Sherman L. Whipple to Woodrow Wilson


Sherman L. Whipple to Woodrow Wilson


Whipple, Sherman L. (Sherman Leland), 1862-1930




1918 October 24


Supporter writes of his approval of the treatment of Germany.


Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Papers


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


World War, 1914-1918--Peace


Danna Faulds






Document scan was taken from Library of Congress microfilm reel of the Wilson Papers. WWPL volunteers transcribed the text.


My dear Mr. President:

I have wanted for some days to make known to you how deeply impressed I have been with your handling of the grave questions involved in the German suit for peace. At the risk of intrusion, may I now express my admiration for all that you have done, and my complete accord with your final and decisive word?

I had feared that the startling intensity of the desire for bloodthirsty vengeance that has been sweeping the country might make it impracticable, if not impossible, just now, to do the thing that is wise and the thing that at the same time is right and just. But you had the courage to do just this thing, and it is in this courage that I deeply and sincerely rejoice. I believe that the people whose opinion you value will all support you with enthusiasm. By your wise leadership you have completely won the popular confidence. They will follow you here, I believe, as they will in whatever course your conscience and wisdom may lead you to adopt.

I venture further to express the belief that Germany has met your terms of peace with sincerity and without reserve, because it would be folly for her to do otherwise. I think it pretty clear that her government now realizes that in the American people and their President is the supreme hope of the German Nation for just conditions of peace. While you have not concealed your contempt for the artifice and trickery of the German people, and while your expressions of condemnation have been stern and humiliating, yet they believe that in your ultimate decisions you are always just and that you will not wittingly permit injustice to be done. I think, too, that they will understand that while our people are outraged and indignant yet they are instinctively fairminded and even chivalrously generous.

It must be quite clear to the German Nation that if she fails to convince you of her sincere purpose to make such a peace as will meet your approval, her single alternative will be to stand helpless before her ancient enemies to do their will upon her, to suffer fearful vengeance for fearful wrongs. She therefore can profit nothing by insincerity or deceit toward you. She has every reason to be sincere and open with you, and no reason to be otherwise.

Although, therefore, you have made the conditions very humiliating, I believe that they will be accepted, - and that through your unfailing wisdom a just peace will come.

Sincerely yours,

Sherman L. Whipple

The President,
The White House.

Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924





Whipple, Sherman L. (Sherman Leland), 1862-1930, “Sherman L. Whipple to Woodrow Wilson,” 1918 October 24, WWP25314, World War I Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.