- Series 1: Official Papers
Series 1: Official Papers
3 boxes (1 partial)
This collection is stored at Mudd Manuscript Library.
Requests will be delivered to Public Policy Papers, MUDD Reading Room
Collection Creator: Lansing, Robert, 1864-1928..
Extent: 3 boxes (1 partial)
The collection is open for research.
Series 1: Official Papers, consists of material relating to Lansing's work as
Counselor and, subsequently, Secretary of State and, though little exists, to his
work as a lawyer before and after these appointments. The topics treated in this
material are diverse, and the descriptions in the folder list which follows are by
no means exclusive. They do, however, illustrate the range of matters with which
Lansing had to deal: from the misdeeds of diplomats, as in the Sullivan scandal,
to the intricate maneuvers of governments, as in the Austro-Hungarian peace
overture. While the eclecticism of this series is not an adequate substitute for
completeness – the years 1917 and 1918 are the only ones to comprise more than two
folders – users can acquire an appreciation of a variety of issues as defined and
interpreted by Lansing and his correspondents. In the process, larger phenomena
can be discerned, whether it is House's ubiquitous influence, as evidenced by
correspondence concerning the appointment of a Counselor to fill Lansing's shoes,
or Wilson's deteriorated health, as evidenced by correspondence concerning the
appointment of an ambassador to Switzerland.
The descriptions in the folder list include not only representative subjects but
also the names of the individuals who addressed them. Not unexpectedly, the bulk
of material in this series was generated by Lansing and his officials, many of
whom were communicating telegraphically from Europe. (There is even an
undeciphered telegram from Paris to tease the curious.) The communications of
foreign representatives appear occasionally, as do those of interested private
parties, including the writer George Kennan on Russian matters. The President
excepted, little exists from other governmental units. The most exotic letter in
this series, dated 17 January 1918, undoubtedly comes from one Matilda de Cramm,
who frequented the American embassy in Petrograd and was suspected in Washington
of being a German agent. It should be noted that the first folder in this series
contains a lone letter from Secretary of State Frelinghuysen to Senator, later,
President, Harrison. The circumstances under which Lansing, a teenager at the time
it was written, acquired it are unclear, but its content, a claim against Mexico,
fell within his professional sphere of interest at a later date and is, therefore,
included among his official papers. Users looking for a fuller record of Lansing's
time in office would do well to consult the appropriate volumes of Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United
States, published by the Department of State. The Woodrow Wilson Papers
Project Records, which are also housed in the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library,
are another potentially fruitful source of information.
No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of
Series 1: Official Papers; 1882-1925; Robert Lansing Papers, Public Policy Papers, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.