Rear Admiral William S. Sims to Anne Hitchcock Sims
Letter No 2
Steamer New York
April 8, 1917.
At Sea, in the German
My precious Sweetheart
. . . . Last night we received a wireless saying that the senate voted 82 to 6, and the House 375 to 50 for war, and that the President had signed the declaration,2 and that Lloyd George and Asquith had sent him a message.3 So the war is really on! What a pity we did not send some naval officer over a month ago on this business so as to have our plans all ready[.] However, it will not take long to arrange there – if our people are willing to play the game. . . .
Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 9.
Footnote 1: Sims was en route to England to serve as a liaison to the British Admiralty, see: On Instructions Given Rear Admiral William S. Sims Concerning His Being the United States Navy’s Liaison with the British Admiralty, 28 March 1917.
Footnote 2: Congress voted for war on 6 April. The vote in the Senate was 82 to 6, with 8 senators not voting; in the House of Representatives, the vote was 373 to 50, with 9 not voting. The House voted its approval at 3:14 A.M. The joint resolution was then sent to the White House, where it arrived at 1:10 P.M., and was immediately signed by Pres. Woodrow Wilson.
Footnote 3: For Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s message to the people of the United States, of 7 April 1917, see, DLC-MSS, Woodrow Wilson Papers. Herbert H. Asquith was the former British Prime Minister who had been in office when World War I broke out.