Memorandum for Mr. Joseph P. Tumulty, Secretary to the President


Memorandum for Mr. Joseph P. Tumulty, Secretary to the President


Churchill, Marlborough, 1878-1947




1918 September 24


Investigating a peace editorial in the New York Times.


Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Papers


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Miller, Charles Ransom, 1849-1922
New York Times Company


Danna Faulds




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


MEMORANDUM for Mr. Joseph P. Tumulty, Secretary to the President.

Upon receiving a message from you to the effect that the President desired information concerning the Peace Editorial which appeared in the New York Times on Monday, September 16th, I have caused an investigation to be made with the following results:

“I have not made a great deal of headway in my investigation of the Peace Editorial appearing in the “New York Times”, Monday, September 16th. There is such a vast amount of rumor and gossip afloat that it is difficult to get any definite facts. This much I have learned: In the first place, the Secret Service has started an investigation, and I am further informed, though I do not know this definitely, that Colonel House has started an investigation.

I understand that Charley Miller, chief editorial writer of the “Times” wrote the editorial in question. It was written at his home in Long Island and telephoned into the “Times” office the night before its appearance. It is reported that it created a young riot in the “Times” office, a large number of the staff openingly expressing their disapproval. The only man who seems to have been thoroughly satisfied, not only with the editorial but with the Austrian note itself, is Van Ander, managing editor of the “Times.” Van Ander is said to have not only expressed his approval of the editorial but to have shown considerable satisfaction over the whole situation, and to have made such statements as: “This is the beginning of the end”, and “It’s all over”. Van Ander, you will recall, was present at the famous Hearst-Bolo dinner, and it is said, saw Bolo on other occasions. I am informed that Ochs, the proprietor of the “Times”, was out of town, but was communicated with by telephone and apparently gave his approval to the article.

Now as to the gossip that is going the rounds:
Kuhn, Loeb & Company are supposed to be heavy financial backers of the “Times”, and I have heard it stated by a number of pretty prominent people that Otto Kahn, in spite of his public utterances, is at heart a Defeatist, and has used his influence to sway the “Times” in that direction, but I have neither seen nor heard anything to substantiate this statement. I am going further with the matter, and if I get anything of real importance, I will, of course, let you know immediately.”

M. Churchill

M. Churchill.
Brigadier General, General Staff,
Director of Military Intelligence.


Original Format



Tumulty, Joseph P. (Joseph Patrick), 1879-1954
Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924




Churchill, Marlborough, 1878-1947, “Memorandum for Mr. Joseph P. Tumulty, Secretary to the President,” 1918 September 24, WWP25201, World War I Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.