PRESIDENT WARREN G. HARDING - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 03/12 - HFSID 257072
THE DAY THE U.S. MERCHANT SHIP ALGONQUIN IS SUNK BY GERMANY, SENATOR HARDING WRITES ABOUT "OVERT" ACTS AND WAR WARREN G. HARDING. Rare Autograph Letter Signed: "W.G. Harding" as U.S. Senator, 1p, 7¾x10½. Washington, D.C.
Sale Price $5,950.00
THE DAY THE U.S. MERCHANT SHIP ALGONQUIN IS SUNK BY GERMANY, SENATOR HARDING WRITES ABOUT "OVERT" ACTS AND WAR
WARREN G. HARDING. Rare Autograph Letter Signed: "W.G. Harding" as U.S. Senator, 1p, 7¾x10½. Washington, D.C., no year (most probably 1917) March 12. To Mrs. Williams. In full: "Yours of Feb. 25 came duly to hand. The enormous pressure of work has made earlier reply almost impossible. Don't worry about the 'overt' act. Sometimes war developes (sic) without it. Sometimes the fates revolve and settle the trend of events. I note the motor options extend to April, and I assume you do not plan any serious endeavor until that time. If your son has developed the trials to a point where he is ready to write final judgment I shall be glad to furnish him letters of introduction which ought to secure him a hearing. You may command me at any time. Am likely to be in New York next week. Will endeavor to reach you by telephone - if that is agreeable to you. I may be helpful." On January 31, 1917, in a desperate move to end the two-and-a-half-year-old military stalemate in Europe, the German high command declared unrestricted submarine warfare against all shipping, neutral or belligerent, destined for Britain. President Wilson broke diplomatic relations with Berlin but declined to ask Congress for a declaration of war in the absence of "actual overt acts" against American lives and property. He sought instead to arm American merchant vessels as a way of forestalling attacks and thus avoiding war. On February 24, 1917, British intelligence turned over to Wilson an intercepted telegram from German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Ambassador to Mexico, proposing a German-Mexican alliance against the U.S. Mexico's reward would be the recovery of territory it had lost in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The "overt acts" came with the sinking, without warning, of the American merchant ship Algonquin on March 12th (the very day Harding wrote this letter!), the City of Memphis, Vigilante and Illinois on March 18th and the Healdton on March 21st. On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany to make the world "safe for democracy". The Senate approved the declaration of war on Germany on April 4th and when the House approved it on April 6th, war was declared and the U.S. entered WWI. Lightly creased. Lightly soiled. Folds. Vertical fold touches the "W" in signature. Nail head-size hole touches 1 word of text.
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