Wilson and the Peacemakers: Combining Woodrow Wilson and the Lost Peace and Woodrow Wilson and the Great Betrayal

By Thomas A. Bailey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

A PROPHET IS NOT
WITHOUT HONOR

"No matter what I do, they will continue the attack."
WOODROW WILSON, March, 1919.


1

ON A wintry February 15, 1919, the George Washington glided out of Brest harbor, bearing the weary Wilson homeward for a brief sojourn. The guns from the forts boomed a noisy farewell, while lines of French marines stood rigidly at salute along the walls.

Wilson had every reason to feel jubilant. He had won his first two battles: the first, against a brazen division of the spoils; the second, for the incorporation of the League in the Treaty. More than that, he had in his pocket the draft of a Covenant Which he had driven through a committee of fourteen nations, and which he had triumphantly read to the assembled Conference.

Then why go home? Why not stay on, and without loss of momentum push on to other victories? Why delay the Conference further by a junket back to the United States?

Mrs. Wilson relates that her husband had hoped to have the Treaty far enough toward completion by mid-February so that he could leave Paris and not have to return. But the delays of December and January, combined with difficulties both expected and unexpected, had retarded progress to such an extent that this was a vain hope. The treaty with Germany had not yet even begun to take shape.

Wilson had now been absent from America for two and one-half months. The Sixty-fifth Congress was about to adjourn, and it seemed imperatively necessary that he return, sign the essential bills, and take care of other important ad

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