May 2018 Auction Ends Thursday, May 31st, 5pm Pacific
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/31/2018
Extraordinary letter signed by William Taft, who critiques President Woodrow Wilson in detail for his handling of World War I, roughly eight months after America declared war against Germany, and only days before Taft's son Charles Taft would be deployed to fight. Dated 24 December 1917 upon his personal stationery, Taft writes to his good friend, journalist Gus Karger, with several hand-annotations by Taft throughout. Letter reads in part, ''...In the turmoil of Washington life, and the pulling and halting and bitternesses that are engendered there, it is a good deal to keep your head level, to do justice and retain the respect and good will of all your colleagues...I have been a good deal discouraged by my visits to Washington from what I hear there and what I hear elsewhere with reference to the manner in which the Administration is conducting itself in the discharge of its responsibilities in this war. One of the chief obstacles to success in the great work which the United States now has on hand is Wilson's selfish temperament. Men have praised and properly praised his facile, engaging style. I wish I could call it a luminous and lucid style, but I can not do so...he loves idealistic phrases that sound well in his mouth and in the mouths of his admirers who repeat them, but they are neither constructive nor instructive...they contain little or nothing useful in its practical achievment [sic]. He is very like Micawber [character from Charles Dickens' ''David Copperfield'']...He secludes himself behind the walls of the White House and sees no one whom he does not consider pledged in advance to agree with everything he has done and agree with all his views reached by a kind of intuition without information. The personnel of the House Commission was disgraceful...Wilson did not have the courage to decide between Denman and Goethals...and now after the long humiliating and disgraceful experience resulting in four or five months' delay of the most valuable time, they have recurred to the arrangement which was originally made...I send you a memorandum which I gave to George Vincent of the Rockefeller Foundation, which explains itself. The most discouraging thing in it is not that the President did not wish me or the others to go, but it is the failure to appreciate that England is making the great fight now and that we should tie up to England as much as possible and help her, as she wishes us to help her, by a closer union and greater unity of action. The truth is the President seems to think he is king of the universe and that he must tell these various nations just what they shall do or not do as he would tell the boys in his class...I am...trying to formulate in my mind not a direct attack on the Administration but an expression of regret over the mistakes made through political bias...by the exigencies of war...[signed] Wm H Taft''. Taft then adds a personal postscript regarding his son leaving to fight in the war, ''Charlie's regiment...is under orders for embarkation. I presume they may go a day or two after Christmas.'' Letter spans six pages on six separate sheets, measuring 8'' x 10.25''. Some dampstaining to lower right edge and rust impression from paperclip, overall in very good condition.
William Howard Taft Excoriates President Woodrow Wilson for His Handling of WWI -- ''...Wilson's selfish temperament...he loves idealistic phrases that sound well in his mouth...''William Howard Taft Excoriates President Woodrow Wilson for His Handling of WWI -- ''...Wilson's selfish temperament...he loves idealistic phrases that sound well in his mouth...''William Howard Taft Excoriates President Woodrow Wilson for His Handling of WWI -- ''...Wilson's selfish temperament...he loves idealistic phrases that sound well in his mouth...''William Howard Taft Excoriates President Woodrow Wilson for His Handling of WWI -- ''...Wilson's selfish temperament...he loves idealistic phrases that sound well in his mouth...''
William Howard Taft Excoriates President Woodrow Wilson for His Handling of WWI -- ''...Wilson's selfish temperament...he loves idealistic phrases that sound well in his mouth...''William Howard Taft Excoriates President Woodrow Wilson for His Handling of WWI -- ''...Wilson's selfish temperament...he loves idealistic phrases that sound well in his mouth...''William Howard Taft Excoriates President Woodrow Wilson for His Handling of WWI -- ''...Wilson's selfish temperament...he loves idealistic phrases that sound well in his mouth...''
William Howard Taft Excoriates President Woodrow Wilson for His Handling of WWI -- ''...Wilson's selfish temperament...he loves idealistic phrases that sound well in his mouth...''
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Minimum Bid: $7,000
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Auction closed on Thursday, May 31, 2018.
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