Woodrow Wilson Additional Materials
Permanent URL: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/2b88qc18t
- Princeton University. Library. Public Policy Papers.
- Title and dates:
- Woodrow Wilson Additional Materials
- The Woodrow Wilson Additional Materials consist of materials that the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library has acquired on Woodrow Wilson since the mid-1990s.
- 3.26 linear feet
- 5 boxes and 1 cabinet drawer
- Call number:
- Princeton University. Library. Dept. of
Rare Books and Special Collections.
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.
Public Policy Papers.
Princeton, New Jersey 08540 USA
- Language(s) of materials:
- Storage note:
- This collection is stored onsite at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Woodrow Wilson is best known as the 28th president of the United States of America, founder of the League of Nations, governor of New Jersey, president of Princeton University, professor and historian. Born Thomas Woodrow Wilson in late December 1856 in Staunton, Virginia, Wilson was the son of Dr. Joseph Ruggles Wilson, Presbyterian minister and director of the Augusta Female Seminary, and Janet Woodrow. Wilson began his college career at Davidson near Charlotte, North Carolina, but after a year there and a further year under his father's tutelage came to Princeton University. Wilson was expected to study for the ministry, but at Davidson he developed an interest in politics. He carried this interest to Princeton, where he studied and read extensively in history and politics. After graduating from Princeton in 1879, Wilson returned to the south to attend law school at the University of Virginia; he passed the Georgia bar and briefly practiced law in Atlanta. However, Wilson abandoned law practice in Georgia to pursue an advanced degree in historical and political science at the Johns Hopkins University . He received his doctorate in two years and, after successive professorships at Bryn Mawr College (1885) and Wesleyan University (1888), Wilson joined the Princeton faculty in 1890 as Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Economy. Wilson had married Ellen Axson on 24 June 1885, and their family soon expanded with the birth of three daughters.
During his time at Princeton, Wilson published four major works: Division and Reunion, George Washington, Mere Literature and Other Essays, and An Old Master and Other Publication. A notable event in Wilson's professorial career at Princeton occurred on the occasion of the Sesquicentennial (or 150th birthday) in 1896, when the College of New Jersey officially became Princeton University. At this celebration, Wilson delivered his famous speech, "Princeton in the Nation's Service," in which he proposed the following ideal for the Princeton student: seek the education required to carry into the world a sense of duty and purpose for the nation. Wilson was chosen president of Princeton in 1902. He immediately revised the academic structure of the University dividing the faculty into four areas: Philosophy, Art and Archaeology, Languages and Literature, and Mathematics and Science and introducing the preceptorial system. Wilson also attempted to abolish Princeton's eating clubs through his "Quadrangle Plan," which eventually was defeated. This conflict was followed by Wilson's battle with Dean Andrew Fleming West and the Trustees in 1908 over the location of the new Graduate College. Wilson favored a central location for the school, but West favored its placement away from campus. Wilson lost this fight.
During the summer of 1910, Wilson accepted the Democratic nomination for Governor of New Jersey. Wilson won the election with the assistance of Democratic political bosses, but soon distanced himself from them with his progressive agenda as the people's advocate against special interests. His progressive policies made Wilson a good candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1912, and he won the nomination with the support and assistance of Edward M. House, William Jennings Bryan, and William Gibbs McAdoo. Wilson also won the presidency, and used his techniques of presidential leadership to gain the adoption of his New Freedom agenda. He advocated three major reforms: the reduction of import tariffs, banking and currency reform, and antitrust reform. In his family relations, Wilson saw two daughters married and the third leave home to pursue a career. Wilson's greatest loss, however, was the death of his wife on 6 August 1914. Soon after Ellen Wilson's death, the president met Edith Bolling Galt whom he married on 18 December 1915.
In international relations, Wilson promoted Pan-Americanism and was eager to protect American economic interests. By fostering governments friendly to the United States, he sought to exclude European influence and impose American control in the region. The revolution in Mexico caused Wilson more difficulty than any other foreign policy issue in the Western Hemisphere as he attempted to shape Mexico's politics through peaceful means and military intervention. The larger international relations issue throughout Wilson's early presidency was keeping the United States out of the European war. From the beginning, the Great War had threatened to entangle the United States in Europe despite Wilson's pursuit of neutrality, which he proclaimed on 4 August 1914. Recognizing, however, that the war might threaten U.S. interests, Wilson was anxious to negotiate a compromise peace. He offered U.S. mediation and authorized Edward House, who had been in Europe on the eve of the July 1914 crisis, to continue his efforts to resolve the Anglo-German rivalry; by April 1915 it was obvious that House had failed to achieve any reconciliation between the belligerents. Wilson continued to work with the European nations to search for peace, even as he campaigned for reelection in 1916. Despite Wilson's push for peace, soon after the inauguration of his second term Wilson led the United States into the European conflict. Wilson appointed General John J. Pershing to take charge of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Europe, and Congress passed the Selective Service Act giving the federal government the power to draft young men into the U.S. armed forces. On the home front, the president exerted vigorous executive leadership, managing public opinion and mobilizing the economy; wartime measures gave the Wilson administration unprecedented powers over the daily life of Americans.
Wilson outlined his vision of progressive order on 8 January 1918 in the Fourteen Points address to Congress. His plan called for open diplomacy, freedom of navigation and commerce, disarmament, national self-determination, and a postwar League of Nations. In October 1918, facing military defeat, Germany appealed to Wilson for peace on the basis of his Fourteen Points; on this basis, but with reservations, the two sides concluded the armistice on 11 November 1918, ending the war. Wilson participated personally in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. At the heart of Wilson's peace program was the new League of Nations. He made drafting the covenant for this new international organization his top priority and insisted on its inclusion in the peace treaty. Although the Germans almost universally denounced the peace treaty that their delegation received at Versailles on 7 May 1919, Wilson joined the Allies and compelled Germany to sign the treaty on 28 June 1919. Back at home, the Senate would not approve the treaty without attaching strong reservations, if not amendments, to the ratification resolution. Wilson once more decided to appeal directly to the American people and in September 1919 went on a speaking tour of western states. During the tour, Wilson's health collapsed. On 2 October 1919, back in Washington, he suffered a massive stroke. With Edith Wilson's assistance, and that of his loyal private secretary Joseph P. Tumulty, the president managed to finish his term but could exercise only minimal leadership during the remaining months. Despite Wilson's work, the Senate rejected the treaty on 19 November 1919 and again on 19 March 1920, thereby preventing the United States from joining the League of Nations.
Despite his illness, Wilson had considered running for a third term but his closest associates forced him to abandon this idea. Woodrow and Edith Wilson retired to their home in Washington on 4 March 1921 in relative obscurity. He died at home in Washington on 2 February 1924.
The Woodrow Wilson Additional Materials consist of materials that the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library has acquired on Woodrow Wilson since the mid-1990s through donations. Materials include correspondence, photographs, programs and other ephemera, realia, published materials and other assorted items.
The Woodrow Wilson Additional Materials have been maintained in the order that they were acquired except for oversized materials, which are in Box 2 and Cabinet 4, Drawer 6. Materials are added to the end of this collection as they are accessioned.
Access and Use
Collection is open for research use.
Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, patrons must submit the Publication and Broadcast Form. In addition to completing this form for Princeton, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Materials in the Woodrow Wilson Additional Materials have been donated or transfered from a variety of individuals and collections since the mid-1990s. Please contact the Mudd Manuscript Library for more details. A photograph of Woodrow Wilson at the New York Press Club dinner in 1912 was donated by Martin Torodash in July 2012. The accession number for this accrual is ML.2012.030. A letter from Wilson was donated by Donald Lamm in November 2012. The accession number for this was ML.2012.045. Materials related to the poem "Three Cheers for Woodrow Wilson" were donated by Lorraine Murray Budion in 2013. The accession number associated with this is ML.2013.009. In 2013, Charles W. Mitchell donated a letter written from Wilson to Dr. Carles W. Mitchell in 1909 (accession number ML.2013.030). Also in 2013, Bob Largey donated a souvenir kerchief (accession number ML.2013.032). In 2014, James Studdiford donated a signed photograph of Wilson's cabinet members (accession number ML.2014.047). In 2015, Cary Hart donated correspondence written by Woodrow Wilson to Albridge C. Smith (accession number ML.2015.027). In 2016, William C. Schaumburg donated correspondence written by Woodrow Wilson, Oswald Garrison Villard, R.H. Leavell, and George Haynes (accession number ML.2016.032).
Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with the Mudd Manuscript Library's appraisal guidelines. A copy of Wilson's "Princeton for the Nation's Service" speech and some materials related to the 2002 exhibition on Wilson at Princeton University Library were removed from accession ML.2016.012 because they duplicated materials found in other Mudd Library collections.
Materials from accession ML.2016.012 related to Jessie Wilson Sayre were separated and added to the Jessie Wilson Sayre Collection.
As documents deemed appropriate for inclusion in the Woodrow Wilson Additional Materials are accessioned by the Mudd Manuscript Library, they are added to the collection and finding aid.
This collection is part of a group of over 20 collections held at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library related to Woodrow Wilson, which can be located by searching for the subject "Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924" on the Princeton Finding Aids website or in the Princeton Library Main Catalog.
Please see Woodrow Wilson: A Guide to Selected Resources in the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library for more particulars.
Processing and Other Information
This is an unprocessed collection. The contents list provided is a preliminary inventory.
Descriptive Rules Used
Finding aid content adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.
Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD 2002 by Jennifer Cole on May 8, 2007.
Language(s) of this Finding Aid
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Woodrow Wilson Additional Materials, Box and Folder Number; Public Policy Papers, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
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