Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
JANUARY SATURDAY 26 1918
Swope of N.Y. World came here to study & inclined to criticize.1 After investigation he found things going so well he had in honesty to praise. World got off on wrong foot on Garfield’s coal program - He took other ground.2 He wanted Ralph Pulitzer released from naval reserve to guide the World.3 More important than commanding naval patrol ships
Talked to Benson about assignments.4 He told Fiske if he discussed strategy again he would recommended that he be court-martialed.5
Bryan in town.6 Had been speaking for ratification of prohibition amendment – 5 states ratified. He had no other business now but to advocate adoption of amendment. To Boston voters he said Miss. (Jefferson Davis’s home) had ratified; S.C. (Calhouns); Va. Lee & Jackson.7 In other days Wendell Philips was the voice of conscience.8 Has Mass no voice now? Will it wait till Democratic States impose prohibition on the people?
Billy Sunday9 came after tabernacle to talk about some boys on the Harvard-
“Miss Mary Lee: My father said “Never is a long time, my child & I rarely use it[”]10
Source Note: D, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diaries, Roll 1.
Footnote 1: Herbert Bayward Swope, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, then the city editor of the New York World.
Footnote 2: Harry A. Garfield, President of Williams College and United States Fuel Administrator. Appointed in October 1917, Garfield's duty as Fuel Administrator was to conserve the coal supply and keep prices reasonable. Committees were appointed throughout the United States to study local conditions and their reports formed the basis for the fixing of prices in different localities. The ensuing winter was unusually severe, resulting in a threat of serious shortages of coal. Due to the shortage of coal in the northeastern United States, especially in New York City and Ohio, Garfield's administration of the office was severely criticized by the press, but an investigation by Congress showed that the shortage was due to failure of the railroads to meet the extra demands upon them. Consequently, Congress instituted federal control of the railroads on 28 December 1917; Doug Wead, All the President’s Children: triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America’s First Families (New York: Atria Books, 2003), 112-114.
Footnote 3: President of the New York World, Pulitzer was commissioned as a Lieutenant (j.g.) in the Naval Coast Defense Reserves on 23 July 1917.
Footnote 4: Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations.
Footnote 5: RAdm. (Ret.) Bradley A. Fiske, was a frequent and outspoken critic of Daniels and Benson.
Footnote 6: William Jennings Bryan, a three-time Democratic presidential candidate and President Woodrow Wilson's first secretary of state. Bryan had resigned from the cabinet due to his opposition to Wilson's pro-Allied foreign policy, although once the United States formally declared war on Germany he set aside his objections and supported the war effort.
Footnote 7: Daniels here is referring to prominent first sons of these states: John C. Calhoun (South Carolina), Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson (Virginia).
Footnote 8: A native of Massachusetts, Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) was a prominent orator, attorney, and activist, who advocated strongly for abolition and the rights of Native Americans.
Footnote 9: Rev. William A. Sunday.
Footnote 10: Mary C. Lee, daughter of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.