William Jennings Bryan to Woodrow Wilson




William Jennings Bryan writes to Woodrow Wilson about an envoy perportedly acting under Wilson’s authority and about the Mexico situation.


Wilson Papers, Library of Congress, Library of Congress, Washington, District of Columbia


July Eight,
Nineteen thirteen

My dear Mr. President:

The following telegram came from Hale this morning:“Mr. Del Valle is here giving elaborate newspaper interviews announcing himself as a special envoy commissioned by his friend President Wilson to take important steps. Comports himself as a plenipotentiary. Allows himself to be described as the nextAmbassador. I have no doubt that it is all right but the atmosphere here is electricand possibility of a grave indiscretion is distressing.”I will wire Del Valle to keep away from newspapers and that the success of his mission depends upon his exercising care not to allow himself to be considered as an official.
I am, my dear Mr. President,
Very truly yours,

The President,
The White House.

The situation in Mexico is giving me a good deal of concern. Do you think it is time to offer our good offices to secure a conference of the representatives of the various factions with the government with a view to securing a basis for peace? I am inclined to think it worth while to try. If not why not invite Ambassador Wilson here for conference ? You suggested this and it appeals to me. I am perfectly willing to share with you responsibility for accepting his resignation, but am inclined to think that it would be better to bring him here for conference and decide on resignation after conference, but it might be well to have him sound Huerta about a conference before starting. What do you think?
Am also enclosing copy of additional telegram received from Mr. Hale today.

New York,
July 8, 1913

Ben G. Davis.
Financial distress increasing Huerta today discussed with intimate friends long rumored plan to resign and is expected to take the field in person that would enable him to be legally candidate for Presidency at promised election. If he carries out plan he will probably secure resignation of de la Barra so that Urrutia, Minister of Gobernacion, will become President. I question however whether Huerta dare leave capital and do not believe that he has the least intention to permit any real election. Several candidacies are being organized without enthusiasm. I am closely conversant with these movements and acquainted with the candidates all of them are seeking confidential relations. These I have avoided very carefully to maintain the character of a private observer of events the more so as there is not a man in sight to recommend to your attention.

WJ Bryan


¹¹The name is added by hand.

Original Format





Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925, “William Jennings Bryan to Woodrow Wilson,” 1913 July 8, WWP17869, First Year Wilson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.