The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 40
November 20, 1916-January 23, 1917
Edited by Arthur S. Link
This volume begins at November 20, 1916, during the aftermath of President Wilson's reelection and the background of his attempts at independent mediation of the European war. It contains all the important documents relating to that effort, including all the drafts of Wilson's peace appeal to the belligerents of December 18, 1916. The torpedoing of Wilson's demarche by his confidant, Edward M. House, and by Secretary of State Robert Lansing is fully documented, as are the replies of the Central Powers and the Entente Allies.
Congress is back in session in December, and the documents here cover the continuing struggle over a general leasing bill. They also chronicle Wilson's marriage to Edith Bolling Galt on December 18, 1916, and the events of Wilson's personal relationships during these months.
Additional documents illustrate Wilson's secret diplomatic negotiations with British and German governments, from mid to late January 1917, looking toward the calling of a peace conference. The volume closes with Wilson's "Peace Without Victory" address of January 22, 1917, and initial reactions to that statement of American peace ideals.
Arthur S. Link is Professor of American History, Princeton University.