Contents and Arrangement

Series 1: Official Papers, 1882 March-1925 November

3 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

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.


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Collection History


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Processing Information

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Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Series 1: Official Papers; Robert Lansing Papers, MC083, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-3