom, despair. When Wilson took his
seat amidst tremendous applause Bryan’s face was that of a man who had
met his Waterloo. He rose like one who was dazed, and made a speech of
abdication. He said that the time had come when a new man should be
nominated, a man who was free from the asperities of the past, and that
he was willing to march in the ranks of the party, and work with the
rest of us to help on this victory, which he saw assured. He then
started to sit down, but everyone applauded so vigorously, shouting “Go
on! Go on!” that he became confused. For once, his political sagacity
forsook him: he did not realize that he should stop. He regained his
feet, and made a sad anti-climax by telling the diners stories of his
observations in the Philippines and elsewhere. The evening was a Wilson

The effect upon Wilson’s fortune was instantaneous. The next morning our
little headquarters was the Mecca of the politicians. Congressmen and
Senators and members of the National Committee streamed to our rooms at
the Willard. Some came to pledge us their support of Wilson; others to
take the measure of his managers. Of the latter class, Senator Stone of
Missouri was the most interesting. We saw then how he had earned his
title, “Gum Shoe Bill.” He dropped in, so he said, for just a minute’s
conversation, as Mrs. Stone was waiting for him in the lobby, where he
had promised to rejoin her in a few minutes. He stayed for more than
half an hour. He spent that time telling us a very humorous story, which
would be worth retelling on its merits if it were printable. It dealt
with several whimsical characters in a little town in the Ozarks, and he
told it with all the rich embroidery of characterization and dialogue
with which the best Southern story tellers elaborate their narratives.
It was really a little masterpiece of the raconteur’s art, but it had no
pertinence to our serious business. I soon became aware, however, that
Stone himself had a serious purpose. All the while he was spinning his
story out, to make it longer, his eyes were stealing from one face to
another of his auditors, shrewdly appraising their reactions, studying
each of them to learn what he could of their characters and foibles.
When he finally drew the story to its close, sprung the “nub,” and got a
round of laughter, he left, as I felt sure at the moment, with a pretty
definite estimate of each of us in his head.

The extraordinary success of Wilson’s Jackson Day speech had its evil
effects as well. It made other candidates realize that the man each of
them had to beat was Wilson. Thus, all the politicians centred their
attacks on him. They ceased their efforts to take delegates away from
one another, and allotted to each candidate an undisputed field in the
territory where he could help to make a showing. Their plan was to
prevent Wilson from coming to the Convention with a large pledged vote.

In the meantime, we devoted our efforts to making Wilson popular among
the Democratic press and masses, building up, throughout the country, a
sentiment which made him the second choice in nearly every section where
a favourite son got a preference with the delegates. Our greatest fear
was that one of the two strongest candidates might yield his strength
to the other in the hope of defeating Wilson.

Fortunately for us, the logic of the situation made our strategy also
the best strategy for Bryan. He and his brother, with their keen
political sense, were playing exactly the same game as we were. The
result was that every candidate came to the Convention with his full
strength, and a determination to use it.

We had other troubles. Repeatedly we faced financial difficulties, and
many times the few men of means among us had to go down into their own
pockets to make up the deficiency. I had to do so myself, and I leaned
heavily on devoted friends of Wilson, like Cleveland H. Dodge, Charles
R. Crane, and Abram I. Elkus. Then, too, there were personal
differences. I shall never forget when Dudley Field Malone, with his
high-powered temperament and his high-flown oratory, burst into my
office, exclaiming, “I come with a message from a King to a King!”

“Come to earth, talk English,” I responded.

“Well,” he said, “the Governor has sent me to ask you to investigate the
row between McCombs and Byron Newton. He wants you to settle the matter
without his intervention.”

I sent for Newton first, to get his version of the trouble; and when he
called, he was so unbridled in his language and so sweeping and
illogical in his accusations against McCombs--he gave me an ultimatum
that either he or McCombs must be instantly displaced--that I did not
wait to hear the other side of the story, but promptly decided in
McCombs’s favour. I concluded at once that Governor Wilson could not
afford, at that critical moment, to expose himself to the charge of
being ungrateful toward McCombs, who, notwithstanding his shortcomings,
had rendered him invaluable services.

At last came the great days of the Convention. We went to Baltimore
with less than half enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination.
Our hopes lay in the splendid impression that Wilson had made upon the
country, and in the generalship we should exercise upon the floor of the
Convention. The odds were all in favour of Champ Clark. He had better
than a hundred more pledged delegates than Wilson, and the ground swell
of the politicians in his favour. Still, we were not daunted.

There were elements in our favour. The Baltimore _Sun_, chiefly through
the enthusiasm of Charles H. Grasty, created an atmosphere of Wilson
optimism in the city that had an undoubted effect upon the delegates.
And a determining influence with many delegates and the public at large
was a wonderful editorial, written by Frank I. Cobb and published in the
New York _World_ at the psychological moment.

The supreme opportunity for all of us to use our best talents in behalf
of Wilson came at the dramatic climax of the Convention when, on the
third day and with the tenth ballot, Champ Clark received a majority
vote of the delegates. Though two thirds were necessary to get the
nomination, Clark’s adherents thought that the achievement of a majority
marked the turn of the tide and the assurance of victory. They had sound
historical warrant for this faith: for only once before had a Democratic
candidate who received a majority of the votes failed to get the

If Clark’s managers had been able to capitalize that critical moment,
their candidate might have gone to the White House eight months later.

When this tenth ballot was announced, the Convention greeted the Clark
majority with wild enthusiasm. What his managers should have done was to
have pressed this advantage to an immediate conclusion. A few more quick
ballots taken under the emotion of that moment would doubtless have
carried him over the line to victory. Instead, they wasted the
opportunity, and the Missouri delegation organized a snake dance around
the hall, and spent the next fifty-five minutes frittering away the
precious enthusiasm of the Convention by cheering themselves hoarse in
celebration of an assumed victory. They stimulated the joy of Clark’s
adherents by bringing in his young daughter, wrapped in an American
flag, and placing her beside the chairman. This pretty picture provoked
a fresh outburst of triumphant cheering.

Those fifty-five minutes cost Clark the nomination. McCombs, Palmer,
McAdoo, and the rest of us had a hurried consultation on the platform,
not ten feet away from Ollie James, the impartial chairman, who did
nothing to discourage the wild demonstration. We agreed on a plan of
campaign, and, as lieutenants, all scurried about the hall, consulting
with the leaders of the other delegates. We got the Underwood forces to
agree to stand fast for their candidate on the next few ballots, and
made the same arrangement with the Marshall and Foss delegates, pledging
ourselves, in turn, to hold our people fast for Wilson.

In three quarters of an hour we had corralled our delegates safely out
of the path of the Clark stampede. They sat immovable in the face of the
frenzy of the crowd. When the Clark demonstration had subsided, and the
next ballot was taken, the Clark managers had a rude awakening: the
result was practically unchanged. Then, with a stroke of political
genius, Mitchell Palmer arose, and claimed recognition from the Chair.
Tall, massive, and extremely handsome, Palmer was at the height of
youthful grace and vigour. The Chairman recognized him, and Palmer moved
an immediate adjournment to the following morning. Before the Clark
delegates grasped the meaning of this manœuvre the motion had been put
and carried. This respite gave Clark’s enemies a full day in which to
make fresh alliances against him, and every one of the succeeding
thirty-five ballots cut down his vote in the Convention.

The tide had turned. Wilson’s strength grew steadily, because as soon as
a delegate realized that his own candidate’s cause was hopeless, his
thoughts turned from his personal preference to the welfare of the
party, and, in almost every case, he realized that Wilson was the one
man to lead it on to victory. They realized, too, that a solemn duty
rested on them. The Roosevelt defection from the Republican Party had
ruined its chances, so that these Democratic delegates knew they were
not merely nominating a candidate--they were actually electing a

After the nomination, the preliminary notification followed at Sea Girt
a few days later. Here again was an opportunity to study human nature.
Most of the defeated competitors for the nomination came and tendered
their hearty congratulations. But Clark came like one who was attending
the funeral of his hopes. He could not master his disappointment, nor
conceal it. His depression lay upon the gathering like a cloud. It was
so palpable that Tumulty saw that something must be done to lift it,
else the proper spirit of the occasion would be destroyed. Tumulty then
came to me, and suggested that Clark be taken for a ride. I approached
Clark, and invited him to use my car. He accepted and asked if he might
go anywhere he wished, and, of course, my reply was, “Certainly.” He
then explained that his daughter was visiting in the neighbourhood, and
he would like to see her. Filling the car with his friends, they drove
away, with my son, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., at the wheel.

When my son came back, he had a broad smile on his countenance. “Where
do you suppose,” he exclaimed, “Clark asked me to take him? His
daughter is staying with George Harvey’s daughter!”

The “George Harvey” to whom my son referred was, of course, Mr. Wilson’s
former supporter with whom he had recently had a much-advertised
disagreement, and who is now Mr. Harding’s much-discussed Ambassador in

Here was a dilemma! I had already told Governor Wilson that Clark had
gone to visit his daughter, and that she was staying with friends in the
neighbourhood, and he had said: “I shall see that my daughters call on
her.” Now, I had to tell him who “the friends in the neighbourhood”
were. When I did so, he only smiled, and said: “That’s rather awkward,
isn’t it?”



Wilson’s nomination in 1912 was equivalent to an election. The split in
the Republican Party made this a foregone conclusion. They forgot the
interests of the country in a bitter internal struggle for the control
of their party machinery. Roosevelt, furiously ambitious to regain his
power, was pitted against the old organization bosses, who were
determined to retain possession of the party. Led by Penrose they were
lost in an implacable rage against the “rebel” who had once unhorsed
them in the party councils. To them the election of a president became a
secondary matter. The supremely important issue was the control of their
party machinery. Penrose and his fellow bosses felt that their
future--their very existence as political leaders--was at stake. If
Roosevelt made good his position, that the Independents ought to
continue to control the mechanism of the party (as they had controlled
it during his tenure of office), what did it profit Penrose and his kind
to build up their state machines, only to be balked of the supreme prize
of national ascendancy? They would, like Othello, find their occupation
gone. With the fury of men blinded by hatred and ambition, they
preferred to wreck the party’s chances for the next four years if, by so
doing, they could destroy the Roosevelt rebellion against their

I really felt that my own connection with the campaign was at an end.
With the Presidency thus secure by reason of the Republicans’
internecine quarrel, we Democrats were in the position of a plaintiff
who had simply to go through the formality of entering judgment by
default and take possession of the Government on behalf of the people.

I had never participated in the active work of a national campaign, and
it did not appeal to me to do so. The offer made me by McCombs to become
chairman of the Finance Committee I had promptly declined, as I thought
that if I had anything to do with the finances of the National
Democratic Committee, I should be treasurer. So I prepared to spend the
summer in the Adirondacks. But the day that I was to take my family to
the mountains I motored down to Sea Girt to bid Governor Wilson
good-bye. The Governor had not yet come down to breakfast, and, as I had
to take an early train to make my connection for the mountains, I was
about to leave when word came down from him requesting me to wait a few
minutes longer, as he was anxious to see me. Shortly afterward he came
down the steps, as sprightly and active as a man of thirty, full of
energy and determination. When I told him I had come to say good-bye to
him, he was surprised and concerned.

“This is a great disappointment to me,” said Governor Wilson. “I had
hoped that you would accept the position of chairman of the Finance
Committee. This is a new position which I have asked the National
Committee to create especially for you, and I had relied upon your
willingness to accept it and render me a great service.”

I told the Governor that I was disinclined to be merely a money
collector, and unless I was appointed treasurer, or a member of the
Campaign Committee, I should not care to participate in the campaign.
The Governor answered:

“Of course I expect you to be a member of the Campaign Committee, and I
still hope that I can persuade you to accept the chairmanship of the
Finance Committee. My idea is that in this campaign the chairman of the
Finance Committee will have to perform the functions of the president of
a bank, directing the large financial policies and protecting me against
mistakes of accepting moneys from improper sources. The treasurer should
correspond to the cashier. He should be the custodian of the funds and
have charge of the clerical and bookkeeping details.

“I shall insist that no contributions whatever be even indirectly
accepted from any corporation. I want especial attention paid to the
small contributors. And I want great care exercised over the way the
money is spent. These duties will call for an unusual degree of
ingenuity and resourcefulness. I would not ask you to undertake this
task if I didn’t think you had the imagination to accomplish it; and I
would not expect you to accept it if I did not think it would be
interesting to a man of your experience and ability.”

The Governor seemed so genuinely concerned and showed so clearly that he
dreaded facing another financial canvass after the frequent worries he
had endured from this source in his pre-nomination fight, that I could
no longer resist. I accepted, and added:

“I shall take a few days to settle my family in the Adirondacks; then I
shall return and get to work. And now, Governor, having accepted the
responsibility, I want to assure you that you may dismiss all thoughts
of finance from your mind from now until election.”

The Governor took my hand and held it while he said:

“You do not realize what a load you are lifting from my shoulders. I can
now devote myself entirely to campaigning and to my duties as Governor.”

I considered the discussion closed and was about to leave, when the
Governor detained me.

“One thing more,” he said. “There are three rich men in the Democratic
Party whose political affiliations are so unworthy that I shall depend
on you personally to see that none of their money is used in my

I gave him my assurance, and he gave me their names. This was the only
occasion on which I discussed finances with Mr. Wilson from that day to
this. I made good my promise that he should have no cause to think again
of finances. And when he went into the White House he went without
obligations, expressed or implied, to any man for any money that had
been contributed during the campaign.

The principal reason I was able to make good my promise to the Governor
was that I instituted, for the first time in American political history,
a budget system both for collecting the funds and expending them. I
called to my assistance Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick, a budget expert; and in
consultation with the members of the Democratic National Committee, we
worked out an allotment of the amounts we expected from the various
states. We then worked out the kinds of legitimate expenditures which we
would encounter, weighed their relative values, and allotted to each its
corresponding proportion of the money we expected to raise. With minor
exceptions, we adhered to this budget throughout the campaign; and we
had the great pleasure of paying every bill in full before the first of
the following January, and of having $25,000 cash balance to the credit
of the National Committee in bank.

My financial work in the National Committee was novel to me only in the
sense that it was managing the use of money in a new field. But my work
with the Committee on its human and political sides was an entirely new
experience, and a very fascinating one.

On the human side, I found the same play of personal ambitions--of
jealousy and other evil passions--aroused by the prospect of advantage
in politics, that I had seen aroused by the prospect of material reward
in business. But, on the whole, the human picture in politics was as
pleasant as it was interesting. Our headquarters was, to be sure, the
scene of the ill-humoured rivalries of McCombs and McAdoo and their
adherents; but, on the other hand, it was the scene also of the touching
fraternal devotion of “Joe” Wilson, whom the Governor affectionately
called “my kid brother,” who gladly did all the tasks that came to hand
out of sheer regard for the Governor. The delightful friendships that I
formed with Rollo Wells, Josephus Daniels, Joseph E. Davies, Senator
O’Gorman, Hugh C. Wallace, Homer S. Cummings, and others, were a source
of enduring pleasure. We all soon fell into the genial habit of calling
one another by our first names--this is indeed a custom of the National
Committee. McCombs, who felt somewhat my greater age, began calling me
“Uncle Henry,” a name which has since stuck to me in the familiar
conversation of most of my close political friends.

As it ultimately turned out, the headquarters was a proving ground for
coming Cabinet members, senators, and diplomats. Josephus Daniels had
for the moment abandoned his paper in North Carolina and come to New
York to take charge of the national publicity. McAdoo dropped his
business temporarily to become vice-chairman of the National Committee
and forward the Wilson fortunes. Congressman Redfield, discarded by the
local Democratic organization in Brooklyn, found an opportunity for
usefulness which led to his later appointment as Secretary of Commerce.
At the Chicago branch of National Headquarters, Albert S. Burleson of
Texas was a field-marshal of our growing army. Colonel House did not
take an active part in the direction of the campaign; he was then only
in process of attracting Wilson’s confidence in him as a man above the
wish for personal advancement.

But on its political side I found my work a real revelation. Perhaps,
indeed, the biggest single lesson I ever got in politics I got through
the contact I then experienced with William Sulzer, who was Democratic
candidate for Governor of New York. This experience added so much to my
knowledge of the invisible government which stands behind government,
and was besides so picturesque and dramatic, that I think it worth while
recounting it at some length.

One morning as I sat at my desk at the headquarters in New York, an odd
though familiar figure was ushered into my office. I had known William
Sulzer for perhaps twenty years. His greatest pride was his resemblance
in face and figure to the immortal Henry Clay. This physical resemblance
was not fanciful. Sulzer had his high forehead, large mouth, and
deep-set eyes--he bore, indeed, altogether a quite remarkable likeness
to the Sage of Ashland. He had, too, the same long, slender, and
loose-jointed figure. This resemblance, with which Nature had endowed
him, Sulzer had cultivated with assiduous care. He had grown a long
forelock, and had trained it to fall over the forehead after the Clay
style. And he had cultivated a gift for ready speech into as near an
approach to the eloquence of Clay as his limitations of mind permitted.

But as I looked up at him that morning in 1912, I saw Sulzer garbed in a
strange departure from the elegance with which Clay, who was something
of a dandy, was used to adorn his person. Sulzer was made up--it is fair
to use this theatrical expression because Sulzer was evidently seeking a
theatrical effect--made up to portray the part of “a statesman of the
people.” His coat was of one pattern, and his vest of another. His
baggy trousers were of a third. The gray sombrero which he always
affected was rather dingy; his linen just a trifle soiled. Familiar as I
was with Sulzer’s political poses, through our acquaintance, I mentally
noted the skill of the morning’s costume in dressing the part of “a
friend of the people.”

Sulzer’s career had been of a sort possible only in America. A native of
New Jersey, the son of a Presbyterian minister, a graduate of Columbia
University, a man of good family, good mind, and good education, he had
taken up his residence on the lower East Side of New York City, had
joined the Tammany organization, and had struck out boldly for a great
political career in those untoward surroundings. Despite his religious
heritage, he had been greatly impressed, as a young man, with the
prophecy of a clairvoyant who had told him he should be Speaker of the
New York State Assembly, Governor of New York, and President of the
United States.

Sulzer had, indeed, made considerable progress on this path of political
advancement. Elected to the State Assembly as a young man in his early
twenties, he quickly rose to prominence, and at thirty he was chosen
Speaker--the youngest man, I believe, ever to hold that office. From the
State Assembly he was sent by Tammany to Congress, and now, in 1912, had
represented his district in Washington for seventeen years. He
constantly “played up” to the Jewish element. The ingratiating manner
which he carefully cultivated appealed to a people, proud, sensitive,
and accustomed to a lack of consideration from officers of Government.
In Congress he was indefatigable in the interest of his constituents;
and, on the whole, his attitude on public questions was satisfactory.
From the public viewpoint Sulzer was one of the most respectable of the
Tammany adherents. From the Tammany viewpoint he was “safe.”

The nomination of Governor Wilson and the assurances of Democratic Party
success in the national campaign gave Sulzer his great opportunity. From
the Tammany leaders came covert intimations to us members of the
Democratic National Committee, that we would be permitted to suggest the
Democratic candidate for Governor of New York. Fortunately we realized
the implications of this offer and declined it. It meant, in substance,
that Tammany, by permitting us to name the candidate for Governor,
thereby became fully affiliated with the national campaign and would be
in a position to demand, after election, special consideration in the
distribution of Federal patronage. We made a reply which did not offend
Tammany but which, on the other hand, left us entirely free of the
Tammany entanglement. We said that we were not interested in taking a
hand in the state situation; that we endorsed the then widespread public
demand for an “open convention” to nominate the Governor. We suggested
that Tammany refrain from dictating the nomination, so that the
Independents of New York would support the national as well as the state
Democratic ticket.

The Tammany leaders professed to accept this decision. The state
convention, when held, had the air of an open convention. They cast
about for a candidate, and settled on Sulzer. Without inconveniencing
Tammany, he had been able to make something of a reputation as a
political progressive. He had professed a great attachment for social
reforms, the kind which Roosevelt in Washington and Wilson in New Jersey
had made popular. He had built up a reputation as a friend of the common
man, and in New York he was still “strong with the East Side.” Tammany
manipulated the “open convention” at Syracuse, and Sulzer was nominated
for Governor.

I had followed Sulzer’s career with a good deal of interest. Though I
did not approve of his capitalizing politically his friendship for a
racial element, I felt, nevertheless, that he had been a useful public
servant; and he had been successful with me, as he had been with many
other political independents, in making me believe that he was sincerely
interested in the cause of civic reform. Consequently, I greeted him

Sulzer began the conversation by thanking me for “what I had done in
helping him and bringing about his nomination.” This was a polite
generality as, of course, I had had no hand in that enterprise, except
that I had been a party to the “hands-off” policy of the National
Committee, and also, that I had shared in the request of the Committee
to McAdoo not to accept this nomination which some of his friends were
trying, with some hope of success, to secure for him. We had felt that
it was his duty to stay in the national campaign, as McCombs was still
incapacitated by illness.

Sulzer then went on to express the wish that I would be of use to him
after he was elected. He spoke in glowing terms of the reputation
Governor Wilson had made by his reforms in New Jersey, and expressed an
ambition to make a similar record as Governor of New York. He confided
to me the clairvoyant’s prophecy of his future and declared that he
believed that the path to the Presidency lay in championing “the cause
of the people.”

He wanted my coöperation, after he should be elected Governor, in
formulating plans to make his administration a success. As everyone
knows who is experienced either in business or politics, there are
“subtleties of approach” that suggest a man’s real meaning without his
even remotely mentioning the true subject in conversation. Sulzer’s
remarks were of this nature. I saw plainly that he was directing my
thoughts to a point where it would be possible for him without
embarrassment to solicit a subscription to his campaign fund. I wanted
to save the future Governor of New York from soliciting a subscription,
and consequently, I forestalled his intention by voluntarily handing him
my check for $1,000. His response to this action was in keeping with the
amenities of the situation. He said: “I did not expect that from you. I
don’t want it, because you are doing so much for the National
Committee.” But the check disappeared into a pocket of his dingy coat.

In the meantime, the march of political events led us on to Election Day
and victory. Woodrow Wilson was triumphantly elected President, with a
Democratic Congress behind him. The political ambitions of some of his
managers were gratified. McAdoo became Secretary of the Treasury;
Daniels, Secretary of the Navy; Redfield, Secretary of Commerce; and
Burleson, Postmaster-General. What my friends a few months earlier had
called a hopeless cause was now a dazzling success.

In April, 1913, Senator O’Gorman telephoned me from Washington that he
had been requested by the President to offer me the Ambassadorship to
Turkey. I apparently astonished him when I told him please to thank the
President for me, but that I would not accept. O’Gorman, whom I had
known for many years, urged me to come to Washington to discuss the
matter with him. He said that I had no right to refuse such a tender
over the telephone. I complied with his request, and we discussed the
matter one evening until well past midnight. O’Gorman used all his
persuasive powers, and told me that it seemed strange that I, an entire
newcomer in politics, without ever having rendered any other political
service, should have the temerity to decline to be one of the
President’s ten personal representatives, in the capacity of Ambassador
at one of the important Courts of Europe. He told me that the President
was very much disappointed at my decision; and urged me to see him
personally, and explain to him my reasons for declining. He said he knew
the President was very anxious to avail himself of my services, and
thought it ill advised for me to refuse to obey what amounted to a
command from the head of the Government. I called on the President, and
he said:

“I want you to take the Embassy at Constantinople. I am convinced that
the two posts that demand the greatest intellectual equipment in our
representatives are Turkey and China. Therefore, I am particularly
concerned to have, in these two countries, men upon whom I can
absolutely rely for sound judgment and knowledge of human nature. This
is the reason I am asking you to take the post at Constantinople.”

“If that is the situation,” I replied, “I should much prefer China,
although it is only a ministership. And for this reason: the Jews of
this country have become very sensitive (and I think properly so) over
the impression which has been created by successive Jewish appointments
to Turkey, that that is the only diplomatic post to which a Jew can
aspire. All the Jews that I have consulted about your offer have advised
and urged me to decline it. Oscar Straus has been criticized by some of
his co-religionists for accepting a second and even a third appointment
to Constantinople. I don’t mind criticism, but I share the feeling of
the other Jews that it is unwise to confirm an impression that this is
the only field for them in the diplomatic service.”

Mr. Wilson’s reply was aggressive in manner and almost angry in tone.

“I should have hoped,” he said, “that you had a higher opinion of my
open-mindedness and freedom from prejudice than this. I certainly draw
no such distinctions, and I am sorry that you should have thought so. I
think you will agree with me when I give you my further reasons for
this choice. In the first place, Constantinople is the point at which
the interest of the American Jews in the welfare of the Jews of
Palestine is focussed, and it is almost indispensable that I have a Jew
at that post. On the other hand, our interests in China are expressed
largely in the form of missionary activities, and it seems quite
necessary that our Minister there should be a Christian, and preferably
a man of the evangelical type; and I am sincerely anxious to have you
accept Turkey.”

Nevertheless, I remained firm in my refusal to accept the offer, and
told the President I would have to find some non-political path in which
to serve the people.

As I left the President, he gave me a look which is hardly describable.
He was sadly disappointed that he had not been able to dominate my
decision. He showed a deep affection for me, and it was evident how much
he regretted that his arguments had failed to persuade me. On the other
hand, I felt sorry, and probably showed it in my face, that I appeared
so ungrateful at not promptly complying with his request, and abiding by
his judgment that Turkey was the best place in which I could serve the

Shortly thereafter, my wife, my daughter Ruth, and I embarked for
Europe, where we intended to spend the summer. While at Aix-les-Bains, I
met Ambassador Myron T. Herrick, and I mentioned to him that I had
refused the Ambassadorship to Turkey. He told me that I had made a
grievous mistake, and probably from ignorance; that I did not comprehend
what a splendid position that of Ambassador was; that not only I, but my
children and my children’s children, would be benefited by my having
held such a position. He ended by urging me that if I still could obtain
the post, I should take steps to secure it.

My friend, Dr. Stephen S. Wise (of the Free Synagogue of New York, of
which I was president), was then in Paris. I wrote him about the matter,
and asked whether he could come to Aix-les-Bains for a consultation. He
replied that he had but three days left in Europe, but that if I would
start to Dijon the following morning he would also start from Paris, and
we should both reach Dijon at noon. He would meet me at the station, and
we could have four hours together to discuss the matter before our
return to our respective bases.

We met at Dijon as arranged, and to my astonishment I found Wise
tremendously anxious to have me accept the position. He told me that he
had just visited Palestine, and that amongst the other services that I
could render in Turkey, would be a great service to the Jews in
Palestine. He reminded me of the happy experience, in the same office,
of Solomon Hirsch, of Portland, Ore., who had been president of his
congregation in that city. I knew the facts of that experience as Mr.
Hirsch was the uncle of Judge Samson Lachman, who had been my partner in
the practise of the law for twenty years. Dr. Wise urged me with all the
force of his eloquence to rescind my declination.

I told Dr. Wise that I would be back in America in September, and if the
position had not yet been filled at that time, I would reconsider it. On
the strength of this statement, Dr. Wise telegraphed the President that
I would accept. Within three days I received a cable from the President,
again tendering me the position, and I accepted it.

Meanwhile, on January 1, 1913, Sulzer had been inaugurated as Governor
of New York. A few weeks before this event, some of the leading social
workers of New York City came to me and asked me to secure them an
opportunity to have a conference with the President-elect. They wished
to put before him the kind of legislation that would be required to
carry out the social programme which they had been largely responsible
for having embodied in the Democratic and Progressive platforms. I told
them I did not see how the President could do much in this direction.
Most of their plans called for state legislation, and I pointed out that
it would be better and more effective for them to meet Governor Sulzer.
I offered to give a dinner at my house in New York, at which Governor
Sulzer would be the guest of honour, and I told them they might give me
a list of the people whom they wished to have meet him. The list they
gave me included the best-known social workers, such people as Homer
Folks, Owen R. Lovejoy, Mary E. Dreier, Lillian D. Wald, John A.
Kingsbury, and Edward T. Devine.

Sulzer accepted my invitation readily enough. One reason for his
acceptance became apparent when I heard that the state printer at the
moment was pressing him for the manuscript of his inaugural address,
which he had not yet written, though it was already late in December.
When the address was delivered some days later it embodied in his own
language many of the thoughts and proposals that were put forward that
evening by the social workers.

After the dinner the party adjourned to the library, and there I seated
Sulzer in a big carved oak chair, facing the others, who sat in a
semicircle before him. Each of the guests in turn made a presentation to
the Governor of the situation and needs in the field of social reform in
which he or she was an expert. These were really splendid expositions of
the improvements required in the health, child-labour, tenement-house,
and other laws. When Sulzer made his reply to their addresses, I was
astonished at the grasp he displayed of the principles involved in these
reforms, and at the eagerness with which he embraced their advocacy. It
really seemed as if he were going to go heart and soul into making a
record of progressive legislation for his administration.

I was not less delighted when, after a conference a few weeks later with
Messrs. Folks, Kingsbury, and Devine, concerning the most important of
these reforms--the drastic revision of the health laws--the four of us
went up as a delegation to see Sulzer, and secured his hearty support.
The situation was, that the health laws of New York State were being
administered by five or six hundred health boards in the various
villages, and an investigation had shown that a very substantial
percentage of the health commissioners in these places were undertakers.
We proposed a centralized state health board headed by a state health
commissioner. Sulzer agreed to back the plan. He went further and said
to me: “What’s more, you may name the Health Commissioner.” We thereupon
returned to New York, and my friends drew up a draft of new laws to
regulate the public health. This codification was enacted by the
legislature at Sulzer’s insistence, and has since been adopted by more
than thirty states. We agreed that Dr. Hermann M. Biggs was the ideal
man for Commissioner, and I asked Sulzer to appoint him. He then hedged
on his promise and selected another man, though Dr. Biggs was later
appointed and made a national reputation in the office. Sulzer did,
however, make good a part of his promise. He felt it necessary, for
political reasons, to appoint two or three men of his own choice to the
State Board of Health, but he allowed us to name the majority

Sulzer’s administration thus started auspiciously. He saw, what every
other shrewd observer also saw: the dazzling opportunity which lay
before any politician who stood out boldly for the people as against the
bosses, and who could embody this independent position in practical
measures of reform. The lesson of Roosevelt’s career had just been
confirmed by Wilson’s. But the experiences I am now narrating ultimately
convinced me that Sulzer did not have the courage which had carried
these two men of eminence. He “played politics,” and got no further than
an unconvincing imitation of their methods. He continued to assure us
Independents, on the one hand, that he was whole-heartedly converted,
and that he had broken entirely with his past. But later we found out
that he was at the same time assuring his friends in Tammany that “I am
the same old Bill.” He tried to imitate Roosevelt’s success in another
direction, in building up a personal “machine” in New York State by
coquetting with the up-state Independent Democrats, to whom he allotted
a share of the patronage which he controlled.

Ultimately, of course, both sides found him out for what he was. When
they did, the Independents simply dropped him. Tammany, however, exacted
a swift and terrible vengeance. If discipline were to be maintained
within the wigwam, not even the appearance of open revolt could be
tolerated, and Tammany proceeded to make a spectacular example of

Sulzer’s first appearance at Albany as Governor was not, however, a
shock to Tammany alone. Albany is like Washington on a small scale. The
Governor’s mansion was, traditionally, not only the office of the chief
executive of the state, it had been likewise the social centre around
which revolved a sort of court of élite society. Heretofore every
governor of New York had been a very presentable social figure, and they
had all maintained at the executive mansion an atmosphere of social
distinction. Sulzer rudely overturned this tradition. He wished in every
possible way to dramatize his rôle of “friend of the people.”
Consequently, he always referred to the executive mansion as the
“People’s House,” and ostentatiously invited all who would to come and
call upon him in it. The staid Knickerbocker society of Albany was
aghast at the sight of throngs of what they termed “the rabble” invading
the hitherto exclusive chambers of the executive mansion. Great was
their anger toward Governor Sulzer. They, too, cherished hopes for

In the meantime, Sulzer was having other difficulties in maintaining his
rôle of independence. One day he telephoned me to come up at once to his
rooms at the Waldorf-Astoria. He had a matter of great importance to
discuss, he said, and we could talk it over at luncheon. When I arrived,
I found him in great excitement.

“The powers,” he exclaimed, meaning Tammany, “are trying to force me to
appoint a certain man chairman of the Public Service Commission, and I
am refusing to do it because I don’t think it a proper appointment. But
they are getting very angry about it, and I don’t know what to do.”

I told him there was only one thing he could do and that was to continue
to refuse to appoint him.

“But,” complained Sulzer, “it means my political death if I don’t name

“Well,” I said, “then you are going to political death anyway. Because
as surely as you yield to them, the public at large will become even
bitterer enemies than Tammany. On the other hand, if you at least prove
to the public that you have the nerve to stand out against the
organization, they will come to the rescue and stand firmly behind you.”

As we talked, a Tammany leader was announced. Sulzer had him ushered
into his bedroom while we continued our talk in the parlour. Evidently
the Tammany leader was waiting for his final decision, for at length
Sulzer said:

“Very well, I will go in there.”

He went into the bedroom and was gone for more than an hour. I had to
wait so long that I grew impatient and, ringing for a waiter, ordered my
luncheon. As I ate, I could hear the voices through the closed door, and
though I could not distinguish the conversation, it was violent, for
occasionally I could hear an explosion of vocal fireworks in the
bedroom. When at length Sulzer came out, his manner was one of excited
bravado. Throwing back the tails of his Prince Albert coat and assuming
the Henry Clay pose, he exclaimed, “Well, I have done it! I have
actually defied them!”

And he added:

“I did it on your account and by your advice. And now you have got to do
me a favour.”

When I asked what this meant, he replied: “It may come to this: Murphy
may press me so hard to name somebody else whom I ought not to nominate
that I may have to appoint you yourself as chairman of the Commission.
Even Murphy would not dare to prevent the confirmation of the
appointment of the chairman of the Finance Committee of the Democratic
National Committee. Will you accept the position if that situation

This was a critical test of my willingness to serve the cause of good
government, as I had every reason to suspect that President Wilson would
soon offer me a position of a much greater distinction in the National
Government. But I was so wrapped up in the hope of achieving political
regeneration in New York, as we had just achieved it in the nation, that
I did not hesitate.

“If I can keep you from having to obey orders from Murphy in making your
appointments, I will even do that,” I replied.

Sulzer thanked me warmly and then added:

“Now you must do me one other favour.”

“What is that?” I inquired.

“You have got to make a speech at my birthday dinner down at the Café
Boulevard to-morrow night. I want you to show that you are back of me.”

“Governor,” I replied, “I will make that speech; but let me tell you
now, bluntly, that I shall say there what I have told you to-day, that I
shall continue to back you only so long as you adhere to your promises
to us to be independent.”

“I don’t care what you say,” said Sulzer, “if only you will come down
and prove that you are behind me.”

This dinner was quite a dramatic occasion. The old Café Boulevard was
the Delmonico of the East Side, and it had been the scene of many a
Tammany festivity. Sulzer here was among his own people, and this gave
him the feeling of confidence which came from having his friends around
him. The dinner was in celebration of his fiftieth birthday. People well
known in many walks of life crowded the tables. Sulzer was personally
still popular, and the feeling of the occasion was one of cordial good
wishes. Not only were his life-long friends of the East Side among those
present, but such other Democratic friends as Senator Stone of Missouri,
Frank I. Cobb of the New York _World_, John D. Crimmins, and myself; and
even representative Republicans, such as District Attorney (later
Governor) Whitman, Judge Otto Rosalsky, Louis Marshall, and Samuel S.
Koenig, were among the diners.

I resolved to take no chances of spoiling my speech, which I had
prepared rapidly but with great care the day before. So when I arose, I
read it. This address made a local sensation at the moment. It was
called by the papers “the wish-bone speech.” As it was very brief and as
it had some effect on the political situation at that time, I think it
worth quoting.

“Governor,” I said, “you have wished, and have been training all your
life to be a leader of the people; you have wished it so long that now
it has become true, and we want to see your wish-bone converted into
back-bone, for you will need much of it.

“You are now at the head of a mighty host that is marching onward in the
fight for good government. Picture to yourself the thousands behind you
in a solid phalanx, crowding you on so that you cannot turn back. If you
fail them as a leader the march will still proceed, and someone else
will be chosen.

“The combat is to be fought to a finish. The people have discovered how
near they were to losing their Democracy, how both great parties were in
danger of falling into the control of designing self-seekers who were
determined to secure control of the Government for their own selfish
ends. At Baltimore it was determined that they could not control the
National Government. It was you who, as presiding officer of the
Convention, gave Mr. Bryan the opportunity to throw the victory to Mr.

“At Syracuse, you were nominated in an open convention to lead the
Democrats of this state. We look to you to be the Governor of the Empire
State, and not to be the agent of undisclosed principals who hide
themselves from the public view. They can no longer govern this country,
state or city; and no office-holder needs to be responsible to or afraid
of them.

“There is but one master who will last forever and to whom all ought to
bow, and that is enlightened public opinion. If you enlist under its
banner, you can proceed unmolested by petty tyranny, and the harder you
fight, the greater will be the army that will enlist in your cause and
under your leadership. You are to be envied the opportunity you have to
advance the cause of good government. It is not an easy task; your
opponents are numerous and trained in the art of spiking their
opponents’ guns; but you must stand up, plant yourself firmly, saying:
‘Come one, come all. This rock shall fly from its firm base as soon as

This address, with its unexpected note of blunt warning, became the
key-note of the evening. The other speakers discarded their prepared
addresses and spoke in a similar vein. Sulzer realized that he had to
meet this challenge, and in his reply he pledged himself anew to the
cause of the people.

“Long ago,” he said, “I made a vow to the people that in the performance
of my duty no influence would control me but the dictates of my
conscience and my determination to do the right--as I see the right--day
in and day out, regardless of political future or personal consequences.
Have no fear--I will stick at that.”

These were brave words. But Sulzer proved unequal to their promise. All
he did was to go far enough in the surface appearance of independence to
rouse the Tiger of Tammany to a fury of vengeance.

Tammany soon found an occasion to carry out this intention, and they
removed Sulzer from his office. This act of private vengeance cost
Tammany four years of control of the city government of New York, for
Hennessy’s disclosures made the public eager to administer a rebuke to
Tammany, and this rebuke took the form of electing Mitchel as Mayor.

The Tiger’s opportunity to impeach Sulzer came about in this way: When
Sulzer filed his sworn statement of campaign expenses, Tammany scented
some gross discrepancies and did some shrewd detective work. The result
was that they discovered that he had not included in his list of
contributions the $2,500 he had received from Jacob H. Schiff, nor the
checks of several others, including my own, which amounted in all to
many thousands of dollars. By careful investigation they had
established the fact that he had not applied these moneys to his
campaign expenses, but had deposited them to his personal account and
used the money as margin with a Wall Street broker for stock-market
speculation. Thereupon, Tammany leaders in the State Legislature arose
in the Assembly Chamber and impeached William Sulzer of high crimes and
misdemeanours. They charged him, among other things, with filing a false
statement of campaign expenses, with perjury, and with the suppression
of testimony; and demanded his dismissal from office. The Assembly
sustained a motion for his impeachment. When I returned from Europe in
September, 1913, I found that his trial was in progress, and I was
summoned as a witness to testify before the High Court of Impeachment.

It would take the pens of a Macaulay and a Swift to do justice to this
modern burlesque of the trial of Warren Hastings. I use the term
“burlesque” in no sense of disrespect toward the Court and its setting.
The dignity of the proceedings was almost awe-inspiring. But the
defendant lent no such exalted interest to the event as did the romantic
figure of Warren Hastings. The offences of Hastings had, at least, the
dramatic merits of their magnitude. Burke’s indictment of him was a
recital of crimes worthy of the treatment of a Greek tragic poet.
Hastings’s accusers were distressed queens, pillaged treasures, and
suffering peoples. Burke’s plea for a verdict was an appeal to the
conscience of mankind.

By this comparison the Sulzer impeachment was a travesty, the defendant
a petty misdemeanant, and the purpose of the trial a spiteful vengeance
on a rebellious henchman. The setting of the Court, however, gave the
event a fictitious dignity. The Senate Chamber at Albany had been
altered for the occasion by the state architect. A lofty seat had been
provided for the presiding judge of the High Court of Impeachment,
Judge Edgar M. Cullen, who, as chief judge of the Court of Appeals,
presided _ex officio_. Below him was a long seat for the associate
judges. Ascending tiers of seats were provided for the forty-four
members of the State Senate who, with the judges of the Court of
Appeals, constituted the High Court of Impeachment. Behind Judge
Cullen’s chair the entire wall of the room was hung with a dark red
velvet curtain in the centre of which was emblazoned the coat of arms of
New York in gold embroidery, flanked on either side by national emblems.
At one side of the court room, places were provided for the “Fourth
Estate,” the gentlemen of the press, to whom Burke had made so eloquent
an appeal on the greater historical occasion. The public balcony, which
at the Hastings trial had been crowded with the Sarah Siddonses and the
_haut ton_ of London, was, here at Albany, crowded with the vengeful
Knickerbocker aristocracy, who had come to gloat in triumph over the
final discomfiture of the demagogic desecrator of the executive mansion.
The Edmund Burke of the Sulzer impeachment was Edgar T. Brackett, late
of the New York Senate. Alton B. Parker and John B. Stanchfield were the
chief counsel of the managers for the Assembly which had presented the
indictment, but Brackett was the man who made the oratorical
impeachment. Sulzer stood upon the prerogative of early precedents and
refused to make a personal appearance before the Court. In compliance
with a judicial ruling he abstained from functioning as Governor while
the trial was in progress and, instead of facing his accusers, spent his
time in a frantic but futile effort to make political combinations that
would save him.

Witness after witness testified to Sulzer’s solicitation of
contributions for which he had made no accounting. My testimony was only
confirmatory of a mass of evidence elicited from men of eminence like
Jacob H. Schiff and many others. I appeared before the Court on
September 24, 1913. Replying to questions from the prosecutor, I
repeated the conversation I had had with Sulzer when I gave him my check
for $1,000, and I also testified to the fact that on the day I returned
from Europe, Governor Sulzer had telephoned me, “If you are going to
testify I hope you will be easy with me”--to which I answered that I
would testify to the facts.

The verdict of the court was “Guilty.” Sulzer was shorn of his high
office. His proud hopes, fostered by the soothsayer’s prophecy, were
sadly broken. Knickerbocker society had its revenge; the “People’s
House” became again the executive mansion. And Tammany had its
vengeance; it had crushed its rebel henchman and given all other
potential malcontents a spectacular object lesson.



The Senate confirmed my appointment as Ambassador to Turkey on September
4, 1913. Soon afterward I went to Washington to familiarize myself with
the duties of my office and to receive my instructions. A new Ambassador
is allowed thirty days for this purpose. Usually, he spends them in the
State Department, taking a sort of course of intensive training. I did
not take the full month allowed me. The Chief of the Division of Near
Eastern Affairs took me in hand, and in a series of conversations
outlined to me, first, the duties, prerogatives, and privileges of an
Ambassador; and, second, a general survey of existing relations between
Turkey and the United States. Then several hours were occupied in
studying the methods of keeping the accounts of the Embassy, and of
handling its funds.

I found this period of preparation intensely interesting. It was to be
crowned in October, upon a second visit to Washington, by an official
call on the Secretary of State. I looked forward to this visit with
great expectations. Alas for the illusions which a day can wreck!
William Jennings Bryan was the Secretary of State. He knew no more about
our relations with Turkey than I did. The long-looked-for instructions
were an anti-climax. They were, in full, as follows:

“Ambassador,” he said, “when I made my trip through the Holy Land, I had
great difficulty in finding Mount Beatitude. I wish you would try to
persuade the Turkish Government to grant a concession to some Americans
to build a macadam road up to it, so that other pilgrims may not suffer
the inconvenience which I did in attempting to find it.”

Thus fortified by the Secretary’s complete programme for my
Ambassadorial task, I set forward to the White House for a farewell call
upon President Wilson. He bade me a hearty God-speed, and in parting
gave me an injunction which enabled me to save many lives in the next
three years. “Remember,” he said, “that anything you can do to improve
the lot of your co-religionists is an act that will reflect credit upon
America, and you may count on the full power of the Administration to
back you up.”

Fortunately for the success of my mission, I had a most enlightening
conference in New York before I left. At the suggestion of Mr. Alfred E.
Marling, who was one of the trustees of the Presbyterian Board of
Foreign Missions, I had an interview at that great centre of missionary
activity, 156 Fifth Avenue, with a large group of earnest and able men,
who could speak with authority on the problems I should confront in the
East. I learned that five of these men were to cross the Atlantic at the
same time I should be crossing. These were Doctors Arthur Judson Brown,
James L. Barton, Charles Roger Watson, Dr. Mackaye, and Bishop Arthur
Selden Lloyd. These men were the leaders of the Foreign Mission Boards
of the Presbyterian, Congregational, United Presbyterian, Methodist, and
Protestant Episcopal Churches. One of them, Doctor Barton, had himself
been a missionary in Turkey, and had also acted as President of the
Protestant College at Harpoot. Another, Doctor Watson, had been a
missionary in the Turkish Protectorate of Egypt, and his parents had
been missionaries for half a century at Cairo.

I had engaged passage for Europe on the _Imperator_, but when I learned
that these five men were sailing at nearly the same time on the _George
Washington_ (later to become famous as President Wilson’s “peace ship”)
to attend a world missionary conference at The Hague, I asked them to
change their reservations and go with me. They were limited in their
expense accounts and could not change, so, emulating Mohammed, I “went
to the mountain” and changed to their ship. The voyage gave me an
opportunity to gain from them a fuller picture of the work of the
mission boards, which was very helpful to me in my new task.

The conversations I had with these men on shipboard were a revelation to
me. I had hitherto had a hazy notion that missionaries were sort of
over-zealous advance agents of sectarian religion, and that their
principal activity was the proselyting of believers in other faiths. To
my surprise and gratification, these men gave me a very different
picture. In the first place, their cordial coöperation with one another
was evidence of the disappearance of the old sectarian zeal. They were,
to be sure, profoundly concerned in converting as many people as they
could to what they sincerely believed to be the true faith. But I found
that, along with this ambition, Christian missionaries in Turkey were
carrying forward a magnificent work of social service, education,
philanthropy, sanitation, medical healing, and moral uplift. They were,
I discovered, in reality advance agents of civilization. As
representatives of the denominations which supported them, they were
maintaining several hundred American schools in the Levant, and several
full-fledged colleges, of which three, at least, deserve to rank with
the best of the smaller institutions of higher learning in the United
States. They maintained, also, several important hospitals. And, as a
part of their purely religious function, they were bringing a higher
conception of Christianity to the millions of submerged Christians in
the Turkish Empire, who, but for them, would have been left to practise
their religion without the inspiration of the modern thought of the
West, which has so vastly widened its spiritual significance.

As my wife and youngest daughter, Ruth, could not accompany me, I took
with me my daughter Helen, her husband, Mr. Mortimer J. Fox, and their
two sons Henry and Mortimer. We Visited London, Paris, and Vienna on our
way to Constantinople, and at each of these capitals I paid my respects
not only to the American Ambassador, but to the resident Turkish
plenipotentiary as well. In doing this I had in mind two things: first,
to accustom myself to the looks of an embassy from within, as I had to
that date never been in an embassy building in any country; and second,
to secure some hints upon the character of the government to which I was
accredited, in advance of my first formal contact with it. At last, on
November 27, 1913, we rolled into the railroad station at

My first impression of the famous old capital of Asia-in-Europe was of a
moving sea of silk hats. The station platform seemed populated entirely
with frock-coated gentlemen buried under these chimney-like black
headpieces. After some confusion, human personalities began to emerge
from under them, and to individualize themselves as real people with
proper names, and a rational relationship to myself as another human
being. The first to greet me was Mr. Hoffman Phillip, who as Conseiller
and First Secretary of the Embassy had acted as chargé d’affaires during
Mr. Rockhill’s visit to the United States.

He introduced me to the others, and after a somewhat bewildering round
of handshakings, Phillip, the Foxes, and I stepped into a carriage and
were driven to the Pera Palace Hotel, where Phillip gave us a
Thanksgiving dinner.

The Embassy at Constantinople is a handsome, marble, three-story
structure, set in a garden surrounded by a high wall, and overlooking
the Golden Horn. Often during my first days there I would find myself
humming the old refrain, “I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls.” There were,
to be sure, no “vassals and serfs by my side”; but I had more useful
assistants in my official staff. Besides Mr. Phillip, there were second
and third secretaries, and A. K. Schmavonian, the Turkish legal adviser
of the Embassy. He was the permanent attaché--the interpreter--and was,
besides, the custodian of the Embassy’s traditions. He knew every
American interest in Turkey, had carried on for years the correspondence
with the consuls and the missionaries, and hence was an invaluable
storehouse of information. He knew, also, all the Turkish officials; the
ramifications of the Turkish governmental departments; the names and
characteristics of the leaders of the recent revolution; and, of course,
he was versed in the niceties of diplomatic custom.

Soon after my arrival I observed a curious phenomenon concerning the
position of an ambassador. The instinctive ambition of the attachés led
them to try to keep the Ambassador from taking an active hand in the
work of the Chancery. It was explained to me with great solemnity, that
the business office of the Embassy was not like other business offices;
that its operations were so involved in delicacies of diplomatic usage
that none but old hands, trained in all their niceties, were competent
to handle the transaction of its intricate affairs. All details, I was
informed, should be left to those accustomed to handling them. I made
short work of this mysterious nonsense. Business is business, and
details are the substance of larger concerns. Therefore, I promptly
acquainted myself with the records of the Embassy for several years
preceding, and took absolute charge of its functions, as I was in duty
bound to do. The mysteries faded instantly. Common sense, judgment, and
energy are the desiderata of all business relationships, and I found no
barrier in these affairs, because of their so-called diplomatic nature.

Other American ambassadors have complained to me that their subordinates
usurped their functions in this fashion; and I know of some who have
occupied the most exalted posts in Europe and never penetrated the
mysteries of their Chanceries, and, consequently, never really
functioned as ambassadors at all.

As my wife and Ruth had not accompanied me, their absence relieved me,
for the moment, of social duties, and gave me time for a considered
survey of the society in which I would soon be projected as an active
member. I realized that much depended upon the first associations I
should make in that society, and I needed just such an opportunity to
learn by indirection the composition of it, the factions into which it
was divided, and the cross currents of personality and interest that
disturbed it.

The “diplomatic set” at Constantinople was a little world apart. At
most, its members numbered a scant hundred. It comprised the Grand
Vizier, the Premier and his Cabinet, and the ambassadors and ministers
of other governments, with their principal attachés. Occasionally, there
were added to this intimate circle a few leading international bankers
and merchants and distinguished tourists. But chiefly we consorted with
ourselves. Our intercourse was a continuous succession of luncheons,
teas, dinners, and formal state functions. In such a constricted
society, thrown into such intense communication, the personal equation
was naturally of paramount importance. Ere long, I had occasion to use
every resource, from social gifts to business experience, to maintain
myself in this society of shrewd and cultivated men, all of whom had
the advantage of a life-long training in diplomacy and in the
intricacies of European statecraft.

My first concern, therefore, was to appraise their personalities. I
recalled a piece of wise advice from James Stillman the elder, who was
one of the cleverest American financiers. He told me that when a man
confronted a new situation, and was not yet sure of his ground, his
safest course was to impress his adversaries by mystifying them. I
adapted this advice to the present occasion. I realized that the
diplomatic corps at Constantinople knew much more about me than I knew
about any of them, because I was the one stranger to them, and they were
many and all strange to me. I resolved to do, as nearly as I could,
directly the opposite of what they expected of me. For one thing, they
had fallen into the European habit of imagining that all successful
Americans are men of fabulous wealth, and they credited certain absurd
stories about my supposed intention to conduct the Embassy on a scale of
lavish expenditure, designed to make a great social impression.
Accordingly, I went to the other extreme and managed the Embassy very
modestly. For some weeks after my arrival I did not even use an
automobile, contenting myself with a carriage and a pair of Arabian

Further to play the rôle of mystifier, I obeyed only the letter of the
custom which prescribes that a new Ambassador shall call upon the other
ambassadors after he has been presented to the Sovereign. They are
supposed to return this call, and thereafter the newcomer is expected to
make the advances to his elders toward a more intimate and workable
acquaintance. Instead, I remained at the Embassy and devoted myself to
the business of the Chancery and did some watchful waiting.

These tactics were rewarded by an opportunity to enter the society of
the diplomatic corps under circumstances that gave me the advantage.
One day the local correspondent of the _Frankfürter Zeitung_ called upon
me at the Embassy. This was Dr. Paul Weitz, who had been a resident of
Turkey for more than twenty-five years, knew all the officials, spoke
the language, and understood the subtleties of Turkish psychology. He
was, in reality, an unofficial attaché of the Embassy and a secret agent
of the German Government. Dr. Weitz opened the conversation.

“Mr. Ambassador,” he said, “I have gotten the impression that you are a
man of direct methods. For this reason I, too, shall use the direct
method. Frankly, I have come as the emissary of the German Ambassador
and the Austrian Ambassador, with whom I had luncheon this very day. You
were the principal topic of conversation. These gentlemen are puzzled by
your attitude and they are curious to learn your true character. They
have commissioned me to find out these things for them, and I have
preferred to come and ask you bluntly rather than to follow my usual
method of finding out by indirection. What is your real attitude? Are
you by preference a recluse, or are you playing a game?”

“I am glad,” I replied, “that you have come to me personally with these
questions, especially because it gives me the opportunity to send a
direct message to your principals. Please be good enough to tell them
for me that I have made it a life-long practice never to make the first
advances. I have always waited for the advances to come from the other
side. Therefore, you may tell “Their Excellencies” that it is for them
to decide whether they wish their relationship with me to continue to be
one of formal diplomatic exchanges, or a frank, man-to-man friendship.
If they prefer the latter, I shall be delighted to meet them halfway,
but they must cover the first half.”

Dr. Weitz readily agreed to carry this message, and he was so pleased
with the frankness of my conversation that he made no concealment of his
own position. He went on to tell me that he was a confidential adviser
to the German ambassadors, and frequently was commissioned to carry on
unofficial negotiations in which, for reasons of delicacy or of policy,
it was not advisable either that the Ambassador should appear in person,
or that he should make use of one of his official family. He explained
to me that the reason he was used in this capacity was his intimate
acquaintance with Turkish life and officials, and he offered to
undertake similar commissions for me at any time I might care to make
use of him. For obvious reasons, I never availed myself of the offer.

Dr. Weitz faithfully repeated my message to the German and Austrian
ambassadors who afterward told me that they were greatly delighted with
it. The very next afternoon, Baron Wangenheim paid me a call; and the
following morning, his Austrian colleague, Marquis Pallavicini, arrived
to improve my acquaintance. They both greeted me in the spirit of my
message, and we entered at once upon an acquaintanceship which removed
the formality of an official relation. Both of them were very useful to
me during my first weeks in Constantinople. The Marquis was the doyen of
the diplomatic corps. He was a nobleman of ancient family, had grown old
in the diplomatic service, and was an authority on every point of
diplomatic usage, from the most subtle phrasing of a threat of war to
the refinements of precedence in placing guests at table at a diplomatic
dinner. In this latter direction, indeed, he was invaluable to me in
teaching me the relative rank of the bewildering array of officers and
title holders among my visitors.

Baron Wangenheim I have described at great length in my earlier volume,
“Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story.” Unlike Pallavicini, who was quiet,
formal, conventional, and a typical diplomat of the old school,
Wangenheim was a perfect representative of Prussia. He was not a native
of Prussia--but his bearing was that of an excitable Hindenburg. He was
a man of great stature, in the prime of life, overflowing with physical
vitality, energetic in person, opinionated and positive in manner,
voluble and aggressive in conversation, somewhat flirtatious, proud,
overbearing--he was Prussia and modern Germany embodied.

After Pallavicini and Wangenheim had broken the ice, I speedily made the
acquaintance of the other members of the diplomatic corps, and their
characters emerged in my mind in sharp definition. Sir Louis Mallet, the
British Ambassador, was a fine type of English gentleman. He exhibited
the quiet force and cultivation which one naturally expects from a
member of the English upper classes. Though a bachelor, his
establishment was one of the most magnificent in Constantinople. Turkey
has always been a vital point in British policy, and the British
Government has spared no pains to make its public appearance there
correspond with the splendour and importance of the British Empire.

The French Ambassador was M. Bompard, the Russian was Michel de Giers.
These men also adequately embodied their respective countries, the one
in its ideals of polished politeness and clear intellectual grasp, the
other in its ideals of imperial pride and the sense of power.

Meeting these men at luncheon; dining with them and their ladies at
gorgeous evening functions, where the splendour of the men’s uniforms,
the brightness of the women’s costumes, and the gayety of the young
couples made a lively scene of light-hearted inconsequentiality; it was
hard to realize that they were, in truth, acting the part of expectant
legatees of a friendless dying man--sitting at tea in his parlour, and
waiting for his last gasp as a signal for a scramble to divide his
property among themselves. They frankly told me (though of course not in
these words) that this was their position. In their eyes the Sick Man of
Europe, so long the diseased invalid among the nations, was now really
dying. They had no hesitation in discussing their ambitions regarding
his property. Giers comported himself already as if Russia had actually
attained her age-old vision of capturing Constantinople--as if he were
the Governor of Russia’s new capital city. Sir Louis Mallet did not
conceal the interest which his government had in everything that tended
to insure the safety of the Suez Canal. Bompard was deeply concerned to
secure more concessions for French capital in Turkey. Even the Greek
Minister talked with confidence of an approaching Hellenic confederation
which should embrace Smyrna and part of the Asian hinterland.

There was, indeed, considerable reason for their hopes. The
revolutionary party in Turkey, under the name of the Union and Progress
Party, had overthrown the Government and had taken possession of the
country in the name of the people. Abdul Hamid, whom Gladstone, for his
atrocious crimes, had dubbed “Abdul the Damned,” was now shorn of his
power, and was a prisoner in a palace, almost within sight of the
American Embassy. His throne was now occupied by a nominal successor,
his brother, Mohammed V. This good-humoured weakling, however, enjoyed
only the shadow of power and none of its substance. His brother, fearful
of a plot to overthrow him, had caused his successor to be reared in a
manner that totally unfitted him for the exercise of authority. He had
kept him secluded from society, had not permitted him to learn even the
rudiments of history and statecraft, and had enfeebled his intellect and
character by constantly exposing him to the temptations of
self-indulgence. He had placed before the Heir Apparent all the
pleasures of life; had supplied him with countless wives, luxurious
food, rich wines, and all the other ministers of sensual enjoyment.
Reared in such atmosphere, he had grown up and passed the prime of life,
ignorant of Government affairs and without any chance to develop his
character. Socially, of course, he was a charming gentleman, but as a
ruler, he was hopelessly incompetent.

He was, indeed, merely the figurehead of a government whose substantial
ministers were the aggressive, self-made leaders of the Committee of
Union and Progress. These were men of native shrewdness, character, and
courage. Their political leader was Talaat Bey, a great hulk of a man,
who had begun life in the humble capacity of porter in a village
railroad station, and who had advanced to the limits of his social
prospects when he had achieved the dignity of a telegraph operator in
the same station. By sheer force of natural genius, however, he had
become a political power, and after the revolutionists had sprung their
coup d’état, he soon rose to be their leader. With their success, he had
leaped immediately to the dazzling eminence of a Cabinet position, and
was then the chief of the Cabal that was the real ruler of the Empire.

The military head of the Young Turks was Enver Bey, a handsome and
dashing young officer, who had studied his profession and cultivated the
social graces as military attaché of the Turkish Embassy at Berlin. He
was now minister of War and in control of the Turkish Army--a necessary
weapon in the hands of Talaat to maintain the Young Turk party in power.
Some of my foreign colleagues of the diplomatic corps assured me that
these two men were the real power in Turkey. They had seven associates,
all men of great influence, and all members of the Committee of Union
and Progress.

The personalities of these men, and the drama of their conflicting
ambitions and intrigues, gradually unfolded themselves before my eyes.
It was like sitting at the performance of a fascinating play, only this
was more interesting because it was the reality of life. The actors were
the representatives of great nations, and upon the issue of this
dramatic situation rested the fate of millions of people.

The experiences of my first few weeks at Constantinople and the
intensely interesting sensations they aroused in me can best be conveyed
to my readers by reproducing a few of the letters which I wrote home to
America in the excitement of these moments. The first I shall quote was
dated December 23, 1913, and was addressed to my wife and youngest

     I have been so very busy that I have not written for a few days--so
     I will tell you briefly what has happened since. On December 20th
     we had our reception, of which I enclose you an account--it was
     really splendid--no one can describe the sensations and thrills. I
     had to be told and made to feel that I was the head and responsible
     man for the property of those great institutions, managed by such
     soulful, disinterested, and altruistic people--it makes our small
     efforts in New York appear insignificant. Think of a small
     determined “band” of Americans revolutionizing with educational
     means the Balkan States--the drops of water they kept a-going for
     forty or more years had the result of wearing away the indifference
     of the Bulgar and roused him. Everybody who is well-informed admits
     that Robert College deserves the credit for the education that has
     spread there.

     At 9:30 Mort and I went to the _Scorpion_ (the gunboat detailed to
     guard the Embassy) and had a royal reception and inspected the
     boat. On Sunday I then went alone to the college--but I feel as
     though I wrote you all this so I’ll skip it--if I didn’t write it,
     I’ll tell you about it when you are here. We had intended to go on
     the _Scorpion_, but instead we drove to the Seven Towers of Jedi
     Kulet, and walked on top of the ramparts and then for one hour
     along the old wall--it was a bewitching sight--the sun was shining
     brightly, the Marmora made up the background, and the twenty or
     thirty towers along the wall in various stages of decay, with the
     moat alongside, made a never-to-be-forgotten impression on us all.
     As usual, Mortie took a number of pictures and Abdullah guarded us
     most carefully. It takes this kind of absorption of the history of
     a country to teach one what these people really are. This city is
     unquestionably the most favoured by nature of any I have ever seen.
     It excels New York and San Francisco.

     On our way home, we stopped to inspect the Kahri Jeh Janisi
     Mosque--the oldest in C.--it was formerly a Greek Church and the
     paintings of Christ, Saint Mark, the old Bible heroes, and angels,
     etc., are still here in mosaic--much finer than in the San Marco in
     Venice. We were shown through by an old Turk who could give
     half-intelligent descriptions of the mosaics, etc., in English and
     German. We wended through many narrow little streets, inhabited
     largely by Greeks, and it was a most interesting sight. It was
     nearly two when we sat down to dinner and none of us complained.

     On Monday I had a great day. In the morning, representatives of the
     Austrian _Kultur Gemeinde_ called to invite me to attend their
     synagogue and visit their school; they instruct about 300 children.
     I agreed to do so. I took my first meal away from the house at
     Tokatlian’s--the best restaurant here--had Schmavonian with me. At
     two, we were at the Finance Office for an interview with Talaat
     Bey--who is acting Secretary of Finance as well as Secretary of the
     Interior, and the strongest and most powerful man in Turkey at
     present. I am already on good terms with the men in power. We had
     coffee and cigarettes four times that P.M. We next called on
     General Izzett--he wore a shabby uniform, spoke German, and was
     really disconsolate--they are very frank people if they talk at
     all--he made some very confidential communications to me. The
     rumour or hope has gotten around that I may prove their Moses who
     will lead them out of their difficulties. Let us hope so; I’ll try
     anyhow. Next we called on Colonel Djemal, the newly appointed
     Minister of Public Works. I tried to dodge the coffee--but he said
     a call in Turkey without coffee is no call. He was of a hopeful
     temper and rather dapper. Then we called on Osman Mardighian, the
     Postmaster General. He speaks good English and is very
     able--devotes his time to administrative works. When I got to the
     office, I had to dictate a few despatches and say good-bye to Mr.
     Phillip, who is going on a four weeks’ leave of absence. At 5
     o’clock, the Grand Rabbi and his Secretary came--he is a very
     intelligent, nice, youngish man of forty or so--he thinks he has
     the Red ticket settled, but has not and I shall have to help in
     disposing of it. While he was upstairs, Helen discussed the White
     Slave traffic--babies in the Hospitals, etc., etc. She really does
     well at the tea table. It is a picture to see one of those tea
     scenes. Helen, Chief Rabbi (addressed as His Eminence, as he ranks
     with the Church dignitaries of the rank of Cardinal), Sir Edwin
     Pears, Sir Henry Woods Pasha, Rev. Mr. Frew, the Rabbi’s Secretary,
     Schmavonian, Mort, and I; and I have to listen to French and
     fortunately am beginning to understand it. They left at 7--I worked
     at those telegrams until 7:30--then went to bed for a nap and
     over-slept, not wakening until 8:25, so that we reached the British
     Embassy at 8:40, the last of the guests! You can’t imagine my
     feelings as I was ushered into that room in which were thirty other
     guests including the Grand Vizier, Talaat Bey and three other
     Cabinet Ministers, the Wangenheims, D’Ankerswaerd and other Sirs
     and Ladies, and had them all look me over--when

                       “The American Ambassador”

     was announced. I felt, “is it I or not?” Then, “Mr. and Mrs. Fox”
     were announced. And then, “_Diner est servi_.” I took in Madame
     D’Ankerswaerd. Escorted her to her seat and then went to the other
     side of the table where I was seated next to Baroness Wangenheim, a
     fine, good looking, typically aristocratic German--a charming
     conversationalist. She is W.’s second wife--he divorced his first.
     W. is a great personal friend of the Emperor. Sir Louis Mallet, the
     English Ambassador, sat on the other side of Baroness W. After
     dinner we smoked and drank coffee and talked to others than our
     table companions, while fifty or sixty others gathered for a dance.
     Such a sight! And to think that we are part of it--Young Princes,
     Barons, Sirs, and Americans from the Embassies, etc., and lots of
     Turks and Egyptians, etc. I shall never forget it. Helen sat right
     opposite me--between Baron Wangenheim, all be-decorated, and
     Colonel Djemal (Turk) in full uniform. I talked with Baroness
     Moncheur--we have struck up a nice friendship--with Marquis
     Pallavicini--Talaat Bey, and Miss Wangenheim, etc., etc., until
     about 12, when Wangenheim asked me to play bridge with him, a Turk,
     and a Greek banker--which I did until 1:30, when the dancing was
     over and they all went in for supper, etc. (I went home) and then
     they danced again until 2:30 or so. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I am
     not overstating when I repeat what I said in a previous letter--I
     am _very glad_ I came.

     To-day--at 11--a call from the Bulgarian Minister. In the afternoon
     I finished my official calls on the Cabinet Ministers--called on
     Mahmoud Pasha of the Marine, Ibrahim Bey--Secretary of Justice, the
     Dutch Minister, and Mrs. McCauley (the wife of the commander of the

     Mesdames Pallavicini, Bompard, Moncheur, Wangenheim, and Willebois
     are the popular and fine women here, and they are out of the
     ordinary--you will like all of them and they will like you. Pierre
     Loti is wrong, so far as this winter is concerned--we have had no
     cold weather. Yesterday and to-day were delightful--the thermometer
     has not been below 45°.

On the same day as the foregoing, my daughter Helen (Mrs. Fox) also
wrote her mother a letter which adds new touches of colour to some of
the scenes described in mine. She wrote as follows:

     So much to write about! Yesterday afternoon I had Mme. de Willebois
     and Mme. Eliasco to tea, and after they left (Mme. de Willebois is
     the Dutch Minister’s wife), papa sent up word that “His Eminence”
     the Chief Rabbi and his Secretary were here and would like tea.
     They trotted up, and His Eminence is an awfully nice soul, garbed
     in a flowing black _gouri_ and a fez, be-turbaned in white,
     something like a combination of a Greek priest and a Hadja. He is
     very learned, especially about archæology as related to the Jews,
     and was interesting. In the meantime, Woods Pasha, Sir Edwin Pears
     (a marvellously interesting man and English lawyer here), and Mr.
     Frew (a Scottish minister who was pastor of the English Church in
     Constantinople) arrived. I kept thinking how interesting they all
     were, but would they leave me any time to dress for dinner! I had
     been to Scutari in the morning, sightseeing with some of the
     College faculty, and had brought them home to luncheon. Mr. Frew
     left at 7:30, and I was so busy trying to make myself gorgeous that
     I completely forgot papa who fell asleep and did not wake up until
     8:15. The dinner was at 8:30. Of course, we were all blaming each
     other and not ourselves and tearing around, whistling for coats,
     servants, etc. We finally tore up to the English Embassy at twenty
     minutes to nine. Never in my life have I experienced anything so
     wonderful. The Embassy is very large and imposing. Two
     marvellously uniformed _cavasses_ stood at the door inside, where
     powdered footmen in knee breeches, about twenty of them, were also
     stationed. As we came to the stairs, the second Secretary received
     us and assured us we were not late. However, we were the last! We
     then took off our coats and were ushered into the drawing room,
     outside of which stood a little coloured page dressed like an
     Egyptian slave. Sir Louis Mallet seems awfully nice. He is a
     bachelor, rather nice looking, and very shy and diffident, and
     wears a monocle. So many people came up to greet us. Then dinner
     was announced. I went down with a Turkish member of the Cabinet,
     and sat in the next to the place of honour. Baron von Wangenheim
     sat on the other side of me. I think he likes to flirt. At any rate
     we chatted in German and had quite a gay time together. The table
     had quantities of roses (all from Nice) on it. The only light in
     the whole room was from huge, massive, silver candelabra, standing
     on mirrors all along the table. We had silver dishes and soup
     plates. The meal was served in the usual rapid-fire English style.
     Papa sat between Lady Crawford and Baroness Wangenheim. Everyone
     goes in according to rank, and consequently, usually husbands and
     wives sit with each other’s better halves. The Turk ate most
     heartily and told me afterward he didn’t know whether he’d get any
     dinner the next night or not. At dinner it was funny--on the other
     side of the Turk sat Mrs. Nicholson (née Sackville-West), a beauty,
     and with the most gorgeous emeralds! She afterward played poker
     with five Turks, as her husband informed me. My partner told me he
     hated formal dinners, it was so uncomfortable eating in a uniform.
     After dinner there was dancing, and heaps of people were asked for
     that. I danced quite a bit, but was so tired from my terribly busy
     day that we left at twelve o’clock. Papa played bridge and didn’t
     get home until 1:30. The English Embassy is lighted entirely by
     candles and really the effect is wonderfully beautiful.

     Next day--This morning Mme. Elise, the children, and I, accompanied
     by the ever-present Abdullah (the body guard), went to Therepia in
     a motor to find a house for the summer. It is just heavenly. You
     simply cannot imagine how perfect it is. The houses have the most
     beautiful gardens and are right down on the Bosphorus, which is so
     blue; and from one’s windows one looks across at Asia. Papa is
     going some time to decide finally, as this was just a preliminary
     survey. We picked violets and a rose, just think of it, on
     December 22nd! But it is quite cold at times. The gardens are so
     inviting, and I can just imagine tea parties and all kinds of
     thrilling things happening in them. This afternoon I had two
     Turkish ladies to tea--Halide Edi Hanum and her mother. They came
     in their _yashmaks_ and we had Mme. Elise serve the tea. Halide is
     a graduate of the College and a real beauty. She is tall and dark,
     with almond-shaped eyes, and has a beautiful complexion; and she is
     so gentle and soft and charming. She speaks in the sweetest voice,
     and what do you think she is doing? Translating Oscar Wilde into
     Turkish! Her mother is the daughter of the sixth wife of a very
     great Pasha, and her grandmother was a Circassian slave girl. The
     mother cannot speak anything but Turkish, and she smoked all the
     time she was here. I gave her some candy and a box of American
     cigarettes to take home. Halide doesn’t smoke, and anyway, if she
     went into a ball-room at home she’d create a sensation, she is so
     charming. You simply cannot imagine how lovely it is here and I
     just relish and cherish every moment. Baron von Wangenheim hopes
     you will take a house right next to him this summer. He wants to
     ride with Ruth. Beware, Ruth!

A rather amusing incident occurred late in January, 1914, when upon
receiving word that my wife had left Vienna for Constantinople, I
communicated at once with Talaat and told him I wished him to facilitate
my intention of meeting Mrs. Morgenthau at the boundary of Turkey. I
told him I proposed to go to Adrianople, the point at which her train
would enter Turkey, to meet her. Talaat’s reply was characteristically

“What!” he exclaimed, “going to all that trouble to meet one’s wife! I
never heard of such a thing.”

“I cannot imagine an American,” I replied, “failing to do it. In my
country, our wives share all their husbands’ interests, and I should
certainly consider myself lacking in both respect and affection if I
failed to show my wife this attention.”

Talaat was frankly bewildered.

“In Turkey,” he said, “we let our wives come to us, we do not go to

As a last resort, he interposed what he intended to be an unanswerable

“Adrianople!” he exclaimed. “It’s out of the question. There is not even
a hotel in the whole city.”

“Very well then,” I replied, “I shall find accommodations in a private
residence. But to Adrianople I am going.”

With this retort, I left him.

Mr. Schmavonian later went to Talaat and told him that I was quite
serious in my intention. Talaat then sent me word that he would arrange
with the Governor of Adrianople to entertain me, and that I could
dismiss all thought of other preparations from my mind. I therefore
contented myself with arranging to arrive in Adrianople in the morning,
planning to spend a day there sightseeing, and then joining my wife on
the train, which was due to come through the following morning at 3:30
o’clock. Imagine my astonishment, therefore, upon arriving at
Adrianople, to find that the Governor, acting on Talaat’s orders, had
transformed part of the City Hall into a hotel for my reception. The
office furniture had been removed and a suite of bedrooms for myself, my
son Henry (who had now joined me), and a member of my staff, had been
freshly furnished, with comfortable beds and bedding specially bought
for this occasion. One room had been fitted up as a kitchen; another as
a dining room. Talaat’s attentions had gone so far as even to see that
we were provided with pyjamas, bedroom slippers, and toothbrushes.

When I arrived at Adrianople, the Governor was at the station to meet
me, accompanied by a military guard of honour. He at once took us in his
automobile for a sightseeing tour of the city. I found him a man of
great intelligence--some months later he became a member of the Turkish
Cabinet at Constantinople. He was especially interested in the answers
that my son was able to make to his numerous questions about American
farm machinery, which he wished to import for use on his large estate.

After a very pleasant day we returned to the City Hall and there we were
tendered a splendid dinner and reception. The Governor then told me that
the express train on which my wife was travelling was reported to be
several hours late, and that I had as well make myself comfortable by
going to bed and resting. He promised to have me aroused in plenty of
time to meet the train on its arrival. Accordingly, I made my way to my
improvised bedroom and was soon asleep. At three o’clock in the morning
the Governor himself awakened me. He urged me to hurry, as he said the
train had now made up most of its lost time and was due any minute. We
were soon driving through the chilly streets of Adrianople to the
railroad station. Arriving there, we found that the report was erroneous
and that the train was still two hours late. The waiting room was small,
very dirty, and unheated. It was useless, however, to return to the City
Hall, so we waited for those two hours in the dimly lighted and
evil-smelling waiting room, beguiling the time with conversation and
cups of Persian tea. He was greatly interested to find out from me the
practical workings of the American system of government. Most of our
time was spent in questions and answers regarding our elections, with
their, to him, almost incomprehensible peaceful transitions from one
group of rulers to another.

At length the express drew into the station, the military guard was
mounted, and the Governor with great ceremony escorted me to the train
platform. I thanked him most heartily for a day unique in my experience.
Having undertaken with reluctance to facilitate this meeting of my
wife, Talaat had gone to the other extreme and had given it an almost
royal setting. Through his kindness I was enabled to escort my wife
properly to her new home in Constantinople.

Arriving there, she entered at once into the spirit of my mission and
became of invaluable assistance to me. She had looked forward to it as a
dreary exile from home and friends in a dull and uncivilized community.
Instead, she soon found, as I had already, that the diplomatic circle
was a group of charming people, intellectually stimulating, and engaged
in the fascinating game of high politics. She shared as well my intense
interest in the work of the missionaries, just as she had shared in New
York my interest in the Bronx House and other works of social
betterment. She enjoyed, besides, a most unusual opportunity that was
denied to me, namely, the opportunity to study, under the most
favourable circumstances, the strangely interesting life of the Oriental
woman. This life was not only very different from the life of Western
women but was also very different from our preconceived ideas of it.
Mrs. Morgenthau found, to be sure, that the exclusion of Turkish women
from masculine society was a reality, but she was astonished on the
other hand to learn the extent to which the more ambitious ones among
them had been able to achieve contact with Western thought. The plight
of these intelligent women was really tragical. They were the pioneers
of an epochal social change in Turkey, and they were suffering the usual
martyrdom of pioneering. They had been allowed to acquire the education
and ideas, which have so broadened the mental outlook of Western women,
but the social barrier of custom still prevented them from enjoying in
practice the advantage of its possession. Their husbands sought their
intellectual companions entirely among other men, and continued to
regard their women as playthings of the harem. They were thus denied
the stimulation and enjoyment of contact with masculine thought and were
cut off of course from all active participation in practical works,
where the mind exercises its acquired talents. Doubtless in the course
of time women in Turkey will be freed from these ancient restrictions of
custom and will join their Western sisters in a full freedom to take an
active part in the life of the world, but their position during the
transition period is truly pathetic.

Mrs. Morgenthau came across many cases of this anomalous condition. One
of the most striking was in the home of the Persian Ambassador. He had
married a very cultivated French woman. Notwithstanding the liberality
of thought which had permitted him to marry a European, he had done so
only on the agreement that she should become a Mohammedan; and having
done so, he insisted that she live the life of a Mohammedan woman. She
had thus stepped from that stirring French society of which one of the
most outstanding characteristics is the almost abnormally important
influence exerted by women, both in the intellectual life and in public
affairs, into a society where she was debarred entirely from association
with men and cut off from all practical relations with outside affairs.
When Mrs. Morgenthau entertained her, or any of the native Turkish
ladies, at the Embassy, even the male servants were kept below stairs
and luncheon was served by the house-maids.

So much for the colour of life at the Embassy during the first months
after my arrival. On the sober business side, there was much of equal
interest. When the Young Turks succeeded to power they had brought with
them great hope of permanent progress for their country. This hope was
shared by Liberals not only in Turkey but everywhere. The Christian
world without felt that at last there was a prospect that Moslem
government might succeed in treating a Christian population justly. The
total failure of this party proved again the impossibility of true
reform among the Turks. This was evident to careful observers long
before my arrival at Constantinople, but I was so ardent in my desire to
help them that it took me nearly a year to become wholly disillusioned.

The Young Turks from their accession to power failed in every serious
task they undertook. They made war on the Albanians, with whom the
Sultans had compromised for more than four hundred years. Having been
trained as professional soldiers they were accustomed to the use of
force only. They had not the slightest notion of democratic political
methods or of peaceful conciliation, though it was obvious that among
the various peoples of Turkey peaceful conciliation was the only way of
beginning a united national life. The Young Turks brought the dispute
with Greece concerning the possession of Crete to a crisis. Instead of
recognizing the accomplished fact in Tripoli they insisted upon
retaining control of that province, and Italy declared war. Against the
Armenians the massacres at Adana were conducted with all the horrors of
the past. The guilty, instead of being punished by the Central
Government, were exonerated. But the greatest failure of all on the part
of the so-called Committee of Union and Progress was in connection with
the national legislature. The revolution led the Greeks and Armenians to
think that a democratic government would be established. But the Young
Turks “selected” (not “elected”) the members of the Chamber of Deputies
from among their own adherents.

The Committee of Union and Progress was, in truth, a desperate set of
men confronted by desperate conditions. Therefore they were willing to
take the most desperate means to retain “Turkey for the Turks,” and
especially Turkey for themselves. Their subsequent actions were all in
keeping with this resolve. I was told by my colleagues that business had
to be transacted with the Grand Vizier. But I found that I could obtain
the quickest results through Talaat and Enver. My somewhat democratic,
business-like methods seemed to appeal to them. There were occasions on
which I even went so far as to deal directly with lesser officials. Some
of my experiences would, I am sure, fill a professional diplomat with
dismay as regards the future of his calling.

As I became better acquainted with Talaat, who was the real head of the
Government, meeting him very often at my house and sometimes at the
house of the Grand Rabbi, he confided to me the great disappointment
which he and his fellow revolutionists felt with their people. Having
lived for so many years in a state of subjection, the masses seemed
completely cowed and did not respond in the least to any suggestion of
progress or improvement. He also blamed the Sheikhs and feudal chiefs
who were still extorting tributes and using most exasperating methods in
collecting taxes. The right to collect taxes was, in many districts,
farmed out to the state bank or to the richer inhabitants. They were
entitled by law to collect in kind 10 per cent. of the crops, but were
never satisfied with this portion. They would go and measure the crop
and leave the farms without collecting the taxes. Whereupon the poor
people, not being permitted to use their food and forage, and knowing
that they were in the power of the tax collector, would implore him for
a prompt settlement. Often, to prevent starvation, the farmers would
submit to an exaction of one third of their crop. Talaat thought that
nothing less than the hanging of a number of these men would ever stop
the evil practice. He seemed to have no notion that a better system of
collecting the taxes could be instituted.

During the winter of 1913-14, Talaat and Enver, especially the former,
came to me repeatedly for advice. Inexperienced as they were, their
problems were such as to test the strength of the ablest statesman of
any country. The only reason I can give for the fact that they drew
close to me in the matter of asking advice was that they felt that
America alone of the larger foreign nations had no private axe to grind
as regards her relations with Turkey. Feeling the deepest sympathy for
all efforts to forward the welfare of backward peoples, I did all I
could to aid them with the best counsel I could offer.

One opportunity for such assistance presented itself on the occasion of
the dinner given by the American Chamber of Commerce for the Levant, on
February 22, 1914, at which I was invited to make the principal address
of the evening. Talaat and some of his colleagues were to be guests of
honour. I felt I could point out to them in my address, by indirection,
the path along which they might lead Turkey to regeneration. To do this,
I recapitulated the story of America’s great moral and material
advancement, interpreting the events in the way which I thought would be
most intelligible to the Turkish intelligence, and suggesting that the
Turkish leaders be guided in their policy by the lessons of our history.
As this speech had a considerable effect upon the Turkish Government,
and as it is, I think, not without interest to Americans themselves, I
take the liberty of quoting the substance of it:

     What an achievement it would be if the Young Giant of the West, who
     by strictly attending to his own business has developed into one of
     the greatest and richest nations of the world, could make others
     see the advantages and wisdom of following his example. We
     recognize the difficulty which confronts everyone who tries to
     prevail upon another to benefit by his experience, but perhaps
     nations, which are guided by disinterested patriots who have only
     the good of the people at heart and none of the selfish motives or
     petty vanities of an individual, may be willing, not only to study
     the history of a successful nation, but also to profit by its
     experiences, and thus save the expense and spare the waste caused
     by experimenting.

     As a diplomat I am “directed by my Government especially to refrain
     from public expressions of opinion upon local political or other
     questions arising within my jurisdiction.” These are the exact
     words contained in my Instruction Book, and I am obliged to follow
     them conscientiously. But that does not prevent me, however, from
     telling you what we have done at home to establish and increase our
     commerce and what we are doing to improve it and the conditions of
     our people; and it is for this country, the Balkan States, and
     Persia to determine how much of it can be adopted by them.

     It is just fifty years ago that our country finished one of the
     bloodiest and most expensive internecine wars recorded in history,
     and you all know that the worst strifes are those that are waged
     between brothers. All the southern states had been completely
     devastated; a large part of their white male population was killed
     during the war; millions of slaves had been set free and were
     unprepared to take care of themselves and would not work; both the
     North and the South were in a complete state of physical and
     financial exhaustion. The cost of the war exceeded 1,500 million
     dollars; our Government bonds were selling below par and were
     mostly owned in foreign countries; we had just been deprived of the
     wise leadership of the great Abraham Lincoln who had been foully
     murdered. We had fought for a principle and had won, but the hatred
     of the sections for each other survived and the great problem was
     to reconcile the combatants to the new conditions and again to
     absorb into our commercial and business activities the hundreds of
     thousands of members of the disbanded army and to have our
     communities resume their normal condition and bring about a
     reconstruction of the southern states. We were confronted by a
     tremendous problem, and it took wise statesmanship, great grit,
     patient toil, and unswerving enthusiasm born from an absolute and
     abiding faith in the future to solve it. We had only 35,000 miles
     of railroads and many of these traversed the devastated country. I
     say “only,” because to-day we have more than 250,000 miles of
     railroad which have brought into easy communication with the large
     markets of our country all our developed farms and mines, etc., and
     have given the country four transcontinental routes. We had a
     population of 34 millions which has now grown to more than 95
     millions, of which 19 millions attend our public and two millions
     our private schools, and 320,000 attend 596 universities and
     colleges in which there are thirty thousand professors and
     instructors and which have libraries containing 16 million volumes
     of books. Our imports in 1870 were 436 millions and our exports 393
     millions, showing a balance against us of 43 millions; while in
     1913, our imports were 1,813 millions and our exports 2,465
     millions, so that we had a balance of trade in our favour of 652
     millions, and for the last seven years the average annual balance
     of trade has been more than five hundred million dollars. We have
     gained by immigration about 30 million people of which the year
     1913 brought 1,200,000--practically equal to the population of the
     city of Constantinople. This great army, besides bringing their
     energy, strength, and capacity to work, also brought with them 30
     million dollars in cash! I wonder if these figures give you the
     faintest idea of this tremendous growth.

     How was this all done?

     We invited, urged, and welcomed help from every source and there
     was a generous response. We utilized English, French, German, and
     Dutch money to help build our railroads. We opened our portals wide
     to immigrants who overflowed our shores in a most unprecedented
     fashion. It first relieved Ireland and Germany of their surplus
     population and thereby bettered the condition of those that
     remained at home; later on Italy and Russia sent us hundreds of
     thousands of their people. And it was thus that the native
     population received the necessary reinforcements to help develop
     the new districts that were being opened for settlement. As fast as
     the railroad development pierced the West, villages and cities
     followed it. The Northerners and Southerners found a common ground
     in the great and almost boundless West which was then entirely
     undeveloped and they worked side by side in this new land of
     promise and soon forgot their past differences. They started out in
     log cabins which they erected with their own hands; they slept on
     pine boughs and were willing to forego all comforts to enable them
     rapidly to recoup their lost fortunes. Gradually they acquired the
     almost luxurious surroundings in which they live to-day, for there
     is hardly a farmhouse without an organ or a piano, a sewing
     machine, a small library and carpets on the floor, and most of them
     own considerable agricultural machinery and a great many of them
     their own automobiles.

     We adopted a system of protection so as to foster our then infant
     industries which are now managed by wonderful corporations that not
     only can stand alone but compete with the world. We encouraged
     thrift and habits of saving so that the deposits in the savings
     banks to-day amount to 4,450 millions and the assets of the life
     insurance companies to more than 4,400 million dollars.

     What do such accumulated assets mean?

     They mean opportunities realized, steady thrift, thousands of
     thrills of pleasure at individual progress toward independence and
     protection against want in old age, provisions for rainy days; the
     renewed prosperity of the natives of the South, North, East, and
     West; conversion of millions of stalwart immigrants into prosperous
     farmers, businessmen, mechanics, etc., who are the owners of these
     and other assets. I am going to leave to your imagination and
     poetic temperament to analyze still further what are the component
     parts when reduced into human endeavours that constitute this
     monument of prosperity.

     We are not so conceited as to arrogate to ourselves the claim that
     we are the only country that has accomplished such wonderful
     results in the last fifty years. In 1865 there was no German Empire
     nor United Italy; their creation and phenomenal development have
     taken place since then. I believe that a description of the
     industrial and commercial development of those and many other
     countries would make as fine a story as I have told you about the
     United States; but they are so near to you that it would lack the
     enchantment that distance lends to a view. I have shown you results
     and I now want to tell you that they have not been attained without
     a great many troubles and tribulations. We have had our severe
     panics and recessions; our droughts and floods; our pests of
     grasshoppers and bollweevils; our strikes and labour troubles, some
     of which have led to bloodshed. It was no easy task to assimilate
     the many different nationalities that reached our shores. The
     troubles of most nations are those of struggling against poverty.
     We have had the unusual experience of having to fight and suppress
     the excessive prosperity of the privileged classes of our country,
     because they were about destroying our free government and were
     depriving our people of their equal opportunities. Fortunately we
     found in our present President, Woodrow Wilson, a champion for
     justice and right, and he has, through his infinite skill and
     wisdom, practically after one year of administration, adjusted the

     If I were in America and wanted to compare our accomplishments to
     something definite, I would speak of a fifty-story building in
     contrast to some of the two-or three-story buildings. But being in
     Turkey I want to say that I have shown you the wonderful national
     rug that we have produced in the United States. It was woven by the
     millions that inhabit our land, natives and foreigners, whites and
     blacks, people from the North, South, East, and West, men and
     women, and from materials produced in our own soil and imported
     from all countries; and as far as we have finished it, we pride
     ourselves, notwithstanding some faults and defects, that it makes a
     fine, harmonious whole. And the sincerest compliments that any
     country could pay to us would be to adopt and imitate our pattern.

When I described the success we had attained in our endeavours during
the fifty years since the Civil War, Talaat and some of his colleagues
were visibly impressed. Shortly after this dinner both Talaat and Enver
urged me to visit various parts of the Turkish Empire in order to be
able to advise them as regards reforms in their administration and other
means of public progress. While my instructions from my government, like
those of every country to its foreign representatives abroad, forbade my
intermeddling with purely domestic affairs, I felt that the situation in
Turkey was wholly without precedent. So I set myself to study the
country and its varied and most intricate problems. With Talaat and
Enver I planned three trips--the first to Palestine and Syria, the
second to the south shore of the Black Sea, and the third to the
interior, as far as the Bagdad railway was then constructed. The coming
of war prevented the second and third trips. The first I shall describe
in the next chapter.

But, fascinating as were my discoveries in the novel field of diplomacy,
and much as I enjoyed the effort to assist the Turkish leaders, I felt
after all that my true function as American Ambassador was far removed
from the intrigues of the Old World Powers and from the momentary
struggles of the existing Turkish Government. On the one hand, America
had no ambitions in Turkey that called for diplomatic gambling. Our
interests there were almost wholly altruistic. We had, to be sure, a
small commercial interest, and I had no disposition to shirk my
responsibility for fostering its improvement. The Standard Oil Company
was our most considerable business representative. The Singer Sewing
Machine Company, served in Constantinople by Germans from its Berlin
branch, was second. The third in importance were the American buyers of
Turkish tobacco and Turkish licorice. Besides these, we had little
commercial representation.

America’s true mission in Turkey, I felt, was to foster the permanent
civilizing work of the Christian missions, which so gloriously
exemplified the American spirit at its best. As I frequently explained
to the Turkish Government officers, we had little need for foreign trade
or foreign sources of raw material. Our territory was so vast, and our
population relatively so small, that we had neither reason nor
disposition to covet further territory. I explained to them further that
our citizens were accustomed to achieve their own financial
independence, and that this characteristic of rising from poverty to
affluence had bred in them, as a national characteristic, a sympathy
with those not yet arrived at fortune, and a helpful wish to place the
means of advancement within the reach of those still struggling upward.
This spirit had lavished itself in America upon the advancement of
common schools and higher institutions of learning, and upon thousands
of other forms of philanthropy and helpfulness. This spirit of good
will, I explained further, overflowed our boundaries into other lands,
partly because we wished to share our good fortune with others, and
chiefly because it was prescribed by the Christian faith, which declared
that good works should not be limited to those of one’s own family or
kindred. America, I told them, is constantly receiving hundreds of
thousands of emigrants from the Old World, and American generosity has
placed among these newly arrived citizens the services of expert
advisers, who use every means to make easy the path of the immigrant,
and to induct him as rapidly as possible into the full fellowship of
American life. The Christian missions in Turkey, I added, carried this
work one step further: it went into other lands and tried to carry to
them some of the benefits which our material prosperity made possible
among us.

I think my words were received, at first, with some reserve, not only by
the Turks themselves, but by my colleagues, the representatives of the
European nations. They soon learned, however, to believe them, when they
saw that I sought no concessions, that I devoted no more attention to
the American commercial enterprises represented in the Levant than were
necessary for the transaction of their ordinary business, and that I
gave my chief attention to encouraging the work of the Christian
missionaries and spreading the gospel of Americanism. I soon found that
I could be of the greatest assistance to these people. It was generally
believed in Turkey that I was unusually close to the President.
Consequently the attentions which I took pains to shower upon the
missionaries added enormously to the importance of their position in the
eyes of the Turkish Government, and placed them upon an entirely new
footing in their consideration. When it was observed that Dr. Gates, the
president of Robert College, frequently accompanied me on my horseback
rides, and that I made an invariable custom of entertaining at dinner at
least once a week Dr. Mary Mills Patrick and Dr. Louise B. Wallace, the
president and the dean, respectively, of the Constantinople College for
Girls, the Turkish Government conceived an entirely new idea of the
importance that America attaches to these institutions; and they gave a
corresponding deference to the wishes of their presidents.

Even if I had not conceived these attentions to be one of my prime
duties, I should have been drawn to these companionships by a native
congeniality of temper. Dr. Patrick and Dr. Gates were splendid examples
of American womanhood and manhood. Both had forsaken the opportunity of
success in America to devote their lives unselfishly to the great task
of human betterment. Their gifts of mind and graces of character would
have made them delightful companions in any circumstances. But having,
besides, as they did, a profound interest in the kind of work that had
so deeply engrossed me in New York, I gravitated toward them in
Constantinople by a natural attraction. With them I would mention Dr.
Peet, the resident financial representative, in Constantinople, of the
Mission Boards of America--a man of great experience and gracious person
who had given a quarter of a century of his life to work in this field.
Further along in this article, I shall describe some of the happy
experiences I had in meeting some of the young men and women who were
students at the colleges.

My relationships with the Jews of Constantinople were equally useful and
equally pleasant. I cultivated the acquaintance of the Chief Rabbi
Nahoun, a learned and brilliant man in his early forties. I took pains
to show him every possible honour in public. I let it be generally known
that I frequented the B’nai Brith Lodge at Constantinople, which, to my
astonishment and gratification, I discovered to contain in its
membership a group of men of higher average quality than are in any
American lodge of the same order with which I am acquainted. My public
attentions to these representative Jews gave to them also a new
importance and a new dignity in the view of the Turkish Government. It
was indeed gratifying to me to be able, with scarcely an effort, so
greatly to improve the status of my co-religionists in the eyes of a
government which controlled the historical birthplace of the Hebrew
religion and the scene of its one-time temporal grandeur.

One of my ambitions at Constantinople was to make the Embassy truly the
American Headquarters. Every American of whatever degree, whether
resident or visitor, was welcome within its portals. I endeavoured to
have every one of them enjoy even its formal hospitality--an invitation
to a luncheon or a dinner. I felt that the Embassy was not intended
merely to provide an opportunity for exclusive social distinction for
the Ambassador. On the contrary, it belonged to the American people; and
certainly part of my function was to see that it was of service to them.
I soon observed how greatly an invitation to the Embassy was
appreciated; and since my return to this United States I have had
innumerable evidences of the enjoyment which the simplest courtesy I
extended brought to its recipient. Time after time I have had strangers
salute me in various parts of this country and remind me with great
warmth of the pleasure they had enjoyed in a call at the Embassy in

But perhaps the most satisfying of all my associations in Turkey was the
privilege I enjoyed of constantly sharing in the problems and
accomplishments of the two principal American colleges. To me their work
was an endless source of satisfaction. To see these great evidences of
American idealism functioning in this remote and backward land,
spreading civilization among people long submerged in ignorance, was a
profound reason for pride in my country. As a humanitarian, it was a
corresponding delight to see the students themselves--their young minds
expanding, their young spirits fired with enthusiasm, in the congenial
atmosphere of these institutions which, but for America, would not have
existed and for which there was no substitute within their reach.

The Girls’ College especially appealed to my sympathy. Here, in a land
in which the position of women was the most unfavourable, was an
institution which was offering to the future mothers of the Near East an
entrance into a new world of freedom and opportunity. Girls were
gathered here from all parts of the Turkish Empire--Turkish girls,
Armenians, Jews, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Albanians. It was a delight to
see how they responded to their opportunity. On numerous occasions, Dr.
Patrick invited me to address them, and one such occasion I recall with
a special pleasure. I described to them the American profession of
social worker, tracing the reasons which gave rise to the movement for
social betterment in our country and explaining how this new profession
arose out of the need for trained workers in that field. I was
astonished to see how deep an impression my description made upon them.
It appealed to the universal instinct of women to cherish life and to
work for its improvement. So enthusiastic were these young Oriental
women that afterward Dr. Patrick told me more than half of them had
expressed an ambition to devote their life to social service.

These girls, touched by the stimulation of the new intellectual world
freely opened to them, attempted many imaginative experiments. One of
the most interesting that I observed was the product of a debate held in
the college, in which one team had maintained the position of the Greek
Stoics against the other group which had defended the philosophy of the
Epicureans. Not satisfied with debating the subject abstractly, the
girls had resolved to put the two philosophies to the practical test of
experience; and for a week the Senior Class was divided into two groups,
one of which attempted actually to live for that period according to the
Stoic dogma and the other according to the Epicurean. They took the
experiment seriously, but of course, with the lightheartedness of
youth, they found it an entertainment as well. The essays written on
their experiences as Stoics and Epicureans would make interesting
reading. I could not refrain from speculating with hope and enthusiasm
upon the numerous influences which this college, through these eager
young spirits, would wield in directing the future destiny of the
millions of backward people among whom they would be scattered as torch
bearers of civilization.

Robert College was an institution for men, founded fifty years ago by
Christopher R. Roberts, a wealthy leather merchant of New York. Its
early destiny was directed by Dr. Hamlin and Dr. Washburn, two
far-seeing statesmen of education. They had steered a course for the
institution which had gained at least the passive coöperation of the
Turkish Government, while in America it had gained the enthusiastic
support of great philanthropists like Cleveland H. Dodge and John S.
Kennedy. Gradually there had been added to its faculty men of strong
character and profound learning, so that by the time I reached
Constantinople it was an institution worthy of all the care that had
been lavished upon it. These earnest men had made a real impression upon
the life of the Near East. Being the only great seat of learning in that
whole large territory, it had attracted the ambitious youth from the
remotest Armenia and all the Balkan countries. Bulgaria especially had
appreciated its opportunity. Hundreds of the leaders of Bulgarian
political and economic life received their training here.

In Dr. Gates, the president of Robert College, I found a man who was
very useful to me. He had lived many years in Turkey, knew all the chief
figures in its public life, and was a profound student of Turkish
psychology. In return, I had the pleasure of being useful to him during
the trying days after Turkey entered the war.

Such was the picture of Constantinople as I saw it during the first four
months of my embassy. It was a picture full of strange anomalies and
apparent contradictions. Here was I, a native of Europe, representing
the greatest republic of America at the court of an Oriental sovereign.
Here was I, a Jew, representing the greatest Christian nation of the
world at the capital of the chief Mohammedan nation. Here was I, a man
without any previous diplomatic experience whatsoever, suddenly
projected headlong into one of the most difficult diplomatic posts in
the world, as one of the ten personal representatives of the President.
Here was a nation, ruled in name by a proud descendant of Mohammed, and
ruled in fact by a group of desperate adventurers whose chieftain was an
ex-railroad porter. Here was the capital of an ancient and decaying
nation, which was soon, because of its strategic position, to become one
of the very vital centres of world diplomacy. Here was a wornout empire
dying, which in its death agony clutched other peoples still with its
withered fingers and was soon to reach up and draw within its fatal
embrace, in the death grapple of a world war, boys from the cattle
ranges of Australia, aboriginal Indians from the wilds of northwest
Canada, peasants from farthest Russia, cockneys from the East End of
London, shepherds from the Carpathian Mountains--vast aggregations of
soldiers as polyglot as the population of Constantinople itself--that
mongrel city which, sitting at the cross roads of ancient trade routes,
had for centuries drawn citizens from every people under heaven. How
could I realize, during those peaceful first months of my embassy, that
I, the representative of remote and isolated America, should soon be
involved in diplomatic complications that should involve the very
continuance of American institutions. It was well that I had those few
months of peaceful education into that society before the storm of the
World War burst upon us. It was well, too, that I had my trip to Egypt
and Asia Minor, where I met and learned much from Lord Kitchener, Lord
Bryce, and the wise Americans and Jews whom I there encountered. This
journey was of so much importance to me that it deserves a separate



All through the winter of 1913-14, though busily engaged in mastering my
other duties as Ambassador, there were constantly two problems
interesting me.

The first was the American missionary activities, whose ramifications
reached into all parts of Turkey, and whose many and varied requests,
though intelligently interpreted by Dr. W. W. Peet, I could not fully
grasp, owing to the meagreness of my knowledge of the men and women
concerned, and of the physical conditions surrounding them in their
activities in the interior of Turkey. I was at the seat of government of
all these missionary activities, and had become well acquainted with the
directing forces. Doctor Peet had shown me his vast records, and had
acquainted me with the many branches, and told me of the many
representatives that they had scattered throughout Turkey. Occasionally,
visits from some of the interior missionaries had impressed me so
favourably both as to their sincerity and sympathy for their flocks,
that I became thoroughly aroused with a desire to see the entire
mechanism of the missionary activities in Turkey. I personally wanted to
know the administrative and educational forces, and visit the buildings
and surroundings in which they were operating, so that I might be able
properly to present their claims to the Turkish officials, and finally
give an intelligent account to those of my friends in America who had so
anxiously impressed upon me the deep interest felt by such a vast
number of them in the welfare of the missionaries.

My second problem was the Jewish question, which I will discuss in a
separate chapter. Naturally I concluded to visit first the Holy Land and
the Mediterranean Coast of Asia, where so many of the important
Christian missions were located. When I spoke to different people
concerning this trip, everyone urged me to go. The Turkish authorities
felt that it would greatly benefit them if I could, with my own eyes,
see the possibilities of an industrial and agricultural revival of
Turkey, for, thereafter, I might be useful to them in influencing
foreign capital to invest in their prospects. The missionaries were
enthusiastic. They expected--and I afterward ascertained were justified
in this--that a visit to their main stations by the American Ambassador
would so impress the local authorities both at those places and at
Constantinople that their standing with, and their treatment by, the
Turkish officials would be greatly improved. My Jewish friends,
similarly, felt that such a tangible evidence of American and my
personal interest in their condition would greatly benefit them with the
authorities. The men in the Embassy who now realized how easily an
“outsider” could master the knowledge that lay buried in the records of
the Chancery also encouraged my scheme to delve further into the outside
ramifications of American activity in Turkey.

The best and most direct transportation to Palestine was supplied by the
splendid Russian steamship lines that were then plying weekly between
Odessa and Alexandria, and as these boats stopped for a day at Smyrna,
and another day at Piræus, I should thereby be enabled to visit the
Consul and the American College at Smyrna, and to view the interesting
sights of Athens. I therefore chose this route.

As the journey was made for the purpose of studying two distinct
problems, I think it well to describe in this chapter all the things
that are of general interest, reserving for a later chapter the highly
specialized Jewish question as I saw and studied it in Palestine. I
shall not weary the reader with a complete record of the journey, but
shall select for him some interesting incidents and observations without
following too closely their chronological order.

Of these, one of the most interesting (and one that involved several
amusing complications) was my visit to the Caves of Machpelah. When
Doctor Peet heard of my plans to visit Palestine, he came to see me and
spent a long time in informing me of what I could see, and of the
tremendous benefit that it would be to me and to the missionaries to
become personally acquainted. This was a helpful service, and I
gratefully made notes of his suggestions. When these were finished, I
was somewhat puzzled when he launched into a long dissertation upon the
unique advantage which I, as an ambassador, enjoyed in being able to
secure permission to visit the Caves of Machpelah. He explained that
these caves were the authentic graves of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of
Sarah, Leah, and Rebecca. He added the curious information that the
Moslems regarded these patriarchs as among the holiest of the saints of
Islam. And so jealous were they in their religious veneration of these
tombs that, by an extraordinary paradox, they have for one thousand
years prohibited not only the Christians, but the blood descendants of
Abraham, the Jews, from visiting these tombs. The Moslems had erected a
mosque over them, and they were guarded day and night. The only
exception to the rule that none but Mohammedans might visit them was
that the privilege was extended to visiting princes of royal blood, and
to ambassadors, who represented, not nations, but the persons of their
sovereigns. Doctor Peet then enlarged again upon the extraordinary
opportunity which this privilege gave me of enjoying a unique

Light had now dawned upon me, and I asked Doctor Peet a question which I
intentionally drew out into a long sentence, so as to study the effect
upon him. I asked him whether my inference that this great interest
which he displayed in my trip and the importance which he attached to
the opportunities incident to my travelling not as a private citizen,
but as an ambassador, could be construed by me as a hint on his part of
a lurking wish that he might accompany me.

Doctor Peet was usually so serious that I did not know how he would
respond. He answered me quite earnestly: “Well, really, that was my
object in telling you all about it.” I told him I fully realized how
valuable his company would be, especially in arranging my meetings with
the missionaries, and I most cordially invited him to come with me. A
few days later, Peet called again, and said to me: “You know, I have
been thinking a great deal about our trip. I shall be able to render the
assistance you expect of me in Palestine; but when you visit Syria and
Galilee, you ought to have with you Dr. Franklin Hoskins of Beirut, who
is a great Arabic scholar and in charge of the missions there, and knows
everybody in and everything about that region.” I ended the interview
with an invitation for him as well. “But,” I said, “if I invite Hoskins,
shall I not slight Dr. Howard Bliss, president of the Protestant Syrian
College at Beirut, who was introduced to me at a luncheon given for that
purpose in New York by my warm friend, Cleveland H. Dodge, and whom I
had then promised to visit at Beirut?” Then Peet said: “Why not invite
Bliss, too? He would be a great acquisition to the party.” “But,” I
added, “this won’t do, unless I also invite his daughter and her
husband, Bayard Dodge.” So I invited these various parties, and
received prompt acceptances. But this by no means completes the story.

A few days later Mr. Schmavonian, who had been connected with the
Embassy for seventeen years as the Turkish adviser, and who was the
custodian of the tradition of the Embassy, awaited me in my office one
afternoon after, as I subsequently discovered, he had carefully
instructed the doorkeeper not to announce any one for half an hour. He
pointed out to me with great detail that American ambassadors had come
and gone out of Constantinople, “while Schmavonian went on forever.” He
then said: “Now, the benefits of all this knowledge that can be secured
on this trip will be lost when you leave Constantinople. Why not take me
along, and perpetuate them?” I laughingly asked him how long he expected
to stay in the service of the United States, and he answered that he
expected to die in it. I hesitated about taking Mr. Schmavonian along,
and I told him so, as I feared it would interfere with the activities of
the Embassy. He quickly responded: “You know that nothing important will
be done in your absence without your consent, so why not have me with
you at your elbow, so that you can have the benefit of my advice in
deciding the problems that may come up in performing your duties as
ambassador, while you are travelling?” I cabled the State Department,
and got their consent to take him with me, and he proved of invaluable

My party then numbered six, besides my family. But, one day in Cairo,
where I stopped en route to Palestine, I was approached by Chancellor
McCormick of the University of Pittsburgh. After introducing himself and
exchanging the compliments of the day, he said: “I hear you are going to
visit the Caves of Machpelah. I would not have the audacity to ask you
upon so informal an acquaintance [about twenty minutes] for permission
to accompany you, but if you want to do a real favour to the three
thousand girls and boys who attend the Pittsburgh University, by
enabling them to hear from me all about the Caves of Machpelah, I hope
you will take me with you.” His plea on behalf of those fine young
Americans was irresistible, and he was promptly invited.

That same afternoon, a very likely, rather clerical-looking young man
came up to me, and said: “Chancellor McCormick has told me that he has
secured permission to accompany your party to visit the Caves of
Machpelah and I thought that perhaps if you knew who I was, you would
take me along also.” I asked: “Pray, who are you?” He replied: “My
brother married Jessie Wilson.” So I said: “My dear Dr. Sayre, you are
most cordially invited to join our party.”

Proceeding a few days later from Port Said to Jaffa, I discovered to my
great delight that Viscount and Lady Bryce were fellow passengers on
that boat. I invited them to join us at our table, and we had a very
pleasant talk until late in the evening. I then left the tireless old
Viscount on the deck with Schmavonian, and a little later was just about
to retire for the night when Schmavonian knocked at the door of my
stateroom. He told me that he had, perhaps unguardedly, told the
Viscount of our intended trip to the Caves of Machpelah, and that Bryce
had expressed an ardent desire to accompany us. I discussed the matter
with the Viscount on the following day, and he said: “You know that I,
as a former British Ambassador to the United States, could also secure
the privilege of visiting the Caves.” I promptly told him that I would
consider it a great honour if he and his wife would join our party.

When we finally started our trip to the Caves of Machpelah, our party
like a rolling snowball had grown to twenty-six persons. The Caves are
near the village of Hebron, some twenty-odd miles north of Jerusalem.
We drove thither in open carriages, and at the end of our journey had an
experience which confirmed my apprehensions regarding the
susceptibilities of the Arab Mohammedans. As we drove into Hebron, a
large crowd had gathered to greet us around an arch of welcome which the
Jewish communities of Hebron had erected for the occasion. Just as our
carriage drew near to the archway, a little Arab child broke loose from
his parents, and ran directly in the path of our carriage. At a cry from
my wife, the driver reined the horses back to their haunches, but the
child was already directly beneath them. By good fortune that was little
short of a miracle, their hoofs did not touch him, and he was quickly
snatched to safety by his panic-stricken mother. But, I shall not soon
forget the black looks of instinctive hatred upon the faces of the Arabs
in that throng, who looked upon us as infidel intruders. The same looks
and deep murmurs of disapproval accompanied us as we entered the sacred
portals of their mosque, which covers the Caves of Machpelah. Their
prayer hour had been postponed on account of our visit. Once inside, the
spell of antiquity, and the great traditions, erased all other
impressions from our minds. Several of the tombs were above ground, and
over them were erected stone catafalques, their sides adorned with
gorgeously embroidered rugs and broken by grilled doorways through which
entrance to the tomb itself was permitted. The other tombs were in caves
below the floor of the mosque. They could be seen through holes left in
the floor for that purpose. As we examined them from above we observed
that two of them, the graves of Abraham and Jacob, were littered with
pieces of paper. Inquiry of our Moslem guides disclosed the reason. The
Mohammedans have a belief that the spirits of these patriarchs have a
special influence with the Deity, and that their intervention in behalf
of the faithful can be invoked by written petitions addressed to them
and dropped upon their tombs. Observing more closely, we noticed that
there was a striking preference shown by the petitioners in the greater
number of appeals that had been made in this manner to the spirit of the
one rather than to the spirit of the other. Further inquiry developed a
curious Moslem tradition to the effect that one patriarch was reputed to
be of a benign and accommodating disposition, whereas the other was
supposed to be irascible. In consequence, the prudent worshippers had
mostly addressed their petitions to the spirit which they felt would be
more receptive and not resent their intrusion.

After inspecting the tombs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we started to
make a similar survey of the tombs of Sarah, Leah, and Rebecca. Our
Moslem guides promptly stopped the men of our party. They explained that
the Mohammedan rule, that men might not look upon the faces of women,
applied to the dead as well as to the living, and that therefore only
the ladies of our party might look within the enclosures which protected
the tombs of the female saints.

Our inspection of the tombs occupied considerable time, and it was an
interesting experience to feel the spell of their antiquity growing upon
us. As the moments slipped by, we felt ourselves carried farther and
farther back along the aisles of time and into the venerable realities
of an august past. From talkative sightseers we were transformed into
thoughtful ponderers upon these impressive memorials of history, and
finally into silent and reverent worshippers at this shrine of three
great religions. As we were about to leave, Dr. Hoskins suggested that I
ask all of our party to devote five minutes to silent prayer. I did so,
and there we stood, Moslems, Christians, and Jews--all of us conscious
of the fact that we were in the presence of the tombs of our joint
forefathers--that no matter in what details we differed, we traced our
religion back to the same source, and the ten minutes to which this
prayer extended were undoubtedly the most sacred that I have ever spent
in my life.

Never have I experienced so solemn and exalted an emotion as that which
filled my spirit, standing there in worship at those tombs four thousand
years old, around which converged, and met, a sublime religious history,
which had altered the life of one half the human race through forty

I have carried my narrative away from its chronological sequence in
order to tell of our visit to the Caves of Machpelah as one related
incident. Returning now to the earlier part of our journey, our brief
stops at Smyrna and Athens were followed by a direct route to
Alexandria, where we arrived on March 26th. Our Russian vessel ran up
the American flag at the masthead in honour of our presence aboard, and
at the dock we were further honoured by a reception committee consisting
of Olney Arnold, the American consular agent at Cairo, Consul Garrels,
Captain Macauley of the _Scorpion_, and Mahmoud Tahgri Bey, the acting
Governor of Alexandria. The last-named was a fine young man of about
twenty-eight years of age. He told me that for some time Alexandria had
been without a governor, but that the Khedive in honour of my coming had
appointed him to that office, especially to give me a proper reception,
and that he had only assumed his office at eight o’clock that very
morning. He presented Mrs. Morgenthau with a bouquet of flowers and my
daughter Ruth with a box of _marrons glacés_, with the compliments of
the Khedive. It was amusing to see what important stress he laid upon
this--his first--official act. The Khedive had sent his own official
private car for our journey. At the railroad station in Alexandria the
Khedivial Entrance had been opened for us, and a cordon of soldiers
were lined upon either side to secure us an uninterrupted passageway;
the Khedive had neglected nothing, not even forgetting to provide a
delicious luncheon, which was served us in his car, as we proceeded to

We arrived in time to drive out and view the Pyramids before going to
Arnold’s house for dinner. There Arnold acquainted me with a curious
complication which arose out of my wish to meet Lord Kitchener. He
explained to me the anomalous position which Kitchener occupied in
Egypt. Though Great Britain absolutely controlled that country’s
destinies, and though Kitchener, as the representative of Britain, was
practically dictator, Egypt was nominally a part of the Turkish Empire,
and the Khedive was the head of its government. Kitchener’s official
title was British Agent and Consul-General, and as such, on ceremonial
occasions, he ranked far below not merely the Khedive, but myself, as an
Ambassador. When Arnold had told Kitchener of my coming, and that I
wished to meet him, he expressed a cordial interest in the interview,
but was somewhat puzzled how to meet the question of precedence. If he
recognized me at Cairo as Ambassador from the United States, it might
embarrass him in maintaining the attitude that Great Britain was taking
in regard to Turkish rights in Egypt. If Kitchener invited me to meet
him, the question of rank would come up. This question had arisen
before, because even the other consuls-general who had arrived at Cairo
earlier than Kitchener outranked him in diplomatic precedence. This
problem, however, had been solved by an ingenious device. Whenever
Kitchener was invited to a function where it was likely to arise, he was
requested to act as host and thereby secured the place of honour.

I resolved Arnold’s perplexity and Kitchener’s by saying that I had no
intention of standing on my rights, and would be glad to pay Kitchener
an informal call, as I certainly did not wish to leave Cairo without
seeing him. When Kitchener received this message, he promptly invited me
to call at ten o’clock the following morning. He was evidently informed
of my intention to call on the Khedive at eleven o’clock and wished me
to call on him (Kitchener) first. This call was very brief. After the
exchange of the customary formalities, Kitchener launched into numerous
questions about Turkey. He wished to know more about the men who made up
the Committee of Union and Progress. He was especially interested in the
Grand Vizier, Prince Said Halim, to whom the Young Turk Government had
promised the place of the Khedive of Egypt--a position which he was
qualified to fill on its social side by virtue of his aristocratic
lineage and superior education. Kitchener asked me to explain, if I
could, how a man of Said Halim’s antecedents had come to be associated
with “such uncouth cut-throats” as Talaat and Enver.

We had scarcely gotten into an intimate conversation when I realized
that I must hurry back to my hotel where the Khedive’s carriage was to
call for me shortly before eleven o’clock. Kitchener said that he wished
to continue the conversation, and asked me if I would not bring Mrs.
Morgenthau and my daughter to lunch with him two days later. I accepted
the invitation.

At eleven o’clock the Khedive’s carriage arrived to take me to the
Palace for my official call. Policemen were posted at every cross street
along the entire route, so as to give us an uninterrupted right of way
and to give us proper recognition. I was delighted with my conference
with the Khedive. He proved to be a thoroughly up-to-date, modern
enterprising business man without any frills or assumption of airs. He
met me at the door of the reception room, led me to a sofa, sat down
next to me, and while sipping the inevitable Turkish coffee, talked to
me for about half an hour about some of his investments in Turkey, and
told me of his intention to occupy his summer residence on the Bosphorus
at Yenikeny where I also had taken summer quarters. He then said that he
regretted exceedingly that, before he had learned of my impending visit,
he had made an appointment which would require him to leave town that
afternoon, and he asked, in consequence, if he might not return my visit
that same day. I told him that he reminded me of a Japanese student who,
after paying a two-hour afternoon call on a lady in Boston, and
receiving from her when he left a polite invitation to call again,
walked around the block three times, and paid her a second visit. The
Khedive laughed heartily, and though I assured him that I would gladly
waive the formality which required him to return my visit, he insisted
that he wished to continue the conversation, and would call later in the

Consequently, that same afternoon, the Khedive returned my call at the
Consular Agency, continuing the conversation as though there had been no
interruption. He told me of the enormous cotton exports of Egypt valued
at two hundred million dollars a year, and how his forefathers had
developed the cotton industry in Egypt. As Kitchener had done, he asked
numerous questions about the conditions in Turkey, and was very
solicitous about the activities of the Government, and their relation to
the diplomatic situation in Constantinople. It was a very curious
experience to sit with one of the Oriental potentates on an absolutely
equal footing, and to hear him talk about commercial and political
affairs in perfectly good English, and in a business vernacular.

The day after I exchanged calls with the Khedive I had a very
interesting visit from his brother, Ali Mehemmid, who called on me, and
we talked for two hours. He proved to be a thoroughly chauvinistic
Oriental, even assuring me that he had remained single because he
wanted absolute freedom in his political moves. He had travelled a great
deal, and his pride and patriotism were deeply wounded by the fact that
Egypt had to submit to British protection. Under the pressure of my
questions, he admitted that the Egyptians had greatly benefited by
British rule, but he claimed that these benefits were more than
counterbalanced by the evils which the European customs and schools had
introduced into his country. He felt that the schools depraved the
Egyptian children, and that the Egyptian women had been much happier
before they read European novels and became slaves of the modes. He
admitted that the Orientals were imitators, and would eventually have to
find some way of “Orientalizing the Occidental Progress,” which I
thought was a neat way of putting it. He disliked the Union and Progress
Party in Turkey because its members lacked breeding, and experience in
administration. He believed that the Arabs and Turks living in Turkey
would not permit the Constitutional Turks to trade them away in order to
save their five vilayets in and near Europe. I returned Prince
Mehemmid’s visit the next day, and was greatly surprised to see that he
was building an Egyptian palace. He had none but Egyptian workmen, and
was having magnificent wood carvings done right on the premises. He
showed me his stables, and told me he had purchased the best specimens
of pure Arab breed, and was determined, for the sake of Egypt, to
perpetuate the finest breed of Arabian horses.

During our several days in Cairo we had a number of interesting
experiences, including various meetings with the Jews, which I shall
describe in another chapter. After a visit to the oldest Coptic church,
which was built fourteen hundred years ago on the site of a temple that
stood on a spot where the Arabs first entered Cairo, we went to the
famous Cairo University. Our guide was Arif Pasha, the representative of
the Khedive, who had been a schoolmate of Mr. Schmavonian. He introduced
us to the Sheikh-ul-Islam, who took us to see the pupils. This was a
never-to-be-forgotten sight. Ten thousand pupils were seated on the
floors of the institution, there being no chairs or benches. Squatting
on the ground, which was covered with stones, all of them were intently
listening to readings or explanations by priests and teachers, all of
them obviously very poor, and all equally sincere and earnest. The
scholars were from many lands and races--from India, all parts of Turkey
and the provinces, Abyssinia, even negroes from Somaliland. I have never
seen so many people apparently so insatiable for knowledge, and so
tremendously absorbed in acquiring it amid such squalid conditions. They
seemed perfectly content, and, yet, I was told, they live on next to
nothing. Each receives at the beginning of the week a certain number of
flexible pieces of bread, and they have to divide them up themselves so
that they will last for the succeeding seven days. They sleep on
miserable cots, four and five in one room.

At last came our luncheon with Lord Kitchener. Even at this private
luncheon I could foresee that the question of precedence was bound to
present itself, and I was interested to learn how he was going to
circumvent it. When we arrived, I was very much amused at the ingenuity
he had displayed in evading it. In his dining room he had had two
separate tables set, at one of which he presided with Mrs. Morgenthau at
his right, and at the other of which his sister presided, and I sat at
her right. After luncheon, he took us through some of the rooms, and
showed us his wonderful collection of Russian ikons, describing how he
had gathered them, and drawing our attention to those that were
especially attractive. Then he took me into a small room, closed the
door, and we had an intimate lengthy conversation. He had profound
reasons for being intensely interested in the personalities and
ambitions of the new Young Turk Government in Constantinople, and he
evidently intended to take full advantage of my freshly acquired
knowledge, for he practically put me on the witness stand on this
subject, and indulged in a very thorough cross examination.

With Egypt nominally a protectorate of Turkey, and in view of Great
Britain’s interest in Egypt, it was enormously important for Kitchener
to get at the actual facts of what was going on at the capital of
Turkey. He could not understand how Said Halim, who was the cousin of
the Khedive and was wedded to an Egyptian princess, was permitting these
Young Turks to use him as a figure-head, and allowing them to encroach
upon his prerogatives as Grand Vizier. Kitchener told me that he knew
all about the Sultan, and realized how impotent he was to exert any
influence, or to assume any real authority; that he had expected that
Said Halim would be the real power in Turkey, but that his present
information was that Talaat and his Committee of Union and Progress were
developing into the real authority. He was especially anxious to know
all about Enver. He was surprised that a man like Enver who had never
won a battle and was only a revolutionist, and not a soldier, should be
raised from the rank of major to be Minister of War, because, in Turkey,
the Minister of War was really the head of the army. Kitchener also
asked me what the true condition of the Turkish army was, and whether
his information was correct that Turkey was rapidly disintegrating. He
thought that these inexperienced men would never be able to master the
situation, and re-assert their authority over lost territories. He was
anxious to know the attitude of the foreign ambassadors toward the Young
Turks--how they treated them--and whether they mixed with them
socially; and he was astonished when I told him that the German
Ambassador was the only one who had any real contact with, and influence
over, the Young Turks.

I answered all his questions as fully as I could with propriety, and
then, in turn, began to ply him with questions of my own. I asked him
whether he was satisfied with England’s progress in Egypt. In reply, he
went into a very elaborate and interesting explanation of Great
Britain’s colonial policy, and explained his conception of empire
building. He pointed out the definite continuity that had existed in
Great Britain’s growth, and how essential it was for her to make secure
the avenues of approach for her commerce from England to India. He
expressed the opinion that the English--both by reason of their flexible
character, their equitable system of administering justice, their
willingness to preserve established customs and respect for religious
institutions, and their long experience in such enterprises--were the
best equipped of all peoples for colonial administration. He told me
about some of his experiences in developing the Soudan; and in his
description of this work, and of the work of the British Empire builders
in other parts of the world, he talked of the Colonies in the same
manner, and from much the same viewpoint, as I had been accustomed to
hear among business men in New York who were developing some big
business combination or trust.

I left Lord Kitchener with an impression of a man of sound business and
political sense, powerful force of will, and an intense patriotism.

When we bade farewell to Cairo, we passed again through the Khedivial
Entrance, and again entered the Khedive’s private car, which sped us
part of the way along the Suez Canal to Port Said. We spent an hour
inspecting the Canal at its mouth and the DeLesseps monument, and then
boarded the steamer which was to carry us to Jaffa on the coast of
Palestine. It was on this steamer that we had the good fortune to meet
Viscount Bryce and his wife. This meeting was the beginning of a
friendship which I valued most highly. On this trip I first had occasion
to observe his method of obtaining information, which doubtless accounts
for a part of his remarkable equipment as an historian. He was quite the
greatest living questioner that I have ever met. He had developed cross
examination to a fine art of picking men’s brains. Most other men gather
their information from books. It was a joy to be permitted to attend his
séances with people who possessed information. He first put them
completely at ease by ascertaining what subjects they were thoroughly
posted on, and then, with a beneficent suavity, he made them willing
contributors to his own unlimited store of knowledge. His thirst for
facts was unquenchable. Question followed question almost like the
report of shots fired from a machine gun. By this process, I have seen
him rifle every recess of the minds of men like Schmavonian, who was a
storehouse of Turkish history, custom, and tradition, and of Dr.
Franklin E. Hoskins, who is a profound scholar in Bible history. His
method was physically exhausting to his victims, and in the hands of a
less delightful personality would have been intolerable. But Lord Bryce
was as charming as he was inquisitive, and more than that, he gave out
of his vast erudition as freely as he received.

The morning after my first cross examination at his hands we arrived at
Jaffa and proceeded on our tour through Palestine.

After the customary visits to the shrines of the Christians and the Jews
and the Moslems (whose interest and significance were doubled by the
eloquence and learning of Dr. Hoskins and Mr. Schmavonian), we proceeded
northward toward Nabulus and Damascus. On our way thither we made a
side trip westward to witness the Samaritan Easter sacrifice on Mount
Gerizim. These Samaritans are one of the most interesting surviving
remnants of antiquity in the world. They have scrupulously refrained
from marrying outside their tribe, and have retained unchanged the
customs which their lineal ancestors observed in the remotest Biblical
times, antedating the Christian Era by many centuries. The total
population in March, 1919, was only one hundred and forty-one. During
Easter week they dwell in about twenty camps, living the life of their
ancestors, and worshipping God in accordance with customs nearly four
thousand years old. Each year at Easter-tide they ascend Mount Gerizim
which they claim is the original Mount Moriah, to perform the ancient
sacrifices after the manner, and as they claim, on the spot where
Abraham performed them at the time when he offered to sacrifice Isaac.
When we reached their encampment on Mount Gerizim, we called on the High
Priest, Jacob-ben-Aaron who, after we had paid our respects, asked us if
we wished to go over the grounds, and have the various things explained
to us. He was too old to accompany us, and consequently requested two
senior priests to act in his stead. They showed us the ruins of the
Temple which Abraham had erected, the spot where he had suddenly
discovered the ram who saved Isaac from the sacrifice, and the altar
where the ancient sacrifices took place.

Just before sundown, the Samaritans gathered and began the services
which were to last all through the night. They began with prayer and
song, which were kept up for more than an hour until the sun had set.
They then killed seven beautiful white lambs, and put them into a great
hole in the ground, in which fires had been burning for a week. This was
in accordance with the law which prescribes that no flames shall touch
the meat of sacrifice. So the fires were removed before the carcasses
were placed in the pits and covered with earth, after which the intense
heat of the ground accomplished the necessary roasting. The Samaritans
then resumed their prayers and singing, which by alternating, they kept
up unbroken until a quarter to twelve, midnight. In the meantime, we
occupied our two tents which had been erected by the American colony at
Jerusalem for our use--one of the tents for repose, and the other a
dining room where we took our evening meal. Some of the ladies wrapped
themselves in rugs and went to sleep on steamer chairs, and the girls
sat about chatting, while Doctors Bliss and Hoskins and I visited the
different tents of the Samaritans, and had long talks with the High
Priest and other priests. The High Priest explained to us that the
material condition of the tribes was very bad. The Arabs disliked them
and barely tolerated them. He, himself, was supposed to live on a tithe
of the income of the tribe, but he said that this amount would not
suffice to keep him for more than one month of the twelve, so that
although he was more than seventy-four years of age, he used most of his
time in copying the Pentateuch in Samaritan, and selling it whenever he
could. Upon this hint, I bought a copy.

One of the tents was reserved for the unclean women. They are not
permitted to partake of the holy meat, but in return they are allowed
certain liberties. They had an Arab servant who was dancing for them
while they were beating time with their hands.

In another tent we visited there was a sick man who was being looked
after by a doctor. It was a very queer sight. The moon was shining
brightly and you could see the men and women sitting around and visiting
one another, all anxiously awaiting the division of the lambs. The High
Priest excused himself for not having provided one lamb for us, but he
had not anticipated that we would remain there until midnight. Of
course, he said, as we were not Samaritans, he could not offer us any of
the sacrificial meat.

About midnight, the lambs were brought out and there were seven groups,
and to each group was given a lamb, and they divided it with their hands
and ate it with their fingers--no knife, fork, or any other implement
being used. A great many of the men took large chunks of the meat to
their tents, where the women and children were waiting. They ate it
ravenously, as the law prescribes.

It was indeed a strange and interesting experience. Here, on a fine
moonlight night, on a lonely mountain in distant Palestine, was a little
tribe of people carrying out without affectation the customs which their
ancestors had observed unbroken for thousands of years, still dressed in
the same garb, speaking the same language, and conducting themselves in
the same manner as the shepherd folk of the time of Abraham.

A member of our party, Mr. Richard Whiting, took a number of remarkable
flash-light photographs of the ceremonies, a complete series of
reproductions of which was published in the _National Geographic
Magazine_ some years ago. Shortly after midnight our party started
homeward. Most of them were afraid to trust themselves in the dark on
the horses and donkeys, and so they walked. Lord Bryce and I stuck to
our horses, and it was a curious sight to see our little caravan wending
its way toward the hotel in the darkness of the middle of the night--I
with my Samaritan manuscript, and my daughter with one of the knives
used for the sacrifice, which had been presented to her by one of the

The headquarters from which we had made our excursion to Mount Gerizim
was the city of Nabulus. From this same headquarters we made another
excursion to Sebastiyeh, the old Samaritan capital of the ten tribes of
Judea. Here was the spot where the Assyrians besieged the Jews for three
years, and then, in turn, were driven out by Alexander the Great. The
ruins had Jewish foundations and superstructures erected by the Romans
under Herod.

These two plunges into remote antiquity suggested to my imagination the
reply which I made to the Governor of Nabulus when he called one day in
great excitement to say that he had just been notified that Talaat had
telegraphed from Constantinople to ask whether we were satisfied with
our progress and receptions. The Governor was very anxious to know what
he could do for me, and asked whether I preferred a dinner or some other
form of entertainment. I replied that I had had so many Turkish dinners,
and so many formal receptions, and asked if he would not arrange an
Arabian night. The allusion evidently meant nothing to him, for I had to
explain that I wanted to witness exactly how the Arabs spent their
evenings, and suggested to him that this could be done if he would
collect a group of important men of the town at some place where they
were accustomed to gather, and permit me and a few of my friends to sit
in with them as silent observers. The Governor caught the spirit of my
request, and arranged for the entertainment. At eight-thirty the
following evening he and a number of his officials called for us (Lord
Bryce, Doctors Bliss and Hoskins, Messrs. Peet, Schmavonian, and
myself), and led us through the winding darkness of the streets of a
real Arabian town.

The Chief of Police and three of his assistants headed our procession.
Each was carrying a table lamp instead of the ordinary lantern. Then I
followed, with the Governor of Nabulus on one side and Viscount Bryce on
the other, and behind us, the rest of our party, Mahmoud Tewfik Hamid,
the recently elected Deputy of the District, and other prominent Arabs.

As we walked through the dark, narrow little streets bending in every
direction, we saw here and there a shoemaker at his work, and a few
fruit shops still tempting the few passers-by with their wares. The air
we breathed was laden with a pleasing Oriental aroma. At last, we
unexpectedly found ourselves in a large square courtyard, in the centre
of which was a fountain playing. From this courtyard we were ushered
into an illuminated room about thirty feet square and twenty feet high.
Marble divans ran around the sides of this room, covered with beautiful
rugs. In the centre were numerous lamps of various kinds, and the walls
were hung with rugs. On the divans sat, cross-legged, twenty-four of the
most prominent Arabs of the city, smoking, drinking coffee, sipping
lemonade, and carrying on an animated conversation. Through the guide, a
nephew of the Governor, I requested them to continue their discussions,
and to disregard our presence. The guide, in the meantime, informed us
as to the pedigree and identity of the Arabs present.

Doctor Bliss interpreted for me. The Arabs were discussing the expected
completion of a railroad line to Nabulus, and the effect it would have
upon the exports of soap, which was the principal product of the city.
They were pleased to know that they could make up larger packages than
could be carried by the camels, which were the only means of transport
at the moment, and they were figuring out the economy of this
innovation. After concluding their discussion, they turned to us and
acted as our hosts. They spoke with great pride of their lineage. They
looked, indeed, with their intelligent faces and dignified bearing, like
men bred of good stock. One of them told me that he had positive
evidence at home that his family had lived in Nabulus for more than
five hundred years, and another one traced his lineage back to the
prophet Mohammed.

The scene reminded me of the “Thousand and One Arabian Nights.” Two sons
and two nephews of Ismail Agha Nimr, the owner of the house, were
continually flitting about, serving cigarettes, syrup, tea, and coffee.
Nothing could have been more gracious or hospitable than their manner
toward us.

Our homeward walk was made under the full moon, and was as picturesque
as had been the one earlier in the evening. Unconsciously, I could not
keep from expecting genii to jump out at me from one of the little doors
of the native houses.

From Tiberias, our route led us to Damascus, where we spent several days
exploring this most ancient of cities, and the beautiful surrounding
country, and visiting the very attractive ruins at Balbek. Thence, we
went to Beirut where the Syrian Protestant College is located--one of
the finest American institutions in the Near East. Here we visited a
very interesting Jewish settlement also. We then journeyed to Mersine,
Adena, Tarsus, and Rhodes, returning to Constantinople on May 1st.



In January, 1916, I applied to the State Department for a leave of
absence, so that I might pay a visit to the United States, which I had
not seen for more than two years. I had begun to feel the effects of the
nervous strain of my labours to avert the terrible fate of the Armenians
and Jews. These labours, and my experiences with German diplomatic
intrigue in Constantinople during the war, have already been described
in my earlier book, published in 1918 under the title, “Ambassador
Morgenthau’s Story,” to which I must refer any of my readers who are
interested to pursue my Turkish experiences further.

I spent the first few days after my return to the United States with my
old political friends in Washington, and I was shocked at the prevailing
political atmosphere. Not one of the numerous men high in the
Administration with whom I talked had the slightest hope that President
Wilson could be reëlected that fall. They were all convinced that, as
the breach in the Republican Party had been healed, our political
opponents were prepared to present a united front and were determined to
win; and that, on the other hand, the Administration had made so many
enemies in the preceding three years that the President’s defeat in
November was a foregone conclusion. Tammany had received no
consideration at his hands, and was very bitter; and hence there was
little likelihood of our carrying New York. “Organization leaders,”
otherwise the bosses, generally, had been ignored, and the party
machinery was rusty from disuse, where it was not actually broken down
by dissension. William G. McAdoo told me frankly of his intention
shortly to resign from the Cabinet and return to private business.
Josephus Daniels spoke hopelessly of the political outlook. Frank L.
Polk and Franklin D. Roosevelt gave me the same picture of party
dissension, apathy, and despair. Even Senator James A. O’Gorman of New
York, whom I had known for many years as a man of native optimism and
Irish courage, said to me: “Henry, it is sheer insanity to talk of
reëlecting President Wilson. He hasn’t a ghost of a chance. I am
convinced that the Democratic Party will be buried under a Republican
landslide this fall.” But after listening to my enthusiastic arguments
to prove that the President simply must be reëlected and that we could
convince the country of this necessity, he shared my conviction. He
said: “Henry, if I had had your viewpoint on this matter earlier, I
would have modified my attitude. But I have gone too far now: with my
record behind me, I cannot make a fight for reëlection as Senator.”

My conversation with these men shocked me, but did not depress me. It
aroused my fighting spirit. To my mind, the reëlection of President
Wilson offered not merely an opportunity for partisan advantage, but I
felt profoundly that the condition of international affairs made it a
vital necessity to our safety as a nation, and to the cause of humanity
the world over, because the rest of the world was looking to Mr. Wilson
to be ultimately the man who should bring about peace. I pointed out to
my friends the force of these arguments, and the folly, from our
national point of view, of changing Administrations at such a critical
juncture in our history. If a Republican were elected in November, Mr.
Wilson’s hands would practically be tied for the remaining four months
of his Administration, while the President-Elect would be equally
impotent to take effective measures to safeguard our interests in
international affairs.

I stressed the need to arouse the party from its lethargy, and to begin
at once a powerful and nation-wide campaign to reëlect the President.
The Cabinet officers at Washington responded to the enthusiasm which I
poured into this enterprise, and I soon had some members of the National
Committee awake and actively coöperating. At a conference with Mr.
Burleson, I discovered that the Congressional Campaign Committee had
done nothing. He sent for Mr. Doremus of Michigan, whose duty it was to
launch this Congressional campaign. He painted a gloomy picture of the
outlook for the Congressional elections. “We have no money to help the
boys make their fights for reëlection, and we have no one to whom we can
go and get it. Many of them are thoroughly discouraged, and see no use
in trying to do anything for the party, so they are just waiting for the
end and planning to go back into private life.” I asked Mr. Doremus:
“What is the minimum amount necessary to start vigorous work for their
reëlection? I don’t want to know how much you want, but how little you
can possibly get along with.” He named a modest figure, but declared
that even this was impossible to raise. I promptly under-wrote it
personally, and he went to work eagerly; and he afterward reported to me
that this action greatly changed the attitude of the Congressmen when
they realized that help was at hand to make a real fight for the
election. It practically created several hundred active campaign
managers at a stroke.

I then returned to New York, and on my own responsibility, leased
national headquarters at No. 30 East Forty-second Street, signing the
lease in my own name, after I had shown the rooms to Colonel House and
Charles R. Crane, who approved my selection. I bought and rented
furniture, typewriters, and other supplies, and got everything in shape
so that the moment the approaching Convention was over, and the new
Campaign Committee named, they would find the tools for their work ready
to hand, and could go on the job without the delay we had experienced in

In view of the hopelessness which I had found among the party leaders,
and in view of the very narrow margin by which Mr. Hughes was defeated
the following November, I take pride in the consciousness that my
activities were one of the necessary factors that led to Mr. Wilson’s
reëlection in 1916.

I shall return later in this article to other dramatic incidents of that
campaign, including some of the exciting events of Election Night that
are not generally known.

Meanwhile, in addition to the negative difficulties of apathy and
despair, there were numerous positive troubles that needed immediate
attention. I shall describe one of these problems in which I was called
upon to take a hand personally in straightening it out. It concerned the
appointment of a Postmaster for New York City. Here was a dangerous
political situation. The late John Purroy Mitchel was then Mayor of New
York City, and was making a splendid record. His presence in that
position was of course a standing annoyance to Tammany Hall, which he
had fought all his life. Tammany was already irritated enough at the
Administration, because of President Wilson’s unbending opposition. Some
of the party managers in the Administration at Washington had thought to
placate Tammany by a tardy recognition of the “Wigwam” in the shape of
an appointment of a Postmaster agreeable to Murphy. Postmaster General
Burleson had manipulated this arrangement, and when I arrived in
Washington, I found that the appointment of a Tammany man to be
Postmaster had proceeded so far that the commission was on President
Wilson’s desk for him to sign. The man to be named was Joseph Johnson,
who was an intimate associate of Murphy’s, and who had done some very
aggressive publicity work for Tammany Hall. Murphy had had him appointed
Fire Commissioner of New York under Mayor Gaynor, and Mayor Mitchel had
displaced him when he succeeded Gaynor. In retaliation, Johnson had
taken great pleasure in spreading political propaganda adverse to
Mitchel, so that there was an intense political feud between the two
men. I realized that Johnson’s appointment as Postmaster would deeply
offend the better element of the Democrats in New York, and would cause
such dissension as probably to result in our losing the state and
national election. I knew, too (and this was perhaps of even greater
importance), that Johnson’s appointment would be so repugnant to the New
York _World_ that this brilliant champion of President Wilson and his
policies would be disgusted and would lose the fine enthusiasm that made
its support so effective. I therefore went to the White House, and
called upon President Wilson.

I presented my arguments against Johnson’s selection with all the force
of which I was capable, but found that the President took only a languid
interest in my attempt to re-open a subject which he considered closed.
The nearest approach to rousing him which I achieved, was when I pointed
out to the President that Johnson’s appointment would alienate John
Purroy Mitchel. He thereupon flashed out with, “Mitchel is no help to us
anyway.” I then realized the President’s deep irritation at Mitchel’s
active campaign for military preparedness, which he had pushed so
vigorously that it amounted, on the one hand, to a threat that he would
leave the party if a preparedness programme were not undertaken, and on
the other, to a serious embarrassment of the President’s carefully
considered foreign policy. The President finally tried to dismiss the
subject by saying that I had come too late, that Burleson had arranged
the whole matter, and that the commission was on his desk for signature.
I then asked him as a personal favour not to sign the commission for a
few days, and to this he consented.

I then made a call upon the Postmaster General. Mr. Burleson evidently
misjudged the temper of my resolution. In our association in the
campaign of 1912 he had never seen me thoroughly aroused, and did not
realize that I was so now. He argued the matter in a soothing manner,
and at length made me the astounding proposal, not only that I should
assent to the nomination of Johnson, but that I should write a letter to
the President commending it. I evidently astonished the General with the
vigour of my reply. I informed him emphatically that I would not write
such a letter, and practically challenged him to see which of us would
have the final say regarding the nomination.

I next sought Colonel House to get his advice and coöperation. I got
only the advice--and a glimpse into the true nature of his relationship
with the President. He told me that it was his custom to present freely
to the President his views upon questions of the moment, but that he
believed that it was the President’s duty to decide, and that once the
President had expressed an opinion, it was not proper for him to argue
the matter with him.

I did not accept Colonel House’s advice. I was confident that my
judgment of the Johnson appointment was sound, and I felt no hesitation
in renewing my effort to convince Mr. Wilson. I returned to the White
House, and resumed my argument. I pointed out to the President the
danger of losing the enthusiasm of the New York _World_ and the extreme
importance of carrying New York in the fall election, and the
embarrassment which Johnson would cause us in that effort. “Do you mean
to say,” demanded the President, “that if I appoint Johnson Postmaster,
it will cost us New York in November?”

I understood the President’s psychology well enough not to answer with a
direct affirmative. If I had said “Yes,” the Scotch-Irish in him would
have instantly replied, “Then, I don’t care if we do lose it.” Worse
yet, he would have doubted my own loyalty and fighting spirit. I
replied, therefore, somewhat less directly. Recalling Mr. Wilson’s
enthusiasm for golf, I said: “No, Mr. President, I do not mean that.
What I do mean is that you will put an enormous bunker in our way and it
will require great skill for us to get over it.” This answer pleased
him, and we continued the discussion. “Whom else could I name?” he asked
me. I answered truthfully that I had no candidate; and that I was
concerned only to prevent Johnson’s selection, and had not the slightest
objection to his selecting a good Tammanyite for the position. I added
that two Tammany men occurred to me as being unobjectionable, State
Senator Robert E. Wagner, or Assemblyman Alfred E. Smith.

The President finally agreed not to appoint Johnson, and several days
later, telegraphed me in New York, asking me to offer the position to
Senator Wagner. I did so, and almost persuaded him to accept it, with
his proviso that he should get Murphy’s consent. This he failed to
obtain, so that for the rest of the year the Republican incumbent
continued to hold the office. Tammany would not have been placated
anyway by this one sop thrown to them at the last minute, and, on the
other hand, I had the satisfaction of preventing the defection of
Mitchel and the weakening of the New York _World’s_ support.

President Wilson was re-nominated unanimously at the Convention at St.
Louis in July. The next question was to name the Chairman of the
Campaign Committee so that we could proceed at once to vigorous action.
I was suggested for the position, and I promptly refused to consider it,
pointing out that my antagonism to Tammany would certainly cause the
organization in New York to resent my appointment. The various state
organization leaders were already irritated enough over the lack of
consideration that they had received throughout the Wilson
Administration. Some of them were determined to revolt unless a chairman
should be named from the recognized party workers of the National
Committee. The President has the right to name the man who shall manage
his campaign for reëlection, and his advisers were distinctly worried
over the attitude of the organization leaders. I was asked to suggest
someone to act as Treasurer of the Campaign Committee, and I mentioned
Vance McCormick of Pennsylvania. This probably suggested a solution of
the difficulty, and the President shortly afterward named McCormick
chairman of the Campaign Committee. As McCormick was a regular party
leader, and was besides very popular, there could be no objection to
this choice. It proved indeed a very happy one. All who know McCormick
personally are unanimous in their appreciation of his high character and
of his utterly charming personality. He is a most unusual mixture of
forcefulness and sweetness of spirit. His selection was an ideal one.
The concord which prevailed at Democratic headquarters throughout the
campaign of 1916 was in pleasing contrast to the fretful bickerings of
1912, and this difference was due chiefly to McCormick’s influence.

I devoted myself, as I had in 1912, chiefly to the financial side of the
campaign. This time I had powerful assistance. Thomas L. Chadbourne,
Jr., and Bernard M. Baruch were particularly valuable allies. I had only
to suggest, to one or the other, where I thought they might find some
prosperous and as yet untaxed Democrat, to have him eagerly exclaim,
“I’ll get him,” and neither of them ever failed to make good his boast.
Some gave cheerfully out of their abundance, as did Edward L. Doheny,
whom I personally solicited and who contributed $50,000, which he later
got back, and a quarter of a million more, by taking a sporting chance
on a close election and betting heavily on Wilson’s success. Others gave
equally greatly out of meagre resources. Of these, the most touching was
the gift from the late Franklin K. Lane, who had saved up a thousand
dollars in the preceding six months and gave it out of the fulness of
his patriotism and his personal affection for the President.

Perhaps the most amusing episode of our campaign for party finances was
our experience with Henry Ford. One of our plans called for an extensive
campaign of newspaper advertising, which would require a large sum of
money. Someone suggested that Mr. Ford, in view of his interest in world
peace and in President Wilson’s peace record, might be willing to supply
the funds. After some correspondence, Ford agreed to meet Vance
McCormick in New York, and in August, 1916, they met at luncheon in
McCormick’s rooms at the Biltmore Hotel. The luncheon party consisted of
Ford, McCormick, Thos. A. Edison, and Josephus Daniels. All four men are
well known for their temperance proclivities, and doubtless they lived
up, on this occasion, to their professions and their usual practices. It
must have been either the intoxication of political ideas, or the
effervescence of youthful spirits which prompted them after luncheon to
dispense temporarily with the serious business in hand, and enter into a
lively competition in high kicking in the sitting room of the suite in
friendly but vigorous rivalry to see which could first kick the
chandelier. None of them reached this goal, but Henry Ford, who started
his business life by repairing bicycles, set a new world’s record by
topping the other three several inches in this pedal competition. To
make sure that my memory of this event was correct, I wrote to Vance
McCormick for verification. His reply is worth repeating:


     Your recollection of the Ford-Edison luncheon was in general
     correct. The luncheon was held in my sitting-room in the Biltmore
     and the invitation was arranged through Secretary Daniels who was
     present at the luncheon with Mr. Ford and Mr. Edison. As I
     remember, John Burroughs was also present. I will have to confirm
     that, however, through the newspaper accounts of the luncheon....

     During the luncheon, as I remember it, the principal topic of
     discussion was the question of the best diet for an active man to
     produce the greatest results and extend one’s life to a ripe old
     age. Mr. Edison started the discussion by stating that he lived
     principally on hot milk and bread. This lead to a general
     discussion, but the principal debaters were Mr. Edison and Mr.
     Ford, each advocating his own diet. Finally the debate waxed so
     warm that a demonstration of athletic ability was proposed and I
     think it was Mr. Ford who stated that he could kick higher than Mr.
     Edison, whereupon as we left the table a high kicking contest was
     indulged in and the marks made upon the wall, and my recollection
     is that Mr. Ford was the highest kicker although, I believe, the
     contest was a close one.

     The lunch party was a most enjoyable affair and carried off more in
     the spirit of schoolboys than that of statesmen and geniuses....

     With kindest regards, I am

Very sincerely yours,
(Signed)      VANCE C. MCCORMICK.

This expansion of movement on Ford’s part, however, suffered a severe
contraction when the subject of finances was resumed. He interposed
objections to every argument that was made for his contribution to the
advertising campaign. He objected to giving money for political
purposes, because he had heard so much about improper expenditures, and
he was afraid that some of his money might go that way. He stood firm in
that position even after it was pointed out to him that advertising
rates were easily determined, and the expenditures could be checked.

Exhausted by their efforts to pin Ford down to a definite proposal,
McCormick and Daniels brought him over to Democratic headquarters,
introduced him to me, and, as McCormick expressed it, left him to my
tender mercies. I re-argued the points they had covered, and found out
Ford’s real position. He would contribute, but he wanted terms that
would advertise himself and his cars. The advertisements, when
published, must be in the form of a statement of Ford’s personal views
on the campaign, and must bear his signature. In addition, as
compensation, we were to guarantee him the privilege of calling upon the
President, so that he might lay before him the plan which he
contemplated of adding the women in his employ to the men who were
already benefitting by the minimum wage of $5 a day. He wanted the
President, he said, to get the credit for advising him to make this
arrangement. No doubt, he was even more anxious to get the publicity
that would come from making the announcement after the visit.

We accepted Ford’s proposition, but he drove a hard bargain, for, after
all, his contribution was a small one, and absurdly disproportionate to
his means and to his professions of interest in the election.

One minor incident of the campaign had a significant bearing on the
subsequent career of Senator Carter Glass of Virginia. President Wilson
asked me to see Mr. Glass and persuade him to accept the position of
secretary of the Democratic National Committee. He gave no reason for
this request, and I had considerable difficulty with Mr. Glass, who
shied away from the suggestion. I assured him that we did not expect him
to perform any routine duties. We wished him to accept the post only so
that we might have him at hand to consult upon questions of campaign
strategy as they arose. He finally consented. From subsequent
developments, it was evident that Mr. Wilson even then had Mr. Glass in
mind for higher honours, and wished to use this means of bringing him
more prominently before the general public, so that he would be more
readily accepted by national opinion when the day came for an

We realized that the election at best was going to be a very close one.
We felt reasonably sure that the disaffection of Tammany in New York,
and of the Roger Sullivan organization in Illinois, would cost us those
two states. We had to make up their expected loss in other directions,
and for this reason we concentrated on Ohio and the states of the
Pacific Coast. I was very much astonished when Mr. Elbert H. Baker, the
proprietor of the Cleveland _Plain Dealer_, came into headquarters one
day and assured us that we would carry Ohio by 75,000 votes. I had no
such hopes, and regarded Mr. Baker as a well-meaning enthusiast. Some
days later, however, in conversation with Secretary of War Newton D.
Baker, he assured me that his namesake was not far wrong in his
estimate. Both were subsequently justified by events, as Ohio gave
President Wilson 90,000 more votes than Mr. Hughes.

One of the most useful individual contributions to our ultimate success
in the Pacific Coast states was the vigorous campaign waged in the West
by Mr. Bainbridge Colby on his own initiative. Mr. Colby, it will be
recalled, had been a Republican, but in 1916 he was attracted by the
progressive character of Woodrow Wilson. He therefore aligned himself as
a member of the Democratic Party, and became one of President Wilson’s
most ardent supporters. His services were of the greatest value.

Despite our anxieties, we came to Election Day with hopes so high that
they amounted to complete confidence in the result. So sure was I of the
outcome, that I invited as many of my political friends as remained in
New York (most of the National Committeemen had gone to their homes to
vote) to join me at a dinner at the Biltmore on Election Night, November
6th. We arranged to receive the returns at the table, and planned that
the occasion should be one of progressive jubilation.

When the dinner began, we were a happy party. Mrs. McAdoo’s vivacity was
the keynote of an evening full of jest and laughter, and of confident
anticipation of victory and four years more of Democratic control of
National policies. Everything went merrily until about nine o’clock,
when unfavourable returns began to filter in, and gloom began to settle
on the assembly. Nervousness gave way to consternation when, about ten
o’clock, we received word that the New York _Times_ and the New York
_World_ had flashed their beacon lights to announce that the Republicans
had won. Mr. McAdoo sank deep in his chair, the picture of dejection.
Mrs. McAdoo’s vivacity and appetite fled together. They excused
themselves comparatively early, and departed. Our dinner soon became,
what it was afterward aptly called, a “Belshazzar’s Feast.” The party
broke up, and those of us who had been active in the campaign, headed by
Vance McCormick, hurried back to headquarters on Forty-second Street.
The news from New Hampshire, Minnesota, and California was especially
encouraging. We resolved that, whatever else happened, this should not
be another Tilden-Hayes defeat. We sent for Attorney General Gregory,
and at our request, he telephoned to United States District Attorney
Anderson in Boston, ordering him to send deputies at once into New
Hampshire, to see that no violations of the election laws were
permitted, and especially to guard against the reported intimidation of
election officials preparing their returns.

The newspaper reporters were flitting back and forth between our
headquarters and the Republicans, and we got from them a report that
financial men were gathering in the headquarters of the enemy, and were
raising an enormous fund to affect the returns from the West. We used
the reporters to carry an ultimatum to the Republicans. We reminded them
that we had control of the Federal legal machinery, warned them that we
had already put the United States authorities in all doubtful states on
the watch, and assured them that if the proposed fund were raised, it
could only be for illegal purposes, and that if this effort were not
instantly stopped, the whole crowd would find themselves in jail on the
following morning. If they seriously contemplated such action, this
threat was effective to stop it, and no effort was made by the
Republicans to use funds improperly.

We then concentrated our attention upon California. Within an hour had
secured a through telegraph wire to Democratic headquarters in San
Francisco and arranged that every precaution be taken to secure a fair
count throughout the state.

We kept a close watch also on Minnesota, where, if we had needed it, I
have always been convinced a recount would have given us a majority that
would have made the loss of California a matter of no moment. We all
spent the entire night at headquarters, my son going out at three
o’clock in the morning to bring us in hot rolls and coffee. At six
o’clock in the morning, our collars wilted, our dress shirts soiled, and
looking generally bedraggled, we took taxis to our several residences to
refresh ourselves with bath and breakfast, and to change into business
garments. By eight o’clock everyone was back at headquarters, and we
worked through that entire day and until midnight without sleep. Our
reward was the final assurance of victory.

Woodrow Wilson was again President of the United States. The nation
could count upon an uninterrupted and consistent policy through the
critical winter of 1916-1917, and the world was the gainer by the
exalted leadership and sustained nobility of policy which marked our
reluctant, but high-minded, entrance into the World War, and its
progress to a victorious conclusion.



Just one week after the United States entered the war, President Wilson
invited twenty-four men from all parts of the country to meet in
Washington on April 21, 1917, to consider means of financing the
American Red Cross. As I was one of the group, I came to Washington a
day earlier, and a few of us met at dinner. Of the guests that I can now
recall there were Charles D. Norton, Cornelius N. Bliss, Jr., Cleveland
H. Dodge, Vance McCormick, and Eliot Wadsworth. We all agreed that the
funds should be raised by a nation-wide popular subscription. The
impression of all those present, with the exception of myself, was that
about five, or at the most ten, millions could be raised for this
purpose. I vigorously contested this point of view, and suggested that
the minimum sum that we should start out to raise was fifty million
dollars. I outlined the terrific needs, not only in this country, but
also in Europe, for help of this kind. None of them agreed with me that
as large a sum as fifty millions could be secured, and they finally
said: “If you feel this way about it, you propose it at the full
committee meeting to-morrow.”

The next day, when the committee was in session, I made the proposition
and was astonished that none of those present at first grasped the idea
that the American people could be induced to subscribe fifty million
dollars. I then spoke a second time and told the committee that the
American Jews alone (of whom there were only three million) were then
engaged in raising a fund of ten million dollars for their
co-religionists abroad, and pointing to my friend, Julius Rosenwald,
added: “There is one man in this room who individually obligated himself
to contribute up to one million dollars to that fund. And I have no
doubt there are several other men in this room who could and would
subscribe one million dollars to the Red Cross, to say nothing of the
other patriotic Americans who would do likewise.”

When our committee finally selected Harry P. Davison, of the firm of J.
P. Morgan & Company, to be chairman, some of them hesitatingly told him
of my suggestion that fifty million dollars be raised, adding that they
thought my proposal was absurd. “You are right,” he said, “Mr.
Morgenthau’s proposal of fifty million dollars is absurd--absurdly
inadequate. At least one hundred million dollars will be required, and
that is the amount we must determine to raise.”

This was an inspiring example of those qualities of imagination, vision,
and daring, which had made Mr. Davison, while still a young man, one of
the foremost leaders of American finance. His decisive leadership and
fiery energy aroused the enthusiasm of his associates, and put the work
instantly in full swing.

I suggested that the best way to get our campaign immediately and
dramatically before the public was to obtain a proclamation from the
President commending our plan to the nation. “We have a psychological
opportunity,” I declared, “to reach the pockets of the people through an
appeal to their eager desire to serve. At the most, only a small
percentage of the population, and those the young men, can be active
combatants. But every citizen wants to feel that he is himself enlisted
in the common cause. Active membership in the Red Cross is such an
enlistment, because the Red Cross will be the second line of our army,
inspiriting and heartening the boys.”

They all agreed, but they feared it would take some time to get such a
proclamation from the President, because he was so very busy, and it
would be hard for him to find time to write it. I thought the
proclamation could be secured by the following morning, and told Mr.
Davison that Secretary Franklin K. Lane was the man in Washington who
could most nearly phrase an idea in the language of the President, and
that if we could get him to write the proclamation for us, I had no
doubt that the President would sign it without substantial change. We
went to Lane’s office, and it was a pleasure to me to introduce these
two able men of such diverse achievements, and to see how promptly each
fell under the spell of the other’s charm of manner. Mr. Lane readily
agreed to draft the proclamation, and promised to have it ready in a day
of two. “We want it in twenty minutes!” I exclaimed. “I will give you
the ideas we want expressed, and you can write it as well in that time
as in as many days.” “All right, go ahead,” he replied, and after a
short discussion, he reached for pen and paper, and within a few minutes
had written the following message to the American people, that thrilled
the country and made easy the path of the Red Cross Campaign.

     Throughout the land the spirit of the American people has been
     aroused and an intense desire to render some service that will give
     proof of their patriotism is moving every heart. As not more than
     one million of our citizens can be utilized to serve in the Army
     and Navy of the United States and be given the privilege of risking
     their lives on behalf of our beloved country, it is the duty of all
     the rest to do something to help those who are at the front.
     Sickness and discomforts can only be prevented by the hearty
     coöperation of those who remain at home.

     To give every one a chance to share in the defense of our country:

     I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, and President of
     the American National Red Cross, do appoint and proclaim that May
     30th, 1917, be dedicated, in addition to our devotion on that day
     to those who have heretofore sacrificed their lives on the altars
     of our country, as a Red Cross day on which all our citizens should
     give, according to the measure of their ability, their money and
     their time to the American National Red Cross for the general
     purposes of the Society, and especially for the comfort of our
     armed forces, the care of those dependent upon them, and the relief
     of war sufferers in foreign lands. We must perform this duty
     generously and not stintingly. No less than fifty million dollars
     should satisfy American pride.

In a few minutes, his stenographer supplied us with typewritten copies,
and within another hour, Mr. Tumulty, the President’s secretary, with
whom we left the draft, had promised to bring it to Mr. Wilson’s
attention that night. The following morning it was delivered to us,
bearing the President’s signature. The confidence in America’s
generosity was more than justified, as the Red Cross drive brought in
110 million dollars.

In the following month (May, 1917) I had a curious experience with the
ineptitude that able men sometimes display in public affairs. In that
month a number of gentlemen gathered for the purpose of formulating a
plan for a government-backed campaign to inform the American people more
fully regarding the European situation, our aims in the war, and our
proposed methods of waging the war. This meeting was one of the first
steps taken in the direction which ultimately led to the formation of
the Bureau of Public Information, which performed the dual function of
distributing government war publicity in this country and American war
propaganda abroad. This was a non-partisan gathering, and the following
gentlemen were present: Charles E. Hughes, Thomas L. Chadbourne, Jr.,
John Purroy Mitchel, Hon. William R. Willcox, Chairman of the
Republican National Committee, William Hamlin Childs, George W.
Perkins, Frank Munsey, Willard D. Straight, William A. Prendergast,
Robert Adamson, and myself. We had a very interesting discussion, and at
the close, Vance McCormick and I were appointed a committee to submit
the results to the President. That evening, Frank Munsey called me up on
the telephone and after a great panegyric of John Wanamaker, and
enlarging upon his vast experience as an advertiser and publicity man,
and as though he were delivering a nominating speech, suggested Mr.
Wanamaker as War Publicity Director. I curtly answered that he would not
do. He then veered over into a similar and extended eulogy of George W.
Perkins who, he declared, and with some justice, was one of the great
experts in the securing of publicity. I was really taken aback that a
man of Mr. Munsey’s acuteness should suggest to me that I propose one of
these two men, both of whom had so openly and unflinchingly attacked
President Wilson during the recent campaign. I reminded him that Mr.
Wanamaker had paid for lavish advertisements to bring about the defeat
of President Wilson. Then my sense of humour overcame my annoyance: the
very absurdity of his suggestions was irresistibly funny, and I asked
Mr. Munsey why he did not suggest George Harvey as his third choice and
so complete the trinity of Wilson’s strongest opponents in the publicity

Another episode, as felicitous as this one was inept, occurred in this
same month. The occasion was the reception which New York City gave to
Marshal Joffre, René Viviani, and Arthur J. Balfour, who were visiting
this country as the heads of the French and British mission sent to
express the appreciation of their governments upon our entrance into the
war, and to advise with us upon the best means of making our military
alliance effective. New York City enthusiastically welcomed both its
distinguished guests, and Mayor Mitchel and his Reception Committee
were happy at the opportunity to give these visitors the freedom of the
city. To prevent any possibility of wounded susceptibilities, by seeming
preference of one guest over another, separate ceremonies were arranged
for each.

At all these ceremonies, including the reception of the men at the dock,
and even at the special dinner given to a select seventy at Sherry’s,
the lead was always given to that great citizen and grand old man of
American private and public life, the late Joseph H. Choate. There never
was any doubt as to who should be selected to match the generations of
culture and statecraft so ably represented by Balfour, the nephew of
Salisbury, the vivid French eloquence so charmingly illustrated by
Viviani, and the French eminence in the art of war which Marshal Joffre,
the hero of the Marne, so adequately typified. Joseph H. Choate was
preëminently the man whom we could proudly call upon; who in his own
person combined all the requisites of social grace, intellectual power,
and international distinction.

The climax of the entertainments offered our guests was a great dinner
at the Waldorf-Astoria, at which Mr. Choate presided. As I was also a
member of all the committees, and was in addition an ex-Ambassador, I
was constantly at his side. I know of no one, either in my own
experience or in history, who at that advanced age, was his equal in
youthful energy, in ebullition of spirits, in consummate geniality, and
spontaneity of wit; nor any one who so wonderfully combined the learned
lawyer, the able diplomat, and the democratic citizen. He was
universally recognized as the “highest type of living American,” and we
were proud to match him against the world.

When he made his speech with Joffre, Viviani, and Balfour at his side,
and delivered that famous message to the officials at Washington: “For
God’s sake, hurry up,” and was greeted with the thunderous applause that
followed, he reached the pinnacle of his career. As he stood there
looking at that audience, radiating forth one of his beaming smiles,
full of human sympathy, of hope and faith in America, it thrilled the
audience and gave to the British and French representatives an
unmistakable assurance that America was with them, and would stay with
them to the finish. It was a glorious and most fitting close to Choate’s
great career to be permitted to use his last thoughts and energies, in
his eighty-fourth year, for the welfare of his country. A few days
later, while the effect of his last speech was still penetrating into
the farthest corners of the earth, he passed away, mourned by all.

In June, 1917, the President asked me to go abroad upon a secret
diplomatic errand, which I am not even yet at liberty to disclose,
further than to say that I learned that what the President hoped for
could not be accomplished, and after a few days I proceeded to Paris.

This was one of the great hours of history. General Pershing had arrived
with his little staff of officers and a few regiments of American
Regular soldiers. This was America’s first pledge toward the promise of
military aid, which was speedily to be redeemed in terms of two millions
of American troops in France, and final victory in the war. I dined with
Ambassador Sharp; and in his home I met General Pershing, Thomas Nelson
Page, our Ambassador to Italy, and other prominent Americans. I renewed
old acquaintances in the American colony at Paris, and soon learned the
immense significance of the appearance of our soldiers in France. It was
now the middle of July, and only a little earlier the French people had
almost seemed to falter in their struggle. France seemed to have been
bled white by three years of devastating war. Frenchmen were saying
that it was as well to die on their doorsteps as to be led to useless
slaughter at the front. The French Government was making a final
desperate effort to restore the nation’s confidence. Joffre in May had
pleaded at Washington for American troops--“No matter how few you send,
only give us the sight of Americans in uniform on the streets of Paris.”

I now had the privilege of watching, from the most favourable point of
vantage, a critical test of the national psychology which the French
Government made in July, 1917. With a profound sense of dramatic values,
they had arranged that the American troops should be exhibited to the
French public on their Independence Day, July 14th, as units of a great
patriotic parade. To make sure that they might accurately gauge the
psychological effect, the President’s reviewing stand was placed in
Vincennes, where the people had suffered greatly from the privations of
the war, and where disaffection was rife. I received an invitation to
witness the parade from the President’s reviewing stand, and Ambassador
Sharp, General Pershing, and I were the only Americans so favoured. We
were arranged around President Poincaré, with Monsieur Painlevé,
Minister of War, and others. M. Painlevé afterward told me that he and
the President of the Republic had headed the procession while it was
passing through the poorer quarters of the city, to test the attitude of
the people before they had tasted the enthusiasm which the sight of
troops would naturally arouse, and that they had been encouraged by
receiving everywhere a cordial and even a hearty reception.
Nevertheless, I could plainly see the evidences of nervousness amongst
the French officials--a nervousness which grew more intense as the
military parade approached. It was somewhat relieved as the French
soldiers marched by, and were greeted by the hearty cheers of the
people. It disappeared entirely when our splendid Americans swung past
the reviewing stand. The enthusiasm of the spectators then passed all
bounds. To the French officials this approval of the populace meant
relief from a heart-breaking anxiety: to us Americans who stood with
them it was an occasion for patriotic pride. To see the flag of our
young nation in this old capital of Europe, and behind it those two
thousand splendid examples of our young manhood, so erect in carriage,
and so lithe in motion--their faces so eager and intelligent--their
whole bearing so proudly representative of the millions that were to
follow them, and to see how much their presence meant to rulers and
people alike--all this made a picture that filled us with happiness. The
effect upon the French nation was instantaneous and electrical. From
despair, they changed overnight to fresh hope and confidence. Though
they then only hoped for one third of a million reinforcements within a
year, and little dreamed of the marvel which was actually performed of
bringing two million men speedily to France, they were nevertheless
enthusiastic over the prospect. Responsible Frenchmen urged me to advise
President Wilson to assert himself at once as the leader of the whole
alliance against Germany; and responsible Britons soon afterward added
that they, as well as the French, would welcome a unified control of the
Allies’ political policy with President Wilson in command. I think it
profoundly significant, in view of the later course of events, that the
European nations thus early conceded the necessity that Americans should

I was still further informed of the real thoughts of the French
officials when a few days later I dined with Painlevé, who spoke with
deep appreciation of the help which America was beginning now to extend.
He spoke quite freely of the recent disaffection that had come among the
French people after three years of terrible fighting and heavy losses,
and with gratification of the change that had come over public opinion
with the arrival of the American troops. He covered at length the
dangerous situation on the Russian front, the blunder committed at the
beginning of the war in the failure of the Entente fleet properly to
pursue the _Goeben_ and the _Breslau_, the capture of which would have
kept Turkey out of the war and spared them the difficult problem of the
Balkans. He discussed also the difficulties of the French in governing
their colonies and dependencies; and, with special significance, he
declared that negotiations for peace with Germany could not be commenced
before the complete evacuation of all the territory then occupied by the

Painlevé was especially solicitous regarding our ability to solve the
problem of transportation of men and munitions to France. He was
concerned over our ability to drill into a real army more than two
hundred and fifty thousand men within a year. He asked eagerly about
President Wilson’s character, especially whether I thought he had the
determination which, now that we had entered the war, would cause him to
see it through with energy. He feared, from the hesitancy that we had
displayed before entering, that we might be planning a lukewarm effort.
He was delighted when I assured him of the iron resolution of President
Wilson, and of the habit of the American people, once aroused, to see a
fight through to the finish.

In the course of that evening (Saturday), he asked me whether I had
posted myself on the military conditions in France. I told him I had
projected a trip to the British front, and was only waiting for the
arrangements to be completed. He asked me whether I would not like to
see something else in the meantime, and I replied that I should like
very much to see the French front, and especially to visit the parts of
Alsace which the French had at last reunited to France. He was somewhat
taken aback when, having asked me when I should like to go, I replied on
the following Monday. Nevertheless, he proved himself possessed of a
capacity for prompt action and execution. At ten o’clock on Monday
morning, there appeared at my hotel a very dapper French officer. He
saluted, introduced himself as Captain Jaubert of General Headquarters,
and added: “At your command. I am to accompany you on your mission--your
visit to the front.” A few moments later, a heavy-set, very
intelligent-looking man, in the garb of a chauffeur, presented himself,
likewise came to attention, saluted, and informed us that the car was
ready. Shortly thereafter, we were on our way.

Our party consisted of Captain Jaubert, my old friend Schmavonian of the
American Embassy at Constantinople, Professor Herbert Adams Gibbons, and
myself. Our first objective was Gondrecourt, the camp and headquarters
of the then tiny American Expeditionary Force. Our route took us through
that part of the battlefield of the Marne which was nearest to Paris,
and as we sped along, Jaubert explained to us, by means of sketches
traced on the window glass with his forefinger, the tactics of that

Arrived at Gondrecourt, we saw a splendid sight. Here were American boys
in American uniform, with American automobiles and other equipment. It
gave us a keen sense of home. Captain Jaubert, whom I had by this time
discovered to be not only a captain but a marquis, and a nephew of the
Duke of Montebello, soon located the headquarters of General Sibert. We
were here invited to dine with General Ponydreguin, the commander of the
famous “Blue Devils,” a very charming gentleman. He commanded the French
troops in this neighbourhood, as General Sibert commanded the Americans.
After dinner, we adjourned to the camp headquarters, which I found
these two gentlemen shared. As neither spoke the other’s language, it
was amusing to see them, while using an interpreter to converse with
each other, carry through the French politenesses of direct
conversation, smiling at each other, and bowing and courtesying, General
Sibert especially finding it difficult to accommodate his rather formal
American manner to the livelier conventions of Continental usage.

After a tour of inspection, on the following morning, of the interesting
activities of the camp, we proceeded on our way to Domremy, the
birthplace of Joan of Arc, where I wished to visit the church, which is
a shrine to her memory. By this time I had discovered not only that my
escort was a marquis, but, more surprising, that our chauffeur had been
in private life a member of the Paris Bourse. The car in which we were
riding belonged to him, and he had volunteered to do his bit for his
country by putting the car at the Government’s service, and offering
himself as its chauffeur. Captain Jaubert, in accordance with military
traditions of discipline, had treated him, a mere sergeant, as
impersonally as if he were another piece of the car’s mechanism. When we
drew up at Joan of Arc’s Chapel, and dismounted to enter, I saw by his
expression that he was as eager as I to see the interior of this famous
shrine. The yearning look on his face, as he stood before the portals,
which an absurd military convention forbade him to enter in company with
us, who were no better than he, was too much for me to withstand. I
asked Captain Jaubert to relax the rigours of discipline for the moment,
and allow him to accompany us. The Captain acquiesced with
characteristic French politeness, though I suspected he did not
especially relish it; but the chauffeur’s appreciation was sufficient
recompense for whatever slight damage was done to military tradition.
The Captain himself had a fair grievance against military fate: he was
a graduate of St. Cyr and had resigned from the army during the Dreyfus
episode, with the result that he had had to reënter the army as a
captain, while most of his classmates at the Military School were at
least colonels and many of them generals.

That night we reached Thann. We arrived about nightfall, and were met at
the town boundary by the Mayor. He invited us to spend the night with
him at his suburban home, as it was not safe for us to sleep in the
town. I was ushered into the best room in his house, and found that the
mirror in the bathroom, as well as the tub, was almost demolished. The
Mayor explained that this damage had been done during the week, and that
he had not had time to repair it. The next day was a great Catholic
holiday, Assumption Day, and we were invited to attend the services at
the church of St. Theobald. This spectacle was intensely interesting,
because the parents of these people, though French by origin and
sympathy, had been compelled by the Germans to rear their children in
the German tongue, and consequently, though the first sermon of the
celebration was delivered in French by a chaplain of the French army, a
second sermon was then delivered in German by an old abbé. The French
general explained to me that he saw no reason why he should deprive the
inhabitants of the town of their religious comfort simply because they
could not understand French.

At one o’clock we were entertained at the hotel by the two oldest
inhabitants and most respected citizens of the town, Messieurs Weber and
Groshents. At this luncheon they paid me one of the most touching
compliments I have ever received in my life. They were men of about
seventy. Both had been of age during the Franco-Prussian War, and both
had continued throughout the forty-three years of the German occupation,
since that war, to be unconquerably French in their patriotism. During
the luncheon, while the conversation was lagging, owing to my
insufficient knowledge of French, the two old men whispered to each
other for a few minutes, and then one of them, Mr. Weber, turned to me,
and said in German: “We have just released each other from the vows we
made in 1871, that we would never again speak German in public. But we
want to enjoy your company and we want so much to hear you talk to us,
that we think we are justified in suspending our agreement.”

We then had a most delightful conversation. Mr. Weber told me how, in
1871, he had taken the French flag which had flown over the City Hall
until the German occupation, and secreted it in the back of a sofa in
his parlour, and how he had taken the flag staff and hidden it in his
garret. Then, when the French entered the town in 1914, he ripped open
the sofa, took out the flag, fastened it back on its staff, and at
seventy years of age had proudly presented it to President Poincaré in
celebration of the return of Alsace to France.

Leaving these delightful old gentlemen and their quaint city of Thann,
we motored southward. At dinner next evening we were entertained by the
Mayor of Mazevant, Count de Witt Guizot. After a very pleasant evening
with him, and as we were about to take our leave, I inquired if he were
related to Francis P. G. Guizot, the famous historian. He smiled, and
replied: “Slightly; he was my grandfather.”

Another day of interesting travel took us through the Alsatian provinces
to Belfort, and there we abandoned the automobile, and returned by train
to Paris.

A few days later I had the pleasure of renewing my acquaintance with
Marshal Joffre, which I had first made at the civic receptions in New
York. I called upon him at his headquarters at the Military School in
Paris. Marshal Foch had succeeded him as Commander-in-Chief of the
French armies, and Joffre was now engaged chiefly in training staff
officers, and in advising the High Command when his judgment was needed
in council. The Marshal gave me, with great frankness, his ideas upon
what America should do to make effective our military participation in
the war.

Immediately after our interview I had a memorandum prepared by the
gentleman who acted as my interpreter, from which I have made the
following extracts:

     In the present warfare there is a most vital need for artillery
     officers and for general staff officers. The American Department of
     War must realize this. It is not enough to have the men, the other
     officers, and even the equipment. The framework of the army is far
     from being complete or efficacious before you have a sufficient
     number of trained artillery and general staff officers. In order to
     train these officers for active field service, they should be sent
     to France. They can at once be sent to the front where for a week
     or two they can see the work done there. The general staff officers
     can then attend courses in the general staff school, and the
     artillery officers can be attached to French artillery regiments
     until they are thoroughly familiarized with the work.

     Besides the artillery and general staff officers, the Marshal
     advises to send in turns a certain number out of the two hundred
     newly promoted American generals to join the French divisions, army
     corps, or armies where they can obtain very valuable practical
     information most useful to them when they take over commands in the

     The Marshal said that he had something very delicate to add. He had
     come to know that in America there was a certain class of officers
     whom he would call “the old officers”--those who would like to see
     all promotions and appointments made solely on the basis of
     seniority. Between these old officers, and the younger officers,
     the Marshal understood, there was or there might be friction. The
     Marshal said that in an emergency like the present the things to be
     taken into consideration are efficiency and ability. When he took
     over the command, the same question came up in France. The Marshal
     did not hesitate to drop from the ranks a large number of officers
     and to appoint in their stead younger and more capable men, without
     taking into consideration the seniority of the former. Without
     clearly stating it, the Marshal very delicately left the impression
     that in his opinion politics should play no part in military

     The Marshal said that twice he had Mr. Roosevelt next to him at
     dinner in America. Mr. Roosevelt seemed anxious to come to France
     with some volunteers and fight against the Germans, and he (Mr.
     Roosevelt) would be satisfied by being only second in command under
     a general. Marshal Joffre was not of the opinion that the
     realization of Mr. Roosevelt’s plan could be of great service and
     therefore desired to dissuade him from attempting to carry out his
     plan. So the Marshal told Mr. Roosevelt, “My Colonel, whatever you
     may be, you cannot be second!”

     In recapitulating, the Marshal said, “Do not wait until you are
     entirely ready _in America_. You should not attempt to act before
     you are ready, but there are things which you can do at once by
     degrees, little by little, while you are preparing yourselves. Send
     officers to be instructed for the artillery and General Staff
     services, send some generals, and put them at once in contact with
     our generals at the front. Let a regiment or a battalion go to the
     trenches. From time to time send some men over.” The Marshal’s idea
     seemed to be that while the main preparation and equipment should
     be carried out in America, some men and officers should be sent
     over for instruction in France, and the arrival from time to time
     of men and officers would create a favourable impression on the
     minds of the French who would see that America was doing something.

     The Marshal spoke very highly of General Pershing.

Two days before my conversation with Marshal Joffre, I had arranged a
dinner in honour of General Pershing. On the morning of that day,
however, I received a letter from his secretary postponing the
engagement. It read as follows:

  Office of the Commanding General
    Saturday, August 18, 1917.


     General Pershing has requested me to inform you that much to his
     regret he will be unable to dine with you and Mrs. Morgenthau this
     evening. The General has had an engagement of long standing to
     take a particular trip with General Petain when the latter was able
     to arrange it. This morning General Petain has just sent General
     Pershing word that he has made all arrangements for them to leave
     this afternoon. So under the circumstances the General hopes you
     will understand why he is unable to be with you this evening.

Very sincerely,

When we met at dinner, four days later, the true meaning of this letter
was revealed. General Pershing explained that “his engagement of long
standing to take a particular trip,” when translated, meant that General
Petain had promised him to let him witness the battle at Verdun the
first time active operations were resumed there. On the morning of our
first appointment, General Petain had sent General Pershing word to come
to Verdun at once, and Pershing had, of course, cancelled all
conflicting engagements, and left for the front. He described to us what
he had seen at Verdun, and spoke with the eloquence and enthusiasm of a
boy who has just seen his first Big League game of baseball. Pershing
gave us a vivid picture of a modern battle. He had accompanied General
Petain to an observation dugout, where they could see the battle through
the telescopes, as well as keep in touch with its multitudinous
operations by telephone. The General in command of the division at this
point was receiving messages from all parts of the battlefield, and
transmitting them to Petain. Word would come that X had taken another
hill, and Petain would tell him to hold it or to move on, making his
decisions for the various parts of the battlefield in accordance with
his general plan of military action.

General Pershing was especially interested in a double coincidence of
this visit. The Division Commander in the dugout was General Gouraud.
Oddly enough, General Gouraud had been the French military attaché in
Tokio when Pershing was American attaché at the same point. In the
dugout they fell to comparing notes on their experiences together in
Japan in 1905. General Pershing recalled that one of their acquaintances
there had been the German attaché, whom they had both detested. “By the
way,” he inquired of Gouraud, “what has become of that little German,
Von Etzel, that we used to know in Tokio?” “Come here,” Gouraud replied,
“and look through this telescope. That is Von Etzel’s army retreating.”

Three days later, my eagerly anticipated trip to the British front was
undertaken. Schmavonian again accompanied me. Lord Esher, who had
arranged this trip for me on behalf of the British, introduced to me
Captain Townroe of the British General Headquarters Staff, a fine,
determined gentleman, who had been the private secretary of Lord Derby
during the recruiting period in England and was the author of a popular
play called “Nations at War.” General Pershing had kindly designated
Captain Quekemeyer, then as now his personal _aide_, to accompany us as
an American representative. They first escorted us to an old château
occupying the land where the battle of Agincourt was fought. First we
visited two American regiments of engineers. It was a great revelation
to see how two or three West Point officers had been able to whip into
perfect shape 1,200 civilians and out of them to create splendid
regiments. General Biddle escorted me to their headquarters, and we
reviewed the regiments. We then went to Roisel where we visited the 12th
U. S. Engineers. They were just making camp. Their colonel apologized
for the chaotic condition of affairs. I kept looking at him, thinking
that I had met him before. At length I made a few inquiries of him as to
his antecedents, and where I could have met him, when suddenly, having
penetrated through the years

[Illustration: Mr. Morgenthau as one of the group of financiers,
doctors, and sociologists who organized the international association of
Red Cross societies at Cannes in 1919]

which had left its marks upon him, it dawned upon me that this man,
Colonel C. M. Townsend, was the same Townsend that had attended the
College of the City of New York with me in 1870, and we had not seen
each other once in the ensuing forty-seven years! This was one of the
most remarkable feats that my memory ever surprised me with.

When we returned to the château that evening, our genial host, Colonel
Roberts, introduced us to a number of British writers who had arrived
that day. Lovat Fraser, then leading editor of the London _Times_; C. J.
Beattie, the night editor of the _Daily Mail_; L. Cope Crawford, of the
London _Morning Post_; H. B. Tourtel, of the _Daily Express_; Sydney
Low, and a few others. After supper, we sat in the parlour in the old
château, with its engravings by Wilkie on the walls, and the old
furniture, etc., and were reminded that it was right on the battlefield
of Agincourt. I listened to Sydney Low’s story of his writing “The
Conquest of Attila,” who was assisted in his war by the Ostrogoths
(Austrians) and opposed by the Franks, Visigoths, etc., and how Attila
had said that God would help him to destroy the Christians, and he would
be a scourge to them and sack their cities, or, as Low put it, “just
like Emperor William, who told his army to act like the Huns, and they
are doing it.”

Another evening, we had discussions with some of the British labour
leaders, who had come over to visit the front under the direction of Mr.
J. E. Baker of the Ministry of Munitions. They were amazed when I told
them that it was ridiculous to think that democracy could be established
in a few years. They were really surprised to think that twenty-five
years was inadequate to reform the world.

Another evening, Colonel Roberts asked me whether he could invite Major
Tibbetts who was then in command of Tank Town, which they called the
headquarters of the Tank Corps in that neighbourhood, as the Major was
very anxious to meet me. I told him I had never heard of the Major, but
that I should be very glad to meet him. It turned out that Major
Tibbetts was in command of one of the landing parties at the Dardanelles
and that he was most desirous to ascertain what took place on the
Turkish side of the lines at that time. So here we sat in France and
completely dovetailed our two stories into each other. He told me of his
experiences--how he, with his party, had reached the cliffs, and had to
dig themselves in, and the Turks were pushing them hard, while the
British ships were attacking the Turks on the beach, and they were
suspended between the two fires, totally ignorant of the actual state of
affairs, while we in Constantinople were wondering why those two
detachments had not coöperated. He explained it, but as his explanation
was rather confidential, I do not care to repeat it.

One day, General Charters, who was in charge of the Intelligence
Department, came to see me, and asked me whether I was perfectly
satisfied with my programme. I looked at him quizzically and said:
“Satisfied? Yes. Perfectly? No.” He said: “What else do you want?” I
told him that I had heard so much recently of the activities of Sir
Arthur Currie, that I was anxious to meet him. He told me that it was
impossible, as General Currie was then conducting the attack on Lens. I
said to him: “Look here, General, when I took charge of British affairs
in Constantinople, and found that the secretaries and clerks were much
inclined promptly to say ‘No’ to all requests from British citizens, I
promulgated Order No. 1, which was, that no one but myself could say
‘No’ to any request from any citizen of any country whose affairs we had
taken charge of, and, furthermore, that I would not say ‘No’ unless I
had first received a ‘No’ from the Grand Vizier, or from the State
Department in Washington.”

General Charters said: “I am on, sir,” and left the room. He came back
in twenty minutes, and said: “Sir Arthur Currie most cordially invites
you to lunch with him to-morrow at one o’clock.” I said: “Accepted with
great pleasure; but tell me, how did you do it?” He said: “I called up
Sir Douglas Haig, and told him your story. He called up Sir Arthur
Currie, and the invitation was, as you see, promptly extended.”

Rather than repeat from memory the very interesting interview I had with
Sir Arthur, I shall quote verbatim from the diary which I kept at the
time, giving my impressions as they were written fresh at the moment:

     August 25, 1917. Received by Currie, a fine, tall, well-set, calm,
     determined man. He was anxious to make sure of our names. Even
     there he showed his thoroughness. We repeated our names and handed
     him our cards. We were presented to his staff, Generals Radcliffe
     and Sinclair, Prince Arthur of Connaught, etc., and went straight
     to lunch, “hot curry,” liver and bacon, rice pudding, salad and
     fruit, being served. We discussed Turkish conditions, the price of
     land there, etc., Currie saying that their expected land grants
     would hardly be appreciated. We also discussed general affairs of
     war, Radcliffe and Connaught joining in the conversations, as they
     were anxious for facts about the Dardanelles and Bagdad.

     After luncheon, the General took us into his office from two to
     three o’clock. We talked of warfare, the battle of Lens while it
     was in progress. He said that he still had in his corps men who
     were very proud of their victorious record and tried to live up to
     it. He spoke fairly freely, and explained his method of leap-frog
     attack, laying great stress upon a full knowledge of the enemy’s
     position and strength, etc., when about to make an attack. His
     command had never failed to get their objective and retain it.
     Example of spirit of men: Two units who after capturing a height
     and then a quarry were driven out of latter and he was wondering
     what to do and studying the situation, when he heard that the men
     without waiting for orders, of their own initiative, attacked the
     quarry again, regained it, and are now in possession of it. Currie
     bemoaned an accident to his ankle which he had sprained playing
     Badminton. He disliked going amongst men who were real casualties,
     while his injury was caused by a game. He favours reserving and
     using different and fresh troops for repelling counter-attacks and
     attributes much of his success to this policy. He has strong common
     sense. His men coöperate. Artillery answered S. O. S. call in
     thirty seconds, and thus helped to relieve infantry promptly. He
     favours light railways which he has greatly extended in this
     section. Carries two thousand tons a day on them instead of
     expected one hundred and fifty tons. Spirit of victory induces
     Smith, R. R. engineer, if requested by Jones Chief Gunner for more
     shells to make special trip _sans_ hesitation. Canadians originated
     raiding trenches without capturing them.

     When complimented on calmness amidst storm, etc., as several
     generals and flyers were waiting outside to report and for
     conference for further action in battle in progress, he evidently
     was totally absorbed and enjoying our talk. He said: “The Great God
     has given me this calm nature, which prevents my becoming excited,
     and I use it to study everything which I think will help to lick
     the Boche.”

     He showed great confidence in the final issue of the war, and was
     delighted with the U. S. entry into it, and said: “I do not believe
     that God or Fate has brought English-speaking people together
     intending them to lose.” He objected to Canadians being treated
     patronizingly by the British, and he said: “England doesn’t want
     it, why should we? We are not fighting for England, but for the
     British Empire of which we are a part, and which we want
     perpetuated, and we are fighting for our skins.” He insisted upon
     the imperative need of a G. O. C. [General Officer Commanding]
     having undisputed and untrammelled power to send home incompetent
     officers and disregarding political influences. Men should only be
     sent against enemies with good leaders. It is strange all the
     generals speak of the Germans as “he” and “him.”

     Canada is provided with clothing and food by England. It pays them
     for everything. He recognized that the United States could not have
     entered earlier, as their people were not favourable. Hoped the U.
     S. would profit by their experience and avoid their mistakes. “The
     lessons of the war should teach the U. S. how to use their great
     power to advantage and secure permanent victory and peace.” He said
     he knew a great deal about the U. S., as he lived in Vancouver, and
     was a National Guardsman, colonel of a regiment, then had a
     brigade, a division, and now a corps.

     After our talk, we entered his Rolls Royce, and went to Vimy Ridge
     accompanied by G. S. O. No. 3 of the Corps, a fine intelligent
     fellow. We walked eight hundred yards over a long row of slats laid
     down for King George who made the same trip, and after passing
     through a trench, reached an observation tower. It had an opening
     about 8 ft. wide and was 20 inches in height, and was used by a
     sergeant and two assistants. Had powerful glasses and maps showing
     the country. We could see the Battle of Lens in its progress. The
     ground around it was pock-marked with shells. The panorama of the
     fight was thrilling to behold. It gave an impression of the
     enormity of the task to make any progress at all. We wore steel
     helmets and carried our gas masks with which we had practised in
     the auto, as we were well in the danger zone. Some shells dropped
     within 400 yards of us. The N. C. O. [non-commissioned officer] in
     charge pointed out some Boches running on the streets of Lens and
     also corpses lying in little gray heaps. Sixty-pounders and other
     shells were being hurled through the air above us right into Lens
     and Mericourt and in return the Germans were firing on Vimy. Two
     airplanes were flying right over the battlefield, with German
     shells exploding several hundred feet below them.

When I had started on this trip with Sir Douglas Haig as my chief
objective, my wife had begged me to ascertain from Sir Douglas why he
had not captured Lens. The reader will recall that, at that time, there
were constant reports about the Battle of Lens, and it was very puzzling
to us that, although the British seemed in complete control of the
batteries around Lens, they hesitated about taking the town. Therefore,
one of the first questions I put to Sir Douglas when I met him three
days after my meeting with Currie, was the one entrusted to me by my
wife, and in reply he explained to me that it was more efficacious to
use Lens as a means of diminishing the Germans’ unused reserve than to
take possession of it.

The full record of my meeting with Sir Douglas Haig, quoted from my
diary, is as follows:

     Tuesday, August 28, 1917: It rained hard. We left the Château at
     11 A.M. ... We had an accident with auto forty minutes from
     headquarters, were hastily transferred to another car, an open
     Sunbeam, with torn top which I had to hold down, raining, rushing
     madly, stopped by R. R. crossing, and once by a long line of
     troops, but we reached there at 1 P.M.

     Sir Philip Sassoon, M. P., private secretary of Sir Douglas Haig,
     received us and ushered me into private room of D. H. We talked for
     ten minutes before, and forty minutes after, lunch, alone; most
     interesting and instructive. He showed me and explained maps of
     Ypres, Lens, etc., and lists of German divisions and the steady
     diminution, since April 15, of their unused reserves which declined
     from 44 to 5. He said that Germans having concluded that the French
     were used up and the British unprepared, commenced transporting
     troops to the Russian front, and among other things he wanted to
     save Russians, so he ordered attack on Lens and made attack on
     Ypres. He also wanted to convince Lloyd George and others of his
     capacity to push back the Germans and settle the war on western
     front. He thinks it wrong tactics to attempt to secure small
     victories at Gaza or Bagdad. The war can only be won by attacking
     the German army. The only place to reach them is at the western
     front. Germans will never admit or consider themselves defeated
     even if all their allies are whipped and forsake them. Hence
     everybody should concentrate attention here. Italians should also

     Thinks Germans are beginning to realize their position and possible
     defeat and great loss of economic position, and will in October or
     so offer peace terms, which it will be difficult to have French
     decline. He begs and urges that no early, incomplete peace be made,
     now being the day or time of reckoning. He thinks the Germans are
     much worse off than is known. He is positive that England will hold
     out until we can come to assist. He says it is unnecessary expense
     for us to prepare great airplane units, and that shelling German
     cities will not end war, or shorten it. It is right here, with
     artillery and infantry and of course a proper amount of airplanes,
     that work must be done.

     He believes that the U. S. is destined to play a very important
     part, but thinks we must admit it is also self-defense that prompts
     our actions, and not only the altruistic spirit. He said the French
     were not ready at Havre to receive U. S. troops, and it would be
     much more effective if U. S. troops joined them and received their
     hints in good English which they understood. He is pleased that U.
     S. troops believe in same system of warfare as English, offensive
     and hitting out and not defensive. He explained their method of
     attacking, their intention only to move far enough each time to
     secure a height and drive the Germans from points of advantage and
     be prepared for counter attacks and each time absorb some German
     divisions. Lays great stress on gradual diminution of German unused
     reserve division.

     Engineers built 600 miles of standard and narrow-gauge railroads.
     They have 600 locomotives and 6,000 cars. Shortage of freight cars
     was great handicap. They took old rails from England, South
     America, and U. S. to build these lines. He hopes we will send more
     railroad men and engineers. Quick transporting of men and material
     greatest help. He thinks war has at last given Great Britain an
     empire and hopes it will also give them the U. S. as a permanent
     ally. War must be won by Great Britain and U. S. jointly. Said
     their own experience will make them patient with us. Spoke most
     flatteringly of Pershing and our American troops. Thinks their
     temperament is so spirited and warlike.... He makes the impression
     of a determined experienced soldier, who has a well-defined plan
     which he is sure will lead to victory and wants everyone to adopt
     it and fight it out here in Flanders. He neither drank nor smoked
     at lunch.

From our luncheon with Sir Douglas Haig we returned at once to Paris. My
diary for the next day contains the following:

     Wednesday, August 29, 1917: Called at headquarters. Saw Col.
     Harbord, and then General Pershing.... Harbord told me French put
     Americans south of them and not next to English, because they,
     themselves, wanted to be defending Paris and did not want
     foreigners to determine destiny of France. It sounds plausible. He
     again suggested a visit from Baker, who could then talk more
     convincingly to Americans and would understand needs. Pershing told
     me that every sinew of his muscles, every artery leading to his
     heart, and all his energy and hours are devoted to working for
     success. He again expressed hope of United States fighting to the
     end. He spoke of needs of dockage for the ships, thinks it will
     require 30 to 40. Feels we need our own locomotives and cars to
     send men, etc., to front; claims our camps will be so located that
     we can send men to any part of lines. Shipping is needed to bring
     men over, and then their food and ammunition. He says nothing can
     be secured here--all must come over. Hopes seized German ships will
     answer; if not we should insist upon Allied ships, including Japan
     and Italy. It will take fully a year before we can be of much
     actual assistance.

A few days later, I sailed for America to make my report to President
Wilson. It was my intention, upon my arrival in New York, to make this
report in the form of a letter, and with this idea in mind, while still
aboard ship, I wrote several drafts of it by hand, and in New York
dictated a letter in final form to the President under date of September
15, 1917. I finally decided, however, that a verbal report was better,
and consequently, I proceeded to Washington, and on September 19th,
called on the President. I gave him at considerable length the
information I had gathered. As our conversation, however, was simply a
verbal enlargement of my letter of the 15th, I will quote that letter
here. It is, I think, of some historical importance:

September 15, 1917.


     After close observations, visiting fronts, conversations with
     members of the French Cabinet, Generals and others, both French and
     British, I have arrived at the following conclusions, which I
     submit for your consideration, and expect to elaborate upon, when
     you grant me an interview. Among the men I have talked with are
     Generals Sir Douglas Haig, Sir Arthur Currie, Joffre, Pershing,
     Sibert, Biddle, and others, and also Messieurs Painlevé, Ribot,
     Cambon, and Steeg of the Cabinet.

     No separate peace can be made at present with the Turks as they
     still think that the Germans will be victorious, and because many
     of the members of the Union and Progress Committee are enriching
     themselves through the continuation of this war.

     The Turkish atrocities perpetrated against Armenians, Syrians, and
     Arabs establish beyond doubt that the Turks should no longer be
     permitted to govern non-Moslems and non-Turks of any description.

     The British and French successes at Verdun, Ypres, and Lens have
     reduced the German unused Reserve Divisions from forty-four in
     April to five in August, and have demonstrated that the German
     positions are not, as has long been believed in the United States,
     impregnable. The British and French are now confident of final
     victory, depending, however, on the coöperation of the United
     States Army.

     For moral and political effect, they deem it highly desirable that
     more American troops, though unprepared, be sent immediately.

     The German autocracy with its strong leadership and blind following
     of its allies will never yield until German military prestige has
     been destroyed.

     A test of strength will have to take place on the Western Front.

     Victory will be won as much through the steady hand and intrepid
     determination of the leader that will direct the united allied
     forces as by the physical resources that will be employed.

     Both British and French authorities have separately admitted that
     in none of the Entente countries is there a statesman who would
     satisfy them all as a leader. They think that your consistent
     attitude in this great struggle between democracy and autocracy and
     all your messages and particularly your masterful answer to the
     Pope’s proposition, indicate you as the leader--to take immediate
     control of the situation. They do not want you to wait until our
     Army, Navy, and Aircraft are equipped and at the front. They are
     willing to discount all this, as they need your guiding and
     universally trusted hand now at the International Helm.

     Traditional mutual jealousies and ambitions, and their consequent
     suspicions disqualify any European statesman for that leadership;
     while the knowledge that America has no political ambitions in any
     part of the Old World, and the esteem which they feel for you
     personally would secure you the enthusiastic support of all the
     statesmen of the Allied Governments and their peoples. All our
     European co-belligerents are deferential towards us, receptive to
     American ideas and ready, as far as possible, to meet our wishes.
     I, therefore, venture to urge upon you to give this matter your
     very serious thought. The need for a disinterested leader is
     absolutely imperative.

     In addition to the power you exert through the Government at
     Washington, the diplomatic missions in the Entente Capitals, and
     the American military missions in Europe, you might appoint a
     special commission to be stationed in Europe to represent you in
     all civil and political matters. It is difficult here to enumerate
     the various activities which you could entrust to such a
     Commission. This Commission should assist, in case of need, the
     American military authorities in their relations with the French or
     other European Governments and try to avoid and adjust all possible
     friction between them; it should be in touch with the political
     parties, the civil authorities, journalists, and all men who have a
     share in the forming of public opinion; it should collect all
     possible information, especially of a political nature, and report
     the same to you; it should, at the same time, through the press,
     the platform, and other similar means, impart American information
     and exercise an influence on French public opinion in the direction
     you may desire. I lay stress on this matter of exercising an
     influence on French public opinion because French affairs are now
     subject to petty political differences, schemes, and
     counter-schemes of those who are in power and men like Caillaux,
     Briand, Clemenceau, and others of the opposition. Such a commission
     under your guidance should endeavour to exercise such a salutary
     effect upon French public opinion as to make Frenchmen forget at
     this critical juncture all their petty strifes and induce them to
     concentrate their entire forces and energy upon the great main aim
     to destroy the autocracy of Germany, which should be declared an
     “international nuisance” for it is maintained by the Hohenzollerns
     contrary to the wishes of many of its citizens. Even prior to the
     war, more than forty per cent. of the votes were cast by Social
     Democrats and others of the opposition. It is certainly a menace to
     the welfare and rights of self government of surrounding nations.
     No one feels this more keenly than the Germans and their
     descendants in the United States. They left Germany to escape this
     monster and have enjoyed the privilege of living anew and becoming
     an indissoluble part of this great liberty-loving nation. Alexander
     II emancipated the Russian serf; Lincoln freed the poor Negro; and
     it is your privilege to extricate the Germans from their miserable

     Moreover, our co-belligerents have divergent and conflicting
     interests, both in regard to the disposition of territories which
     they hope to liberate from their enemies, and in regard to the
     general problem of what concessions can be allowed our enemies,
     when the bargaining begins.

     This Commission should study these questions and all others
     connected with them, so that you will have your own independent
     up-to-date information upon which to act in dealing with the Allies
     and the enemies during the war and at the Peace Conference.

     Such a Commission can greatly assist you in your task to infuse the
     Great American Spirit into the Allied peoples, and so strengthen
     them that they will fight for right until it is established and has
     permanently destroyed the danger of a tyrannic militarism fastening
     its clutches into the whole world.

Yours most sincerely,

Perhaps the most important feature of my conversation with the President
was the word I brought him of the universal desire of our European
associates, that he should exert the intellectual and moral leadership
of the common cause. The President was deeply impressed with the
earnestness and solemnity of this message that I had brought him. He
seemed for the moment almost overpowered at the thought of the
stupendous responsibility that it thrust upon him. We now know how nobly
he rose to that responsibility--how adequately he expressed and
organized the moral basis of our cause--with what masterful and
intellectual grasp and statesman’s firm procedure he rose to be the
undisputed leader of a world in righteous arms against the menace of
autocracy. But, at the moment, he seemed perplexed, he seemed almost to
despair. “They want me to lead them!” he exclaimed. “But where shall I
lead them to?”



Shortly after my return from Europe, John Purroy Mitchel came to my
house to seek advice on a matter concerning both the destinies of his
city and, as the event proved, the end of his own career. He asked me
whether he ought to run again for Mayor, or accept a tempting business
offer that had just been made him.

Mitchel was always an attractive and frequently an inspiring figure in
municipal affairs. A typical American, of fighting stock, the grandson
of a man that had battled for free Ireland and the nephew of a
politician that had made his mark, Purroy Mitchel, whose face and
carriage reflected the latent power of leadership, was one of those
young souls at once sensitive and fiery to whom Tammany’s abuse of
opportunity becomes a personal affront. More than once our paths had
curiously approached each other.

Back in 1908, E. H. Outerbridge had come to my house and, as chairman of
the Citizens’ Committee in the current campaign, urged me to accept the
fusion nomination for President of the Borough of Manhattan. My answer

“President of the Board of Aldermen--yes, but no administrative office.”

“I’m sorry,” said Outerbridge, “but the man for that place has already
been determined upon. He is John Purroy Mitchel.”

Had that answer been different, the entire course of my life would have
been changed, for the whole Fusion ticket was elected, with the
exception of the man at the head of it, Otto Bannard, who was defeated
by Judge Gaynor. Mitchel became President of the Board of Aldermen.

Then again, while in that office, his life touched mine.

In 1912, he sought me in much such a quandary as that in which he was to
find himself in 1917. He had been offered, and wanted to know whether he
should accept, the presidency of a struggling mortgage-guarantee company
in Queens County. He was evidently influenced to come to me because I
had been prominently identified with the Lawyers’ Mortgage Co. of New

This was then my advice:

“It would be a good thing for you to get out of politics for a while and
give the next few years to accumulating a competency. After that, you
can reënter politics, inspired by business experience and free from
money cares, but this mortgage guarantee company is not what you should
go into. Your talents and special training as Commissioner of Accounts
could be much better utilized in some established industrial enterprise.
I think I can arrange to have you made the vice-president of the
Underwood Typewriter Company.” I promptly took up the matter and
arranged an interview between Mitchel and Mr. John T. Underwood, with
the result that the former was offered the vice-presidency I have
referred to, with the sole proviso that he must pledge himself to hold
the position, and refrain from politics for at least five years. Mitchel
hesitated and the old maxim came true: “He who hesitates is lost.” His
political acumen informed him that the succeeding autumn would offer him
the best if not the only chance to become Mayor of his native city.
Devotion to good government and a burning desire to displace Tammany
were his ruling passions: he disregarded material considerations,
declined the Underwood offer, and remained in politics.

But our fates were not yet divorced. In the spring of 1913 ex-President
Roosevelt held a meeting of some leading Progressives at his office to
agree on a fusion slate for the next New York Municipal election. It was
planned to put forward a candidate who would attract all shades of
voters but who was opposed to Tammany Hall. Charles S. Aronstam, who
attended the caucuses representing the Progressives of Brooklyn, writes
me this account of that gathering:

     I have been trying to refresh my recollection as to what transpired
     at the conference at Colonel Roosevelt’s office in June, 1913, when
     your name was suggested as a probable candidate for President of
     the Board of Aldermen on the Fusion ticket with Charles H. Whitman
     for Mayor and William A. Prendergast for Comptroller. There were
     present besides the Colonel, the late Lieutenant-Governor Woodruff,
     Mr. Edward W. Allen, of Brooklyn, and myself.

     You will recall that at that time Mr. Whitman was on the crest of
     the wave and he was the unanimous choice for Mayor of the
     Republican members of the Fusion Committee. The only other
     candidate that was under serious discussion was Mr. George A.
     McAneny. Mr. Mitchel having been appointed Collector of the Port
     was apparently out of the running. His name was discussed but his
     candidacy had not yet reached such a stage of development as to
     make him a probable choice. Colonel Roosevelt’s choice between the
     two was Mr. Whitman, not because of his superior qualifications
     over Mr. McAneny, but because of his greater availability on
     account of the tactical position he occupied at that time in the
     public eye and because he had the unanimous backing of the
     Republican Party: The important consideration being the defeat of
     Tammany Hall. It was then suggested that with Mr. Whitman, a
     Republican as a candidate for Mayor, and Mr. Prendergast a
     Progressive as a candidate for Comptroller, in order to invite the
     support of independent Democrats, it would be necessary to select
     for the second place an independent Democrat, preferably one
     closely associated with the Wilson administration.

     I do not recall which one of us first suggested your name as a
     most desirable choice for that place if you could be persuaded to
     run. I do recall, however, that when your name was suggested,
     Colonel Roosevelt banging his fist on the desk in his
     characteristic manner exclaimed, “Just the man! Do you think he
     would consent to run?”

However, I sailed for Europe before they could get in touch with me. But
Aronstam was himself to take ship within a day or two and Colonel
Roosevelt commissioned him to see me abroad and secure my assent.

My recollection is that Mr. Aronstam first called on me in Paris and
that there was then made a tentative decision, later confirmed by a
letter from Aix-les-Bains. At all events, his mission was like that of
Mr. Outerbridge years before, and what Aronstam had to offer me was what
I had on that other occasion told Outerbridge I would accept.

My natural question was:

“Who is slated for Mayor?”

“Charles S. Whitman.”

“What about Purroy Mitchel?”

Well, Mitchel was Collector of the Port, and not considered available,
whereas Whitman, as District Attorney, had the centre of the stage, and
would appeal to the popular imagination. The only other candidate that
had been considered was Mr. George McAneny, and the Progressives did not
think that he would be a good vote-getter.

As Aronstam was submitting his message from the Colonel, my mind went
back several years to a statement once made to me by Herr Barth, a
well-known member of the German Reichstag. He said that men of the
Roosevelt type would never be content to remain out of office, and to
rest in the rôle of merely philosophic guides for the people: having
once exercised power, they must continue to possess it.

I felt that Roosevelt, for his own good and the good of the people,
should reënter the public service. Here, it seemed to me, was a chance
to serve many purposes. Roosevelt’s first demonstration of his power had
been in municipal politics, when, as Police Commissioner of New York, he
fearlessly enforced the liquor law. I recalled, too, the incident of his
unexpectedly accepting an invitation to review, at that time, a parade
of German societies, and how, arrived at the reviewing stand, he heard
somebody unacquainted with his presence express in German the wonder
whether “Rosenfelt” would have the nerve to put in an appearance at a
time when he stood for a strict enforcement of liquor regulations, to
which most of them were opposed. Roosevelt’s peculiarly penetrating
voice supplied the answer:

“_Hier ist der Rosenfelt._”

That was the sort of man New York needed in the present juncture. The
chance ought, moreover, to appeal to him, because it seemed to me that
his election would be inevitable, and that, as a consequence of it, he
would very likely re-occupy the White House in 1916.

For my part, I had just refused the appointment of Ambassador to Turkey,
which I then considered relatively unimportant. I believed that I could
be useful as a member of a possible Roosevelt municipal administration
and so I said to Aronstam:

“I’ll take the nomination if the Colonel himself will run for Mayor.”

Mr. Aronstam, such is my recollection, cabled home my decision. He
received word that Whitman’s name was to stand and communicated this to
me at Aix-les-Bains. From there I wrote to him:


     After very mature deliberation, I have concluded that I would not,
     if asked, run with Whitman. There is no use giving you my reasons
     in detail. Kindly take this as final and so inform Timothy
     Woodruff. I don’t want to keep him and his associates under any
     mistaken impression that your telegram may have created.

     I would run with T. R. He would win and make a great Mayor.

With kindest regards,
  Yours sincerely,

What finally happened is still fresh in the public mind. Chosen
President of the Board of Aldermen, Mitchel’s admirers had groomed him
vigorously for the Mayoralty. President Wilson’s appointment of Mitchel
as the Collector of the Port really stamped him as an independent Wilson
Democrat and placed him in the lime-light. Elected Mayor, he surrounded
himself with men of his own years and temperament. He gave the City one
of its best administrations.

So the circle completed itself. We now come back to September, 1917.
Here again was this young Robert Emmett at my house and the first thing
he said was a sort of echo of what he had said five years before:

“Morgenthau, do you think I ought to run again for Mayor?”

Memory paints him to-day as he stood there then, a hero to a vast number
of New Yorkers, often erratic, frequently ill-advised, but still a
justified hero. His dark brown hair was disordered, his Irish grey-blue
eyes were bright, but he looked more matured and considerably more
care-worn from his many fights and the scars they had left, than the man
who had sought my advice in 1912.

It was an affecting situation. During four years he had done his best
for the City, and that best had disappointed the professional office
holders through his fixed determination to protect the tax-payers he had
alienated the vast army of municipal employees; finally some of his
investigations had antagonized the adherents of certain of the Catholic
charities; and he undoubtedly felt that the chances for his reëlection
had been considerably diminished. Ought he to endeavour to complete the
task that he had set himself or was it useless to make further efforts?
My advice was the reverse of what it had been the last time:

“You have given the public the impression that you would run again. You
must not drop out at the last moment; you must not retreat under fire;
you will have to be the standard-bearer of good government in this
election even if you are conscious of an impending defeat.”

For any writer of fiction, this episode would complete the chain of
coincidences, yet truth forged another link. There was formed a
citizens’ committee to conduct a mass meeting in City Hall Park at which
speakers representing the un-bossed element of all parties should urge
Mitchel to run again for Mayor. Charles Evans Hughes was one of these
speakers; so was Theodore Roosevelt. The others were my old friend
Outerbridge and myself. Thus it befell that here was Mitchel in office
and urged to remain by the men who had previously played at such cross
purposes in connection with his career.

That was an almost unique political event. The young Democratic Mayor,
still flushed from his fight for Preparedness, was flanked by two
outstanding Republicans, a recent Presidential candidate, and a popular
ex-President; shoulder to shoulder with these stood the head of the New
York State Chamber of Commerce, and myself as a representative of the
Wilson Democrats. One and all, we called upon him to stand again for

The lighter touch was not lacking. As, following Mr. Outerbridge and Mr.
Hughes, my turn to speak arrived, I turned toward Colonel Roosevelt and,
recalling his famous exclamation about throwing his hat into the ring,

“I’ll now throw my hat upon the steps.”

“No, no,” said the Colonel: “let me hold it!”

He took and guarded it throughout my address. When he was about to
speak, it was my part to return the favour.

“No, thanks,” said Roosevelt. “I shall need my hat.”

Why? It was illuminating to observe.

The audience naturally shaped itself into three separate crowds: those
directly in front of the speakers, and those on either side. When the
Colonel’s effective oratory evoked applause from the people directly in
front of him, he would turn first toward the right and then toward the
left, shaking his historic soft hat as he did so, and he thus always
hauled the two other crowds into the circle of Mitchel enthusiasm.

Purroy Mitchel was, however, fighting his last fight as a St. George
against the Tammany dragon: Bennett insisted on running as a straight
Republican and, as such, drew thousands of the dyed-in-the-wool
Republican votes; the Socialist Morris Hillquit secured the ballots of
the Pacifists and pro-Germans in addition to his own party’s. On the eve
of election, a party of us concluded our efforts by joining Mitchel in a
trip to Camp Upton and addresses to the soldiers there. Coming home, he,
Dr. Arthur B. Duel--who had gone along to keep the candidate’s
over-taxed vocal-cords in order--Commissioner George W. Bell, and I had
a midnight supper at Patchogue.

There Mitchel eased his overburdened heart. In a subdued voice that
increased the effect of his simplicity and earnestness, this upstanding
young man gave a voluntary account of his stewardship. He told us of
some of his struggles in office that it would be a betrayal of
confidence to repeat, many of his experiences at the Plattsburgh
Training Camp, and much of his anxiety to do personally his share in
this great World War. As he spoke of his present campaign, he showed
that he anticipated defeat, and was philosophically adjusting himself to
the conditions he expected to confront on January 2, 1918. Some phrase
of his moved me to remind him of our offer of the vice-presidency of the
Underwood Typewriter Company: he frankly confessed that he would have
been better off had he accepted it, devoted part of his youth to
business, and left his riper middle age for public service; but my
present belief is that this mood was the fruit of momentary
disappointment, for, shortly after, there came a return of his more
characteristic fighting spirit, and he was telling us that he would not
accept a flattering offer just received from an important
corporation--he was again going to act as he had acted five years before
and would give his services to his country so soon as his term in the
Mayoralty had ended.

That course he consistently pursued. His death in a falling airplane at
a Texas camp, while qualifying as an army aviator, was mourned by the
entire nation.



The Mitchel campaign was an incident--important and affecting, but only
an incident--in the stirring summer and fall of 1917, when we had just
entered the war. My trip to Europe that summer, on a government mission,
fixed a new and broader purpose in my mind. While in Turkey in 1914 to
1916 I had seen only the German machinations and listened to the German
apologies. Now I had observed the devastation wrought in France and
heard from French and British lips their version of the war. Moreover,
my talks with Joffre, Painlevé, Sir Douglas Haig, Sir Arthur Currie, and
others, showed me how fearfully low the spirits of the Allies had fallen
before we entered the struggle. Prussianism had defied and all but
conquered the world; its victims were at the very edge of despair; as
for America, it was not yet fully cognizant of the sad conditions
prevailing in Europe, because censorship, guided by political
considerations, prevented the full truth from crossing the Atlantic.

When I returned in September, I was impressed not only with the
necessity of continuing my activities to alleviate the suffering of the
Armenians and the Jews and of doing all I could to eliminate the cause
of that suffering, but I was much more impressed with the bigger thought
of also doing all in my power to rouse American sentiment to the fact
that this great struggle was dependent upon our activities to replenish
the diminishing resources, both physical and moral, of the countries
which were immersed in this tremendous conflict. I determined to make
use of this special knowledge, which it had been my fortune to acquire,
to help defeat the Germans.

This dual determination made the ensuing period one of intense
activities, varied, yet not conflicting. Things happened pell-mell, but
are more coherent if grouped topically rather than chronologically.

The Armenian outrages were constantly in my mind, and I wrote for the
_Red Cross Magazine_ an article on the Turkish massacres concluding:

     I wonder if four hundred million Christians, in full control of all
     the governments of Europe and America, are again going to condone
     these offenses by the Turkish Government! Will they, like Germany,
     take the bloody hand of the Turk, forgive him and decorate him, as
     Kaiser Wilhelm has done, with the highest orders? Will the
     outrageous terrorizing--the cruel torturing--the driving of women
     into the harems--the debauchery of innocent girls--the sale of many
     of them at eighty cents each--the murdering of hundreds of
     thousands and the deportation to and starvation in the desert of
     other hundreds of thousands--the destruction of hundreds of
     villages and cities--will the wilful execution of this whole
     devilish scheme to annihilate the Armenian, Greek, and Syrian
     Christians of Turkey--will all this go unpunished? Will the Turks
     be permitted, aye, even encouraged by our cowardice in not striking
     back, to continue to treat all Christians in their power as
     “unbelieving dogs”? Or will definite steps be promptly taken to
     rescue permanently the remnants of these fine, old, civilized,
     Christian peoples from the fangs of the Turk?

That was a tragic story, but it had its lighter phase. Following a
common custom, the editors of the _Red Cross Magazine_ printed on the
front cover of their publication my name and the title of the article.
The juxtaposition was unfortunate and startling:

         “_Henry Morgenthau--The Greatest Horror in History!_”

“That’s pretty rough,” wrote the New York _Sun_. “We always realized
fully that the former Ambassador to Turkey was not a handsome man, but
the _Red Cross Magazine_ really has gone too far.”

The Jewish question interested me quite as deeply, and on December 12,
1917, I published in the New York _Times_ a carefully considered

This was the fruit of my thirty months’ experience with the problem of
the Jews in Turkey and of my observations at first hand of their status
and projects in Palestine, and was in line with my purpose to do more
than alleviate the present sufferings of the Jews. Because this
statement is important in its bearing upon my chapter on Zionism, I am
reproducing it here in full. As my present opinion on Zionism is the
outgrowth of years of sympathetic reflection, continuous observation,
and conscientious personal study of the facts, I should like to
emphasize the date of this publication, and thus indicate the progress
of my views toward their settled conviction regarding Zionism:

     _To the Editor of the New York_ Times:

     The fall of Jerusalem, its recapture by Christian forces after
     twelve centuries of almost uninterrupted Mohammedan rule, is surely
     an event of the greatest significance to us all. American
     Christians, and indeed Christians everywhere, will rejoice that the
     Holy Land, so well known to them through both the Old and New
     Testaments, has been restored to the civilized world.

     I, with my co-religionists, rejoice not only as an American but as
     a cosmopolitan who recognizes the fertile seeds of civilization in
     all truly religious faith and experience. For the whole civilized
     world, the 10th of December, 1917, will be remembered as a day of
     profound historical interest, and, I hope also, of large meaning
     for the future.

     During my recent visit to Palestine, I was greatly impressed by the
     progress made by the Jewish colonies. These colonies had developed
     under most adverse circumstances, and had demonstrated fully that,
     when real opportunity is given, the people of the Jewish faith can
     create most creditable self-governing units. With Palestine
     liberated from the curse of Turkish misgovernment, this work will
     go on with ever greater success. All Jews, both the Zionists and
     those of us who do not take part in the advocacy of the entire
     programme of the Zionists, rejoice at the prospect which is now
     open. Many Jews will wish to settle in Palestine. Many others, as
     well as great numbers of Christians from all lands, will wish to
     visit the Holy Land, and there undertake studies in history and
     religion. Many of us hope that the Hebraic language and the
     elements of the Hebraic culture will develop there sufficiently to
     be again, in a new way, of genuine service to the moral and
     cultural life of the world.

     But at this point I wish to sound a note of warning to my
     coreligionists on the one hand, and on the other strongly emphasize
     to all my American fellow-citizens that certain positive facts
     should not be overlooked at this time. I believe that the leaders
     of the Zionists have always perceived that it would be impossible
     to have all the Jews return to Palestine, and that the others who
     hold to that Utopia will soon be disillusioned. It is almost
     unnecessary to refer to the fact that it is economically impossible
     to settle 13,000,000 people upon the narrow and impoverished lands
     which were the ancient soil of our people. But this is not what I
     wish to emphasize chiefly. The fact that has vital significance to
     me, and, I believe, to a majority of those of my faith in America,
     is that we are 100 per cent. Americans, and wish to remain so,
     irrespective of the fact that some of our blood is Jewish and some
     of our clay is German, Russian, or Polish. To us and our children
     America, too, is veritably a Holy Land.

     It has been a great mission of the Jewish people, through their
     religious faith, to teach the whole Western world that there is one
     God. The great moral and spiritual mission of the American people,
     in my opinion, is to teach the world that there must be one
     brotherhood of humanity. I hold that it has been nothing short of
     providential in the history of the human race to have had America
     preserved as an undeveloped continent until this later period. We
     are making it the experimental station for the intergrafting of
     various peoples. The ideal of America is, through freedom and equal
     opportunity, to permit the complete physical, intellectual, and
     spiritual development of all our citizens. The American people are
     not the descendents of the original English, French, Dutch, or
     Spanish settlers. The American people to-day are composed of every
     inhabitant within our borders who loyally supports the principles
     which form the roots of our national life and well-being. To me it
     seems clear that the principles embodied in the Declaration of
     Independence, the Constitution, the laws and, above all, in the
     moral attitude of mind which marks the true American, require much
     of us. Above all, they require mutual service, equality as regards
     the highest as well as the less important goods of life, and, high
     above all, complete toleration and mutual respect. These are the
     veritable foundations of human brotherhood. This is America’s
     fundamental contribution to the world’s civilization. It is not
     essential in this connection, even if space permitted, for me to
     indicate and emphasize the part which the Hebraic laws, Hebraic
     morals, and the Hebraic religion, through the Old and New
     Testaments, have had upon the American mind and the American soul.
     I leave that to the historian. I am here referring to the present
     and the future, rather than to the past.

     We have now come to a great crisis in the history of the world. The
     essential thing for us is to fight for universal peace as a basis
     for a practical world brotherhood. This great result is not only
     possible, it is necessary if civilization is to endure. Let me ask
     my co-religionists, face to face and heart to heart, how many of
     you would be willing to forswear the great duty we have here and
     the great task which history gives us of being true, real,
     unalloyed American citizens in this time of resplendent ideals and
     momentous deeds, in order to devote your entire lives to the
     upbuilding of Hebraic institutions in Palestine. I, for one, do not
     see that it is at all necessary to ignore the lesser in order to
     serve the greater purpose. But let me repeat most emphatically, we
     Jews, in America, are Jews in religion and Americans in
     nationality. It is through America and her institutions that we
     shall work out our part in bringing better ideals and morals and
     sounder principles of policy to the whole world. Likewise the Jews
     of the British Empire, that is probably 99 per cent. of them, have
     not the slightest intention of deserting their British
     fellow-citizens. The same holds good as to France and Italy. If
     Russia maintains, as we all hope and pray that she may maintain, a
     republican form of government in which the elements of liberty are
     saved to her people, the Jews of Russia will very soon come to feel
     the same fellowship with all their Russian neighbours that we now
     have as regards our fellow-Americans.

     And yet Zionism is more than a mere dream. Its theories, upon which
     so much emphasis has been placed during the last generation,
     contain practical elements which are not above realization. I have
     reflected much upon this matter and I have had the privilege of
     discussing it with leading Jews the world over. I most sincerely
     trust that those of my religious faith who are now imbued with
     this idea will not permit impracticable schemes to make impossible
     the realization of the good that is in Zionism. The Jewish
     communities in Palestine should be given every opportunity for
     development. Some Jews now in America will wish to live there
     permanently; many others, who have not the slightest intention of
     surrendering their citizenship in the countries where their
     children are to live and work, will still wish to have a share in
     the preservation and development of a free, Jewish Palestine. But
     not only Jews are interested in Palestine; every truly educated and
     liberal-minded person in the world will wish to see the ancient
     Jewish culture given an opportunity for expression and growth.
     Furthermore--and this is what I beg my Jewish fellow religionists
     not to lose sight of for a moment--all Christendom, too, looks upon
     Palestine as the Holy Land, in which every believing Christian has
     a deep religious interest and a right to share. The thousands of
     Christians who will annually visit Palestine will wish to feel that
     they have a part in all the holy traditions which cluster about the
     sacred localities and the remaining monuments.

     As regards the administration of Palestine, this phase of the
     subject does not seem to me to present any insurmountable
     difficulties. Under an international and inter-religious commission
     there could be a very large measure of self-government on the part
     of the local citizenship. The whole world is now moving away from
     the emphasis hitherto placed upon extreme nationalism. The forces
     of internationalism must be developed practically and
     systematically. What an error it would be, at the very time when
     the primary message to the world of the Jewish people and their
     religion should be one of peace, brotherhood and the international
     mind, to set up a limited nationalist State and thereby appear to
     create a physical boundary to their religious influence. Let us
     give the strictly Hebraic culture a better chance than this would
     imply. Let us permit it in its original form and purity to test out
     its strength with other religions amid twentieth century
     surroundings. Whatever value it may have for the world’s
     civilization will thus be fully realized. Meanwhile nothing should
     draw our attention from the infinitely greater opportunities of the
     age in which we live. After the many centuries of restrictions,
     persecutions and cruelties suffered by our people we are at last
     sharing the blessings of freedom and of universal fellowship in all
     the great democratic countries of the world.


     New York, Dec. 11, 1917.

Sunday, March 3, 1918, was the last day for me to function as presiding
officer of the Free Synagogue. Dr. Wise had asked me to occupy his
pulpit on that date, because he had to go to Washington on business of
the nature of which I was then unaware. The next day, the New York
_Times_ contained the following statement, telegraphed from Washington,
March 3rd:

     Approval of the plans of the Zionist leaders for the creation of a
     national Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine was given to-night by
     President Wilson to a delegation of representative Jewish leaders
     who spent an hour at the White House in conference with the
     President over the international status of the Jews around the
     world. The delegation was headed by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of New

It affected me strangely to think that while I was taking Dr. Wise’s
place in the pulpit, he should be helping to secure the approval of the
President of the United States for a plan of which, because of my
knowledge of conditions in Palestine, I totally disapproved. I
telephoned Dr. Wise that this occurrence determined me to resign the
presidency of the Free Synagogue. He called at my house and tried to
dissuade me, but my duty seemed clear.

In effect, I said to the doctor: “You are entitled to your views, and I
to mine, which I propose to express as forcibly as I know how, whenever
I think they will do the most good for the welfare of the Jews. I still
hope it will never fall to my lot to attack Zionism in public, but I
assure you now that I will not shirk the responsibility if the time ever
comes when it seems right that I should handle it without gloves. It
would then be a great embarrassment for me to be president of your

The resignation read thus:

March 3, 1918.

Free Synagogue.


     After twelve years of incumbency of the office of President of the
     Free Synagogue of New York, I am impelled to resign that office.
     Much as I have enjoyed the honour of filling this position and the
     happy and inspiring association with its Rabbi, Dr. Wise, I feel
     that our views of Zionism, in the advocacy of which he is one of
     the leaders, are so divergent and apparently irreconcilable, that
     it seems necessary for me to withdraw from what may be called the
     lay leadership of the congregation.

     I would have no question arise as to Dr. Wise’s freedom or my own
     freedom regarding Zionism.

     With the sincere hope that the friendly and cordial relations which
     have long obtained between Dr. Wise and myself will be unaffected
     by this decision, I am

Yours cordially,

On March 10th, at a dinner given by the Executive Committee of the Isaac
M. Wise Centenary Fund, which was attended by about fifty rabbis, I made
the following speech, which was published in the next day’s _Times_:

     The greatest fight in history has just been fought between
     democracy and autocracy. It was so important that we should centre
     our attention upon it. We should give all the consideration we can
     to awaken ideals.

     You have that chance now. Zionism is going to do you some good. It
     is going to arouse you from your complacency. You must realize that
     it will turn you back a thousand years. Why _surrender_ all you
     have gained during that time? Reformed Judaism must assert itself.
     If American democracy can annihilate autocracy and anarchy, we Jews
     cannot accept the foolish argument that you must have Zionism to
     keep the Jews as Jews. We must have something, but it is not
     Zionism. The Rabbis and people must spread Judaism in America and
     they must be militant.

     I believe that to-day there is a religious revival in the world.
     Why should our patriotism be doubted if at the same time we are to
     have a moral awakening? I have been delighted as I have travelled
     over this country in order to promote various causes, such as the
     Jewish Welfare Campaign, to find the Rabbis honoured in their
     communities, and that everywhere they held important positions. We
     can have a Jewish revival in this country, which is our Zion, and
     not Palestine.

     I have no objection to the founding of a Jewish university in
     Palestine. I think it is a fine thing. But when we realize the
     opportunities that the men who sit at this table have had in this
     country, it seems a stupid and ridiculous notion not to admit that
     this is the Promised Land. Let us wake up and, as the Christians
     have done, be a militant religion.

     Everywhere I have been, people have told me that they were not for
     Zionism, but that they were afraid to assert themselves. All the
     Zionists want they have gotten. President Wilson has assured us
     that full civil and religious rights would be granted to the Jews
     everywhere. It did not require Zionism to get that. They will get
     it as the result of the conduct of the Jews throughout the world.
     The League of Nations would be imperfect if it did not include it.

     You cannot make a good American out of anybody unless he is
     religious; and as we want a fine morality, we are looking to you
     ministers of the Jewish faith to give it to us.

     To the moral strength of our nation, American Judaism must
     contribute in the greater measure. In times of adversity and
     prosperity the moral and spiritual courage of the Jew has become
     proverbial. Now, in this new era for America and for the world,
     this strength and courage, the roots of which are imbedded in our
     religion, must be fostered and made a living force more than ever
     before. The Isaac M. Wise Centenary gives us the opportunity to
     establish the institution of American Judaism on a firm foundation.
     This we must do, lest we fail to contribute in the fullest measure
     our share to the spiritual rebuilding of the world.

Extended trips for the Near East and Jewish Relief Committees, and also
for the Liberty Loan and United War Work Drive, had taken me during
these months into almost every part of the country, addressing
gatherings in cities as far scattered as Lewiston, Me., Atlanta, Ga.,
and Portland, Ore. The itinerary included most places of any size in the
Middle West and frequently demanded speeches for two or three of the
causes the same day.

The meetings were usually preceded by dinners or luncheons or followed
by receptions, at which the leading men of the cities gathered. A more
inspiring experience it would be hard to imagine than seeing every
prejudice and hatred laid aside for labour in a common cause. Wherever
my way led there were revealed, as national characteristics, an intense
moral enthusiasm, warm-hearted response to human suffering, open-handed
generosity, and mutual tolerance.

Nevertheless, contact with voters in these drives had intensified my
realization that a large number of our citizens were still Pacifists and
that many of the German-Americans and their friends were protesting that
the German Empire, innocent of having caused the world struggle, was
fighting in self-defense. As I had positive information through Baron
Wangenheim and the Marquis Pallavicini, my German and Austrian
colleagues at Constantinople, that the war was premeditated, I consulted
my friend, Frank I. Cobb, of the New York _World_, how best to make this
fact public. The result was his collaboration and the appearance in that
paper on October 14, 1917, of an article in which it was declared:

     This war was no accident. Neither did it come through the temporary
     break-down of European diplomacy. It was carefully planned and
     deliberately executed in cold blood.... It was undertaken in the
     furtherance of a definite programme of Prussian imperialism.

Proceeding to give my reasons for such a statement, as cause and effect
had been revealed to me by Von Wangenheim himself, the article included
the first authoritative confirmation of the rumour that the Kaiser had
indeed held the now famous Potsdam Conference, at which the German
financiers, as early as the first week of July, 1914, had been
instructed to complete the concentration of the Empire’s resources for
war. The disclosure of these facts, copied in newspapers throughout the
country, created a sensation and profoundly influenced American public

A number of friends urged me to write a book, giving my evidence more
fully and revealing how Germany had dominated Turkish policy and forced
the Sublime Porte into the war. Hesitancy as to the propriety of an
Ambassador using his information publicly led me to consult President
Wilson. In doing so I expressed the opinion that the Congressional
election of 1918 was in grave doubt and that everything should be done
to prove that the Executive had been right in entering the war. The
following letter resolved my doubts and confirmed my inclination:

27 November, 1917.


     I have just received your letter of yesterday and in reply would
     say that I think you get impressions about public opinion in New
     York which by no means apply to the whole country, but nevertheless
     I think that your plan for a full exposition of some of the
     principal lines of German intrigue is an excellent one and I hope
     you will undertake to write and publish the book you speak of.

     I am writing in great haste, but not in hasty judgment you may be

Cordially and sincerely yours,

I then wrote “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story.”

On September 30, 1917, I had contributed to the New York _Times_ an
article headed, “Emperor William Must Go.” Then followed the _World_
interview already referred to, and, on October 18th, less than a month
before the Armistice, I delivered at Cooper Union an address in which I

     There is only one way to chasten Germany and that is to defeat her
     so completely that the memory will not pass out of her mind for
     many generations. Such a defeat is absolutely essential to her
     reeducation along the lines of civilization and democracy. I will
     regard her utter defeat in a military sense, and the elimination of
     her war-lords, as the essential preliminaries to the new German
     democratic state. These changes are necessary to re-establish that
     healthy and normal mentality which is the first requirement if she
     is to emerge from the present war a nation with which the rest of
     the world can consent to associate as a brother.

On March 8, 1918, I had a meeting with Lord Reading, Lord Chief Justice
of England, whom Lloyd George had sent as special Ambassador to this
country. In our conversation, he revealed a fact of great historic

The day before, at a luncheon given him by the Merchants’ Association of
New York, Lord Reading had used what seemed a singular expression for an
official representative of Great Britain. Referring to the gravity of
the military situation and the necessity for America to exert her full
strength, he described the tremendous sacrifices of his own people and
then declared:

“You must take up the burden. We _have_ done all we can do.”

Recalling this in our talk, I suggested that it must have been a slip of
the tongue, and asked: “Did you not mean to say, ‘We (Great Britain)
_are doing_ all we can?’”

“Quite the contrary,” Lord Reading instantly replied. “I said it
deliberately, and it is the fact. Every Englishman that is fit for
military service has been called to the colours; we have even combed our
civil service. We have no reserve man-power left.”

Nevertheless, public utterance of such a statement at such a time
revealed a misconception of our national psychology. I pointed out to
Lord Reading that we Americans were not yet far enough advanced in
experience of war to react favourably to such a message.

Nor were the women that we met in these war activities less interesting
than the men. Mrs. Emma Bailey Speer, president of the Y. W. C. A.,
sent a car to take me over to Tenafly, N. J., to make the dedicatory
address at a new hostess house. In the car was a lady wearing the Y. W.
C. A. uniform. She said that Mrs. Speer, being unable to come herself,
had sent her as a substitute--and it was splendid to see how this, the
daughter of Senator Aldrich, and the wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.,
could be just a good private in the Y. W. C. A. ranks, taking her
position and doing her duties with seriousness and efficiency.

Soon after this, we gave a dinner in honour of Dr. Henry Pratt Judson,
president of Chicago University, who had recently returned from Persia
on behalf of the Near East Relief Committee. An amusing incident
occurred which partly spoiled the evening for Mr. Schiff, the great
financier and much beloved leader of the Jews, and recognized as one of
the most eminent citizens of America. He sat next to Mrs. Rockefeller
and accidentally caused the spilling of a cup of coffee over her dress.
She tactfully said that the dress had been cleaned before and could be
cleaned again. Nevertheless, it depressed Mr. Schiff to think that he
should have been so awkward as to raise his elbow while the coffee was
being passed. A week later he showed me with great satisfaction a letter
from Mrs. Rockefeller, accepting the beautiful lace scarf which he had
sent her with the explanation that it was to cover the spot on her
dress. The incident again proves that the biggest men devote the
required time and thought to straightening out even such little mishaps
as that here related.

       *       *       *       *       *

The signing of the Armistice abruptly terminated hostilities a year
earlier than most people had expected. Public opinion was far from
clarified upon the question as to the kind of peace treaty which should
be drawn up. The public did realize, however, that it was confronted
with an issue perhaps even more vital than the issues of war. A peace
must be devised to end this war and prevent a recurrence of so terrible
a disaster. At this time, the only powerful and organized body of men
which had studied this subject and had a solution to offer was the
League to Enforce Peace. The leaders of this league felt that it was a
public duty to place their solution before the nation, and give it the
utmost publicity in the hope that it might be serviceable in directing
the course of investigations at Paris into channels of permanent benefit
to humanity.

They worked out an ingenious and effective plan. Not content with merely
announcing their ideas through the press or on the platform, they
organized nine “congresses” in as many cities, each the centre of an
important section. They arranged to have district delegates sent to the
sessions of the congresses, and from five thousand to ten thousand
delegates attended every one; besides, numerous audiences flocked to
overflow meetings. A group of public men, headed by ex-President Taft,
was organized to address the sessions, as representatives of the League.
I was asked to be one of that group.

Mr. Wilson was in Paris. Fearing that this campaign might in some way
embarrass him, or conflict with his plans, I consulted several Cabinet
members: Secretaries Lane and Houston applauded the wisdom of the
proposed campaign. Secretary Baker wrote:

December 21, 1918.


     I return herewith the letter which you enclosed with yours of the

     I have not agreed to speak for the League to Enforce Peace, nor
     have I any idea of speaking under the auspices of that society; not
     that I have any objection to it but simply that I doubt very much
     the wisdom of anybody connected with the Administration at this
     time associating himself with a society which has a particular
     mode of assuring future peace. So far as I am personally concerned,
     I am for any way the President can work out. I did say to Mr.
     Filene and some other gentlemen who called upon me as
     representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States,
     that I would be very glad to attend a couple of dinners held under
     the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce, and incidentally would say
     something in favour of a league of nations, but with the distinct
     understanding that I was not speaking for the Administration and
     was not speaking for any plan or programme whatever. Since making
     this promise I have even more doubted the wisdom of doing it, for
     exactly the reasons you state in your letter. It seems to me
     entirely possible for us here, with the best of good intentions,
     deeply to embarrass the President in his very delicate task, and so
     far as I am concerned, I have no intention of doing it. Unless I
     change my mind, I will beg off from the engagements already made,
     and I am sure it would be better for all of us to refrain from that
     kind of discussion just now.

      Cordially yours,
(Signed)        NEWTON D. BAKER,
                     _Secretary of War_.

I was assured that I was expected to speak only in the general terms of
an association of nations without outlining any detailed plan therefor.
On receipt of this assurance, I decided to go.

The party comprised ex-President Taft, President Lowell of Harvard; Dr.
Henry van Dyke of Princeton; Dr. Elmer R. Brown, Dean of the Yale
Divinity School; George Grafton Wilson, Professor of International Law
at Harvard; Edward A. Filene, of Boston; and Mrs. Philip North Moore, of
St. Louis, president of the National Council of Women. The three weeks,
passed in a tour of the country with such able and delightful people,
was thoroughly enjoyed.

On this journey, my acquaintance with Mr. Taft was transformed into a
genuine friendship. On the first day out, it was “Mr. Morgenthau”; on
the second, “Henry Morgenthau”; and on the third it became, and has
since remained, “Henry.” He was a most delightful travelling companion
and fellow-worker, good-humoured under all circumstances, uncomplaining
under the heaviest tasks, the soul of friendliness and consideration:
“To know him was to love him.” One day, as we were sitting in his
compartment, discussing some details of the trip, he broke into one of
his characteristic little chuckles:

“Here you have been opposing me politically all these years,” he said,
“and now we’re together on the same platform for the good of the whole
world. Doesn’t public service make strange compartment companions?”

Our trip was filled with hard work, exhausting hours, and not a few
discomforts, but it brought us many moments of inspiration and some of
amusement. Of the latter, one stands clear in my memory. We were
standing unobserved at the railroad station of a small town in the
Dakotas, when President Lowell thought we ought to do something “to get
our blood in circulation” and challenged me to a foot race on the
station platform.

“I’ll take a handicap--I’ll run backwards.”

His challenge was accepted, and he won the race. Then he confessed that
running backwards was one of his accomplishments from undergraduate

The outstanding moments of the trip were those which immediately
followed our receipt of the first draft of the League Covenant. We were
steaming through Utah, when it was handed aboard. At once it was given
the stenographers for manifolding, and none of us is likely to forget
the impatience with which each awaited his copy, the eagerness with
which each took it to his own compartment for study.

That evening President Lowell, Dr. Van Dyke, and myself were called to
Mr. Taft’s compartment. He sat there, his face all aglow with
satisfaction. He put his hand on his copy of the Covenant, which was
lying on the table, and said:

“I am delighted to find it has teeth in it.”

We had a long discussion, concluding that we ought to prepare a
pronouncement for publication. Mr. Taft asked us three to draw up a
statement. We complied and called in Professors Brown and Wilson, who
were very useful in condensing it. Mr. Taft read the result, approved of
it, but added the concluding sentence:

     The alternative to a League of Nations is the heavy burden and the
     constant temptation of universal armament.

That addition made, the signatures were affixed, and the train stopped
at a little station to telegraph our statement to the Associated Press.
The local telegrapher doubted his ability to transmit accurately a
message that he considered so important as this one, but he notified the
operator at the next town to be ready for us, and from there the
statement was sent out in the following terms:


     The war against military autocracy has been won because the great
     free nations acted together, and its results will be secured only
     if they continue to act together. The forces making for autocratic
     rule on the one hand, and for the violence of Bolshevism on the
     other are still at work.

     In fifty years the small states of Prussia so organized central
     Europe as to defy the world. In the present disorganized state of
     central and eastern Europe, that can be done again on a still
     larger scale and menace all free institutions. The death of
     millions of men and the destruction and debt in another world war
     would turn civilization backward for generations. In such a war we
     shall certainly be involved, and our best young men will be
     sacrificed as the French and English have been sacrificed in the
     last four years. Such a catastrophe can be prevented only by the
     reconstruction of the small states now seeking self-government, on
     the basis of freedom and justice; but this is impossible without a
     league, for divided its members are not strong enough for the
     task. Should the victorious nations fail to form a league, German
     imperialists would have a clearer field for their designs.

     By the abundance of its natural resources, by the number,
     intelligence, and character of its people, the United States has
     become a world power. It cannot avoid the risks and must assume the
     responsibilities of its position. It cannot stand aloof, but must
     face boldly the facts of the day, with confidence in itself and in
     its future among the great nations of the earth.

     United as never before, our people have fought this war. United and
     above party we must consider the problems of peace, resolved that
     so far as in us lies, war shall no more scourge mankind. The
     Covenant reported to the Paris Conference has come since the last
     election, and the people have had no chance to pass judgment upon
     it. In this journey from coast to coast we have looked into the
     faces of more than 100,000 typical Americans, and believe that the
     great majority of our countrymen desire to take part in such a
     league as is proposed in that document. We appeal to our fellow
     citizens, therefore, to study earnestly this question, and express
     their opinions with a voice so clear and strong that our
     representatives in Congress may know that the people of the United
     States are determined to assume their part in this crisis of human
     history. The alternative to a League of Nations is the heavy burden
     and the constant temptation of universal armament.

February 23, 1919.


Mr. Taft’s endorsement of the Covenant as then drawn moved me, at our
journey’s end, to telegraph to Washington suggesting that he join
President Wilson in an exposition of the League before a great mass
meeting. The reply came back that such a plan was already being put into
execution. It was carried out at the gathering on March 4, 1919, in the
Metropolitan Opera House, New York, on the eve of Mr. Wilson’s return to

That night, when the Democratic President of the United States walked on
the stage with the Republican ex-President, the audience seemed almost
justified in thinking that the Covenant had been lifted above
partisanship and that the Magna Charta of the Nations was secure.

This conviction was strengthened by Mr. Taft’s address. He delivered it
without any apparent exertion. He had thoroughly mastered the general
subject during his long connection with the League to Enforce Peace, he
had secured the draft of the Covenant, locked himself up with it,
analyzed and digested it. He had “tried out” the subject in conferences
with specialists, and presented it before popular meetings across the
Continent. Now, for one hour and a half, he discussed this historic
document in all its national and international phases. His address,
given with natural and admirable simplicity, the quintessence of deep
thought, was complete, technical, erudite, judicial: the reading of a
momentous interpretation by the future Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court of the United States. The speaker injected some of his native
geniality into his delivery; but not for that reason alone did the vast
audience listen ninety minutes without a sign of restlessness: the
believers, the doubters, and the active opponents were spellbound by his
logical and convincing argument.

During all this time it was more than interesting to watch the fixed
attention that the President was giving to the address. We all wondered
what was going on in his battling brain. Some of us noticed for the
first time a nervous twitching in his cheek, undoubtedly a reflex of the
tremendous harassment that he had undergone in Washington.

He had come back to America to sign some bills before the expiration of
Congress on March 4th, and brought with him this Covenant. Now, before
his departure for Europe, he listened to the fine approval of his ideal
by his predecessor, who, though prominent in his party and highly
esteemed by all Americans, was not speaking with final authority: the
Senate had to approve the Covenant before it could become binding on the
United States.

So Woodrow Wilson, whom the peoples of the world were ready to accept as
their leader, had to return to Paris knowing that the thirty-seven
Senators who had signed the “round robin” were pledged against him in
terms which could have no other purpose than to notify our Associates at
the Peace Conference that the Senate would not confirm any League of
Nations projected by him. With this fear in his heart, he was on his way
to resume his participation in the greatest diplomatic struggle of
modern times. This evening, he saw again unmistakable evidence that if
the American people possessed the authority and could express it, they
would undoubtedly grant him the necessary power, without restrictions or
reservations, to enter into an agreement, which would help to lift the
world out of the mire of militarism to a higher plane, where wars would
disappear, where international peace and justice would prevail, and
where the combined efforts of mankind, purified and energized by its
moral elevation, would be diverted from its destructive pursuits and
concentrated on the promotion of happiness.

That evening I brought Homer Cummings home with me. We were both buoyed
up, tingling from the enthusiasm of that great meeting, yet fearing that
this League of Nations might be shattered by partisan politics.

As we settled down in my library, I said to Cummings:

“Homer, you are really neglecting your duty as National Chairman unless
you undertake immediately to present to the American people the attitude
of the Democratic Party toward this League of Nations, and denounce, in
the unmeasured terms that it deserves this violent opposition that has
developed against it.” I told him that it required a real Philippic, and
then related to him my own recent experience with Demosthenes, which
occurred at a dinner given to some Greeks, when Dr. Talcott Williams
told an anecdote of Hellenic influence on modern life.

Williams said that some twenty-five years ago he had asked a Princeton
college professor whether there was, in his opinion, any way of
affecting current thought except through the pulpit or the press. The
professor replied that there was the forum, and that, for his own part,
he was fitting himself for the forum by a careful study of Demosthenes.
Years passed, and Dr. Williams met the professor again and reminded him
of his youthful conviction.

“I haven’t changed my opinion,” said the Princetonian, “and only
recently I had to brush up my Greek to enable me to refresh my
recollection of some of the Philippics.”

The Princeton professor was Woodrow Wilson.

When I told this story to my wife, who was both my kindest and severest
critic, she immediately secured and placed on my desk, without any
comment, a translation of Demosthenes. Inspired by its perusal, I dared
to face a great audience in Buffalo and deliver an opening address for
the Liberty Loans.

I said to Cummings: “Now, as President Wilson is returning to Europe,
you, Homer, ought to be the Demosthenes of the Democratic Party.”

Cummings took fire. “I believe I can do it,” he cried.

He was the man for it. Physically big, with a commanding presence and a
good delivery, his experience as a member of the Democratic National
Committee, his campaigns for Mayor of Stamford and Senator from
Connecticut, and his successful service as state’s attorney for
Fairfield County in that state, had qualified him long since for
brilliant public speaking, and latterly for public speaking of the
denunciatory sort.

We consulted Demosthenes. We analyzed the Fourth Philippic.

Cummings’s eyes flashed, as he exclaimed:

“I can do it! I can do it!”

The opening was to be a vindication of the Democratic Party throughout
the war and the subsequent peace negotiations: the peroration, a
denunciation of the opposition.

The question remained: what forum should be selected? We canvassed the
possibilities: the Economic Club, of which I was then president, and a
number of others. One by one, all were dismissed. Finally, it was
decided to give a small dinner at the National Democratic Club on the
evening of March 14th, and to follow that immediately by a large
reception, at which the speech in its first form was to be delivered.

This plan was carried to a successful conclusion, and what Cummings said
that night was the basis or skeleton of his soon-famous speech at San
Francisco. “The rest is history.”

Meantime, my period at home was drawing to a close. I had written for
the New York _Times_ “A Vision of the Red Cross After the War.” On March
7th, I received a cablegram from Henry P. Davison. It asked me to serve
as delegate to the Conference at Cannes for the formation of the
International League of Red Cross Societies. Mr. Taft and Jacob Schiff
both gave me advice that matched my inclinations. On March 15th, the
_Times_ published an interview giving my point of View in regard to this

     I am going to Europe to assist Henry P. Davison in his work of
     organizing the Red Cross for the great mission which I believe it
     is called upon to perform in the world.

     We have a very definite vision of what this work is to be. The
     League of Nations, when it is formed, will necessarily confine its
     administration to the more material aspects of government, such as
     boundaries, armament, and economic questions. There is need,
     therefore, for a League to care for the human wants and moral
     aspirations of all peoples. This other “League of Nations” may well
     be the International Red Cross, which enlightened men and women are
     now engaged in forming. I am to assist in that work. It is a work
     dear to my heart, something for which for many years I have felt
     there is a definite need.

     The Red Cross, in the new and more splendid opportunity that has
     come to it, because of its services in the great war, is the
     medium, I believe, through which all true lovers of mankind may aid
     in making the world a better place to live in.

I came home from the Democratic Club’s reception to Cummings, snatched a
few hours’ sleep, and, on the following morning, boarded the ship that
was to take me on the journey which began with the International Red
Cross Conference and ended in my investigation of the Jewish massacres
in Poland.



We sailed on the _Leviathan_, formerly the _Vaterland_. When we boarded
the ship, we found the dock was elaborately decorated for the arrival of
the Secretary of the Navy; the handsome royal suite was reserved for him
and his wife. Josephus Daniels, no longer wearing his customary white
suit, now displayed an admiral’s cap, and was surrounded by admirals and
captains who were under his orders. He was the Secretary of the Navy and
to the chagrin of some of our prominent ironmasters, he had assumed the
exacting supervision of naval armour plate in lieu of his effective
distribution of newspaper boiler plate during the first Wilson campaign.

Other fellow passengers were seven physicians bound, like myself, for
the international conference of Red Cross Societies at Cannes: William
H. Welch, of Johns Hopkins, typifying to us all the wonderful
accomplishments of the Rockefeller Institute; L. Emmett Holt, the
medical foster-father of thousands of American babies; Hermann M. Biggs,
who, in his official capacities, has lifted public hygiene into a
recognized requirement of modern civilization; Colonel Russell, Chief of
the Division of Infectious Diseases in the U. S. Surgeon-General’s
office; Edward R. Baldwin, head of the well-known Saranac Lake
Sanatorium for Tuberculosis; Fritz B. Talbot, of Boston, famous as a
specialist in children’s diseases; and Samuel M. Hammill, head of the
Pennsylvania Child-Welfare Board. With these was Mr. Chanler P.
Anderson, ex-solicitor of the State Department.

We took our meals at the same table and used these often wasted hours to
weave precious strands of friendship that can best be created amongst
people animated by the same aims and sharing the obligations of service.
At my suggestion, we decided to hold daily meetings to prepare for
submission to the Conference a plan which would embody the combined
thoughts of our entire party. Dr. Welch had intended to devote his time
at sea to writing an article on his old associate, Dr. Osler, but rather
regretfully postponed his task and accepted his usual position--that of
chairman. Dr. Holt was elected secretary so that, with Dr. Biggs as
vice-chairman, we transferred to our gatherings the precision and expert
management of the Rockefeller Institute.

Dr. Welch’s first thought has always been of public service. Before our
country entered the war, he went to the President and suggested making
ready our medical practitioners and hospitals for service. Mr. Wilson
appointed him to the Council of National Defense, and some day the
public will be surprised to learn how much he did toward that phase of
preparedness. On the _Leviathan_ he brought out what was best in us and
proved, at the age of sixty-eight, the fallacy of the popular
interpretation of Dr. Osler’s statement about the end of human
usefulness at forty-five.

All of the physicians were animated by this same high motive: not to
commercialize their talents, but to devote much of them to research work
for the benefit of mankind. As all of them were recognized authorities
in their respective fields, they stated their experience and knowledge
in so convincing a manner that it was like reading the last word written
on the subject.

After a few days of strictly medical discussion, I ventured to read them
my conception of the proper future of the Red Cross as published in the
New York _Times_ of March 15, 1919, arguing that this noble
organization ought now to become militant and endeavour to reach with
curative and preventive measures into the innermost recesses of both
hemispheres, where diseases originate and dense ignorance prevails. We
all agreed that we must remedy the intellectual deficiencies as well as
the physical weaknesses of the backward peoples, and, therefore,
prepared a memorandum, later presented to the Conference, recommending a
broad international programme of this character.

We landed at Brest, and hurried to Paris and immediately reported to Mr.
Davison. There I met Mr. Hoover’s secretary, who said that “The
Chief”--a title given Hoover by all his admiring adherents--was anxious
to see me. I found Hoover concerned as to whether our contemplated
organization would conflict with his exclusive authority conferred by
President Wilson to manage all the American relief activities
everywhere. I promptly relieved his mind, assuring him that the League
of the Red Cross Societies had no intention of distributing food or in
any way interfering with the American Relief administration.

Our first Red Cross meeting was held next day in Mr. Davison’s office at
the Regina and then we presented our programme, urging its adoption as
necessary to retain the interest and coöperation of the millions of
adult and junior members of the American Red Cross. But, unfortunately,
Mr. Davison relied largely on Colonel Strong, and his plans were
adopted; they were conventional and confined to a limited field.

A few days later, Mr. Davison gave a dinner at the little old-fashioned
house on the Quai de la Tourelle. The recruits from America were meeting
the scarred veterans just returned from the front-line trenches. Here
were the men that had fought dismay in Italy, typhus in Servia, who had
worked wonders on the Bosphorus, and saved the babies of Roumania. We
heard their modest reports through which their valour and their triumphs
shone like so many pillars of fire. America had done these things: all
non-combatant Americans had faithfully worked to develop the
organization which made them possible; we newcomers from America,
burning with the volunteer spirit and ready with a programme to continue
that usefulness and extend it throughout all the world, were raised, as
we listened, far above the material plane.

War-time regulations were still in force: all lights should have been
extinguished at 9:30, and Frederic himself popped a worried head in at
the door several times to tell Davison so. Therefore, when our host
called on me for the closing speech, he said:

“I regret that you will have only five minutes for it, too. The curfew
has rung three times already.”

In concluding my speech, I said:

“My friends, I have been entranced by the splendid spirit displayed this
evening. I have shared with you the elation of the hour.

“You field workers have inspired us by recounting the blessings that
have been showered upon you by the thousands of grateful recipients of
your services, while we have freshened your drooping enthusiasm and
reinforced your ardour by transmitting from your millions of members at
home their hopes and prayers that you will ‘Carry On.’ The determination
of all the guests to transform these hopes into definite actions seems
to have changed this table into an altar at which to pledge ourselves to
assume this new task of further brothering those who are still crying
for help.”

Next day, on the train for Cannes, when Davison called Chanler Anderson
and myself into conference, I again stated that, as we had the moral,
scientific, educational, and sociological experts of nearly all the
world mobilized and ready for further work, it would be criminal
negligence not to make use of such an unprecedented opportunity. Davison
agreed as to fundamentals, but was afraid that too big a programme would
frighten away the representatives of other nations. We could have the
larger goal in mind, he said, and hope ultimately to reach it, but we
must commence with something concrete in the conventional way to secure
the coöperation of the non-American delegates.

Notwithstanding this, the Cannes Conference was an inspiring experience.

Here we were gathered from all parts of the world, exchanging
condolences for the terrible ravages suffered by the various nations,
watching intently, and waiting with deep fear in our hearts the outcome
of the developments in Paris, hoping and praying that some definite good
would result from this war, bewildered at our inability to recognize any
definite signs of a coming solution, conscious that the old-fashioned
diplomacy was eclipsing the modern thoughts and aims of the progressive,
disinterested members at the Conference. We felt that perhaps true
democracy could only exist, as it did at our Conference, where every man
was chosen on account of his individual merit, and not on account of
birth, or political pull, or influence; and some of us thought that,
perhaps, after all, the improvement of the world would have to be
brought about by a non-political body of men, whose right to serve arose
from their own qualifications, and whose tenure of service would not be
influenced by constant changes in government. It dawned upon us that,
_perhaps_, these millions of members of the Red Cross Societies all over
the world, with the many more millions that would join them, could
undertake to establish a permanent organization that would put into
practical execution all the teachings of religion, science, education,
medicine, hygiene, and sociology. While those in Paris were rearranging
the boundaries, we were trying to develop the universal spirit of
service to all humanity which would recognize no boundaries, or class
distinctions, or religious differences.

Under the presidency of Dr. Émile Roux, the worthy successor of Pasteur,
it became a Congress of Scientists. Leading members of the medical
profession in the Associated Nations were there, and the same tone of
unselfish interest on behalf of humanity that I had found among the
American representatives prevailed. Rivalries, envies, personal
ambitions were totally absent; there was none of the crossing and
double-crossing, scheming and misrepresentation of a political
convention. These fine intellects were making a genuine effort to create
an agency through which all discoveries in medicine and hygiene could be
utilized for the benefit of mankind without thoughts of royalties or
patents. It was a revelation to a practical business man, and I
sincerely wished that more business men could profit by such an
experience with practical idealists.

In private talks some of the delegates from the different countries
responded wonderfully to my suggested plan, but they had been stunned by
the war and were bewildered by the resultant chaos and depended on the
United States to take the lead. Another thing discouraged me: no
representatives were present from the general educational, sociological,
or philanthropic worlds, and the best of men must necessarily see life
through the glasses of their own profession. Consequently, I was not
surprised, though I was disappointed, by the adoption of Colonel
Strong’s programme.

It was what his remarks in Paris had indicated. Early activities were to
be limited to those of an international health and statistical bureau.
The Conference decided that the international societies should deal only
with general hygienic improvement and child-welfare, and that even in
these matters the central organization, instead of doing the actual
work, should leave that to the constituent league members and confine
itself to the development of policies and the collection of statistics.

The question remained: who was to be the executive of this still
potentially important force?

Throughout the Conference Davison was recognized as its organizing and
directing spirit. It was a delight to see him in action, to note his
quick response to suggestions, his prompt absorption of committee
reports, his analysis of technical addresses. Devoting the full measure
of his great ability to the work, he was performing it admirably and
enjoying the performance. Everything depended upon the choice of a
director-general; yet here was the very man to maintain vitality in this
organism: why should he not remain the leader?

The result was a heart-to-heart talk, in which I still clung to my
“Vision of the Red Cross after the War.”

For two solid hours, with all the eloquence and persuasiveness I could
muster, I tried to induce Henry P. Davison to abandon his business
career and devote the rest of his life to this cause. I argued that the
great satisfaction he plainly felt through contact with scientists of
one profession indicated the enjoyment he would experience in bringing
together the leaders in education, sociology, and general philanthropy;
and that the ability which made him successful with the physicians would
completely eclipse that success when he added to these the leaders in
other fields. I told of a discussion I had had in Paris with John R.
Mott, and how thoroughly he regretted that the Y.M.C.A. could not
undertake this great work.

“No president of any republic,” I said, “has ever had such an
opportunity as this. Here is a chance to lead an army that will
eventually really improve the world. You have shown that you possess the
requisite administrative ability and vision. By sterling qualities and
hard work, you’ve reached the top of the business ladder. On it there is
nothing above you comparable to what this new career holds. Until a few
years ago you used your personal magnetism, and all the gifts so
generously bestowed upon you, in finance. Now, you have been using them
with phenomenal success in philanthropy. You must know that the former
is ephemeral, while in the latter, the good to be done is lasting. While
so many are exploiting the masses, you can lead in benefiting them. The
thing that’s needed to cure the ills of man isn’t another compromise
peace treaty. Practical, world-wide philanthropy is the thing that’s
needed, and the man who organizes that will be the acknowledged leader
of modern humanitarianism.”

Davison was really deeply moved. He listened attentively,
sympathetically; he was under the spell of the ideal. But the chords
that held him to materialism were too strong; he was still enmeshed.

“I’ll do everything I can to help make a success of the larger Red
Cross,” he said, “but I can’t devote my entire time to it.”

“That’s not enough,” I answered. “It will be impossible for you to run
an International League of Red Cross Societies the way you’re running
railroads and other enterprises, from the corner of Broad and Wall

Then he put his arm around my shoulder and said, in effect:

“I don’t want to make any more money, but I owe a definite obligation to
my firm and the corporations I’m connected with. I wish with my whole
heart that I could go on with the Red Cross, but it’s impossible,

There being no appeal from his decision, we canvassed other names. The
matter reduced itself to a choice between Franklin K. Lane and General
W. W. Atterbury, and, as the latter was in France, Davison had him come
to Cannes and talk the proposition over, but found that the General
considered it his duty to resume his position as vice-president of the
Pennsylvania Railroad as soon as he was released from the army. We then
turned toward Secretary Lane, and agreed that I should send the
following telegram:

c/o President Wilson,
Place des États-Unis, Paris.

     Kindly ascertain and notify by telephone Otis Cutler, Hotel Regina,
     Paris, whether President Wilson has any objection to Secretary Lane
     being approached to accept the General Directorship of the
     Associated National Red Cross. Davison and his advisers, after a
     thorough canvass of available material here, have unanimously
     concluded that Lane is best equipped for this most important post.
     As success of movement is so largely dependent on its management,
     we hope President will assent.



The reply was another evidence of Wilson’s fine loyalty to his friends:

Cannes, France.

     The President does not know what the position proposed is, but he
     could not see his way to approving anything that would necessarily
     involve Secretary Lane’s withdrawal from his position unless the
     desire originated with him.



Davison then cabled one of his partners to see Lane personally and asked
me to cable Lane direct, which was done as follows:

Washington, D. C.

     Welch, Biggs, Farrand, Holt, and myself, who have been consulted by
     Davison as to choice of Director General, all believe that you are
     the best man for the position and that the movement will give you
     an unhampered opportunity to utilize your wonderful experience. We
     all urge you to give it favourable consideration. Have read
     Davison’s cable and it does not fully picture the unlimited scope
     of service afforded. It is second to no prior chance to help
     suffering humanity.



If Davison would have taken the director-generalship, or if it could
have been given to Lane or Atterbury, or someone else of their vision
and ability, the organization might have become a very different affair
from what it is to-day. But this was not to be. Accident intervened
before Lane would act, and the International League of Red Cross
Societies added another to the list of the world’s lost chances. This is
what happened:

We had come back to Paris. The Executive Committee was in session at the
Hotel Regina. In an unguarded moment, Davison said:

“If Great Britain can produce a man fitted for the director-generalship,
I shall consent to his appointment.”

Instantly, Sir Arthur Stanley jumped at the offer. He was president of
the British Red Cross and the younger brother of the Earl of Derby, at
that time British Ambassador to France. He has a lame foot, but his
intellect is as agile as any man’s. His bright eyes flashed like
diamonds. Trained fencer that he is, he saw the opening Davison had
given him and took full advantage of it.

“I’ll investigate immediately!” said he.

I went over to Davison and in Stanley’s hearing told him that this was a
mistake; the Americans should name the Director-General, because we
would have to assume the burden of organization and had the resources
to do so properly.

“And the French and Italians will side with you,” I added, “if it is a
choice between England and us.”

Luncheon recess intervened. During it, I spoke to the Latin delegates,
and they confirmed my opinion. They admitted that they had not realized
what the proposition meant, and that they certainly preferred to have an
American. At the afternoon session they proposed, in this hope, that the
selection of a Director-General be left entirely to Davison.

He, however, said that he was committed to his proposition, though he
hoped that Sir Arthur would not be able to find a man equipped for the
post. Two days later, Davison informed me that Sir Arthur had proposed
General David Henderson, and that he (Davison) had had thorough
inquiries made about Henderson and found that his record and standing
were such that no objection could be raised. Henderson became

One last hopeful note was sounded. I had told Mr. Davison to command me
if he thought I could do anything further, and I was pleasantly
surprised when he came and asked me whether my offer included a dinner
to the Governors of the League of the Red Cross Societies. He explained
that he was making this request because a former diplomat could secure
the greatly desired attendance of the diplomatic representatives now
gathered at the Peace Conference.

The result was one of those thoroughly cosmopolitan dinners which could
have occurred only in that city and at that time. In addition to the Red
Cross board, there were present representatives of the twenty-four
different countries that had been invited to join our League. Speeches
were made by Ian Malcolm, speaking for Sir Arthur Stanley and Great
Britain; Count Kergolay, for France; Count Frascara, for Italy;
Professor Arata Nina Gawa, for Japan; Sir Eric Drummond,
Secretary-General of the League of Nations; General Henderson, the newly
chosen head of the Red Cross League; Count Wedel Jarlsberg, of Denmark,
doyen of the Diplomatic Corps in Paris; Dr. Welch, Mrs. William K.
Draper, Mr. Davison, and Dr. William Rappard, acting as interpreter and
also speaking on behalf of the International Red Cross at Geneva. I
presided as toastmaster and, listening to the sentiments of the various
addresses, all pitched in the highest optimistic and philanthropic key,
felt that here was a readiness to coöperate that, if properly directed
into action, might yet launch the organization upon the seas of larger

This hope, however, was never realized. When we failed to retain Davison
as the active leader, or to get somebody of equal ability for
Director-General, I feared that the League of Red Cross Societies would
become a soulless bureau; that it could not undertake any of the broader
activities we had hoped for, and that this wonderful nucleus of millions
of adult and junior humanitarians would never be transformed into that
great army of world welfare-workers which some of us had dreamed about
and that all mankind so sorely needs. Subsequent events have justified
my fears.



In Paris we found an entirely different state of affairs from that at
Cannes. I was drawn almost immediately into the maelstrom of the Peace
Conference: it was a rude awakening. Instead of men who were freely
utilizing their individual attainments for the general good, this was a
battle of conflicting interests, petty rivalries and schemes for
national aggrandizement. Each group of all the world’s ablest and
craftiest statesmen and politicians was seeking advantages for its own
political entity and resorting to every old, and many new, methods to
gain its ends.

The representatives of the various countries had come expecting to find
an international court of justice, where a set of supermen would
rearrange the earth, settle all disputes, terminate all grievances, and
make a new world-map along fair ethnological and national lines. Yet
nobody knew how this was to be done. The little nations looked to the
big, but the big were too much concerned with their own affairs, and
with the division of the spoils, to be able suddenly to convert
themselves into impartial judges. Loyalty to their own countries
overshadowed their interest in the general good. There was just so much
benefit to be divided, and in the struggle of everyone to secure a
larger share for himself, many failed to get anything, and almost
nothing was left for the common good.

Nearly all were scheming to weaken the arch-enemy, Germany, by
despoiling her of territory and creating strong safeguards around her.
The best comparison that comes to my mind is that of a legal contest
over the terms of a will disposing of a large estate. All the possible
heirs were here in Paris: the legitimate, the illegitimate, and such
posthumous children as Czecho-Slovakia and Poland were crowding into
court. Five trustees had, indeed, been appointed to effect a just
division--the representatives of Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan,
and the United States--but these, with the exception of America, were
themselves claimants, and the pleas were so conflicting that no human
genius, or group of them, could have rendered a decision to the
satisfaction of all. President Wilson realized this, and partly because
of it proposed a League of Nations as a permanent court to settle what
could not be settled at the Peace Conference.

My observations were made from an advantageous position. The hopes and
ambitions of the various powers were centred in President Wilson; their
representatives were courting him and his friends, and as I had, at the
request of the United States commissioners, joined William H. Buckler in
studying the Turkish problem, my rooms at the hotel were soon
transformed into a sort of office and general meeting-place for some of
the most interesting figures at the Conference.

Kerenski was one of these. He was not apparently the consumptive figure
pictured by the daily press; on the contrary, he was a burly man with a
thick neck and a mighty voice. When he pleaded his case, he waxed so
eloquent, and his tones reached such a pitch, that I had to close the
windows for fear outsiders might think there was a fight in my rooms.

Although representing no established government and personifying the
Russian régime that had overthrown Czarism, only to be itself supplanted
by the Bolsheviki, Kerenski felt that the services of the real Russian
people to the Allied cause entitled his party to a hearing at the Peace
Conference. Prophetically, he told me that the extremists did not
represent the Russian people, and that they were forcing things too far
ever to succeed. I remember almost his exact words:

“Russia is finished with the past, but is by no means ready to go to its
antithesis. I myself represent the middle course, and the world will
some day realize that my government was evolutionary, not

Kerenski was especially hurt by the fact that “even the Americans” would
not listen to him. With fiery phrases, he explained convincingly that
there could be no general peace until Russian affairs were adjusted, and
that 160,000,000 people who had so manfully contributed their full share
against Prussianism could not justly, or even safely, be ignored.

“I am not the spokesman of them all,” he admitted; “but I do represent
the political sentiment that must eventually prevail.”

Dr. Robert Lord was in charge of Russian affairs for the American
delegation. I had him meet Kerenski the next day in my rooms, and from
this meeting an invitation to the Crillon followed.

A more pathetic picture was that presented by the Chinese delegation.
They gave a dinner to a number of Americans, including Thomas Lamont,
Edward A. Filene, Senator Hollis, Charles R. Crane, Professor Taussig,
and myself. The affair may have been hopefully conceived, but, on that
very day, Ray Stannard Baker came to them with President Wilson’s
message that he had to consent to the Japanese pretensions in Shantung.

We had gone for a banquet; we remained for a wake. The Chinese delegates
frankly feared that their failure to secure a proper adjustment with
Japan might so exasperate their people at home as to lead to personal
harm to them. They felt that their treatment by the Conference would
arouse their nation from its ancient lethargy and transform it into a
military power that might eventually avenge its injured pride. One of
them said to me:

“We have a much firmer moral foundation than Japan, and we have a
population of 400,000,000 as against its 56,000,000. We possess as much
latent power as the Japanese, and I dread to contemplate what may happen
if it is ever aroused.”

To look into the eyes of those Chinamen as they talked to us and to
observe their bearing under the trying circumstances of that evening was
to learn a lesson in restraint. The gravity of their situation was
freely admitted, and yet they were perfect hosts to us Americans whose
leader had just disappointed them.

Even more pathetic than the Chinese discouragement was the hopeless case
of the Persian delegates. Having come thousands of miles to present
their plea for a new opportunity to achieve national regeneration, they
were denied even a hearing by the peace commissioners. They pleaded for
a release from the British-Russian yoke. They told us wonderful stories
of their natural resources that could be developed promptly and with
great profit if they could only be assured of security, or if they could
feel secure from the interference by the larger nations, and assured of
the coöperation of, instead of exploitation by, foreign capital. They
alluded to iron and coal, copper, lead, and manganese. The stories they
told reminded one of the descriptions of Mexico and Peru before they
were conquered by Cortez and Pizarro. Those cases involved all the risks
of conquest in an unknown country, and the voyages thither were fraught
with grave danger, while here was a nation whose resources were not in
doubt, but could be examined at leisure, and by experts, and their
existence proven; and the Persians who had been educated abroad and knew
European conditions fairly implored us to bring within the reach of
Persia the benefits of the progress made by these other countries during
the last few hundred years, while Persia was allowed to remain untouched
and unbenefited by those wonderful recent inventions that have enriched
all the countries that utilized them. Ali Kuli Khan, with his charming
American wife, whom I had known previously, told me that, at a large
dinner which the Persians had given, one of our American Peace
Commissioners publicly promised them that the United States delegation
would help them to a hearing; relying on this promise, Ali Kuli Khan had
transmitted the news to his home government, only to have his hopes
speedily dashed to pieces.

Bratiano, the Roumanian premier, was anxious to secure American
influence against a clause in the Roumanian treaty recognizing the
rights of minority peoples resident in his country. He invited my wife
and me to dine with him and two royal princesses of his native land,
Elizabeth and Marie, who have since respectively become the wives of the
Crown Prince of Greece and the King of Serbia. When I told him that the
United States was absolutely pledged to securing the equal rights for
minorities everywhere, and that I heartily favoured this, he showed his
disappointment and said that Roumania would never consent to it. He

“I would rather resign as premier than sign such a treaty.”

When the time came, he made good his word.

In contrast to this unyielding ultra-conservative’s point of view was
the Duc de Vendôme’s, the Bourbon, and as such, of the royal blood of
France. He was married to the sister of the King of Belgium. It is
rather an amusing story to tell how I became acquainted with him. While
we were at Cannes in the midst of the conferences, one day, Colonel
Strong interrupted me at lunch to introduce me to a Miss Curtis from
Boston, who invited some of us to lunch with her in order to meet some
of the residents of Cannes. We accepted and met, among others, Lady
Waterlow, an American, whose husband had been Lord Mayor of London. This
acquaintance resulted in her inviting us to a tea at her home, and I
there met the Duchess of Vendôme, and at that meeting she invited me to
call on them in Paris, as her husband desired to make my acquaintance.

I saw the Vendomes several times, and at a reception which they gave the
guests were all bewildered as to when they had the right to sit down.
They could not sit if any of the royalties were standing, and as five
were at the reception, it was quite a task to watch until all were
seated. The Duke saw my embarrassment and took me into a private room,
which no other royalty was apt to invade, and we sat there and he opened
his heart to me. He seemed convinced of the justice of the new order of
things, and thought that royalty would soon be a lost profession. He was
extremely anxious to be permitted to share in the work of the League of
Nations, and asked me to arrange for him an opportunity to meet Colonel
House, whom he, like many others in Paris at that time, thought would be
the chief of the representatives of the United States in the League of
Nations. The dinner was arranged, and it was somewhat amusing, and my
democratic spirit smiled at the spectacle of a duke and brother-in-law
of one of the few remaining kings in Europe acting like an American
politician and wire-pulling for an opportunity to render public service.

Still more striking was the freer manner of Vesnitz, the gatherings at
whose house were thoroughly cosmopolitan. He had been Serbian Minister
in Paris, and now represented there the new Jugo-Slavia, which he had
helped to create. Whereas Bratiano had represented only the
aristocracy, Vesnitz represented _all_ the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes.
He wanted this new nation to be self-supporting, with its own seaport
and sufficient hinterland. He, too, was married to an American, and
thought and talked like one. He spoke perfect English, was a man of much
learning, and his country suffered a great loss when he died.

Another outstanding Old-World democrat at the Peace Conference was
Venizelos. The Greek Premier was anxious to impress us with the justice
of his country’s claims, and through Mr. Politis, his Foreign Minister,
and Dr. Metaxa, whom I had known in New York, we met soon after my
return to Paris.

Born in the Isle of Crete, Venizelos had participated in the Revolution
that freed his island from Turkey and made it a part of Greece. He
started the Progressive movement in Greece, and became the leader of
that group which prevented King Constantine from joining with Germany in
the war. Later, despite the efforts of Queen Olga, the Kaiser’s sister,
this forceful lawyer brought Greece into the war on the side of the

Because of his charm of manner, his assertiveness, and his persuasive
powers, he accomplished wonders in Paris. The fact that he spoke English
was a great help to him. It was a common saying that when Venizelos left
Colonel House’s room, the map-makers were sent for to re-draw the map.
He asked for more than he expected, and got it nearly all. He possessed
the suavity and diplomatic skill of a Benjamin Franklin and the
constructive statesmanship of an Alexander Hamilton. He had a firm grip
of all the ramifications and complications of international affairs.
Nations, no matter what their government may be, are still ungrateful.
Greece eventually preferred Constantine to Venizelos!

When discussing with Henry White the Greek invasion of Smyrna, I told
him that the Greeks were making a mistake and that they would be drawn
into a tedious struggle with the Turks. They would have to draw heavily
on their resources and on their people’s patience, which would be
severely strained if, as I feared, the war lasted for years. White was
deeply impressed.

“I want you to tell that to Venizelos,” he said.

He knew everybody, and his bringing people together was not the least of
his services to our Commission. He invited the Greek Premier to his
rooms in the Crillon, and there I repeated my opinion.

I told him in great detail the changes that had taken place in Turkey
since the beginning of the war, and described to him the characters of
the men that were now in power. I also explained to him the great
importance they put on retaining possession of the Port of Smyrna, now
that they had lost most of their other ports on the Mediterranean. I
felt certain that they would draw the Grecian Army back into their
hinterland, and away from their base of supplies, and then would
continue to fight them by legitimate, or even guerrilla, methods, until
they exhausted them. I reminded him how the Turks not only forbade their
own people to employ Greeks, but even insisted that the American firms
could not use Grecian workmen to collect the licorice root, or the
Singer Manufacturing Company continue to have Greeks in charge of their
Turkish agencies. I also alluded to the difficulties of governing Smyrna
from Athens, as Constantinople would divide their country, and the cost
of administration would be beyond the present and prospective resources
of Greece, and, finally, I reminded him that they would antagonize Italy
and said: “You know better than I do what that means for Greece.”

Venizelos listened patiently to my elaboration of this theme.

“Perhaps we have acted too hastily,” he said, “and if all you say is
true, it may have been unwise for us to send an army into Smyrna, but
now that the army is there, it would be more unwise to withdraw it--to
do so would admit military, and court political, defeat. The Monarchists
are plotting constantly against me in Athens, and they are backed by the
merchants and shipping men who are over-ambitious and want new territory
for their operations.”

Venizelos admitted that he favoured the annexation of Thrace and of
Smyrna proper. His explanation satisfied me that it was pressure from
Greek financiers that made him continue to enlarge his demands.

My meeting with the subsequent premier of France came later. Stephen
Lausanne, editor of that powerful journal, _Le Matin_, asked me to lunch
with Bunau-Varilla, the _Matin’s_ owner, a power in French politics. I
was surprised to find present quite a number of people, among whom were
the Belgian financier, Count Aupin, and the heavily moustached,
stoop-shouldered man that headed the French delegation to the Washington
Disarmament Conference. We discussed the future attitude of the United
States toward France, and, when the party was breaking up, Lausanne
detained me.

“Don’t go,” he said: “Briand wants to talk with you.”

Aristide Briand, who had five times been Prime Minister of France, was
then, as always, at the head of a strong political faction. Once the
friend, he had now long been the rival of Clemenceau, could almost at
any moment have overthrown the Clemenceau Cabinet, and was puzzling many
people by his delay in executing such a manœuvre. What he wanted of me
was information concerning a matter that directly affected this

France’s financial troubles were the stumbling block: The country’s
tax-payers were already overburdened, yet a larger revenue must be
raised. Briand and his friends felt that the man who, as Premier,
attempted to set those troubles right, and who failed in the difficult
endeavour, would not remain Premier for long. They considered leaving
the ungrateful job to Clemenceau, unless they could put through the
Chamber of Deputies their brilliant idea.

They wanted to pay off the French war debt by means of a lottery loan.
There would be daily prizes. They contemplated one as high as a million
francs. And they expected to sell a large proportion of the tickets in

What, they asked, did I think of the plan?

“Gentlemen,” I said, “you are evidently unaware that there is a law
against lotteries in the United States.”

“But this lottery,” said Briand, “would be in France; we would merely
sell tickets in America through the mails.”

“It was precisely by forbidding the use of the mails for such purposes,”
I explained, “that we stopped lotteries. It is a criminal offence to
sell lottery-tickets in the United States or to use our mails for that

I shall never forget the expression of disappointment with which Briand
and Count Aupin greeted this announcement. It meant that their scheme
must be abandoned and that Briand must still longer postpone the
overthrow of Clemenceau.

Much of what was passing behind the scenes at the Conference it would
not be proper for me to tell. Part of that is the story of “The Passing
of the Third-Floor Front,” when the meetings of the American
Commissioners were transferred from Colonel House’s room on the third
floor of the Crillon to Secretary Lansing’s rooms on the first floor.
But there is an anecdote that I do venture to repeat because it throws a
light on the character and careful methods of Lloyd George.

Even the British Premier was keen to gain favour with those close to
President Wilson, and one night he invited to dine with him Admiral Cary
T. Grayson, whom he knew to be not only Mr. Wilson’s physician, but one
of his personal confidants as well. Now, Grayson was a Southerner of the
Southerners; he was born in Virginia’s Culpepper County, and studied at
William and Mary College. Consequently, he pricked up his ears when
Lloyd George’s entire table conversation confined itself to that America
which lies south of Mason-and-Dixon’s line. The Premier showed himself
specially familiar with the career of Stonewall Jackson, for whom he
professed a warm admiration. Finally, the dinner ended, Mr. Lloyd
George’s niece went to the piano, and sang--American Southern melodies!

This was too much for Grayson.

“How is it,” he said, “that you all have such an intimate knowledge of
my part of America?”

Perhaps this direct query took the Premier by surprise. Anyhow, he

“Well, you see I have just finished reading Henderson’s ‘Life of
Stonewall Jackson.’”

Grayson’s response was in the good old American fashion:

“My dear sir, no matter what office you run for, you’ll have my vote!”

There was one interlude to my activities in Paris that should be
mentioned if only for the sake of the stir it created back home. This
was my speech at Coblenz, when I told the American soldiers there that
another war impended.

It was in May of 1919 that we took a trip to the occupied territory and
visited Coblenz, Cologne, and Wiesbaden. I remember that we were at
first much impressed by the unbending dignity of the young captain who
was our escort until, one day, we stopped at Treves for lunch. We had
just seated ourselves when a woman’s voice called out:

“Why, hello Pinky!”

We all turned round, but the Captain jumped. He had red hair, and the
woman who greeted him by the nickname that his hair had won him before
he achieved his military dignity was Peggy Shaw, of New York, who soon
showed us her soldiers’ theatre and rest-room in a barn where she served
lemonade out of buckets to the Army of Occupation. Thenceforward, the
Captain was “Pinky” to us all.

At Coblenz we were billeted at the house of Von Grotte, the German
president of the Rhineland provinces, and when I woke that first morning
I could not help thinking of the changes that had taken place in my life
between my birth at Mannheim in 1856 and this day at Coblenz in 1919.
Soon I was seated in the Coblenzer-Hof partaking of a good American
breakfast of oatmeal, eggs, bacon, wheat-cakes and molasses, and no
doubt a better meal than any German had that day, and looking at “Old
Glory” afloat over Ehrenbreitstein. How full historically the interim
had been! How strange to see the American flag above this fortress on
the Rhine, while, below, a bronze statue of William I looked on in
woeful contemplation of the wreckage to his Empire that his grandson had

Anxious to learn the true state of mind of the German people, I asked an
American Military Intelligence officer to arrange for me to talk with
some of the leading citizens of Coblenz. He did so at the home of the
best known lawyer of the city, where, besides our host, were a prominent
doctor, the largest local paper manufacturer, an export merchant, and
several others.

It took a couple of bottles of Rhine wine to loosen their tongues.
Finally, one said:

“Here we are in the afternoon of life, each of us a leader in his
calling. We all had accumulated a competency when the war came but some
20 per cent. of this has been taken in taxes, and the remainder is
to-day worth scarcely one fifth of its original value. [A mark was then
worth about five cents.] We have scarcely one sixth of what we formerly
possessed in actual wealth. Instead of yielding us a sufficient annual
income on which to live, our principal now amounts to only three years’
normal income.”

They all said that their business prospects were at an end.

“But surely _your_ profession goes right on,” I protested to the

“I am as badly off as the others,” he answered, “three of these men are
my best and oldest patients: how can I charge them any more than I did
before the war? Moreover, many of my patients I can’t charge anything at

As one of the company expressed it, they felt that France wanted to turn
them into galley-slaves: “She has put us into the hold of a ship; the
hatches are battened down, and on them are sitting a lot of politicians
from Paris to make sure that we never get out.”

The manufacturers said that the young men of ability and energy would
not submit to “such slavery.” They would seek other fields of activity,
and eventually drift to a country like Russia, where skilled managers
and intelligence were at a premium.

All the Coblenzers present maintained the belief that the war had been
forced upon their country by the French and the Russians combining to
crush them. I could not convince them that their own war-lords had
brought about the catastrophe, and that the German people, including
even their socialists, were responsible because their representatives in
Parliament voted for the war-credits. They had been told that this was
a war of self-defense, and they believed it. Now that the autocrats and
junkers had been overthrown, they thought that the people should not be
held responsible for the mistakes of the militarists. They felt that
Germany should be permitted to enter the family of nations and given a
chance to recover and pay her debts.

A few days later, I gave a talk to the American soldiers in the Liberty
Hut at Coblenz, to which reference has been made.

“At present,” I said, “we are enjoying only a suspension of hostilities.
Please don’t go home and tell the people that this war is over. We have
got to prepare for a greater conflict, a greater sacrifice, a greater
responsibility. The young men of America will again have to fight. The
manifold and conflicting demands of all nations at the Peace Conference
are impossible of fulfillment. Many delegates to the Conference will
leave Paris with their demands unsatisfied. The nations are going to
have further quarrels and disputes. I believe that within fifteen years
America will be called upon really to save the world.”

“The battle between democracy and anarchy,” I argued, “will continue and
will result in the bankruptcy of the participating nations. It is
necessary for the United States to prepare, so that when a crisis comes,
we shall be able to create a coöperative spirit between our capital and
labour, and thus be so united and so strong that we can save
civilization from annihilation.”

Cabled home, these words attracted some attention, yet the views that
they expressed were not based entirely upon my own observations. I had
talked with General Bliss, the military member of our Peace Commission,
and with other American officers of high rank: they held opinions
similar to mine.

Bliss, on several occasions, told me that he thought we had just ended
the first seven years of another Thirty Years’ War which had begun with
the Balkan conflict of 1912.

Was he right? The answer rests hidden in the years immediately ahead of

Whatever that answer may be, I saw the signing of the Peace Treaty
intended to end the latest war. General Pershing and I sat next to each
other, and I discussed these very matters with him at Versailles on that
momentous 28th of June. The affixing of the signatures was not an
impressive spectacle. There was no enthusiasm, and but little
excitement. People moved about and chatted in subdued voices. Mrs.
Wilson, Mrs. Lansing, and Colonel House sat in the row next to me, and I
talked to Clemenceau, Lloyd George, and Presidents Poincaré and Wilson.
The only solemn moment was that when the Germans walked to the table;
they betrayed mental suffering, and one of them showed the results of
physical hardship: his clothes hung on him so loosely that it was
apparent he must have lost quite forty pounds since they were made.
After the signatures had been affixed, we all walked up to the Treaty
and looked at it, like mourners taking farewell of a corpse--but we were
mourners without tears.

That night the negotiations for the appointment of the memorable Harbord
Commission to Armenia were concluded. In these I had played a
considerable part; their termination marked the end of my semi-official
activities before embarking on my Polish expedition.

Passing mention has been made of the arduous study of the Turkish
question, which our Commissioners had asked me to undertake jointly with
W. H. Buckler. This task brought me again into contact with Mr. Hoover,
because of the relief work of his Commission in Armenia, and, besides
renewing my pleasant relations with Sir Louis Mallet, who had been the
British Ambassador to Constantinople while I was there, it involved,
among a mass of other details, many interviews with the Armenian and
French representatives and the spokesmen of the other interested
parties. The French were determined to have Cilicia; the Armenians would
not consider my advice that they should surrender it, and, by this
concession, win French support for their other ambitions. Buckler,
Professor Philip M. Brown, and I made a report[1] to President Wilson,
recommending a triple mandate: one to cover Armenia, another Anatolia,
and a third the Constantinople district, where the chief administrator
would reside, with an administrator in each of the other territories; we
expressed the opinion that there should be an Armenian parliament in
Armenia and a Turkish parliament in Anatolia, with the probable Turkish
capital at Konia. Thus we would banish the Turk from Europe and limit
him to Anatolia, where, however, he would be permitted to govern
himself. The triple mandate, we recommended, should be assumed by the
United States.

Our report was submitted in the latter part of June. Nevertheless, the
conflicting claims of the French and the Armenians and the woeful
conditions of the districts involved, left something more to be done. I
favoured the appointment of an American Army officer to go to Armenia as
Commissioner for the Allied and Associated Nations, and to protect the
Armenians. I had a high regard for the ability of Major-General Harbord,
General Pershing’s Chief-of-Staff, and thought him exactly the man for
such a post; but I was told that he was not in Paris, and nobody seemed
to know just where he was or when he would return.

At the last moment, fate played into my hands. On Tuesday, June 24th, I
went to a dinner given by Homer H. Johnson to Assistant Secretary of War
Benjamin Crowell, and found General Harbord there. To my great
satisfaction I was seated next to him. This gave us several hours to
discuss the Armenian question, and I urged him to undertake the task.
Next morning he sent me a remarkable letter, which showed his masterly
grasp of the situation, but ended with the statement that he would not
care to accept the Commissionership unless he could have a proper
military staff to aid him.

On Thursday, I had an appointment with the President to discuss the
Polish Mission. We disposed of this very quickly, as I shall tell later
on. I then seized upon the remaining minutes allotted me to present to
the President our proposal of a Commission to Armenia. The President was
profoundly interested and told me that he had but little time left to do
anything in the matter, as the Peace Treaty was to be signed on
Saturday. And he added:

“As you probably know, I shall sail for home that evening, but if you
can come to an agreement with Hoover and let me have what you two
recommend by nine o’clock to-morrow morning, I will try to put it

I went straight to Hoover’s office from my interview and we drafted a
letter to the President containing the following joint recommendations
to be brought by him to the attention of the Big Four before his

     1. We suggest that a single temporary resident Commissioner should
     be appointed to Armenia, who will have the full authority of the
     United States, Great Britain, France, and Italy in all their
     relations to the de facto Armenian Government, as the joint
     representative of these Governments in Armenia. His duties shall be
     so far as he may consider necessary to supervise and advise upon
     various governmental matters in the whole of Russian and Turkish
     Armenia, and to control relief and repatriation questions pending
     the determination of the political destiny of this area.

     2. In case the various Governments should agree to this plan,
     immediate notification should be made to the de facto Governments
     of Turkey and of Armenia of his appointment and authority.
     Furthermore, he will be appointed to represent the American Relief
     Administration and the American Committee for Relief in the Near
     East, and take entire charge of all their activities in Russian and
     Turkish Armenia.

     The ideal man for this position would be General Harbord, as we
     assume under all the circumstances it would probably be desirable
     to appoint an American. Should General Harbord be unable to
     undertake the matter, we are wondering whether you would leave it
     to us to select the man in conjunction with General Pershing.

Two days later, the President sailed for America. As he was taking the
Brest train from Paris, he turned to Harbord, who had come to the

“We have passed that matter about you,” he said.

What matter he referred to, Harbord could not guess. There was no time
to inquire of Mr. Wilson, and the General being wholly in the dark, did
not think of inquiring of me. For some days, I was to remain in

On June 30th, though it was dated “June 28th,” there arrived at the
American Peace Commission’s headquarters a cable addressed to Mr.
Wilson--now at sea--which, in the light of future events, bore
signatures that appear rather startling in such a connection. How
differently people act when seeking power than they do when in
authority! The message called “immediate” relief for Armenia “a sacred
duty” and urged upon Woodrow Wilson:

     That as a first step in that direction, and without waiting for the
     conclusion of peace, either the Allies, or America, or both, should
     at once send to Caucasus-Armenia requisite food, munitions and
     supplies for fifty thousand men and such other help as they may
     require to enable the Armenians to occupy the now-occupied parts of
     Armenia within the boundaries defined in the memorandum of the
     delegation of integral Armenia.

The first three signatures were those of Charles Evans Hughes, Elihu
Root, and Henry Cabot Lodge! The next was John Sharp Williams. How
strange it would be if Oscar Underwood had been asked and had signed in
his place. We would then have had all four American delegates to the
Disarmament Conference.

Mr. Hoover called on me with a copy of this message in his hands. He
said that Lansing, House, and White wanted us to draft a reply to it.

In the composition of that reply, Hoover’s opinions as to details again
diverged from mine. He continued in his antagonism to an American
Regular Army officer on the active list, as an administrator of Caucasus
relief-work and evinced firm opposition to America taking a mandate. He
argued good-temperedly, but strongly, to win me to his point of view; I
was not convinced, and we at last reached another compromise, settling
on such statements as we could both subscribe to. The reply was dated
July 2nd, and was in part:

     Active relief work on a large scale is now in progress in the most
     distressed areas of Armenia, but will require much enlarged
     support, in view of the expiration of Congressional
     appropriations.... Competent observers report that immediate
     training and equipment of adequate Armenian forces would be
     impracticable and that the repatriation of refugees is feasible
     only under protection of British or American troops. British
     authorities inform us that they cannot spare troops for this
     purpose.... All military advisers agree that the Armenian
     population itself, even if furnished arms and supplies, will be
     unable to overcome Turkish opposition and surrounding pressure....
     To secure ... establishment and protection and undertake the
     economic development of the state, such mandatory must, until it
     becomes self-supporting, provide not less than $300,000,000. It
     would have to be looked upon as a sheer effort to ease humanity.

At about this point, Hoover’s opposition to America assuming a mandate
manifests itself in the message. We agreed that he should add a few
lines, expressly and explicitly on his own responsibility. So the
message, after the joint signature of “Hoover-Morgenthau,” continued:

     Mr. Hoover wishes to add on his sole responsibility that he
     considers that the only practicable method by which a government in
     this region could be made economically self-supporting would be to
     embrace in the same mandatory the area of Mesopotamia where there
     are very large possibilities of economic development, where there
     would be an outlet for the commercial abilities of the Armenians,
     and with such an enlarged area it could be hoped in a few years to
     build up a State self-supporting, although the intervention of some
     dominant foreign race must be continued until the entire population
     could be educated to a different basis of moral relations, and that
     consequently whatever State is assigned the mandatory for
     Mesopotamia should at the same time take up the burden of Armenia.

When that portion of the message was suggested, I said to Mr. Hoover:

“The inclusion of Mesopotamia in the proposition would absolutely
destroy all chances of America taking the mandate.”

“Well,” said Hoover, “I wouldn’t object if that was the effect of it.”

The “effect” has now long since passed into history.

Mandate or no mandate, the matter of a commission to Armenia suffered no
retarding except in the detail of personnel. I was still in the dark
about what President Wilson had done regarding it, but an odd chance
soon enlightened me.

It was after one o’clock when I rushed from Hoover’s office to 23 Rue
Minot to attend a luncheon given by the Hon. Arthur J. Balfour. At the
table were Lord d’Abernon who, as Sir Edgar Vincent, had been manager of
the Imperial Ottoman Bank at Constantinople, and now is British
Ambassador in Berlin; Sir Maurice Hankey and his wife; and Mr.
Balfour’s niece. We at once plunged into a discussion of Turkish
affairs. Mr. Balfour said he favoured the United States taking a mandate
over the Constantinople district and Armenia, but not over Anatolia. A
general discussion of the economic difficulties followed, and I outlined
the plan of a triple mandate that I had submitted to the President, and
went so far as to hope that it might lead to a Balkan federation. Then,
to our great surprise, Sir Maurice turned to Mr. Balfour:

“Why, Mr. Balfour,” he said, “don’t you know that the Hoover-Morgenthau
plan for a resident commission in the Caucasus was acted upon by the Big
Four on Saturday at Versailles just after the signing of the Peace
Treaty? They passed it in principle and referred it to you to work out
the details. It is on your desk now on top of that pile of papers with a
red slip on it.”

We now beheld Balfour in one of his well-known attitudes, when he
slightly raises his eyebrows, drops his right shoulder, and looks at you
with a smile that almost talks. He then said to me: “You see how Lloyd
George does things. This information that Hankey has given us is
absolutely as new to me as it is to you.”

Sir Maurice offered to stay over and help Balfour arrange the details.
The latter said that it would not be necessary, but asked me to request
Mr. Lansing to do his part toward putting the affair into shape.

Harbord was still unwilling to go without the assistance of a military
staff, for which he had originally stipulated. President Wilson had left
word that in such an event, Hoover and I were to name a substitute.
Hoover suggested Colonel William N. Haskell, who had represented the
American Relief Commission in Roumania; and as Haskell was to also
represent the Near East Relief, of which I was then vice-chairman, I
assented to his selection in both capacities, and Haskell set out for
Armenia shortly thereafter.

That appointment, I felt, would help to take care of the relief phase of
the situation, but there was left the need of a report of a strictly
army man on the military side of the Armenian matter before the question
of America assuming the proposed mandate could be thoroughly answered.
Harbord was, therefore, doubly welcome when, within a few days, he came
to me with a suggestion:

“Don’t you think,” he asked, “it would be advisable that either Pershing
or myself, or both, be sent to investigate and report on the conditions
in the Trans-Caucasus, because the question of an American mandatory in
Turkey promises almost immediately to become urgent, and we should know
military conditions there before the Government acts in the matter.”

As this completely coincided with my views, I immediately consulted
Hoover, and we jointly sent a wireless to President Wilson, which
elicited a prompt approval of the idea, and the order that it be left to
Pershing to decide who should make the trip.

The Harbord Mission and its very able report on Armenia resulted.
Complete impartiality, and a total lack of prejudice, were shown by the
manner in which he ended his report. He stated thirteen reasons for the
United States adopting a mandate and thirteen reasons against it, and
they were placed in parallel columns, so that everyone who read them
could come to his own conclusions, and with General Harbord’s permission
I am including them here.

Reasons For

1. As one of the chief contributors to the formation of the League of
Nations, the United States is morally bound to accept the obligations
and responsibilities of a mandatory power.

2. The insurance of world peace at the world’s cross-ways, the focus of
war infection since the beginning of history.

3. The Near East presents the greatest humanitarian opportunity of the
age--a duty for which the United States is better fitted than any
other--as witness Cuba, Porto Rico, Philippines, Hawaii, Panama, and our
altruistic policy of developing peoples rather than material resources

4. America is practically the unanimous choice and fervent hope of all
the peoples involved.

5. America is already spending millions to save starving peoples in
Turkey and Transcaucasia and could do this with much more efficiency if
in control. Whoever becomes mandatory for these regions we shall be
still expected to finance their relief, and will probably eventually
furnish the capital for material development.

6. America is the only hope of the Armenians. They consider but one
other nation, Great Britain, which they fear would sacrifice their
interests to Moslem public opinion as long as she controls hundreds of
millions of that faith. Others fear Britain’s imperialistic policy and
her habit of staying where she hoists her flag.

For a mandatory America is not only the first choice of all the peoples
of the Near East, but of each of the great powers, after itself.

American power is adequate; its record clean; its motives above

7. The mandatory would be self-supporting after an initial period of not
to exceed five years. The building of railroads would offer
opportunities to our capital. There would be great trade advantages not
only in the mandatory region, but in the proximity to Russia, Roumania,

America would clean this hot-bed of disease and filth as she has in Cuba
and Panama.

8. Intervention would be a liberal education for our people in world
politics; give outlet to a vast amount of spirit and energy and would
furnish a shining example.

9. It would definitely stop further massacres of Armenians and other
Christians, give justice to the Turks, Kurds, Greeks and other peoples.

10. It would increase the strength and prestige of the United States
abroad and inspire interest at home in the regeneration of the Near

11. America has strong sentimental interests in the region; our missions
and colleges.

12. If the United States does not take responsibility in this region, it
is likely that international jealousies will result in a continuance of
the unspeakable misrule of the Turk.

13. “And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel, thy brother? And he
said: ‘I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?’”

Better millions for a mandate than billions for future wars.

Reasons Against

1. The United States has prior and nearer foreign obligations, and ample
responsibilities with domestic problems growing out of the war.

2. This region has been a battle ground of militarism and imperialism
for centuries. There is every likelihood that ambitious nations will
still maneuver for its control. It would weaken our position relative to
the Monroe Doctrine and probably eventually involve us with a
reconstituted Russia. The taking of a mandate in this region would bring
the United States into politics of the Old World, contrary to our
traditional policy of keeping free of affairs in the Eastern Hemisphere.

3. Humanitarianism should begin at home. There is a sufficient number of
difficult situations which call for our action within the
well-recognized spheres of American influence.

4. The United States has in no way contributed to and is not responsible
for the conditions, political, social, or economic, that prevail in this
region. It will be entirely consistent to decline the invitation.

5. American philanthropy and charity are world wide. Such policy would
commit us to a policy of meddling or draw upon our philanthropy to the
point of exhaustion.

6. Other powers, particularly Great Britain and Russia, have shown
continued interest in the welfare of Armenia. Great Britain is fitted by
experience and government, has great resources in money and trained
personnel, and though she might not be as sympathetic to Armenian
aspirations, her rule would guarantee security and justice.

The United States is not capable of sustaining a continuity of foreign
policy. One Congress can not bind another. Even treaties can be
nullified by cutting off appropriations. Non-partisanship is difficult
to attain in our Government.

7. Our country would be put to great expense, involving probably an
increase of the Army and Navy. Large numbers of Americans would serve in
a country of loathsome and dangerous diseases. It is questionable if
railroads could for many years pay interest on investments in their very
difficult construction. Capital for railways would not go there except
on Government guaranty.

The effort and money spent would get us more trade in nearer lands than
we could hope for in Russia and Roumania.

Proximity and competition would increase the possibility of our becoming
involved in conflict with the policies and ambitions of states which now
our friends would be made our rivals.

8. Our spirit and energy can find scope in domestic enterprises, or in
lands south and west of ours. Intervention in the Near East would rob us
of the strategic advantage enjoyed through the Atlantic which rolls
between us and probable foes. Our reputation for fair dealing might be
impaired. Efficient supervision of a mandate at such distance would be
difficult or impossible. We do not need or wish further education in
world politics.

9. Peace and justice would be equally assured under any other of the
great powers.

10. It would weaken and dissipate our strength which should be reserved
for future responsibilities on the American continents and in the Far
East. Our line of communication to Constantinople would be at the mercy
of other naval powers, and especially of Great Britain, with Gibraltar
and Malta, etc., on the route.

11. These institutions have been respected even by the Turks throughout
the war and the massacres; and sympathy and respect would be shown by
any other mandatory.

12. The Peace Conference has definitely informed the Turkish Government
that it may expect to go under a mandate. It is not conceivable that the
League of Nations would permit further uncontrolled rule by that
thoroughly discredited government.

13. The first duty of America is to its own people and its nearer

Our country would be involved in this adventure for at least a
generation and in counting the cost Congress must be prepared to advance
some such sums, less such amount as the Turkish and Transcaucasian
revenues could afford, for the first five years.

The Harbord Commission constituted itself attorney for both sides to the
controversy, and expected the people of America to act as the jury to
determine this question.

My own opinion as to the duties of the United States toward Turkey is
elaborately outlined in an article on “Mandates or War?” which I
contributed to the New York _Times_ on November 9, 1919, and which
appears in the appendix of this volume, and I hope that those of my
readers who are really interested in this problem will take the trouble
to read it.



Paris, in 1919, had emerged from her darkness. She had ceased her weary
vigils for air raids. She was no longer troubled by the nightmare of
Emperor William at the head of his army triumphantly entering her gates,
marching down the Champs-Elysées, and, like his grandfather in 1871,
mortally offending her pride by defiling the Arc de Triomphe. Instead,
she rejoiced daily in contemplating the thousands of captured German
guns which had been placed along this very route to celebrate her
victory. Crowds of people in their hysteric joy wept as they stood
before the decorated statues of Strassburg and Metz, which once again
were French cities. Versailles was not to be again used to crown a
German Emperor, who, this time, would have been Emperor of the World. On
the contrary, Paris was to have her revenge, for here were to gather all
the representatives of the various victorious nations, as well as the
neutrals, in an endeavour to formulate a permanent peace.

When this great conference was in the making, the Jews in America had
decided to join the Jews of other nations in a representative commission
at Paris, to make an appeal to secure in the Treaty of Peace an
assurance of the religious and civil rights of the Jews, in the
countries in which they resided in large numbers, particularly in
Roumania, Poland, and Russia. The Jews of the United States held
elections of representatives to a congress in Philadelphia, which was in
turn to select their members of the Commission.

I was elected a representative from my district. When, however, I
reached Philadelphia and conferred with some of the delegates, I found
that the elections had, in general, been so skilfully manipulated by the
Zionists that they were in complete control, although their views were
shared by only a small percentage of the Jews in America.

As I immediately realized that the plans of some of the most aggressive
members of this controlling minority were Nationalistic, which was
absolutely contrary to the convictions of the vast majority of Jews in
America, including myself, I declined to qualify as a member of the
congress, and left Philadelphia without attending any of its sessions.

Subsequently, two hundred and seventy-five prominent Jews, residing in
thirty-seven states of the Union, signed a statement which had been
prepared by Dr. Henry Berkowitz, Rev. Dr. David Philipson, the late
Professor Morris Jastrow, and Max Senior. This statement declared
amongst other things that:

     As a future form of government for Palestine will undoubtedly be
     considered by the approaching Peace Conference, we, the undersigned
     citizens of the United States, unite in this statement, setting
     forth our objections to the organization of a Jewish state in
     Palestine as proposed by the Zionist societies in this country and
     Europe, and to the segregation of the Jews as a nationalistic unit
     in any country.

     We feel that in so doing we are voicing the opinion of the majority
     of American Jews born in this country and of those foreign born who
     have lived here long enough to thoroughly assimilate American
     political and social conditions. The American Zionists represent,
     according to the most recent statistics available, only a small
     proportion of the Jews living in this country, about 150,000 out of
     3,500,000. (American Jewish Year Book, 1918, Philadelphia)....

     We raise our voices in warning and protest against the demand of
     the Zionists for the reorganization of the Jews as a national unit,
     to whom, now or in the future, territorial sovereignty in Palestine
     shall be committed. This demand not only misinterprets the trend of
     the history of the Jews, who ceased to be a nation 2,000 years
     ago, but involves the limitation and possible annulment of the
     larger claims of Jews for full citizenship and human rights in all
     lands in which those rights are not yet secure. For the very reason
     that the new era upon which the world is entering aims to establish
     government everywhere on principles of true democracy, we reject
     the Zionistic project of a “national home for the Jewish people in

     Zionism arose as the result of the intolerable conditions under
     which the Jews have been forced to live in Russia and Roumania. But
     it is evident that for the Jewish population of these countries,
     variously estimated at from six to ten millions, Palestine can
     become no home land. Even with the improvement of the neglected
     condition of this country, its limited area can offer no solution.
     The Jewish question in Russia and Roumania can be settled only
     within those countries by the grant of full rights of citizenship
     to Jews....

     Against such a political segregation of the Jews in Palestine, or
     elsewhere, we object, because the Jews are dedicated heart and soul
     to the welfare of the countries in which they dwell under free
     conditions. All Jews repudiate every suspicion of a double
     allegiance, but to our minds it is necessarily implied in and
     cannot by any logic be eliminated from establishment of a sovereign
     State for the Jews in Palestine.

Of this statement I was one of the signers. Congressman Julius Kahn and
I were asked to present these views to the Conference; Rabbi Isaac
Landman, editor of _The American Hebrew_, joined us, and the original
text was duly filed with the American Commission at Paris.

There the representatives of the Jews were well organized. Their
delegation included men from all the countries likely to be affected by
the Treaty; it had a large general commission, a secretariat, committees
and sub-committees, and it had an Inner Council. The majority of the
French and British Jews--as represented by the _Alliance Israelite_ and
the _Joint Foreign Committee of the Anglo Jewish Association and the
Board of Delegates_, which Claude Montefiore and Lucien Wolff
headed--felt as did the two hundred and seventy-five American
protesters and their adherents, whereas the central European Jews
strongly advocated the Nationalistic idea--and when I talked with the
delegates from the Philadelphia congress, I discovered that even some of
those who were not Zionists supported the aims of the Nationalists.

These men argued that Jewish nationalism in Poland and Roumania would
not be the same as it would be in America; that in the United States
there would be no state-within-a-state, but that recognition of the Jews
as separate nationals was essential to their well-being in central
Europe; that even the Germans remaining in Poland would have to be
protected as separate nationals. and that the general principle must be
formally recognized.

Every man has his master-passion: mine is for _democracy_. I believe
that history’s best effort in democracy is the United States, which has
rooted in its Constitution all that any group of its citizens can
legitimately desire. Yet here were Americans willing to coöperate with
central Europeans who wanted to establish in their own countries a
“nation within a nation”--a proposition fundamentally opposed to our
American principles.

I pointed this out. I said that, under this plan, a Jew in Poland or
Roumania, for example, would soon face conflicting duties, and that any
American who advocated such a conflict of allegiance for the Jews of
central Europe would perhaps expose the Jews in America to the suspicion
of harbouring a similar desire. Minorities everywhere, I maintained,
would fare better if they protected their religious rights in the
countries where they resided, and then joined their fellow countrymen in
bettering for all its inhabitants the land of their common citizenship.

Meanwhile, excesses had occurred in Poland and Jews had suffered
cruelly. There was genuine resentment coupled with real fear that the
trouble might develop into Kiev or Kishineff disasters. There was the
feeling that Poland, who had just emerged from her yoke of tyranny,
should be reminded of the world’s expectation that she should grant to
her minorities the same privileges which her centuries of oppression had
taught her to value for herself.

The Jews emphasized their expectations by holding mass meetings,
parades, and demonstrations in the United States and England. In New
York, 15,000 Jews packed Madison Square Garden, and many thousands more,
including 3,000 in uniform, stood in the surrounding streets. The
leading address was delivered by Charles E. Hughes. Resolutions were
passed calling upon President Wilson to stop these outbreaks, and to
secure permanent protection.

That was in May, 1919. In early June, Hugh Gibson, who had been our
Minister at Warsaw for a few weeks only, was asked for a report. He made
a necessarily hasty investigation. The conclusions he arrived at in his
report were greatly resented by some Jews, who charged him with unduly
favouring the Poles. Gibson came to Paris, and was joined by Herbert
Hoover, then managing the American Relief Work in Poland, and by
Paderewski representing Poland at the Peace Conference, to urge
President Wilson to appoint an investigating commission to ascertain the
truth. The President designated a commission composed of Colonel Warwick
Greene, Homer H. Johnson, and myself. As Colonel Greene declined,
General Edgar Jadwin was appointed in his place.

My reluctance to serve was great, my position difficult, and the
American members of the Jewish delegation did not attempt to diminish
the one or ease the other. My announced opposition to the Nationalist
theory and my attitude toward Zionism were against me; they unanimously
disapproved of my acceptance; and the arguments they presented to me
were forcible. In one breath, they said that they wanted a Zionist on
the Commission; in the next, they told me that it should include no Jew;
in the third, they would express the conviction that nobody could be
successful: a report in favour of one side was sure to displease the

On my part, I felt that I must give some consideration to these men who
had devoted so much of their lives to the Jewish question and to
administering so many of the relief activities in America. Until this
period, I had always heartily coöperated with them, yet I realized the
absolute need of a fearless, impartial investigation and that,
preferably, with the participation therein of a Jew.

My hesitation is shown in the following message from the
Secretary-General of the American Peace Delegation to the
Under-Secretary of State at Washington:

     POLK, Washington.

     Morgenthau has been requested by President to serve with Warwick
     Greene and Homer Johnson on commission to investigate pogroms
     against Jews and Jewish persecutions stop Marshall, Cyrus Adler
     advise him to decline urging that no Jew be appointed stop
     Morgenthau is in doubt and requests that you promptly ascertain
     opinion of Schiff, Wise, Elkus, Nathan Straus, Rosenwald and Samson
     Lachman as to his acceptance.


I even told Louis Marshall and Dr. Cyrus Adler that I would second their
efforts against my appointment, and I kept my word. When I found that my
messages to the President failed to move him, I insisted on a personal
interview with him, hoping then to dissuade him, and, on June 26th, two
days before the signing of the Treaty and the President’s return to
America, this was secured. When I stated to him that I wanted to be
relieved from the Commission, and suggested that no Jew should be put
on same, he replied, with great emphasis, that he had definitely
concluded to put a Jew on the Commission, so as to secure for the Jews
in Poland a sympathetic hearing, and that he had selected me to be
entrusted with this task and hoped that I would not refuse to serve.

“Your putting it that way,” I answered, “makes it a command, and as a
good citizen, I will not disobey it.”

Just returned from Lithuania and anxious to see his suggestions in
regard to that country pushed to realization, Colonel Greene begged to
be relieved from serving on the Polish Mission, and the President left
it to General Pershing and myself to secure some other army officer. I
went to the General’s residence on the momentous morning of the signing
of the Peace Treaty.

“Let’s step into the garden,” he said, and, turning to General Harbord,
added: “You come along.”

It was a bright spring morning. The acres of garden, hidden from the
streets of the Boulevard St. Germain district, and rich from centuries
of care, stretched green and quiet before us. We sat on an old stone
seat, and Pershing drew out a memorandum from his pocket.

“Here,” he told me, “are the names of the general officers that I have
picked out for some recognition. Now, Morgenthau, tell me what sort of
officer it is that you want.”

In a most comprehensive way he ran through the names and explained the
special attainments and attributes of each man mentioned. Here was the
honour list of the A. E. F., and the man who was explaining it to me was
he whose name was entitled to stand in capitals at its top. The
experience was like going through a picture gallery with an expert
pointing out the best in every portrait, and Harbord throwing in an
illuminating remark every now and then, was a connoisseur at the
expert’s elbow. I realized that the portraits were all real
masterpieces--no antiques--all moderns. They were the select of the
selected, but the two that apparently best suited our present purpose
were Mason M. Patrick and Edgar Jadwin.

“Our commission,” I repeated, “is expected to conduct a real search for
the truth, without prejudice; to be well balanced, the third member
should be a man who will work judicially, but be unencumbered with a
legal education and the quibbles that usually accompany it.” And, I
added: “Both Johnson and I are lawyers.”

Pershing replied: “If you mean a man who will balance facts
mathematically and then arrive at a conclusion, as an engineer does,
then Jadwin is the man for you.”

“Very well,” I said, “we’ll take Jadwin. Where is he?”

“I’ll have him meet you at the Crillon this afternoon,” said Pershing,
and he kept his word.

Johnson, Jadwin, and I organized our commission at the Crillon before
sunset that day. I left it to Jadwin to choose our executive secretary;
he chose Lieutenant-Colonel M. C. Bryant; we borrowed Major Henry S.
Otto from Hoover, and selected as Counsel, Captain Arthur L. Goodhart
who had been Assistant Corporation Counsel of New York.

That same night, Paderewski gave a dinner at the Ritz. In its
potentialities, in the sharp contrasts of character presented by the
guests, it was one of the most dramatic events connected with the
preparations for my trip to Poland.

The Versailles Conference was over. President Wilson, to whom the world
still looked for leadership, was starting home within an hour, taking
with him the Covenant of the League of Nations. The Treaty had just been
signed; the ink was scarcely dry on the signatures to that document
containing Article 93:

     Poland accepts and agrees to embody in a Treaty with the Principal
     Allied and Associated Powers such provisions as may be deemed
     necessary by the said Powers to protect the interests of
     inhabitants of Poland who differ from the majority of the
     population in race, language, or religion.

And now, around that dinner-table sat, among others, Paderewski,
Dmowski, and Lansing, signers of the Treaty, and Hugh Gibson and myself:
Lansing, who as ranking member of the Peace Commission, represented the
government that held the balance of the world-power; Paderewski,
Poland’s Premier, who realized that the very life of his native land
depended on peace at home and good opinion abroad, and that these could
be secured only by a satisfactory settlement of the Jewish problem
within the Polish boundaries; Hugh Gibson, American Minister to Warsaw,
whose report on that problem had increased the storm of Jewish protest;
Roman Dmowski, the leader of Anti-Semitism in Poland, admittedly its
fomenter, who had found Article 93 a bitter pill; and I, who had been
appointed to go to Poland to find out the absolute truth.

Far from depressing me, this juxtaposition had a stimulating effect.
More than ever, I realized the delicacy of the task with which I had
been entrusted. In the respect paid to me at this dinner Dmowski’s
Anti-Semitism had obviously received quite a jolt, and I wanted to have
a talk with him. Paderewski, Lansing, and Gibson dramatically left the
table to hurry to the railway station and bid good-bye to President
Wilson. When they had returned and the dinner was over, I said to

“Here is your chance to tell Dmowski how the American Peace Commission
feels about our proposed work in Poland.”

Lansing assented, and after a brief talk with Dmowski, drew him, Gibson,
and myself aside, and I had my first man-to-man talk with the organizer
of the anti-Jewish economic and social boycott in Poland.

Dmowski was a heavy, domineering figure, with a thick neck and a big,
close-cropped head bearing the bulldog jaw and the piercing eyes of the
ward-boss. I had learned his story: in the days of Russian domination he
had tried to force the Jews of his Warsaw district to support his
machine’s candidate for a seat in the Fourth (1912) Douma; they refused
to vote for his man, who was an Anti-Semite, threw their influence in
favour of the Socialist candidate Jagellan, and elected him. Dmowski
ever after, through his newspaper and in his position as a leader of the
National Democratic Party of Poland, pursued the cunning policy of
making Anti-Semitism a party issue. It was a wilful plot, based on
personal spite, to destroy the Polish Jews.

“Mr. Dmowski,” I said, “I understand that you are an Anti-Semite, and I
want to know how you feel toward our Commission.”

He replied in an almost propitiating manner:

“My Anti-Semitism isn’t religious: it is political. And it is not
political outside of Poland. It is entirely a matter of Polish party
politics. It is only from that point of view that I regard it or your
mission. Against a non-Polish Jew I have no prejudice, political or
otherwise. I’ll be glad to give you any information that I possess.”

He then sketched, with vigour, the arguments against Jewish nationalism
and touched on the Socialist activities of one section of the Polish
Jews. He also said: “There never was a pogrom in Poland. Lithuanian
Jews, fleeing Russian persecution in 1908, spoke Russian obtrusively and
banded together to employ only Jewish lawyers and doctors; they started
boycotting; the Poles’ boycott was a necessary retaliation. On the other
hand, the Posen Jews speak German and the others Yiddish, which is
based on German: we want the Polish language in Poland.”

I arranged to have him meet General Jadwin and myself. He did so and
frankly explained his attitude toward the Jews and his participation in
the Economic Boycott. He had no moral qualms as to his using so
destructive a method in his political fight. He said that unless the
Jews would abandon their exclusiveness, they had better leave the
country. He wanted Poland for the Poles alone--and made no secret of
this desire.

Dmowski admitted his unfamiliarity with financial conditions and
referred us to Grabski whom he brought to see us. We also conferred with
the Pro-Semite, Dr. Tsulski, and a number of other Poles and Polish Jews
in Paris. I immediately encountered the clash of views that was to
continue throughout my entire investigation.

The more I talked with the different factional leaders, the more I felt
that they were speaking not so much from deep conviction as from
political expediency. Out of that feeling I evolved my ideal of what our
Commission ought to accomplish.

Here was Poland, who was expected to prevent a German-Russian
combination--a new family in the Clan of Progressive Peoples; and no
sooner had it entered the Clan than it developed a family feud. Now, the
welfare of the separate families is the welfare of the Clan. For the
Clan’s sake, Poland must be saved; otherwise, it would be an easy prey
to the common enemy. The investigator’s duty was not merely to
ascertain, if that were possible, which of the two contending factions
had told the truth, or which exaggerated; we were the representatives of
the most powerful participant in the Conference that projected the
League of Nations; it was for us to see whether the quarrel could not be
amicably settled, and the new family saved to do its part for the Clan.

[Illustration: © _Keystone_


Premier of Poland, and her representative at Paris, who suggested that
the American Mission be sent, and later, in Poland, aided it.]

Nor was that all. Our experiment was a new one in history. We were not a
delegation of conquerors dictating to the parties of a newly subdued
province. We believed that if internecine wars were to be prevented in
the future, one of the best methods might now be proved to be
investigations and recommendations, made as early in the quarrel as
possible by disinterested outsiders, who would represent an
international tribunal with power to act.

Accordingly, Gibson and I decided that the Polish Commission must set
out armed with instructions that would carry it far. We consulted Mr.
Lansing, and the following letter resulted:

Paris, June 30, 1919.


     As I understand that you and your colleagues on the Mission to
     Poland are beginning your preliminary work here, I desire to make
     some general observations as to the character of the task confided
     to you by the President.

     The President was convinced of the desirability of sending a
     Commission to Poland to investigate Jewish matters after he had
     been made acquainted with the various reports of the situation
     there. His view was supported by the request of the Polish
     Government, through Mr. Paderewski, that an American Mission be
     sent to establish the truth of the various reports concerning his
     country. Mr. Gibson, the American Minister to Poland, some time ago
     asked that such a Mission be sent to Poland and outlined his idea
     of what it should endeavour to accomplish.

     It is desired that your Mission make careful inquiry into all
     matters affecting the relations between the Jewish and non-Jewish
     elements in Poland. This will, of course, involve the investigation
     of the various massacres, pogroms, and other excesses alleged to
     have taken place, the economic boycott, and other methods of
     discrimination against the Jewish race. The establishment of the
     truth in regard to these matters is not, however, an end in itself;
     it is merely for the purpose of seeking to discover the reason
     lying behind such excesses and discriminations with a view to
     finding a possible remedy. The American Government, as you know, is
     inspired by a friendly desire to render service to all elements in
     the new Poland--Christians and Jews alike. I am convinced that any
     measure that may be taken to ameliorate the conditions of the Jews
     will also benefit the rest of the population and that, conversely,
     anything done for the community benefit of Poland as a whole, will
     be of advantage to the Jewish race. I am sure that the members of
     your Mission are approaching the subject in the right spirit, free
     from prejudice one way or the other, and filled with a desire to
     discover the truth and evolve some constructive measures to improve
     the situation which gives concern to all the friends of Poland.

     I am, my dear Mr. Morgenthau, with every hope that your Mission may
     result in lasting good,

Very sincerely yours,

Our Commission arrived in Warsaw on the 13th of July, and we were
immediately immersed in the vortex of Polish affairs.

The Jewish masses looked upon us as hoped-for deliverers, and upon me as
a second Moses Montefiore, but no other faction was pleased at our
presence. Paderewski’s request that we be sent was far from representing
the wishes of the entire Polish people; the majority of the
Government--particularly Pilsudski, the Chief of State, and his
group--had difficulty in concealing their mistrust of the Mission, and a
large portion of the press unreservedly described our purpose as a piece
of uncalled-for interference.

As no enduring benefit was likely to be accomplished unless we won the
good will of all concerned, we saw at once that to secure this was only
secondary to our discovering the truth. Accordingly, as soon as we were
settled in the Raczynski Palace, where the Poles signed their
Declaration of Independence in 1790, we began a long series of
conferences with men from all the political factions, persons of the
various religious faiths, members of the Cabinet and Parliament, the
Volks-Partei, the Arbeiter-Verein, and with Jews--Zionistic,
Assimilators, and Orthodox. Of the Jewish members of the Parliament
there were Dr. Grynenbaum, Dr. Thon, Mr. Farbstein, Hardclass, Dr.
Rosenblatt, who were Nationalistic Zionists; Dr. Weinza, who was a
Radical Zionist; and Dr. Schipper, who was a Socialistic Zionist. Then
there were Preludski, and Hirsthorn of the Volks-Partei; and Rabbis
Perlmutter and Halpern of the Orthodox Jewish party.

Our quarters were flooded with visitors. To our first sitting came
representatives of the Zionists to state their case, and then the
picturesque Rabbi Perlmutter, with his white, patriarchal beard, who,
accompanied by two other rabbis, called to extend the welcome of the
Orthodox Jews.

That was the beginning of a full fortnight of Warsaw hearings. Day after
day, we sat there, listening, questioning, taking voluminous notes,
making bulky records. There came representatives from the Jews of Lodz,
Lemberg, Cracow, Vilna, and other towns--each delegation with its own
story and each entreating us to visit its city and conduct personal
investigations there. The story of the men from Minsk is worth
repeating: they claimed possession of definite information of a
conspiracy against them whereby, when the Polish Army should enter
Minsk, Anti-Semitic Bolshevist soldiers, lagging in the rear of the
Bolsheviki’s retreat, would “snipe” at the conquerors from houses
occupied by Jews, so that the Jews would be blamed and pogroms result;
they even gave the location of the houses.

Thus it went from morning until night. One day there were ten different
delegations, each important, each interesting, to be listened to. It was
not long before we found, to our surprise, that the chief sources of
trouble could be traced to a comparatively few factional leaders, not
more than would fill a small room, and that for these the opportunity to
express their clashing views was in itself a relief to the tenseness of
the situation.

In a class by himself, however, was Rabbi Rubenstein, who came from
Vilna when we were in the middle of one of our endless conferences with
Warsaw Zionists. He was a Lithuanian and though he had been flogged for
refusing to sign a paper charging the Bolsheviki with the Vilna
outrages, he was still defiant toward the Poles. Learned in more than
Jewish scholarship, he had a grasp of the economic laws involved in the
present difficulties and a keen understanding of world politics that was
touched with statesmanship. But, above all, he was the shepherd pleading
for his sheep; he displayed a pathetic faith that here at last was a
tribunal anxious to dispense justice. Imagine a face like that of some
mediæval artist’s “Christ,” lined with the horror of his recent
experiences; eyes wide with the grief that they had suffered in
witnessing the massacre of the flower of his flock. His gesturing hands
shook, his voice was broken by emotion, but he recounted the history of
these now well-known Vilna excesses with an eloquence that was all the
more moving because it was wholly unstudied, and every now and then the
current of his speech was broken by spasmodic ebullitions of resentment
which he could no longer repress.

He begged us not to make the mistake of previous hasty investigators. He
implored us to spend at least three days in Vilna. His community had
retained two lawyers, who had collected all the evidence; everything
would be thoroughly prepared, but there were so many witnesses to be
examined that a three days’ sojourn was the minimum necessity. Here, it
was clear, was no religious fanatic; his plea was so brilliant, his
sincerity so convincing, that we readily agreed with his request.

I have said that the Zionists were our first callers; they were also our
most constant. We were soon in close contact with all their leaders,
attended their meetings, and studied their activities. Some were
pro-Russian, all were practically non-Polish, and the Zionism of most of
them was simply advocacy of Jewish Nationalism within the Polish state.
Thus, when the committee of the Djem, or Polish Constitutional Assembly,
called on us, led by Grynenbaum, Farbstein, and Thon--all men who had
discarded the dress and beard of the Orthodox Jew--and when I discovered
that they were really authorized to represent that section of the Jews
that had complained to the world of the alleged pogroms, I notified them
that we were willing to give them several hours a day until they had
completed the presentation of their case to their entire satisfaction.
That programme was adhered to.

Besides their version of the excesses, they presented evidence of
considerable political bad faith and much economic oppression on the
part of a section of the Poles. Contrary to explicit understanding, an
election had been set for the Jewish Sabbath; and there had been
gerrymandering at Bialystok, so that in the municipal election the
Jewish votes had been swamped by voters admitted from surrounding
villages. We were told of the development of coöperative stores which
both excluded the Jews as members and were pledged against patronizing
Jewish wholesale merchants or manufacturers.

“But,” we asked, “you don’t expect to end these things by propaganda for
an exodus to Palestine?”

They admitted that taking anything short of 50,000 Jews a year out of
Poland would effect no noticeable decrease in the population there. They
were afraid that the Government intended to treat the Jews in the old
way and that they would not be given rights equal to those of other
Polish citizens; if they could not go to Palestine, if they were to be
regarded as a foreign mass in the Polish body politic, they wanted the
privileges that they felt ought to be granted them, to offset the
privations of such a situation. To that end they were employing the
Zionist agitation.

“We want,” they said, “to be permitted to vote for Jewish
representatives no matter what part of the country we or they live in.
The Jews form fourteen per cent. of Poland’s population. We want a
fourteen per cent. representation in Poland’s Parliament. That will give
us fifty-six members instead of the eleven Jewish members there at

They admitted that their fifty-six could sway legislation only in case
of close divisions among the other parties.

Then there were the Assimilators, whose attitude was the extreme
opposite of the Zionists. They invited us to a reception, and we found
them very intelligent and deeply interested in the future of
Poland--distinct in no detail of dress or speech, and holding membership
in political parties on purely Polish principles, just as a Jew in
America may be a Democrat or a Republican without reference to his
religion. They regarded Judaism as a matter of faith. They were
prosperous, many of them were professional men, and all of them mingled
on a footing of social equality with the Christians.

The meeting of the old order with the new presented many a contrast. I
recall particularly a reception of which the Countess Zermoysky,
representing the ancient aristocracy, was one of the attractions. That
was like an episode under Louis XIV transported untouched into the
modern world. Amid ornate decorations, lavish refreshments, excellent
music, and displays of fireworks, the pretty Countess presided with all
the grace and charm of a lady of the court of the Grand Monarch; beside
her towered General Pilsudski, the gruff and bluff Chief of State of
the new Polish régime. The old aristocracy was flirting with the modern
forces-in-power, and the modernists, more than a little flattered, were
by no means repelling these charming attentions.

Nothing could have been more interesting. While Ambassador at
Constantinople, I had seen the disintegration of Turkey. In Paris I had
been present at the obsequies of the German and Austrian Empires; here I
was attending a christening, with parents and god-parents, nursery
governesses and prospective tutors and guardians, all discussing the
child’s career.

Our escort, M. Skrzynski, the Acting Foreign Secretary, turned to me:

“In judging the Poles,” he said in that soft, musical voice of his, “you
must remember that we are really a sweet and sentimental people. The new
government has not yet assumed the full authority dropped by the
Russians. We are still uncertain whether, if we tighten the reins, the
horse may balk. Once the horse was the people; now the people are the
drivers. We are wondering whether the bit will hurt the tender mouths of
the aristocrats.”

He was a tall, handsome fellow, this Skrzynski, with the head of a
Beethoven and the manners of a Chesterfield. He looked an amateur
artist. He was one of those who came into the new government from the
old aristocracy; but he never forgot his part as a loyal Republican and
evinced an almost boyish pride in his work.

One evening we were asked to supper by a certain man of title. His
manner was exceedingly cordial and broad-minded, and he had ransacked
the entire neighbourhood to make his banquet a great success. He had
invited some of the prominent Jews of his city. He showed us with great
pride a statue of Napoleon by Houdon, and other fine works of art.
Captain Goodhart, the counsel of the Commission, was sitting with the
titled personage’s niece, a vivacious girl of about eighteen.

“Just look at uncle and aunt,” she whispered, “how charmingly they are
treating the Ambassador. They are just loading him down with attentions.
It seems strange to me, to see a Jew treated with such consideration in
our home. You know, I just detest the Jews, don’t you?”

“Well, really,” he said, “I can’t possibly agree with you, because I am
a Jew myself.”

The little Countess was all confusion.

“Don’t--don’t tell my uncle what I have said,” she begged, “he would
never forgive me!”

Askenazy is another personage of those days whom I shall long remember.
One of the great scholars of Lemberg University, he was known as the
foremost historian of Central Europe; since then he has become a
familiar international figure as Poland’s representative at the Geneva
meetings of the League of Nations. An occasional attendant at the
Synagogue, he was nevertheless a pronounced Assimilator and enormously
proud of the fact that his family have lived in Poland since 1650.

Askenazy saw small benefit to anybody in the alleged privileges of
educational separation granted the Polish Jews by the Treaty.

“If the Jews have their own schools,” he said, “that will only widen the
difference between them and the Poles.”

I reminded him that the separation extended merely to the primary

“It will be gradually applied to the high schools,” he insisted, “and
then to the universities. In their primary schools, the Jewish children
will of course be taught Hebrew or Yiddish; that will make it next to
impossible for them to mix with the pupils of the higher grades when
they get there.”

Very impressive was our visit to the chief synagogue of Warsaw. There
must have been 25,000 people present. Outside the building, those
clamouring for entrance literally jammed the square, and the streets for
several blocks surrounding it, from house wall to house wall; inside,
the crowd was so dense that every man’s shoulder overlapped his
neighbour’s. The cries from the street made it imperative for us to show
ourselves there, after the services, when we were almost mobbed. Some of
the crowd wanted to pull our automobile to our home; others clamoured to
carry us there on their shoulders, and something close to good-natured
force had to be used to enable us to reach our car. Rubenstein came from
Vilna for the meeting; there was a delegation from Posen; and Dr. Thon
represented the Jews of the Parliament. An eminent nerve specialist from
Posen, in his speech, stated that the nervous condition of the Jews
should be attributed to “Halleritis”--a fear of what the Polish Army
under General Haller might next do to them; while Poznansky, the Rabbi,
in his address, laid stress on the Jews’ desire to be first class, and
not second class, Polish citizens.

This is not the place to recapitulate all the details of our journey
through Poland. In Vilna, where our calendar was overcrowded, we got
through a really incredible amount of work, by running three tribunals,
each with an investigator, interpreter, and stenographer. The accounts
of the evidence--of the testimony concerning the outrages to which the
Jews had undoubtedly been subjected--all the world has long since read.
I shall touch only on three incidents: those at Stanislawa, Pinsk, and

From Stanislawa, the Christian authorities had asked for a visit from
our Commission to prevent a provocation of a pogrom by the Jews. When I
arrived, the Burgomaster explained that the Jews’ sympathy with the
Ukrainians might provoke an attack of the Polish citizens. I asked:

“How is your city governed?”

“By a representative committee of Christians and Jews.”

“How many Christians?”


“And how many Jews?”


I said I should like to see that one.

“Well,” said the Burgomaster, “you see he wasn’t on good terms with the
Zionists, and so he had to go.”

I sent for a committee of Jewish residents.

They told us of their fearful predicament. The governmental control of
their city had changed six times in four years. Each time it changed,
the new power, be it Austrian, Polish, or Ukrainian, would punish them
for having been loyal to their predecessor. If they remained neutral,
all would make them suffer. “What are we to do?”

I guessed now what the local authorities had been up to. They were
anti-Jewish and, if the federal government had not sent somebody in
answer to their request, they would have interpreted that as the
sanctioning of further excesses. I therefore had the Burgomaster and his
friends in again, and declared that the republic’s authorities realized
that Poland’s standing with the outside world depended on her justice to
the Jews.

“You are politicians, and I am a politician,” I concluded, “therefore we
can talk in that language. You have been preparing for a pogrom. Now I
want to tell you that your government is as anxious as I am to avoid
further maltreatment of the Jews, and if any occurs in Stanislawa, you
will be removed from office.”

After we had a friendly discussion of the plight in which the local
Jews found themselves, the Burgomaster assured me that there would be no
difficulties in his city, and there were none.

I wish that I could adequately describe the scene that I witnessed in
Pinsk. It has haunted me ever since, and has seemed a complete
expression of the misery and injustice which is prevalent over such a
large part of the world to-day. A few months before our arrival, a
particularly atrocious Jewish massacre occurred. A Polish officer, Major
Letoviski, and fifteen of his troops had entered an assembly-hall where
the leading Jewish residents had gathered, as a committee in behalf of
the American Joint Distribution Committee, to distribute supplies of
flour for the unleavened Passover bread. The Poles arrested these Jews
and marched them hurriedly to the public square and in the dim light of
an automobile lamp, placed thirty-five of them against the cathedral
wall and shot them in cold blood.

A somewhat hazy charge had been made that these men were Bolshevists,
but no trial was given them, and, indeed, the charge was subsequently
shown to be untrue. Returning to the scene of execution on the next
morning, the troops found that three of their victims were still
breathing; these they despatched, and all the thirty-five corpses were
then thrown into a pit in an old Jewish cemetery, without an opportunity
for decent burial or religious exercises, and with nothing to mark the

Up to the time that our Commission came, not a single Jew had been
permitted to visit that cemetery; but I was allowed to inspect the scene
of this martyrdom, and, when I entered, a great crowd of Jews, who had
followed me, also went in. As soon as they reached the burial place of
their relatives, they all threw themselves upon the ground, and set up a
wailing that still rings in my ears; it expressed the misery of

That same evening I attended divine service at the Pinsk synagogue. The
building was crowded to its capacity, the men wedged into almost a solid
mass. Those that could not enter were gathered outside. All the Jews of
Pinsk were there. This was their first opportunity since April to
express their grief in their house of worship. This huge mass cried and
screamed until it seemed that the heavens would burst. I had read of
such public expression of agony in the Old Testament, but this was the
first time that I ever completely realized what the collective grief of
a persecuted people was like. To me it expressed the misery of centuries
and remains a pitiful memory and symbol of the cry for help that is
still going forth from a great part of Europe.

Who were these thirty-five Victims? They were the leaders of the local
Jewish community, the spiritual and moral leaders of the 5,000 Jews in a
city, eighty-five per cent. of the population of which was Jewish; the
organizers of the charities, the directors of the hospitals, the friends
of the poor. And yet, to that incredibly brutal, and even more
incredibly stupid, officer who ordered their execution, they were only
so many Jews.

Something of the same sort happened at Vilna. There was fighting between
the advancing Poles and the retiring Bolsheviki; shots were fired from
private houses against the Polish troops, and the Poles, in the anger of
their new-found authority, assumed that the Jewish houseowners were
guilty. They did not stop to learn the fact that the Jews of Vilna were
glad to get rid of Bolshevist rule: they slaughtered or deported all who
were suspects--men like Jaffe, that Jewish poet who lived in a world of
his own beautiful and harmless dreams, were treated shamefully.

These descriptions of the occurrences at Pinsk and Vilna are totally
inadequate to describe the fearful plight of the Jews. Even the fuller
accounts contained in my official report to the American Commission to
Negotiate Peace--which is printed in full in the Appendix--does not
adequately portray the sad conditions of these Jews in Poland at
present. Giving harrowing details will not remedy the situation, and
might be misconstrued and do harm to those suffering people. Hence, I
have abstained.

It was in Vilna that we had a real show-down with the Chief of State of
Poland. All this time we had been in the unpleasant position of a
delegation of foreigners endeavouring to render a service to a country
whose president openly resented our presence there.

“Pogroms?” Pilsudski had thundered when I first called on him. It was in
the Czar’s summer palace near Warsaw that he was living, and he received
me in the “library” where there was not a book to be seen. “There have
been no pogroms in Poland!--nothing but unavoidable accidents.”

I asked the difference.

“A pogrom,” he explained reluctantly, “is a massacre ordered by the
government, or not prevented by it when prevention is possible. Among us
no wholesale killings of Jews have been permitted. Our trouble isn’t
religious; it is economic. Our petty dealers are Jews. Many of them have
been war-profiteers, some have had dealings with the Germans or the
Bolsheviki, or both, and this has created a prejudice against Jews in

At that meeting he stormed against the new school regulations; they
would not only ghettoize the Jews, but, and here his real objection
revealed itself, they were repugnant because forced upon the country
from the outside.

“Russia,” he declared, “will return to autocracy: the Russians can
survive even the privations of Bolshevism. But our problem is vastly
different. We have become a free republic, and we propose to remain
one, in spite of interference. The Poles and the Jews can’t live
together on friendly terms for years to come, but they will manage it at
last. In the meantime, the Jew will have all his legal rights. It is our
own affair; our own honour is involved, and we are entirely able to
guard it.”

Now our Commission was at Vilna, and Pilsudski came there; it was his
birthplace, and here were we invading it with an American Commission.
Etiquette required that Jadwin and I should call on him.

The president was quartered in the Bishop’s Palace. We were received
with great formality and ushered through several vast rooms before we
reached the audience-chamber. A storm was brewing, the light was dim. We
found ourselves in a great big uninviting room, with long windows
opening on a large court. War had stripped it of all its ancient
hangings; the old furniture that belonged there must have vanished, in
its stead were a few pieces of cheap and stiff modern manufacture. There
was a desk at the far end, and at it was seated Pilsudski.

He was a huge, forbidding man. His uniform, buttoned tight to the base
of his big neck, was unadorned by any orders--the uniform of a fighter.
His square jaw was thrust out below thick lips firmly set; his face was
abnormally broad, with cheekbones high and prominent; his cropped hair
bristled and his snapping eyes glinted from under a thicket caused by
his heavy eyebrows that met across his forehead.

He had evidently been reading the Anti-Semitic newspapers to advantage
and was determined to give me a piece of his mind. The storm from heaven
broke just as the verbal torrent began, and the patter of the rain on
the stones of the old courtyard wove in and out like an orchestral
obligato to the Wagnerian recitative of the Polish Chief-of-State. He
spoke in German--a language excellently suited to his purpose--and soon
the ancient rafters were ringing with his invective.

He declared that he was the chosen head of 20,000,000 people and would
defend their dignity. He represented the Polish Government, the ruling
power of a people that had been a nation when America was unknown, and
here was a committee of Americans stepping between the elected
Government of Poland and the Polish electors--positively belittling the
former to the latter. He dismissed as unfounded the stories about bad
treatment of prisoners. He asserted that, considering Vilna’s population
of 150,000, civilian casualties in the three days’ fighting for its
occupation had been comparatively few. Excesses? The exaggerations of
the foreign press concerning what had happened to a relatively small
number of Jews had been monstrous--one would think the country drenched
with blood, whereas the occurrences had been mere trifles inevitably
incident to any conquest.

“These little mishaps,” he said, “were all over, and now you come here
to stir the whole thing up again and probably make a report that may
still further hurt our credit abroad. The Polish people resent even the
charge of ever having deserved distrust: how then can your activities
have any other effect than to increase the racial antipathy that you say
you want to end?”

He was most bitter when he referred to Article 93.

“Why not trust to Poland’s honour?” he shouted. “Don’t plead that the
article’s concessions are few in number or negative in character! Let
them be as small or as negative as you please, that article creates an
authority--a power to which to appeal--outside the laws of this country!
Every faction within Poland was agreed on doing justice to the Jew, and
yet the Peace Conference, at the insistence of America, insults us by
telling us that we _must_ do justice. That was a public insult to my
country just as she was assuming her rightful place among the sovereign
states of the world!”

For fully ten minutes he continued his tirade. Nothing could have
stopped him and I didn’t try. When he was quite out of breath, I said

“Well, General, you’ve made good use of your opportunity; you’ve gotten
rid of all your gall. Now let’s talk from heart to heart.” I suited the
expression of my face to my words!

The effect was surprising. He stared at me for a moment with unbelieving
eyes and then threw back his head and burst into a giant laugh.

Then came my turn. I said that, in my official capacity, I was no Jew,
was not even an American, but a representative of all civilized nations
and their religions. I stood for tolerance in its broadest sense. I
explained exactly what our Commission was after, told what we had done
so far and made it clear that we were there not to injure Poland, but to
help her. Pilsudski’s entire attitude changed; before I left him, he
consented to release the Jewish prisoners still in custody since April,
1919, “as rapidly as each case can be investigated.”

On our return to Warsaw, Billinski, the Minister of Finance, told us
that, in order to get the Orthodox Jews’ point of view, we should
interview a _Wunder Rabbiner_. Inquiry convinced me that the outstanding
of these, exercising a vast influence, was Rabbi Alter, of
Gory-Kalavaria, and, unannounced, Jadwin and I visited him at a summer
resort near Warsaw. A large number of students surrounded him, all
gowned in their long black kaftans, and bearded in the extreme manner of
their sect. He presented us to them and to his wife, and I found him
anti-Zionistic and anti-Nationalistic, but much depressed because of the
harsh treatment of the Jews. I asked him to visit me in Warsaw; he came,


Chief of State of Poland, who was not, at first, in sympathy with the
American Mission.]

by his son-in-law and two other Orthodox Rabbis, Lewin and Sirkis, and I
had a stenographer take down our conversation.

Space will not permit the reproduction here of all that these leaders
said, and I shall confine myself to repeating just a few of their
remarks, and in considering them, it should be kept in mind that the
Orthodox Jews number 80 per cent. of the Jewish population of Poland.

“Our principal conflict,” said Rabbi Alter, “is with Jews: our chief
opponents at every step are the Zionists. The Orthodox are satisfied to
live side by side with people of different religions.... The Zionists
side-track religion.”

“We are exiled,” said Rabbi Lewin; “we cannot be freed from our
banishment, nor do we wish to be. We cannot redeem ourselves.... We will
abide by our religion [in Poland] until God Almighty frees us.”

And again: “We would rather be beaten and suffer for our religion [than
discard the distinguishing marks of Orthodox Judaism, such as not
cutting the beard, etc.].... The Orthodox love Palestine far more than
others, but they want it as a Holy Land for a holy race.”

News of our proceedings had preceded us to Warsaw, and our purpose was
beginning to be understood and appreciated, even by those who had
formerly suspected and mistrusted us.

I had another talk there with Pilsudski. He said that the Poles and Jews
must live together, that their relations could never be perfect, but
that the Government would really do its best to avoid friction.
Meantime, he hoped that there would be an end of official missions to
inquire into the problem; he had no objection to private investigations,
and, so far as our mission was concerned, he admitted it had already had
a good effect. He hoped our report would satisfy the world enough to end
such inquiries, for he did feel that interference from foreign nations
was bad for the prestige of the government at home. He concluded by
asking Jadwin and myself to meet his Cabinet at a luncheon which he had
instructed Skrzynski to arrange.

Skrzynski opened the talk that followed the luncheon by praising our
work and our evident inclination to spare Poland’s pride. I followed by
saying that, though we would have to rap Poland’s knuckles and blame
some of the Poles severely for certain excesses and economic
persecutions, which I strongly condemned, we would present our
conclusions with fairness to both sides. It was important not to forget
that this was a matter in which all the world was interested and that
only strict honesty would satisfy. The Polish authorities had adopted a
contradictory defense, entering a general denial and yet pleading
justification. They ought to have confessed that excesses had occurred,
denied any official participation in them, frowned upon them, promised
to prevent them in the future, and punished the culprits.

Billinski replied for the Cabinet. A man of more than seventy, he had
held the portfolio of Finance under the Emperor Franz-Josef of Austria
and was typical of the old Continental bureaucracy. He, too, felicitated
us on the pleasant ending of our work, concerning which, he said, he and
his colleagues had entertained such grave doubts. Poland, he said,
wanted no more “polemics”; the desire of the government was to quiet
things. Any admission of mistakes they thought had better be decided by
Paderewski. He hoped that our report would call attention to Poland’s
thousand years of culture, which had made her the advance post of
civilization in eastern Europe; would mention that she had ever been
tolerant toward the Jew and welcomed his arrival and that she did not
forget how, in the Revolution of 1863, the Jews had loyally fought
against Russia. They would not have done that, he argued, had the Poles
been persecuting them. He said it was unfortunate that, in the recent
war, some Jews had informed against the Poles in Galicia and thereby
created the prejudice against them.

“The Pole,” he concluded, “must live side-by-side with the Jew and wants
to do it in peace.”

What, in this question of Anti-Semitism, were the feelings of that
member of the government who is best known to all the world? Ignace
Paderewski is not only not an Anti-Semite: he is infinitely the greatest
of the modern Poles.

After my experience at the synagogue in Warsaw, to which I have already
referred, I asked Paderewski if he would not accompany me to service
some Friday. I said that he was charged with being Anti-Semitic.

“How ridiculous!” he answered.

“M. Paderewski,” I explained. “I know you are not Anti-Semitic, and you
know that you are not--but how are the people to be convinced of it?”

Paderewski at once saw the point. He was anxious to refute the charge
against him, yet his caution prompted him to consult his political
associates, who advised against his adoption of my suggestion.

“Never mind,” he reassured me: “I’ll find another way.”

That way he found when Hoover came to Warsaw. I was then about to visit
Pinsk, and he requested me to postpone it for a day or two.

“I am giving a state dinner for Mr. Hoover at my official residence,”
said he, “I want you to come to that and let the doubters see how you
will be one of the Premier’s most honoured guests.”

That dinner was a gorgeous affair. Everybody of political, financial,
and social importance was there; the representatives of the old
aristocracy, the makers of the new republic. The table was a sort of
squared horseshoe, its head the outside centre of the crosspiece, its
foot the inside centre. Paderewski had personally arranged the seating:
on his right sat Gibson, at his left Jadwin; Mme. Paderewska was at the
table’s head; Hoover sat at her left; General Pilsudski, as
Chief-of-State, sat at her right; and at his right was the place that
the Premier had given me.

Few knew at that time of any change in General Pilsudski’s attitude
toward the Commission. All the guests supposed him still firm in his
opposition to us. From my seat beside him, I saw many inquisitive eyes
fixed on us, and showing their surprise at my sitting next to him. We
were conversing intimately and almost incessantly. It was evident that
everybody was wondering what passed between us.

And what did?

The terrible Chief-of-State was telling me, quite simply, the story of
his adventurous life: how he had fought always for Polish liberty, how
he had suffered imprisonment at Magdeburg.

“But, even when there seemed no hope for either my country or me,” he
declared, “I never lost my faith. A marvellous gypsy palmist had assured
me that I was destined to be dictator of Poland.”

I looked at him in amazement. It seemed incredible that this hardened
soldier should be speaking seriously.

“The palmist,” he continued, with the simplicity of a child, “found that
the lines at the base of my right forefinger formed a star. That is a
sure sign that the lucky bearer is to rise to mastery.”

He held out his hand to me. I could almost hear the rustle of excitement
among the watching guests to whom, of course, his words were inaudible.

The star was there. Then, inquisitively, I looked at my own right hand,
and to my great surprise I also found a star!

“I have the mark as well as you,” I laughingly proclaimed, “but the
nearest approach I ever made to a dictatorship was when the British were
expected in Constantinople in 1915, and I was to be in control of the
city between the departure of the Turks and the British occupation.”

News of what Pilsudski and I were doing spread rapidly. Many guests
unsuccessfully looked for a star in their own hands, and then came up to
look at the General’s and mine.

Shoulder to shoulder with me sat this man trained to fighting. Opposite
to him was Paderewski, with his wonderful head, with its fine, high
brow, from which flowed that magnificent shock of hair, and showing
those piercing eyes whose expression had puzzled so many, and whose
whole education had been directed toward the evoking of harmony. For
years, American music lovers had listened to this great virtuoso and
been entranced by his vigorous and yet delicate interpretation of many
of the most difficult and intricate classics. Now, he was no longer
living amid clouds of harmonies and études, but was second only to
Pilsudski in the council of this budding republic. There sat this sheer
genius--this unstarred master. He needed no mark on his palm, no
divining gypsy’s prophecy to prove that he would excel in any sphere to
which he might direct his talent. Twelve or fifteen years ago, there was
a picture painted of him and hung in the Lemberg Gallery: it showed him
as Orpheus quieting the wild beasts with his lyre. It was of this that
he irresistibly reminded me that night. He had undertaken the almost
impossible task of reconciling the contending factions of his native
land, and was eliminating race hatred itself. From a chance post of
vantage, I could not help watching the court he held during the
reception that followed the dinner. It equalled that of Pilsudski.
Princes and politicians vied with each other for an opportunity to
approach him, and to each he gave, with a perfect grace, an absorbed

Another of his many sides I came to know. Poland’s financial plight
seemed to me, the more I studied it, not so desperate as feared. If
prompt and decisive help were offered, I believed, the Poles would rally
and work out their own salvation. As it was, the idle people were losing
their self-respect and were drifting toward militarism, simply through
their inactivity. I thought a plan could be devised by which they could
be aroused from their lethargy and given a start toward becoming a
vigorous, self-supporting people. I had great faith in Paderewski who, I
felt, did not subscribe to the militaristic views of Pilsudski, and I
thought there was a good chance for working out a plan for the economic
salvation of his country.

In Vilna, I spoke to a number of prominent business men, irrespective of
religion, in regard to this matter. I asked them whether, if America
would help to organize a great corporation which would endeavour to
finance Poland, they would be ready to subscribe to some of the stock. I
was somewhat surprised at their prompt acquiescence.

“But,” I pointed out, “you will probably be expected to subscribe in
gold. Have you got it?”

“Oh, yes,” they answered.

Gold in ravished Poland! “Where?” I asked.

“In the Agrarian Bank.”

I said that I didn’t know the institution.

Then they smilingly explained. The Agrarian Bank was a hole in the
ground. At the outbreak of the World War these thrifty Poles had buried
their gold, hence, these men of Vilna were ready to subscribe

When I returned to Warsaw, I discussed this plan with my associate
Johnson, who had had business experience, and he became enthusiastic
about it. I then presented it in detail to Paderewski, and his only
criticism was that the Poles would want a majority of the stock at once.
I told him that there was not the slightest objection to that, but that
I could devise a method by which they could eventually secure all of it,
and I doubted if it were wise to take too much at first. He then said
that there must be an American at the head of this corporation, and that
he must be one that was not connected with Wall Street, but who would
have the confidence of the entire American community. I proposed several
names, and we finally agreed that Franklin K. Lane was the best man.

Paderewski asked me to put the full details of this plan in a letter to
him. I asked Colonel Bryant, who was an expert stenographer, whether he
would be willing to forget his military rank for a short time and revert
to his former activities by acting as my secretary. He readily assented,
and to escape the constant interruptions at our headquarters, we
automobiled five miles outside of Warsaw, gave the chauffeur a package
of cigarettes and told him to disappear; and there on the highway, I
dictated in an American automobile to an American colonel a letter which
will be found in the Appendix.

I handed this letter to Paderewski, and stressed my views that the mere
announcement of such a corporation being contemplated would more than
double the value of the mark at once. Paderewski thought for a minute
and then said:

“Mr. Morgenthau, that is absolutely true, and I am afraid that that is
going to prevent our adopting the scheme.”

I was extremely puzzled, and was dumbfounded as he continued:

“We cannot afford to have our marks rise too rapidly. We have sold too
many at this low price, and it would bankrupt us to redeem them at the
higher value which this scheme would give them. We must find some way of
disregarding the present value of the mark, and start a new currency

He had evidently given this some thought, because he asked me how long
it would take in America to prepare new plates and print for them a new
currency, and he told me that they would have piastres and pounds. I
said I thought one of the banknote companies could do it in three
months, perhaps less. Finally, he said to me:

“Don’t speak to any one about this plan, because I don’t want any one to
know that the suggestion comes from you until it is put into effect.”

Two days later, when I met him again, he pulled out my letter and said:

“Here I am carrying your letter, and am still giving attention to your

I still think that a corporation of that kind would have put Poland on
her feet.

The time now approached for our Commission’s departure. Our
investigations were ended, our work was done. We considered our final

There was no question whatever but that the Jews had suffered; there had
been shocking outrages of at least a sporadic character resulting in
many deaths, and still more woundings and robberies, and there was a
general disposition, not to say plot, of long standing, the purpose of
which was to make the Jews uncomfortable in many ways: there was a
deliberate conspiracy to boycott them economically and socially. Yet
there was also no question but that some of the Jewish leaders had
exaggerated these evils.

There, too, were malevolent, self-seeking mischiefmakers both in the
Jewish and Polish press and among the politicians of every stripe. Jews
and non-Jews alike started out with the presumption that there could be
no reconciliation. Our Commission had to deal with people, most of whom
could not conceive of the possibility of disinterested regard for their
welfare. Their experiences with the Russian courts had taught them
always to over-state the facts and when one realizes that there is a
conflict of testimony, and in most of them perjury is committed, it made
us quite patient when we found them just a little less truthful than our
American litigants.

We found that, among the Jews, there was a thoughtful, ambitious
minority, who, sincere in their original motives, intensified the
trouble by believing that its solution lay only in official recognition
of the Jew as a separate nationality. They had seized on Zionism as a
means to establish the Jewish nation. To them, Zionism was national, not
religious; when questioned, they admitted that it was a name with which
to capture the imagination of their brothers whose tradition bade them
pray thrice daily for their return to the Holy Land.

Pilsudski, in a moment of diplomatic aberration, had said that the Jews
made a serious error in forcing Article 93; quoting that utterance,
these Nationalists now asserted that neither the Polish Government, nor
the Roumanian for that matter, ever would carry out the spirit of the
Treaty concessions, and so they aimed at nothing short of an autonomous
government and a place in the family of nations. Meanwhile, they wanted
to join the Polish nation in a federation having a joint parliament
where both Yiddish and Polish should be spoken: their favourite way of
expressing it was to say that they wanted something like Switzerland
where French, German, and Italian cantons work together in harmony.

Unfortunately, they disregarded the facts in the case. In Switzerland,
generally speaking, the citizens of French language live in one section,
those of German language in another, and so on, whereas these aspiring
Nationals, of course, wanted the Jews to continue scattered throughout
Poland. They wanted this, and yet wanted them to have a percentage of
representation in Parliament equal to their percentage in the entire
Polish nation! Finally, they took no account of the desires of the
Orthodox Jews, who form about 80 per cent. of their number, who were
content to remain in Poland and suffer for their religion if necessary,
and whom the Polish politicians were already coddling and beginning to
organize politically as a vote against the Nationalist-Zionists.

The leaders of these Nationalist-Zionists were capable and adroit, but
they were like walking delegates in the labour unions, who had to
continue to agitate in order to maintain their leadership, and their
advocacy of a state-within-the-state was naturally resented by all. It
was quite evident that one of the deep and obscure causes of the Jewish
trouble in Poland was this Nationalist-Zionist leadership that exploited
the Old Testament prophecies to capture converts to the Nationalist

Here, then, was Zionism in action. We had seen it at first hand in
Poland. I returned home fearful that, owing to the extensive propaganda
of the Zionists, the American people might obtain the erroneous
impression that a vast majority of the Jews--and not, as it really was,
only a portion of the 150,000 Zionists in the United States--had ceased
considering Judaism as a religion and were in danger of conversion to



Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history. I assert that
it is wrong in principle and impossible of realization; that it is
unsound in its economics, fantastical in its politics, and sterile in
its spiritual ideals. Where it is not pathetically visionary, it is a
cruel playing with the hopes of a people blindly seeking their way out
of age-long miseries. These are bold and sweeping assertions, but in
this chapter I shall undertake to make them good.

The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every
land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom
I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater
force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead
them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading
them to the heights.

Zionism is a surrender, not a solution. It is a retrogression into the
blackest error, and not progress toward the light. I will go further,
and say that it is a betrayal; it is an eastern European proposal,
fathered in this country by American Jews, which, if it were to succeed,
would cost the Jews of America most that they have gained of liberty,
equality, and fraternity.

I claim to speak with knowledge on this subject. I have had occasion to
know the Jew intimately in all the lands where he dwells in numbers, and
to study his problems on his own ground, with the intensity and
sympathy which were required by my duty to help in each place to
formulate the plans for his immediate assistance. I was born among the
Jews of Germany, and by natural association with German Jews in New
York, and by repeated visits to Germany, am familiar with their life and
problems. As an American of fifty-five years’ residence, as a director
of the Educational Alliance and of Mt. Sinai Hospital, as president of
the Bronx House and the Free Synagogue for more than ten years, and as
one who has travelled on speaking tours from the Atlantic to the Pacific
and from Canada to New Orleans on behalf of the American Jewish Relief
Committee, I became thoroughly familiar with the American Jews. As
American Ambassador to Turkey, I came into daily official contact with
the Jews from all parts of the Near East, not only the Jews of Turkey
and of the Turkish Protectorate in Palestine itself, but also the Jews
of Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece, Roumania, and Bulgaria, to say nothing of
the accredited representatives of the Zionist Party in Constantinople.
As the head of President Wilson’s Commission, which was sent to
investigate the alleged pogroms of the Jews of Poland following the
Armistice in 1919, I spent several months on the ground in Poland and
Galicia, and talked with thousands of Jews in every walk of life in that
greatest centre of Jewish population in the world. They told me their
troubles; the indignities and the perils they endured; the hatred of
their neighbours because of their religion; the deliberate efforts that
were being made to stifle their economic life; the political
discriminations to which they were subjected; and the social barriers
which did not permit them to enjoy a full life as members of their

I speak as a Jew. I speak with fullest sympathy for the Jew everywhere.
I have seen him in his poverty--despised, hated, spat upon, beaten,
murdered. My blood boils with his at the thought of the indignities and
outrages to which he is subjected. I, too, would find for him, for me,
the way out of this morass of poverty, hatred, political inequality, and
social discrimination.

But is Zionism that way? I assert emphatically that it is not. I deny
it, not merely from an intellectual recoil from the fallacy of its
reasoning, but from my very experience of life: as a seeker after
religious truth, as a practical business man, as an active participant
in politics, as one who has had experience in international affairs, and
as a Jew who has at heart the best interests of his co-religionists.

First, let me trace briefly the origins of Zionism. I shall not attempt
to give a complete résumé of these origins, but shall sketch only a
broad picture of the facts.

Zionism is based upon a literal acceptance of the promises made to the
Jews by their prophets in the Old Testament, that Zion should be
restored to them, and that they should resume their once glorious place
as a peculiar people, singled out by God for His especial favour,
exercising dominion over their neighbours in His name, and enjoying all
the freedom and blessings of a race under the unique protection of the
Almighty. Of course, the prophets meant these things symbolically, and
were dealing only with the spiritual life. They did not mean earthly
power or materialistic blessings. But most Jews accepted them in the
physical sense; and they fed upon this glowing dream of earthly grandeur
as a relief from the sordid realities of the daily life which they were
compelled to lead.

Zionism arose out of the miseries of the Jews. It was offered as a
remedy, a release, a plan of action which would provide a road to
happiness. This is the secret of its hold upon its adherents. The
promises which it offers are so dazzling that Jews everywhere have
rushed to embrace its faith without stopping to examine them closely or
to calculate whether they can be made good.

Zionism is not a new idea, but it gained a fresh impetus following the
outbreak of wholesale massacres in Russia beginning with Kiev and
Kishineff, and all through that ghastly trail of bloodshed following the
recrudescence of Anti-Semitism. The Jews, in their agony and peril,
sought afresh for a path toward safety. Zionism was then restated as the
remedy. Theodore Herzl gained new power as its fiery apostle, and Jews
the world over embraced the doctrine as a drowning man grasps at a
straw. This largely accounts for the present intense agitation of the

Let me now define Zionism more fully. To the average Jew, unread in
other histories than his own, ignorant of the great currents of world
progress in science, industry, and the art of government, it is a blind
and simple faith in the imminence of realization of the dream I have
just described of the reërection of Zion as an earthly Kingdom. By those
intellectual leaders of Jewish thought who have embraced this fallacy of
a panacea, Zionism is defined in more subtle and in more plausibly
rational terms. There are, first, those intellectual Jews who conceive
of “Zion” (that is, Jerusalem restored to the Jews) as being a physical
symbol of spiritual leadership, lifted up before their eyes and
inspiring them all to a common purpose; as a demonstration of Hebraic
civilization; a centre from which should proceed instruction and
exhortation to the Jews of all the world.

This analogy, however, is not complete. For these leaders conceive the
Jews to be, not merely a religious congregation, but, besides, a nation.
They think that not merely should spiritual power be centralized in
Zion, but temporal power as well. In their view, the discrimination
against Jews in other countries will greatly diminish, once there is
erected a Jewish state in Palestine.

This nation is to be, in their theory, not only the seat of a religion
and the fostering home of distinctive racial culture. It is to be, as
well, an actual political entity, with territorial boundaries and a
capital city, maintaining a temporal government with a ruler accrediting
ambassadors to foreign courts and capitals, dealing with other
governments on an equality as a sovereign state, and seeking to use the
familiar instruments of diplomatic pressure to redress the wrongs of its
citizens who happen to reside under the jurisdiction of “foreign”

I say that this _is_ the programme of the Zionists: perhaps I should say
_was_. It is true that they have, for the moment, altered the structure
of their dream, to accept the compromise held out to them by the Balfour
Declaration. They have stepped down from their plans for a sovereign
Jewish state in Palestine: they now accept the ideal of a “National Home
for the Jewish People”--to quote the words of that declaration. This is,
however, only a temporary compromise--a truce. Nothing short of the full
glory of their Zion will long content the ambitious apostles of Zionism.

It is worth while at this point to digress for a moment from my main
argument, to point out that the Balfour Declaration is itself not even a
compromise. It is a shrewd and adroit delusion.

The Balfour Declaration is: “His Majesty’s Government views with favour
the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,
it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may
prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish
communities in Palestine, nor the rights and political status enjoyed by
Jews in any other country.”

The plain sense of these plain words has been woefully misunderstood by
some of the Zionist leaders, and wilfully distorted by others. They
contain no promise of a Jewish state: they offer no recognition of a
Jewish nation. They do, it is true, apply the obscure but pleasant name
of “Jewish Home Land” to the land which the Declaration then accurately
defines by its political name as “Palestine”; but it guarantees to the
Jews in their Home Land only those familiar assurances of security of
person and property which are the common possessions of British subjects
the world over.

I have been astonished to find that such an intelligent body of American
Jews as the Central Conference of American Rabbis should have fallen
into a grievous misunderstanding of the purport of the Balfour
Declaration. In a resolution adopted by them, they assert that the
Declaration says: “Palestine is to be a national home land for the
Jewish people.” Not at all! The actual words of the Declaration (I quote
from the official text) are: “His Majesty’s Government views with favour
the establishment _in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish
people_.” These two phrases sound alike, but they are really very
different. I can make this obvious by an analogy. When I first read the
Balfour Declaration I was making my home in the Plaza Hotel. Therefore I
could say with truth: “My home is in the Plaza Hotel.” I could not say
with truth: “The Plaza Hotel is my home.” If it were “my home,” I would
have the freedom of the whole premises, and could occupy any room in the
house with impunity. Quite obviously, however, I could not occupy the
rooms of any other of the guests of the hotel whose leases long
antedated mine.

These men would gladly entertain me as a visitor, but how they would
resent and legally fight so unjustifiable an attempt as my trying
forcibly to enter their premises and displace them and make their
quarters my home.


A leader of the Jewish community in Vilna, who took a very prominent
part in the incidents that arose when the Poles took possession of the

This is exactly the differentiation in meaning between the Balfour
Declaration and the claims of those Zionists who profess to see in it
British authority for claiming Palestine as the seat of a Jewish nation.
The Balfour Declaration very carefully says: “The British Government
favours the establishment of a home land for the Jewish people _in
Palestine_.” But this does not say that the Jews shall have the right to
dispossess, or to trespass upon the property of those far more numerous
Arab tenants whose right to their share in it is as good as that of the
Jews and, in most cases, of much longer standing.

Palestine is a country already populated, and the British Government has
no intention of evicting the Arab owners of the soil in favour of the
Jews. Nor, I may add in passing, have the Arab owners any intention of
selling their holdings to the Jews, for they are fully aware of the
Zionist programme, are very resentful of it, and intend to use every
means at their command to frustrate it.

In February, 1921, this obvious meaning of the Balfour Declaration was
made officially explicit, when the complete text of the mandate for
Palestine was first made public. After reiterating in the preamble the
language which I have above quoted, this official transaction of the
Council of the League of Nations proceeds to enumerate the specific
terms under which Palestine shall be governed as a mandatary of Great
Britain. The very first article of this mandate explodes completely the
theory that the Allied Powers had any idea of setting up a Jewish
nation. It reads: “His Britannic Majesty shall have the power to
exercise as mandatory all the powers inherent in the government of a
sovereign state save as they may be limited by the terms of the present
mandate.” In other words, not a government of Jews over a Jewish nation,
but His Britannic Majesty is declared to be the repository of “the
powers inherent in a sovereign state.”

To be sure, these powers are limited by certain specific terms
enumerated in the mandate. Space does not permit a quotation of them in
full, but I would advise those interested to secure a copy of the
mandate and to study it in the light of the claim of some Zionists that
the Balfour Declaration recognizes a Jewish State. These so-called
“limitations” do not really limit the sovereign power of His Britannic
Majesty. They are not limitations; they are statements of the direction
in which the British as mandataries pledge themselves to pay especial
attention to the interests of the Jews _as a part of the body of the
citizens of Palestine_. Except for these expressions of benevolent
intention specifically toward the Jews, every one of the twenty-seven
articles in the declaration is just as applicable to every other citizen
of Palestine, whether Jew or Gentile, Mohammedan, Arab, or Christian
Syriac. They are guaranties of civil liberty, freedom of conscience,
equality before the law, and the like.

It was a politic move of the British Government to name a Jew as the
first governing head of Palestine when the British began to function
under this mandate. But this appointment of Sir Herbert Samuel was only
politic, it was not political. It has no general significance.

As I have said, some of the Zionist leaders woefully misunderstood the
Balfour Declaration. The terms of the mandate now leave to them no room
for misunderstanding. Other Zionist leaders, however, wilfully
misrepresented it. They knew that it meant what it said, but they did
not dare to tell their followers what it meant. They chose rather to let
them think that it was only another phrasing of their original programme
of the erection of a Zionistic national sovereign state, or that it
would lead to it. These misleaders, being more vociferous than their
more honest colleagues, have had the ear of the great mass of Jews
throughout the world. This mass now believes that Zionism, as a
national ideal, is presently attainable, if, indeed, it is not actually
attained already. These Zionistic apostles are culpable, in that they
have failed to undeceive the masses of this error. Instead, they have
capitalized this credulous faith, and are collecting funds in America
and in Europe, ostensibly to finance what they call the establishment of
their dream, although really, as I believe, to finance further
propaganda for their unattainable ideal.

Having disposed of the fallacious assumption that Zionism has been, or
is about to be attained, let me now return to my main argument, namely,
that it never can be attained, and that it ought not to be attained.

Let us examine the pretensions of Zionism from three essential angles:
Is it an economic fallacy? Is it a political fantasy? Is it a spiritual
will-o’-the wisp?

First, its economic aspect. I assert positively that it is impossible.
Zionists have been working for thirty years with fanatical zeal, and
backed by millions of money from philanthropic Jews of great wealth in
France, England, Germany, and America; and the total result of their
operations, at the outbreak of the World War, was the movement of ten
thousand Jews from other lands to the soil of Palestine. In the same
period, a million and a half Jews have migrated to America.

The truth is that Palestine cannot support a large population in
prosperity. It has a lean and niggard soil. It is a land of rocky hills,
upon which, for many centuries, a hardy people have survived only with
difficulty by cultivating a few patches of soil here and there, with the
olive, the fig, citrus fruits and the grape, or have barely sustained
their flocks upon the sparse native vegetation. The streams are few and
small, entirely insufficient for the great irrigation systems that would
be necessary for the general cultivation of the land. The underground
sources of water can be developed only at a prodigious capital expense.
There are thirteen million Jews in the world: the Zionist organization
itself claims for Palestine only a maximum possible population of five
millions. Even this claim is on the face of it an extravagant
over-estimate. After careful study on the spot in Palestine, I prophesy
that it will not support more than one million additional inhabitants.

Palestine is in area about equal to the state of Massachusetts; and that
New England state, blest (as Palestine is not) with plentiful water,
ample water-powers, abundant forestation, and a good soil, supports only
four million people. This bald comparison, however, does not begin to
tell the story. Massachusetts is an integral part of a tremendously
prosperous nation of one hundred million souls. Distributed among
forty-eight states, between which there are no political boundaries to
protect, no fences to be maintained, no tariff discrimination, or
unfavourable exchanges to be considered, she enjoys all the advantages
of a highly industrialized community, and of established commercial
intercourse with the rest of the most progressive nations in the world.
If Massachusetts were situated as Palestine is situated, remote from the
great currents of modern economic life; without even one of those
absolutely indispensable prerequisites to commercial success, namely
natural ports; without its network of railways, bringing to it cheaply
the raw materials for its manufactures, and carrying from it cheaply and
quickly to rich markets its manufactured articles, Massachusetts would
support a population far less than its present numbers.

This is the condition of Palestine: not only must agriculture be pursued
under the greatest possible handicaps of soil and water, but it is
subject to the direct competition of far more favoured lands in the very
agricultural products for which it is distinctive. These are the citrus
fruits, almonds, figs and dates, grapes and wine. How can little
Palestine compete in these products with Italy, France, and Spain, and
their north African colonies, whose richer soil lies in the direct line
of the great march of commerce?

A great industrial Palestine is equally unthinkable. It lacks the raw
materials of coal and iron; it lacks the skill in technical processes
and the experience in the arts; and, above all, it is not in the path of
modern trade currents. What hope is there for Palestine, as an
industrial nation, in competition with America, Great Britain, and
Germany, with their prodigious resources, their highly organized
factories, their great mass-production, and their superb means of
transportation? The notion is preposterous.

I claim that the foregoing analysis demolishes the economic foundation
of Zionism.

What of its political foundations? Is Zionism a political fantasy? I
assert most emphatically that it is. The present British mandate over
Palestine is a recognition, by the great powers of the world, of the
supreme political interest of Great Britain in that region. It was no
mere accident that it was a British army which captured Jerusalem from
the Turks in the late war. The life-and-death importance of the Suez
Canal to the integrity of the British Empire has for more than half a
century made the destiny of Palestine as well as of Egypt a vital
concern of British statesmanship. So long as the Turk was in control,
the British had no cause to fear what that impotent and backward
neighbour might do to interrupt the life current that flows through this
jugular vein connecting India with the British Isles. But now that the
Turk is in process of being dispossessed of sovereignty, and the future
disposition of his territories in doubt, British statesmen can hold but
one opinion concerning either Egypt or Palestine, and this opinion is,
that no matter what else may befall, British influence must be
omnipotent on both sides of the Suez Canal. It may be politic for them
for the moment to coddle the aspirations of a numerically negligible
race like the Jews. But the notion that Great Britain would for one
instant allow any form of government in Palestine, under any name
whatever, that was not, in fact, an appanage of the British Crown, and
subservient to the paramount interests of British world policy, is too
fantastical for serious refutation.

I have just said that it may be politic for the British Government to
coddle the aspirations of the Jews. There are, however, profound reasons
why this coddling will not take the form of granting to them even the
name and surface appearance of a sovereign government ruling Palestine.
In the first place, Britain’s hold upon India is by no means so secure
that the Imperial Government at London can afford to trifle with the
fanatical sensibilities of the millions of Mohammedans in its Indian
possessions. Remember that Palestine is as much the Holy Land of the
Mohammedan as it is the Holy Land of the Jew, or the Holy Land of the
Christian. His shrines cluster there as thickly. They are to him as
sacredly endeared. In 1914 I visited the famous Caves of Machpelah,
twenty miles from Jerusalem; and I shall never forget the mutterings of
discontent that murmured in my ears, nor the threatening looks that
confronted my eyes, from the lips and faces of the devout Mohammedans
whom I there encountered. For these authentic tombs of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob are as sacred to them, because they are saints of Islam, as
they are to the most orthodox of my fellow Jews, whose direct ancestors
they are, not only in the spiritual, but in the actual physical sense.
To these Mohammedans, my presence at the tombs of my ancestors was as
much a profanation of a Mohammedan Holy Place as if I had laid
sacrilegious hands upon the sacred relics in the mosque at Mecca. To
imagine that the British Government will sanction a scheme for a
political control of Palestine which would place in the hands of the
Jews the physical guardianship of these shrines of Islam, is to imagine
something very foreign to the practical political sense of the most
politically practical race on earth. They know too well how deeply they
would offend their myriad Mohammedan subjects to the East.

Exactly the same political issue of religious fanaticism applies to the
question of Christian sensibilities. Any one who has seen, as in 1914 I
saw at Easter-tide, the tens of thousands of devout Roman Catholics from
Poland, Italy, and Spain, and the other tens of thousands of devout
Greek Catholics from Russia and the East, who yearly frequent the
shrines of Christianity in Palestine, and who thus consummate a lifetime
of devotion by a pilgrimage undertaken at, to them, staggering expense
and physical privation; and who has observed, as I have observed, the
suppressed hatred of them all for both the Jew and the Mussulman; and
who has noted, further, the bitter jealousies between even Protestant
and Catholic, between Greek Catholic and Roman--such an observer, I say,
can entertain no illusions that the placing of these sacred shrines of
Christian tradition in the hands of the Jews would be tolerated. The
most enlightened Christians might endure it, but the great mass of
Christian worshippers of Europe would not. They regard the Jew not
merely as a member of a rival faith, but the man whose ancestors
rejected their fellow Jew, the Christ, and crucified Him. Their
fanaticism is a political fact of gigantic proportions. A Jewish State
in Palestine would inevitably arouse their passion. Instead of such a
State adding new dignity and consideration to the position of the Jew
the world over (as the Zionists claim it would do), I am convinced that
it would concentrate, multiply, and give new venom to the hatred which
he already endures in Poland and Russia, the very lands in which most of
the Jews now dwell, and where their oppressions are the worst.

The political pretensions of Zionism are fantastic. I think the
foregoing paragraphs have demonstrated this.

Is Zionism a spiritual will-o’-the-wisp? I assert with all the vigour of
my most profound convictions that it is. Its professed spiritual aim is
the reassertion of the dignity and worth of the Jew. It is a mechanism
designed to restore to him his self-respect, and to secure for him the
respect of others. The means by which it proposes to accomplish this
have been described above. How pitifully inadequate these means are has
been demonstrated.

The effort of the Jews to attain their legitimate spiritual ambitions by
means of a political mechanism needs hardly further to be controverted
in the negative, or destructive, sense. I prefer to meet this issue on
positive and constructive grounds. My answer to the spiritual
pretensions of Zionism is the positive answer that the solution has
already been discovered--the way out has been found. The courageous Jew,
the intellectually honest Jew, the forward-looking Jew, the Jew who has
been willing to fight for his rights on the spot where they were
infringed, has won his battle, and has found all the glorious freedom
which Zionism so impractically describes. The brave Jews of England did
not surrender their cause. They did not seek a moral opiate in an
Oriental pipe-dream of retreat to a cloud-land Zion pictured by fancy on
the arid hills of Palestine. They stayed in England; they fought on
English soil for their rights as men. Their courage enlisted the
admiration of the nobler spirits among the English, and it allied to
them such Britons as Macaulay and George Bentinck, whose splendid
eloquence and political acumen assisted in the repeal of the Jewish
Disabilities in 1858. This epochal legislation gave the Jews every right
enjoyed in Britain by the Christians. It made possible the splendid
political career of Beaconsfield (for many years Prime Minister of Great
Britain), and the brilliant experience of Sir Rufus Isaacs (now Earl
Reading) who has progressed through the highest political honours of the
nation as Lord Chief Justice, Ambassador to America, and Viceroy of

Do not forget that in this victorious struggle the Jew made no
compromise whatever with his conscience. He did not abandon his racial,
religious, or cultural heritage.

The courageous and wise Jews of France and Italy have fought this same
battle to this same victorious conclusion.

But this book will be read chiefly by Americans: such influence as it
may wield will be particularly upon American minds. Need I elaborate the
argument in its American setting? The facts lie upon the surface for the
dullest eyes to see them. Nowhere in the world has so glorious an
opportunity been offered to the Jew. Generous America has thrown wide
the doors of opportunity to him. The Jew possesses no talents of the
mind or spirit that cannot find here a free field for their most
complete expression.

Does he seek political office? Jews in this country have been or are
members of every legislature, including the Senate of the United States;
ambassadors representing the person of the President at foreign courts;
officers of the judiciary in every grade from justice of the peace to
justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Does he seek freedom of conscience? He may freely choose his mode of
worship, from the strictest of orthodox tabernacles to the most liberal
of free synagogues.

Does he seek a field for business talent? The evidence of opportunity in
this direction is so overwhelming that it need not here be wearyingly
recapitulated. The progress of Adolph S. Ochs from a printer’s devil in
Knoxville, Tenn., fifty years ago, to owner of the greatest newspaper in
the greatest city in the world, is characteristic of dozens of like
successful Jewish careers in this country; and it is emblematic of
hundreds of thousands of Jewish careers less spectacular but equally
momentous in their own degree.

Does he seek social position? Here, indeed, his path is made more
difficult. But the social barriers are not insurmountable. Where they
seem so, calm judgment will reveal that the social environment where
this irrational prejudice exists is not worthy of the entrance of the
Jew. Leave the intolerant to associate with their own kind. The Jew who
has raised himself to the highest level will have put himself beyond the
reach of prejudice, and he will find himself welcomed in the highest
Christian circles.

The enlightened Jews of America have found the true road to Zion. To
them Zion is no mere political mechanism existing by the political
sufferance of the greater Powers. It is not defined by geographical
boundaries, circumscribing an arid plot of ground which their ancestors
of two thousand years ago conquered from its aboriginal inhabitants and
occupied for a brief, though glorious, period before they, in turn, were
driven onward by a new conqueror. To them, Zion is a region of the soul.
To them, it is an inner light, set upon the hill of personal
consciousness, inspiring them as individuals to fight, each for himself,
the battle of life where he meets it; demanding in virtue of his own
worth the respect of those about him; winning through to the dignity and
position to which his native gifts and his self-developed character
entitle him. This is the only true Zion. All other definitions of it are

The proudest boast of all these men, and my proudest boast, is: “I am
an American.” None of us would deny our race or faith. We are Jews by
blood. We are Jews, though of various sects, by religion. But as for me
(and here I am sure I speak for a vast body of Jews in the United
States), if I were pressed to define myself by any single appellation, I
would unhesitatingly select the one word _American_. Neither I nor the
humblest worshipper in the most orthodox congregation can hope for
anything from Zionism that is not already ours in virtue of our
participation in the freedom of America. And neither of us need make the
smallest compromise with any conviction that we hold dear. I have found
it more convenient (as well as quite within the approval of what I
regard as my somewhat more enlightened conscience) to cast off the other
symbols of the Hebraic faith, such as the Kosher observances, the
untouched beard, and the distinctive dress; but there are thousands of
Russian Jews in the United States to-day who retain these excrescences
of antiquity, with only a small inconvenience that is certainly very far
short of persecution. From observation and experience I know full well
that these same orthodox devotees will themselves become enlightened--if
not they, then certainly their children--and will perceive, as I and
others have perceived, that the Mosaic admonitions were purely temporal
devices, expedient truly for the age in which they were promulgated,
useful until modern sanitation and modern education did their work, but
now become empty of those first values.

Here lies the crux of my affirmative argument against Zionism. We
anti-Zionist Jews of America have found that the spiritual life, after
whatever formula of faith, in modern times can be most fully enjoyed by
those people who accept the beneficent progress which the world at large
has made in science, industry, and the art of government. We have
learned the folly of persisting in the sanitary regulations taught by
Moses, in this age when all civilized peoples have the benefit of the
more advanced sanitary knowledge of Lister, Pasteur, Metchnikoff, and
Flexner. We have learned the folly of persisting in a distinctive style
of clothing, beard, and locks (imposed upon the Jews extraneously as a
badge of slavery and oppression), and of ascribing a spiritual
significance to such a costume in this age when saints like Montefiore
and Baron Edmond de Rathschild, the great patrons of Palestine, have
found sanctity not incompatible with the ordinary dress of those about
them. We have come to see that the worship of the God of Israel, the
acceptable obedience to His will, is not contingent upon the Clothes one
wears, upon the meat one eats. His kingdom is the soul of man. In that
boundless temple He receives the priceless sacrifices of the true
believer. That time and place and mode are most acceptable to Him in
which the human spirit brings its richest offerings.

It follows, then, that the Jew everywhere (in Poland and Russia, as well
as in France and America) can acceptably serve the God of his fathers
and still enter fully into the life about him. We in America refuse to
set ourselves apart in a voluntary ghetto for the sake of old
traditional Observances.

I have often used a figure of speech--it was brought to my mind by
meeting the rug-makers in Turkey--as follows: The Jew has been content,
in most lands and down the ages, to be the fringe of the carpet, the
loose end over which every foot has stumbled, where every heel has left
its injuring impression on the disconnected individual strands. What the
Jew should do is, to become a part of the pattern of the carpet itself:
weave himself into the very warp and woof of the main fabric of
humanity; and gain the strength which comes from a coördinated and
orderly relation to the other strands of human society. His peculiar
beauties (his peculiar talents), which in the fringe are soiled and
hidden, take on new value when they become part of the main carpet; and
they find their glory in lending to the pattern a unique splendour and a
special lustre.

I, for one, will not forego this vision of the destiny of the Jews. I do
not presume to say to my co-religionists of Europe that they shall
accept my programme. But neither do I intend to allow them to impose
their programme upon me. They may continue, if they will, a practice of
our common faith which invites martyrdom, and which makes the
continuance of oppression a certainty. I have found a better way (and
when I say _I_, it is to speak collectively as one of a great body of
American Jews of like mind). In the foregoing pages I have given my
reasons for opposing Zionism. They make plain why I asserted at the
beginning of this chapter that Zionism is not a solution; that it is a
surrender. It looks backward, and not forward. It would practically
place in the hands of a few men, steeped in a foreign tradition, the
power to turn back the hands of time upon all which I and my
predecessors of the same convictions have won for ourselves here in
America. We have fought our way through to liberty, equality, and
fraternity. We have found rest for our souls. No one shall rob us of
these gains. We enjoy in America exactly the spiritual liberty, the
financial success, and the social position which we have earned. Any Jew
in America who wishes to be a saint of Zion has only to practice the
cultivation of his spiritual gifts--there is none to hinder him. Any Jew
in America who seeks material reward has only to cultivate the powers of
his mind and character--there are no barriers between him and
achievement. Any Jew in America who yearns for social position has only
to cultivate his manners--there are no insurmountable discriminations
here against true gentlemen. The Jews of France have found France to be
their Zion. The Jews of England have found England to be their Zion. We
Jews of America have found America to be our Zion. Therefore, I refuse
to allow myself to be called a Zionist. I am an American.



                          MISSION TO POLAND.

_Paris, October 3, 1919._

_To the American commission to negotiate peace._

GENTLEMEN: 1. A mission, consisting of Mr. Henry Morgenthau, Brig. Gen.
Edgar Jadwin, and Mr. Homer H. Johnson, was appointed by the American
commission to negotiate peace to investigate Jewish matters in Poland.
The appointment of such a mission had previously been requested by Mr.
Paderewski, president of the council of ministers of the Republic of
Poland. On June 30, 1919, Secretary Lansing wrote to this mission:

     It is desired that the mission make careful inquiry into all
     matters affecting the relations between the Jewish and non-Jewish
     elements in Poland. This will, of course, involve the investigation
     of the various massacres, pogroms, and other excesses alleged to
     have taken place, the economic boycott, and other methods of
     discrimination against the Jewish race. The establishment of the
     truth in regard to these matters is not, however, an end in itself.
     It is merely for the purpose of seeking to discover the reason
     lying behind such excesses and discriminations with a view to
     finding a possible remedy. The American Government, as you know, is
     inspired by a friendly desire to render service to all elements in
     the new Poland--Christians and Jews alike. I am convinced that any
     measures that may be taken to ameliorate the conditions of the Jews
     will also benefit the rest of the population and that, conversely,
     anything done for the community benefit of Poland as a whole will
     be of advantage to the Jewish race. I am sure that the members of
     your mission are approaching the subject in the right spirit, free
     from prejudice one way or the other, and filled with a desire to
     discover the truth and evolve some constructive measures to improve
     the situation which gives concern to all the friends of Poland.

2. The mission reached Warsaw on July 13, 1919, and remained in Poland
until September 13, 1919. All the places where the principal excesses
had occurred were visited. In addition thereto the mission also studied
the economic and social conditions in such places as Lodz, Krakau,
Grodno, Kalisch, Posen, Cholm, Lublin, and Stanislawow. But automobiling
over 2,500 miles through Russian, Austrian, and German Poland, the
mission also came into immediate contact with the inhabitants of the
small towns and villages. In order properly to appreciate the present
cultural and social conditions, the mission also visited educational
institutions, libraries, hospitals, museums, art galleries, orphan
asylums, and prisons.

3. Investigations of the excesses were made mostly in the presence of
representatives of the Polish Government and of the Jewish communities.
There were also present in many cases military and civil officials and,
wherever possible, officials in command at the time the excesses
occurred were conferred with and interrogated. In this work the Polish
authorities and the American Minister to Poland, Mr. Hughes Gibson, lent
the mission every facility. Deputations of all kinds of organizations
were received and interviewed. A large number of public meetings and
gatherings were attended, and the mission endeavoured to obtain a
correct impression of what had occurred, of the present mental state of
the public, and of the attitude of the various factions toward one

4. The Jews first entered Poland in large numbers during the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries, when they migrated from Germany and other
countries as the result of severe persecutions. Their language was
German, which subsequently developed into a Hebrew-German dialect, or
Yiddish. As prior to this immigration only two classes or estates had
existed in Poland (the owners and the tillers of the soil), the Jewish
immigrant became the pioneer of trade and finance, settling in the towns
and villages. As time went on it became generally known throughout
Europe that Poland was a place of refuge for the Jews, and their numbers
were augmented as a result of persecutions in western Europe. Still more
recently, as a result of the expulsion of the Jews from Russia, on
account of the enforcement of the pale of settlement, and of the May
laws of 1882, their number was further increased.

5. Notwithstanding the fact that Poland has been a place of refuge for
the Jews, there have been anti-Jewish movements at various times. The
present anti-Semitic feeling took a definite political form after the
Russian revolution of 1905. This feeling reached an intense stage in
1912, when the Polish National Democratic Party nominated an anti-Semite
to represent Warsaw in the Russian Duma and the Jews cast their vote for
a Polish Socialist and carried the election. The National Democratic
Party then commenced a vigorous anti-Semitic campaign. During the
German occupation this campaign was temporarily reduced. At the end of
the Great War the chaotic and unnatural state of affairs in which Poland
found itself gave good ground for a condition of social unrest, which,
together with the world-stimulated tendency toward national
self-determination, accentuated the feeling between Jewish and
non-Jewish elements. The chauvinistic reaction created by the sudden
acquisition of a long-coveted freedom ripened the public mind for
anti-Semitic or anti-alien sentiment, which was strongly agitated by the
press and by politicians. This finally encouraged physical
manifestations of violent outcroppings of an unbalanced social

6. When, in November, 1918, the Austrian and German armies of occupation
left Poland there was no firm government until the arrival of Gen.
Pilsudski, who had escaped from a German prison, and it was during this
period, before the Polish Republic came into being, that the first of
the excesses took place. (The mission has purposely avoided the use of
the word “pogrom,” as the word is applied to everything from petty
outrages to premeditated and carefully organized massacres. No fixed
definition is generally understood.) There were eight principal
excesses, which are here described in chronological order.

     (1) Kielce, November 11, 1918.

Shortly after the evacuation of the Austrian troops from Kielce the Jews
of this city secured permission from the local authorities to hold a
meeting in the Polski Theatre. The purpose of this meeting was to
discuss Jewish national aspirations. It began shortly before 2 o’clock
and filled the theatre to overflowing. During the afternoon a small
crowd of Polish civilians, largely composed of students, gathered
outside of the theatre. At 6.30 p. m. the meeting began to break up, and
when only about 300 people remained in the theatre, some militiamen
entered and began to search for arms. A short while thereafter, and
while the militiamen were still in the building, a crowd of civilians
and some soldiers came into the auditorium and drove the Jews toward the
stairs. On the stairs there was a double line of men armed with clubs
and bayonets, who beat the Jews as they left the building. After the
Jews reached the street they were again beaten by a mob outside. As a
result of this attack four Jews were killed and a large number wounded.
A number of civilians have been indicted for participation in this
excess, but have not as yet been brought to trial.

     (2) Lemberg, November 21-23, 1918.

On October 30, 1918, when the Austrian Empire collapsed, the Ukrainian
troops, formerly in the Austrian service, assumed control of the town. A
few hundred Polish boys, combined with numerous volunteers of doubtful
character, recaptured about half the city and held it until the arrival
of Polish reinforcements on November 21. The Jewish population declared
themselves neutral, but the fact that the Jewish quarter lay within the
section occupied by the Ukrainians, and that the Jews had organized
their own militia, and further, the rumour that some of the Jewish
population had fired upon the soldiery, stimulated amongst the Polish
volunteers an anti-Semitic bias that readily communicated itself to the
relieving troops. The situation was further complicated by the presence
of some 15,000 uniformed deserters and numerous criminals released by
the Ukrainians from local jails, who were ready to join in any disorder,
particularly if, as in the case of wholesale pillage, they might profit

Upon the final departure of the Ukrainians, these disreputable elements
plundered to the extent of many millions of crowns the dwellings and
stores in the Jewish quarter, and did not hesitate at murder when they
met with resistance. During the ensuing disorders, which prevailed on
November 21, 22, and 23, 64 Jews were killed and a large amount of
property destroyed. Thirty-eight houses were set on fire, and owing to
the paralysis of the fire department, were completely gutted. The
Synagogue was also burned, and large numbers of the sacred scrolls of
the law were destroyed. The repression of the disorders was rendered
more difficult by the prevailing lack of discipline among the newly
organized Polish troops, and by a certain hesitation among the junior
officers to apply stern punitive measures. When officers’ patrols under
experienced leaders were finally organized on November 23, robbery and
violence ceased.

As early as December 24, 1918, the Polish Government, through the
ministry of justice, began a strict investigation of the events of
November 21 and 23. A special commission, headed by a justice of the
supreme court, sat in Lemberg for about two months, and rendered an
extensive formal report which has been furnished this mission. In spite
of the crowded dockets of the local courts, where over 7,000 cases are
now pending, 164 persons, 10 of them Jews, have been tried for
complicity in the November disorders, and numerous similar cases await
disposal. Forty-four persons are under sentences ranging from 10 days to
18 months. Aside from the civil courts, the local court-martial has
sentenced military persons to confinement for as long as three years
for lawlessness during the period in question. This mission is advised
that on the basis of official investigations the Government has begun
the payment of claims for damages resulting from these events.

     (3) Pinsk, April 5, 1919.

Late in the afternoon of April 5, 1919, a month or more after the Polish
occupation of Pinsk, some 75 Jews of both sexes, with the official
permission of the town commander, gathered in the assembly hall at the
People’s House, in the Kupiecka Street, to discuss the distribution of
relief sent by the American joint distribution committee. As the meeting
was about to adjourn, it was interrupted by a band of soldiers, who
arrested and searched the whole assembly, and, after robbing the
prisoners, marched them at a rapid pace to gendarmerie headquarters.
Thence the prisoners were conducted to the market place and lined up
against the wall of the cathedral. With no light except the lamps of a
military automobile the six women in the crowd, and about 25 men, were
separated from the mass, and the remainder, 35 in number, were shot with
scant deliberation and no trial whatever. Early the next morning 3
wounded victims were shot in cold blood when it was found that they were
still alive.

The women and other reprieved prisoners were confined in the city jail
until the following Thursday. The women were stripped and beaten by the
prison guards so severely that several of them were bed-ridden for weeks
thereafter, and the men were subjected to similar maltreatment.

It has been asserted officially by the Polish authorities, that there
was reason to suspect this assemblage of bolshevist allegiance. This
mission is convinced that no arguments of bolshevist nature were
mentioned in the meeting in question. While it is recognized that
certain information of bolshevist activities in Pinsk had been received
by two Jewish soldiers, the undersigned is convinced that Maj.
Luczynski, the town commander, showed reprehensible and frivolous
readiness to place credence upon such untested assertions, and on this
insufficient basis took inexcusably drastic action against reputable
citizens whose loyal character could have been immediately established
by a consultation with any well known non-Jewish inhabitant.

The statements made officially by Gen. Listowski, the Polish group
commander, that the Jewish population on April 5 attacked the Polish
troops, are regarded by this mission as devoid of foundation. The
undersigned is further of the opinion that the consultation prior to
executing the 35 Jews, alleged by Maj. Luczynski to have had the
character of a court-martial, was by the very nature of the case a most
casual affair with no judicial nature whatever, since less than an hour
elapsed between the arrest and the execution. It is further found that
no conscientious effort was made at the time either to investigate the
charges against the prisoners or even sufficiently to identify them.
Though there have been official investigations of this case none of the
offenders answerable for this summary execution have been punished or
even tried, nor has the Diet commission published its findings.

     (4) Lida, April 17, 1919.

On April 17, 1919, the Polish military forces captured Lida from the
Russian Bolsheviks. After the city fell into the hands of the Poles the
soldiers proceeded to enter and rob the houses of the Jews. During this
period of pillage 39 Jews were killed. A large number of Jews, including
the local rabbi, were arbitrarily arrested on the same day by the Polish
authorities and kept for 24 hours without food amid revolting conditions
of filth at No. 60 Kamienska Street. Jews were also impressed for forced
labour without respect for age or infirmity. It does not appear that
anyone has been punished for these excesses, or that any steps have been
taken to reimburse the victims of the robberies.

     (5) Wilna, April 19-21, 1919.

On April 19 Polish detachments entered the city of Wilna. The city was
definitely taken by the Poles after three days of street fighting,
during which time they lost 33 men killed. During this same period some
65 Jews lost their lives. From the evidence submitted it appears that
none of these people, among whom were 4 women and 8 men over 50 years of
age, had served with the Bolsheviks. Eight Jews were marched 3
kilometers to the outskirts of Wilna and deliberately shot without a
semblance of a trial or investigation. Others were shot by soldiers who
were robbing Jewish houses. No list has been furnished the mission of
any Polish civilians killed during the occupation. It is, however,
stated on behalf of the Government that the civilian inhabitants of
Wilna took part on both sides in this fighting, and that some civilians
fired upon the soldiers. Over 2,000 Jewish houses and stores in the city
were entered by Polish soldiers and civilians during these three days,
and the inhabitants robbed and beaten. It is claimed by the Jewish
community that the consequent losses amounted to over 10,000,000
rubles. Many of the poorest families were robbed of their shoes and
blankets. Hundreds of Jews were arrested and deported from the city.
Some of them were herded into box cars and kept without food or water
for four days. Old men and children were carried away without trial or
investigation. Two of these prisoners have since died from the treatment
they received. Included in this list were some of the most prominent
Jews of Wilna, such as the eminent Jewish writers, Jaffe and Niger. For
days the families of these prisoners were without news from them and
feared that they had been killed. The soldiers also broke into the
synagogue and mutilated the sacred scrolls of the law. Up to August 3,
1919, when the mission was in Wilna, none of the soldiers or civilians
responsible for these excesses had been punished.

     (6) Kolbuszowa, May 7, 1919.

For a few days before May 7, 1919, the Jews of Kolbuszowa feared that
excesses might take place, as there had been riots in the neighbouring
towns of Rzeszow and Glogow. These riots had been the result of
political agitation in this district and of excitement caused by a case
of alleged ritual murder, in which the Jewish defendant had been
acquitted. On May 6 a company of soldiers was ordered to Kolbuszowa to
prevent the threatened trouble. Early in the morning of May 7 a great
number of peasants, among whom were many former soldiers of the Austrian
Army, entered the town. The rioters disarmed the soldiers after two
soldiers and three peasants had been killed. They then proceeded to rob
the Jewish stores and to beat any Jews who fell into their hands. Eight
Jews were killed during this excess. Order was restored when a new
detachment of soldiers arrived late in the afternoon. One of the rioters
has since been tried and executed by the Polish Government.

     (7) Czestochowa, May 27, 1919.

On May 27, 1919, at Czestochowa, a shot fired by an unknown person
slightly wounded a Polish soldier. A rumour spread that the shot had
been fired by the Jews, and riots broke out in the city in which Polish
soldiers and civilians took part. During these riots five Jews,
including a doctor who was hurrying to aid one of the injured, were
beaten to death and a large number were wounded. French officers, who
were stationed at Czestochowa, took an active part in preventing further

     (8) Minsk, August 8, 1919.

On August 8, 1919, the Polish troops took the city of Minsk from the
Russian Bolsheviks. The Polish troops entered the city at about 10
o’clock in the morning, and by 12 o’clock they had absolute control.
Notwithstanding the presence in Minsk of Gen. Jadwin and other members
of this mission, and the orders of the Polish commanding general
forbidding violence against civilians, 31 Jews were killed by the
soldiers. Only one of this number can in any way be connected with the
bolshevist movement. Eighteen of the deaths appear to have been
deliberate murder. Two of these murders were incident to robberies, but
the rest were committed, to all appearances, solely on the ground that
the victims were Jews. During the afternoon and in the evening of August
8 the Polish soldiers, aided by civilians, plundered 377 shops, all of
which belonged to Jews. It must be noted, however, that about 90 per
cent. of the stores in Minsk are owned by Jews. No effective attempt was
made to prevent these robberies until the next morning, when adequate
officers’ patrols were sent out through the streets and order was
established. The private houses of many of the Jews were also broken
into by soldiers and the inhabitants were beaten and robbed. The Polish
Government has stated that four Polish soldiers were killed while
attempting to prevent robberies. It has also been stated to the mission
that some of the rioters have been executed.

7. There have also been here and there individual cases of murder not
enumerated in the preceding paragraphs, but their detailed description
has not been considered necessary inasmuch as they present no
characteristics not already observed in the principal excesses. In
considering these excesses as a whole, it should be borne in mind that
of the eight cities and towns at which striking disorders have occurred,
only Kielce and Czestochowa are within the boundaries of Congress
Poland. In Kielce and Kolbuszowa the excesses were committed by city
civilians and by peasants, respectively. At Czestochowa both civilians
and soldiers took part in the disorders. At Pinsk the excess was
essentially the fault of one officer. In Lemberg, Lida, Wilna, and Minsk
the excesses were committed by the soldiers who were capturing the
cities and not by the civilian population. In the three last-named
cities the anti-Semitic prejudice of the soldiers had been inflamed by
the charge that the Jews were Bolsheviks, while at Lemberg it was
associated with the idea that the Jews were making common cause with the
Ukrainians. These excesses were, therefore, political as well as
anti-Semitic in character. The responsibility for these excesses is
borne for the most part by the undisciplined and ill-equipped Polish
recruits, who, uncontrolled by their inexperienced and ofttimes timid
officers, sought to profit at the expense of that portion of the
population which they regarded as alien and hostile to Polish
nationality and aspirations. It is recognized that the enforcement of
discipline in a new and untrained army is a matter of extreme
difficulty. On the other hand, the prompt cessation of disorder in
Lemberg after the adoption of appropriate measures of control shows that
an unflinching determination to restore order and a firm application of
repressive measures can prevent, or at least limit, such excesses. It
is, therefore, believed that a more aggressive punitive policy, and a
more general publicity for reports of judicial and military
prosecutions, would have minimized subsequent excesses by discouraging
the belief among the soldiery that robbery and violence could be
committed with impunity.

8. Just as the Jews would resent being condemned as a race for the
action of a few of their undesirable coreligionists, so it would be
correspondingly unfair to condemn the Polish nation as a whole for the
violence committed by uncontrolled troops or local mobs. These excesses
were apparently not premeditated, for if they had been part of a
preconceived plan, the number of victims would have run into the
thousands instead of amounting to about 280. It is believed that these
excesses were the result of a widespread anti-Semitic prejudice
aggravated by the belief that the Jewish inhabitants were politically
hostile to the Polish State. When the boundaries of Poland are once
fixed, and the internal organization of the country is perfected, the
Polish Government will be increasingly able to protect all classes of
Polish citizenry. Since the Polish Republic has subscribed to the treaty
which provides for the protection of racial, religious and linguistic
minorities, it is confidently anticipated that the Government will
whole-heartedly accept the responsibility, not only of guarding certain
classes of its citizens from aggression, but also of educating the
masses beyond the state of mind that makes such aggression possible.

9. Besides these excesses there have been reported to the mission
numerous cases of other forms of persecutions. Thus, in almost every one
of the cities and towns of Poland, Jews have been stopped by the
soldiers and had their beards either torn out or cut off. As the
orthodox Jews feel that the shaving of their beards is contrary to
their religious belief, this form of persecution has a particular
significance to them. Jews also have been beaten and forced from trains
and railroad stations. As a result many of them are afraid to travel.
The result of all these minor persecutions is to keep the Jewish
population in a state of ferment, and to subject them to the fear that
graver excesses may again occur.

10. Whereas it has been easy to determine the excesses which took place
and to fix the approximate number of deaths, it was more difficult to
establish the extent of anti-Jewish discrimination. This discrimination
finds its most conspicuous manifestation in the form of an economic
boycott. The national Democratic Party has continuously agitated the
economic strangling of the Jews. Through the press and political
announcements, as well as by public speeches, the non-Jewish element of
the Polish people is urged to abstain from dealing with the Jews.
Landowners are warned not to sell their property to Jews, and in some
cases where such sales have been made, the names of the offenders have
been posted within black-bordered notices, stating that such vendors
were “dead to Poland.” Even at the present time, this campaign is being
waged by most of the non-Jewish press, which constantly advocates that
the economic boycott be used as a means of ridding Poland of its Jewish
element. This agitation had created in the minds of some of the Jews the
feeling that there is an invisible rope around their necks, and they
claim that this is the worst persecution that they can be forced to
endure. Non-Jewish labourers have in many cases refused to work side by
side with Jews. The percentage of Jews in public office, especially
those holding minor positions, such as railway employees, firemen,
policemen, and the like, has been materially reduced since the present
Government has taken control. Documents have been furnished the mission
showing that Government-owned railways have discharged Jewish employees
and given them certificates that they have been released for no other
reason than that they belong to the Jewish race.

11. Furthermore, the establishment of coöperative stores is claimed by
many Jewish traders to be a form of discrimination. It would seem,
however, that this movement is a legitimate effort to restrict the
activities and therefore the profits of the middleman. Unfortunately,
when these stores were introduced into Poland, they were advertised as a
means of eliminating the Jewish trader. The Jews have, therefore, been
caused to feel that the establishment of coöperatives is an attack upon
themselves. While the establishment and the maintenance of coöperatives
may have been influenced by anti-Semitic sentiment, this is a form of
economic activity which any community is perfectly entitled to pursue.
On the other hand, the Jews complain that even the Jewish coöperatives
and individual Jews are discriminated against by the Government in the
distribution of Government-controlled supplies.

12. The Government has denied that discrimination against Jews has been
practiced as a Government policy, though it has not denied that there
may be individual cases where anti-Semitism has played a part.
Assurances have been made to the mission by official authorities that in
so far as it lies within the power of the Government this discrimination
will be corrected.

13. In considering the causes for the anti-Semitic feeling which has
brought about the manifestations described above, it must be remembered
that ever since the partition of 1795 the Poles have striven to be
reunited as a nation and to regain their freedom. This continual effort
to keep alive their national aspirations has caused them to look with
hatred upon anything which might interfere with their aims. This has led
to a conflict with the nationalist declarations of some of the Jewish
organizations which desire to establish cultural autonomy financially
supported by the State. In addition, the position taken by the Jews in
favour of article 93 of the Treaty of Versailles, guaranteeing
protection to racial linguistic and religious minorities in Poland has
created a further resentment against them. Moreover, Polish national
feeling is irritated by what is regarded as the “alien” character of the
great mass of the Jewish population. This is constantly brought home to
the Poles by the fact that the majority of the Jews affect a distinctive
dress, observe the Sabbath on Saturday, conduct business on Sunday, have
separate dietary laws, wear long beards, and speak a language of their
own. The basis of this language is a German dialect, and the fact that
Germany was, and still is, looked upon by the Poles as an enemy country
renders this vernacular especially unpopular. The concentration of the
Jews in separate districts or quarters in Polish cities also emphasizes
the line of demarcation separating them from other citizens.

14. The strained relations between the Jews and non-Jews have been
further increased not only by the Great War, during which Poland was the
battle ground for the Russian, German, and Austrian Armies, but also by
the present conflicts with the Bolsheviks and the Ukrainians. The
economic condition of Poland is at its lowest ebb. Manufacturing and
commerce have virtually ceased. The shortage, the high price, and the
imperfect distribution of food, are a dangerous menace to the health and
welfare of the urban population. As a result, hundreds of thousands are
suffering from hunger and are but half clad, while thousands are dying
of disease and starvation. The cessation of commerce is particularly
felt by the Jewish population, which are almost entirely dependent upon
it. Owing to the condition described, prices have doubled and tripled,
and the population has become irritated against the Jewish traders, whom
it blames for the abnormal increase thus occasioned.

15. The great majority of Jews in Poland belong to separate Jewish
political parties. The largest of these are the Orthodox, the Zionist,
and the National. Since the Jews form separate political groups it is
probable that some of the Polish discrimination against them is
political rather than anti-Semitic in character. The dominant Polish
parties give to their supporters Government positions and Government
patronage. It is to be hoped, however, that the Polish majority will not
follow this system in the case of positions which are not essentially
political. There should be no discrimination in the choice of professors
and teachers, nor in the selection of railroad employees, policemen, and
firemen, or the incumbents of any other positions which are placed under
the civil service in England and the United States. Like other
democracies, Poland must realize that these positions must not be drawn
into politics. Efficiency can only be attained if the best men are
employed, irrespective of party or religion.

16. The relations between the Jews and non-Jews will undoubtedly improve
in a strong democratic Poland. To hasten this there should be
reconciliation and coöperation between the 86 per cent. Christians and
the 14 per cent. Jews. The 86 per cent. must realize that they can not
present a solid front against their neighbours if one-seventh of the
population is discontented, fear-stricken, and inactive. The minority
must be encouraged to participate with their whole strength and
influence in making Poland the great unified country that is required in
central Europe to combat the tremendous dangers that confront it. Poland
must promptly develop its full strength, and by its conduct first merit
and then receive the unstinted moral, financial, and economic support
of all the world, which will insure the future success of the Republic.

17. It was impossible for the mission, during the two months it was in
Poland, to do more than acquaint itself with the general condition of
the people. To formulate a solution of the Jewish problem will
necessitate a careful and broad study, not only of the economic
condition of the Jews, but also of the exact requirements of Poland.
These requirements will not be definitely known prior to the fixation of
Polish boundaries, and the final regulation of Polish relations with
Russia, with which the largest share of trade was previously conducted.
It is recommended that the League of Nations, or the larger nations
interested in this problem, send to Poland a commission consisting of
recognized industrial, educational, agricultural, economic, and
vocational experts, which should remain there as long as necessary to
examine the problem at its source.

18. This commission should devise a plan by which the Jews in Poland can
secure the same economic and social opportunities as are enjoyed by
their coreligionists in other free countries. A new Polish constitution
is now in the making. The generous scope of this national instrument has
already been indicated by the special treaty with the allied and
associated powers, in which Poland has affirmed its fidelity to the
principles of liberty and justice and the rights of minorities, and we
may be certain that Poland will be faithful to its pledge, which is so
conspicuously in harmony with the nation’s best traditions. A new life
will thus be opened to the Jews and it will be the task of the proposed
commission to fit them to profit thereby and to win the same
appreciation gained by their coreligionists elsewhere as a valued asset
to the commonwealths in which they reside. The friends of the Jews in
America, England, and elsewhere who have already evinced such great
interest in their welfare, will enthusiastically grasp the opportunity
to coöperate in working out any good solution that such a commission may
propound. The fact that it may take one or two generations to reach the
goal must not be discouraging.

19. All citizens of Poland should realize that they must live together.
They can not be divorced from each other by force or by any court of
law. When this idea is once thoroughly comprehended, every effort will
necessarily be directed toward a better understanding and the
amelioration of existing conditions, rather than toward augmenting
antipathy and discontent. The Polish nation must see that its worst
enemies are those who encourage this internal strife. A house divided
against itself can not stand. There must be but one class of citizens in
Poland, all members of which enjoy equal rights and render equal duties.

Respectfully submitted.



_Warsaw, 10 August, 1919._


In compliance with your request to submit to you in writing the
suggestions I made to you last evening, I desire to state that the
interest of President Wilson and the citizenry of the United States was
not only to investigate the various occurrences during and after the
occupation of some of the cities in your country as well as the alleged
persecutions of the Jews, but also to ascertain the entire matter so
objectively, impartially, and disinterestedly, as to enable the
commission correctly to diagnose the difficulties and suggest a remedy.

Although our investigations are by no means completed, I have discovered
that some of the main causes of your troubles are the inevitable results
of conditions that your country has gradually drifted into, and are due
to the fact that the release of the various sections of your country
from them, to the objectionable rule by foreign potentates, came so
suddenly that it found them unprepared to face and successfully grapple
with the complicated problems resulting therefrom.

Poland, having at last had all her dreams realized, her ambitions more
than gratified, finds herself economically prostrate on her back, yet
too proud to ask for outside assistance. Her splendid pride has at all
times to be considered by anyone who wishes to be of any use to the
country. I feel that Poland possesses great resiliency, and has much
latent potentiality, and all she requires is to be given some confidence
in herself, and to be shown how to “help herself.” The new, proud Polish
republic not only requires personal liberty, but as much freedom as
possible from obligations to others for the exercise of the same. I
firmly believe that when she is enabled to do this, she will
ungrudgingly grant to her minorities the same privilege.

I am anxious to show Poland how she can rise from her prostrate position
and discover that she has adequate strength, with very little propping,
to start a brisk walk toward the goal she is aiming for--self-reliant,
successful independence. It has occurred to me that if in her earliest
steps she will permit her good friends, the other members of the League
of Nations, to assist her with tender sympathy and unselfish, fraternal
feeling, that she will be astonished at the rapidity of her progress.
You need to have proclaimed for your government, your people, and the
world, that your associates believe in you and want you to become a
strong country, and are anxious to have you promptly develop that
strength, for reasons too obvious to mention.

It has occurred to me that what you require is a proper currency system,
and sufficient funds to enable you to secure adequate raw material and
fuel that will justify your factories in starting off at full speed and
not having to fear an early suspension of their activities. And you will
have to establish some institution that will restore confidence in your
population who, as I am reliably informed, are at present hiding, and
therefore not using, a substantial part of your liquid financial

A corporation should be organized with $150,000,000 capital, the right
to subscribe should be divided, one-third to Poland, one-third to the
United States, and one-third to England, France, Italy, etc. The stock
should be paid in in instalments, particularly as to those shares
subscribed for by Polish capital, as it is desirable that the Poles be
given sufficient time so as to secure personally the benefits of the
tremendous rise in the value of your marks which would result from the
creation of this company. For this purpose I suggest five or six
instalments, extending over a year or longer. The sum of $50,000 or
$60,000 should be spent for publicity for subscriptions in all of your
newspapers, and great stress should be laid on the fact that the mass of
your people is to receive the preference in the allotment of stock. A
systematic campaign something like our Liberty Loan campaigns, should be
organized so as to create the proper sentiment in the country, to
encourage rivalry between your various large cities, and rouse the
patriotism of all your citizens. Care should be taken in the
constitution of these committees so as to make them platforms for the
promotion of better feeling amongst your people. All subscriptions of
$100 or less should be allotted in full. This would satisfy your
population that it was to be a genuine Polish people’s institution.

After a dividend of six per cent. is paid on the stock, the balance of
the profits should be divided equally between the stockholders and the
State. The profits paid to the State to be in lieu of all taxes. This
would work both ways: it would satisfy the people that the State is to
have its share, and it would satisfy the investors that they could not
be subjected, in any possible changed form of government of Poland, to
excessive taxation.

The establishment of such a corporation would at once create a large
permanent credit for Poland. This corporation could assume the
responsibility of contracts for large quantities of cotton, wool and
produce, ships, and all necessary requirements for Poland’s resumption
of activities.

Branches of the corporation should be established in all the large
cities. I believe from conversations I have had with representative men
in Wilno that they would subscribe largely to the stock, because I told
them that although America would very likely be willing to participate
in the creation of a large central institution for Poland with its
headquarters at Warsaw and branches in the larger cities, it would
certainly not be interested in a local institution in Wilno. It has
occurred to me that cities like Wilno, Lemberg, Cracow and Lodz, etc.,
would vie with each other in subscribing to this institution if they
were told that the capital allotted to their district would depend upon
their subscriptions. It would be safe to say to them that there would be
two dollars of foreign capital for every dollar that they would

It seems highly important that England be interested in this
corporation, because if the United States suggests its organization we
must promptly assure all other countries, including the neutrals during
the recent war, that America expects no commercial advantage over any
other country in Poland.

I deem it very desirable that the stock owned by foreigners should
contain a provision that the Polish Government, or a syndicate of which
they would approve, would have the right at any time to buy the stock
from the owners at from $125 to $150 per share. This would serve a
double purpose: it would do away with any desire on the part of the
Poles to have control of the institution from the very start, because
they would know that at any time they could secure the same, and it
would enable them to feel that this important concern could be made
entirely Polish whenever their strength justified it; and the foreign
owners would, on the other hand, feel that they would receive a proper
compensation for their risk, and they would have rendered a fine
service, not only to Poland, but to the entire world in accelerating the
development of Poland’s economic strength.

I have carefully canvassed the available material in the United States
for the president of this institution, and suggest to you that we secure
Secretary of the Interior, Franklin K. Lane. There are few men in the
United States that more deservedly possess the admiration and approval
of all Americans. He is a man who is entirely free from any financial
alliances, and therefore cannot be criticized on that score.
Incidentally, it would be of the greatest service to your government to
have one of the greatest experts in the science of government accessible
to your cabinet and functionaries. As you no doubt remember, he has not
only successfully administered that great Department of the Interior,
but also was member and chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission
of the United States. He was selected by President Wilson as one of the
commissioners that was sent to Mexico, and for other commissions. I have
every reason to feel that President Wilson, although reluctantly, would
consent to Secretary Lane’s responding to this call.

I think that the mere announcement of the contemplation of such an
institution will electrify your people, and will replace the present
pessimism with an optimism that will astound all of us.

If you and your associates in the government of Poland approve of the
suggestion, our commission is ready and anxious to help you and such
representatives of England, France, Italy, and other countries as you
may invite to join us, promptly to work out the details and make this
thought a living thing.

With kindest personal regards,
Yours very truly,

_President of the Council of Ministers, Warsaw_.



I am one of those who believe that the United States should accept a
mandate for Constantinople and the several provinces in Asia Minor which
constitute what is left of the Ottoman Empire.

I am aware that this proposition is not popular with the American
people. But it seems to me to be a matter in which we do not have much
choice. Nations, like individuals, are constantly subject to forces
which are stronger than their wills. The responsibilities which nations
inherit, like the responsibilities to which individuals fall heir, are
frequently not of their own choosing. The great European conflict in
August, 1914, seemed to be a matter that did not immediately concern us.
In two years we learned that it was very much our affair. The impelling
forces of history drew us in, and led us to play a decisive part. If we
could not keep out of this struggle, it is illogical to suppose that we
can avoid its consequences.

One of the most serious of these consequences and the one that perhaps
most threatens the peace of the world is a chaotic Turkey. Unless the
United States accepts a Turkish mandate the world will again lose the
opportunity of solving the problem that has endangered civilization for
500 years.

The United States has invested almost $40,000,000,000 in a war against
militarism and for the establishment of right. We must invest three or
four billions more in an attempt to place on a permanent foundation the
nations to whose rescue we came. An essential part of this programme is
the expulsion of the Turk from Europe and the establishment as going
concerns of the nations which have been so long subject to his tyranny.
Unless we succeed in doing this we can look for another Balkan war in a
brief period, perhaps five years.

Another Balkan war will mean another European war, another world war. It
is for the United States to decide whether such a calamity shall visit
the world at an early date. If we assume the mandate for Constantinople
and the Ottoman Empire probably we can prevent it; if, as so many
Americans insist, we reject this duty, we shall become responsible for
another world conflagration.

Perhaps the most ominous phase of world politics to-day is that new
voices are interceding in behalf of the Sultan and his distracted
domain. The Government at Constantinople is making one last despairing
attempt to save the bedraggled remnants of its empire. It has
reorganized its Cabinet, putting to the fore men who are expected to
impress Europe favourably; but it is not punishing the leaders who sold
out to Germany and murdered not far from a million of its Christian
subjects. The new Sultan has given interviews to the press, expressing
his horror at the Armenian massacres, and promising that nothing like
them shall ever occur again. More ominous than these outgivings is the
fact that certain spokesmen in behalf of the Turk are making themselves
heard in the allied countries. Again it is being said that what Turkey
needs is not obliteration as a State, but reform.

Probably the financial interests which look upon Turkey as a field for
concessions are largely responsible for this talk; the imperialistic
tendencies of certain European countries are blamable to a certain
extent, for, strange as it may seem, there are still many people in
England, France, and Italy who urge that the Turk, bad as his instincts
may be, is better than the Oriental peoples whom he holds in subjection.

If we listen to these arguments, and to the fair promises of the Turkish
Government, we shall put ourselves into the position of a society which
fails to protect itself against the habitual criminal. Every civilized
society nowadays sees to it that constant offenders against decency and
law are put where they can do no harm. Yet the Turk is the habitual
criminal of history, the constant offender against the peace and dignity
of the world, and if we permit him to remain in Europe, and to retain an
uncontrolled sovereignty, it is easy to foresee the time when a
regenerated Russia will again be dependent on him for a commercial
outlet, so that the dangerous situation of the old world-order will be
duplicated and perpetuated. We cannot hope sanely for peace unless
America establishes at Constantinople a centre from which democratic
principles shall radiate and illuminate that dark region of the world.

If we look at the Near Eastern situation we perceive that Italy and
Greece are reaching out to such distances for territory and power that
both, if their ambitions are gratified, will find themselves not only
unable to govern the new lands they have acquired, but will be greatly
weakened at home through expenditures in the maintenance of troops and
governments in their colonies. The danger is not only that the Balkans
will be more Balkanized than ever, but that Russia, too, will be
Balkanized. The only safety lies in setting up a beneficent influence
through a strong government in Constantinople, which would counteract
the intrigues and contentions of embittered rivals.

A brief survey of the history of Turkey in Europe will suffice to make
clear the danger of accepting in this late day any promises of reform
from that quarter. I have always thought that the final word on Turkey
was spoken by an American friend of mine who had spent a large part of
his life in the East, and who, on a visit to Berlin, was asked by Herr
von Gwinner, the President of the Deutsche Bank, to spend an evening
with him to discuss the future of the Sultan’s empire. When my friend
came to keep this appointment he began this way:

“You have set aside this whole evening to discuss the Ottoman Empire. We
do not need all that time. I can tell you the whole story in just four
words: _Turkey is not reformable!_”

“You have summed up the whole situation perfectly,” replied Von Gwinner.

The reason why this conclusion was so accurate was that it was based,
not upon theory, but upon experiment. The history of Turkey for nearly a
hundred years has simply amounted to an attempt to reform her. Every
attempt has ignominiously failed. Up to fifteen years ago Great
Britain’s policy in the Near East had as its controlling principle the
necessity of maintaining the independence and integrity of the Ottoman
Empire. The folly of this policy and the miseries which it has brought
to Europe are so apparent that I propose to discuss the matter in some
detail, particularly as it is only by studying this attitude of the past
that we can approach the solution of the Turkish problem of the present.

From 1853 to 1856 Great Britain and France fought a terrible,
devastating war, the one purpose of which was to maintain the
independence of Turkey. At this time the British public had before them
the Turkish problem in almost the same form as that which it manifests
to-day. As now, the issue turned upon whether they should regard this
question from the standpoint of civilization and decency, or from the
standpoint of national advantage and political expediency.

The character of the Turk was the same in 1853 that it is now; he was
just as incapable politically then as he is to-day; his attitude toward
the Christian populations whom the accident of history had placed in his
power was identically the same as it is now. These populations were
merely “filthy infidels,” hated by Allah, having no rights to their own
lives or property, who would be permitted to live only as slaves of the
mighty Mussulman, and who could be tortured and murdered at will. All
European statesmen knew in 1852 that the ultimate disappearance of the
Ottoman Empire was inevitable; all understood that it was only the
support of certain European powers that permitted it to exist, even

It was about this time that Czar Nicholas I applied to Turkey the name
“sick man of the East,” which has ever since been accepted as an
accurate description of its political and social status. The point which
I wish to make here is that that phrase is just as appropriate to-day as
it was then. The Turk had long since learned the great resources of
Ottoman statesmanship--the adroit balancing of one European power
against another as the one security of his own existence.

Yet, there was then a school of statesmanship, headed by Palmerston,
which declared that the preservation of this decrepit power was the
indispensable point in British foreign policy. These men were as
realistic in their policies as Bismarck himself. Outwardly they
expressed their faith in the Turk; they publicly pictured him as a
charming and chivalrous gentleman; they declared that the stories of his
brutality were fabrications; and they asserted that, once given an
opportunity, the Turkish Empire would regain its splendour and become a
headquarters of intelligence and toleration. Lord Palmerston simply
outdid himself in his adulation of the Turk. He publicly denounced the
Christian populations of Turkey; the stories of their sufferings he
declared to be the most absurd nonsense; he warned the British public
against being led astray by cheap sentimentality in dealing with the
Turkish problem.

To what extent Palmerston and his associates believed their own
statements is not clear; they were trained in a school of statesmanship
which taught that it was well to believe what it was convenient to
believe. The fact was, of course, that the British public was under no
particular hallucinations about the Turk. But its mind was filled with a
great obsession and a great fear. The thing that paralyzed its moral
sense was the steady progress of Russia.

This power, starting as a landlocked nation, had gradually pushed her
way to the Black Sea. There was something in her steady progress
southward that seemed almost as inevitable as fate. That Russia was
determined to obtain Constantinople and become heir to the Sultan’s
empire was the conviction that obsessed the British mind. Once this
happened, the Palmerston school declared, the British Empire would come
speedily to an end. It is almost impossible for us of this generation to
conceive the extent to which this fear of Russia laid hold of the
British mind. It dogged all the thoughts of British statesmen and
British publicists. There appeared to be only one way of checking Russia
and protecting the British fireside--that was to preserve the Turkish
Empire. England believed that, as long as the Sultan ruled at
Constantinople, the Russian could never occupy that capital and from it
menace the British Empire.

Thus British enthusiasm for Turkey was merely an expression of hatred
and fear of Russia. It was this that led British statesmen to disregard
the humane principles involved and adopt the course that apparently
promoted the national advantage. The English situation of 1853 presented
in particularly acute form that question which has always troubled
statesmen: Is there any such thing as principle in the conduct of a
nation, or is a country justified always in adopting the course that
best promotes its interests or which seems to do so? As applied to
Turkey it was this: Was it Great Britain’s duty to protect the
Christians against the murderous attacks of the Mohammedans, or should
she shut her eyes to their sufferings so long as this course proved
profitable politically?

I should be doing an injustice to England did I not point out that the
British public has always been divided on this issue. One side has
always insisted on regarding the Turkish problem as a matter simply of
expediency, while another has insisted on solving it on the ground of
justice and right. The party of humanity existed in the days of the
Crimean war. Their leaders were Richard Cobden and John Bright--men who
formed the vanguard in that group of British statesmen who insisted on
regarding public questions from other than materialistic standpoints.

Cobden and Bright saw in the Ottoman question, as it presented itself in
1853, not chiefly a problem in the balance of power, but one that
affected the lives of millions of human beings. It was not the
threatened aggression of Russia that disturbed them; their eyes were
fixed rather on the Christian populations that were being daily tortured
under Turkish rule. They demanded a solution of the Eastern question in
the way that would best promote the welfare of the Armenians, Greeks,
Syrians, and Jews, whom the Sultan had maltreated for centuries. They
cared little for the future of Constantinople; they cared much for the
future of these persecuted peoples. They therefore took what was, I am
sorry to say, the unpopular side in that day. They opposed the mad
determination of the British public to go to war for the sake of
maintaining the Turkish Empire.

The greatest speech John Bright ever made was against the Crimean War.
“That terrible oppression, that multitudinous crime which we call the
Ottoman Empire,” was his description of the country which Palmerston so
greatly admired. Richard Cobden had studied conditions at first hand and
had reached a conclusion identically the same as that of my friend whom
I have already quoted--that is, that Turkey was not reformable. He
ridiculed the fear that everywhere prevailed against Russia, denied that
Russia’s prosperity as a nation necessarily endangered Great Britain,
declared that the Turkish Empire could not be maintained, and that, even
though it could be, it was not worth preserving.

“You must address yourselves,” said Cobden, “as men of sense and men of
energy to the question--What are you to do with the Christian
population? For Mohammedanism cannot be maintained, and I should be
sorry to see this country fighting for the maintenance of
Mohammedanism.... You may keep Turkey on the map of Europe, you may call
the country by the name of Turkey if you like, but do not think that you
can keep up the Mohammedan rule in the country.”

These were about the mightiest voices in England at that time, but even
Cobden and Bright were wildly abused for maintaining that the Eastern
question was primarily a problem in ethics. In order to preserve this
hideous anachronism England fought a bloody and disastrous war. I
presume most Englishmen to-day regard the Crimean War as about the most
wicked and futile in their national existence. When the whole thing was
over, a witty Frenchman summed up the performance by saying: “If we read
the treaty of peace, there are no visible signs to show who were the
conquerors and who the vanquished.” There was only one power which could
view the results with much satisfaction; that was Turkey. The Treaty of
Paris specifically guaranteed her independence and integrity. It shut
the Black Sea to naval vessels, thus protecting Turkey from attack by
Russia. Worst of all, it left the Sultan’s Christian subjects absolutely
in his power.

The Sultan did, indeed, promise reforms--but he merely promised them.
Despite experience to the contrary, the British and French diplomats
blandly accepted this promise as equivalent to performance. It is
painful to look back to this year 1856; to realize that France and
England, having defeated Russia, had a free hand to solve the Ottoman
problem, and that they refrained from doing so. That absurd
prepossession that this oriental empire must be preserved in Europe
simply as a buffer state against the progress of Russia entirely
controlled the minds of British statesmen--and millions of Christian
people were left to their fate.

What that fate was we all know. The Sultan’s promises of reform, never
made in good faith, were immediately disregarded. Pillage, massacre, and
lust continued to be the chief instruments used by the Sublime Porte in
governing its subject peoples. Again the Sultan maintained his throne by
playing off one European power against another. The “settlement” of the
Eastern problem which had been provided by the Crimean War lasted until

These twenty years were not quiet ones in the Ottoman dominions; they
were a time of constant misery and torture for the abandoned Christian
populations. Great Britain and France learned precisely what the
“integrity and independence of the Ottoman Empire” meant in 1876, when
stories of the Bulgarian massacres again reached Europe. Once more
Europe faced this everlasting question of the Turk in precisely the same
form as in 1856. Again the British people had to decide between
expediency and principle in deciding the future of Turkey. Again the
British public divided into two groups. Palmerston was dead, but his
animosity to Russia and his fondness for the Turk had become the
inheritance of Disraeli. With this statesman, as with his predecessor,
Turkey was a nation that must be preserved, whatever might be the lot of
her suffering Christians. The other part, that played by Cobden and
Bright in 1856, was now played by Gladstone.

“The greatest triumph of our time,” said Gladstone in 1870, “will be the
enthronement of the idea of public right as the governing idea of
European politics.” And Gladstone now proposed to apply his lofty
principles to this new Turkish crisis. Many of us remember the attitude
of the Disraeli Government in those days. We are still proud of the part
played by two Americans, McGahan, a newspaper correspondent, and
Schuyler, the American Consul at Constantinople, in bringing the real
facts to the attention of the civilized world.

Until these men published the results of their investigations the
Disraeli Government branded all the reports of Bulgarian atrocities as
lies. “Coffee-house babble” was the term applied by Disraeli to these
reports, while Lord Salisbury, in a public address, lauded the personal
character of the Sultan. But these two Americans showed that the
Bulgarian reports were not idle gossip. They furnished Gladstone his
material for his famous Bulgarian pamphlet, in which he propounded the
only solution of the Turkish problem that should satisfy the conscience
of the British people. His words, uttered in 1876, are just as timely
now as they were then.

“Let the Turks now carry away their abuses in the only possible manner,
namely, by carrying away themselves. Their Zaptiehs and their Mudirs,
their Bimbashis and their Yugbashis, their Kaimakans and their Pashas,
one and all, bag and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from the province
they have desolated and profaned.”

Gladstone’s denunciation stirred the British conscience to its depths.
The finer side of the British character manifested itself; the public
conscience had made great advances since 1856, and the masses of the
British people began to see the Ottoman problem in its true light.
Consequently, when Russia intervened in behalf of the Bulgarians and
other persecuted peoples, England did not commit the fearful mistake of
1853--she did not go to war to prevent the intervention. British public
opinion at first applauded the Russian armies; when, however, the Czar’s
forces approached Constantinople, the old dread of Crimean days seized
the British public once more. Again Englishmen forgot the miseries of
the Christians and began to see the spectre of Russia seated at
Constantinople. Again Great Britain began to prepare for war; the
British fleet passed the Dardanelles and anchored off Constantinople.
England again declared that the safety of her empire demanded the
preservation of Turkey, and gave Russia the option of war or a congress
at which the treaty she had made with Turkey should be revised.

Russia accepted the latter alternative, and the Congress of Berlin was
the result. This Congress could have freed all the subject peoples and
solved the Eastern question, but again civilized Europe threw away the
opportunity. At this Congress England, in the person of Disraeli, became
the Sultan’s advocate, and again the Sultan came out victorious. Certain
territories he lost, it is true, but Constantinople was left in his
hands and a great area of the Balkans and the larger part of Asia Minor.
As for the Armenians, the Syrians, the Greeks, and the Macedonians, the
world once more accepted from Turkey promises of reform. Thus Gladstone
and the most enlightened opinion in England lost their battle, and
British authority again became the instrument for preserving that
“terrible oppression, that multitudinous crime which we call the Ottoman

Had it not been for the Congress of Berlin it is possible that we should
never have had the world war. The treaty let Austria into Bosnia and
Herzegovina and so laid the basis for the ultimatum of July 22, 1914. It
failed to settle the fate of Macedonia, and so made inevitable the
Balkan wars. By leaving Turkey an independent sovereignty, with its
capital on the Bosphorus, it made possible the intrigues of Germany for
a great Oriental empire. No wonder Gladstone denounced it as an “insane
covenant” and “the most deplorable chapter in our foreign policy since
the peace of 1815.”

“The plenipotentiaries,” he said, “have spoken in the terms of
Metternich rather than those of Canning.... It was their part to take
the side of liberty--as a matter of fact, they took the side of

The greatest sufferers, as always, were the Christian populations. The
Sultan treated his promises of 1878 precisely as he had treated those of
1856. It was after this treaty, indeed, that Abdul Hamid adopted his
systematic plan of solving the Armenian problem by massacring all the
Armenians. The condition of the subject peoples became worse as years
went on, until finally, in 1915, we had the most terrible persecutions
in history.

The Russian terror, if it ever was a terror, has disappeared. England no
longer fears a Russia stationed at Constantinople and threatening her
Indian Empire. The once mighty giant now lies a hopelessly crippled
invalid, utterly incapable of aggressive action against any nation. What
her fate will be no one knows. What is certain, however, is that the old
Czaristic empire, constantly bent on military aggression, has
disappeared for ever. When we look upon Russia to-day and then think of
the terror which she inspired in the hearts of British statesmen forty
and sixty-two years ago the contrast is almost pitiful and grotesque.
The nation that succeeded Russia as an ambitious heir to the Sultan’s
dominions, Germany, is now almost as powerless.

Moreover, the British conscience has changed since the days of the
Crimean and Russo-Turkish wars. The old-time attitude, which insisted on
regarding these problems from the standpoint of fancied national
interest, is every day giving place to a more humanitarian policy.
Gladstone’s idea of “public right as the governing idea of European
politics” is more and more gaining the upper hand. The ideals in foreign
policy represented by Cobden and Bright are the ideals that now control
British public opinion. There are still plenty of reactionaries in
England and Europe that might like to settle the Ottoman problem in the
old discredited way, but they do not govern British public life at the
present crisis. The England that will deal with the Ottoman Empire in
1919 is the England of Lloyd George, not the England of Palmerston and

For the first time, therefore, the world approaches the problem of the
Ottoman Empire, the greatest blight in modern civilization, with an
absolutely free hand. The decision will inform us, more eloquently than
any other detail in the settlement, precisely what forces have won in
this war. We shall learn from it whether we have really entered upon a
new epoch; whether, as we hope, mediæval history has ended and modern
history has begun.

If Constantinople is left to the Turk; if the Greeks, the Syrians, the
Armenians, the Arabs and the Jews are not freed from the most revolting
tyranny that history has ever known, we shall understand that the
sacrifices of the last four years have been in vain, and that the
much-discussed new ideals in the government of the world are the merest
cant. Thus the United States has an immediate interest in the solution
of this problem. The hints reaching this country that another effort may
be made to prop up the Turk are not pleasing to us. We did not enter
this war to set up new balances of power, to promote the interests of
concessionaries, to make new partitions of territory, to satisfy the
imperialistic ambitions of contending European powers, but to lend our
support to that new international conscience that seeks to reorganize
the world on the basis of justice and popular rights. The settlement of
the Eastern question will teach us to what extent our efforts have

If this mistake of propping up the Sultan’s empire is not to be made
again, either that empire must be divided among the great powers--a
solution which is not to be considered for reasons which it is hardly
necessary to explain--or one of these great powers must undertake its
administration as a mandatory. The great powers in question are the
United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan. Of these only
the first two are capable of assuming this duty. Lord Curzon has told me
personally that for political and economic reasons Great Britain cannot
assume the Ottoman mandate. Lloyd George has said essentially the same
thing. And Stéphane Lauzanne, who speaks in a semi-official capacity for
France, said, in an interview, Nov. 1, with a correspondent of the

“In the offer of a mandate to her, America should see more than the
selfish desire of Europe to involve her in European affairs. It is true
she fears to be the centre of intrigues and difficulties. She fears
distant complications. However, the question is nobler and higher than
that. America is an admirable reservoir of energy. She holds the secret
of that which is best in our modern life--to build largely and to build
quickly. She has youth; she has power; she has wealth; she has that
which she calls efficiency. We in Europe are old, poor, enfeebled,
divided. It would be prodigiously interesting if America, after she has
given us of her power, of her money and her material, should give us
also an example.

“And what an example it would be if America were to accept the mandate
for Constantinople! Here is a city which is one of the marvels of Europe
and of the world, which is the jewel of the Orient, and which after
twenty centuries of European civilization remains the home of wickedness
and corruption. Every one disputes possession of its hills and harbours,
and no one tries to make of it a great modern city which, rid of
international intrigues and rid of politics, would be the shining pole
of Europe. Only America can transform Constantinople; only America can
establish herself there without suspicion of bad faith and without
jealousy; only America can civilize the capital of Islam.

“To do that America has no need of regiments of soldiers or of cannon.
She has need only of her workers and her constructors. A Hoover or a
Davison would be enough. And America is full of Hoovers and Davisons.”

       *       *       *       *       *

I recognize the tremendous problems which confront us in our own
country. Those problems must and will be solved. But the day is past
when the individual citizen can permit absorption in his personal
affairs to exclude the consideration of the community’s or the nation’s
well-being. A new social conscience has manifested itself. And it is
equally true that the United States, as a member of the League of
Nations, must take an active and altruistic interest in world affairs,
however pressing our own problems may seem. The European situation,
indeed, is really a part of them. Our associates in the war cannot drift
into bankruptcy and despair without involving the United States in the
disaster. The losses we would suffer in money would be the least
distressing, should the world fall into the chaos which is threatening.
If we cannot solve our own problems and at the same time help Europe
solve hers we must be impotent indeed.

So much, then, for the general principles involved; what are the
practical details of such a mandate? Last May, William Buckler,
Professor Philip M. Brown, and myself joined in a memorandum to
President Wilson outlining briefly a proposed system of government for
the Ottoman dominions. This so completely embodies my ideas that I
reprint it here, with two slight omissions:

       *       *       *       *       *

“The government of Asia Minor should be dealt with under three different
mandates, (1) for Constantinople and its zone, (2) for Turkish Anatolia,
(3) for Armenia. The reason for not uniting these three areas under a
single mandate is that the methods of government required in each area
are different. In order, however, to facilitate the political and
economic development of the whole country, these three areas should be
placed under one and the same mandatory power, with a single governor
in charge of the whole, to unify the separate administrations of the
three states.

“Honest and efficient government in the Constantinople zone and in
Armenia will not solve the problems of Asia Minor unless the same kind
of government is also provided for the much larger area lying between
Constantinople and Armenia, i. e., Turkish Anatolia. Constantinople and
Armenia are mere fringes; the heart of the problem lies in Anatolia, of
which the population is 75 per cent. Moslem.

“The main rules to be followed in dealing with this central district

     “1. That it should not be divided up among Greeks, French,
     Italians, &c.

     “2. That the Sultan should, under proper mandatory control, retain
     religious and political sovereignty over the Turkish people in
     Anatolia, having his residence at Brusa or Konia, both of which are
     ancient historic seats of the Sultanate.

     “3. That no part of Anatolia should be placed under Greeks, even in
     the form of a mandate. The Greeks are entitled by their numbers to
     a small area surrounding Smyrna. Under no circumstances should
     Greece have a mandate over territory mainly inhabited by Turks.

“The above solution of the problem of Asia Minor means refusal to
recognize secret deals such as the Pact of London and the Sykes-Picot
Agreement and especially the Italian claims to a large territory near
Adalia. If Greeks and Italians, with their standing antagonism, are
introduced into Asia Minor, the peace will constantly be disturbed by
their rivalry and intrigues. Italy has no claim to any part of Anatolia,
whether on the basis of population, of commercial interests, or of
historic tradition.

“No solution of the Asia-Minor problem which ignores the fact that its
population is 75 per cent. Turkish can be considered satisfactory or
durable. The only two countries having any prospect of successfully
holding a mandate over Anatolia are Great Britain and the United States.

“The large missionary and educational interests of the United States in
Anatolia must be adequately protected, and it is illusory to imagine
that this can be done if Anatolia is subjected to Greek, French, or
Italian sovereignty.

“Only a comprehensive, self-contained scheme such as that above outlined
can overcome the strong prejudices of the American people against
accepting any mandate. To cure the ills of Turkey and to deliver her
peasantry from their present ignorance and impoverishment requires a
thorough reconstruction of Turkish institutions, judicial, educational,
economic, financial, and military.

“This may appeal to the United States as an opportunity to set a high
standard, by showing that it is the duty of a great power, in ruling
such oppressed peoples, to lead them toward self-respecting independence
as their ultimate goal.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The Armenians are wholly unprepared to govern themselves or to protect
themselves against their neighbours. Mere supervision will not be
adequate. What the Armenian State requires is a kind of receivership,
and we should take it over in trust, to manage it until it is time to
turn it over when it is governmentally solvent and on a going basis.
Anatolia should be under a separate management and have its own
parliament; its executive should be a deputy governor under a governor
general at Constantinople. The three governments should have a common
coinage, similar tariff requirements, and unified railroad systems; and
in other respects should be federated somewhat as states in this country

The commercial importance of such an arrangement is enormous, for
Constantinople must continue as Russia’s chief outlet to the world, and
it is the gateway to the East. The commercial policy would, of course,
be an open-door policy. All nations would have equality of opportunity
in trade and would be free in regard to colonization. As a matter of
fact, the commercial situation is of little importance to us. Prior to
the war our foreign trade amounted to only about 6 per cent. of our
total trade; and although it increased during the war to about 11 per
cent., it is likely to recede soon to the neighbourhood of 8 per cent.
It will consist largely of raw materials, such as wheat, cotton, copper,
and coal, which other nations must get from us, whether or no. Foreign
trade is a mere incident; our prosperity is not what we are fighting

It need not require the extension of large credits from us to put these
nations on a sound footing. They could be financed by bond issues issued
in each case against the resources of the territories involved. If the
United States held the mandates, there would be no difficulty, I
apprehend, in floating such issues. And as for the policing necessary,
that need be very small, provided a man of strong will and quick
decision, fertile in resources and of unshakable determination, were
assigned to the Governorship General at Constantinople. The opportunity
would be a great one for an American completely imbued with our
institutions. The succession of able pro-consuls whom we have sent to
the Philippines shows that we shall not lack such men.

We shall surrender our mandates over these three territories when we
have finished our work. We shall not necessarily leave them all at the
same time; we shall turn each one over to its people when the public
opinion of the world, expressed in the League of Nations, has decided
that it is capable of directing its own affairs. It might be necessary
for us to remain in Constantinople longer than elsewhere, and there is
reason to suppose that Constantinople will become the Washington of the
Balkans and perhaps of Asia Minor, the central governing power of the
Balkan confederation. But if left without the guidance and help of
outside intelligence and capital, those peoples will necessarily
continue to retrograde. They must have security of property if they are
to have an incentive to labour. Unless they have that, the blight of
southeastern Europe will remain, and the Turks, originally a marauding
band of conquerors, who have held a precarious and undeserved footing
for more than five hundred years on European soil, will continue to
menace its peace and safety. If ever there was a chance to put them out,
we have that chance now. The United States is the only government which
can undertake the purification of the Balkans without incurring ill-will
and jealousy. We need not indulge in overpolite phrases. This is the
only nation which can accept these mandates and maintain international
good feeling. It is absolutely our fault if the Turk remains in Europe.

The difficulties inherent in this situation can be cured only at the
source. The League of Nations, when it comes into being, must not
operate exclusively through a central agency at Geneva, because it
cannot learn in that way the real difficulties and the wants of
dependent peoples. That can be done only in the most direct way, through
representatives on the spot. The people, moreover, want to be heard.
They are wonderfully relieved after they have had their say. That fact
has its touch of pathos, perhaps to some a touch of the ridiculous; but
it is a factor of the human equation which we cannot afford to ignore.
And if we supply American tribunals, disinterested and just, before
which these peoples can state their grievances and their aspirations, we
will have taken a long step toward their pacification and


Abdul Hamid, kept prisoner, 184

Abraham & Straus, incident of formation of firm, 34

Adler, Dr. Cyrus, objects to Jew serving on commission
  to investigate Polish pogroms, 353

Adler, Dr. Felix, leader of a new movement, 95, 129

Admission to the Bar, 29

Adrianople, Governor of, hospitable reception given by, 192

Agincourt, visit to ancient battleground, 266

Albright, Charles P., 26

Alexander, Andrew, building erected for, 55

Alexander, James W., fights to retain control of Equitable Insurance Co., 80

Alexandria, visit to, 219

Algef, Dr., 15

Ali Kuli Khan, at Peace Conference, 326

Ali Mehemmid, visit to, 223

Allen, Edward W., at Roosevelt’s fusion meeting, 280

Alter, Rabbi, visit to, near Warsaw, 374

America’s true mission in Turkey, 203

American Chamber of Commerce for the Levant, speech at, 198

American troops, arrival in France, restores flagging energy of the people,
  visit to, on British front, 266;
  Sir Douglas Haig’s impressions of, 273

Anderson, Charles P., sails for International Red Cross Conference, 310;
  in conference with Henry P. Davison, 313

Anderson, U. S. District Attorney, sends deputies to New Hampshire to enforce
      election laws, 246

Arabian night, arranged by Governor of Nabulus, 231

Arif Pasha, 224

Armenia, report on, 337

Armistice, earlier than expected, 299

Armstrong Committee, the Insurance investigation, 64, 66, 71

Arnold, Olney, Consular Agent at Cairo, 219, 220

Aronstam, Charles S. account of Roosevelt’s forming fusion
  ticket for New York municipal election, 280;
  tenders nomination for President of Board of Aldermen, 281;
  declined, 282

Arthur of Connaught, Prince, met on British front, 269

Atterbury, Gen. W. W., asked to accept
  Director-Generalship of Associated National Red Cross, 318

Askenazy, pronounced Assimilator, 366

Astor, John Jacob, dealings with, 46

Astor, William Waldorf, 46;
  real estate transactions with, 54, 55

Aupin, Count, meeting with, 330

Baker, Elbert H., prophesies Wilson would carry Ohio by large majority, 245

Baker, J. E., takes party of labour leaders to British front, 267

Baker, Newton D., assures committee of high Democratic majority in Ohio, 245;
  letter declining to speak for League to Enforce Peace, 300

Baker, Ray Stannard, at Peace Conference, 324

Baldwin, Edward R., sails for International Red Cross Conference, 310

Balfour, Arthur J., New York City’s reception to, 253;
  at luncheon given by, in Paris, 341

Balfour Declaration, misunderstood by Zionists, 389

Ball, Alwyn, Jr., realty dealings through, 55;
  aids in forming real estate trust company, 57

Baltimore Convention, Wilson’s nomination at, 146

Baltimore _Sun_, favours Wilson at Baltimore Convention, 146

Bamberger-Delaware Gold Mine, investment in, 51

Bannard, Otto, defeated by Judge Gaynor, 279

Bar, admission to the, 29

Baring Brothers, influence of their failure on real estate transactions, 48

Barth, Herr, remark that Roosevelt could never remain out of politics, 281

Barton, Dr. James L., 175

Baruch, Bernard M., valuable aid in securing campaign contributions, 242

Bauman, Mr., 51

Beattie, C. J., met on British front, 267

Beecher, Henry Ward, 15

Behning, Henry, law case of, 31

Bell, George W., with Mitchel on campaign, 285

Bellows, Henry W., 15

Bennett, James Gordon, aids in sale of lots, 48;
  encounter with pugilist indirect cause of siding against Tammany, 113

Berkowitz, Dr. Henry, not in favour of Zionist plans, 349

Biddle, General, commanding American troops on British front, 266

Big Business, era of, 133

Biggs, Dr. Hermann M., sails for International Red Cross Conference, 310

Billinski, M., talks on Jewish question, 374, 376

Black, Mr., 72

Blass, Robert, sings at Conried’s funeral, 104

Bliss, Cornelius N., Jr., on committee for financing the Red Cross, 249

Bliss, Dr. Howard, invited on Palestine trip, 214;
  at Samaritan ceremonies, 229;
  at Arabian night, 231, 232

Bliss, General, on possibilities of another war, 335

Bliss, George, real estate transactions with, 48, 49

Bloomingdale & Co., position with, 18

Blumstein, Louis M., real estate sold to, 42

B’nai Brith Lodge, at Constantinople, 205

Bompard, M., French Ambassador at Constantinople, 183

Bonné, Mrs. Josephine, 99

Borah, antagonistic to Wilson, 130

Brackett, Edgar T., presents argument for impeachment at Sulzer trial, 172

Brady, Anthony N., interested in formation of real estate trust company, 59

Brady, Peter, member “Committee of Safety,” 107

Bratiano, Roumanian premier, at Peace Conference, 326, 327

Briand, Aristide, meeting with, 330;
  proposes to pay war debt by sale of lottery tickets in America, 331

Bridgeport, Alabama, unfortunate investments at, 50

British front, trip to, 266

Broad Exchange Bldg., purchase of plots for site, 87

Bronx House, Settlement work at, 105, 106

Brooklyn, emigration to, 5, 7

Brown, Dr. Arthur Judson, 175

Brown, Dr. Elmer R., in campaign of League to Enforce Peace, 301

Brown, Prof. Philip M., in study of Armenian question, 337

Bryan, William Jennings, candidacy against Wilson, 138;
  the “cocked-hat” letter, 140;
  at Jackson Day Dinner, 142;
  hazy ideas of diplomacy, 174

Bryant, Lieut.-Col. M. C., executive secretary Mission to Poland, 335;
  acts as secretary, 381

Bryant, William Cullen, 15

Bryce, Viscount, invited on Palestine trip, 216;
  his thirst for facts, 227;
  at the Samaritan ceremonies, 230;
  at Arabian night, 231

Buchman, Albert, architect, 51

Buckler, William H., study of Turkish problem with, at Peace Conference, 323;
  in study of the Turkish question, 336, 337

Bureau of Public Information, beginnings of, 252

Burleson, Albert S., assistance during campaign, 154;
  appointed Postmaster-General, 159;
  in difficulties over New York Postmastership, 237, 239

Butler, Benjamin F., 26

Butler, Prescott Hall, Boreel Bldg. purchased through, 87

Butzel, Mr., acquaintance with, 25

Cairo, arrival at, 220

Campaign of 1916, financing, 236, 241

Cannes, International Red Cross Conference at, 313

Carpenter, Prof. William H., speaks at Conried’s funeral, 105

Carroll, John F., 9

Caruso, Enrico, engaged by Conried from phonograph records, 101

Celluloid Piano Key Co., connection with, 32;
  investments in, 41

Central Realty Bond & Trust Company, organization, 57 _et seq._;
  transactions of, 86;
  merged into Lawyers’ Title Insurance Company, 89

Chadbourne, Thomas L., Jr., valuable aid in
  securing campaign contributions, 242;
  at War Publicity meeting, 252

Channing, Dr., extract from “Self-Denial” sermon, 16

Charters, General, on British front, 268

Childs, William Hamlin, at War Publicity meeting, 253

Chinese delegation to Peace Conference, dinner given by, 324;
  their hopeless position, 325

Choate, Joseph H., attorney for the Astors, 45;
  presiding at New York City’s welcome to Joffre, Viviani, and Balfour, 254

City College, preparation for, 9;
  entrance, 11;
  withdrawal from, 13

Clark, Champ, candidacy against Wilson, 138;
  at Jackson Day Dinner, 142;
  at Baltimore Convention, 146;
  over-confidence costs nomination, 147;
  at the Sea Girt notification, 148

Clemenceau, at signing of Peace Treaty, 336

Cobb, Frank I., aids Wilson cause at Baltimore by New York _World_ editorial,
  at the Sulzer dinner, 168;
  collaboration with on article showing Germany planned the war, 296

Coblenz, speech at, on the next war, 332, 335;
  state of mind of the residents, 333

Cochran, Bourke, acquaintance with, 25

Coggeshall, Edward W., entertains proposition
  for increasing capital of Lawyers’ Title Company, 67, 69

Colby, Bainbridge, retained by Alexander in Equitable contest, 80, 81;
  on Board of Directors, Metropolitan Opera Company, 101;
  campaign for Wilson, 245

College for Girls, Constantinople, 204, 207

Columbia Law School, attendance at, 27

“Committee of Safety,” creation of, 107

Conkling, Roscoe, 113

Conried, Heinrich, backing secured for Metropolitan Opera venture, 99;
  engages Caruso from phonograph records, 101;
  death, and impressive funeral, 104

Constantinople arrival at, 177;
  tactics toward the “diplomatic set,” 179;
  first impressions of, 186

Cooke, Jay, in Panic of 1873, 20

Cooper Union, address at, showing necessity of
  complete defeat of Germany, 298

Cox, Governor, nominated for Presidency by state “bosses,” 121

Crane, Charles R., helps finance Wilson campaign, 145;
  approves selection of headquarters for 1916 campaign, 236;
  at dinner given by Chinese delegation to Peace Conference, 324

Crawford, L. Cope, met on British front, 267

Crimmins, John D., 22;
  real estate ventures of, 41, 42;
  interested in formation of real estate trust company, 58;
  at the Sulzer dinner, 168

Croker, Richard, acquaintance with, 113

Crowell, Ass’t Sec’y of War, at dinner to, in Paris, 337

Cullen, Judge Edgar M., presiding at Sulzer impeachment, 172

Cummings, Homer S., friendship with, 154;
  as the Demosthenes of the Democratic Party, 306

Currie, Sir Arthur, lunch with on British front, 268;
  description of battle of Lens, 269

Curtis, Dr. Holbrook, 103

Curtis, Miss, met at Cannes, 327

D’Abernon, Lord, at Balfour luncheon in Paris, 341

D’Ankerswaerd, 188

Dana, Charles A., 15

Daniels, Josephus, friendship with, 154;
  appointed Secretary of the Navy, 159;
  hopeless of success of 1916 campaign, 235;
  at McCormick luncheon, 242;
  sails on the _Leviathan_, 310

Dardanelles, Major Tibbetts tells experiences, 268

Davies, J. Clarence, in the “Subway Boom,” 87

Davies, Joseph E., friendship with, 154

Davison, Henry P., selected as Chairman of
  Committee for financing the Red Cross, 250;
  dinner given Red Cross delegates in Paris, 312;
  cable from, requesting attendance at International
  Red Cross Conference, 308;
  organizing and directing spirit of International Red Cross Conference, 316;
  entreated to make Red Cross his life work, 316;
  mistake of permitting other than American as Director-General, 319;
  proposes dinner to Governors of the League of Red Cross Societies, 320;
  speaks at the dinner, 321

Democracy--a master-passion, 351

Deutsch, Bernard, 106

Djemal, Colonel, 187

Dmowski, Roman, at Paderewski dinner, 356;
  explains his Anti-Semitism, 357

Dodge, Bayard, on Palestine trip, 214

Dodge, Cleveland H., helps finance Wilson campaign, 145;
  aid to Robert College, 208;
  invited on Palestine trip, 214;
  on committee for financing the Red Cross, 249

Doheny, Edward L., contributes large sum to campaign fund, and gets it back
      by election bets, 242

Domremy, visit to, 260

_Dora_, trip to Hamburg on, 22

Doremus, Professor, 12

Draper, Mrs. William K., speech at dinner to Governors of the League of the
      Red Cross Societies, 321

Dreier, Miss Mary, member “Committee of Safety,” 107

Drummond, Sir Eric, speech at dinner to
  Governors of the League of the Red Cross Societies, 321

Duel, Dr. Arthur B., with Mitchel on campaign, 285

Dwight, Prof. Theodore W., 29

Easter sacrifice of the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim, 228

Eclectic Life Insurance Co., failure in Panic of 1873, 21

Edison, Thomas A., at McCormick luncheon, 242

Educational Alliance, Director of, 105

Egan, Dr. Maurice Francis, at Copenhagen Legation, 19

Egypt, Kitchener’s explanation of Great Britain’s policy in, 226

Ehrich, William J., association with in realty ventures, 42

Einhorn, Rabbi, 15, 128

Elizabeth, Princess, at dinner with, 326

Elkus, Abram I., work with factory investigation committee, 108;
  helps finance Wilson campaign, 145

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 15

Emerson Society, organized, 98

Enver Pasha, Turkish Minister of War, 185;
  direct dealings with, 197;
  asks advice, 202;
  of much interest to Kitchener, 225

Equitable Insurance Co., the investigation, 79 _et seq._

Esher, Lord, arranges trip to British front, 266

Evarts, William M., attorney for the Astors, 45

Farley, Terrence, 41

Federal Reserve Act, prevents concentration and control of capital, 83

Filene, Edward A., in campaign of League to Enforce Peace, 301;
  at dinner given by Chinese delegation to Peace Conference, 324

Finley, Dr. John H., 11

Fisk and Hatch, in Panic of 1873, 20

Flower, Roswell P., 118

Ford, Henry, drives a hard bargain, 242

Fosdick, Raymond B., aids in preparing National Committee budget, 153

Foss, Mr., at Jackson Day Dinner, 142

Fox, Mortimer J., on trip to Constantinople, 177

Franco-Prussian War, influences sentiment in favour of Germans in New York,

Frascara, Count, speech at dinner to Governors of the League of the Red Cross
      Societies, 321

Fraser, Lovat, met on British front, 267

Free Synagogue, resignation from, 293

Freedman, Andrew, connection with Richard Croker, 115

French front, visit to, 259

Fuller Construction Co., financing of, 71

Garfield, President, influence of assassination on real estate market, 41

Garrels, Consul, 219

Gates, Dr., president of Robert College, 204, 208

Gawa, Prof. Arata Nina, speech at dinner to
  Governors of the League of the Red Cross Societies, 321

Gaynor, William J., an opponent, 34

George, Lloyd, seeks Wilson’s favour through Admiral Grayson, 331;
  at signing of Peace Treaty, 336

Germans, early prejudice against, in New York, 8

Germany: entering on career of Imperialism, 23

Gibson, Hugh, asked to report on Poland’s treatment of Jews, 352;
  at Paderewski dinner, 356

Giers, Michel de, Russian Ambassador at Constantinople, 183

Gildersleeve, Henry A., acquaintance with, 25

Glass, Franklin P., at conference over Wilson’s “cocked-hat” letter, 140

Glass, Senator Carter, reason for his appointment
  as secretary of Democratic National Committee, 244

Godkin, Lawrence, 15

Goelet, Robert, on Board of Directors of Metropolitan Opera Company, 100

Gold mine, investment in, 51

Goldsmith, Abraham, partnership with, 33, 42

Goodhart, Capt. Arthur L., Counsel with Mission to Poland, 355;
  at reception in Warsaw, 365

Gould, George J., on Board of Directors Metropolitan Opera Company, 100

Gouraud, General, Pershing renews acquaintance of, at Verdun, 266

Grabski, conference with, on conditions in Poland, 358

Grand Central Station, construction of, 8

Grasty, Charles H., aids Wilson at Baltimore Convention, 146

Grayson, Admiral, telegram to, regarding Wilson’s
  attitude toward Lane as Director-General of International Red Cross, 318;
  dinner with Lloyd George, 332

Greeley, Horace, 15

Green, Andrew H., appointed Comptroller of City of New York, 113

Greene, Colonel Warwick, declines membership of
  commission to investigate treatment of Jews in Poland, 352, 354

Gregory, Attorney General, sends deputies to New
  Hampshire to enforce election laws, 247

Gregory, Eliot, on Board of Directors Metropolitan Opera Company, 101

Grew, Joseph C., cables to obtain American opinion of Jew serving
on commission to investigate Polish pogroms, 353

Groshents, M., patriot of Thann, 261

Grosscup, Mr., 139

Grant, Hugh J., interested in formation of real estate trust company, 58;
  aids in financing of Fuller Construction Co., 71;
  advises purchase of Bareel Bldg., 86;
  had no fear of panic, 88;
  interested in Underwood Typewriter Company, 91

Guggenheim, Daniel, 100

Guggenheimer, Randolph, 100

Guizat, Count de Witt, entertained by, on trip to French front, 262

Gutherz, Dr., 3

Haig, Sir Douglas, arranges meeting with Sir Arthur Currie, 269;
  why he did not capture Lens, 271;
  record of meeting with, 271

Hall, A. Oakey, Mayor of New York City under Tweed, 109

Hall, Dr., quotation from, 16

Hamburg, trip on sailing vessel to, 22

Hamlin, Dr., work at Robert College, 208

Hammerstein, Oscar, realty dealings with, 43

Hammill, Dr. Samuel M., sails for International Red Cross Conference, 310

Hankey, Sir Maurice, at Balfour luncheon in Paris, 341

Hanna, Mark, in control of Republican Party, 122

Harbord, Major-General, meeting with in France, 273;
  induced to accept Armenian Mission, 337;
  helps select military member of mission to Poland, 354

Harbord Commission to Armenia, negotiations for appointment, 336, 337, 338;
  report giving reasons for and against America accepting Armenian mandate,

Harriman, E. H., financing of Union Pacific, 77;
  attitude toward Equitable controversy, 82

Hartman, Judge Anthony, 39

Hartman, Miss Rosina, studies under, 10

Harvey, Col. George, disagreement with Wilson, 149

Haskell, Col. William N., appointed to head resident commission to Armenia,

Havemeyer, Henry O., realty ventures, 42;
  interested in formation of real estate trust company, 58

Hays, Will H., success as Republican National Chairman, 126

Hearst, William Randolph, at Jackson Day Dinner, 142

Heins, Louis F., 116

“Hell’s Kitchen,” experiences with tenants in, 40

Henderson, General David, becomes Director-General
  of International Red Cross, 320;
  speech at dinner to Governors of the League of the Red Cross Societies, 321

Henry Street Settlement, 105

Herrick, Myron T., urges acceptance of Ambassadorship to Turkey, 161

Hilton, Frederick M., transaction with, 86

Hilton, Hughes & Co., difficulties of, 36

Hirsch, Solomon, 162

Hirsdansky, Simon, 106

Hoffman, John T., made Governor by Tweed, 109, 110

Holley, Abner B., instructor in mathematics, 10

Hollis, Senator, at dinner given by Chinese delegation to Peace Conference,

Holt, Dr. L. Emmett, sails for International Red Cross Conference, 310

Holy Land, visit to the, 212

Homer, Mme., sings at Conried’s funeral, 104

Hoover, Herbert, meeting with in Paris, 312;
  recommends appointment of Harbord Armenian Mission, 338;
  not in favour of America accepting mandate over Armenia, 340;
  urges Wilson to appoint commission to investigate
  treatment of Jews in Poland, 352;
  State dinner given to, by Paderewski, 377

Hoskins, Dr. Franklin, invited on Palestine trip, 214;
  at Caves of Machpelah, 218;
  profound Biblical scholar, 227;
  at Samaritan ceremonies, 229;
  at Arabian night, 231

House, Colonel, Wilson’s confidence in, 154;
  approves selection of headquarters for 1916 Campaign, 236;
  his relationship with President Wilson, 239;
  at Peace Conference, 327;
  at signing of Peace Treaty, 336

Houston, Secretary, applauds campaign of League to Enforce Peace, 300

Hudspeth, Judge, 121, 139

Hughes, Chas. Evans, conducts insurance investigation, 79, 83;
  at War Publicity meeting, 252;
  urges Mitchel’s reëlection at City Hall Park mass meeting, 284;
  signs cable to Wilson appealing for help for Armenia, 340;
  speaks at Madison Square Garden meeting of protest
  against treatment of Jews in Poland, 352

Hughes, Congressman, 139

Huntington, Collis P., real estate dealings with, 52

Hyde, Henry B., organizes Equitable Life Insurance Co., 79

Hyde, James Hazen, head of Equitable Life Insurance Co., 66;
  insurance irregularities, 78;
  personal weakness, 79;
  efforts in Paris to assist in World War, and work with the Red Cross, 84

Ibrahim Bey, 189

Ickelheimer, Henry R., 100

International Red Cross Conference, 310

Izzett, General, 187

Jackson, Charles A., 120

Jackson Day Dinner, of 1912, Wilson’s success at, 138

Jacob-ben-Aaron, High Priest of Samaritans, 228

Jadwin, General Edgar, on commission to investigate
  treatment of Jews in Poland, 352;
  selected by Pershing, 354;
  at Paderewski dinner to Hoover, 378

Jarlsberg, Count Wedel, speech at dinner to Governors
  of the League of the Red Cross Societies, 321

Jarvie, James N., on board of directors of real estate trust company, 61;
  opponent of Havemeyer, 65, 69;
  interested in Underwood Typewriter Co., 91

Jastrow, Prof. Morris, not in favour of Zionist plans, 349

Jaubert, Captain, in charge of trip to French front, 259

Jews, influence of, discrimination against, in failure of Hilton,
  Hughes & Co., 38;
  send commission to Peace Conference, 348;
  opportunities boundless in America, 399

Jews, atrocities against, in Poland, 351;
  Hugh Gibson asked to report on, 352;
  Wilson appoints commission to investigate, 352;
  objections against Jew serving on commission, 353

Jewish members of Polish Parliament, 361

Jewish question, the, article in New York _Times_, 289

Joffre, Marshal, New York City’s reception to, 253;
  pleads for sight of American uniforms in Paris, 256;
  meeting at his Paris headquarters, 262

Johnson, Frederick, 116

Johnson, George F., 116

Johnson, Homer H., at dinner given by, in Paris, 337;
  on commission to investigate treatment of Jews in Poland, 352

Johnson, Joseph, appointment as Postmaster prevented, 238

Joline, Adrian H., “cocked-hat” letter from Wilson, 140

Jones Estate, Joshua, purchase of lots in, 47

Jordan, Thomas N., 68

Judson, Dr. Henry Pratt, dinner to, 299

Juilliard, A. D., on board of directors of real estate trust company, 61, 66,

Kahn, Congressman Julius, on committee to present views of American Jews on
      Zionism to Peace Conference, 350

Kahn, Otto H., on Board of Directors Metropolitan Opera Company, 100

Kahri Jeh Janisi, oldest mosque in Constantinople, 187

Kelly, John, succeeds Tweed as Tammany leader, 112

Kennedy, John S., aid to Robert College, 208

Kenyon, Cox & Co., in Panic of 1873, 20

Kerenski, at Peace Conference,323

Kergolay, Count, speech at dinner to Governors of the League of the Red Cross
      Societies, 320

Khedive of Egypt, provides for welcome at Alexandria, 219;
  official call on, 221;
  as a modern business man, 222

Kiernan, Lawrence D., 9

Kilpatrick, Frank, realty dealings with, 45

Kilpatrick, Walter, realty dealings with, 45

Kingsbury, John A., member “Committee of Safety,” 107

Kitchener, Lord, meeting with, in Egypt, 210;
  anomalous position in Egypt, 220;
  meeting with, 221;
  luncheon with, 224

Knickerbocker Real Estate Co., dealings with, 42

Knox Bldg, purchase of, 87

Koenig, Samuel S., at Sulzer dinner, 168

Kuhn, Loeb & Co., rise in banking circle, 77

Kurzman, Ferdinand, in law office of, 12;
  reëmployment by, 18;
  method of dispossessing undesirable tenant, 39

Lachman, Samson, 33;
  realty ventures with, 42;
  elected Judge of Sixth District Court, 120

Lachman, Morgenthau & Goldsmith, formation of partnership, 34;
  withdrawal from the firm, 56

Lamont, Dan, his friendship with Grover Cleveland, 118

Lamont, Thomas, at dinner given by Chinese delegation to Peace Conference,324

Landman, Rabbi Isaac, on committee to present views of American
  Jews on Zionism to Peace Conference, 350

Lane, Franklin K., donation to campaign fund, 242;
  writes Red Cross proclamation, 251;
  approves campaign of League to Enforce Peace, 300;
  proposed as Director-General of International Red Cross, 318;
  considered for head of corporation to finance Poland, 381

Lansing, Secretary of State, at Paderewski dinner, 356;
  letter of instructions to Mission to Poland, 359

Lansing, Mrs., at signing of Peace Treaty, 336

Lauzanne, Stéphane, arranges luncheon with Bunau Varilla, 330

Lawyers’ Mortgage Company, increase of capital stock, 70, 71

Lawyers’ Title Company, increase of capital stock, 67-71

League to Enforce Peace, work against future wars, 300;
  travelling in campaign of, 301;
  pronouncement on the League of Nations Covenant, 303

Leisenring, John, 26

Leishmann, John G. A., meeting with at Aix-les-Bains, 85

Lens, General Currie’s description of battle, 269;
  why Sir Douglas Haig refrained from capturing, 271

Lenox, James, 22

Letoviski, Major, leader of Jewish massacre at Pinsk, 369

Lewin, Rabbi, on Jewish question in Poland, 375

Liberty Loan, and United War Work Drives, travelling in behalf of, 295

Lloyd, Bishop Arthur Selden, 175

Lodge, Henry Cabot, signs cable to Wilson appealing for help for Armenia, 340

Loeb, Solomon, realty ventures, 42

Loewi, Valentine, 30

Lord, Dr. Robert, at Peace Conference, 324

Low, Sydney, met on British front, 267

Lowell, President in campaign of League to Enforce Peace, 301;
  in a foot race with, 302

Macauley, Captain, of the _Scorpion_, 219

Machpelah, Caves of, visit to, 213, 217

Mackay, Clarence H., on Board of Directors Metropolitan Opera Company, 100

Mackaye, Dr., 175

Macy, R. H., & Co., business secured by Isidor Straus and his sons, 36

Mahmoud Tahgri Bey, acting Governor of Alexandria, 219

Mahmoud Tewfik Hamid, 232

Mahmoud Pasha, 189

Malcolm, Ian, speech at dinner to Governors of the
  League of the Red Cross Societies, 320

Mallet, Sir Louis, British Ambassador at Constantinople, 183;
  renewal of acquaintance with, 336

Malone, Dudley Field, at conference over Wilson’s “cocked-hat” letter, 140;
  brings message from Wilson on McCombs-Newton rupture, 145

Mannes, David, 106

Mannheim, early life in, 1, 333

Manning, Dan, 118

Mardighian, Osman, 187

Marie, Princess, at dinner with, 326

Marling, Alfred E., 175

Marsh, Benjamin C., Secretary Committee on Congestion
  of Population in New York City, 107

Marshall, T. R., at Jackson Day Dinner, 142

Marshall, Louis, at Sulzer dinner, 168;
  objects to Jew serving on Commission to investigate Polish pogroms, 353

Martin, Riccardo, sings at Conried’s funeral, 104

Meyer, Peter F., 48;
  connection with Richard Croker, 113

Metaxa, Dr., arranges meeting with Venizelos, 328

Metropolitan Opera Company, formed for Conried, 100

Metropolitan Opera House, gathering on President
  Wilson’s return from Paris, 304

Miller, Cyrus C., elected Borough President of the Bronx, 118

Mitchel, John Purroy, in the Postmastership controversy, 237;
  campaign for preparedness irritating to President Wilson, 238;
  at War Publicity meeting, 252;
  has good business offer but decides to remain in politics, 279;
  asks advice on Mayoralty campaign, 278;
  elected Mayor of City of New York, 283;
  asks advice as to running again, 283;
  his death in his country’s service, 286

MacDowell, Miss, in Settlement work, 105

MacNulty, Mr., 35

McAdoo, William G., in Wilson’s campaign, 137;
  drops his business to aid Wilson’s candidacy, 154;
  appointed Secretary of the Treasury, 159;
  apprehensive of outcome of 1916 campaign, 235;
  dejection at unfavourable election returns, 246

McAneny, George A., considered for Mayor on fusion ticket, 280;
  not a vote-getter, 281

McCall, Mr., power in finance, 78

McCombs, William F., in charge of Wilson campaign, 137, 139;
  controversy with Byron Newton, 145

McCormick, Chancellor, on Palestine trip, 215

McCormick, Vance, bosses object to, 121;
  named Chairman of Democratic Campaign Committee, 241;
  dinner to Henry Ford, Thos. A. Edison, and Josephus Daniels, 242;
  on committee for financing the Red Cross, 249

McCurdy, Richard A., incensed at not being asked to
  participate in capital increase of Lawyers’ Title Company, 69;
  power in finance, 78;
  misuse of insurance funds, 83

McCurdy, R. H., on Board of Directors of Metropolitan Opera Company, 100

McIntire, Alfred, 19, 30

McIntyre, William H., on Board of Directors Metropolitan Opera Company, 101

McManus, Thomas F., 116

Mohammed V, a weakling, 184

Moncheur, Baroness, 188

Montefiore, Claude, representing Jews of France at Peace Conference, 350

Moore, Judge, 121, 122

Moore, Mrs. Philip North, in campaign of League to Enforce Peace, 301

Morgan, J. Pierpont, his power in finance, 76

Morgan, Miss Anne, member “Committee of Safety”, 107

Morgenthau, Henry, Jr., at Sea Girt, 148

Morgenthau, Mrs., arrival in Turkey, 194

Morgenthau Company, Henry, formation, 89

Morton, Levi P., real estate transactions with, 48;
  assists at auction sale, 49

Mott, John R., conversation with, on after-the-war work, 316

Mt. Sinai Hospital, on Board of Directors, 105

Munsey, Frank, at War Publicity meeting, 253

Murphy, Arthur D., defeated for Borough President of Bronx, 116

Murphy, Charles F., selected by Croker to head Tammany, 116

Murphy, Major, with Red Cross in France, 86

Nabulus, Governor of, arranges an Arabian night, 231

Nahoun, Chief Rabbi, 205

New York, arrival in, 6, 7

New York _Sun_, comment on heading of _Red Cross Magazine_ article, 289

New York _Times_, article on the Jewish question, 289;
  Washington despatch to, 293;
  publishes speech made at dinner of Executive
  Committee of Wise Centenary Fund, 294;
  article, “Emperor William Must Go,” 297;
  article, “A Vision of the Red Cross After the War,” 308;
  article on departure as delegate to International Red Cross Conference, 308

New York _World_, article showing Germany planned the war, 296

Newton, Byron, controversy with McCombs, 145

Nilsson, Christine, 12

Norton, Chas. D., on Committee for financing the Red Cross, 249

Norton, Patrick, excavation contractor, 51, 52

Nugent, difficulty with, over tickets for Jackson Day Dinner, 139

O’Connor, Charles, 29

O’Gorman, Senator James A., at Jackson Day Dinner, 142;
  friendship with, 154;
  transmits Wilson’s offer of Ambassadorship to Turkey, 159;
  fearful of Wilson’s reëlection in 1916, 235

O’Toole, Morgan, 27

Ochs, Adolph S., as example of opportunity, 400

Ogden, D. B., entertains proposition to increase
  capital of Lawyers’ Title Company, 67

Olcott, Frederick P., interested in formation of real estate trust company,
  a power in finance, 65;
  aids in increasing capital of Lawyers’ Title Company, 68;
  in railroad reorganizations, 78;
  questioned as to attitude if panic should ensue, 88

Ottendorfer, Oswald, realty transactions with, 45

Otto, Major Henry S., with Mission to Poland, 355

Outerbridge, E. H., urges acceptance of nomination
  for President of the Borough of Manhattan, 278;
  urges Mitchel’s reëlection at City Hall Park mass meeting, 284

Paderewski, asks Wilson to appoint commission to
  investigate treatment of Jews in Poland, 352;
  gives dinner at the Ritz, 355;
  efforts to assure people he was not Anti-Semitic, 377;
  gives state dinner to Hoover, 377;
  impressions of, at dinner to Hoover, 379;
  holds up financing of Poland, 381

Paderewska, Mme., at dinner given to Hoover, 378

Page, Thomas Nelson, meeting with in Paris, 255

Page, Walter Hines, introduced by Woodrow Wilson, 136

Painlevé, meeting with, 85;
  at review of first American troops in France, 256;
  dining with, 257

Palestine, visit to, 212;
  prominent Jews not in favour of Zionist project of National home, 349;
  true meaning of Balfour Declaration, 389;
  significance of Sir Herbert Samuel’s appointment, 392;
  not suitable for colonization, 393

Pallavicini, Marquis, Austrian Ambassador at Constantinople, 182

Panic of 1873, 20

Parish, Henry, realty dealings with, 55

Park, Trenor W., 53

Parker, Judge Alton B., at Jackson Day Dinner, 142;
  of counsel at Sulzer impeachment, 172

“Parsifal,” difficulties encountered in production, 102

Parsons, John E., realty ventures, 42

Patri, Angelo, 106

Patrick, Dr. Mary Mills, president Constantinople College for Girls, 204, 207

Patrick, Mason M., considered for Mission to Poland, 355

Peabody, Charles A., realty dealings through, 55

Peace Conference, impressions of, 322

Peace Treaty, signing of, 336

Pears, Sir Edwin, 188

Peet, Dr. W. W., work in Constantinople, 205;
  missionary activities, 211;
  gives information on Palestine, 213;
  invited to accompany party, 214;
  at Arabian night, 231

Penrose, Senator, assumes leadership of Republican machine, 125;
  willing to wreck party’s chances to injure Roosevelt, 150

Perlmutter, Rabbi, calls on Mission at Warsaw, 361

Perkins, George W., member “Committee of Safety,” 107;
  at War Publicity meeting, 253

Perkins, Major, with Red Cross in France, 86

Perkins, Miss Frances, member “Committee of Safety,” 107

Persian delegation to Peace Conference, their hopeless position, 325

Pershing, General, meeting with in Paris, 255;
  lauded by Joffre, 264;
  letter from, explaining postponement of dinner, 264;
  his description of battle of Verdun, 265;
  meeting with at headquarters in France, 273;
  at signing of Peace Treaty, 336;
  selects military member of Mission to Poland, 354

Phillip, Hoffman, Conseiller and First Secretary,
  American Embassy, Constantinople, 177, 187

Philipson, Rev. Dr. David, not in favour of Zionist plans, 349

Phillips, L. J., 48

Phœnix Insurance Co., position with, 18

Pilsudski, Dictator of Poland, 115;
  not in favour of Mission to Poland, 360;
  at reception in Warsaw, 364;
“no pogroms, nothing but unavoidable accidents,” 371;
  talks with on Jewish question, 372, 375;
  change of attitude toward Commission, 378;
  his story of his rise to power, 378

Pinchot, Amos, member “Committee of Safety,” 107

Pinsk, investigations in, 369

Platt, Frank, retained by Alexander in Equitable Insurance contest, 80, 81

Plaza Hotel, purchase of, 87

Plumb, Preston, 26

Poincaré, President, at review of first American troops in France, 256;
  at signing of Peace Treaty, 336

Poland, atrocities against the Jews, 351;
  question of Jewish nationalism in, 351;
  plan to finance, 380

Poland, Mission to, formation of, 352;
  ideal to be accomplished, 358;
  Lansing’s letter of instructions, 359;
  arrival in Warsaw, 360

Politics, first entry into, 111

Politis, M., arranges meeting with Venizelos, 328

Polk, Frank L., doubt of success of 1916 campaign, 235

Pomerene, Atlee, at Jackson Day Dinner, 142

Ponydreguin, General, dinner with at Gondrecourt, 259

Post, James H., aids in formation of real estate trust company, 58

Postmastership at New York, contention regarding, 237

Power, Judge Maurice J., “discoverer” of Grover Cleveland, 118

Prendergast, William A., at War Publicity meeting, 253;
  slated for Comptroller on fusion ticket, 280

Pryor, Gen. Roger A., 29, 30

Pyne, Percy R., retires from presidency of National City Bank, 76

Quekemeyer, Captain, American representative on trip to French front, 266

Radcliffe, General, met on British front, 269

Rappard, Dr., William, speech at dinner to Governors of the League of the Red
      Cross Societies, 321

Raymond, Henry T., 15

Reading, Lord, address before Merchants’ Association in New York, 298

Real Estate, ventures in, 39

Red Cross, financing the, insisting on aiming for large sum, 249;
  article “A Vision of the Red Cross After the War,” 308;
  the International Conference, 308

_Red Cross Magazine_ article on Turkish massacres, 288

Redfield, Congressman, appointed Secretary of Commerce, 154, 159

Reilly, John, buys lots on route of Subway, 50

Rice, Edwin T., 93

Richardson, Captain, ’Forty-niner, 4

Robert College, Constantinople, 186, 204, 208

Rockefeller, William, how he obtained stock of Northern Pacific, 71

Rockefeller, Mrs. John D., Jr., activities in war work, 299

Rosalsky, Judge Otto, at Sulzer dinner, 168

Rosenwald, Julius, on committee for financing the Red Cross, 250

Roosevelt, Franklin D., doubt of success of 1916 campaign, 235

Roosevelt, Theodore, deference to Mark Hanna, 123;
  coaches Taft for campaign, 124;
  split in Republican party forfeits election, 150;
  Joffre anecdote of, 264;
  calls meeting of New York Progressives to agree on fusion slate, 280;
  his first demonstration of power, 282;
  urges Mitchel’s reëlection at City Hall Park mass meeting, 284, 285

Root, Elihu, associated with in difficulties of Hilton, Hughes & Co., 37;
  policy of business and politics, 37;
  consulted on Equitable controversy, 82;
  signs cable to Wilson appealing for help for Armenia, 340

Rose, William R., 54

Roumania, question of Jewish nationalism in, 351

Roux, Dr. Émile, at International Red Cross Conference, 315

Rubenstein, Rabbi, recounts history of Vilna excesses against Jews, 362

Russell, Colonel, sails for International Red Cross Conference, 310

Russell, Judge Horace, retained by, 36

Ryan, Thomas, 39

Said Halim, Prince, Grand Vizier, 221, 225

Samaritans, visit to the tribe on Mount Gerizim, 228

Samuel, Sir Herbert, significance of appointment as first governing head of
      Palestine, 392

Sassoon, Sir Philip, private secretary of Sir Douglas Haig, 272

Sayre, Dr., on Palestine trip, 216

Schiff, Jacob H., on Board of Directors Metropolitan Opera Company, 100;
  gives evidence against Sulzer at impeachment trial, 173;
  misfortune at a dinner, 299;
  advises attendance at International Red Cross Conference, 308

Schmavonian, A. K., attaché at American Embassy, Constantinople, 178, 187;
  on Palestine trip, 215, 231;
  on trip to French front, 259;
  to British front, 266

Schurz, Carl, on Independent politics, 135

Schwab, Chas. M., buys stock in Fuller Construction Co., 72

Sebastiyeh, visit to, 231

Seligman, Joseph, refused accommodations in Saratoga hotel, 38;
  president Society for Ethical Culture, 95

Senior, Max, not in favour of Zionist plans, 349

Settlement work, in Manhattan and the Bronx, 105

Seymour, Harriet, 106

Shaffer, Chauncey, in law office of, 24

Sharp, Ambassador, at review of first American troops in France, 256

Shaw, Peggy, maintaining soldiers’ theatre and rest room at Treves, 333

Shufro, Jacob, 106

Sibert, General, in command at Gondrecourt, 259

Siegel-Cooper & Company, opening New York Store, 54

Sigerson, Michael, 111

Simon, Robert E., in the “Subway Boom,” 87;
  partnership with, 89

Sinclair, General, met on British front, 269

Singer Sewing Machine Co., in Constantinople, 203

Skrzynski, M., at reception in Warsaw, 365;
  at luncheon, 376

Slocum, Gen. Henry W., 118

Smith, Alfred E., chairman of factory investigating committee, 108;
  recommended for New York Postmastership, 240

Smith, J. Henry, on Board of Directors Metropolitan Opera Company, 101

Society of Ethical Culture, formation, 95

Southack, Frederick, aids in forming real estate trust company, 57

Southmayd, Henry M., attorney for the Astors, 45

Spanish-American War, influence of, on real estate transactions, 54, 56

Speer, Mrs. Emma Bailey, in war work, 299

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, construction of, 8

Stanchfield, John B., of Counsel at Sulzer impeachment, 172

Standard Oil Co., in Constantinople, 203

Stanislawa, investigations at, 367

Stanley, Sir Arthur, instrumental in selection of
  Englishman as Director-General of International Red Cross, 319

Stewart, A. T., & Co., 36

Stillman, James, on Executive Committee of real estate trust company, 61;
  a power in finance, 65;
  interested in increasing capital of Lawyers’ Title Company, 68, 70;
  aids in financing of Fuller Construction Co., 71;
  becomes president of National City Bank, 76;
  attitude toward Equitable controversy, 81;
  offers backing in case of panic, 88;
  wise advice of, 180

Stimson, Henry L., Chairman “Committee of Safety,” 108

Stone, Senator, call on Wilson’s campaign managers, 143;
 at the Sulzer dinner, 168

Storrs, Richard S., 15

Stowell, Edgar, 106

Straight, Willard D., at War Publicity meeting, 253

Straus, Isidor, incident of formation of firm Abraham & Straus, 34;
  secures business of R. H. Macy & Co., 36

Straus, Nathan, early friendship with, 3;
  dry goods business of, 35, 36

Strauss, Charles, transactions with, 89

Strong, Colonel, plans for International Red
  Cross preferred by Davison, 312, 315;
  at Cannes, 327

Subway, routes being laid out for, 47

Sulzer, William, experiences with, 155;
  inaugurated Governor of New York, 162;
  dinner given to, 163;
  beneficial legislation and wise appointments, 164;
  defies Tammany Hall, 167;
  the Café Boulevard Dinner, and “the wish-bone speech,” 168;
  impeached and removed from office, 170

Sykes, Josephine, 99

Syrian Protestant College, visit to, 233

Taft, William H., coached for campaign by Roosevelt, 124;
  work for League to Enforce Peace, 301, _et seq._;
  speech on the Covenant at Metropolitan Opera House gathering, 305;
  advises attendance at International Red Cross Conference, 308

Talaat Bey, real ruler of Turkey, 185, 187, 191;
  arranges reception at Adrianople, 192;
  direct dealings with, 197;
  asks advice, 198;
  looks to comfort of party on Palestine trip, 231

Talbot, Dr., Fritz B., sails for International Red Cross Conference, 310

Talmage, T. De Witt, 15

Tariff, Protective, a blow to family fortunes, 4

Taussig, Professor, at dinner given by Chinese
  delegation to Peace Conference, 324

Thalman, Ernest, 100

Thann, visit to, on trip to the front, 261

Tibbetts, Major, met on British front, 268

Tilden, Samuel J., effects downfall of Tweed Ring, 111

Tilton, Henry, 30

Tourtel, H. B. met on British front, 267

Townroe, Captain, conducts trip to British front, 266

Townsend, Col. C. M., met, after many years on British front, 267

Tsulski, Dr., conference with, on conditions in Poland, 358

Tumulty, Joseph, at conference over Jefferson Day Dinner tickets, 139;
  at Sea Girt notification, 148

Turkish question, study of, 336

Tweed Ring, contact with, 109

Underhill, Senator, at Jackson Day Dinner, 142

Underwood, John T., transactions with, 90;
  tenders John Purroy Mitchel vice-presidency of his company, 279

Underwood, Oscar, candidacy against Wilson, 138

Underwood Typewriter Co., capitalization of, 90

“Union for Higher Life,” member of, 97

Van Dyke, Dr. Henry, in campaign of League to Enforce Peace, 301

Vanderbilt, Alfred G., on Board of Directors Metropolitan Opera Company, 100

Varilla, Bunau, at luncheon with, 330

Vendôme, Duc de, acquaintance with at Peace Conference, 326, 327

Vendôme, Duchess of, met at Cannes, 327

Venizelos, at Peace Conference, 328;
  discussion with on Smyrna question, 329

Vesnitz, representing Jugo-Slavia at Peace Conference, 327

Vilna, investigations in, 370

Vimy Ridge, visited during battle of Lens, 271

Viviani, René, New York City’s reception to, 253

Von Moltke, General, at launching of Germany’s first battleship, 24

Webb, Gen. Alexander S., 12

Whitall, Dr. Samuel S., influence of, 15

Wadsworth, Eliot, on committee for financing the Red Cross, 249

Wagner, Robert E., vice-chairman of factory investigation committee, 108;
  recommended for New York Postmastership, 240

Wald, Lillian D., and Henry Street Settlement, 105;
  introduces Sidney Webb, 120

Wallace, Dr. Louise B., dean of Constantinople College for Girls, 204

Wallace, Hugh C., friendship with, 154

Wanamaker, John, succeeds to original business of A. T. Stewart & Co., 38

Wangenheim, Baron, complains against American ammunition, 24;
  German Ambassador at Constantinople, 182

Washburn, Dr., work at Robert College, 208

Waterlow, Lady, met at Cannes, 327

Watson, Dr. Charles Roger, 175

Webb, Sidney, interview with an American political “boss,” 120

Weber, M., patriot of Thann, 261

Wechsler & Abraham, incident of dissolution of partnership, 34

Weitz, Dr. Paul, emissary of German and Austrian Ambassadors, 181

Welch, Dr. William H., sails to attend
  International Red Cross Conference, 310;
  on Council of National Defense, 311;
  speech at dinner
to Governors of the League of the Red Cross Societies, 321

Wells, Rollo, friendship with, 154

Wertheim, Jacob, aids in financing Underwood Typewriter Co., 92

Wertheim, Maurice, 92

White, George, member of Democratic National Committee, 122

White, Henry, arranges meeting with Venizelos, 329

White, Richard Grant, study under, 98

Whiting, Richard, makes flashlight photographs of Samaritan ceremonies, 228

Whitman, District Attorney, at Sulzer dinner, 168;
  slated for Mayor of New York on fusion ticket, 280, 281

Whitney, H. P., on Board of Directors of Metropolitan Opera Company, 100

Whitney, William C., fight against Kelly, Tammany leader, 112

Willcox, William R., at War Publicity meeting, 252

Williams, Dr. Talcott, anecdote of Woodrow Wilson, 307

Williams, John Sharp, signs cable to Wilson appealing for help for Armenia,

Wilson, George Grafton, in campaign of League to Enforce Peace, 301

Wilson, Joseph, devotion to his brother Woodrow, 154

Wilson, President Woodrow, presented with typewriter, 93;
  defies state bosses, 122;
  why attracted to, 128, 129;
  at the Free Synagogue Dinner, 130;
  taking Borah’s measure, 130;
  Presidential candidacy, 132;
  the hope of political regeneration, 135;
  introduces Walter Hines Page, 136;
  explanation of the “cocked-hat” letter, 140;
  speech at Jackson Day Dinner, 143;
  comment on Champ Clark-Col. Harvey episode, 149;
  Campaign of 1912, 150;
  asks reconsideration of refusal to accept
  chairmanship of Finance Committee, 152;
  elected President, 159;
  asks acceptance of Ambassadorship of Turkey, 160;
  instructions on leaving to assume post of Ambassador to Turkey, 175;
  reëlection in 1916, not thought possible by party leaders, 234;
  attitude toward New York Postmastership appointment, 238;
  renominated at St. Louis Convention, 241;
  election night returns
seem to show defeat, 246;
  election assured, 248;
  report to on trips to battle fronts, 274;
  letter advising exposure of German intrigue, 297;
  at Metropolitan Opera House gathering, 304;
  attitude toward Lane as Director-General of International Red Cross, 318;
  the hope of the Peace Conference, 323;
  at signing of Peace Treaty, 336;
  discuss Polish Mission with, and propose Armenian Mission to, 338;
  cable to from America proposing this Mission, 339;
  appoints commission to investigate treatment of Jews in Poland, 352;
  insists on having a Jew on commission to investigate Polish pogroms, 354

Wilson, Mrs. Woodrow, claims the President’s typewriter, 93;
  at signing of Peace Treaty, 336

Winthrop, Henry Rogers, on Board of Directors
  of Metropolitan Opera Company, 100

Wise, Dr. Stephen S., speaks at Conried’s funeral, 105;
  urges acceptance of Ambassadorship to Turkey, 162;
  acquaints President Wilson with his plans for Zionism, 293

Wise Centenary Fund, Isaac M.,
speech at dinner of Executive Committee, 294

“Wish-bone speech” at Sulzer dinner, 169

Woerishoefer, Carola, 107

Wolff, Lucien, representing Jews of England at Peace Conference, 350

Woman’s activities in the war, 299

Women in Turkey, their position, 195

Woodruff, Lieutenant-Governor, at Roosevelt’s fusion meeting, 280

Wood, Sir Henry, 188

_World_, New York, danger of defection, owing to
  Postmastership appointment, 238, 240

Yeaman, George H., 19, 30

Young Turks, government a failure, 196

Zermoysky, Countess, at reception in Warsaw, 364

Zionism, article in New York _Times_, 289;
  a fallacy in Poland, 383;
  a surrender not a solution, 385;
  its economic aspect, 393;
  its political foundations, 395;
  a spiritual will-o’-the-wisp, 398

Zionists, their Nationalistic plans not favoured, 349;
  present their case to Mission at Warsaw, 363


[1] See Appendix No. 3, which contains this report.

[2] This chapter was written in June, 1921, and most of it was
published in the _World’s Work_ for July, 1921.

[3] Reprinted from the New York _Times_ of November 9, 1919. Copyright,
1919, by the New York Times Company.

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