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Free Will, undated
Collection Description & Creator Information
With the exception of a small number of sketches and photographs, the Lansing Papers consist exclusively of typescript and manuscript material, including letters, telegrams, memoranda, essays, addresses, and diaries. While this material documents many of Lansing's concerns, particularly in his capacity as a lawyer, writer, and public official, there are significant lacunae. Among Lansing's official and personal papers, some years are entirely unrepresented while others are virtually so. Enclosures referred to in letters are often missing. There is a ten-year gap in his diaries between 1910 and 1921. While his writings and speeches are also incomplete – the absence of his most widely noted work, The Peace Negotiations: A Personal Narrative, is a case in point – they form by far the largest and, in many respects, the most revealing body of material in the Lansing Papers. Lansing's literary and scholarly works are well-represented, as are his treatments of contemporary issues arising within and without the corridors of power.
Lansing was a reflective man who committed his views to paper both during and after the events in which he was involved. The principal insights which the Lansing Papers offer are related less to the daily workings of public and private life than to the concerns and convictions which underpin them. To the extent that Wilson was his own Secretary of State and denied Lansing his confidence, particularly in the closing months of their association, it is perhaps appropriate that Lansing's thoughts bulk larger than his actions in these papers. Through them, his character and environment can be gauged. A biographical sketch prepared for The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography could be accused of over-enthusiasm in averring that Lansing occupied "a preeminent position in the councils of the world," but it is plain that he was part of the dynamics if not necessarily the decisions which shaped the fortunes of the United States and its neighbors at a pivotal point in the twentieth-century. For further information on indivual series please see series descriptions located in the contents list portion of this finding aid.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No information about appraisal is available for this collection.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
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, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.
- Credit this material:
Free Will; Robert Lansing Papers, MC083, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- Storage Note:
- Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 8
- United States. American Commission to Negotiate Peace
United States. Department of State
Paris Peace Conference 1919-1920
Page, Walter Hines, 1855-1918
Davis, John W. (John William), 1873-1955
Francis, David Rowland, 1850-1927xCorrespondence
House, Edward Mandell, 1858-1938
Kennan, George F. (George Frost), 1904-2005
Polk, Frank L. (Frank Lyon), 1871-1943
Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924.