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 SEVEN

THIE SWING AROUND
TH CIRCLE

"The only people I owe any report to are you and the other citizens of the United States." WOODROW WILSON, at Columbus, Ohio, September 4, 1919.


1

THE WESTWARD-SPEEDING presidential party made its first format stop at Columbus, Ohio, on the morning of September 4, 1919. The visitors passed through streets that were crowded three or four persons deep; but there was no evidence of great interest, much less hysterical enthusiasm. The audience of some 4,000 at Memorial Hall was not so large as expected, possibly because of a morning rainfall and a local streetcar strike.

This was Wilson's first popular defense of the treaty, and he expressed pleasure at the opportunity of meeting directly with the people, the only ones to whom he owed an accounting. He drew warm applause when he praised the League as an instrument for preventing wars. Alluding to the long lines of men in khaki through which he had passed in coming to the platform, he eloquently expressed the hope that they would not have to be sent across again.

The address was well received, but as Wilson was leaving the speaker's stand a Chinese youth in the gallery jumped to his feet and shouted, "Mr. President, how about Shantung?" In the general confusion, Wilson did not hear him, and consequently made no reply.

The next speech was scheduled for Indianapolis, Indiana, later the same day, at the Coliseum on the state fair grounds. Wilson was warmly cheered on the five-mile route from the station, but the arrangements did not work out happily. There

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