Contents and Arrangement

Series 3: Writings and Speeches, 1759-1928

7 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 3: Writings and Speeches, encompasses a wide array of works, each of which is identified by title in the folder list, and illustrates the breadth of Lansing's interests. The material in this series, much of which was unpublished, ranges from patriotic calls to arms, such as the "Address Before the Reserve Officers' Training Corps," to scholarly treatments of historical subjects, such as "The Hebrew Kingdoms: A Brief Account of their Origin, Political Development and Relations to Other Nations," to whimsical verses, such as "English Spelled and Spoken." Lansing even turned his hand to children's stories in "Real Boys." His ability to combine fiction and nonfiction is demonstrated in "Letters of Cornelius," a collection of missives from a rough spoken doughboy detailed to the American Commission to Negotiate Peace. Lansing's private and public treatment of events to which he was a party or phenomena to which he was a witness are insightful and fill gaps which exist in other series.

Of particular interest are "Confidential Memoranda and Notes," which were written between 1915 and 1921, and, on a less intimate plane, "The Conduct of American Foreign Affairs: 1915-1920," an unfinished account of his time in office. The former compilation contains reflections on issues of national and international importance, including many relating to wartime and postwar diplomacy, as well as on matters of a more restricted interest, including an acerbic commentary on "President Wilson's Use of the Word 'Damn'." The probing quality of Lansing's pen is captured by a note in which he reflects upon his own reflections. The evidential value of this material, he himself concluded, lies in the fact that it "recites the progress of thought and explains the reason often for conclusions and policies which might otherwise seem obscure or inexplicable." In his writings and speeches, Lansing left a multifaceted picture of himself and his world, which, if sometimes disturbing (he believed that, unaided, "social organization and the efficient exercise of political government are beyond the faculties of the black race") answer many questions.


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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 3: Writings and Speeches; 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 5-11