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Anne McCormick
Annie Criswell McCormick
Clara Alricks
Donald McCormick
Eliza McCormick
Hamilton Alricks
Henry McCormick
Henry McCormick II
Henry B. McCormick
Herman Alricks
James McCormick
James McCormick II
Mary McCormick
Mary Alricks
Robert McCormick
Vance McCormick
William McCormick

Vance McCormick: Articles

The Ablest Navigator:
The Rise of Vance McCormick in the Wilson Years
By Arthur N. Titzel
A Master's Project in American Studies, Penn State University, Capital Campus, May, 2001


            Arguably the most prominent citizen of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the twentieth century was Vance Criswell McCormick (1872-1946).  No matter the people he met, the places he saw, or the circles of power within which he traveled, Vance McCormick always returned to Harrisburg.  His impact on the city was tremendous as he led Harrisburg into the modern twentieth century.  The results of his work as Mayor and as a public spirited citizen throughout his life are highly visible throughout Harrisburg.  McCormick’s legacy includes clean water, paved streets, a modern sewer system, an improved park system, and a paid fire department. 

McCormick’s Harrisburg legacy is easy to discern, but what about his years during World War I when he became a national leader and friend and adviser to Woodrow Wilson?  McCormick not only became Chairman of the National Democratic Party and Campaign Manager for Wilson’s successful 1916 Presidential campaign, but during the War he served as Chairman of the War Trade Board, a member of the 1917 Inter-Allied Conference in London and Paris, and an economic adviser to President Wilson at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.  His diaries of the Inter-Allied and the Peace Conferences are required reading for serious scholars of both conferences, leading to McCormick Diary footnotes smattered throughout World War I and Peace Conference histories.  The diaries are a testament to the national and international circles of power McCormick was a part of during World War I.  Although, what did McCormick stand for and what legacy does he leave from this time of his life? 

To determine how McCormick gained influence during the Wilson years it is important to understand his values and the growth of his relationship with Woodrow Wilson.  Therefore, this paper will be organized around McCormick’s various relationships with Wilson as a way to view his rise through the Wilson administration and his contributions during this time.  The first section will illuminate McCormick’s pre-Wilson background to illustrate his political values.  McCormick’s values and personality, it will be shown, led to Wilson’s deep respect for McCormick.  The second section will detail the first stage of McCormick’s relationship with Wilson, which was based on politics.  This political stage lasted from 1911 until America’s involvement in World War I in 1917. During this stage McCormick proved himself to Wilson as a politically astute adviser.  The third section will illustrate the growth of a trusting relationship between the two men, as McCormick gained sensitive diplomatic positions and responsibilities during the war.  The final section will synthesize the previous sections’ material to answer two questions.  First, what factors led to McCormick’s rise to national and international influence during the Wilson years?  Second, what was McCormick’s legacy during this tumultuous time period?


Pre-Wilson Background


“The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator”

--quote by 18th century English historian Edward Gibbon included in Vance McCormick’s entry in his Yale yearbook

 Born into a prominent and wealthy family, Vance McCormick had an upbringing typical of upper class Victorian society.  His Scots-Irish, Presbyterian background taught him the value of hard work and determination.  These early values stayed with McCormick his entire life, but they first helped him succeed during his formative years.  His formal education included the Harrisburg Academy,  Phillips Andover Academy,  and Yale University.  McCormick became the big man on campus at Yale.  His leadership skills is evidenced by his being the deacon of his graduating class and being voted “the most popular” and “the greatest social favorite.”2   In addition, the All-American quarterback led his Yale football team, coached by football pioneer Walter Camp, to an undefeated season in 1892.3  During his years at Yale Vance broke away from his family’s Republican tradition and became a Democrat in the conservative tradition of Grover Cleveland.4 Upon returning from Yale, McCormick became the first football coach at the Carlisle Indian School.5  In his mid-twenties McCormick embarked on the next stage of his life-running the family businesses and politics.


Mr. Mayor, The Patriot, and Capitol Graft

Upon the death of his father in 1897, McCormick became a director of the family’s Central Iron and Steel, Dauphin Deposit Bank, and the Harrisburg Bridge Company.6  In 1900, at the age of 27, the public career of Vance McCormick began as he  won a seat on Harrisburg’s common council from the fourth ward.7  In two short years the citizens elected him Mayor of Harrisburg on a platform of civic improvement.  With the help of civic leaders, Mira Dock and J. Horace McFarland, McCormick led Harrisburg in its most ambitious public improvement program.   In McCormick’s one term as Mayor,  Harrisburg witnessed incredible change:  a water filtration plant supplied clean drinking water, while Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Boston still lacked clean drinking water; forty five miles of streets became paved, when in 1901 only portions of two streets had paving; Reservoir Park, Wildwood Park, and Riverfront Park expanded giving credence to the national “City Beautiful Movement”; and the police and fire departments completely reorganized.8  McFarland commented that Harrisburg was “cleaned up morally and physically as fast as this active young man could bring it about.”9   McCormick’s term of Mayor showed that he was not a laissez-faire businessman.  He used the power of  government to clean up and beautify Harrisburg, to reorganize and bring more governmental control over city services, and to plan for a growth of Harrisburg that included the people, not just businesses. Historians can clearly label McCormick a progressive during this time.

After one term of office McCormick decided to devote himself to The Patriot, a Harrisburg newspaper he bought in 1902, and to business, civic and statewide political concerns.10   McCormick showed his partisan stripes, as the publisher of  The Patriot.  Under McCormick’s guidance, The Patriot went after corruption, especially Republican corruption, in an aggressive muckraking style typical of  newspapers of the time.  The Patriot’s  chief opposition came from the Republican backed Harrisburg Telegraph.  The warring newspapers editorialized every conceivable issue and aggressively  backed opposing candidates for office. 

The primary political target for The Patriot during McCormick’s early tenure as publisher was the powerful Republican boss, Boies Penrose.  McCormick, through his newspaper, took on the bossism of the Republican party. He helped to expose the Capital Graft Scandal of 1906 by offering financial assistance and editorial support for state Treasurer William H. Berry’s exposure of the scandal.11  The scandal involved the newly constructed state Capitol building.  The building of the Capitol cost $30,000 less than expected at about $4 million. The furnishing of the Capitol provided the opportunity for graft.  The furnishings cost almost twice as much as the building of the Capitol at about $9 million.  The result of the scandal was that the state lost $4 million dollars; fourteen persons were indicted, including the contractor and state officials; five persons received jail sentences; three persons committed suicide; and the reputation of Governor Pennypacker and the Republican party became tarnished.12  McCormick’s support was essential considering the political pressure Berry had to withstand since he was the only Democrat elected to state office between 1897 and 1911.13   Later, McCormick and Berry became integral players in the reorganization of the state Democratic party in 1911.


“He Cleaned House Effectively”-A Party Reorganized

The reorganization of the state Democratic party became a turning point in the political career of Vance McCormick.  It was through this episode that McCormick became associated with Democratic Congressman A. Mitchell Palmer and New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson.  Therefore, this event warrants a closer look to illustrate McCormick’s role in statewide party politics and his introduction to national politics via Palmer and Wilson. 

Since the Civil War, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party were the minority party as the  dominant Republican’s controlled statewide politics.  Republican political boss Boies Penrose effectively controlled Pennsylvania through his firm control of the Republican machine.  Within the Democratic Party a defeatist attitude emerged leading to Democratic leaders cooperating with Penrose and Republicans on numerous issues including which candidates to run for political office. Members of the Democratic party assailed this cooperation.  They were bent on wresting control away from the “bi-partisan adjunct to the Republican Penrose machine”, as the Democratic leaders who cooperated with Penrose were known.14  McCormick became the leader of the Democrats who wanted to reorganize the Party away from this bi-partisan machine. 

The influence of McCormick in the reorganization of the Party was evident by his selection to be chairman of the reorganization committee at a meeting of the State Committee in Harrisburg on April 7, 1910.15  Democratic State Chairman Arthur Dewalt and Democratic National Committeeman James Guffey, leaders of the bi-partisan machine, discouraged the efforts to reorganize. The reorganization effort hit a turning point during the 1910 Gubernatorial campaign.  State Senator Webster Grim was selected by the Democratic Party leadership, over the strident objection of the reorganizers who supported C. LaRue Munson and later William Berry,  to run against Republican Congressman John K. Tener in the 1910 Gubernatorial election.  Reports circulated that the Democratic leadership met privately with Republican leaders in Atlantic City prior to the conventions to select candidates for Governor, hinting at the reorganizers fear of back room political agreements being made between the parties. The day before the Democratic convention in Allentown, Munson backed out of the race, only saying that his health would not permit him to run.  Immediately, the reorganizers backed Berry for Governor.16  Despite the last minute push for Berry, the reorganizers lost the nomination vote.  Grim gained 191 votes to Berry’s 109 votes.17  The fallout of the nomination fight was the creation of  the Keystone party led by many of the reorganizers, including McCormick.

The Keystone Party ran William Berry for Governor against the Democrat Grim and Republican Tener in the 1910 Gubernatorial election.  Although Tener won the election, Berry finished second in the voting with 382,127 votes to Grim’s 129,395 votes.18  The combined votes of Berry and Grim would have placed a Democrat in the Governor’s office by more than 95,000 votes.19  The result of the election illustrated the popular support the reorganizers had with Democrat voters in the state.  The election also foreshadowed the 1912 Presidential election where the Progressive Party Candidate Theodore Roosevelt won the popular vote in Pennsylvania.

After the 1910 Gubernatorial election two groups within the Democratic Party began pushing for a change in leadership:  the old reorganization committee, headed by McCormick; and the Congressional Democrats, headed by two future Wilson cabinet members, William B. Wilson and A. Mitchell Palmer.  The Congressional delegation met in Baltimore in January of 1911 to discuss their plans for a reorganization of the party.  At this meeting McCormick for the first time met Palmer.  The meeting between McCormick and Palmer in Palmer’s hotel room at the Belvidere Hotel hatched the plan for the reorganization of the party.20  They decided that the Congressional delegation would call for a special meeting of the Democratic State Committee for the purpose “to take steps to re-establish the Democratic party.”21  A few days after the Congressional delegation called for a special meeting, McCormick sent a letter to all of the Democratic County Chairmen, ex-officio members of the State Committee, and to State Chairman Dewalt explaining why the Congressional delegation was asking for a meeting.  The letter also asked Dewalt to call for the meeting to save the effort of the Democratic State Committee to call for the meeting.  Dewalt refused, questioning the legality of the reorganization committee.  McCormick then responded by making public a letter in which Dewalt refused the reorganization committee members resignation before the election in September of 1910.  On the same day that Dewalt refused to call the meeting, McCormick sent a letter to all the members of the State Committee asking them to call a special meeting in the near future.  The response was so favorable to a special meeting that five days after McCormick’s letter was sent, Dewalt called a special meeting to take place on March 2 in Harrisburg. 

The result of the contentious March 2nd meeting  was a resolution passed by a 41 to 40 majority which created an enlarged reorganization committee to determine the future leadership of the state party.22  The newly formed committee would be made up of three members from the old reorganization committee, three members selected by state Chairman Dewalt, and one member selected by the Congressional delegation. McCormick was one of the three members representing the old reorganization committee, while William B. Wilson, a leading advocate from Washington for a redirection of the Democratic Party, represented the Congressional delegation.23    A March 14th meeting of the new reorganization committee resulted in a predictable four to three vote in favor of naming former Pittsburgh Mayor George Guthrie to replace Arthur Dewalt as State Chairman, and A. Mitchell Palmer to replace James Guffey as National Committeeman.24  It was not until the State Committee met in Harrisburg on July 19, 1911 that Guthrie officially became Chairman of the party.  On January 8, 1912, the Democratic National committee met in Washington to select a site for the National Convention.  At the meeting, Guffey took his seat, while Palmer presented his credentials to the Committee.  William Jennings Bryan argued on behalf of Palmer to be seated, while Dewalt argued for Guffey.  The committee decided to seat Guffey instead of Palmer.  It was not until June 24th that the Pennsylvania delegation to the National Convention in Baltimore met and voted for Palmer to succeed Guffey.  The National committee accepted the Pennsylvania delegation’s vote and seated Palmer at the National convention. 

Finally, the reorganization of the state Democratic party was complete. The central role played by McCormick in reorganizing the party was lost as the higher profile Congressional delegation received much of the credit. It was McCormick who was the chairman of the original reorganization committee, who drafted the reorganization plan with Palmer, who urged Dewalt and the State Committeemen to call a special meeting for reorganization, and who, as part of the enlarged reorganization committee, voted to oust the bi-partisan machine.  Even Palmer acknowledged McCormick’s central role in the reorganization of the party in a campaign speech during the 1914 campaign when Palmer ran for the U.S. Senate and McCormick ran for Governor:


The newspapers, I know, are fond of referring to me as the leader of the reorganization movement, but the man in whose fertile mind that proposition evolved was Vance McCormick . . . It was his plan to get the Democratic congressmen from Pennsylvania to issue a call for a meeting of the state committee . . . To Vance McCormick belongs the praise for this work.  He cleaned house effectively in his own party and he is the man who can clean house for the state.”25


It was during the reorganization fight that many of the reorganizers, including McCormick, began to support Woodrow Wilson for President.  Also during this time period McCormick becomes associated with Wilson as he escorted him through the state to acquaint the New Jersey Governor with Pennsylvania voters.  McCormick, on behalf of the newly formed Central Democratic Club of Harrisburg, invited Wilson to speak to encourage progressive reforms in Pennsylvania.  This time period is the genesis of the Wilson--McCormick relationship which will catapult McCormick into national and international politics in the years to come.


Politics, 1911-1916

“while you hitched your kite to a star you kept your feet on the ground”

--Secretary of the Navy Joshephus Daniels to Vance McCormick,         

                                       November 11, 1916 26

            In the midst of the contentious reorganization fight, McCormick solicited help from Governor Wilson of New Jersey.  It was Wilson, who as the newly elected Governor of  New Jersey, helped to defeat the Democratic nomination of Boss James Smith for the U.S. Senate.  This action laid the ground work for an ambitiously progressive legislative session which included public primaries, regulation of campaign contributions, regulation of public utilities, and worker compensation for job related injuries.27   Through his leadership, Wilson defeated the political machine of New Jersey and embarked on a progressive tenure as Governor. 

Wilson’s early successes in New Jersey made him a national figure, and this attracted McCormick to him during the reorganization fight in Pennsylvania.  McCormick wrote to Wilson on February 6, 1911, inviting him to speak to the Central Democratic Club of Harrisburg:

                        Not only the State Capital but Central Pennsylvania is anxious to have an

                        opportunity to make your acquaintance and would consider it a great

honor, if you could accept an invitation from the club at such time as would be convenient for you.  It would be especially opportune, if you could do so in the near future, as there is a strong movement in this State to re-organize our Democratic Party and restore it to the confidence of the

                        voters of the State.  We are fighting for the same thing that you have so

                        splendidly stood for in New Jersey, and your presence here would greatly

                        strengthen the cause and help to redeem our party from the traitors who

                        were so deservedly repudiated at our last election.28


Wilson was not able to accept the invitation until June 15, 1911 when he spoke to the

newly formed State Federation of Democratic Clubs at the Board of Trade auditorium in Harrisburg.29   The theme of the speech was not being afraid of change and the tariff.  Wilson’s mentioning of the tariff was an indication of his interest in running for President in 1912.  It was in the spring of 1911 that Wilson’s political stardom had risen to the point where his friends began to create a national campaign organization.30

The speech in Harrisburg was likely part of Wilson’s plan to introduce himself as a viable national candidate.  The reorganization leaders of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania strongly supported Wilson for President. Several reasons existed for this alliance.  The reorganization leaders and Wilson fought to open up the political process from the back room grasp of the bosses; they supported progressive initiatives and, probably most important, several prominent members of the reorganization fight were Princeton allies of Wilson during his tumultuous years as President of the University.  The two most conspicuous early Wilson supporters were Roland Morris, who decided to enroll at Princeton instead of Yale because of Wilson, and Francis Fisher Kane.31  Both Morris and Kane were reorganization leaders from Philadelphia.  Kane wrote several letters to Wilson in July 1911, after the Democratic State Committee endorsed Wilson for President.  In the July 19th letter Kane expressed the reason for the endorsement, by writing that, “We could not have made our fight here in Pennsylvania against the ‘bi-partisan machine’ without the inspiration which came from your defeat of Smith in New Jersey.  Therefore you have been, and will be, our political saviour.”32  In both letters to Wilson, Kane credited McCormick and others with the reorganization of the party.33  Mutual friends like Kane and Morris aided McCormick’s political introduction to Wilson.


Run for Governor

After Wilson’s Presidential victory in 1912, McCormick maintained his presence in Harrisburg.  The next phase of his political relationship with Wilson began on the day Wilson met with McCormick, Palmer, and Morris at the White House on February 4, 1914.  Wilson, during this meeting, suggested that McCormick should run for Governor and Palmer run for the U.S. Senate against Penrose.  Palmer had planned on running for Governor.   He had talked William Wilson, his former Congressional colleague and present Secretary of Labor, into running against Penrose for the U.S. Senate.  Secretary Wilson reluctantly agreed pending President Wilson’s approval.   President Wilson decided not to allow Secretary Wilson to leave his cabinet, especially since American Federation of Labor President Samuel Gompers wrote Wilson imploring him that, “it is neither fair nor just to lead Mr. Wilson to political slaughter.”34  The odds of a Democrat winning either a Senate seat or the Governor’s office was acknowledged to be very slim in Republican dominated Pennsylvania.  However, the best two candidates to pull off this potential upset were Palmer, due to his political stature and name recognition, and McCormick, due to his money and organizational skills.  President Wilson successfully persuaded Palmer  to run against Penrose by promising him a position in his administration if he lost.35  It is unknown whether McCormick received the same inducement to run, but it is very likely that he was.  In the very least McCormick’s political stature was not hurt by his decision to run for Governor.

The one encouraging sign for Palmer and McCormick in 1914 was the fact that Wilson did so well in the 1912 Presidential election, despite losing to the Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt by a mere 50,000 votes in Pennsylvania.36   The Republican candidate Taft finished last in Pennsylvania in 1912.  This fact, and the disintegration of the Progressive Party, was a signal that the voters of Pennsylvania were ready for a change in state leadership. 

Before McCormick could become the Democratic candidate for Governor he had to beat Philadelphia City Solicitor Michael J. Ryan in Pennsylvania’s first primary election for Governor.37  The old guard bi-partisan machinery which was still strong in the wards of Philadelphia, backed Ryan.  Throughout the primary Ryan mostly ignored McCormick, directing his attacks on Palmer.  Ryan did organize enemies of the reform leadership of the state Party against McCormick.  The two most powerful interest groups who allied against McCormick were organized labor and the liquor interests. Organized labor was weary of McCormick because of his fight against a minimum wage for city employees when he was Mayor of Harrisburg, coupled with his privileged upbringing and wealth.  In response Secretary of Labor Wilson toured the state for McCormick, touting his pro-labor record.38  The liquor interests mobilized a massive effort to defeat McCormick, considering him a “militant prohibitionist,” due to his support of the local option and the fact that The Patriot refused liquor advertisements.39 Under local option, local communities decide whether to allow the sale of liquor or not.  The liquor interests believed this was a first step to an all out prohibition of liquor.   Despite the opposition, McCormick easily defeated Ryan in the primary election on May 19, 1914.40

In the General election McCormick ran against Republican Martin Grove Brumbaugh.  Brumbaugh was an educator who had served as the Superintendent of the Juniata county schools, President of Juniata College, Commissioner of Education for Puerto Rico, and the Superintendent of Philadelphia Schools before running for Governor.41  Throughout the campaign McCormick tried to associate Brumbaugh with Penrose, despite the fact that Brumbaugh never campaigned with Penrose and spoke out on numerous occasions against bossism.  The problem was that Brumbaugh never publicly split with Penrose and when attacking bossism, he never spoke specifically about Penrose.   McCormick took advantage of Brumbaugh’s association with Penrose at every opportunity.  Despite the attacks, McCormick and Brumbaugh had similar views on the most contentious issue of the campaign: local option.

The local option issue was as emotionally charged an issue as any in the campaign.  Despite publicly stating his desire to see the local option instituted in Pennsylvania and stating that he did not agree with the Republican plank against the local option, Brumbaugh gained the support of the liquor interests.  The rationale was that the liquor industry saw McCormick as the greatest danger.  He was more outspoken than Brumbaugh on local option and the Pennsylvania Anti-Saloon League had endorsed him.42  Comparing the statements made by McCormick and Brumbaugh on local option illustrates the point that McCormick was more active and militant on the issue.  At a September 15, 1914 rally in Lewistown, McCormick stated:

            I not only stand for local option, but fought before the primary for its

            adoption in this party’s platform and won, and if elected, will fight to the

end of my administration for its adoption.  If this be treason, then make the most of it.43


Brumbaugh made this statement during the primaries:

                        The problem of the liquor traffic is a vital one facing the people and the

Legislature today.  In harmony with many thoughtful persons, I submit that local option is a practical solution.  Any legislative measure looking to an improvement of the conditions regulating this traffic will receive my



Brumbaugh was dumbfounded not to receive support from the Anti-Saloon League.45  The difference was that McCormick was seen as an idealist and could operate with no strings from the party machinery.  Brumbaugh, on the other hand, was more pragmatic on the issue.  The Anti-Saloon League also feared that Brumbaugh would not be able to separate from his Party on local option.  The result was a fierce campaign centered on the local option issue. The Anti-Saloon League attacked Brumbaugh for being backed by “Brewers and Boodlers.”46  On the day before the election The Patriot published a picture of two bottles of beer with the heading, “Some of the Silent Workers For the Candidates of Penroseism.”  Below the bottles read:

The bottles of beer bearing the labels of the Gang candidates are being sold in Harrisburg.  Nothing could more convincingly prove the alliance

                        between the gang, its candidates and the liquor interests.  One set of labels

                        bears the picture of Penrose, the friend of rum.  The other label bears the

names of Penrose, Brumbaugh, and other state candidates.  This novel idea was probably born with the Personal Liberty party on whose ticket

                        Dr. Brumbaugh said he did not know he was a candidate until it was too

                        late to withdraw.  His name had been on it a month.47


On the same page The Patriot published a letter from Neil Bonner, President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Liquor Dealers.  The letter stated, “If Vance McCormick, the Democratic nominee, wins the fight, your license will not be in force many more years Write out a notice and place it on your mirrors or back of your bar, calling the attention of every customer to the fact that he should register Tuesday, September 16th, without fail.”48

            Regardless of the attention the local option issue received, it is doubtful that it affected the outcome of the election.  The most important factor in determining the election was the folding of the Washington Party in mid September 1914.49   The Washington party was the third party in the election with the support of former President Roosevelt.  Roosevelt’s friend Gifford Pinchot ran for the Senate seat, while the Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, William Draper Lewis, ran for Governor.50   The turning point in the campaign came when Theodore Roosevelt personally persuaded Lewis to drop out of the race for Governor, advocating a Washington-Democratic fusion ticket to back McCormick.51  Would the mostly Republican and progressive members of the Washington Party, most of whom probably supported Roosevelt in 1912, support a Democrat nominee for Governor?  That question turned out to be the deciding factor in the campaign.  The answer was no.  The support overwhelmingly went to Brumbaugh.  The result of the 1914 election was that both Penrose and Brumbaugh handily defeated the Democratic ticket of Palmer and McCormick.  After the election, a disappointed McCormick stated, “I have made the best fight in my power for what I believe was the good of Pennsylvania, but the party in power was made to bear the blame of business conditions due to the European war.  This combined with the organized opposition of the liquor interests defeated me.”52  The publicity from the liquor fight stayed with McCormick and became a factor in his decision to initially reject an appointment from President Wilson.

Chairman McCormick, 1916 Presidential Campaign, and job offers

            The 1916 Presidential election afforded McCormick an opportunity to serve Wilson and to advance his political career nationally. Wilson was concerned with Democratic National Chairman William McComb’s physical and emotional health and did not think that he was the best person to run the party during the 1916 election.53  By the spring of 1916 Wilson was considering Frank Polk, second in command at the State Department, for National Chairman and Campaign Manager to replace McCombs. Questions about newly appointed Secretary of State Robert Lansing’s health and Polk’s value at the State Department forced Wilson to consider other candidates for the position.54  A May 15, 1916 letter from Edward House, Wilson’s political confidant, to Wilson ends with the postscript, “What do you think of Vance McCormick as a substitute for Polk as National Chairman?  I do not know him, but I am to see him on Wednesday.”55 

House was an influential advisor to Wilson.  He acted as a Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor before those posts were made an official part of a Presidents team of advisors.  He had been offered official posts within the administration but refused reasoning that he could wield more influence as an unofficial advisor.  One of House’s functions was to suggest appointments to Wilson.  McCormick’s relationship with House is critical in determining his standing with Wilson, due to House’s influence on the President.

            House’s May 19, 1916 letter to Wilson regarding numerous issues includes his initial reaction to McCormick after meeting him for the first time:

                        Unless something develops that is not apparent I believe he is the man you

                        want.  He reminds me very much of Frank Polk.  He seems to be of the

                        same  high type.  He appears to have poise and good judgment.  I cannot

                        judge on so short an acquaintance of his political sagacity, but I am

                        favorably impressed with him. . . If you think favorably of McCormick

                        I will arrange to see him frequently between now and the time I leave for

                        Sunnapee.  If anything unfavorable develops before the St. Louis

                        Convention I would likely find it out by frequent intercourse with him

                        and you could shelve him for someone else. . . I believe he would meet

                        the favour of your friends generally better than Polk for he has had a

                        wider national acquaintanceship than Polk.”56


This letter illustrates the influence House had on meting out potential appointees for Wilson.  If House had not liked McCormick for any reason, he could have easily scuttled McCormick early in the process.  Wilson wrote a letter to House dated May 22, 1916, which obviously crossed in the mail with House’s May 19th letter.  Wilson wrote to House:

                        I shall be deeply interested to learn what you think about Vance

                        McCormick now that you have seen and personally sampled him.  The

                        suggestion about making him chairman of the National Committee

                        interests me very much.  I want reassurance on this doubt:  whether

                        he is not too “high-brow” and intolerant of the rougher elements that

                        have to be handled and dealt with.57


Wilson’s concern about McCormick being “too ‘high-brow’ and intolerant” could be in reference to McCormick’s idealistic views on the liquor question, which solidified an image of McCormick as a crusader against liquor.  This view of McCormick, combined with his aristocratic background and dignified manners, might lead some to question his political toughness.

            With all indications seemingly pointing to McCormick as being chosen the next National Chairman, McCormick surprised House with his decision not to accept the position.  House’s May 28, 1916 letter informed Wilson of McCormick’s decision:

                        Vance McCormick was with me for a long sitting today.  Much to my

                        surprise he tells me he does not believe he can accept the Chairmanship of

                        the National Committee.  He gi[v]es personal reasons.  He thinks, too,

                        that his record on the liquor question would make him undesirable for the

                        place.  As a matter of fact, he stands just where you do, that is he is for

                        local option, but the fight was so bitter against him that the liquor interests

                        were practically all arrayed on the other side when he made his campaign

                        for Governor. . . He thinks he is “a spotted man” and would be considered

                        unfriendly to the anti-prohibitionists. . .”58


McCormick likely did not mean for this to be a final refusal.  More likely it was meant to be a warning that if he was selected there may be political baggage associated with him.  On June 2nd, McCormick telephoned House informing him that he was still available for the position.   Regardless, House had moved on and began to focus on Homer Cummings for the position.  Cummings, was a Connecticut committeeman and a successful corporate lawyer for the New Haven Railroad.59   Wilson’s June 6, 1916 letter to House signified that he was almost ready to appoint Cummings:

                        I am very much perplexed about the choice of a Chairman for the National

                        Committee.  I believe that if we are to get the best work out of the men in

                        the trenches we ought, if possible, to select some man who knows them

                        and whom they know not to be an alien or a highbrow.  Homer Cummings

                        is such a man, and is, I have reason to believe, in every way loyal to me

                        and to what I try to represent. . . I have not been able to bring my

                        judgment to either McCormick or Billings.60


Whether Wilson still thought McCormick was “too high-brow” is unknown, but McCormick’s decision to not accept the position probably did not help Wilson’s judgment of him.  To complicate matters it appears that Wilson asked House to become National Chairman.  House replied in a June 12, 1916 letter to Wilson:

                        I am absolutely convinced that no greater mistake could be made than to

                        make me Chairman or to have me an official part of the campaign.  Even

                        in Texas I always had someone else as chairman who could relieve me,

                        not only of the details, but of the constant pressure of seeing unimportant

                        people that demand interviews of a chairman.61


Finally, on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention in St. Louis on June14, 1916, A. Mitchell Palmer sent a telegram from St. Louis with his suggestion for National Chairman:

                        Chairmanship of the National Committee ought to settled immediately.

                        Members of Committee are organizing for Cummings, whose election

                        would  be a mistake.  Chairman ought to be man who can make strong

                        appeal to Progressives. Best man in my judgment is Vance C. McCormick.

                        He is trained in executive management of large affairs, clean aggressive

                        and progressive.  When Democrats in Pennsylvania nominated him for

                        Governor in 1914 the Progressives pulled down Lewis one of their

                        National leaders to make him Progressive nominee.  He will attract more

                        Progressive support than any other chairman.  New committee should

                        organize Saturday.  If you will indicate preference for McCormick now

                        campaign will immediately start right.62


Palmer’s telegram and a conversation Wilson had with Cummings, where Cummings suggested McCormick for Chairman, convinced Wilson to appoint McCormick Chairman of the National Committee and Campaign Manager.63

            On June 21, 1916, House met with McCormick about the running of the campaign.  He gave McCormick a memorandum outlining his suggestions for the conduct of the campaign.  McCormick later met with Wilson about the memorandum.  It is clear that the overall conduct and structure of the campaign was House’s idea as outlined in the memorandum.64  McCormick’s responsibility in the campaign was to attract progressive support and to maintain an organized and well-disciplined campaign. 

            McCormick’s outreach to progressives included forming an Associated Campaign Committee of Progressives on August 10, 1916, which included progressive leaders Bainbridge Colby, Matthew Hale, Ole Hanson, and John Appleton Haven Hopkins, among others.65   Many of these Progressives were ones who split from the Progressive Party after they committed to Republican candidate Charles Evans Hughes.  McCormick took advantage of the factional fight within the party to reach out to Progressives and make a case for their support of Wilson.  Another effort that McCormick made to bring Progressives on board Wilson’s campaign was an attempt to have Raymond Robins of Illinois run for Governor on a fusion Progressive-Democratic ticket.  This effort was unsuccessful due to Chicago Boss Roger Sullivan’s refusal to sanction the ticket.66  McCormick also reached out to Yale Professor of Political Economy and well known social reformer Irving Fisher.67

            The political organization that McCormick maintained throughout the campaign was evident in Wilson’s victory, albeit by a small margin, on Election Day.  With Wilson’s defeat in New York and New Jersey, election hopes looked bleak. The New York World conceded the election to Hughes after the early returns.68   It was not until late in the evening that some western states begin to tilt the election toward Wilson.  The election finally hinged on California.  Bernard Baruch, a future associate and friend of McCormick’s, remembered getting dressed at 3 a.m. to go to the election headquarters.  When he arrived at headquarters he wrote that he:

found  Vance McCormick in the center of a crowd of disheveled men.  They had been up all night.  They were excited and optimistic at what the returns were now showing. . . In the early morning hours Herbert Bayard Swope, the World’s tall, dynamic, redheaded reporter, burst into headquarters with the news that California belonged to the Democrats unless they let the ‘opposition’ steal it. . . Vance McCormick wired his people in California to be alert to any skulduggery.69


Within a couple of days it was clear that Wilson had won California and the election.  The closeness of the election seemed to enhance McCormick’s reputation as a serious political warrior. 

             The important role McCormick played in Wilson’s victory is evident by sampling several post election congratulatory letters sent to McCormick.  Wilson’s November 13, 1916 letter to McCormick is an indication of a turning point in the relationship between the two men.  Before the election Wilson seemed to respect McCormick, but did not seem overly confident as to McCormick’s political sagacity.  The letter signifies the beginning of a trusting relationship:

                        My dear McCormick:

The first letter I write from my desk here must be to you.  It makes me

                        deeply glad to think how the whole country has seen and appreciated

                        your quality.  You have won the admiration and affection of all Democrats

                        not only, but the sincere admiration of all parties.  No campaign, I think it

                        can be said, was ever conducted with such a combination of harmony and

                        vigor and system as this one from your headquarters and the headquarters

                        at Chicago, and you were throughout the moving and guiding spirit.  It

                        must be a source of deep satisfaction to you that you should have won

                        this admiration by an unselfish service of the first magnitude.


                        May I not say for myself how entirely I have has my trust in you

                        confirmed, and how throughout these trying months my genuine

                        affection for you has grown and strengthened?  My own sense of

                        obligation and gratitude to you is immeasurable.


                        Mrs. Wilson and all my household join me in sending you the most

                        affectionate greetings and congratulations.  Always,

                                                Affectionately yours,  Woodrow Wilson70


The letter sent from Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels on November 11, 1916 is interesting, not only for the romantic Victorian prose, but because it mentions McCormick’s leadership and alludes to his ability to maintain discipline and organization:

                        Dear Vance McCormick,

                        I have loved you ever since I have known you and rejoice sincerely that

                        the whole country rings with your praises.  They have come to know you

                        as your friends know you.  Your leadership in the campaign was inspiring,

and while you hitched your kite to a star you kept your feet on the ground.  The country and the party owe to you and your co-workers lasting gratitude.

                                    Sincerely your friend,   Joshephus Daniels71


The telegram McCormick received from Secretary of the Treasury William McAdoo on November 10, 1916 alludes to the bitter fight for California.  It is interesting to note that McCormick’s “purifying effect” on American politics was so short lived.

                        I congratulate you with all my soul upon the splendid victory achieved for

                        popular government. . . You have met every situation with courage and

                        ability of the highest order and you have conducted a clean and credible

                        campaign in sharp contrast with the unscrupulous and sinister methods of

                        the opposition.  The victory is doubly valuable because it will have a

                        purifying effect upon American politics and makes it no longer possible

                        for corruption to triumph through the purchase or coercion of any

                        American state.  Mrs. McAdoo joins me in affectionate regards.72


Another insight into the role played by McCormick, which illustrates his determination and business like approach to the campaign, is from a campaign memorandum from Homer Cummings on August 7, 1916:

                        Mr. McCormick as usual was very much in earnest.  He is a man of fine

                        character and right instincts.  He is not particularly fluent of speech but he

                        is sound in counsel and held tenaciously to the business of the moment.

                        He has a sense of humor but does not indulge it much.  One can see his

                        heart  is set on making a success of the campaign.  Others may crack a

                        joke now and then but he smiles vaguely for his mind is on something

                        else, and after the interlude, he comes back to the real business of the

                        conference.  He covers ground and moves forward.  I like him and

                        believe in him.73


McCormick’s abilities as expressed in the previous letters and memo would have meant nothing if the election would have turned out differently. 

The fact that Wilson won  created the opportunity for McCormick to rise through the Wilson administration.  However, McCormick did not seem overly ambitious to move into the administration.  Wilson and House also found it difficult to find the proper job for McCormick.  Positions which were discussed between December 1916 and June 1917 included:  Secretary to the President, replacing long time aide Tumulty due to fears of his being a Catholic;74 in charge of foreign appointments for the State Department;75 Ambassador to Japan, which was offered to McCormick;76 Executive Secretary to aid interdepartmental communications;77 and finally, to serve on the Administrative Committee of the Export Council.78  McCormick finally accepted the Export Council position in late June 1917, which would lead to his being named the Chairman of the War Trade Board in October 1917.  With American involvement in World War I official, McCormick maintained his Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, and began to work on export issues that would lead to his diplomatic ventures.


Diplomatic Ventures, 1917--1919

“If you ask the indemnities you want from Germany you will kill her and will get nothing but Bolshevism; ask what she can pay from her earnings of the next 50 years and let her earn it.”

                                    --Vance McCormick79

As America entered World War I in April 1917, McCormick maintained his presence in Washington, D.C.  He visited the Capital on a weekly basis to assist various Cabinet heads, and as Chairman of the Democratic Party, aroused loyalty for Wilson’s war policies among the Democrats.80   In June of 1917 Secretary of State Robert Lansing asked McCormick to serve on the Administrative Committee of the Export Council with Herbert Hoover and representatives from the Commerce and Treasury Departments.81  McCormick wrote Wilson  on June 28, 1917, asking if  he should accept, and if so, should he resign as Chairman of the Democratic Party.  McCormick argued that the work he was presently doing in Washington was largely unofficial and afforded him the luxury, which Edward House enjoyed, of being a freelance advisor.  McCormick added, “My whole desire is to help you and serve my country and I am ready to take my coat off at any time but I want to place my efforts where they will count the most.”82   Wilson responded on July 2, 1917:

I am heartily glad that you are inclined to accept the duties which the Secretary of State suggested to you the other day.  I am particularly desirous to have in that place somebody whom I can thoroughly trust, and when I was discussing it with the Secretary of State I did not feel, and neither did he, that it would be necessary for you to resign the chairmanship of the National Committee. . . The position is only semi-official and seems to me entirely compatible with the inter-election activities of a National Chairman.  Your constant presence in Washington, moreover, will make the other things which you have been doing, and which have been so useful, perhaps easier to do than before.83


With Wilson’s response, McCormick accepted the position and began working on the Export Council, later changed to the Export Board.84 

An executive order on October 12, 1917, created the War Trade Board in place of the Export Board.85  Wilson issued the executive order  under the authority of the Espionage Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act, the later of which was passed by Congress on October 6, 1917.86   These Acts gave the President almost complete control over the American economy.  The War Trade Board was given broad powers to control foreign commerce through licensing imports and exports, and by issuing embargoes and blockades on countries.  By being named Chairman of the War Trade Board in October, McCormick became an equivalent to the European blockade ministers.  At the time the War Trade Board evolved, the Export Board was about ready to make a decision concerning embargoes on the neutral countries of Sweden and Norway.   The embargoes were put off due to Swedish and Norwegian concerns that the action would force them into the war and possibly provoke Germany into invading them.87   As a result of McCormick’s involvement with the embargo situation, House wrote a letter to Wilson on October 16, 1917,  asking him to send McCormick with him to the upcoming Inter-Allied Conference in London and Paris, “to look into the British methods regarding the embargo.”88


 The Inter-Allied Conference In London and Paris, November 8 - December 6, 1917

            The Inter-Allied Conference met to better coordinate war efforts among the Allies.  The issue of shipping goods and troops to Europe became a preeminent concern for both America and the European Allies upon the official entry of America into the war.  Another concern was the relationship of the neutral countries to the Allies.  In both areas of concern the War Trade Board, led by McCormick, played an active part in coordinating shipments to Europe and conducting negotiations with the neutral countries.

            McCormick’s diary of the Inter-Allied Conference is valuable in its description of the personalities involved in the official and unofficial business of the conference.  The specific details of the conference are rarely included in the diary, however the methods of conducting the conference and the general issues involved in the conference are illuminated by McCormick.    The diary, coupled with letters and telegrams concerning the conference, allow for a view of McCormick’s role in the Conference.  Some of his personal impressions of the war effort are also written about in his diary.  Therefore, it would be valuable to investigate the diary along with several key telegrams and letters to gain an insight into the role McCormick played in the war effort through his participation at the Inter-Allied Conference.

            The sensitive nature of the Inter-Allied Conference is expressed in the first two entries of McCormick’s diary. In his first entry on Sunday, October 28, 1917, McCormick wrote:

                        Left Harrisburg at 6:53 P.M., en route to New York under greatest

                        secrecy, with instructions that I would be met at the Pennsylvania

                        Railroad station by a tall man with big bay window and carrying a New

                        York Evening Post.  Met him in accordance with instructions at 1 A.M.,

                        and was placed by my large friend in a private car standing in the

                        Pennsylvania Railroad station. . . 89


Adding to the secretive nature of his mission, McCormick wrote in his entry on Monday, October 29, 1917, “When I appeared in the morning I found I was on a special train somewhere in Massachusetts, en route to Halifax. . . We were forbidden to leave our car for fear we might be recognized, and the railroad officials were told the train was a theatrical special.”90   Among those traveling with McCormick on the American Mission were House, his secretary Gordon Auchincloss, Admiral Benson, General Bliss, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Crosby, Shipping Board representative Colby, War Industries Board representative Perkins, and Dr. Taylor who represented the War Trade Board and Food Administrator Hoover.91

            Upon arriving in London McCormick met with the American Ambassador to London, Thomas Nelson Page, at the Embassy.  The first meeting with a British official was with under-Secretary of State and Blockade Minister Lord Robert Cecil.  McCormick and Cecil  met almost every day while in London discussing and planning the negotiation strategies with the neutral countries. The early concern was with negotiations with Norway.

            McCormick, along with the Allies, advocated the position that Norway should stop all exports to enemy countries.  Wilson responded to the American Ambassador to Great Britain, Thomas Nelson Page:

Am distressed to differ with McCormick but inasmuch as we are fighting a war of principle I do not feel that I can consent to demand of Norway what we would not allow anyone to demand of us, namely, the cessation of exports of our own products.  I am convinced that the only legitimate

position is that we will not supply deficiencies which she thus creates if her exports are to our enemies.92


McCormick’s view of the Norway situation represents a more real world, pragmatic approach, which is at odds with the idealistic world view of Wilson.  Despite the difference, McCormick represented Wilson’s views in the negotiation tables in Europe.  Although there is evidence that McCormick did offer his own views throughout the conference, which at times may have differed with Wilson’s.

While in London, McCormick worked closely with Lord Robert Cecil on blockade and shipping issues.  As the conference moved to Paris, McCormick’s role in forging closer Allied shipping cooperation is evident.  While in Paris, he proposed a central Inter-Allied Shipping Board, which gained favorable attention among the French and British representatives.93   McCormick wrote to Wilson his plan for a closer Allied cooperation, upon his return to Washington, stating, “I consider this question [Inter-Allied Ship Tonnage] the paramount one of the war. . .”94   According to Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, McCormick’s suggestion that the Allies should pool shipping was not initially favored by Wilson until he was later convinced that it was in the best interests to do so.95

The Norwegian negotiations and the shipping issue provide a  glimpse into the diplomatic workings of McCormick at the Inter-Allied Conference.  Before he left Paris for Washington, McCormick concluded the first agreement with a neutral country.  Switzerland’s agreement provided for the Allies to continue trade, while officially recognizing Switzerland’s neutrality.96   McCormick played an active role within the American Mission while at the Inter-Allied Conference.  The Conference introduced McCormick to the world stage.  This experience and the many contacts he made would allow him to play an increasingly important role in the Wilson Administration.


The Rising Stock of McCormick

            Beginning on March 20, 1918 Wilson met with key war advisers every Wednesday, in order to bring about consistency and coordination among the war agencies.  The idea for these weekly meetings was that of McCormick, Harry Garfield, and Herbert Hoover.97   This group became known as the War Cabinet and it included Secretary of War, Newton Diehl Baker; Secretary of Treasury, William Gibbs McAdoo; Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels; Shipping Board Administrator, Edward Hurley; Food Administrator, Herbert Hoover; Fuel Administrator, Harry Garfield; Chairman of the War Industries Board, Bernard Baruch; and McCormick, as Chairman of the War Trade Board.98 McCormick described the functioning of this group as “a clearinghouse of facts and policy.”99   This group of advisers, along with House, became Wilson’s primary advisers throughout the war and Peace Conference. 

As a member of the War Cabinet McCormick became a part of Wilson’s inner circle of advisers on the conduct of the war.  His diplomatic abilities became evident as Wilson considered him for various sensitive posts.  On June 3, 1918, House suggested to Wilson that McCormick be named Chairman of the American Board Overseas to better coordinate American shipping activities in Europe.100   A week later on June 8, 1918, Secretary of War Baker recommended to Wilson that McCormick be made a permanent representative to the Supreme War Council in Paris to relieve General Pershing of any diplomatic duties.  Baker believed House would be ideal for the job, but doubted whether his health would permit him a permanent position in Europe.101   A secret telegram prepared by Sir William Wiseman, British confidential representative in the United States for the British government, details the plan to appoint McCormick to the Supreme War Council:

            Vance McCormick is to be appointed Chairman of the Board of American

            Commissioners in Europe, with headquarters at Paris and offices in

            London. . . If this plan is carried out McCormick will have wide powers

            over all American war missions, except, of course, that he would not

            interfere with Pershing  as Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary

            Force.  McCormick would be the man with whom Allied statesmen could

discuss any war problems, and, even if he could not give a decision himself, his recommendations to the President would have the greatest weight.  The above is very secret as it is now being considered by the President and his Cabinet.102  


The plan to send McCormick to Europe never materialized.  The reasons regarding this decision are unknown.

However, Wilson considered McCormick for other positions during the summer of 1918.  He was considered as a replacement for David Houston as Secretary of Agriculture, to enable Houston to move into the Treasury Department to replace McAdoo.103   This did not materialize since McAdoo remained at Treasury.  The other position Wilson considered McCormick for was Ambassador to Great Britain.   House wrote Wilson on August 25, 1918, his suggestion:

                        Have you thought of Vance McCormick as a possibility for London?  He

                        made a fine impression over there last Autumn.  He is progressive, has

                        sufficient money, and has a good knowledge of war conditions which

would be helpful.  His mother and sister could do the household honors for him.104


Again, the suggestions never materialized.  Whether Wilson did not approve or McCormick rejected them is unknown.  The fact that McCormick was even considered for these positions is a testament to the impression McCormick made on those around him.


The Russian Bureau, Inc.

            The situation in Russia had become critical by the summer of 1918.  The tumultuous previous year had established a dangerous conundrum for President Wilson.  The Bolshevik revolution had gone against his democratic principles.  However, an intervention in Russia, which was being urged by the Allies, would violate his principle of self determination.  To complicate matters poorly supplied Czech forces were facing attack from Austrian and German prisoners, and civilian populations in Siberia, the Murman coast, and the Archangel District were suffering from famine conditions.  All the while, the White Russian government located in Omsk and headed by Admiral Kolchak, was in dire need of foreign assistance if it was to successfully defeat the Bolsheviks.

A letter from Secretary of State Lansing to Wilson on September 9, 1918, detailed the grave situation in Russia and urged Wilson to allow McCormick to oversee relief efforts in Siberia, the Murman coast, and the Archangel District:

it seems to me it would be most helpful if these problems [relief of civilian populations in Russia], which involve financial questions, methods of barter and exchange, et cetera, could be studied and solutions found by one of the established War Boards of this Government working under the direction of a man who thoroughly understands your policies  and who is in close personal and official contact with the heads of the various governmental agencies concerned with these problems.  It has occurred to me that Mr. Vance McCormick is peculiarly fitted for such work.  He has the liberal point of view and his ability to work with the heads of the various boards and departments here has been well tested.  His own organization-the War Trade Board. . .is almost ideally fitted to study these problems and to submit to you a report concerning them.105


As a result of this letter and a report on the conditions of the Czech and Russian forces in Siberia, Wilson, during a War Cabinet meeting on September 11, 1918, arranged for McCormick, Baruch, and Hurley to coordinate the transportation of  “necessary supplies” to Siberia “at the earliest possible time.”106   One of the main objects was to supply about fifty thousand defenseless Czech forces so they could retreat through Siberia.  The previous plan to reestablish an eastern front using Czech forces had failed, and Czech leader Thomas Masaryk agreed that the best course would be for the Czech forces to withdraw, with American aid, eastward through Siberia.107   With this goal in mind, the American government, working through McCormick and the War Trade Board, began sending supplies to the Czech troops.

            As the relief of the Czech forces got under way, the War Trade Board formed a new organization to take over the distribution of supplies to Russia.  This organization was formed on October 5, 1918, and was called the Russian Bureau, Inc., of the War Trade Board, under the Presidency of McCormick.  The Russian Bureau’s purpose was “to facilitate private commercial intercourse between Russia and the United States and, where deemed advisable, to provide on a modest scale direct economic relief financed by the bureau itself.”108   The Bureau was established with a grant of five million dollars from the National Security and Defense Fund.  It later received another five million dollars from the State Department.109   McCormick’s involvement with Russian issues made him Wilson’s top Russian adviser during the Paris Peace Conference.  All issues involving Russia went through McCormick before they reached Wilson.110

During the Peace Conference, McCormick orchestrated a plan to provide economic relief for Russia.  At a dinner at Lloyd George’s house on January 30, 1919, McCormick discussed with the British Prime Minister his plan for sending food to Petrograd.  Lloyd George convinced McCormick that his plan would not work.111 Undaunted, McCormick kept working on his relief plan. At a March 4, 1919, dinner arranged by former American Ambassador to Turkey, Oscar Strauss, McCormick met with Russian Ambassador, Boris Bakhmetev; former Finance Minister to the Czar, Sergei Sazonov; and Hoover.  At the meeting McCormick proposed a joint Allied and neutral action, under military protection, to provide economic relief of Russia.  The outgrowth of this meeting was the Hoover-Nansen plan to provide relief to Russia.  Despite the name of the plan, Historian John M. Thompson wrote, “The most consistent champion of relief for Russia and, indeed, it is fair to say, the ‘father’ of the Hoover-Nansen plan for feeding the population of Soviet Russia, was Vance McCormick . . .”112   As the plan developed, McCormick moved into the background and eventually believed that the Hoover-Nansen plan would be ill-advised, since the Bolshevik’s seemed near collapse.  By April, McCormick was advocating the recognition of the Omsk Government and Admiral Kolchak.   In an April 21, 1919, diary entry, McCormick wrote that the Hoover-Nansen plan and the cessation of hostilities in Russia would be “hard on Kolchak as he is winning now.  I am going to put this new situation to the President.”113   It was McCormick, as Wilson’s top adviser on Russia, who persuaded the President to reverse his position and support the Omsk Government.114

This episode illustrates the break between House and Wilson during the Peace Conference.   By April 1919, it was apparent that House had lost influence with Wilson, and that McCormick had gained influence.  McCormick entered the Peace Conference as a high level economic adviser, but he left the Conference as one of Wilson’s closest and most loyal advisers.


Paris Peace Conference, January to June 1919-McCormick’s climax of influence

            With the German acceptance of peace terms and the subsequent Armistice signing on November 11, 1918, the war agencies began to prepare for the coming peace conference.  Upon receiving a German note on October 20, 1918, concerning troop reductions, the War Cabinet discussed the best way to end the war.  McCormick voiced his opinion in favor of an unconditional surrender and occupation of Berlin.115    His views fell far short of acceptance as the rest of the War Cabinet favored an armistice the military would deem safe.  Hoover remarked that he “took no stock in a triumphal march down the Unter den Linden.”116   McCormick’s view on an occupation of Germany remained consistent throughout the Peace Conference.  At the end of the conference when it was uncertain whether Germany would sign the treaty, McCormick voiced his opinion against a continued blockade against Germany in favor of an occupation.  The occupation in McCormick’s view would allow for the importation of needed supplies and foodstuff to combat the threat of famine, anarchy and bolshevism.117

            The issue of the composition of the American delegation to the Peace Conference became an important issue immediately after the signing of the Armistice.  The most pressing question was should the President go to Paris.  Most of the War Cabinet, including McCormick, Hoover, Garfield, and Baruch, believed that Wilson should stay in America during the Conference.118  The fear was that once Wilson sat at the same table with the European leaders his immense power and influence would be diminished, and his idealism would clash and be negated by the realpolitik of Europe.  The thought was that he was better off wielding his power and influence as the savior of the world from a distance, in order to bring to bear his influence only at critical junctures of the proceedings.  The views of McCormick and others obviously lost out to Wilson’s desire to personally be a part of the peace settlement. 

            McCormick attended the Peace Conference as an economic adviser to Wilson.  Other members of the President’s Committee of Economic Advisers were Edward Hurley (Henry Robinson would replace Hurley during the Conference), Herbert Hoover, Bernard Baruch, and Norman Davis.  The Committee usually met informally at mealtimes.119  Since the meetings were informal, minutes were rarely kept.  Therefore, the best record of the meetings is found in McCormick’s diary of the Conference.  The Committee was responsible for coordinating the American economy and inter-Allied councils during the post armistice period, and advised Wilson on economic issues relating to the Conference.120  The primary issues that McCormick worked on during the conference were the blockade, reparations, and, as previously stated, Russia.   

            During the post armistice period the blockade on Germany and the northern neutrals continued.  The Allied governments insisted on a blockade as an instrument to force a peace settlement.  The United States suffered by having surplus stocks of food wasting away in ports.  McCormick arrived to the conference unable to communicate with anyone from Great Britain or Italy who had the authority to discuss blockade matters.  The frustration led McCormick to suggest to Wilson the formation of a Superior Blockade Council charged with handling the blockade.121  The Council was composed of representatives from Great Britain, France, Italy, and the United States.  McCormick was made Chairman, only to be continually frustrated by Allied obstruction to the lifting of the blockade.  McCormick wrote about his frustrations to Clarence Woolley of the War Trade Board in Washington, on March 4, 1919:

                        I have been a good deal disappointed, however, in the practical results [of

                        the Superior Blockade Council], for the reasons that, as you can well

                        imagine, this is a bargaining center.  The nations with whom we have to

                        deal, like England, France, and Italy are trying to get something out of the

                        United States, and particularly financial assistance.  Whenever the United

                        States proposes relaxations of the embargo on the Northern Neutrals,

                        which would permit us to unload some of our surplus stocks, our Allies

block the action, always basing their opposition upon financial difficulties, and upon the general principle of compelling us to assist then financially.122


As an example of the obstruction to lifting the blockade, McCormick wrote in his diary on February 17, 1919, “Crespi [Italy’s representative on the Superior Blockade Council] said would not agree to any relaxation unless Great Britain and the United States helped finance food for his distressed country.”123   McCormick expressed the desperate nature of the continued blockade in a March 1, 1919 diary entry, “Trying to put through financial plan for permitting Germany to buy food.  French blocked every plan.  England and America dread consequences, as we seem living on a volcano.  Two hundred million people not producing in the world and many hungry.”124

McCormick decided to reverse his strategy by not pushing for a relaxation of the blockade.  He explained his strategy in the same letter to Woolley:

                        About two weeks ago, I made up my mind that we would accomplish

nothing, if we were continually put in the position of suppliants, and asking favors, and I therefore discussed the matter with Hoover, Strauss, Davis, and Lamont, and we agreed to withdraw all our requests for relaxations of the blockade, and to assume an attitude of  indifference.  This policy has worked like magic, and our friends are now compelled to come to us asking favors, and in the meantime, we have succeeded. . . in putting through certain relaxations which have materially helped the situation. . . Our Allies are bankrupt, and they grasp at any opportunity to trade for credits.125


The lifting of the blockade on Germany finally began to materialize during a meeting in Brussels between the Allies and the Germans on March 13 and 14, 1919.126   While the blockade took up much of McCormick’s time, at least Great Britain was allied with the United States in seeking a relaxation of the blockade.  With reparations, McCormick and the United States could not count on Great Britain in a lonely and frustrating battle against the Allied hard-line approach.

McCormick arrived in Paris with the primary duty to work on blockade matters since he was the Chairman of the War Trade Board.   His role as an economic adviser to Wilson led to his deep involvement in reparation issues.  McCormick’s reluctant view concerning his work on reparation issues was expressed in a May 16, 1919 letter to Clarence Woolley of the War Trade Board, when he stated that he was unable to return to Washington because, “I unfortunately got mixed up in reparation and other matters. . .”127 The increased responsibility at the Conference is a sign that Wilson placed a great deal of confidence and trust in McCormick.  

            On February 8, 1919, McCormick presented Wilson with the American proposal for the Principles of Reparations.128  The Principles advocated limited reparations based on the damage to non-military property and civilian injury or death caused by German military operations.  Also, Belgium, occupied France, Romania, Montenegro and Serbia were to be “physically restored to a condition as near as possible to that which would have existed had war not occurred.”129

The problem that McCormick and the other American advisers encountered was the domestic political realities in France and Britain, which pressured their leaders to make Germany pay “shilling for shilling, ton for ton,” as British Prime Minister Lloyd George would declare.130   Therefore, they insisted that Germany be forced to pay for all the cost of the war.  McCormick, along with Bernard Baruch, argued that the inclusion of war costs would violate the peace terms.131   A dispatch to Wilson from Lansing, House, Davis, Baruch and McCormick on February 18, 1919, summed up the situation:

            We have refused . . . to accept the principle of inclusion of war costs,

            feeling that the adoption of this principle would open the way to a

            complete departure from the agreed terms of peace based on your

            fourteen points and subsequent addresses.  You will understand, however,

            that the political situation in almost all countries will make it most

            difficult for their delegates to take any attitude other than insistence upon

            the complete reparation which they have promised their people and which

            all our inquiries show the people of the Allied countries feel to be just and

            due them.  While the representatives of the Allied Governments generally

            recognize, and privately admit that it will be impracticable to secure

            actual repayment of war costs on account of limited ability of the enemy

            to pay, they seem determined upon recognition in principle of complete



 Regardless, France and Britain forged ahead with plans to include war costs, pensions, and separation allowances paid to soldiers and their families.  With the inclusion of these terms, the German reparations would skyrocket from tens of billions to hundreds of billions of reparation liability.133   The ability of Germany to pay even a modest amount of reparation was in question, let alone the exorbitant amount associated with the British and French terms. 

At first Wilson was against the Allied insistence on including war costs.  His mind changed when the British delegate from South Africa, General Jan Smuts, whom Wilson admired, argued that the inclusion of pensions and separation allowances were in accord with the peace terms since they were compensation to civilians.134   McCormick and Baruch tried to get Wilson to change his mind, but to no avail.  Baruch   wrote in his memoirs, “Wilson’s reversal on the question of pensions and separation allowances was a serious mistake.  No doubt he felt impelled to acquiesce to the British on this point, but to many of us it seemed a retreat from his principles-and an unnecessary retreat.”135

With the inclusion of pensions and separation allowances, the American Commission favored a lump sum payment from Germany to limit the long-term financial distress on Germany.  The Allies refused to consider a lump sum even though they recognized that Germany would most likely default on the reparation plan, due to the long term and severe payment schedule.  McCormick wrote about the difficulties in dealing with the Allies in a diary entry from June 9, 1919:

            Americans for a lump sum, British, French and Italians for certain

            modifications but against a lump sum on account of political reasons in

            their respective countries because they are afraid to tell their people the

            truth about the amount they can get out of Germany and still want to put

            off the evil day. . .(Wilson) said he had tried his best to get Clemenceau 

            and Lloyd George to agree to fixed sum but absolutely failed. 

            Lloyd George always said when alone that he thought it was right but

            when they were together he never supported the President’s arguments.136


            McCormick’s work on reparation issues was frustrated by the political realities of a post war Europe dominated by an incessant nationalistic demand for revenge.  While the victors haggled over the terms of the peace treaty, the smaller nations were largely left out of the important deliberations of the Big Four.  McCormick made sure that the devastated nation of Belgium would have a fair reparations claim by arguing on behalf of Belgium in front of the Big Four on April 5, 1919.137   On two occasions during the meeting McCormick stated that the intention of the clause in the American Principles of Reparation text concerning Belgium was that Belgium was entitled to all of her war costs.138   During an April 7, 1919 meeting of the Big Four, which Wilson did not attend due to an illness, McCormick made a reservation, on behalf of the United States, that Belgium was properly provided for in reparation claims.  Lloyd George and Clemenceau opposed any special articles for Belgium.   According to the transcript of the meeting, Clemenceau stated, “There ought to be equal treatment for Belgium and France.”  McCormick replied that, as a representative of the United States of America, Belgium should be protected, “as promised in Point 7 of the address of the President of the United States at the Congress made on January 7th [8th], 1918, and concurred in by the Allied and Associated Governments.”  Lloyd George followed McCormick by stating that he agreed that Belgium be protected, but did not agree that Belgium get preferential treatment over France.139

After France, Great Britain, and the United States apprised Belgium and the smaller nations of the terms of reparations, the Belgian representatives to the Peace Conference met with the Big Three (Orlando had left the conference over a territorial dispute) and McCormick.  The meeting ended with the Belgians stating that the reparation proposals were not acceptable to cover war costs, and that they must return to Brussels to get instructions.  McCormick wrote in his diary:

This struck the Big Three like a bomb shell as the Germans have arrived and with the Italian mess it would be serious.  I have felt all along Belgium would play a strong hand.  She has a good case and a popular one. . . I can see Great Britain and France coming to what I said all along they would be compelled to do.140


The next day the Belgian Minister to the United States called McCormick to have him arrange a meeting with Wilson and the Belgian delegation.  Wilson refused to meet with the Belgians since Clemenceau and Lloyd George had strong opinions concerning Belgium.  McCormick wrote in his diary that, “I am not sure the President has sized the situation up.  I think it is most important to give the fullest opportunity for Belgium to present its case.”141

McCormick’s stand for Belgium is an example of one type of involvement McCormick had concerning reparations.  Despite his best efforts, Belgium and the rest of the Allies did not receive much from Germany.   The final large reparations claim helped to destroy the German economy, and they finally defaulted in 1931.  In the end Germany paid less than five billion in reparations, half of which was borrowed in the United States.142

Much has been written about the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.  The Conference produced a flawed Treaty since “the passions of men overrode their reason,” as Baruch wrote in his Memoirs.143   Although, without the American Commission in Paris, the Treaty would likely have been even harsher and more flawed.  McCormick’s role in attempting to make a fair Treaty should not be overlooked. McCormick, along with Hoover, was the most vocal proponent of lifting the blockade; McCormick, along with Baruch, was the most vocal proponent of a just and reasonable reparation; and McCormick was the leading defender of Belgium’s interests in the Council of Four meetings.   The variety of assignments that McCormick worked on during the Conference was astonishing.  He was likely the most versatile American adviser at the Peace Conference.  Regardless of the flaws of the Treaty, and its defeat in the United States Senate, McCormick worked as a loyal, yet open and honest adviser to President Wilson.  This attribute gained the respect and personal gratitude of Wilson for McCormick.  As Wilson left office, McCormick became one of the most loyal supporters of Woodrow Wilson.  The experience of the Peace Conference cemented the mutual affection between the two men until the passing of Wilson in 1924.


Wilson and McCormick, The Final Years

“He was always most generous in his consideration of me.”

--Vance McCormick to Josephus Daniels, March 24, 1941 144


            Upon returning home from the Peace Conference, McCormick became politically active working for the passage of the Treaty in the Senate.  Although the treaty failed and Wilson suffered his strokes, McCormick remained a trusted adviser and friend to Wilson.  He was offered the Secretary of Commerce position upon the resignation of Secretary William Redfield, and the Secretary of the Interior position upon the retirement of Franklin Lane.  McCormick refused both positions.145   McCormick, along with many others, began to be shielded from Wilson, by his wife Edith, after the President’s incapacitation.    The only close associates to Wilson during this time were his wife and his personal physician, Dr. Cary Grayson.  As a result, McCormick became less active in the administration and spent more time in Harrisburg.  A. Mitchell Palmer, recognizing the close relationship between McCormick and Wilson, convinced McCormick to visit the White House in late January 1920 to gauge Wilson’s support for a Palmer Presidential run.  McCormick got no further than a lunch with Mrs. Wilson.146

During the post-Wilson years McCormick remained a loyal friend to Wilson, despite the distance. As an example of his loyalty to Wilson, McCormick wrote a December 22, 1922 letter to John Foster Dulles, who was a member of McCormick’s advisory staff at the Paris Peace Conference, admonishing him for a public criticism of Wilson.  McCormick scolded Dulles by writing, “I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that you should have seen fit to have made this attack upon President Wilson, which was most unfair, and I am particularly distressed that the information you used was obtained at a confidential conference in the President’s home.”147   McCormick respected and defended Wilson to the end.  He donated money to Wilson’s  S Street retirement home in Washington, D.C., and he attended Wilson’s address to the third Armistice Day Pilgrimage in 1923, several months before Wilson died.148   McCormick was one of Wilson’s last friends to see him alive as he visited the dying President on the morning and afternoon of February 2, 1924.149   In recognition for loyalty and friendship, the Wilson family asked McCormick to be an honorary pallbearer at Wilson’s funeral.150    In the years following Wilson’s passing, McCormick spent more time in Harrisburg working as the publisher of The Patriot and The Evening News, until his death in 1946.   For the remainder of his life, McCormick remained loyal to the Wilson legacy and maintained contact with Wilson associates, such as, A. Mitchell Palmer, Josephus Daniels, and Herbert Hoover.  McCormick never again played such an active part in the Nation’s life as he did during the Wilson Years.


Factors Leading to McCormick’s Rise During the Wilson Years

            Several factors account for McCormick’s rise during the Wilson years.  First, there were several shared traits between McCormick and Wilson.  Second, several people helped McCormick gain power.  Finally, McCormick had personal qualities which contributed to his ascent during the Wilson years.

            Wilson and McCormick, though not sharing a completely common background, did share certain traits which may have helped them bond.  Both were products of the eastern establishment.  McCormick had a more privileged upbringing, but they both shared an Ivy League identification.  A common religious belief system is another trait both shared.  Wilson grew up as the son of a Presbyterian Minister, while McCormick grew up in the Presbyterian dominated Dauphin Valley in Pennsylvania.  Both exhibited the traits of their Presbyterian beliefs:  They were hard working, disciplined individuals.  Politically, they shared a common belief, by being personally and socially conservative, yet politically progressive.  Although they shared common traits, they also had differences: McCormick was the athlete, Wilson was the Professor; McCormick was outgoing, Wilson was more reserved; and McCormick came from money, Wilson did not.  Personal traits do not tell the whole story of McCormick’s rise since certain people helped pave the way.

            The people who assisted McCormick to national service were A. Mitchell Palmer, Roland Morris, Francis Fisher Kane, and Edward House.  Palmer was the most conspicuous promoter of McCormick.  After working together in the reorganization fight of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party in 1911, they shared the ticket in the 1914 race for U.S. Senate and Governor.  It was Palmer who wrote a letter to Wilson during the 1916 Democratic Convention urging Wilson to select McCormick as the National Chairman and Campaign Manager.  Other associates during the reorganization fight may have helped to introduce McCormick to Wilson.  Both Roland Morris and Francis Fisher Kane were Princeton allies of Wilson’s and reorganization allies of McCormick’s.  Kane wrote several letters to Wilson after the reorganization fight praising McCormick for his leadership. From 1916 until the Peace Conference, it was Edward House who suggested McCormick for various positions ranging from Secretary to the President to Ambassador to Japan; from Secretary of Agriculture to being named Chairman of the American Board Overseas during the War.  House recommended that McCormick accompany him to the Inter-Allied Conference.  Ironically, it was House’s falling out with Wilson during the Peace Conference that enabled McCormick to partially fill the void left by House and become a top adviser to Wilson.

            McCormick exhibited personal qualities which enabled him to be effective in each position he held in the Wilson Administration.  McCormick was independently wealthy allowing him to serve his country without personal financial concerns.  As a result of his money, privileged background, and outgoing personality, McCormick was willing and able to socially and professionally connect with many people.  His contacts within the progressive and business communities certainly had a bearing on his choice to become the National Chairman of the Democratic Party in 1916.  His organizational skills and work ethic helped him be successful as Wilson’s Campaign Manager in 1916, and to succeed in his roles as Chairman of the War Trade Board and adviser to Wilson at the Peace Conference.  All of these traits allowed McCormick to be successful, which in turn drew him closer to Wilson.  Of all the traits that endeared him to Wilson, the one that was most important was his undying loyalty.  Regardless of their disagreements, McCormick always publicly supported Wilson and defended him from criticism. 


Vance McCormick’s Legacy-- The Wilson Years

            Vance McCormick was a part of many important decisions and events during his time with President Wilson.  From Democratic National Chairman and Campaign Manager to Chairman of the War Trade Board and top adviser to Wilson, McCormick held many responsibilities during his service to the nation.  He could have made more money and lived a more comfortable and easy life if he had remained in Harrisburg during the War.  Therefore, McCormick’s decision to serve his country during a time of national crisis is a legacy which many of his generation and future generations have left behind as a memorial to the virtue of selflessness.  McCormick embodied this virtue throughout his life from the time he ran for the Common Council from the 4th Ward in Harrisburg in 1900, to the time he decided to become Chairman of the War Trade Board and serve his country around the negotiating tables of Europe.  His tenure as Chairman of the War Trade Board ushered in an unprecedented time of governmental control of the American economy.  As Chairman, McCormick was one of the few individuals who exercised  immense control over the economy by controlling imports and exports, issuing blacklist and censorship procedures, and by conducting the blockade of neutral and enemy countries.  As fast as the War Trade Board gained control over foreign and domestic commerce, it was dismantled under the direction of McCormick when it became no longer necessary. 

            Vance McCormick was an ideal Wilsonian.  The ideals which Wilson stood for during the War were fought for by McCormick in Europe during the Peace Conference.  The humanitarian effort to lift the food blockade of neutral and enemy countries after the Armistice was vigorously fought for by McCormick.  It took longer than he wanted, but eventually the Allies lifted the blockade, partially due to the efforts and strategy McCormick employed in Paris.  The effort to feed the starving population of Soviet Russia was most forcefully advocated by McCormick, even though credit went to Hoover.  McCormick embodied the anti-Communist belief of Wilson’s when he pushed for support for the Omsk Government.  McCormick’s advocacy of the Belgian reparations claim advanced Wilson’s concern for the smaller nations.  Since McCormick did not write a Memoir, while other associates did, he is often lost when one thinks of Wilson.  Another factor in McCormick’s relative obscurity was his decision to return to Harrisburg and leave national politics.  Regardless, fighting for Wilsonian ideals is another McCormick legacy.

            The final legacy from McCormick’s years with Wilson is his love for Harrisburg.  While in Paris for the Peace Conference, McCormick enjoyed reading about news from home.  His January 24, 1919 diary entry ended with, “I spent a quiet evening at home reading Harrisburg papers.”151   On February 21, 1919, McCormick ended his diary entry, “Dined in room for quiet evening with Harrisburg newspapers.”152   On March 1, 1919, McCormick wrote, “Dined in room alone and read accumulation of Harrisburg newspapers.”153   Numerous other days McCormick spent the evening reading about home.  His love for Harrisburg is evident as he returned home for good after Wilson left office.  No matter the people he met, the places he saw, or the circles of power within which he traveled, Vance McCormick always returned to Harrisburg.  And there is where he leaves his greatest legacy.





            1 Paul Beers, Profiles from the Susquehanna Valley (Harrisburg:  Stackpole Company, 1973)  171.

            2 Beers 171.

            3 Beers 171.

            4 Beers 171.

            5 Beers 171.

            6 Beers 171.

            7 Beers 171.

            8 Ernest Morrison, J. Horace McFarland:  A Thorn for Beauty (Harrisburg:  Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1995)  83.

            9 Beers 173.

            10 Beers 173.

            11 McCormick for Governor, advertisement, The Patriot News  2 Nov. 1914:  16.

            12 Beers 143.

            13 Beers 146.

            14 Charles G. Miller, “State Political Gleanings:  Story of How Democrats Reorganized Their Party,” Evening News  21 Dec. 1939:  6; pt. 1 of  a 3 pt. Series.

            15 Miller, 21 Dec. 1939, 6.

            16 Miller, 21 Dec. 1939, 6.

            17 Miller, 21 Dec. 1939, 6.

            18 Charles G. Miller, “State Political Gleanings:  Reorganizers Force Show-Down With Foes,” Evening News 22 Dec. 1939:  20; pt. 2 of a 3 pt. Series.

            19 Miller, 22 Dec. 1939, 20.

            20 “Credit Given to McCormick for Cleansing Party,” The Patriot News  10 April 1914:  8.

            21 Miller, 22 Dec. 1939, 20.

            22 Miller, 22 Dec. 1939, 20.

            23 “State Central Committee Votes For Regeneration of Democratic Party,” The Patriot  3 March 1911:  1.

            24 Miller, 22 Dec. 1939, 20.

            25 “Credit Given to McCormick . . .” 8.

            26 Josephus Daniels, letter to Vance McCormick, 11 Nov. 1916, box 1, Vance McCormick Papers, Yale University Library-Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, Connecticut.

            27 Kendrick A. Clements, Woodrow Wilson:  World Statesman  (Chicago:  Ivan R. Dee, 1999)  65.

            28 Arthur S. Link, ed., The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 22 (Princeton, New Jersey:  Princeton University Press, 1966) 408-409.

            29 Link, vol. 23, 154.

            30 Clements 74.

            31 Stanley Coben, A. Mitchell Palmer:  Politician (New York and London:  Columbia University Press, 1963)  53.

            32 Link, vol. 23, 219-220.

            33 Link, vol. 23, 219-220 and 229-230.

            34 Coben 97.

            35 Coben 98.

            36 Coben 101.

            37 Coben 98.

            38 Coben 100.

            39 Beers 170 and Coben 100.

            40 Coben 101.

            41 Earl C. Kaylor, Jr., Martin Grove Brumbaugh:  A Pennsylvanian’s Odyssey From Sainted Schoolman to Bedeviled World War I Governor, 1862-1930 (London:  Associated University Press, 1996) 15.

            42 Kaylor 253.

            43 Kaylor 253.

            44 Kaylor 253.

            45 Kaylor 254.

            46 Kaylor 253.

            47 “Some of the Silent Workers For the Candidates of Penroseism,” editorial, The Patriot  2 Nov. 1914:  16.

            48 “Letter Showing How the Liquor Interests Are Lined Up For Brumbaugh and Against McCormick,” editorial, The Patriot  2 Nov.  1914:  16.

            49 Kaylor 250.

            50 Kaylor 247.

            51 Kaylor 250.

            52 “Republicans Take Pennsylvania and Elect Penrose and Brumbaugh,” The Patriot  4 Nov.  1914:  1.

            53 Bernard M. Baruch, Baruch:  The Public Years (New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960) 12.

            54 Link, vol. 37, 77.

            55 Link, vol. 37, 56-57.

            56 Link, vol. 37, 76-77.

            57 Link, vol. 37, 92-93.

            58 Link, vol. 37, 117-118.

            59 Coben 124.

            60 Link, vol. 37, 163-164.

            61 Link, vol. 37, 211.

            62 Link, vol. 37, 227.

            63 Link, vol. 37, 229.

            64 Link, vol. 37, 281.

            65 Link, vol. 37, 524.

            66 Link, vol. 37, 522.

            67 Link, vol. 37, 531-533.

            68 Baruch 15.

            69 Baruch 15-16.

            70 Link, vol. 38, 636-637.

            71 Daniels letter, 11 Nov.  1916.

            72 William McAdoo, letter to Vance McCormick, 10 Nov. 1916, box 3, Vance McCormick Papers, Yale University Library-Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, Connecticut.

            73 Link, vol. 38, 6.

            74 Link, vol. 38, 660.

            75 Link, vol. 40, 408.

            76 Link, vol. 41, 374.

            77 Link, vol. 41, 496-497.

            78 Link, vol. 43, 34-35.

            79 Charles Seymour, Letters from the Paris Peace Conference, ed.  Harold B. Whiteman, Jr. (New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1965) 132.

            80 Link, vol. 43, 35.

            81 Link, vol. 43, 34-35.

            82 Link, vol. 43, 35.

            83 Link, vol. 43, 71.

            84 Link, vol. 44, 27-28.

            85 Burton I. Kaufman, Efficiency and Expansion:  Foreign Trade Organization in the Wilson Administration, 1913-1921 (Westport, Connecticut:  Greenwood Press, 1974) 183.

            86 Kaufman 183.

            87 Link, vol. 44, 396.

            88 Link, vol. 44, 390.

            89 Vance C. McCormick, “Diary of Vance C. McCormick:  Member of the American War Mission to Inter-Allied Conference in London and Paris,” McCormick Papers, Historical Society of Dauphin County  3.

            90 McCormick, “Inter-Allied” diary 3.

            91 McCormick, “Inter-Allied” diary 3.

            92 Link, vol. 45, 83.

            93 McCormick, “Inter-Allied” diary 16.

            94 Link, vol. 45, 339.

            95 Link, vol. 47, 172.

            96 Link, vol. 45, 235-236.

            97 Herbert Hoover, An American Epic:  Famine in Forty-Five Nations-Organization Behind the Front, 1914-1923, vol. 2 (Chicago:  Henry Regnery Company, 1960) 47.

            98 Link, vol. 46, 445.

            99 Hoover, American Epic  47.

            100 Link, vol. 48, 233.

            101 Link, vol. 48, 267.

            102 Link, vol. 48, 331.

            103 Link, vol. 48, 69.

            104 Link, vol. 49, 350.

            105 Link, vol. 49, 493.

            106 Link, vol. 49, 529.

            107 Link, vol. 51, 86-87.

            108 Link, vol. 51, 104.

            109 John M. Thompson, Russia, Bolshevism, and the Versailles Peace (Princeton, New Jersey:  Princeton University Press, 1966) 36.

            110 Thompson 289.

            111 Vance C. McCormick, “Diary of Vance C. McCormick:  Adviser to President Wilson at Peace Conference in Paris,”  McCormick Papers, Historical Society of Dauphin County  36.

            112 Thompson 230.

            113 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  72-73.

            114 Thompson 289.

            115 Link, vol. 51, 416.

            116 Herbert Hoover, The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson (1958; Washington, D.C.:  The Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1992) 37.

            117 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  84-86.

            118 Hoover, Ordeal  61.

            119 Hoover, Ordeal  84.

            120 Hoover, Ordeal  84.

            121 Vance C. McCormick, letter to Clarence Woolley, 4 March 1919, box 3, Vance McCormick Papers, Yale University Library-Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, Connecticut.

            122 McCormick, letter to Woolley, 4 March 1919.

            123 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  43.

            124 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  47.

            125 McCormick, letter to Woolley, 4 March 1919.

            126 Hoover, American Epic  348.

            127 Vance C. McCormick, letter to Clarence Woolley, 16 May 1919, box 3, Vance McCormick Papers, Yale University Library-Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, Connecticut.

            128 Link, vol. 55, 29.

            129 Link, vol. 55, 29-30.

            130 Baruch  103.

            131 Baruch  103.

            132 American Commission to Negotiate Peace, Outgoing Dispatch to President Wilson aboard Steamship “George Washington,” 18 Feb. 1919, box 3, Vance McCormick Papers, Yale University Library-Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, Connecticut.

            133 Baruch  104.

            134 Baruch  104-105.

            135 Baruch  105.

            136 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  99.

            137 Link, vol. 57, 22-23, 26.

            138 Link, vol. 57, 22-23.

            139 Link, vol. 57, 88.

            140 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  78.

            141 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  79.

            142 Baruch  108.

            143 Baruch  109.

            144 Vance C. McCormick, letter to Josephus Daniels, 24 March 1941, box 1, Vance McCormick Papers, Yale University Library-Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, Connecticut.

            145 McCormick, letter to Daniels, 24 March 1941.

            146 Coben  252.

            147 Vance C. McCormick, letter to John Foster Dulles, 22 Dec. 1922, box 1, Vance McCormick Papers, Yale University Library-Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, Connecticut.

            148 Link, vol. 67, 313; Link, vol. 68, 471.

            149 Link, vol. 68, 557-558.

            150 John Randolph Bolling, telegram to Vance McCormick, 3 Feb. 1924, box 3, Vance McCormick Papers, Yale University Library-Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, Connecticut.

            151 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  34.

            152 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  44.

            153 McCormick, “Peace Conference” diary  47.



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