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President Woodrow Wilson to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

31 January, 1918        



My dear Mr. Secretary,

          I appreciate fully the spirit in which this honour is offered Sims,1 and I wish he could accept it; but I am afraid it would be a mistake for him to do so. The English persist in thinking of the United States as an English people, but of course they are not and I am afraid that our people would resent and misunderstand what they would interpret as a digestion of Sims into the British official organization. What do you think?2

          I would be very much obliged if you would show this note to Lansing3 and confer with him about this matter.

Faithfully yours,       

/s/ W.W.      

Source Note: TCy, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Special Correspondence, Roll 65. Noted below close: “The Secretary of the Navy./(written with his own typewriter).”

Footnote 1: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 2: On the controversy surrounding Sims’ receipt of an honorary position within the Admiralty, see: Daniels diary entry of 31 January 1918.

Footnote 3: Secretary of State Robert Lansing.

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