Henry Cabot Lodge

Henry Cabot Lodge

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The Lodge family of Massachusetts has produced two statesmen named Henry Cabot Lodge. During his studies, he was an assistant editor of the North American Review and later co-edited the International Review.Henry Cabot Lodge began his political career in 1880 when he was elected to the Massachusetts legislature for a single term. He failed in his first attempt for a seat in Congress, but succeeded in 1886 and was recognized for his efforts to support civil service reform and the protection of voting rights in the South.During these years, Lodge continued his scholarly activities. He published biographies, Alexander Hamilton (1882), Daniel Webster (1883) and George Washington (1889), for the widely read American Statesmen Series. He also edited the works of Hamilton (9 volumes, 1885) and wrote The Story of the Revolution (2 volumes, 1898).In 1893, Henry Cabot Lodge entered the Senate, where he would remain for the remainder of his life. His support of a strong navy resulted in a close relationship with Theodore Roosevelt, but the two would later differ over domestic matters. Lodge was an advocate for American action against Spain in 1898 and later for the acquisition of the Philippines.Lodge, a representative of the Republican Party's conservative wing, opposed the progressivism of Woodrow Wilson by fighting for high protective tariffs and the gold standard.During World War I, Henry Cabot Lodge backed entry into the war, but was sharply critical of Wilson's prosecution of the effort. In the congressional elections of 1918, the Republicans gained control of both the House and the Senate; Lodge became the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Senate Majority Leader. From his positions of power, he led the fight against ratification of the Treaty of Versailles, largely because of its inclusion of provisions for the League of Nations. Lodge’s motivations appear to have been a combination of deeply held concerns about protecting American interests and an abiding hatred of the president.Lodge was probably the equal of Wilson in terms of stubbornness. Depew, Senator of New York, pointedly compared Lodge’s mind to the New England topography, remarking that both were “naturally barren, but highly cultivated.”In 1920, Henry Cabot Lodge played a leading role in securing the Republican nomination for Warren Harding, thereby inflicting a final blow against Wilson’s vision of America’s role in the postwar world. delegation at the Washington Conference on the Limitation of Armaments.Lodge’s rendition of events during the ratification struggle was published after his death in The Senate and the League of Nations (1925).

NOTE: Another Henry Cabot Lodge, a grandson of this one, represented Massachusetts in the Senate (1936-53), served as United Nations ambassador (1953-61) and was the running mate of Richard Nixon in their unsuccessful campaign in 1960.

Henry Cabot Lodge - History

For ourselves we asked absolutely nothing. We have not asked any government or governments to guarantee our boundaries or our political independence. We have no fear in regard to either. We have sought no territory, no privileges, no advantages, for ourselves. That is the fact. It is apparent on the face of the treaty. I do not mean to reflect upon a single one of the powers with which we have been associated in the war against Germany, but there is not one of them which has not sought individual advantages for their own national benefit. I do not criticize their desires at all. The services and sacrifices of England and France and Belgium and Italy are beyond estimate and beyond praise. I am glad they should have what they desire for their own welfare and safety. But they all receive under the peace territorial and commercial benefits. We are asked to give, and we in no way seek to take. Surely it is not too much to insist that when we are offered nothing but the opportunity to give and to aid others we should have the right to say what sacrifices we shall make and what the magnitude of our gifts shall be. In the prosecution of the war we have unstintedly given American lives and American treasure. When the war closed we had 3,000,000 men under arms. We were turning the country into a vast workshop for war. We advanced ten billions to our allies. We refused no assistance that we could possibly render. All the great energy and power of the Republic were put at the service of the good cause. We have not been ungenerous. We have been devoted to the cause of freedom, humanity, and civilization everywhere. Now we are asked, in the making of peace, to sacrifice our sovereignty in important respects, to involve ourselves almost without limit in the affairs of other nations and to yield up policies and rights which we have maintained throughout our history. We are asked to incur liabilities to an unlimited extent and furnish assets at the same time which no man can measure. I think it is not only our right but our duty to determine how far we shall go. Not only must we look carefully to see where we are being led into endless disputes and entanglements, but we must not forget that we have in this country millions of people of foreign birth and parentage.

Our one great object is to make all these people Americans so that we may call on them to place America first and serve America as they have done in the war just closed. We can not Americanize them if we are continually thrusting them back into the quarrels and difficulties of the countries from which they came to us. We shall fill this land with political disputes about the troubles and quarrels of other countries. We shall have a large portion of our people voting not on American questions and not on what concerns the United States but dividing on issues which concern foreign countries alone. That is an unwholesome and perilous condition to force upon this country. We must avoid it. We ought to reduce to the lowest possible point the foreign questions in which we involve ourselves. Never forget that this league is primarily—I might say overwhelmingly—a political organization, and I object strongly to having the policies of the United States turn upon disputes where deep feeling is aroused but in which we have no direct interest. It will all tend to delay the Americanization of our great population, and it is more important not only to the United States but to the peace of the world to make all these people good Americans than it is to determine that some piece of territory should belong to one European country rather than to another. For this reason I wish to limit strictly our interference in the affairs of Europe and of Africa. We have interests of our own in Asia and in the Pacific which we must guard upon our own account, but the less we undertake to play the part of umpire and thrust ourselves into European conflicts the better for the United States and for the world.

It has been reiterated here on this floor, and reiterated to the point of weariness, that in every treaty there is some sacrifice of sovereignty we are justified in sacrificing. In what I have already said about other nations putting us into war I have covered one point of sovereignty which ought never to be yielded—the power to send American soldiers and sailors everywhere, which ought never to be taken from the American people or impaired in the slightest degree. Let us beware how we palter with our independence. We have not reached the great position from which we were able to come down into the field of battle and help to save the world from tyranny by being guided by others. Our vast power has all been built up and gathered together by ourselves alone. We forced our way upward from the days of the Revolution, through a world often hostile and always indifferent. We owe no debt to anyone except to France in that Revolution, and those policies and those rights on which our power has been founded should never be lessened or weakened. It will be no service to the world to do so and it will be of intolerable injury to the United States. We will do our share. We are ready and anxious to help in all ways to preserve the world's peace. But we can do it best by not crippling ourselves. . . .

. . . I am thinking of what is best for the world, for if the United States fails the best hopes of mankind fail with it. I have never had but one allegiance—I can not divide it now. I have loved but one flag and I can not share that devotion and give affection to the mongrel banner invented by a league. Internationalism, illustrated by the Bolshevik and by the man to whom all countries are alike provided they can make money out of them, is to me repulsive. National I must remain, and in that way I like all other Americans can render the amplest service to the world. The United States is the world's best hope, but if you fetter her in the interests and quarrels of other nations, if you tangle her in the intrigues of Europe, you will destroy her power for good and endanger her very existence. . . .

We are told that we shall "break the heart of the world" if we do not take this league just as it stands. I fear that the hearts of the vast majority of mankind would beat on strongly and steadily and without any quickening if the league were to perish altogether. . . .

No doubt many excellent and patriotic people see a coming fulfillment of noble ideals in the word "League for Peace." We all respect and share these aspirations and desires, but some of us see no hope, but rather defeat, for them in this murky covenant. For we, too, have our ideals, even if we differ from those who have tried to establish a monopoly of idealism. Out first ideal is our country, and we see her in the future, as in the past, giving service to all her people and to the world. Our ideal of the future is that she should continue to render that service of her own free will. She has great problems of her own to solve, very grim and perilous problems, and a right solution, if we can attain to it, would largely benefit mankind. We would have our country strong to resist a peril from the West, as she has flung back the German menace from the East. We would not have our politics distracted and embittered by the dissensions of other lands. We would not have our country's vigor exhausted, or her moral force abated, by everlasting meddling and muddling in every quarrel, great and small, which afflicts the world. Our ideal is to make her ever stronger and better and finer because in that way alone, as we believe, can she be of the greatest service to the world's peace and to the welfare of mankind.

[From Congressional Record, 66th Cong., 1st sess., 1919, 3779-84.]

Henry Cabot Lodge: American Nationalist

During World War II, Hollywood producer Darryl F. Zanuck, an admirer of President Woodrow Wilson, wanted to make a film to honor him, and the product was 1944’s Wilson. Although the film won five Oscars and many critics of the time praised it, it was a box office bomb and Zanuck subsequently eschewed reference of the film in his presence. A notable part of the film is that it portrays Wilson’s chief rival, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, as a villain. Wilson was a film made in a period of Democratic political primacy and it was not the first film to commemorate a Democratic president and vilify his Republican foe. The film Tennessee Johnson (1942) made a hero out of the 17 th president while making the elderly, dying Thaddeus Stevens the villain. Stevens has a much more positive reputation today while Johnson has a much lower one. Although modern times have not been as kind to Wilson as they were in the 1940s, there has been no similar revival for Lodge.

Background and Support for Expansionist Foreign Policy

Henry Cabot Lodge was born on May 12, 1850. That was the year of the final major compromise on slavery, the Compromise of 1850, which was a series of five bills, among which admitted California as a free state and the Fugitive Slave Act. Many at the time thought and hoped this to be the final resolution of the conflicts between free and slave states, but the next fifteen years proved, to say the least, tumultuous. Lodge grew up in this political environment and the Civil War had left him with a deep impression that good had prevailed over evil with the slaves freed and the union restored. Furthermore, he thought that the United States could and should be the supreme moral actor on the world stage, fighting similar “good vs. evil” battles abroad. Lodge backed increasing America’s influence through growing the navy, embracing the views of the incredibly influential Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, who held in his books that powerful nations had in common strong sea power. However, this view was coupled with the notion that America should first and foremost be out for its own interests, or you could say, “America First”! Lodge became a prime advocate of the American version of imperialism, backing the annexation of Hawaii and the Treaty of Paris, which secured US control over former Spanish colonies. He regarded America’s version of imperialism as more humane than that of the European powers and that the expansion of American ideals and business would serve to uplift people around the world. With this view in mind, he strongly embraced the foreign and military policies of Presidents Harrison, McKinley, and Roosevelt. Lodge was downright enthusiastic about Roosevelt’s “big stick” foreign policy, including the Panama Canal.

Although Lodge believed in spreading American cultural and economic influence, he did not approve of the reverse: masses of immigrants spreading their influence to the United States, particularly from Eastern and Southern Europe. He was a key figure in the advocacy of immigration restriction by requiring that immigrants be able to read five lines from the U.S. Constitution. Lodge’s proposal passed the House and Senate in 1895, but President Cleveland vetoed it. Lodge thought in political, cultural, and racial terms on the subject. He thought of Eastern and Southern Europeans as lesser but also had realistic political fears: immigrants from these areas tended to vote Democrat. Lodge’s political concern has undoubtedly been proven correct given the state’s current political makeup, fueled by the influx of Catholic working-class immigrants and the out-migration of WASPs. Lodge’s proposal again was vetoed by President Taft in 1913, but four years later Congress succeeded in overriding President Wilson’s veto of the Immigration Act of 1917, which included the literacy test as well as an “Asiatic Barred Zone” and basically prohibited a laundry list of anyone from immigrating who was at risk of being a political or social inconvenience to the United States. He also voted for the Immigration Act of 1924, which slowed immigration to a crawl as it aimed to maintain the levels of race and ethnicity based on the census of 1890, before the major wave of immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe occurred. However, Lodge also opposed more extreme propositions on immigration, such as total bans based on race.

If Lodge’s stances on immigration seem highly uncharitable today, his support for voting rights on race do not. In 1890, Lodge sponsored a bill with Senator George Frisbie Hoar that would have enforced voting rights in the South as well as tackled corruption nationwide. Although it passed on a partisan vote in the House, the measure was filibustered to death in the Senate and used as an issue against the Republicans in the 1890 midterms. His enthusiasm, as well as the Republican Party’s, for passing civil rights legislation waned as a result. Lodge didn’t think highly of social reform movements in general in the 1910s and voted against the constitutional amendments providing for the direct election of senators, Prohibition, and women’s suffrage. For the latter, the state of Massachusetts’ male voters had overwhelmingly rejected suffrage in 1915. The latter stance also came at a political cost as public opinion turned increasingly favorable to suffrage: in 1918, his even more conservative colleague and anti-suffragist John W. Weeks lost reelection to suffragist Democrat David I. Walsh, with suffrage being a central issue of the campaign. This development was tremendously significant as Massachusetts hadn’t had a Democratic senator since 1851, and Walsh was only the second from the state. Lodge himself almost lost his final reelection bid in 1922, coming within a point of defeat. Although Lodge supported the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, he didn’t commit much energy to it and assigned freshman Senator Samuel Shortridge (R-Calif.) to shepherd the bill. Shortridge proved no match for Senators Oscar Underwood (D-Ala.), William Borah (R-Idaho), and Pat Harrison (D-Miss.), whose will to defeat the bill was far greater than the Republican will to pass it.

Henry Cabot Lodge’s stances on most issues was conservative, including his backing of the gold standard, tariffs, and opposition to strong regulations on business. He also supported the tax cuts of the Harding Administration. There were a few reforms he endorsed, such as an abolition of child labor, but he mostly could be counted as a “standpatter”. His influence extended to the judiciary as well, and he recommended Oliver Wendell Holmes to President Theodore Roosevelt, who appointed him Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Although Holmes disappointed Roosevelt in voting against the Administration’s position on an anti-trust case, he would become the most recognized and celebrated justice who never held the post of chief justice for his jurisprudence.

This part of his career is what Lodge is most famous for. In 1912, the conservative Lodge backed Taft over progressive Theodore Roosevelt, but the two remained personal friends. However, there was no friendship between Lodge and the victor, Woodrow Wilson. From the start of the Wilson Administration he stood opposed to his policies. Wilson and Lodge had a surprising amount in common: both held doctorates, they were intellectual equals, both held high opinions of themselves, and both were stubborn. However, on politics they agreed on few things, and Lodge more than anyone else was able to irritate the president. Lodge despised Wilson and thought him to be indecisive, weak, and morally relativistic on foreign policy. He thought Germany was the bad actor in Europe and that Britain, France, and Russia were the good actors and that Wilson should act accordingly. Wilson thought no better of Lodge, believing him to be a man who would do anything for partisan advantage and regarded him and his supporters as having “bungalow minds” (Fleming). The relations between Wilson and Lodge were so awful that neither would be in the same room.

These exceptionally poor relations had far-reaching consequences: in 1918, the Republicans won control of both the House and Senate, placing Lodge as chair of the important Foreign Relations Committee as well as leader of the Senate Republicans. Wilson had blundered at the start when he failed to invite Republicans on the Foreign Relations Committee to Paris with him. Wilson’s League of Nations struck Lodge as being too compromising of American sovereignty, especially the section requiring the United States to come to the defense of member nations. Lodge stated, “The United States is the world’s best hope, but…if you tangle her in the intrigues of Europe, you will destroy her powerful good, and endanger her very existence… Beware how you trifle with your marvelous inheritance — this great land of ordered liberty. For if we stumble and fall, freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin” (PBS). On the Versailles Treaty, several factions sprung up: the internationalists, who supported a treaty with no reservations reservationists, who backed a treaty with reservations and irreconcilables, who under no circumstances would back the treaty. Wilson suffered a debilitating stroke during his tour of the United States to promote the treaty and as a consequence was rendered partially paralyzed and mentally impacted by a severe stroke. He refused to give any ground to Lodge despite lacking enough support for a treaty with no reservations and instructed his supporters to vote against a treaty with reservations. Lodge didn’t have enough support for his position either thanks to the votes of the irreconcilables moving against him as well. In the end, the treaty was defeated to the tremendous dismay of Wilson, who left office regarding himself as a failure. Lodge’s success on defeating the treaty gained him further prominence and during the Harding Administration he participated in the Washington Naval Conference, the first arms control conference in history.

Lodge died of a stroke on November 9, 1924, nine months after his arch-rival, Woodrow Wilson. Lodge’s grandson, Lodge Jr., also got into politics and forged a different path, becoming one of the Republican Party’s leading advocates of internationalism, centrism, and immigration liberalization. However, he found no inconsistency in supporting the United Nations with his grandfather’s views since the organization satisfied the restrictions he had advocated for the League of Nations. Despite Wilson (1944) vilifying Lodge on his role in defeating the Versailles Treaty, Lodge’s position on the extent of American commitment to foreign affairs won out the following year and has won out since. Despite his substantial impact on American politics, his lack of revival likely stems from lack of contemporary name recognition, his overall conservatism, and past stances on certain issues that are quite far from mainstream today.

Fleming, T. (2003). So Henry Cabot Lodge Was One of History’s Villains? History News Network.

Collection inventory

Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924) was an author and editor, and a United States senator from Massachusetts.

Henry Cabot Lodge was born at Boston on 12 May 1850, the son of John Ellerton and Anna (Cabot) Lodge. After graduation from Harvard College with the class of 1871 and a year of travel, he entered the Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1874. Offered an assistant editorship of the North American Review, Lodge began a literary career whose products include biographies of Washington, Hamilton, Webster, and George Cabot, his great- grandfather, as well as several collections of essays and speeches and contributions to various periodicals. In 1876 he obtained his Ph.D. in political science, the first doctorate in that field awarded by Harvard.

His political career was initiated in 1879 by his successful candidacy for the Massachusetts House of Representatives from Nahant, which he represented for two terms. Failing in attempts to win a state Senate seat and a Republican nomination for Congress, he enhanced his political stature by successfully managing the 1883 Republican gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts. Although defeated for Congress in 1884, his adherence to the Republican regulars made possible his nomination and election in 1886. During his terms in the House (1887-1893), he became known for his association with the Force Bill and his advocacy of civil-service reform.

Selected by the Massachusetts legislature as senator in 1893, he began his thirty-one- year service in the Senate, where he helped draft the Pure Food and Drug Law, displayed protectionist views on tariff matters, fought free silver, supported acquisition of the Philippines, and opposed women's suffrage and direct election of U.S. senators. He was re- elected to the Senate in 1899, 1905, 1911, 1916, and 1922. In the field of foreign affairs, Lodge held great influence during the Roosevelt presidency. In 1918 he was elected the majority leader of the Senate, and from the Foreign Relations Committee, of which he was chairman, he led opposition to the Peace Treaty and Covenant of the League of Nations. As the senior member of the Senate, he continued in his role of influence on foreign affairs during the Harding administration. Lodge married Anna Cabot Mills Davis their children included George Cabot Lodge (1873-1902), the poet. Senator Lodge died at Cambridge on 9 November 1924.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Henry Cabot Lodge Correspondence contains 237 letters and two enclosures of printed material. Span dates are 1877 to 1924, although the years 1910 to 1922 are the most heavily represented. All letters save one are outgoing. The principal correspondents of Senator Lodge in this collection are John D. Henley Luce (69 letters), Stephen Bleecker Luce, naval officer and founder of the Naval War College (39 letters), and Curtis Guild, Jr. (14 letters). There are 108 other letters from Lodge to approximately 77 correspondents and six letters to unidentified correspondents. An index of the correspondence is appended to this inventory.

An enclosure in a note of 29 September 1908 is a Boston imprint of 1822, Defence of the exposition of the middling interest (Shoemaker 8523). The letters reflect constituents concerns on pending legislation. Subjects treated include tariff revision, child labor, national defense, the Corrupt Practices Act, sugar, Puerto Rico, arbitration commissions and treaties, the Spanish-American War, and World War I.

Arrangement of the Collection

Arrangement of the letters is chronological, and enclosures are filed with the letters they accompanied.


Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

See also the Theodore Roosevelt Collection for a bound, 400-page volume of typescript carbon copies of letters exchanged between Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt from 1884 to 1917.


Orange pages are picture pages. Their location is recorded in the internal notes.

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Henry Cabot Lodge - History

Henry Cabot Lodge

Henry Cabot Lodge (May 12, 1850 – November 9, 1924) was an American Republican senator and historian from Massachusetts. A member of the prominent Lodge family, he received his PhD in history from Harvard University. As an undergraduate at Harvard, he joined Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. He is best known for his positions on foreign policy, especially his battle with President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 over the Treaty of Versailles. The failure of that treaty ensured that the United States never joined the League of Nations.

Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Lodge won election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives after graduating from Harvard. He and his close friend, Theodore Roosevelt, opposed James G. Blaine's nomination at the 1884 Republican National Convention, but supported Blaine in the general election against Grover Cleveland. Lodge was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1886 before joining the United States Senate in 1893.

In the Senate, he sponsored the unsuccessful Lodge Bill, which sought to protect the voting rights of African Americans. He supported the Spanish–American War and called for the annexation of the Philippines after the war. He also supported immigration restrictions, becoming a member of the Immigration Restriction League and influencing the Immigration Act of 1917. Lodge served as Chairman of the 1900 and 1908 Republican National Conventions. A member of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, Lodge opposed Roosevelt's third party bid for president in 1912, but the two remained close friends.

During the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, Lodge advocated entrance into World War I on the side of the Allied Powers. He became Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, emerging as the leader of the Senate Republicans. He led the opposition to Wilson's Treaty of Versailles, proposing twelve reservations to the treaty. He most strongly objected to the provision of the treaty that required all nations to repel aggression, fearing that this would erode Congressional powers and commit the U.S. to burdensome obligations. Lodge prevailed in the treaty battle and Lodge's objections would influence the United Nations, the successor to the League of Nations. After the war, Lodge participated in the creation of the Washington Naval Treaty, which sought to prevent a naval arms race. He remained in the Senate until his death in 1924.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 12th, 1850 (Boston), Died November 9th, 1924 (Cambridge)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1919

Roles Represented in DAHR: speaker


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 49655 12-in. 8/26/1919 The League of Nations Henry Cabot Lodge Speech speaker


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Lodge, Henry Cabot," accessed June 27, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102491.

Lodge, Henry Cabot. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 27, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102491.

"Lodge, Henry Cabot." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 27 June 2021.

Who's Who - Henry Cabot Lodge

Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924), a conservative Republican politician, proved a long-term adversary of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson and, ultimately, his nemesis.

Born to a prominent Boston family on 12 May 1850, Lodge was educated at Harvard from which he emerged with a Ph.D. in political science in 1876, being admitted to the bar the same year.

Lodge acted as assistant editor, from 1873-76, of the North American Review, before lecturing on U.S. history at Harvard from 1876-79. He co-edited the International Review (with John Torrey Morse) between 1880-81.

In 1880 Lodge was elected to the state legislature (until 1881), and to the House of Representatives in 1887 (until 1893). He subsequently served in the Senate from 1893 until his death in 1924.

Lodge took time to write a series of historical works and biographies in addition to carving out a growing political career. His works included biographies of Daniel Webster (1883) and George Washington (1889).

As a Senator Lodge formed a close alliance with Theodore Roosevelt. Despite his reputation as a conservative Republican Lodge was by no means isolationist. In favour of war with Spain in 1898, Lodge also favoured the acquisition of the Philippines.

Lodge firmly believed that America deserved (and should therefore be encouraged to develop) a prominent role in international diplomacy. In order to achieve this he therefore argued for ongoing development of an increased army and navy, military strength being a pre-requisite to diplomatic power.

Conservative and conventional to the extent that he supported the gold standard and protection, Lodge believed incoming 1912 President Woodrow Wilson to be one of the more risky occupants of the Oval Office, with his arch-progressive notions that were anathema to conservatives of Lodge's slant.

Suspicious and contemptuous of Wilson's peace policies, Lodge welcomed U.S. involvement in the First World War, while remaining (as chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations) highly critical of Wilson's prosecution of the war.

A bitter opponent of Wilson (the feeling was mutual), Lodge's position was manifestly strengthened with the election of a Republican majority in the November 1918 mid-term elections. With this election victory Lodge became Senate Majority Leader.

Lodge used his powerful position to oppose Wilson's plan for U.S. participation in the League of Nations. Proposing a series of amendments to Wilson's bill ratifying U.S. entry into the League, Lodge succeeded in watering down U.S. involvement while simultaneously encouraging popular opposition to Wilson.

Wilson, ignoring the advice of his closest advisors (including Colonel House) refused to compromise with his Republican opponents as a consequence Congress never ratified U.S. entry into the League.

In 1920 Lodge was one of a number of Senators who proposed (and secured) Warren G. Harding's nomination for the U.S. presidency.

Henry Cabot Lodge died on 9 November 1924 at the age of 74.

Saturday, 22 August, 2009 Michael Duffy

A howitzer is any short cannon that delivers its shells in a high trajectory. The word is derived from an old German word for "catapult".

- Did you know?


Technically speaking… he was right. ARVN failed in 1975 due to being denied any fuel, ammunition, or air support. It wasn’t plucky guerrillas that overwhelmed them with popular support – by 1975 most South Vietnamese had turned against the communists – it was North Vietnam’s conventional army of Soviet and communist Chinese supplied tanks, driving in columns down through roads built illegally in Laos and Cambodia and brazenly across the DMZ, despite their promises of peace in the Paris Treaty. The ARVN was denied these vital war materials by a hostile American Congress and a neutered president, while they at the same time sent thousands of tons of supplies to Israel. In the end, South Vietnam lost over 200,000 troops fighting the communist invaders the Americans lost 57,000 troops, and over a million civilians died, all so that a few politicians in America could get elected by hippies. North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap himself said his “best guerrilla was the American media”. They did immeasurable damage to the world with their skewed reporting of a war they didn’t understand. You’ll notice most high school textbook treatments have little in the way of data and much in the way of misrepresented and out-of-context photographs and paint a very historically distorted picture in line with the journalistic takes of the war. Journalism is often the “first draft of history”, and in this instance, it was a badly written one.

The Ambassador, Henry Cabot Lodge in many ways was extremely knowledgeable about Vietnam and the role the U.S. had played in the war up to that point. I believe HE believed this was a winnable war that would have a positive outcome from what he wrote here.

Such an outcome was not possible, and wouldn’t be in the years ahead. The casualties of American soldiers in Vietnam was already terrible by mid-1967, but circumstances were converging to add terrible fuel to that fire, with things exploding in the U.S. like never before within a year of this feature’s appearance in the Post. Too much to mention here.

It might be easy to write Mr. Lodge off as naive and out of touch and/or be upset or angry with him. 50 years later I appreciate his efforts to understand, try to explain his viewpoint and desire to help a people in a foreign land that needed it.

The bottom line is he meant well. From his photo I see a man who’s very torn and conflicted over a situation he’d never seen the likes of before, and justifiably frightened over this terrible, nightmare riddle with no answers in sight whatsoever. What had worked in the past would not work here. It took Nixon’s intense bombing in December 1972 (unfortunately) to accomplish the end needed there, and another two and a half years for peace and a positive future to take root in Vietnam that we would see today if travelling there.

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Collection Description

The Henry Cabot Lodge papers span the years 1775-1966 and consist of 183 microfilm reels (P-525) of materials of Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924), historian, Congressman, and United States senator. The Lodge papers are arranged in roughly the order in which they were received from Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. All artifacts, printed materials, and photographs have been removed from the collection. The collection has been divided into six series, described below.

Series I contains the major body of H. C. Lodge correspondence, 1866-1966, arranged chronologically and alphabetically within years on 94 reels. Though largely consisting of Lodge's incoming correspondence, this series also contains a significant number of original Lodge letters. The letters span Lodge's years as a Harvard student and instructor, North American Review editor, Massachusetts legislator, Congressman, United States senator, and Republican Party leader. Included are letters to and from nearly every important literary and political figure at home and abroad, 1871-1924. Among the more prominent correspondents are Brooks Adams, Henry Adams, George Bancroft, Albert J. Beveridge, James G. Blaine, William E. Borah, James Bryce, Calvin Coolidge, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Charles W. Eliot, Moreton Frewen, Warren G. Harding, John Hay, George Frisbie Hoar, Charles Evans Hughes, Rudyard Kipling, William McKinley, Thomas B. Reed, Carl Schurz, Cecil Spring-Rice, Charles Sumner, William Howard Taft, George Otto Trevelyan, and Henry White. Reel 94 contains typescripts of letters of Brooks Adams, Charles Francis Adams II, and Henry Adams, 1891-1918, and copies of Lodge correspondence with Houghton Mifflin, 1879-1942.

Series II, reels 95-108, contains family correspondence, 1775-1925, and is organized chronologically for each individual. Included are most of Lodge's letters to and from his mother, Anna Cabot Lodge, 1866-1900 some correspondence of his wife, Anna Cabot Mills Davis Lodge his son, John Ellerton Lodge, Jr. other Lodge family members and members of the Blake, Cabot, Davis, Ellerton, and Mills families. In addition, there is some Lodge genealogical material and condolence correspondence upon the deaths of Lodge's mother, wife, and son George Cabot Lodge. (The Society has a separate collection of George Cabot Lodge papers.)

Series III, Miscellaneous Papers, arranged by names and subjects, reels 109-115, contains Lodge's correspondence with select individuals including Worthington C. Ford, Lewis Harcourt, Ellerton James, Henry Lee, Herbert St. George Mildmay, Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, and Barrett Wendell, 1876-1924. Also included are copies of letters of John Lothrop Motley and Charles Sumner, 1835-1877 (reel 97) notes and correspondence concerning Colombian-American relations and the Panama Canal, 1903-1921 (reel 113) the Washington Conference on the Limitation of Armament, 1921-1922 (reel 114) and Lodge business papers (reel 115).

Series IV, Writings and Speeches, etc., reels 116-126, contains primarily original writings and speeches of Lodge. The writings and speeches included on reels 116-120 are largely unorganized and undated. Reels 121-125 are arranged in alphabetical order by title or topic. In addition, this part of the collection has a small collection of Lodge's student notes on history, science, and law, and copies of many of his published articles and reviews.

Series V, Bound Volumes, reels 127-183, contains diaries, journals, letterbooks, notebooks, and scrapbooks of George Cabot (1752-1823), Anna Sophia Cabot (1796-1845), Anna Cabot Lodge (1821-1900), Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924), the Republican District Committee of the Fifth Congressional District, Cecil Spring-Rice, Mrs. L. A. Ward, E. C. Kirkland, and Henry Cabot and are arranged chronologically within each of the nine sub-series. The volumes of Anna Sophia Cabot and Anna Cabot Lodge are primarily European travel journals those of George Cabot are letterbooks, 1783-1818. The bulk of the collection consists of the diaries, letterbooks, historical notebooks, and political scrapbooks of Henry Cabot Lodge. Because of the easy access to printed material in libraries, only the title page or first page of printed materials in the scrapbooks was microfilmed. Due to their deteriorating condition, the scrapbooks of Henry Cabot Lodge consisting primarily of newspaper clippings were discarded after filming. Annotated printed material contained in the scrapbooks was removed from the scrapbook before the volume was discarded. See the Curator of Manuscripts for further information.

Series VI, Oversize, 1893-1924 (reel 183), consists of miscellaneous oversized materials, mainly graphics. These are stored in oversize box 1 (onsite). Also located in this box is Volume 111, an oversize scrapbook. These materials are on microfilm P-525. There are some other miscellaneous oversize papers, mainly certificates and diplomas, which do not appear on the microfilm. These are located in oversize box 2. Oversize boxes are stored onsite at H. C. Lodge Oversize. To access the oversize materials in box 2, which are not on the microfilm, please see the Curator of Manuscripts.

The No-So-Last Brahmin: The Legacy of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. Today

I do not know when I first heard the name “Henry Cabot Lodge”—either in high school or college. However, I remember my reaction. He was a person with a famous-sounding name, yet I could not place him. Was he the one who was Woodrow Wilson’s nemesis? If so, how old could he have been when he ran with Richard Nixon in 1960? (He did look older, more like the grandfatherly Eisenhower than the youthful Nixon.) For this kid who grew up in the Midwest, Lodge had one of those names that you knew was important but you did not know why. For many, the misunderstanding is compounded by the fact that Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. was named not for his father, who died when “Cabot” was young, but his grandfather. In addition, there are so many Cabots and Lodges, especially in the northeast, and family traditions are such that certain first names, like Henry, repeat throughout multiple generations of the family tree.

Whether one comes away from this first biography of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (1902-1985) liking him more or less, the real purpose is to show that Lodge was so much more than meets the eye. The sheer number of notable events with which he was associated makes him a kind of “Where’s Waldo?” or “Forrest Gump” figure. A member of the “Greatest Generation” crossed with the “Best and the Brightest,” Lodge’s values and sacrifice of self for bigger causes are traits in short supply that our society needs again. While some politicians give lip service to serving the greater good, most famously stated in John F. Kennedy’s admonition “ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country,” Lodge lived it. He was the last true Boston Brahmin to be active in public life, yet his career harks back to a time when compromise was an art and comity a virtue, instead of the political liabilities they have become.

Rather than celebrate what Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. stood for, instead we largely forgot him. We should remember him for taking part in and expanding the American adventure in Vietnam, but his half-century public life was much more than that. An entire generation of Americans has been born and come of age since his death in 1985 that has not learned about him or the lessons of his life and times except, at most, a brief mention in relation to the Vietnam War. Lodge, being old-fashioned, did himself no great service by never properly explaining his side of controversial subjects or writing a tell-all memoir. “He naturally shunned self-promotion,” his son George Cabot Lodge told me when I asked why his father left so many important subjects unaddressed. “Never tell them how you did it,” Lodge once said when asked whether he planned to write a comprehensive history of his career. “I do not see myself doing a book because if it is interesting, it means I have revealed things which I should not reveal, and if I don’t reveal them, then the book will be dull,” he wrote to Evan Thomas II, at one point one of eight editors interested in publishing his memoir.

There is something appealing once again about public officials who seek opportunities to serve for a primary reason other than financial gain. Thrice Lodge gave up his political career to serve the greater good: first when he resigned from the Senate to serve in World War II, second when he sacrificed his Senate seat to manage Eisenhower’s campaign for the presidency, and third when he willingly accepted an appointment from a Democratic president to the most challenging diplomatic post in the world. Yet no one, including those who benefitted from Lodge’s sacrifices, was there to help him in 1964 when he had a genuine chance for the presidency following his surprise win in the New Hampshire primary even though his success would have helped those who withheld their support.

Lodge was an enigma who did little to redress such misunderstandings during his lifetime. Instead, he left his secrets in his papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society. They remained hidden in plain sight until I began the four-year task of comprehensively reviewing them in 2015. The result is a book that I cannot say entirely removes the mystery behind the man. Certainly new evidence will one day come to light that will cause us to consider his era and his values further. What I have written will hardly be the final word. In that sense, our understanding of the life and times of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., now restored to his rightful place in history, is a lesson about the essence of history itself: it’s never really over.

Luke A. Nichter is professor of history at Texas A&M University–Central Texas. He coedited (with Douglas Brinkley) the New York Times bestselling book The Nixon Tapes: 1971–1972.