The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 12
Edited by Arthur S. Link
The Papers of Woodrow Wilson is the first comprehensive edition of the documentary record of the life and thought of the twenty-eighth President of the United States and the first full-scale edition of the papers of any modern American president.
Volume 12, covering the years 1900-1902, marks the end of Wilson's early career and the beginning of the next important stage in his life, the presidency of Princeton University. Its climax is a series of letters and documents revealing in startling, day-to-day details the eruption of a crisis in the university's presidential leadership during the springer of 1902. The unexpected denouement, President Patton's resignation and Wilson's election as thirteenth president, may be seen in extracts from the papers of Cyrus H. McCormick (a leader of the anti-Patton trustees) and other sources as well as Wilson's own papers.
At the turn of the century, Wilson was deeply involved in a series of articles for Harper's Magazine, which he revised and published as A History of the American People in 1902. Correspondence with the publisher chronicles nearly every stage of his work, while his letters to scholars and to the illustrator, Howard Pyle, yield considerable evidence of his methods of work and attention to detail. While growing in maturity as an historian, Wilson for the first time was thinking broadly about American historical writing and what further work needed to be done. His growing eminence in the profession is reflected in invitations from Johns Hopkins University to succeed Herbert Baxter Adams as Professor of American and Institutional History, and from Albert Bushnell Hart to contribute to the "American Nation Series" being planned for Harper and Brothers.
The documents in this volume also disclose a man come to national stature in affairs, affirming America's civilizing mission as a great power while ardently defending the right of anti-imperialists who disagreed with him to speak and be heard. They show a leader of the faculty and a teacher idolized by students, and they shed much light, as earlier volumes have done, upon life in Princeton and the Wilson household.
Arthur S. Link is Edwards Professor of American History, Princeton University.