H. Ashley daCosta to the New York World


H. Ashley daCosta to the New York World


daCosta, H. Ashley




1920 January 4


H. Ashley daCosta writes a letter to the editor of the "New York World" calling for the impeachment of senators who opposed the League of Nations.


Cary T. Grayson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Staunton, Virginia




Will you please inform me how and why a United States Senator can be impeached? Is it necessary for the impeachment to come from the Senate, his own State, or can he be impeached by a citizen or citizens of other States than his own—?

It seems to me that if ever men deserved to be impeached and punished, those Senators who have up to now wrecked the Treaty of the League of Nations in this country richly deserve that penalty, but apparently men of influence and position can do just as they please with impunity in America.

It must certainly be apparent to every one with a particle of common sense, that the reasons given by these miscreants for their infamous action, are mere subterfuges, and that they have been actuated by petty spite to punish (?) President Wilson for what they regard as his ignoring of them and their rights in the matter of the Treaty, or perhaps, some of these traitors have been bought and paid for by the Sinn Fein—pro-German Party—men like Henry Clay, who “would rather be right than President” are indeed dead departed. How disappointing that Senators Lodge and Knox who were generally regarded as being above reproach and above suspicion should so falsify their reputation. Of Senators Borah and Johnson nothing better could be expected—Those who have voted against the Treaty care not what the results of that action will be. Their nests are well feathered and their skins are safe. They are fully aware that their action serves to continue and further increase the want, distress and even crimes, that the failure to declare peace has created among the millions who starve in consequence of the unsettled conditions that exist and will continue to exist until peace is declared—If these men are not responsible in the sight of Heaven for these conditions and crimes that they could put a stop to and would not, then no one is responsible for anything. There is even danger that the failure to of America to ratify the Treaty may encourage Germany to renew the bloody war and carnage that has just ended. —If each and every one of them is not false to his oaths of office and guilty of betraying his country for the sake of petty spite or filthy lucre, thereby meriting the fate of Bolo Pasha, then no one merits that fate.

Examine the falsity of their arguments so disguised to gull the ignorant.

They claim that the Treaty violates George Washington’s policy of non-interference with outside matters.

(1.) During the 140 years that have elapsed since George Washington’s days, changes have taken place, which, if he were alive today, would cause a man of his intelligence to change his views with regard to that point—

(2.) America departed years ago from George Washington’s policy when the Hawaiian Islandswere annexed, so the hullabaloo about violating George Washington’s Policy is only buncombe, since this policy ceased to be regarded years ago.

The way those geese cackle, any one who knows nothing about the matter would suppose they are genuine in their assertion that the Treaty will cause America to be involved in the affairs of other nations—America could not possibly be more involved than she has been and is at present. She has sent troops across the ocean and they have joined and fought with the armies of the Allied Nations against Germany—America has taken part in the Council of Nations which met to decide the affairs of all Nations and has granted large loans to the principal European Nations. Will any one of these literati (?) kindly inform me and the suffering public in general whose interests and welfare they are false to, how America could possibly be involved to a greater extent in European affairs than she has been and is at present, without the existence of any League of Nations-? Consequently, it is indisputable (1.) That it does not require a League of Nations to involve America in the affairs of other Nations, since she has been and is so involved without her being a party to any such League (2) If a League of Nations had been in existence prior to the War, the war would not have occurred—It is certain that Germany did not foresee the combination of Nations that would fight against her or else her army would never have left German territory to invade violate Belgium’s neutrality and Austria would not have invaded Serbia. Therefore, if a League of Nations had been in existence Germany would have been fully aware that she would have to fight all the Nations of the League if she invaded Belgium and she would have known better than to attempt to fight against the world—This shows conclusively that a League of Nations prior to 1914 would have obviated the necessity of sending American troops to fight in Europe, or the necessity of making the loans which have now been made, and also would have prevented the general upheaval & distress that exists everywhere. This being true of a League of Nations prior to 1914 as a matter of prevention, it is equally true of a League of Nations if formed now, viz:—The formation of a League of Nations now, would put an end to wars in the future as no nation would be likely to incur the displeasure & punishment of all the other nations combined, and if no wars occurred, there would be no necessity for America to send her troops to Europe as she did in this case. Thus a League of Nations will prevent the identical occurrence which these liars say it will cause—The bogey of England’s six votes to America’s one is equally untrue—England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are four distinct and separate nations speaking different languages but as they are all under one government they only have ONE vote in the Council of the League of Nations, and any one who says otherwise is both a liar and a fool, in as much as he is telling a lie that every one knows to be a lie—Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India each have a voting representative in the Assembly of the League of Nations, which Assembly is entirely different from the Council. These countries all took part in the war long before America did and suffered considerably more. Their services & losses certainly entitled them to be represented in the League, and the Council of the L. of N. unanimously decided that they should each have a representative in the Assembly which is merely an advisory and not a decisive body—Their votes therefore decide nothing but merely enable these countries to have a voice to express their individual views and wishes, which the Council of the L. of N. may or may not ratify. To deprive these countries of this advisory vote which the Unite US Senators against the L. of N. wish to do, would be rank injustice and base ingratitude which none of the European nations, but America only, would be guilty of, because as these British Colonies are not represented in the British Parliament but each has a separate legislature of its own, to deprive them of a representative in the Assembly of the L. of N. would prevent them from being represented at all. These facts are apparent and well known to every intelligent individual, and are certainly well known to these US Senators who to gratify their personal petty spite or other ulterior motive would throw the pretended cloak of patriotism over their action by concocting a base lie with which to gull ignorant fools who do not know wrong from right—Only a fool would give credence to an assertion that these self governing colonies of Gt Britain would blindly follow the dictates of their Mother Country (theirs and ours) any more than we would, if even they had a decisive instead of an advisory note—In 1775 we showed that we would not blindly submit to the dictates of our Mother Country and although they have not followed our example to the extent of casting off their allegiance, yet there have been several well known instances where these Colonies referred to have followed their own ideas and not the ideas & wishes of their Mother Country. Consequently, the howl six votes to one, is only for the purpose of deceiving the gullible and no sensible person is taken in by it—Equally puerile and untrue is the assertion that the Munroe Doctrine is endangered—This doctrine was only promulgated by President Munroe in accordance with the wish and suggestion of England and since then it has only been maintained because the British Navy has always prevented its violation (which Presidents Roosevelt and Taft, and Secretaries of Sate Hay and Root have publicly testified to). This being the case, it is contrary to common sense to suppose that England would wish or allow its violation, and as long as England unites with America, they could withstand all other nations combined—There is not an objection that made by these traitors to the League of Nations that cannot be dissected and proven to be false and puerile, but time will not allow for more, and I think what I have pointed out is sufficient to evidence of the double dealing and falsity of the opponents of the League of Nations—They are not only false to the interests of the country they so shamefully misrepresent and dishonor, in order to gratify a mean and petty desire of retaliation and spite, but they are also false to the interests and claims of humanity at large, whose hardships and sufferings are unnecessarily prolonged by means of the delay in the ratifying of the Treaty by America—President Wilson is certainly justified to leave the onus of the continued crime and calamity on the heads of these men—Should they escape in this life the punishment they so richly deserve for their guilt, if there is a hereafter (which I suppose they doubt) and future reward, or punishment for our actions here, I would not exchange places with them for all their illgotten wealth, as I believe they will be held accountable and punished hereafter for all that they could have prevented and would not—In conclusion I would again ask what is necessary for the impeachment of one and all of these men, for if it lies in my power to effect this, I will most assuredly, do so—

“Vox Populi”

Original Format



New York World





daCosta, H. Ashley, “H. Ashley daCosta to the New York World,” 1920 January 4, WWP16142, Cary T. Grayson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.