Scrapbook page 29




Copy of letter from Adolph S. Ochs, Sr, regarding his nephew's "escapade" overseas and trip home.


Gift of Rev. Shelby Ochs Owen





Is Part Of

Ochs Collection Scrapbook


Send this to
Millie and Fannie

May 12, 1914

Mr Adolph Ochs,
SS Koenigen Luise,

My dear Adolph,

I was greatly gratified to receive your wireless message a few minutes ago in which you said you would return. I immediately cabled your father, who I know will be greatly relieved to receive the news and so relieve the distress of your mother. You are probably surprised to find that I am in London. Your father cabled me of your escapade and asked me to meet you on your arrival in Bremen, but this I am sorry I am unable to do as I must return at once on the Steamship Vaderland, sailing from Southampton on Friday. We shall probably pass each other in the English Channel and I shall try to exchange messages with you by wireless.

It is needless for me to tell you how greatly shocked I am by your conduct and, of course, dreadfully disappointed but I am not going to preach to you. I shall not give up my confidence in you and my hope that you will mend your ways and reward all of us who adhere to you and believe in you by making amends for the past. As I have cabled you, I shall see that you are forgiven and given another chance.

Now I wish to reiterate that you will be forgiven and to say that on your return I shall take counsel with you as to what you wish to do and where you would like to go, and I shall aid you in carrying out your plans. You cannot possibly avoid disaster if you persist in your present course. If you were the only person involved, perhaps I would not concern myself as much as I do about you, but you are likely to bring disgrace not only upon yourself but upon your parents and relatives, causing them deep pain and humiliation. It does not seem to me possible that you can gain in pleasure or experience anything that would justify such a sacrifice on your part. As I once before told you, there is no young man of your age that has brighter prospects and a more secure future - a career mapped out for you - every aid and facility at your command and the door of opportunity wide open. You are not confined by any narrow limitations, having freedom of conduct in reasonable pleasures and diversions. In fact there is nothing that a sane and healthy young man of intelligence could wish for or aspire to that is not yours for the asking. You have a splendid family history at the back of you; you have an honorable name - a name that has never had a stain nor a blemish, one that has been earned by years of toil, integrity and self-denial. I was so hopeful but I have not abandoned hope that you have the mental capacity, the moral courage and ambition to make illustrious the name, for as I said before, you have the opportunity presented to you under the most fortuitous circumstances. Then apart from all this, you know that you are the idol of your mother’s heart, and she expected great things from you, great pleasure in your career and comfort in her old age. It is because I believe in your ability that I want to have you turn back and take another chance. I want to encourage and to aid you. You can be a great help to me and compensate me manyfold for the little I am able to do for you if you will only devote yourself and seriously equip yourself to assist me in my work. I am absolutely in need of your help. But you must not for a moment think that if you pursue a career contrary to our wishes that you will succeed. You will not; you will just go from bad to worse and be such a continual source of trouble and expense that you will make us regret the day you were born. You have not any idea to what trouble and expense you have put us in this last escapade.

I did not intend saying this much to you as I believe I make no observation that you yourself do not realise, but still it can do no harm to give you the gentle reminder that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by coming back and being a good boy - Be a man!

You will be met on your arrival in Bremen by the Berlin representative of the New York Times who will arrange for your return on the first steamer. When you reach New York, I promise you that you will be given every chance you may wish to reprieve what you have done and enable you to restore our confidence in you. If perchance no one meets you as I am arranging and you find any difficulty, telegraph to
“Wile, Daily Mail, Berlin”
or call at his (F.W. Wile) Office in Berlin which is the New York Times Bureau, Friedrichstrasse, 59, Berlin.

I hope by the time I have reached New York, that they will have had news of your being en route for home. My ship is due to arrive in New York on the 21st of May. I believe the first ship you can take returning is on the 19th of May. ]

“Turn back, oh youth! turn back and do not seek expiate bad deeds by worse”.

Your affectionate uncle,

Original Format




Ochs, Adolph S. (Adolph Simon), 1858-1935, “Scrapbook page 29,” 1914 May 12, T100501, Adolph S. Ochs Jr. Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.

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