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NEWTON D. BAKER - MILITARY APPOINTMENT SIGNED 08/05/1920 CO-SIGNED BY: MAJOR GENERAL PETER CHARLES HARRIS - DOCUMENT 310408

 
NEWTON D. BAKER and PETER C. HARRIS
As Secretary of War and US Army Adjutant General, they sign the appointment of a Colonel in the Quartermaster Corps. The space for a Presidential signature is blank. President Wilson was barely functioning following his stroke of October 1919, his condition concealed from the public, and even from the Vice President and Cabinet.
Military Appointment signed: "Baker" as Secretary of War, "P. C. Harris" as Adjutant General. The space for a Presidential signature is left blank. 11x14½. Washington. D.C., 1920 August 5. Appointment of Francis H. Pope as Colonel of the Quartermaster Corps. NEWTON DIEHL BAKER (1871-1937) was Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio (1912-1915) before serving as President Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of War from 1916 to1921. It was Baker who, on June 27, 1918, pulled numbers out of a fishbowl, drafting men ages 21 to 31 into the military for World War I. Baker electrified the 1924 Democratic National Convention with a fiery speech advocating US membership in the League of Nations and a return to Wilsonian principles in foreign policy. Baker was a skilled lawyer, who argued a case successfully before the Supreme Court (1926). PETER CHARLES HARRIS (1865-1951), a Major General from 1916, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in France during World War I and served as the US Army's Adjutant General (1918-1922). He was instrumental in arranging the return of American service men that died in France during World War I, for burial in the US. His brother, William J. Harris, was a US Senator from Georgia (1919-1925). Campaigning cross-country for a pro-League of Nations majority in the Congressional elections, an exhausted President Woodrow Wilson suffered an incapacitating stroke on October 2, 1918. The severity of his condition was concealed from the Congress, most of the Cabinet, and even Vice President Marshall. Wilson didn't attend a Cabinet meeting until April 1920, his appearance a shock to most. For the rest of his term, Wilson was barely functional, screened by First Lady Edith Wilson and Chief of Staff Tumulty from most business, hence the absence of a Presidential signature here. Wilson's stroke, and the temporarily debilitating heart attack suffered by President Eisenhower in 1955, were among the justifications for the long overdue 25th Amendment to the US Constitution (1967) providing for the death or incapacitation of the President. Lightly toned. Top right corner creased. Corners slightly worn. Fine condition.


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NEWTON D. BAKER   MAJOR GENERAL PETER CHARLES HARRIS  


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NEWTON D. BAKER
Born: December 3, 1871 in Martinsburg, West Virginia
Died: December 25, 1937 in Shaker Heights, Ohio




Film Credits
1956 Project XX (Other), 1919 The Girl Who Stayed at Home (in person), 1918 America Goes Over (Other), 1916 Hearst-Vitagraph News Pictorial, No. 20 (in person), 1916 Animated Weekly, No. 31 (in person), 1916 Animated Weekly, No. 20 (in person), 1916 Animated Weekly, No. 11 (in person)


MAJOR GENERAL PETER CHARLES HARRIS
Born: November 10, 1865 in Cedartown, Georgia
Died: March 18, 1951 in Princeton, New Jersey





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