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PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 02/27/1917 - HFSID 5900

PRES. WILSON WANTS TO ARM U.S. MERCHANT SHIPS, BUT SEN. LaFOLLETTE IS FILIBUSTERING; WILSON WANTS "A 'SHOW DOWN' NOW". WOODROW WILSON. Typed Letter Signed: "Woodrow Wilson" as President, 1p, 7x8¾. The White House, 1917 February 27.

Sale Price $1,190.00

Reg. $1,400.00

Condition: lightly soiled, otherwise fine condition
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PRES. WILSON WANTS TO ARM U.S. MERCHANT SHIPS, BUT SEN. LaFOLLETTE IS FILIBUSTERING; WILSON WANTS "A 'SHOW DOWN' NOW".
WOODROW WILSON.
Typed Letter Signed: "Woodrow Wilson" as President, 1p, 7x8¾. The White House, 1917 February 27. Six days before his second inauguration, the President writes to Congressman Jouett Shouse of Kansas. In full: "Thank you warmly for your letter of yesterday. It gives me a great deal of genuine gratification. I dare say, as I see things now, that it perhaps would have been well to go to Congress earlier, but you may be sure that I shall use every legitimate influence to bring about a 'show down' now." JOUETT SHOUSE represented Kansas in the House of Representatives from 1915-1919 and served as Wilson's Assistant Secretary of the Treasury from 1919-1920. President Wilson is referring to the following situation: On the day Shouse wrote him, Wilson, who had asked Congress' permission to arm merchant ships to safeguard American lives at sea, had confronted pacifist Republican Senator Robert LaFollette, who was leading a filibuster against his request. The President angrily characterized LaFollette and his supporters as "a little group of willful men [who] have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible." On February 24, 1917, three days before writing this letter, Wilson had received from British intelligence an intercepted January 19, 1917 telegram from German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Ambassador to Mexico, proposing a German-Mexican alliance against the United States. Mexico's reward would be the recovery of territory it had lost in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The text of the telegram was released to the press on March 1st. After his Attorney General advised him that the powers to arm merchant ships were inherent to the Presidency, Wilson issued the necessary directive on March 9th, too late for the American merchant ship Algonquin, which was sunk without warning on March 12th. Six days later, American ships City of Memphis, Vigilante and Illinois were sunk by Germany and on March 21st, the American ship Healdton was sunk, all without warning. On April 2, 1917 President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany, saying "The world must be made safe for democracy." Surface crease affects 5 typed words. Lightly soiled at edges. Overall, fine condition.

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