“kill the beast”

During Washington Birthday remarks in 1866 President Andrew Johnson identified Northerners Wendell Phillips, Senator Charles Sumner, and Congress Thaddeus Stevens as being just as much traitors to their country as the rebels who fought against the Union for four bloody years. Two years later Thaddeus Stevens, as chairman of the House Reconstruction Committee, reported to the full House that his committee recommended the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.


committee2 (committee1(https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo1.ark:/13960/t3902q433;view=1up;seq=9%20p345))


The trigger for the February 22nd report in favor of impeachment was President Johnson’s attempt to replace War secretary Edwin M. Stanton with General Lorenzo Thomas the day before. When word of the president’s action reached the House,

Thaddeus Stevens, 1792-1868, half length portrait, seated, facing left; hand under chin (c.1898; LOC: http://www.loc.gov/item/2005686648/)

Thaddeus Stevens

“the reaction was even more impassioned [than the Senate]. When the Speaker received notification from Stanton that the secretary had been ousted, he informed the House. Clusters of excited members formed. Stevens, leaning on Bingham’s arm, moved around from group to group, constantly repeating, “Didn’t I tell you so? What good did our moderation do you? If you don’t kill the beast, it will kill you.” John Covode of Pennsylvania offered a motion to impeach the president of high crimes and misdemeanors, and the proposal was referred to the Reconstruction Committee.[1]

You can read more about the events of February 22, 1868 at The New-York Times. Mr. Stevens looked better than usual as he took his seat in the House chamber before his report.

Mr. Trefousse mentioned another of the “traitors” on the same page of his book. When the news that Johnson was again trying to oust Stanton from the War Office reached the Senate, “Sumner sent his famous one-word telegram, ‘Stick.'”
  1. [1] Trefousse, Hans L. Andrew Johnson: A Biography. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1997. Print. page 313.
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President Andrew Johnson (full length, standing) (between 1865 and 1880; LOC: v)

throwing thunderbolts

150 years ago today the United States Congress got so riled up that the House even canceled its intended Washington’s birthday holiday. Congress would be taking care of business the next day, but it wouldn’t exactly be business as usual.

In compliance with the Tenure of Office Act President Andrew Johnson suspended Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in August 1867 and replaced him with General Ulysses S. Grant as Secretary ad interim. When Congress reconvened in December the Senate eventually decided not to accept the removal of Mr. Stanton, and General Grant turned the War Office over to him. This aggravated Mr. Johnson and the Johnson – Grant dispute became public in early February. On January 21, 1868 the president decided to forgo the niceties of the Tenure Act by firing Stanton outright and replacing him with General Lorenzo Thomas as another Secretary ad interim.

From The New-York Times February 22, 1868:

NY Times February 22, 1868

The New-York Times
February 22, 1868

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times.
WASHINGTON, Friday, Feb. 21.

The second attempt of the President to remove the Secretary of War came upon the Public and Congress to-day like a thunderbolt. It at once threw both Houses into a whirl of excitement, almost to the exclusion of regular business. Members gathered in knots and excitedly talked matters over. Stories grew and multiplied, and got so confused that the actual facts were hard to seize. Correspondents flew from end to end of the Capitol as if shot out of guns. The telegraph offices in the lobby were loaded with cards of dispatches to Wall-street, heralding the wildest stories, and before four o’clock one excited individual had articles of impeachment already drawn up.

[Portrait of Brig. and Adjutant-Gen. Lorenzo Thomas, officer of the Federal Army] (Between 1860 and 1865; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/cwp2003000397/PP/)

would he “stand fire”?

The calm of the forenoon had been nigh unto sluggishness. The storm of the afternoon was its antipodes in the fierceness with which fact and rumor raged through the Capitol and streets. Divested of all superfluous and sensational matter, the facts are as follows:

The President has within the last two or three weeks been drawing political inspiration from some of the leading and most unscrupulous Democratic politicians of the country. These men have breathed he spirit of defiance to Congress very strongly. The Democratic organ here has been bolder than ever in urging open resistance to the action of Congress, and the politicians have caused Mr. JOHNSON to be flattered with indirect allusions to his probable nomination as the Democratic standard-bearer in the coming campaign, the great object of these men being to get a lodgment in the Executive patronage which will render its vast power certainly on its side during the canvass. To do this, the first thing necessary was to break down the Tenure of Office Act. They therefore seized upon Mr. JOHNSON’S hostility [to] Mr. STANTON and the law, to urge him to make the case boldly and plainly, and by removing him peremptorily, get the matter into the courts, where he and they deem the destruction of the law certain.

The President has thus been goaded up to the point of this new action on the War Department. There was a full Cabinet meeting this morning, and the matter was submitted to and approved by a majority of its members. Adjt.-Gen. THOMAS was also consulted beforehand to see if he would stand fire. He talked with Gen. GRANT about it during the morning, but what came of that your correspondent cannot say.

About 12:30 the Secretary of War received the following letter from the President, through Adjt.-Gen. THOMAS:

Gen. THOMAS also presented his order from the President to take possession of the Department. Mr. STANTON asked him for a copy of the order, which was given, and he then informed Gen. THOMAS that he would take time to consider the matter. THOMAS then returned to the Adjutant-General’s office, and soon after left the Department. He did not then indicate, nor has he up to the present writing indicated, any action on his part looking toward further measures for the possession of the office.

Soon after sending these orders to STANTON and THOMAS, the President transmitted to the Senate a communication couched in nearly the following language:

To the Senate of the United States:

On the 12th day of August last, by virtue of the authority vested in me under the Constitution of the United States, I suspended EDWIN M. STANTON from the office of Secretary of War. I have the honor to inform the Senate that by virtue of that same authority I have this day removed EDWIN M. STANTON from the office of Secretary of War, and have appointed Brevet Major-Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General United States Army, Secretary of War ad interim.


The above is not literal, but as given me by a Senator who read the document, it not having been read in open Senate. …

The article goes on to report that when President Johnson’s messages were received New York Senator Roscoe Conkling yielded the floor to a motion to go into Executive Session, which began about 3:15. Secretary Stanton forwarded President Johnson’s messages to him to the House and Senate. In the House the communication from Stanton was referred to the Committee on Reconstruction. “The effect in the House was, of course, to create a good deal of a furore, and the intention to observe to-morrow as a holiday, was at once reversed, and a session for regular business ordered.” An Impeachment resolution was forwarded to the Reconstruction Committee, and the House adjourned about 4:45 PM.

The Times also reported that the Senate adjourned at about 10:00 PM after adopting the following resolution, which was passed 29-6:

Whereas, The Senate have received and considered the communication of the President, stating that he had removed EDWIN M. STANTON as Secretary of War, and has designated the Adjutant General of the Army to act as Secretary of War ad interim, therefore,

Resolved, by the Senate of the United States, That under the Constitution and laws of the United States, the President has no power to remove the Secretary of War and designate any other officer to perform the duties of that office.

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate is hereby directed to transmit a copy of this resolution to the President, the Secretary of War, and Adjt.-Gen. THOMAS.

Title: Men of Our Times Leading Patriots of The Day Author: Harriet Beecher Stowestanton (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/46347/46347-h/46347-h.htm#Page_363)

standing pat, staying put

The Times article stressed that Mr. Stanton was in possession of the War Department and had no intention of leaving. Many Congressmen and Senators urged Mr. Stanton to not leave the building. As of 11:00 PM “his office was still full of visitors.” Secretary Stanton ordered the Department closed the next day for Washington’s Birthday, a legal holiday.

According to Hans L. Trefousse President Johnson did not meet with his cabinet on the morning of the 21st. He informed his advisers of of his actions at a cabinet meeting during the afternoon.[1]

Mr. Trefousse wrote that by the middle of February President Johnson felt he had to act to axe Stanton or resign – and he was willing to risk impeachment. But he also saw political advantages to acting before the re-admission of radicalized Southern states created new political complications. The fall elections in 1867 were favorable to the Democrats. An impeachment effort in December failed, possibly partly because people feared a President Ben Wade. Supporters of Grant for President didn’t want Wade to be tempoary president, and “Ben Butler, still Grant’s inveterate foe, was one of the principal advocates of impeachment.”[2]

  1. [1] Trefousse, Hans L. Andrew Johnson: A Biography. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1997. Print. page 313.
  2. [2] ibid. page 311
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Lincoln memorial

In its February 10, 1918 issue the New York Tribune published a page of photos commemorating Abraham Lincoln, probably to honor the sixteenth president’s 109th birthday (February 12th):

Lincoln NY Tribune 2-10-1918 (https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030214/1918-02-10/ed-1/?st=gallery image 9)

President’s Day

In a February 13, 1918 article from Petersburg The New-York Times reported that even some Virginians commemorated the day. In what was said to be the first time a Southern state legislature participated in an observation of Lincoln’s Birthday, “the General Assembly attended the exercises at Camp Lee conducted by the 319th Brigade, composed exclusively of Virginians.” The 319th was returning the compliment Pennsylvania troops paid Robert E. Lee on January 19th (General Lee’s birthday). “The celebration closed with the singing of national airs and the camp favorite, ‘God Help Kaiser Bill.'”

Abraham Lincoln what would you do? (1918; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/ihas.200198948.0?st=gallery)

“And now your spirit will aid us in, In subduing the Kaiser Too”

You can read all the lyrics of the 1918 sheet music at the Library of Congress
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Johnson vs. Grant

War Department (1866; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2017648874/)

going to war over the war office

In August 1877 President Andrew Johnson suspended Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and named General Ulysses S. Grant Secretary of War ad interim. The president’s actions complied with the Tenure of Office Act enacted the previous March. When the 40th Congress reconvened in December 1867 it took up the matter of the suspension of Mr. Stanton. On January 13, 1868 the Senate restored him to office as Secretary of War. Based on his reading of the Tenure Act, General Grant immediately vacated the office and allowed Mr. Stanton to resume his position. This irritated President Johnson, who wanted the general to stay on as ad interim Secretary until the law’s constitutionality had been determined or resign so that President Johnson could name a successor.

On February 4th Secretary Stanton released the Grant-Johnson correspondence on the subject to House Speaker Schuyler Colfax. It quickly became public. A Northern newspaper sided with the general. From The New-York Times February 6, 1868:

Gen. Grant and the President.

Those who have complained of Gen. GRANT’S reticence must admit that, for once, he has spoken out fully and unequivocally. There can be no misapprehending the statements of his letters to President JOHNSON, or the tone and purpose which inspire them. The correspondence is characteristic, too, as an illustration of what provokes Gen. GRANT into explanatory writing. He is not easily driven into controversy. The ordinary slander of newspapers and politicians has no more effect on his nerves than the straggling shots of the rebel enemy. but when the President becomes his assailant, and furnished material to be used to his detriment, the case is changed. He must then speak, or lie under imputations prejudicial to his truthfulness and honor.

Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant ([ca. 1865] ; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2004674419/)

he’s opening up

And this fact is a conclusive answer to the attacks of which the somewhat remarkable correspondence we published yesterday will undoubtedly be the occasion. We have an inkling of the nature of these attacks in the telegraphic dispatches to the World, whose Washington representative has been the medium lately chosen by Mr. JOHNSON for making his secrets known to the country. The call for the correspondence and the promptness with which it was supplied are paraded as evidence of a desire on the part of Gen. GRANT and his friends to obtain a “snap judgment” against the President at the bar of public opinion. The affair is treated as an unprovoked assault upon the character and proceedings of the Executive. But nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. JOHNSON’S unfortunate habit of whispering widely his confidences, and proclaiming through newspapers his grievances and intentions, led him into the position of an accuse of Gen. GRANT. The stories published in connection with the retirement of the latter from the War Department, were not of doubtful authorship. They came direct from the White House, and in some instances were stamped with its distinct approval. And as their object was to exhibit Gen. GRANT in a most unfavorable light, we can scarcely wonder that he met them with the emphasis which marks his letters to the President, or that his friends took the quickest possible method of spreading them before the public. Certainly Mr. JOHNSON, who availed himself of agents of the Press to assail Gen. GRANT, cannot complain that the opposite version of the transaction has found its way into print.

[Secretary of War Edwin Stanton] ([1862]; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2017659637/)

he’s back

The correspondence itself is not pleasant reading for those who would respect the character of our public men. It exhibits the President and the General commanding the armies of the United States in direct conflict touching matters of fact. The issue between them is one of veracity. What one affirms the other denies – not vaguely or apologetically, but with a clearness that precludes the idea of mere misconception on the part of either. The points of difference are well known. The President avers that his intention was to resist the return of Mr. STANTON to the War Office, and that Gen. GRANT knew and sanctioned his purpose. According to this statement, the General pledged himself either to keep possession of the department and thus compel Mr. STANTON to seek readmission through the law courts, or to resign soon enough to allow of the appointment of a successor more completely in harmony with the President. Gen. GRANT, on the contrary, declares that though his first impression in regard to his duty was, that Mr. STANTON should be left to resort to the law courts, more careful inquiry satisfied him that it would be incumbent upon him to transfer to Mr. STANTON the keys of the Department in the event of the restoration of that officer by the Senate. He insists, moreover, that his change of view and purpose was duly communicated to the President. The antagonism between the two statements is therefore too marked to be explained away. An almost incomprehensible blunder must have been committed on one side or the other; or there must somewhere have been a desire to fix or divide a disagreeable responsibility.

One point is very clear; the President has persistently desired to identify Gen. GRANT with his course in reference to the War Secretary-ship. There can be little doubt that his ad interim nomination was made under the anticipation of his tacit compliance with the reconstruction policy of the Executive. The protests against the removal of SHERIDAN and the suspension of STANTON were the earliest indications of the mistake of Mr. JOHNSON in this respect. Still later, however, as this correspondence proves, Mr. JOHNSON was anxious to have Gen. GRANT’S countenance and cooperation in fighting the Stanton battle as against the Senate.

Portrait of Andrew Johnson / A. Gardner, photographer, 511 Seventh Street, Washington. ([1866]; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2002736311/)

he’s unable to co-opt the general

Not less certain is it that, from the beginning to the end, Gen. GRANT acted under an imperious sense of duty. He accepted the ad interim appointment, he explains, in order that some enemy of Congress and its measures might not obtain control of the War Department, and he relinquished the moment Mr. STANTON was reinstated by the action of the Senate, under the terms of the Tenure of Office law. He would have gladly seen a collision on the subject averted by the appointment of a man acceptable to the Senate, and the withdrawal by Mr. STANTON of his claims. But this mode of averting difficulty having been found impracticable, he followed the dictates of his judgment, fulfilled his intimation to the President, and obeyed the law by allowing Mr. STANTON to resume his place in the Department. In all this we fail to discover any trace of partisan or personal feeling. At every step we see the soldier, considerate, conciliatory and just – clear in his ideas of duty and unbending in their application. The same motive which induced him to undertake temporarily the labors of the War Office impelled him to give effect to the proceedings of the Senate, and forced him to define the causes and extent of his difference with the President.

Here’s an overview from 1896’s The Struggle between President Johnson and Congress over Reconstruction by Charles Ernest Chadsey (pages 135-138) (Mr. Chadsey provides footnotes in the text at Gutenberg):
The passage of the bill [Tenure of Office] over the veto placed Johnson in a situation in which a collision was almost sure to come. As the chief executive of the country he was charged with the duty of carrying out the provisions of the reconstruction acts, notwithstanding his strong personal repugnance to them. Under the advice of Attorney-General Stanbery he had construed the acts literally, and he had thus frustrated in part the object of the legislation. But the co-operation of the army was necessary, and unfortunately for President Johnson, the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, strongly opposed his views, and conducted himself as far as possible in accordance with the wishes of the congressional majority. The continued friction between the President and the Secretary of War seemed to President Johnson to necessitate Stanton’s retirement, but repeated hints to that effect were not recognized by the latter. Finally, on August 5, 1867, the President informed him that “public considerations of a high character constrained” him to say that his resignation would be accepted. The Secretary’s prompt reply was that “public considerations of a high character” constrained him not to resign until the next session of Congress. A week later, August 12, the President formally suspended him and appointed General Grant Secretary ad interim. Stanton then submitted “under protest to superior force.”
When Congress met in December the President reported his suspension of Stanton, and after long discussion the Senate, on January 13, 1868, refused to concur. When informed of this action of the Senate, General Grant immediately turned over the Secretary’s office to Stanton, thus definitely committing himself to the congressional interpretation of the law. Grant’s action was a sore disappointment to the President. Johnson had refused to accept the Tenure-of-Office Act as constitutional, and had purposed to make this a test case. In the correspondence which passed between him and General Grant after the latter’s acquiescence in the action of the Senate, Johnson claimed that it was understood that Grant was either to refuse to give up the office to Stanton, or, if he should be unwilling to take so prominent a part in the contest, to resign and permit the office to be filled with some one whose views agreed with the President’s, so that Stanton, if he sought to regain the office, might be compelled to resort to the courts. In this way the constitutionality of the act could be tested. Johnson’s statements as to the understanding with Grant were substantially endorsed by the Cabinet, on the strength of a conversation between Johnson and Grant at a cabinet meeting. Grant, however, firmly denied that there was any such agreement or understanding.
A few days after Stanton had resumed his duties as Secretary of War, the President sought to put in operation a plan for rendering his possession of the office ineffective. On January 19, he ordered General Grant, in charge of the army, to disregard all of Stanton’s orders unless he knew directly from the President that they were the latter’s orders. The order was repeated in writing at Grant’s request on January 29. On the following day, Grant refused to carry it out, declaring that an order from Secretary Stanton would be considered satisfactory evidence that it was authorized by the Executive. This correspondence between Johnson and Grant was subsequently called for by Congress, and an attempt was made to frame articles of impeachment on the ground that the President was instructing Grant to disobey the orders of his superior. Careful examination of the legal bearings of the question convinced a majority of the Reconstruction Committee that nothing would be gained by inserting charges based on this correspondence. The President had shrewdly worded his communication so as not to violate any legal technicalities.
From the Library of Congress: War Department, Grant, Stanton, Johnson
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unfunded mandate

Atlanta, Georgia. View on Whitehall Street (1864; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/cwp2003005001/PP/)

“Atlanta, Georgia. View on Whitehall Street” 1864

In November 1867 the state of Georgia conducted an election to choose delegates for a convention that would rewrite the state constitution. The convention convened in early December 1867 in Atlanta; one of the first issues it faced was the lack of funding for its work. According to Paul Laurence Sanford’s 1947 thesis (pages 20-21), convention delegate Aaron Alpeoria Bradley criticized both General John Pope (commander of the Third military District) and Georgia Governor Charles J. Jenkins:

His speech resulted in a petition by the Convention to the Commander of the Third Military District for the appointment of a Provisional Governor who would favor the work of Reconstruction. The personal opinions and personal character of General Pope, combined with such interference as he did practice in civil matters, served to gain for him the dislike of the people and the rather unjust reputation of a petty tyrant. Resentment towards him in the Convention came from his failure to coerce Governor Jenkins to draw a sum of forty thousand dollars from the State Treasury in order to pay the delegates and support the Convention. Jenkins was of the opinion that the Convention, since required by Federal and not State law, should be supported with Federal funds; hence his refusal to honor the Convention’s request for money. Bradley said that Pope should compel Jenkins to grant the sum, but that the General was too weak-kneed to do his duty. The Negro delegates, who probably needed the money worse than the others, voted unanimously for the removal of Jenkins.

Thos. H. Ruger (between 1860 and 1870; LOC: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/cwp2003001401/PP/)

Georgia Governor General Ruger

On December 28, 1867 President Andrew Johnson (through General-in-Chief and Acting Secretary of War Ulysses Grant) replaced General Pope with George Gordon Meade. General Meade took command on January 6, 1868. One of the first issues he confronted was the refusal of Governor Jenkins to fund the constitutional convention. General Meade quickly replaced Governor Jenkins with General Thomas H. Ruger. A northern editorial seemed quite sympathetic with the arguments Governor Jenkins used to oppose state funding. From The New-York Times January 21, 1868:

Gov. Jenkins and Gen. Meade.

We publish elsewhere the correspondence between Gen. MEADE and Gov. JENKINS, of Georgia, which resulted in the removal of the latter from office.

The removal was made because the Governor, in the General’s opinion, “failed to cooperate” with him in executing the Reconstruction laws of Congress; and the specific act in which this failure occurred was in his refusal to issue a warrant on the State Treasurer for the payment of the expenses of the Convention.

CharJenkins (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CharJenkins.jpg)


Gov. JENKINS, in his letter, gives at length and with great clearness his reasons for thus refusing. He says:

1. He holds office under the Constitution of the State of Georgia adopted in 1865, which he has sworn to support: – that Constitution forbids any payment of money except in the pursuance of law; – meaning, thereby, as the Governor holds, law emanating from the law-making power established by that Constitution. There is no such law authorizing payment of the expenses of the Convention. Nor is the Convention held in pursuance of any State law, but under a law of Congress. But Congress has no right to appropriate money from the Treasury of any State, or to authorize any other body to do so.

2. He finds nothing in the Reconstruction acts themselves to authorize such a draft on the Treasury of the State. On the contrary those acts expressly direct that the Convention shall provide for its expenses by levying a tax upon the people for that express purpose.

General George G. Meade memorial, Washington, D.C. (1927; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2016888523/)


3. In addition he says that the resources of the State will not authorize the payment required. If it is made, the State cannot pay its civil list and meet the interest on its public debt.

The letter is clear and not without cogency. Gen. MEADE, without entering upon a consideration of its argument, says he must insist on obedience to the reconstruction acts of Congress, while the Governor “plainly denies them as having any binding force” on his action. This does not strike us as quite warranted by the Governor’s letter. One of his strongest points against payment of the expenses of the Convention from the State Treasury is, that the Reconstruction acts expressly provide for payment of those expenses by levying a specific tax. But the General had the best of the argument in this, that he had the power to enforce it, which he did.

In his 1868 report (at HathiTrust) for General Grant and addressed to Grant’s Chief of Staff John Aaron Rawlins General Meade began by explaining the situation he faced when he took over the Third Military District and the need to replace Governor Jenkins with General Ruger. In the report’s appended telegrams General Grant approved Meade’s request to be allowed to replace the Georgia Treasurer with General Ruger. I don’t know how and why things changed, but eventually Ruger took over as governor, and General Meade replaced the state treasurer and comptroller with army officers. From the report:

Meade report1(https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t79s1wm52;view=1up;seq=7)

“great pride and satisfaction”

Meade report2 (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t79s1wm52;view=1up;seq=7)

“It affords me great satisfaction …”

meade togrant (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t79s1wm52;view=1up;seq=7)

Ruger to be Georgia Treasurer

The image of Charles Jones Jenkins comes from Wikipedia. You can read more about Governor Jenkins at the New Georgia Encyclopedia, which also explains the painting:
“Charles Jones Jenkins accepts a scroll bearing the governor’s seal and the motto In Arduis Fidelis (Steadfast in Adversity) in this portrait by Poindexter Page Carter. In 1872 the state presented the seal and motto to the former governor in appreciation for his resistance to the dictates of the federal government during Reconstruction.”
From the Library of Congress: Atlanta; Ruger; Meade statue in Washington, D.C. – see more at Wikipedia; Union trio
Gen. John A. Rawlins, left, Gen. U.S. Grant, center, and an unidentified officer (photographed between 1861 and 1865, printed later; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/ppmsca.34091/)

Rawlins, Grant, unidentified

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to sculpt the truth

unveiled in cincin NYT 4-8-1917(LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn78004456/1917-04-08/ed-1/?q=april+8+1917&st=gallery image 6)

NY Times April 8, 1917

A big monument controversy raged a hundred years ago. People objected to a new statue memorializing the Civil War era that they found very offensive. So far I haven’t read about any calls for its dismantling or removal, but some folks sure didn’t want to export any duplicates of it.

On March 31, 1917 a statue of Abraham Lincoln sculpted by George Grey Barnard was unveiled and dedicated in Cincinnati. The monument was basically a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. Taft; Mr. Taft’s brother, former president William Howard Taft, delivered the main address.

Barnard in studio (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t0xp7b37k)

vision problem?

So far so good, but in the autumn of 1917 letters and articles appeared in The New-York Times addressing two questions: was the Barnard statue a decent representation of the sixteenth president’s looks? was it fitting and proper to give duplicates to England and France? People seemed to object to the statue’s hands and feet, the “slouchy” posture, and the unpressed clothes.

A Times editorial on August 26th explained the issue by endorsing the criticism of Frederick Wellington Ruckstull, “a sculptor and a critic of the fine arts.” The ungainly Lincoln should not be sent to London to be set up in front of Parliament as a representative of “the vigor and the virtue of modern democracy.” President Lincoln was not handsome but his exemplary spirit and will shone through and made him a leader. Barnard’s Lincoln was “a long-suffering peasant, crushed by adversity. His pose is ungainly, the figure lacks dignity, and the huge hands crossed over the stomach suggest that all is not well with his digestion. The largeness of both hands and feet is unduly exaggerated. …”

(Barnard's Lincoln,Cincinnati, Stewart & Kidd company, 1917; https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t0xp7b37k)

better left unshown?

Letters to the editor were published from those who knew what Mr. Lincoln really looked like. A 78 year old who lived in Washington at the outbreak of the Civil War remembered the president at White House receptions as looking over the heads of most people who greeted him. “There was no suggestion ever of slouching, gangling, or letting go of himself.” (published October 7th) In another letter to the editor published on October 14th Robert Brewster Stanton wrote that he and his father had many interactions with the president during the war. The then young man had had many opportunities to study the president’s appearance and now found the Barnard statue a “grotesque caricature.” Mr. Lincoln’s pose and attitude overrode the details of his physical appearance, including possibly being “ungainly.” Mr. Stanton was indignant that “the hands that had so often clasped mine with such friendly warmth should ever have been put into the form and position there shown.” In an example of the exception proving the rule, the only time Mr. Stanton only saw President Lincoln “slouchy” was when he was forced to use a public cab with warn out springs in the seat – he could not possibly sit up straight. Should the sculptor have used that image of Lincoln? Don’t send a duplicate of the Cincinnati monument overseas, instead melt it down for bullets for the allies.

In another Times article, Frederick Wellington Ruckstull, who was also editor of The Art World, defended himself against charges that he had instigated the anti-Barnard campaign. He reproduced letters from several interested parties to prove his point. This included a couple letters from someone who presumably knew Abraham Lincoln even better than Robert Brewster Stanton and who expressed his concern about reproducing the Cincinnati statue even before its unveiling on March 31st. Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham and Mary, wanted ex-President Taft to persuade his brother Charles not to send a duplicate of the Barnard statue overseas.

From The New-York Times September 28, 1917:

Hildene, Manchester, Vt. Sept. 16, 1917.
F. Wellington Ruckstuhl, Esq., Editor The Art World, New York, N.Y.

My Dear Mr. Ruckstuhl:

Photograph of Robert Todd Lincoln with signature. (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/scsm000881/)

filial piety

In reply to your suggestion that I should send you for publication a letter of protest against the erection in London and in Paris of the Barnard statue of my father, I find myself in difficulty, owing to the vigor and fullness of your own articles in the June and August issues of The Art World. I have already expressed to you my deep sense of gratification that you have so earnestly dealt with this miserable affair, from both artistic and public points of view, and I can think of nothing to add in those regards. But, as you did not know my own personal feeling and opinion when you kindly sent me your published articles, and think that there are others who might care to know them, I am sending you a copy of a letter written by me to President Taft, as soon as I heard of the London and Paris projects; I send also copies of letters giving the views of three gentlemen peculiarly able to express a personal opinion for reasons I indicate in notes appended to the copies. These you are at liberty to use as you may think proper.

Renewing my thanks to you for the helpful part you are taking in my efforts, believe me, very sincerely yours,


Mr. Ruckstuhl also gave out a copy of the letter Mr. Lincoln had written to Mr. Taft. It was as follows:

1.775[?] N Street,
Washington, D.C.
March 22, 1917.

My Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to ask your consideration of a matter which is giving me great concern and to bespeak such assistance as you feel able to give me.

cincin neighborhood(Barnard's Lincoln,Cincinnati, Stewart & Kidd company, 1917; https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t0xp7b37k)

monster in the ‘hood

When I first learned through the newspapers that your brother, Mr. Charles P. Taft, had caused to be made a large statue of my father for presentation to the City of Cincinnati I very naturally most gratefully appreciated the sentiment which moved him to do this; when, however, the statue was exhibited early this Winter I was deeply grieved by the result of the commission which Mr. Taft had given to Mr. Barnard. I could not understand, and still do not understand, any rational basis for such a work as he has produced. I have seen some of the newspaper publications inspired by him, one of which, printed in The North American of Philadelphia in November, and another in The Literary Digest for Jan. 6 last, attempt to make explanations which are anything but satisfactory, to me at least. He indicates, if I can understand him, that he scorned the use of the many existing photographs of President Lincoln, and took as a model for his figure a man chosen by him for the curious artistic reasons that he was 6 feet 4½ inches in height, was born on a farm fifteen miles from where Lincoln was born, was about 40 years of age, and had been splitting rails all his life.

The result is a monstrous figure, which is grotesque as a likeness of President Lincoln and defamatory as an effigy.

[William H. Taft, full-length portrait, standing, facing left, with hand on telephone] (c1908.; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/96521946/)

was asked to lean on his brother

I understand that the completed statue has gone to Cincinnati to be placed. As to that I have nothing more to say, but I am horrified to learn just now that arrangements are being made for a statue of President Lincoln by the same artist, and I assume of a similar character, to be presented for location, one in London and one in Paris. I understand also that these statues are to be gifts by Mr. Taft. I do not think I have ever had the pleasure of meeting him, and I am, therefore, venturing to beg you on my account to intercede with him, and, if possible, to induce him to abandon this purpose, if it is true that he has it in mind. I should, of course, have filial pride in having a good statue of my father in London and in Paris, of a character like the two great statues of him made by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and that which I have good reason to expect in the Lincoln Memorial, now being modeled by Daniel Chester French. That my father should be represented in those two great cities by such a work as that of which I am writing to you would be a great cause of sorrow to me personally, the greatness of which I will not attempt to describe.

Believe me, my dear Mr. President, always sincerely yours,


The Hon. William Howard Taft.

The Times continue to editorialize about the statue controversy. On October 3, 1917 the paper maintained that the proper Lincoln to stand with great British leaders “should faithfully and sympathetically depict the ideal of the Emancipator, the heroic, self-sacrificing American leader who bore so bravely the great burden of his nation’s troubles.” In addition the newspaper provided a couple images for its Sunday picture section that contributed useful information.

Brady'sLincoln10211917 (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn78004456/1917-10-21/ed-1/?q=october+21+1917&st=gallery image 1)

true photo

NewarkLincolnnyt10141917 (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn78004456/1917-10-14/ed-1/?q=october+14+1917&st=gallery image 5)

Borglum’s take


In an article on October 28th the Times published an analysis by Kenyon Cox. The painter understood what Mr. Barnard was trying to achieve artistically with the Cincinnati statue, but “Neither as portrait nor symbol … does the Barnard statue represent the real Lincoln as seen in his photographs and held in the hearts of the people of America.” Mr. Cox didn’t want either Barnard’s statue or Borglum’s Newark statue duplicated for Europe. Instead he plunked for a third option – the statue in Lincoln Park, Chicago by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The article contained photos of the the three sculptures and the above photograph taken just before Lincoln’s inauguration.

The artist himself wrote a letter to the editor, which the Times included in a November 18, 1917 mini-editorial mostly critical of Mr. Barnard and his Lincoln:

full-lengthBarnard (Barnard's Lincoln,Cincinnati, Stewart & Kidd company, 1917; https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t0xp7b37k)

no beauty

To the Editor of The New York Times:
These lines, my only answer, are worthy, I hope, to be placed on your editorial page:
     “For he shall grow up before him
“as a tender plant, and as a root out
“of a dry ground: he hath no form
“nor comeliness; and when we shall
“see him, there is no beauty that we
“should desire him.
     “He is despised and rejected of
“men; a man of sorrows, and ac-
“quainted with grief: and we hid as
“it were our faces from him; he was
“despised, and we esteemed him not.”
– Isaiah liii.

The British, for their part, responded very diplomatically to the controversy. A couple articles in September 1917 reported that British representatives wanted to leave the decision of which duplicate monument to deliver up to the Americans. Here’s an example from The New-York Times September 25, 1917:


British Leave Criticism of Statue
to the American Committee.

Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.

LONDON, Sept.24. – Art Circles here are startled by the cabled criticisms of the Barnard statue of Lincoln which is to be erected here as a gift in commemoration of the hundred years of peace between England and the United States.

The British Government is providing a magnificent site near the House of lords.

The question of the artistic character of the statue is held to be one for the American committee to consider, not the British authorities, whose only desire is to commemorate Lincoln worthily.

Lincoln statue, bronze (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2016817228/)

Saint-Gaudens Lincoln in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Furthermore, the British would be happy to take both statues. In an article on October 21, 1917 the British-American Centenary Committee explained that in 1913 it had been agreed that Britain would accept the St. Gaudens Chicago Lincoln replica. The outbreak of the war in Europe temporarily suspended the peace centenary movement and the St. Gaudens project ended. The committee accepted Charles P. Taft’s offer of the Barnard statue replica earlier in 1917. However, both statues would be accepted if the St. Gaudens project could be funded:” “There is room in Great Britain – yes, in London – for more than one monument of America’s saint and hero President, whose memory all Englishmen revere and love.”

NYT1-20-1918image5TR (https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn78004456/1918-01-20/ed-1/?sp=5)

Barnard not doing patriot’s work?

As the year turned, the controversy continued, but progress towards a resolution seemed possible. In an article on January 2, 1918 The New-York Times indicated that Americans were communicating with the British to explain that Americans really didn’t like or want to donate a replica of the Cincinnati statue, “that Colossal Clodhopper in a Fit of Indigestion called by Mr. GEORGE GREY BARNARD ‘Lincoln.'” Experts, a consensus of artists, Robert Todd, those others who knew what Mr. Lincoln looked like, and those who knew his qualities that should be commemorated all disapproved “this queer, gigantic effigy of Somebody from Kentucky.” The British understandably didn’t want to offend the American Peace Centenary Committee, but that committee had recently held a meeting in which only two of sixty members were at all in favor the the Barnard statue. Even the donor Charles P. Taft might have been the victim of the false impression that people liked the Barnard. Another article mentioned that Colonel Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most prominent friends of the National Academy of Design, which opposed the Barnard statue along with Robert Todd Lincoln, Joseph H. Choate, and Henry Cabot Lodge.

Barnard's Lincoln (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t0xp7b37k)

My name is
Abraham Lincoln


My name is
Abraham Lincoln

St. Gaudens' Lincoln (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/scsm000890/)

My name is
Abraham Lincoln

As far as I can tell no final decision had been made about which duplicate to send to London had been made by the end of January 1918, but I’ll probably keep checking.
My first reaction when I learned about the controversy was – America wanted to commemorate British-American friendship by sending a replica to London? But I’ve changed me mind a bit – after all, who wouldn’t want an exact duplicate of Mount Rushmore in their home?
I don’t know how posed that photo of Borglum’s statue in Newark was, but I sure enjoyed seeing it. You can get a quick view of the monument and a poem at Youtube. John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum supervised the Mount Rushmore project.
Thanks to Youtube I found out how faulty my memory can be. I enjoyed watching To Tell the Truth as a kid. I remembered the tagline being “I am Abraham Lincoln,” but apparently sometimes the contestants said “My name is …” and sometimes they didn’t say anything during the intro. I had another of those jaw-dropping moments when I saw one of the Youtube titles Mt. Rushmore sculptor. I want to investigate that – no one looked like Gutzon Borglum in the introduction; I’m also interested in an episode about a fellow named Orville Redenbacher. I’ve seem to have this unaccountable urge while away a winter afternoon with To Tell the Truth, popcorn, and a big slurp of some kind of beverage.
All the images pertaining to George Grey Barnard and his statue of Mr. Lincoln were published in Barnard’s Lincoln and can be seen at HathiTrust. The book includes Mr. Barnard’s explanation of how and why he chose to portray Abraham Lincoln as he did. You can also read William H. Taft’s address at the unveiling in Cincinnati and a poem by Dr. Lyman Whitney Allen. Robert C. Clowry vouched for the statue’s likeness to Lincoln. An etching seemed to veil the statue’s pedestal and reminded me a bit of Pig-Pen on Peanuts.
etching in Barnard's Lincoln (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t0xp7b37k;view=1up;seq=9) (


poem about Barnard's Lincoln (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t0xp7b37k;view=1up;seq=9)

detailing “a symbol of democracy”
(from the poem)

endorseBarnardstaue (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t0xp7b37k;view=1up;seq=9)

clean-shaven in Springfield

From the Library of Congress: unveiling; The Emancipator’s son; William Howard Taft; Mr. Story’s photograph; Newark’s kid magnet; in Chicago’s Lincoln Park solo and with scouts; Colonel Roosevelt and ship workers. On May 30, 1922 Robert Todd Lincoln attended the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Daniel Chester French presumably designed a more attractive Lincoln) – snapeshot, with presidents.
[Boy's Clubs in front of Lincoln National Monument, Illinois making the scout's honor sign and presenting a wreath. Copy 2.] (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/scsm000890/)

“making the scout’s honor sign
and presenting a wreath”

Robert Todd Lincoln, 1843-1926 ("Half-length portrait in old age. Son of Abraham Lincoln, while attending the dedication exercises at the Lincoln Memorial, May 30, 1922." LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2002695726/)

easier on the eyes in D.C.

William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, and Robert Todd Lincoln, standing, left to right (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/89708459/)

Taft, Harding, Lincoln

Posted in 100 Years Ago, American History, Monuments and Statues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on to sculpt the truth

still knitting

saraheggleston nyt 1-20-1918 (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn78004456/1918-01-20/ed-1/?st=gallery)

sympathy for the rebels

In its January 20, 1918 Picture Section The New-York Times included a photo of a former supporter of the Confederacy. The paper seemed to view Sarah Eggleston with some admiration as she knitted sock after sock for America’s British allies. However, the caption did thankfully refer to the CSS Virginia by its Union name – the Merrimack. According to the caption, Sarah Eggleston’s deceased husband Captain “Jack” Eggleston was an officer on the Virginia during its very brief but influential career. The rebel ironclad effectively damaged wooden Union ships during the March 8 and 9, 1862 Battle of Hampton Roads and then duked it out with the Union’s ironclad Monitor. In a page of quotes about the battle, the Hampton Roads area Daily Press included words from a lieutenant named John Eggleston:

“…Suddenly there leaped from her sides the flash of 35 guns, and as many shot and shell were hurled against our armor only to be thrown from it high into the air.” — Lt. John Eggleston, commander of the CSS Virginia’s two hot-shot guns, describing the impact of a broadside from the USS Congress
NH 58881 CSS Virginia (1862-1862) (https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-58000/NH-58881.html)

“CSS Virginia (1862-1862) “

NH 42216 CSS Virginia engages USS Congress, 8 March 1862 (https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-42000/NH-42216.html)

“CSS Virginia engages
USS Congress, 8 March 1862 “

NH 42218 CSS Virginia destroying USS Congress, 8 March 1862 (https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-42000/NH-42218.html)

“CSS Virginia destroying
USS Congress, 8 March 1862″

NH 42213-KN "Terrific Engagement Between the 'Monitor' 2 Guns, and 'Merrimac' 10 Guns, in Hampton Roads, March 9th 1862." (https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-42000/NH-42213-KN.html)

first clash of iron ships of war

A couple photos dated 1916 commemorating that first battle of ironclads:


General Smith and John Driscoll,
veterans of the fight


John Driscoll points out where
Virginia battled Monitor

U.S. Navy recruiting posters 100 years ago seemed to be trying a couple different psychological tactics to get men to sign up for the Great War.

NY Times January 20, 1918 (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn78004456/1918-01-20/ed-1/?st=gallery)

The New-York Times January 20, 1918


It was good to visit the U.S. Navy site again to look at 150 (+) year old ships, but the navy is certainly keeping its home page current. For this weekend it features a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. and a link to “The African American Experience in the U.S. Navy”: There were “eight black Sailors who earned the Medal of Honor during the Civil War” and there were “14 black female yeomen who enlisted during World War I”. The quote from Dr. King:

“If you can’t fly then run, If you can’t run then walk, If you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward”
[Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial, Washington, D.C. The promissory note] / Christopher Grubbs, illustrator. (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2016647751/)

“you have to keep moving forward”

From the United States Navy website: CSS Virginia, engagement, destruction, two ironclads. The Library of Congress provides the images from NY Times and Tribune, as well as: two veterans, John Driscoll; Christopher Grubbs’s illustration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial during its design phase – apparently those words on the side are not on the actual monument; Monitor and Merrimac
The Monitor and Merrimac (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2003663908/)

March 9, 1862

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Old King Coal

January 1918 was very cold in most of the northeastern United States, and apparently many people burned coal to keep themselves warm. Unfortunately coal was in short supply that winter. In its January 20, 1918 “Graphic” section the New York Tribune detailed coal’s production and included a photograph showing people in Philadelphia raiding a train to procure some of the valuable fuel.

Coal NYTrib 1-20-1918(LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030214/1918-01-20/ed-1/?st=gallery)


nyt coal 1-20-1918(LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn78004456/1918-01-20/ed-1/?st=gallery)

similar theme from the January 20, 1918 The New-York Times (Image 2)

You can read more about the coal shortage in the United States during the winter of 1917-1918 at United States History – the Fuel Administration. Harry A. Garfield, son of President James Garfield, served as the fuel czar. He ordered the partial closing of some industries 100 years ago to conserve coal. The January 18, 1918 issue of The New-York Times reported that Mr. Garfield wanted to free up coal so that ships filled with supplies for the war in Europe would be able to fuel up and deliver the goods.

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The Fourteen Commandments

NY Times January 9, 1918

The New York Times January 9, 1918

On January 8, 1918 United States President Woodrow Wilson delivered a war speech to Congress in which he laid out fourteen policies that he believed should guide any peace process. The Fourteen Points is said to be an example of idealism in foreign policy: “The speech made by Wilson took many domestic progressive ideas and translated them into foreign policy (free trade, open agreements, democracy and self-determination).” You can read the whole speech at Project Gutenberg. The latter part included the XIV points:


[Address delivered at a joint session of the two Houses of Congress, January 8, 1918.]

Gentlemen of the Congress: …

We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our own people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secured once for all against their recurrence. What we demand in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. The program of the world’s peace, therefore, is our program; and that program, the only possible program, as we see it, is this:

Woodrow Wilson / Keppler. ( Illus. in: Puck, v. 72, no. 1847 (1912 July 24), centerfold.; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2011649367/)

idealism in the Oval Office

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

Momentaufnahme von Europa und Halbasien 1914 / W. Kaspar fec. (Hamburg : Lith. Druck u. Verlag von Graht & Kaspar, Hamburg 6. 1. 7788, [1915?]; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2014648402/)

to be redrawn?

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest coöperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.

Carte symbolique de l'Europe Guerre libératrice de 1914-1915 / / B. Crétée, 1914. ([Paris] : Éditions G.D., [1915]; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2016647864/)

French view different than German

XI. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.

XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.

XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.

In regard to these essential rectifications of wrong and assertions of right we feel ourselves to be intimate partners of all the governments and peoples associated together against the Imperialists. We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.

On the way to the promised land / Keppler. ( Illus. in: Puck, v. 74, no. 1924 (1914 January 14), centerfold.)

next miracle: crossing the sea

For such arrangements and covenants we are willing to fight and to continue to fight until they are achieved; but only because we wish the right to prevail and desire a just and stable peace such as can be secured only by removing the chief provocations to war, which this program does remove. We have no jealousy of German greatness, and there is nothing in this program that impairs it. We grudge her no achievement or distinction of learning or of pacific enterprise such as have made her record very bright and very enviable. We do not wish to injure her or to block in any way her legitimate influence or power. We do not wish to fight her either with arms or with hostile arrangements of trade if she is willing to associate herself with us and the other peace-loving nations of the world in covenants of justice and law and fair dealing. We wish her only to accept a place of equality among the peoples of the world,—the new world in which we now live,—instead of a place of mastery.

Neither do we presume to suggest to her any alteration or modification of her institutions. But it is necessary, we must frankly say, and necessary as a preliminary to any intelligent dealings with her on our part, that we should know whom her spokesmen speak for when they speak to us, whether for the Reichstag majority or for the military party and the men whose creed is imperial domination.

We have spoken now, surely, in terms too concrete to admit of any further doubt or question. An evident principle runs through the whole program I have outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and nationalities, and their right to live on equal terms of liberty and safety with one another, whether they be strong or weak. Unless this principle be made its foundation no part of the structure of international justice can stand. The people of the United States could act upon no other principle; and to the vindication of this principle they are ready to devote their lives, their honor, and everything that they possess. The moral climax of this the culminating and final war for human liberty has come, and they are ready to put their own strength, their own highest purpose, their own integrity and devotion to the test.

The good samaritan / Kep. ( Illus. in: Puck, v. 72, no. 1858 (1912 October 9), centerfold. ; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2011649390/)

caring for the American consumer

Mr. Wilson bores me with his Fourteen Points; why, God Almighty has only Ten!Georges Clemenceau

I learned about the Clemenceau quote in a Khan Academy overview of the XIV points on Youtube
From the Library of Congress: portrait from the July 24, 1912 issue of Puck; German map; French map; Wilson as Moses from the January 14, 1914 issue of Puck; Puck drew Woodrow Wilson as a different biblical figure during the 1912 presidential election campaign (October 9th – Good Samaritan); Puck beat me by 105 years having Mr. Wilson part the waters; the cartoon, said to be clipped from a German newspaper, showing Clemeceau and Wilson as Aaron and Moses with tablets on which commandments inscribed
"And the waters were divided" / Kep. (Illus. in: Puck, v. 72, no. 1848 (1912 July 31), centerfold. ; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2011649369/)

Puck July 31, 1912

Propheten einer neuen Welt (1918 from German newspaper; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/2009631633/)

“Propheten einer neuen Welt”

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coal comfort

From the New York Tribune (Image 2) on January 13, 1918:

NY Tribune 1-13-1918 (https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030214/1918-01-13/ed-1/?q=january+13+1918&st=gallery)

cold war

Later on at Image 10 the editors tried the power of suggestion to warm things up: the relative heat in Tampa Bay, more moderate temps in Atlantic City, and perhaps an assumption that it was even colder up in Maine.

NY Tribune Suggestion 1-13-1918 (LOC: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030214/1918-01-13/ed-1/?q=january+13+1918&st=gallery)

think palms

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