November 15, 1927-December 19, 1927
The problems of administering the peace in Nicaragua predominate in the correspondence at the beginning of this reel. Francis White continued to send Stimson copies of State Department cables and despatches relating to Nicaragua, and Stimson's replies to White often contained discussions of various policy decisions. There is also correspondence with Henry Breck concerning the bankers' proposed financial plans for Nicaragua and with Jose Moncada. On this part of the reel there are also letters from Esther Everett Lape on the American foundation, from Eugene Gilmore and George Fairchild on the Philippines, and from Robert Moses on a new northern parkway for Long Island. In a short note to Felix Frankfurter on November 28 Stimson described himself as "an itinerant governmental missionary to immature nations. "By that date Stimson had already been offered the position of governor general of the Philippines. On November 22 Stimson had written Dwight Davis to respond to the offer, but later became upset by Governor Gilmore's veto of an appropriation bill for technical advisors for the governor general. On December 8 Stimson wrote Davis seeking assurance that technical advisors would be available to him. Public announcement of Stimson's acceptance was made around December 13. On and after that date the correspondence is composed almost entirely of congratulatory messages and Stimson's acknowledgements.
December 20, 1927-January 31, 1928
The many congratulatory messages received by Stimson on his appointment as governor general of the Philippines continue through the beginning of the reel. In correspondence with Manuel Quezon Stimson discussed the availability of money to pay qualified aides and technical advisors. Quezon expressed concern over Stimson's decision to employ General Halstead Dorey as an advisor and warned Stimson of the Filipino distrust of army officers in government. Many persons sent Stimson memoranda and other forms of information to familiarize him with his new job. Frank McIntyre of the Insular Affairs Bureau was especially helpful. Ben Wright wrote to and met with Stimson to outline his problems as auditor. Charles D. Orth wrote about many financial considerations and Sophie Loeb sent a report on the conditions of children in the Philippines. More personal impressions were sent by W. Cameron Forbes and Dan Williams. There is also some correspondence with Eugene Gilmore, William Howard Taft, and Dwight Davis. Until he left for the Philippines Stimson continued to be a direct participant in decisions involving Nicaraguan policy. Francis White and Robert Olds continued to keep Stimson up to date on events in Nicaragua and to seek his advice before taking action on various problems.
February 1928-June 14, 1928
The Stimsons sailed for the Philippines in the beginning of February. Prior to departing Stimson met with Manuel Quezon who was confined to a sanatorium in California. A report of this meeting is in Stimson's letter to Dwight Davis on February 3. Accounts of the voyage and first impressions of the new position were sent to Mary A. Stimson, Catherine Stimson Weston, and William Howard Taft. Stimson sent a fuller account of the Filipino impressions of him and of his policy and of his relations with legislative leaders to Dwight Davis on May 3. Frank McIntyre continued to address Stimson regarding the Willis-Kiess bill to provide funding for technical advisors. Other discussions of this bill can be found in correspondence with Quezon and in the cable supporting the bill sent by Stimson to President Coolidge and Hiram Bingham on May 6. McIntyre also wrote about the Philippine National Bank and other financial considerations. George Roberts in New York handled the search for a legal advisor on the Philippine National Bank which concluded in June with the appointment of Earle B. Schwulst. Cablegrams between Stimson and Roberts were written in code, and copies of messages both in code and translated are in this reel. In May Stimson learned that William Lassiter, his military expert, was to be replaced by Douglas MacArthur and wrote to both Charles Summerall and Davis to reconsider the appointment. Other letters on Philippine problems came from Sergio Osmena Maximo Kalaw, Pedro de la Lana, Eugene Gilmore, and Katherine Mayo. Arthur Page, Allen Klots, and Bronson Winthrop kept Stimson informed of what was happening in New York. Taft wrote to him concerning the approaching Republican convention and recent Supreme Court decisions, and Walter Bruce, recently returned from a visit with Frank McCoy, sent Stimson a progress report on Nicaragua.
June 15, 1928-October 31, 1928
Stimson's message to the new legislature in July stressed the need for economic development of the islands and included supporting data from Lyman Hammond's June 30 report. Stimson promoted the passage of the Belo bill appropriating money to pay the governor general's technical advisors. A copy of his message on approval of this bill was sent to Frank McIntyre on August 20. Stimson had fully anticipated passage of the bill and had sent George Roberts, his partner in New York, to work locating and interviewing prospective appointees. Many cables between Roberts and Stimson as well as letters to possible candidates are included in this reel. Eventually Edgar Crossman and George B. Stoner were selected. Stimson sent a report of his activities to Dwight Davis on June 20. In August and September he radioed transcripts of his speeches and statements to the War Department through McIntyre and William Patterson. Other long letters full of impressions and plans for the Philippines were sent friends and family including Arthur Page, Catherine Weston, Frank McCoy, and George Roberts. Correspondence with Mark Bristol reveals Stimson's concern over the situation in China. There is also correspondence with Ben Wright, Manuel Quezon, Manuel Roxas, and Katherine Mayo. Many letters received from home discussed politics and the presidential campaign. Frank McCoy and Walter Wilgus continued to supply him with reports on the American Electoral Mission in Nicaragua.
November 1, 1928-March 24, 1929
On December 10 Stimson wrote President Coolidge that because of the important work yet to be accomplished, especially in regard to budgetary procedures and the Philippine National Bank, he would be willing to remain as governor general through the end of the next legislative session. Stimson supervised emergency relief for typhoon victims and continued to work toward financial stability for the county. He wrote to President-elect Hoover about the problems that would arise if Congress levied new tariffs on sugar imports. Correspondence on issues vital to the Philippines continued with Manual Quezon, Earle Schwulst, Maximo Kalaw, and Dwight Davis. On January 21 Stimson received a cable from Bronson Winthrop which hinted that Stimson was under consideration for a cabinet position. Christian Herter, as an emissary for Hoover, asked George Roberts to find out whether Stimson would accept the position of attorney general or secretary of state. Stimson cabled back that he would only leave his work in the Philippines to accept the State Department post. Robert's January 29 cable contained the firm offer, and Stimson wrote Hoover a letter of acceptance on January 31. Further cables between Stimson and Hoover discussed the choice of a successor in the Philippines.
Public announcement of Stimson's appointment was made in early February and letters of congratulation fill the correspondence from February 5 on. The Stimsons left Manila about February 23 and arrived in the United States a month later. While on board ship Simson wrote to Quezon and Blanton Winship on questions involving the Philippine judiciary.
March 25, 1929-August 31, 1929
Stimson was sworn in as secretary of state on March 28. Stimson's letters to his wife in March and April give his first impressions of the new job and briefly mention some issues such as the I'm Alone case. Other discussions of State Department activities in the correspondence are notably sparse. In March there is a letter from William Phillips at the legation in Ottawa and in April there is one to Owen Young in Paris concerning the conference on reparations. In May Stimson corresponded with Felix Frankfurter, J. Mayhew Wainwright, and William Borah regarding Joseph Cotton's confirmation as undersecretary. In July Charles Dawes wrote from London concerning arms limitations discussions with the British, and Salmon O. Levinson wrote about the World Court. There are many letters relating to the Philippines in this reel. A successor for the post of governor general was still to be selected when Stimson arrived in Washington. Katherine Mayo and others wrote favoring Nicholas Roosevelt. When Dwight Davis was finally chosen Stimson sent him information on his new job. Manuel Quezon corresponded with Stimson on issues relating to the Philippine judiciary. Other correspondents include Eugene Gilmore, Blanton Winship, Jose Topacio, and Jose Sanvictores. Letters concerning the purchase of Woodley and the acceptance of honorary degrees from Yale and Wesleyan are also in this reel. There are, in addition, several humorous letters, including one from author Don Marquis, concerning Stimson's notorious parrot, Old Soak.
September 1929-May 29, 1930
Stimson's correspondence during the fall of 1929 contained letters from Salmon O. Levinson, Charles Evans Hughes, and Elihu Root discussing agreements reached on the World Court protocols and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. In October Ramsay MacDonald visited the United States to confer with Herbert Hoover on naval disarmament. Stimson described the Rapidan meeting in a letter to his sister Candace on November 1. In early January Stimson sailed for London to attend the Naval Conference and did not return to the United States until late April. His first impressions of the conference can be found in his letter to Hoover on January 24, and later ones in a letter to Candace Stimson on February 22. The correspondence also includes reports on the conference by Eugene Regnier, Stimson's aide, and memoranda by Dwight Morrow of his meetings with various officials. Joseph Cotton sent Stimson several reports on the State Department. The American delegation's relations with the press were the major topic in the letters of Edward Price Bell. Letters relating to Philippine problems are found throughout the reel. The resignation of Auditor Ben Wright brought the controversy between Wright and Tan C. Tee to Hoover's attention. Because Stimson's name was involved Hoover sent him copies of Wright's statements. Stimson wrote Manuel Quezon about the visit of the Philippine Independence Mission to Washington. On his return from London Stimson began preparing to testify on Philippine independence before the Senate Committee on Territories and Consular Affairs. On May 28 he sent an account of his appearance to Quezon. Other correspondents on the Philippines include Dwight Davis, Sergio Osmena and Jose Sanvictores.
June 3, 1930-February 27, 1931
In June the Senate began its hearings on the London Naval Treaty. Stimson was requested to supply certain confidential documents about the negotiations. The correspondence contains several drafts of Stimson's response to William Borah on this request and letters to Hoover on the question. Other correspondence directly pertaining to Stimson's work in the State Department is sparse and scattered throughout the reel. In November Stanley Hornbeck sent a memorandum on the dispute between China and Russia. In that same month Stimson forwarded to Hoover copies of correspondence on the World Court protocols. In February Stimson consulted Felix Frankfurter for possible candidates to fill another assistant secretary's post. He eventually chose James Grafton Rogers. The correspondence contains many discussions of Philippine problems. After the resignation of Vice Governor General Eugene Gilmore, Stimson recommended Nicholas Roosevelt as his replacement only to discover that Sergio Osmena and Manuel Quezon strongly opposed his appointment. Quezon also wrote to Stimson on proposed legislation limiting Philippine immigration to the United States. Other correspondents include Earle Schwulst and Jose Sanvictores. There are few references in Stimson's letters to the domestic economic crisis. There are, however, a scattering of letters from unemployed acquaintances seeking Stimson's aid in finding jobs.
March 1931-September 30, 1931
After Joseph Cotton's death in March, Stimson sought the advice of Felix Frankfurter in choosing a new financial advisor and assistant secretary. In April he appointed Herbert Feis as financial advisor, and in May Harvey Bundy as his new assistant secretary. The first indication in the correspondence of the United States' concern over the stability of the European financial structure is a letter from Stimson to Herbert Hoover on May 27. From that date through the end of June the correspondence contains many memoranda from Feis and others concerning the situation and possible methods of handling the crisis. Ramsay MacDonald wrote personally to Stimson on the situation. Comments on Hoover's proposal for a one year moratorium on intergovernmental debt payments follow its announcement on June 20. Stimson had planned a summer in Europe to explore the attitude of European leaders towards the scheduled Geneva conference in disarmament. Because of the financial crisis this trip took on new dimensions. During July Stimson met with European heads of state and attended the Conference of Ministers on Intergovernmental Debts in London. The correspondence for July contains only brief mention of these meetings; in August, however, Stimson wrote Hoover a long report of his official meetings. After Stimson's return to the United States in September, MacDonald continued the discussion of the financial situation in his personal letters to Stimson. Additional correspondents in the reel include Harlan Stone, W. Cameron Forbes, Pierre de L. Boal, Elihu Root, Calvin Coolidge, J. Reuben Clark, and Allen Klots. The correspondence contains a few passing references to relations with Russia. The only mention of the brewing troubles between China and Japan is in Stimson's correspondence with Walter Lippmann at the end of September.
October 1, 1931-May 31, 1932
Although the conflict between Japan and China over Manchuria was a major problem facing the State Department during the fall and winter, the correspondence on this reel offers very little information on the crisis itself. There are discussions of the situation with Felix Frankfurter, Philip McCook, William Lassiter, and Walter Lippmann. In December Stimson sent a detailed exposition to Elihu Root. British comments on American policy pronouncements can be found in the January and February correspondence. On February 23 there is a draft for Stimson's letter to William Borah restating United States support for China's sovereignty. During this time Pierre Laval and Dino Grandi both paid official visits to the United States, and Stimson conferred with them on the situation in Europe. Ramsay MacDonald continued to write Stimson personally about European financial affairs. Congress had before it a bill to authorize a postponement of payments on war debts, and Stimson on December 6 drafted a letter in support of the bill. Stimson's memoranda on the European financial outlook can be found in the January correspondence. Stimson also participated in the debate on Philippine independence. On October 29 he stated his views on the question for Patrick Hurley, and reiterated them in a letter to Hiram Bingham. In April Stimson sailed for Europe, first to meet with Andre Tardieu and then to make an appearance at the disarmament talks in Geneva. A few cables from Walter Edge and State Department aides refer to Stimson's official duties, but memoranda of travel preparations and acknowledgements of hospitality constitute the bulk of the correspondence on this trip.
June 1932-December 31, 1932
Stimson's correspondence on this reel contains brief references to all the major problems handled by the State Department. Sir John Simon communicated with Stimson on Manchuria and Stimson corresponded with Frank McCoy, Norman Davis, Walter Lippmann, and David Reed concerning the Lytton Commission's report on the crisis in the Far East. Hugh Gibson wrote about the disarmament conference in Geneva. Ramsay MacDonald continued to write Stimson on the European financial situation. In August Stimson delivered a major policy address to the Council on Foreign Relations, "The Pact of Paris-Three Years of Development." The correspondence contains suggestions for revisions prior to the August 8 delivery date. American embassies around the world sent summaries of local press reactions to the statement. On September 8 Stimson sent William Borah his views on diplomatic recognition of Russia. During Stimson's campaign for the reelection of Herbert Hoover, incoming letters indicated that Prohibition was a prime issue. Stimson made several speeches on Hoover's foreign policy, the administration's efforts to promote world peace, and the eighteenth amendment. Reaction to these speeches is contained in the October correspondence. After the election Stimson drafted a letter for Hoover to send to Franklin Roosevelt suggesting cooperation in the handling of problems concerning war debts. Drafts of replies to the British and French notes requesting reviews of financial obligations can be found in the November and December correspondence. Stimson also discussed the action of the French in defaulting payment with Paul Claudel.
January 1933-May 31, 1933
In January Stimson acted as a liaison between Franklin Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover in the discussion of an invitation to the British to confer on the war debts question. Stimson received a memorandum from the outgoing president on this proposal on January 15. Drafts for the invitation can be found under the date of January 20. Similar notes were drafted and sent to other debtor nations. Stimson also considered sending a note to the French on their nonpayment. Further comments from Hoover on the negotiations were sent to Stimson on January 27 and were then forwarded to Roosevelt. During January and February Stimson and Hoover also discussed a bill on Philippine independence. Stanley Hornbeck and Hoover commented on Stimson's article, "Bases of American Foreign Policy During the Past Four Years," which appeared in the April Foreign Affairs. Other correspondents included Norman Davis, Irving Fisher, and Walter Lippmann. On retiring from office, Stimson began planning a trip to Europe, but continued an active substantive correspondence. He exchanged ideas with Walter Mallory on the council of Foreign Relations' program on Japan. Alfred Loomis and Frederick Walcott wrote about the monetary system and Herbert Feis discussed the new banking laws.
June 1933-November 30, 1933
Letters in June are full of congratulations on Stimson's appointment as chairman of the Franco-German Conciliation Commission and on his honorary degree from Princeton University. There is also correspondence with Ray Atherton on final preparations for Stimson's vacation trip in Scotland. While on vacation, Stimson was an observer at the London Economic Conference. An extract of a letter on July 31 to Herbert Hoover describes both the conference and the economic situation in general. There is also correspondence with Ramsay MacDonald. On his return from Europe, Stimson resumed his law practice. He corresponded with Pierre Jay on the Foreign Bond Holders Council and with Walter Mallory of the Council on Foreign Relations. On October 31 he sent President Roosevelt a memorandum of his concerns in regard to the Securities Act of 1933. In this period he began research for a book on the Far Eastern crisis and asked Stanley Hornbeck for bibliographic references. Yet, when Paul G. Tomlinson and Harold W. Dodds proposed that he deliver the Stafford Little lectures at Princeton in the spring, he put aside his research on Manchuria to study democracy and nationalism in Europe.
December 1, 1933-April 30, 1934
Stimson spent much of the winter preparing for the Stafford Little lectures at Princeton. He corresponded with Herbert Feis, Joseph Green, Hunter Miller, J. Pierrepont Moffat, and Wallace Murray, all of whom supplied him with ideas as well as background information. Stimson also maintained his interest in the financial situation discussing it with Irving Fisher and Felix Frankfurter. At Pierre Jay's invitation he became a founder of the Foreign Bond Holders Protective Council. On December 4 he wrote to President Roosevelt on the situation in the Philippines following the defeat of the Hawes-Cutting bill. In January, he chaired a study group of the council on Foreign Relations dealing with American neutrality policy. He also worked closely with Allen Dulles on the report of the group's work. In April there are letters of congratulation on the Little lectures, and on a radio address, "America Must Trade Abroad to Preserve Her National Character and Welfare." His letters to Felix Frankfurter and James Grafton Rogers are full of observations and ideas on the administration's policies. Additional correspondents on this reel include Paul Shipman Andrews, Philip Jessup, Walter Lippmann, Frank McKoy, Chih Meng, Clarence Streit, and Mary Woolley.
May 1934-September 29, 1934
Wilbur Cross and other officials at Yale University asked Stimson to deliver the Dodge lectures during the following year. Stimson, pleased with the opportunity to speak at his alma mater, suggested as his topic, "America's Interest in the Far East." On consultation with Stanley Hornbeck, however, he discovered that the State Department did not approve of this topic, and he decided to decline Yale's invitation. Correspondence with Esther Lape kept Stimson informed of progress toward American ratification of the World Court, while Arthur Sweetser wrote on developments at the League of Nations. Joseph Green and J. Pierrepont Moffat answered his requests for information on the traffic in arms and the embargo policy. He continued his correspondence with Allen Dulles on the subject of neutrality and the work of the council on Foreign Relations. Since the Bank Holiday of 1933, Stimson had been concerned about the problems that confronted his classmate, Richard Hurd, director of the Lawyers Mortgage Guarantee Company. Stimson and other members of his law firm drew up a memorandum proposing laws to govern the conduct of mortgage companies so as to prevent the recurrence of such a crisis and sent it to Alfred Cook on July 13. Before departing for Europe Stimson wrote letters to Herbert Hoover (June 26) and to James Grafton Rogers (July 11) describing his activities and containing his insights on current problems. Additional correspondents on the reel include Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Felix Frankfurter, Myron Johnson, Frank McCoy, and Sir Arthur Salter.
October 1, 1934-March 30, 1935
Stimson's impressions, gained on his trip abroad, of the growing strain in Anglo-American relations were presented to John W. Davis and Ramsay MacDonald in October, and to Herbert Hoover and James Grafton Rogers in November. In December Stimson received cables from Norman Davis describing a new dispute arising in London over the details of diplomatic negotiations between the United States and Britain during the Manchurian crisis in 1932. More on this dispute can be found in the February correspondence with Sir Ronald Lindsay and Lord Lytton. Stimson's account of the events of February, 1932, can be found in his reply to Lord Lothian on March 15. At this time Stimson began serious work on a book on the Far East. He also accepted speaking engagements at Yale, Andover, and the conference on Crime in Washington, D.C. Walter Mallory recruited Stimson to chair a study group of the council on Foreign Relations on Philippine independence and the balance of power in Asia. There is correspondence with Stanley Hornbeck and Pedro Guevara on this topic. With Douglas H. Allen, Frank McCoy, and his sister Candace, Stimson discussed the political climate and New Deal legislation. He wrote to John J. McSwain of his displeasure at the testimony of David Lilienthal before the House Military Affairs Committee hearing on the Tennessee Valley Authority. To Arthur Sweetser he expressed his disappointment at the United States' most recent refusal to participate in the World Court. In March he sent Herbert Lehman a report on the situation affecting mortgage guarantee companies.