[‘Snub him & send him home.’ President Woodrow Wilson is a ‘Bally Ass’ and ‘distinctly Socialistic’.] Autograph Letter Signed from Republican politician A. H. Olmsted to P. A. Currie, attacking Wilson on the eve of the Paris Peace Conference.

A. H. Olmsted [Albert Henry Olmsted] (d.1842-1929), banker and Republican party politician, half-brother of ‘father of landscape architecture’ Frederick Law Olmsted [President Woodrow Wilson]
Publication details: 
26 January 1919; on letterheads of the Hotel Del Monte, California.
SKU: 23777

Having made the first state visit to the United Kingdom by an American President, 26 to 28 December 1918, Wilson was in Europe at the opening of the Paris Peace Conference, which would result in the League of Nations and Treaty of Versailles. The present letter presents in forthright terms the Republican position on his activities in the aftermath of the First World War. 5pp, 12mo. On five leaves of letterheads of the Hotel Del Monte, California (‘Carl S. Stanley, Manager’). In postmarked envelope from the Hotel (stamps torn away), addressed to ‘Mr. P. A. Currie / Rosemead / Esher, Surrey / England’. Signed ‘Resp. / A. H. Olmsted’. The letter and additions are all in good condition, lightly aged and browned. The conclusion of the letter would appear to indicate that it was intended, if not for publication, then at least for circulation in England: Olmsted writes that he has ‘wanted for some time to give my English friends a little quiet, moderate talk like the above’, and that he feels ‘better now that it’s “off my stomach.” If you don’t agree with it just remember some of the “Remarks” & watch out for the 1920 Presidential Election’. The letter begins: ‘Hello, Mr. Currie! / What do you think of Wilson? I’ll tell you what we think - to use one of your euphonious expressions - He’s a Bally Ass. He does not represent the opinions, the desires, the beliefs of a large majority of the best people of the U.S. He may be esthetic & altruistic, but d-mit that isn’t what we want in a President or a Peace Commissioner. He’s vain & obstinate, surrounds himself in Cabinet & Peace Commission with mediocre advisors - never takes advice, not even from U.S. Senate; thinks he’s the goldarnest Biggest Man on the Earth! We hope that he will get snubbed “over there.”’ This takes the letter to the end of the first of the five pages. It continues in much the same tone, alleging that Wilson was only elected in 1916 ‘by a squeak’, that ‘many men of his own Party are “down on him”, that he is ‘distinctly Socialistic’, and after ‘the Socialistic Vote in 1920’. Wilson ‘Worked & worked for the labor vote; forced laws through that gave the R.R. labor $900.000.000.- Extra wages per annum!’ He ‘Put two Socialists into the Supreme Court of the U.S.’ He ‘carried into the Government with him an unreconstructedly unrepentant Rebel Congress. All the Chairmanships of Committees are in the hands of Southerners, & they “sock it” to the North on every opportunity, & coddle the South.’ Claims that forty million dollars were ‘set aside in the U.S. Treasury to hgelp the cotton dealers to carry their stock along for better prices’: ‘Was there any fixed war price on cotton? Nixie.’ Claims that ‘the North now pays ninety percent (90%) of all our enormous war tax!’ Wilson’s ‘idea of “Peace without Victory” was not our notion of how to lick Germany’: he ‘chucked a monkey-wrench into the political machinery’, when ‘a couple more weeks of fighting & a surrender of the whole German Army & a march into Berlin would have simplified matters enormously’. Olmsted’s party do not like Wilson’s ‘meddling in European Politics & in the delineation of boundaries between nationalities’: ‘Every cussed little gang of Politicians anywhere in Europe gets together & passes a resolution on “Self Determination” & immediately wires to Wilson for recognition!’ Olmsted urges his readers to ‘Snub him & send him home.’ He points out that ‘This is not a war letter. You can bet your life I wouldn’t have written a word of it before the Armistice; & I guess its lucky that the Censorship is off!’ On a sixth letterhead Olmsted has written in pencil ‘Post Script to letter of 26th. | A. H. Olmsted | Times Editorial N.Y. Times Jany 23rd/19’. Pinned to the leaf is a newspaper cutting regarding ‘pro-Bolshevist propaganda at the Peace Conference’. The other two cuttings also from the New York Times, are loose, and both have pencil underlining by Olmstead. The first, 19 January 1919, is of an article headed ‘Demands Wilson Abandon Idealism / Senator Harding Says President Must Adopt Practical Methods to Avert Chaos. / Sees Danger In Delays | Criticises his Pre-Peace Journeyings in Europe while Bolshevism Menaces America.’; the second, 22 January 1919, is very long, headed ‘Not Time To Talk League, Says Beck / Nations Should Confine Themselves to Concrete, Not Abstract, Problems Now. / Against Open Conference / W. D. Guthrie Tells Bar Association War Vindicated Honor of Nations in Upholding Treaties.’