The Memoirs of William Jennings Bryan

By William Jennings Bryan; Mary Baird Bryan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
MR. BRYAN'S RESIGNATION

[From my Journal]

August 6, 1914.

WE had planned for some weeks to go to Asheville on August 2, last Monday. Mr. Bryan has worked faithfully to get his twenty peace treaties through the Senate. Our house in Asheville was ready, but as usual something happened to delay us. It seems we are fore-ordained (if there is such a thing) to spend the rest of our term of office in Washington. War has been declared in Europe. There is no use writing details of what now promises to be the greatest war in history. The immediate effect is to increase greatly the work of the Department. With the withdrawal of steamers, thousands of tourists are in Europe with little chance of getting passage home. Hundreds of telegrams are pouring into the Department from friends asking for aid and transportation for these people. Will was obliged to recall Secretary Osborne and Secretary Phillips, who were away on vacation. Several countries have asked our government to take charge of their embassies in hostile territory. The Department has undertaken all these friendly offices and the President has sent a note offering to assist in any efforts at mediation or arbitration.

The war conditions in Europe grow worse and worse. I try not to read the papers, but can't help getting more or less of it. I have only been really wrought up once and that was this week when Germany dropped bombs from a Zeppelin airship upon the innocent inhabitants of Antwerp, in the night. I can respect honest warfare, when foe meets foe, and he who has most skill and strength is victor, but this cowardly way of sneaking up under cover of darkness

-415-

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