Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jesse Halsey | Root Commission

When the Root Commission left Russia, they cabled the State Department that hut work must be immediately developed with the Russian army. Now, the Root Commission was not an overall contingent. They attended state functions and dinners. Kerensky and his ministers put the best foot forward and the Commission, like most of the rest of the world, was fooled. One member, Charles Edward Russell, a socialist, got away from the dinners, listened to the soap-box orators and put in a minority report, which was disregarded.

The War Council hustled ten of us over the continent and across the Pacific toward the “Eastern Front.” A list of required equipment included a Prince Albert and a dress suit! I told the management that I was going to war and not to a pink tea; so into my duffel bag went three pairs of overalls and some flannel shirts.

Things blew up in Russia soon after we arrived. I was glad that my preacher clothes were at home. We crossed Siberia and were in Moscow when the Bolsheviks gained control in November (1917). The soldiers were swarming home from the front, determined to be there when the land was divided. Everyone was a “tavarish,” a comrade. Officers lost their gold braid and shoulder straps, and often their necks, as well. A committee ran the government—no longer a Czar. Why not a committee for the army also? If the regiment needs no colonel, the individual needs no boss. “Doszedenia” “Nichevo.”

I have gone in my flannel shirt where the British Admiral could not come, except as my guest. For nearly six months I ran the American headquarters on the Mourman coast, where there was an ice free port three hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle. I acted as chaplain for the British fleet (because I went to school in Edinburgh, the Admiral, in spite of the overalls, which I never wore on Sundays—gave me a commission as if the established church of Scotland.) For six months, I read the English service, to meet the regulations, and then preached.

Elihu Root

In 1912, as a result of his work to bring nations together through arbitration and cooperation, Root received the Nobel Peace Prize.
At the outbreak of World War I, Root opposed President Woodrow Wilson's policy of neutrality. Root actively promoted the Preparedness Movement to get the United States ready for actual participation in the war. He was a leading advocate of American entry into the war on the side of the British and French, because he feared the militarism of Germany would be bad for the world and bad for the United States.

He did support Wilson once the United States entered the war.

In June 1916, Root was proposed for the Republican presidential nomination but declined, stating that he was too old to bear the burden of the Presidency.[3] At the Republican National Convention, Root reached his peak strength of 103 votes on the first ballot. The Republican presidential nomination went to Charles Evans Hughes, who lost the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
In June 1917, at age 72, he was sent to Russia by President Wilson as leader of the so-called Root Commission to arrange American co-operation with the new revolutionary government. The AFL's James Duncan, socialist Charles Edward Russell, general Hugh L. Scott, admiral James H. Glennon, New York banker Samuel R. Bertron, John Mott and Charles Richard Crane were members of Root's mission. They traveled from Vladivostok across Siberia in the Czar's former train. Root remained in Petrograd for close to a month, and was not much impressed by what he saw. The Russians, he said, "are sincerely, kindly, good people but confused and dazed." He summed up his attitude to the Provisional Government very trenchantly: "No fight, no loans."

John Frank Stevens

John Frank Stevens
Following the collapse of Imperial Russia in 1917, leaders of the provisional government appealed to President Wilson for help with their transportation systems. Stevens was selected to chair a board of prominent U.S. railroad experts sent to Russia to rationalize and manage a system that was in disarray; among his work was on the Trans-Siberian Railway. After the overthrow of the provisional government, the board's work ceased. Stevens remained in Allied-occupied Manchuria and in 1919 headed the Inter-Allied Technical Board charged with the administration and operation of the Chinese Eastern and Siberian railways. He remained in an advisory capacity until occupying Allied troops were withdrawn; he finally left in 1923. After his return to the United States Stevens continued to work as a consulting engineer, ending his career in Baltimore in the early 1930s. He was awarded the Franklin Institute's Franklin Medal in 1930. He then retired to Southern Pines, North Carolina, where he died at the age of 90 in 1943.

Gayety at Southampton | 1895

June 23, 1895 | The New York Times

Summer Life at Long Island’s Great Resort

SOUTHAMPTON, L.I. June 22—As the season advances, this popular east end cottage resort resumes its old-time gayety. All the houses are now occupied. Many plans are being perfected for driving parties, teas, dances, and other social pastimes, and the present season promised to be a lively and jolly one among the cottage contingent. There is probably not another Summer place on Long Island that has such a large number of costly and fashionable drags, tally-hos, and other equipages as are to be seen upon the shady thoroughfares of this village. The many pretty drive in the north woods are much sought by merry driving parties, as are also the breezy and picturesque roads on Shinnecock Hills, leading to the golf links.

The bathing pavilions at the ocean shore opened for the season today. The facilities are better than ever this season, and especial attention has been paid to the safety and convenience of the bathers. Two bathing masters will be in constant attendance during the day to help anyone who may be in danger. The bathing at this pint is admitted to be the finest along the coast, owing to the peculiar form of the shore and the absence of the gravel bottom.


The Meadow Club courts present a gala appearance each morning. It is customary to play tennis until noon, when, after the season opens a grand rush is made to the beach and to Agawam Lake, a short distance away, where bathing suits are donned and bathing is indulged in. Among the most enthusiastic bathers are the Misses Barney (nieces of William C. Whitney), the Misses Moeran, The Misses Walton of Brooklyn, the Misses Russell, Mrs. T. G. Thomas, Mrs. Metcalfe Thomas, Messrs. Edward Bell, Roderick Terry, Dr. Thomas, Dr. George A. Dixon, the Rev. William S. Rainsford, and William Walton.

William Walton and family of Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, have arrived at their handsome Summer village at Hampton Park.

Walter E. Parfitt and family of Brooklyn are at their Summer place at Bridgehampton.

P. G. Bartlett, the lawyer, of New York has rented a cottage at Bridgehampton for the season.


The Art School at Shinnecock Hills has opened, and whole umbrellas can be seen in all directions about the hills. William M. Chase, who has charge of the school, has arrived at his cottage on the hills. The large dormitory, which has been built since last season, near the studio, is proving a great convenience to the students, who, in past Summers, have been obliged to put up at neighboring farmhouses, and who did not receive in a great many instances good entertainment.


The Southampton Village Trustees have decided to change the name of Windmill Lane to Agawam Avenue, and to apply this designation also to the continuation of the same street past Salem H. Wales’s house to Elihu Root’s corner. As this street is of generous width, the Trustees have violated all precedents in our village. Hitherto the name “avenue” has been applied only to narrow alleys and by-roads, while streets of this width have been designated largely as “lanes” as, for example, First Neck Lane, Gin Lane, Halsey’s Neck Lane, &c, all wide roadways.

The Shinnecock Indians, who have not been very friendly in past seasons with the art students, have buried the hatchet and signed a treaty of peace with Art Village, as the little settlement of studios on the eastern slope of the hills is called. Last Summer some of the Indians demanded tribute from the artists for the privilege of sketching on their reservation, which is situated on a neck of land about a mile away from the Art Village. The artists refused to reimburse the redmen, and on several occasions the students were attached by the Indians, and were obliged to withdraw from the field minus their sketching paraphernalia.

It is proposed to erect a six-thousand dollar addition to the Union School Building in this village. A meeting will soon be held to vote on the matter.

The car containing material for the new chapel and addition to the Presbyterian Church was burned at Middleport, this State, one day the past week.

A number of students from the art department of Pratt Institute of Brooklyn will spend their vacation at Art Village, Shinnecock Hills. The art students of the Brooklyn Institute will also attend the art school this season.

Salem H. Wales of New York, who has a handsome Summer place adjoining his son-in-law’s, Elihu Root, on the west shore of Lake Agawam, has been receiving the first congratulations of his numerous cottage friends for his appointment by Mayor Strong as a member of the new East River Bridge Commission. Mr. Wales is one of Southampton’s pioneer cottage residents, and takes a deep interest in the welfare of the village. He is a Director of the Southampton Bank, an officer of the Rogers Memorial Library Association, and a member of the Village Improvement Association.

List of Southampton Folks Influential to Jesse

from the folder marked "HALSEY AUTOBIOGRAPHY Carbons," this half page of notes reads:

Ed Foster – Natural Prayer
Miss Mallory – Cheating Boy
Frank Corwith – Fold Paper
Pop Johnson – Black Shoes
Madison - Boy like that.
Jen Baird- Ella Bennett
Father and 46 Psalm
Dr. Campbell – Leave it there
Wilson – Any other way
Edgar Hildreth
M Jagger-
Lil Halsey
Chas Foster – Pro Bono Publico
Encouragement – M. Jagger
Chas A. Jagger
Wm H Pierson
M. A Herrick – Thank God; best part of Education
Warren Hildreth – Don’t you think you ought to?
Honesty. Encouragement –
Abigail and Book – Poetry

Hildreth-Whitaker | 1913

Published: May 11, 1913Copyright © The New York Times