All in a Life-time by Henry Morgenthau and French Strother

ALL IN A LIFE-TIME


BY
HENRY MORGENTHAU

IN COLLABORATION WITH
FRENCH STROTHER

ILLUSTRATIONS
FROM
PHOTOGRAPHS

GARDEN CITY NEW YORK
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
1922

COPYRIGHT, 1921, 1922, BY

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION
INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES
AT
THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, N. Y.

First Edition

TO

MY DEVOTED COMPANION

MY WIFE

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

CONTENTS

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
XIII. My Meetings with Joffre, Haig, Currie, and Pershing 249
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

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

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

{1}

ALL IN A LIFE-TIME

CHAPTER I

NEW WORLDS FOR OLD

NEW WORLDS FOR OLD
IWAS 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.{2}

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{3} 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{4} 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 scale.

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 oppor{5}tunity 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 expedition.

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{6} 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.{7}

CHAPTER II

SCHOOL DAYS
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 con{8}ductors 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 effi{9}cient 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{10} 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{11} 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 admission.

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{12} 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{13} 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{14} 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 com{15}monplace 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{16} 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{17} 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.{18}

CHAPTER III

APPRENTICED TO THE LAW
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 manage{19}ment 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.{20}

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.{21}

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 in{22}tended 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 credit.

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{23} 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{24} 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{25} pleasure my acquaintance in those surroundings with Gildersleeve and Purroy, with Butzel and Bourke Cochran.

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 time.

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 speak.

“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{26} 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 knowl{27}edge 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{28} 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 knowledge.

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{29} 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 con{30}nection 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 had.

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.{31}

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 pulling.

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{32} 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:{33}

“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,{34} 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{35} 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{36} 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{37} 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.{38} 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.{39}

CHAPTER IV

REAL ESTATE
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{40} 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 abandon{41}ing 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.{42}

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{43} 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{44} costs of excavation, besides realizing over $30,000 for the sand. That furnished him nearly all the cash for the building.

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?{45}”

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 de{46}manded $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.{47}

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.{48}

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{49} 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.{50}

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 Constantinople.

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 Bridgeport.

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{51} 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.{52}”

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{53} 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,{54} 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 completion

[image unavailable.]
Mr. Morgenthau playfully refers to this picture as the Morgenthau dynasty

{55}

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{56} 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 twenty.

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{57} 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{58} 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{59} 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{60} 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 entirely.

“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{61} 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{62} 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.{63}

CHAPTER V

FINANCE
IHAD 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{64} 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 com{65}panies 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{66} 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 slight.{67}

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 Company.”

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 in{68}formed 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 stock.

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{69} 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{70} 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 stock{71}holders 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{72} 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,{73} 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{74} 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:{75} 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, prac{76}tically 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{77} 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.{78}

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 accounts.

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{79} 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 undoing.

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{80} 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{81} 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{82} 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{83} 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 finance.

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{84} 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{85} 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 country.

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 could.

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 im{86}pressed 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.{87} 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 frequently.

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{88} district, in Washington Heights, and Fort George, about 2,500 lots which were eventually sold for $9,000,000.

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 happens.”

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{89} 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 owned.

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 so.

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{90} 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{91} $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{92} 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{93} 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.{94}

CHAPTER VI

SOCIAL SERVICE
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{95} 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{96} 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{97} 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.{98} 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{99} 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{100} 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 him:

“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.{101} 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 contract.{102}”

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{103} 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{104} 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 “Cross{105}ing 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{106} 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 Settlement.

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 Settlement.

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{107} 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 investments.

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{108} 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.{109}

CHAPTER VII

EARLY POLITICAL EXPERIENCES
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{110} 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 slate:

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.

{111}

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{112} 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{113} 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 justices.

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,{114} 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 stock.

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{115} 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{116} 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{117} 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 Convention.”

“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.{118}”

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

[image unavailable.]
© 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.

{119}

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.{120}”

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 1912.

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{121} 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 positions.”

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{122} 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{123} 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 condition?”

“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 Convention.

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{124} 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 him:

“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 Philippines.”

“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{125} 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{126} 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{127} 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.{128}

CHAPTER VIII

MY ENTRANCE INTO NATIONAL POLITICS
“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{129} 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 Adler.

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,{130} 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 head{131}quarters; 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{132} 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 gigan{133}tic 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 competi{134}tion. 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,{135} organize our enthusiasm, and take fresh hope for redemption.

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{136} 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 familiarly.

“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.{137}”

“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.{138}

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{139} 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:{140}

“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 inspiration.”

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{141} 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{142} 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{143} 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 triumph.

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{144} 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{145} 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{146} 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 nomination.

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{147} 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{148} 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 President.

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,{149} “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 London.

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?{150}”

CHAPTER IX

THE CAMPAIGN OF 1912
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 domination.

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 Demo{151}crats 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{152} 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.{153}

“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 campaign!”

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{154} 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;{155} 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{156} 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{157} 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.{158}

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 cordially.

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{159} 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{160} 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{161} 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 country.

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.{162}

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.{163} 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 em{164}braced 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 membership.

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{165} 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.

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{166} 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 vengeance.

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 him.”

“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.{167}”

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 arises?”

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.{168}”

“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.{169}

“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. Wilson.

“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{170} 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 I.’”

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{171} 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{172} 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{173} 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.{174}

CHAPTER X

THE SOCIAL SIDE OF CONSTANTINOPLE
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{175} 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{176} 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{177} 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 Constantinople.

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.{178}

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{179} 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,{180} 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 ponies.

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{181} 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{182} 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,{183} 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{184} 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{185} 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 un{186}folded 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 daughter:

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{187} 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{188} 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.{189}

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 Scorpion).

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.{190} 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{191} 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 Turkish:

“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.{192}

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

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

“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 in{193}telligence—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 meet{194}ing 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.{195} 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{196} 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{197} 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, espe{198}cially 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 success{199}ful 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{200} 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{201} 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 matter.

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{202} 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{203} 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{204} 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.{205}

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{206} 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 Turkey.

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.{207}

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 seri{208}ously, 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.{209}

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{210} 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 chapter.{211}

CHAPTER XI

MY TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND
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{212} 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.{213}

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,{214} but the persons of their sovereigns. Doctor Peet then enlarged again upon the extraordinary opportunity which this privilege gave me of enjoying a unique experience.

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.{215}” 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 assistance.

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 ac{216}company 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{217} 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{218} 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 {219}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 centuries.

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{220} 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 Cairo.

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{221} 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{222} 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 day.

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 as{223}suring 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{224} 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{225} 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;{226} 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{227} 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{228} 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.{229} 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{230} 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 Samaritans.

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{231} 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, Mah{232}moud 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{233} 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.{234}

CHAPTER XII

THE CAMPAIGN OF 1916
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{235} 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{236} 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{237} 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 1912.

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 Post{238}master 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{239} 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{240} 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.{241}

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{242} 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{243} 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:

Dear Uncle Henry:
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 advertis{244}ing 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{245} 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 appointment.

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{246} 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,{247} 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{248} 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.{249}

CHAPTER XIII

MY MEETINGS WITH JOFFRE, HAIG, CURRIE, AND PERSHING
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{250} 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{251} 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:{252}

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 Re{253}publican 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 line.

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{254} 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 Bal{255}four 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 devas{256}tating 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 disap{257}peared 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 lead.

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{258} 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 enemy.

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{259} 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 battle.

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{260} 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{261} 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{262} 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. Mar{263}shal 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 field.

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{264} 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 appointments.

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:

American Expeditionary Force
Office of the Commanding General
Saturday, August 18, 1917.
My dear Mr. Morgenthau:
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{265} 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,
W. C. Eustis,
Secretary.
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{266} 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

[image unavailable.]
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

{267}

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{268} 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{269} 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{270} 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.{271}

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 {272}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 help….

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{273} 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{274} 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.
My dear Mr. President:
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{275} 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{276} 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 thraldom.

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{277} 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,
Henry Morgenthau.
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?{278}”

CHAPTER XIV

JOHN PURROY MITCHEL
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 was:

“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.{279}”

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 York.

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 mate{280}rial 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{281} 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{282} 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:

My dear Mr. Aronstam:
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{283} 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,
Henry Morgenthau.
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{284} 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 Mayor.

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, said:{285}

“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{286} 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.{287}

CHAPTER XV

A HECTIC FORTNIGHT—AND OTHERS
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 im{288}mersed 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!”
{289}

“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 statement.

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{290} 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{291} 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{292} 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.

Henry Morgenthau.
New York, Dec. 11, 1917.

{293}

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 York….

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 Synagogue.”

The resignation read thus:{294}

March 3, 1918.
Executive Committee,
Free Synagogue.
Dear Sirs:
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,
Henry Morgenthau.
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{295} 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.{296}

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{297} these facts, copied in newspapers throughout the country, created a sensation and profoundly influenced American public opinion.

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:

The White House
27 November, 1917.
My dear Mr. Morgenthau:
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 sure.

Cordially and sincerely yours,
Woodrow Wilson.
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 said:

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 re{298}education 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 interest.

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,{299} 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{300} 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.
My dear Mr. Morgenthau:
I return herewith the letter which you enclosed with yours of the twentieth.

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{301} 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{302} 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 days.

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{303} 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:

AN APPEAL TO OUR FELLOW CITIZENS
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{304} 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.
(Signed)
William H. Taft.
Henry Morgenthau.
A. Lawrence Lowell.
Henry van Dyke.
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 Paris.{305}

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{306} 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,{307} 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{308} 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 trip:

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{309} 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.{310}

CHAPTER XVI

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS
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.{311}

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{312} 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 Ser{313}via, 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,{314} 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{315} 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{316} 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{317} 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 streets.”

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, Morgenthau—impossible!{318}”

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:

Admiral Grayson,
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.

(Signed)

Henry Morgenthau.
The reply was another evidence of Wilson’s fine loyalty to his friends:

Hon. Henry Morgenthau,
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.

(Signed)

Cary T. Grayson.
Davison then cabled one of his partners to see Lane personally and asked me to cable Lane direct, which was done as follows:{319}

Franklin Lane,
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.

(Signed)

Morgenthau.
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{320} 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 Director-General.

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{321} 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 usefulness.

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.{322}

CHAPTER XVII

THE PEACE CONFERENCE
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{323} 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{324} 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 revolutionary.”

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{325} 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{326} 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 declared:

“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 in{327}troduce 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{328} 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 Allies.

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{329} 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.{330}

“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 situation.

France’s financial troubles were the stumbling block: The country’s tax-payers were already overburdened, yet{331} 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 America!

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 purpose.”

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{332} 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 confessed:

“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.{333} 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 wrought.

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:{334}

“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 physician.

“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 all.”

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{335} 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{336} Years’ War which had begun with the Balkan conflict of 1912.

Was he right? The answer rests hidden in the years immediately ahead of us.

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{337} 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{338} 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 through.”

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 departure:

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{339} 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 station:

“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 ignorance.

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.

{340}

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{341} 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{342} 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{343} 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.

{345}

{346}

Reasons For Reasons Against
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. 1. The United States has prior and nearer foreign obligations, and ample responsibilities with domestic problems growing out of the war.
2. The insurance of world peace at the world’s cross-ways, the focus of war infection since the beginning of history. 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. 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 alone. 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. America is practically the unanimous choice and fervent hope of all the peoples involved. 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. 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. 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. 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 suspicion. 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. 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, etc.
America would clean this hot-bed of disease and filth as she has in Cuba and Panama. 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. 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. 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. It would definitely stop further massacres of Armenians and other Christians, give justice to the Turks, Kurds, Greeks and other peoples. 9. Peace and justice would be equally assured under any other of the great powers.
10. It would increase the strength and prestige of the United States abroad and inspire interest at home in the regeneration of the Near East. 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. America has strong sentimental interests in the region; our missions and colleges. 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. 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. 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. “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. 13. The first duty of America is to its own people and its nearer neighbours. 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.
{347}

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.{348}

CHAPTER XVIII

MY MISSION TO POLAND
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.{349}

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{350} 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 Palestine.”

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 pro{351}testers 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{352} 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{353} 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 other.

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.

Joseph C. Grew.
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 Com{354}mission, 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{355} 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:{356}

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 Lansing:

“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{357} 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{358} 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.

[image unavailable.]
© Keystone

IGNACE PADEREWSKI

Premier of Poland, and her representative at Paris, who suggested that the American Mission be sent, and later, in Poland, aided it.

{359}

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.
My dear Mr. Morgenthau:
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{360} 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,
Robert Lansing.
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 Ar{361}beiter-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,{362} 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.{363}

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{364} 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 present.”

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{365} 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{366} 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 schools.

“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.{367}”

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 Vilna.

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{368} 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?”

“Sixty.”

“And how many Jews?”

“One.”

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{369} 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 graves.

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 centuries.{370}

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{371} 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 general.”

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{372} 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 ex{373}cellently 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{374} 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 quietly:

“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, accompanied

[image unavailable.]
JOSEPH PILSUDSKI

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

{375}

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{376} 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{377} 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{378} 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{379} 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{380} 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 attention.

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 generously.{381}

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:{382}

“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 system.”

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 scheme.”

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 decision.

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 mischief{383}makers 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.{384} 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 scheme.

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 Nationalism.{385}

CHAPTER XIX

ZIONISM A SURRENDER, NOT A SOLUTION[2]
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 prob{386}lems 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 community.

I speak as a Jew. I speak with fullest sympathy for the Jew everywhere. I have seen him in his poverty{387}—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{388} 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 Zionists.

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 dis{389}crimination 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” nations.

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{390} 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.

[image unavailable.]
RABBI RUBENSTEIN

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 city.

{391}

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.{392}”

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 be{393}lieves 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{394} 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{395} 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 states{396}men 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 prof{397}anation 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{398} 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 elo{399}quence 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 India.

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{400} 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 unreal.

The proudest boast of all these men, and my proudest{401} 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{402} 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.{403} 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{404} 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.{405}

{406}

{407}

APPENDIX
REPORT OF THE MISSION OF THE UNITED STATES TO POLAND
American Commission to Negotiate Peace,
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,{408} 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 another.

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{409} 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 condition.

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.{410}

(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 thereby.

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{411} 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.{412} 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{413} 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 murders.{414}

(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 {415}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{416} 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{417} 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 Aus{418}trian 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{419} 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{420} 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.

Henry Morgenthau.
AMERICAN COMMISSION TO NEGOTIATE PEACE
Warsaw, 10 August, 1919.
My dear Mr. President:
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.{421}

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 resources.

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.{422}

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 subscribe.

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{423} 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,
Henry Morgenthau.
Hon. Ignace Paderewski,
President of the Council of Ministers, Warsaw.
MANDATES OR WAR?[3]
WORLD PEACE HELD TO BE MENACED UNLESS THE UNITED STATES ASSUMES CONTROL OF THE SULTAN’S FORMER DOMINIONS

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.{424}

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{425} 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{426} 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 temporarily.

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{427} 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{428} 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{429} 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{430} another. The “settlement” of the Eastern problem which had been provided by the Crimean War lasted until 1876.

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.{431}”

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 Empire.”

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{432} to take the side of liberty—as a matter of fact, they took the side of servitude.”

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 Disraeli.

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.{433}

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 succeeded.

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 Times:

“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,{434} 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{435} 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 are:

“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 impoverish{436}ment 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 are.

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 for.

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{437} 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 stabilization.

{438}

{439}

{440}

{441}

INDEX
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z

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, 256;
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, 146;
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, 8
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, 343
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, 342
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, 324
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, 69

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, 58;
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, 340
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