TW Bickett to William Taft


TW Bickett to William Taft


Bickett, Thomas Walter, 1869-1921




1918 October 30


Governor of North Carolina complains about Roosevelt to President Taft, head of the League to Enforce Peace.


Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Papers


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


League of Nations
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919


Mark Edwin Peterson






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


Hon. William H. Taft, President,
League to Enforce Peace,
Yale University,
New Haven, Connecticut.

The repeated assaults of Mr. Roosevelt on the basic principles of the League to Enforce Peace call for a vigorous reply from you as President of the League if our organization is expected to live. Every utterance of Mr. Roosevelt on the subject would have fitted well the mouth of the Kaiser five years ago. In a recent speech Mr. Roosevelt said that we should so develop our military powers that no nation would dare to look cross-eyed at the United States. This is the very militarism against which the conscience of the world is today in arms. It would be Potsdamism enthroned at Washington. In a recent editorial in the Kansas City Star Mr. Roosevelt endeavors to relegate the League to Enforce Peace to the innocuous position of a molly-coddle motte and insists that when the real affairs of nations are to be settled a gun still is, and or right ought to be God. Today in a telegram to Washington he makes war on the fourteen articles of peace enumerated by the President before Congress in January, and thereafter elaborated at Mr. Vernon on July 4th, and in New York on September 27th. When the President of the United States proclaimed these principles and conditions of peace they were treated with ill-concealed contempt by Imperial Government of Germany, but were hailed with joy by all the peoples of our Allies. Time and again these wise and just principles have been endorsed by our Allies until they have come to be regarded as a new Magna Charta for the whole world. But as victory comes to our arms in the field and when it is perfectly plain that the German people will take their Government into their hands, or that our armed forces will grind to powder the military masters of Germany. Mr. Roosevelt comes forward and asseverates that the American people have never spoken, and that the new world famous fourteen articles should be treated as scraps of paper, and that only hammering of guns should be heard when we comes to settle the peace of the world for all time. This is Prussianism to the bone. I would undertake to reply to Mr. Roosevelt but I endeavor to retain the sense of proportion, and this advises me to that you, and not myself, are the proper person to defend the life of the League. You are its President, and as Chairman of the North Carolina Division, I urge you to telegraph to Washington your withering condemnation of the utterances of Mr. Roosevelt, and call upon Congress to stand solidly behind the President in his high and Holy purpose to make the League of Nations the most vital part of the great treaty that will be written when the German people, having swept clean their own house, shall accept the terms and conditions of peace that have already been dictated or when military masters of Germany shall have been forced into the complete and unconditional surrender.

TW Bickett,
Governor and Chairman of the NC Division of the League to Enforce Peace

Original Format



Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930




Bickett, Thomas Walter, 1869-1921, “TW Bickett to William Taft,” 1918 October 30, WWP25424, World War I Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.