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William Jennings Bryan, Frank Irving Cobb, New York World newspaper, Francis Mairs Huntington-Wilson


The document is a copy of a typed letter from William Jennings Bryan, the Secretary of State, to the managing editor of the New York World newspaper, Frank Irving Cobb, regarding the New York World's reference to a cancelled telegram the day prior and requesting that he not link the telegram to Huntington Wilson.


William Jennings Bryan


Frank Irving Cobb

Corresponds to:

Folder 1-16, Document 3


Washington, D.C.


March 13, 1913.

The Managing Editor,
The New York World,
New York City.

My dear Sir:

I think I ought to write you, and I do it confidentially, in justice to the Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Huntington-Wilson.

In the World you have referred to a telegram sent out over my signature, which was signed without my attention being called to the contents. I will say for your information that it is customary to put a tag on letters and telegrams with the word "Important" on it, and the telegram referred to was so tagged; but I signed a great many at once and it was just after I came into the office, and I did not notice the tag in signing. In fact, I did not know the contents of the telegram until the next day when it was about to be given to the press. I then sent a telegram cancelling it and explaining the mistake. The former telegram was prepared by one of the subordinate officials in the office. This official was not Mr. Wilson and he did not see the telegram after it reached me. It is unfair, therefore, to connect him with it. In your editorial of yesterday, the 12th, you exonerate me and do not make any accusation against Mr. Wilson, but in the news column I think you have mentioned Mr. Wilson's name and imputed to him a desire to secure an endorsement of the course of the Department without my knowledge. In justice to him I think I ought to inform you that he is in no way to blame, and the cancellation of the telegram ought not to be construed as an expression of opinion either way because the President has not yet had an opportunity to consider the situation there, and therefore the withholding of approval is no more a condemnation than a commendation. This letter is, as I said, confidential and purely for your information.

I appreciate the support you have given to the Democratic cause and to the Administration, and I am sure you will appreciate the spirit in which this letter is sent.

Very truly yours,



The document is stamped in the lower left corner: "A true copy of the signed original."



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Letter From William Jennings Bryan to Frank Irving Cobb, March 13, 1913



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