Clarence Lesczcynsky Wiener

With thanks to John Ketterlinus for providing much of the material on which this article is based and, as always, to Peter Reed for ferreting out extra information and dealing with my unreasonable pictorial demands.

Montage
A montage on the life of Clarence Lesczcynsky Wiener
Image credits - see end of page*

On this website there is an article entitled Ewell Castle c.1900, transcribed from a publication called 'Surrey: Historical Biographical and Pictorial', edited by John Grant and published by The London and Provincial Publishing Co Ltd., London. The main subject matter of that piece is the Japanese garden created by Captain Clarence Wiener at Ewell Castle and you will also see some biographical information on the page. The details tally fairly closely with the following transcription of Wiener's entry in the 1916 edition of 'Who's Who'.

'Military expert and writer - traveller - inventor. Born Philadelphia 1878, son of Lewis Wiener and Eugenia Ketterlinus of Philadelphia, USA. Unmarried; educated Andover Academy, Harvard University. Aide-de-Camp to General Frederick Grant in Spanish-American War 1898; correspondent NY Sun in South Africa. Subsequently senior Captain and second in command Driscoll's Scouts (despatches twice and eight times wounded). Chairman of Wiener News Agency Limited, X-L Electric Co Ltd, Oldings Ltd, Wiener Advertising Company, Daily Events Company, Ideal Furniture Company Ltd. Several years Continental representative Colt's Gun and Carriage Company, President of Hampton's Magazine. In 1914 appointed accredited War Correspondent of Reuter's Telegram Co Ltd and the Press Association. Invented a number of military and electrical appliances. Publications - articles in the Fortnightly, Illustrated London News, Land and Water etc, and many others in the USA and elsewhere. Recreations: polo, tennis, hunting, shooting, landscape architecture, sailing, travelling, dog-breeding. Address: Ewell Castle, Surrey; 15 Sloane Street SW.'

This transcription actually appeared in a 1916 report from the British War Office to US agents which went to US Intelligence, was added to and finally reached the very top of the US Department of Justice in February 1918. It is not entirely clear who wrote what, but the report had nothing good to say about Wiener. I will deal with particular issues shortly, but the conclusion was as follows.

'On the whole Wiener appears to be a man whose main idea is self-advertisement but without sufficient capacity to secure his object. There is every reason to believe him to be a liar and a libertine; there is none to regard him as a danger to the safety of the Realm.'
The front page of the report - Click image to enlarge
The front page of the report. - Click image to enlarge
Image via John Ketterlinus.

Back to the beginning

Let us turn back the clock to see what we can discover about Wiener from other sources up to 1918: it is not a great deal and so much of the information emanated from him that it is hard to know the truth. Newspaper reports are also unreliable, with mis-spelt names and conflicting facts.

Heinrich Wiener was from one of the wealthiest families in Philadelphia and left an $8m estate to his son Lewis, Clarence's father. Clarence was only sixteen when Lewis died and allowed it to be known that he had inherited the bulk of that amount, although his uncle, Mr John L Ketterlinus, said in about 1914 that Clarence was probably worth about $1m but that it might only be two cents for all he knew. Clarence did spend a year at Harvard (1896/7), although he never graduated. In 1932 the 'New York Times' told how, when at Harvard, he had roused the entire dormitory by peppering a stuffed lion with a repeating rifle.

After spending a period as an officer in the US Army during the very short Spanish American War of 1898 he surfaced in New York (1900) as an alleged law student. The New York 'Evening World' of 27 January 1900 carried a story about his being sued for outstanding fees by a Mr Eugene Gilmore, who had tutored him in Boston; at that time Wiener was staying at the Waldorf Astoria and it seems that he went to some lengths to avoid service of the summons, which involved a claim for a mere $246.

He bought Ewell Castle for £11,000 in 1907 and, as mentioned at the beginning, he was responsible for laying out the very fine Japanese garden (please do look at the article I mentioned, as the pictures are wonderful).

Ewell Castle - date not known
Ewell Castle - date not known
Image courtesy of Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre.


In 1908 it was reported that he had been seriously hurt in a motor accident in Upper Bavaria, which was then in Austria: his chauffeur and a female passenger had been killed. This all seems to be true and it has been suggested that the effects of his injuries were at least partially responsible for his later actions. In the original version of this article I had not got to the bottom of the female passenger's precise identity, since her name was spelt differently in each newspaper. It was also variously reported that she was one of the five Barrison Sisters, who comprised a risqué vaudeville troupe, or a Lorrison Sister (bathing belles), and that she had married a Chilean planter surnamed Bettin or Bebbin in about 1905. Thanks to a reader, she has now been identified as Mrs Nellie Marquette Bebin (neé Curtis). My source has not as yet found any evidence that this lady was associated with the previously mentioned troupes but has heard that she was on the stage.

Nellie Marquette Curtis was born in Tottenham, London in 1882, daughter of house painter Arthur Curtis and his wife Ella; they moved to Chorlton on Medlock, Lancashire and on 10 May 1900 in Manchester Nellie married Frank Joseph Bebin, described as a teacher of languages. Frank was born in Chile. In the 1901 census the couple were living with Nellie's family and later that year they had a child called Nellie Marquette. At some point fairly soon thereafter Nellie Senior became involved with Clarence Wiener and presumably left her husband (or he may have returned to Chile without her). A child named Berenice Clarence Wiener Bebin was born in Tottenham in 1905.

After Nellie Senior's death in 1908 the two children were looked after by her family, who subsequently took them to Australia for a prolonged stay because it was thought that Wiener might try to kidnap Berenice. This did not happen and in 1916 the family returned to the UK.

Berenice married George Edmund Wright in 1928 and died in 1996.

It was rumoured in the newspapers that Nellie and Wiener were eloping together, but no further information on that aspect materialised. There was more publicity in 1914 when Professor Hugo Munsterberg of Harvard, a psychologist, was airing pro-German views (America did not declare war on Germany until April 1917) and an outraged Wiener threatened to withdraw a bequest of $10m to Harvard in protest. Harvard refused to accept Munsterberg's consequent resignation and it was generally thought at the time that Wiener's threat was empty, since no one believed that he had anything like $10m. Munsterberg collapsed and died in 1916, quite possibly due to stress brought on by the antipathy shown him in America.

Hugo Munsterberg.
Hugo Munsterberg.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Wiener's career - truth or fiction?

Although the 1918 report to the US authorities decided, almost certainly correctly, that Wiener was not a security risk, there are instances of sloppiness in the research, as well as a liberal sprinkling of typing errors. For example, it was mentioned that Wiener's widowed mother (long since deceased) had remarried and was latterly called Baroness Von Gaetner - 'presumably a German'. I think that this should have been Von Gaertner, but Eugenia was actually born in Philadelphia and her second husband, violinist Ludwig Amadeus Von Gaertner, happened to be of German origin. Ludwig was apparently only seven years older than Clarence and at one time the latter took proceedings against him for alleged forgery.

Here are some examples of the comments in the report.

Concerning the information contained in the 1916 'Who's Who' entry it said,
'… this statement is little better than a tissue of lies and misrepresentations…. He also stated that he had been a 1st Lieutenant in USA Army and served on the staff of General Grant. He has now magnified this into "Aide-de-Camp". It is true that he served as a Lieutenant in Driscoll's Scouts in the South African War and was granted the South Africa medal with four clasps, but his services were dispensed with for intemperance on 2 November 1900. He was described by General Brabant as "a brave officer who behaved well", but there is no trace of his ever having been mentioned in despatches or wounded eight times before November 1900, especially as he went to South Africa originally apparently as correspondent for the NY Sun. He was apparently never entitled to call himself Captain, and if he was ever second in command of Driscoll's Scouts it must have been for a very short period.'
Let's pause for a moment. This is an official source, writing about historical military matters at the turn of the century; they are using the word 'apparently' and seem not to know if Wiener was ever second in command of Driscoll's Scouts, although War Office nominal rolls and records exist for this unit. Did they check?

And here we are again with a non-factual presumption.
'The Wiener News Agency Ltd had offices at 64 Strand up to March 1914, when they were closed owing to financial issues. None of the other companies of which he professes to be chairman can be traced in the London Directory for 1916, so if they ever existed they also have presumably been failures. It is true that in 1914 he was nominated as a War Correspondent, but his appointment was never sanctioned owing to his personality and past history.'
They could have tried the London Gazette for better information. Wiener did have some connection with an X-L Electric Company, as he petitioned the High Court for a sale of their assets in 1913; the Daily Events Company was established in 1909 and wound up the following year; Oldings Ltd became insolvent in 1912. So, all we have here is an unsuccessful businessman mentioning companies he has been involved with and the authorities not bothering to look beyond a 1916 directory to check if they had ever existed.

In 'Who's Who' Wiener was described as an inventor and that is true. His inventions were not earth-shattering (oh, actually one of them was, as he designed a spade) or big earners, but they were patented and here are two of them.

Wiener's expansive boot tree..
Wiener's expansive boot tree.
Image source: Google Patents

Wiener's military multi-purpose spade..
Wiener's military multi-purpose spade.
Image source: Google Patents

I shall not attempt to check any more of Wiener's autobiographical claims (fuller versions that he wrote for Harvard College are laid out in the Appendix to this article), since the situation is now pretty clear. He was a Walter Mitty type of character, although his life story had more basis in truth than the fictional Mitty's ever did, and embellished facts to inflate his own importance, making blustering public noise to bolster his self-esteem. Whatever the extent of the lies, and many of them can be downgraded to 'fibs', they were not intended to injure others.

Returning to the report, it goes on 'In January 1918 he despatched by post to "Everybody's Magazine" a very scurrilous article blaming "Kitchener", the "British super-Napoleon" for all the mistakes and unfortunate incidents that had occurred since the beginning of the war. The letter that accompanied the article stated that Wiener hoped to be soon in Washington to do his utmost to get a bill passed whereby the US Government should levy a 33 1/3 per cent export tax on all war material. The letter and article were both stopped.' The reference to 'Everybody's Magazine' and also the claimed association with 'Hampton's Magazine' really tells us all we need to know about Wiener's journalistic credentials. 'Everybody's' originally published a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and produced some worthy material under the former heading, but in non-fiction terms it became a 'muckraker' and, once America became involved in the War, circulation declined to below 300,000 (out of an American population of around a hundred million); 'Hampton's' also started out with reputable writers but it too was eventually labelled a 'muckraker' and was forced out of business in 1912. The proprietor, Benjamin Hampton, described Wiener as 'an unmitigated scoundrel'.

A page from 'Everybody's Magazine' 1914.
A page from 'Everybody's Magazine' 1914.
Image source: Brown University, via Wikipedia

One can entirely understand that in January 1918 an article criticising Kitchener's handling of the war would have been very bad for morale, but on the other hand - he did come in for a lot of posthumous bad press (he died in 1916) when hostilities had finished and, on the whole, history has not been kind to him. The official report said of Wiener's articles that '… they have contained nothing that showed any trace of literary ability, even of the poorest order. They are uniformly ill-written, ill-spelt, ill-informed, inconsecutive and uninteresting.'

There is more of this kind of thing, but we have all got the gist - Wiener told lies of varying size, was prone to irrationality and couldn't keep his mouth shut on the big issues of the time.

Life in Ewell

You will recall that Wiener was also described as a libertine and I do not know whether this was a result of local gossip in the hot little rumour-mill of Ewell (where he was not popular) or had proper foundation in fact. Anyway, the report said, '…. Wiener lived at Ewell Castle and motored to town daily. He had a large number of lady visitors at the Castle and frequently motored ladies back there with him and so acquired an unsavoury reputation. He appeared twice in the Police Courts or before the police. On one occasion he charged a lady (?) who had been staying with him at the Castle with stealing jewellery, finally withdrawing the summons. On the other he was accused of procuring girls for immoral purposes. The latter information was derived from girls of the class concerned, and there may very probably have been some truth in it, but as no young girls had been known to visit Ewell Castle no steps were taken against him.' What does this amount to? He had plenty of girlfriends and nothing criminal was ever proved against him.

A local newspaper of December 1919, reporting on another matter that I will come to in a moment, said that in 1914 Wiener had appeared at Epsom Police Court to answer a summons for using threats towards Mr John Coleman, the well-known veterinary surgeon, and he had got very heated, denying that he was a German (the fact that he was labelled a German tends to be borne out by this sentence in the memoirs of Cicely Fausset, who was just a child when Wiener bought the Castle, so she would have received the information from others - 'Ewell Castle was occupied by a German, Capt Weiner (sic), who made the beautiful gardens'.) Additionally, during the War and before America became involved, a 'well-known local resident' had noticed on the Castle flagstaff that the Stars and Stripes was above the Union Jack; Wiener was told that if the American flag was not removed the Home Secretary would be informed (this seems rather an excessive reaction, Ewell!) and both flags were taken down. Next day there were two flagstaffs, with the Union Jack on one and the Stars and Stripes on the other. There had also been a dispute with the Parish Council over the right of way through Nonsuch Park and Wiener had threatened to erect a 20 ft by 2.5 ft brick wall on either side. All of these things sound like petty storms in teacups - and were, but the local antipathy towards him must have stemmed partially from his German-sounding name (actually Austrian in origin) and quick temper - or, as the report put it, 'He seems to become infuriated by opposition or obstruction in any form.'

The main issue during Wiener's time in Ewell concerned concrete foundations that had been laid when he landscaped the Castle gardens. People got it into their heads that these were something to do with the building of gun emplacements. Additionally, during the spy mania of 1914 the authorities decided that Wiener and the Castle were suspicious and inspected the premises for the presence of wireless equipment; Wiener was obstructive, as you would expect, but nothing untoward was found.

By 1916 he had instructed agents to sell the Castle's contents. The 'Evening News' and 'The People' then published an article on the subject which enraged Wiener and he hired the leading KC, Sir Edward Marshall Hall, to instigate a libel action: this was a super-heavyweight legal sledgehammer to crack a peanut, since Hall normally appeared in the biggest sensational murder trials. No doubt the engagement of Hall was another of Wiener's loud public noises. The article, entitled 'Suspicions in a Surrey Garden. Questions on Concrete for the Home Secretary', said as follows (and frankly you can understand why the man was angry).

'For reasons which were not disclosed in the catalogue a West End firm are selling the contents of a charming old mansion, which, before the war, was occupied by a German scientist, and since the war has been tenanted by an alien who is understood to be of neutral nationality. The place is within 15 miles of London and a feature of the house is a tower commanding a magnificent view of the surrounding country, and suitable for astronomical observations. One of the lots for sale was a powerful telescope. The gardens, it is alleged, have foundations of deep layers of concrete, which could be used in case of invasion as emplacements for five enemy guns directed against London, concealed under a thin layer of soil and sand. The Home Secretary is to be asked whether these emplacements will now be destroyed.' The Home Secretary was even asked about the matter by Watson Rutherford MP in the House of Commons and he replied that the allegations were baseless, the concrete merely being a foundation to prevent water from the artificial lake soaking into the ground.

Edward Marshall Hall
Edward Marshall Hall, as pictured in 'Vanity Fair' of 24 September 1903.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Wiener was seeking only an apology, which the publishers declined to make, albeit that they admitted the article was libellous. Instead, they sought to mitigate damages by impugning his moral character (i.e. the object being to argue that his good reputation could not have been damaged, since he did not have one to lose). Wiener was awarded total damages of £75 - derisory in the circumstances. It is easy to say with very long hindsight that the allegations in the newspapers were just plain daft and that anyone in their senses would merely laugh, but one cannot ignore the near-hysteria which manifested itself in wartime about anything or anyone perceived to be German. This next poster was issued after the First World War by the right-wing British Empire Union and perhaps encapsulates the sentiments felt by many during the hostilities. Understandable perhaps, but Wiener was not and never had been German.

British Empire Union Poster
British Empire Union Poster
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

During the court hearing Watson Rutherford said Wiener had told him, 'I am sick of your ---- country; my sympathies are now with the other side, and I have a good mind to go and help them.' Of course, he did not go and help them but in 1917 he put the Castle on the market. The main reason was probably financial but I imagine that by then he was thoroughly disillusioned with both Ewell and England; he left the Castle towards the end of 1917 and ultimately went back to America.

Wiener's own account of his activities during the war years and the reasons why he left Ewell is set out in Section 2 of the Appendix.

Incidentally, Wiener seems also to have collected archaeological artefacts and in about 1917, probably as part of his removal back to the US, he donated some of them to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, including the marble face of a cherub, dating from Roman times and allegedly found in Ewell.

The Ewell cherub.
The Ewell cherub.
Image source: The Smithsonian Institution

Beginning of the end

It has been said that Wiener got through a fortune of $8m and was spending at the rate of around $200,000 a year until the money virtually ran out, but reliable corroboration is not available. In 1919 he left the Waldorf Astoria in New York, not having paid the bill, and eventually checked into the Hotel Imperial, where, on 15 December, he attempted suicide by shooting himself just below the heart, leaving a note to a friend: according to his own account he was in debt for just $600 and had appealed to his uncle, Mr Ketterlinus, for assistance but had been turned down. The whole thing does not stack up, as his hotel room contained items worth at least $5,000. I also think that, had he really wanted to die, he would have known exactly where to place the shot to ensure that it was fatal. Rather, it appears that he had no ready cash and that the attempted suicide could have been intended to upset his uncle. The note went on to convey very kind thoughts towards a lady friend called Eve (precise identity not disclosed in the newspapers). Wiener was not expected to live but after surgery he survived. What he did thereafter I do not know, but he seems to have stayed out of the papers and I surmise that he was living a hand to mouth existence, perhaps writing articles, and there may have been some small income from his inventions. It does seem fairly certain that he had spent all his fortune, however much it might once have been. In any event, by late 1932 he was staying at the Hotel Taft in New York under the name of 'Colonel Wiener'. Unable to pay the bill, he hanged himself with a length of sash cord in the clothes closet and this time he succeeded in ending his life.

The Taft Hotel (now the Michelangelo)
The Taft Hotel (now the Michelangelo) at 7th Avenue and
50th Street, New York, built in 1926 and photographed in 2009.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

When it comes down to it, the evidence suggests that the Intelligence Services had him 'bang to rights', as they say. Having inherited far too much money at a very tender age, Wiener tried to carve out several different personae/careers for himself, any of which might have ultimately earned him genuine fame and respect, but he was not good enough at any of them and probably did not have the requisite temperament either. He was certainly not a German subversive or spy - indeed, everything suggests that he was an American patriot. Effectively he was finished by the time he shot himself in 1919, aged just 41, even though he limped on until 1932.

As far as I can tell Wiener made no great impact on the world, but he did leave us with one living and lasting legacy - the Japanese Garden at Ewell Castle. It still exists today as part of the grounds of Ewell Castle School.

With additional thanks to Trevor White for 'The Mysterious Affair at Ewell Castle' which appears in his 'War-Time in a Surrey Town 1914-1918'

*Image credits - all images via Wikimedia Commons, left to right, top to bottom. Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener by Bassano, from The Illustrated War News; a kitten, photo by Sasan Geranmehr; stetson cavalry hat; 'Stars and Stripes Forever' 1897, US Library of Congress; Harvard Yard winter 2009, photo by chensiyuan; Colt SAA 45, photo by Hmaag; map showing positions at the Battle of Stormberg 1899, drawn by H W Wilson; Philadelphia 8th and Market Streets 1910s; acer rubrum; Waldorf Astoria 1988, photo by James G Howes.



Linda Jackson
February 2013


Appendix

SECTION 1

Source: 'Harvard College Class of 1900 4th report'

Clarence Wiener

Born Philadelphia, Pa., April 10, 1878.

Parents Lewis Wiener, Eugenia Katherine Ketterlinus.

School Hill School and Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.

Years in College 1896-1898.

Business Journalist, war correspondent, patriot and socialist.

Address (home) Ewell Castle, Surrey, Eng., and 15 Sloane St, London W, Eng.
(business) Wiener Agency, 64 Strand, London, Eng.

In 1897, in November, I went to Cuba. In 1898, in August, I went to Porto Rico as first lieutenant and aide-de-camp on General F. D. Grant's staff. In 1899, in November, I went to South Africa as correspondent for the New York 'Sun.'' Appointed by Chamberlain of the London Office, I went to Natal with General Buller, then to Cyphergat with General Gatacre. At Stormberg I led back the remaining eighteen scouts of Captain Montmorency's V. C. Scouts. I drew the Stormberg position a few days after the disaster and returned the next night. Gatacre managed to get through the Stormberg position from this drawing. I was offered eight commissions in the next few days. I decided to organize a corps of scouts with Major Driscoll and was placed second in command of this corps - "Driscoll's Scouts." I was eight times wounded and in January, 1901, had an independent command of three hundred and forty men. Afterwards I was brevetted major and second in command of Prince of Wales Light Horse (Welsh regiment of eight hundred). I was twice mentioned in despatches. I returned to England in the fall of 1901. I had thirty-six polo ponies in Rome where I started polo. In the spring of 1904 I drove tandem and three extra horses two thousand miles through Europe from Rome. In the spring of 1905 I drove tandem and three extra saddle horses from Rome through Simplon to Geneva, Aix les Bains, Geneva, Lucerne, Prague, Dresden, Cologne, Dresden, Prague, Linz, and Vienna, in all six thousand two hundred miles, in four and three-fourths months. From 1905 to 1908 I was engaged in Vienna in perfecting an electric self-player piano I had invented. Also I held machine gun trials in Austria as the continental representative of the Colt Gun and Carriage Co. And at the same time I became president of the "Broadway Magazine" - renamed "Hampton's Magazine" in 1908. In the spring of 1908 I had a house-boat, one hundred by nineteen feet, finished after two years' building on the Danube. We started from Vienna on June 15 and were tugged by special steamer through Hungaria and Servia to Turnu Severin, in Roumania, and returned in the same way to Vienna in October, 1908. On October 27, I had a fatal motor accident near Traunstein in Bavaria; the chauffeur and a friend were killed. In May, 1909, I started the Wiener News Agency, Limited, at 64 Strand. This is now the largest news agency in England. We have twenty-eight newspapers in America, twenty-one in England, one in South Africa, and ten in Australasia. I write for the '* North American Review," *'Edinburgh Review," ''Fortnightly" and other magazines and reviews in both countries. Since 1910 I have spent a great deal of my time and money in the endeavor to promote a better understanding between the peoples of the United States and those of the British Empire. But a few weeks before the inception of hostilities in the great world-wide war I closed down the news end of my agency, as pecuniary losses were becoming altogether too severe. During the above time I have been chairman of the following companies: Oldings Ltd., printers; the "X L" Electric Co., Ltd.; Daily Events Ltd. ; Wiener Photo Co Ltd.; Wiener Advertising Agency Ltd.; "The Hear", Furnishing and Decorating Co Ltd.; Wiener Literary Agency, Ltd. In August 1915 I became the accredited war correspondent of Reuter's Telegram Co., Ltd and the Press Association, Ltd., of London, and attached to the British Expeditionary Force in France. There were only eight newspaper men nominated by the British War Office.

But up to January, 1915, the military authorities have not allowed one of us to report on the actual fighting lines. I have now resigned from this contract and hope by early spring to be given command with field rank of a half dozen 6-gun automatic batteries mounted on motor cycles and accompanied by armoured cars. This force will probably number about 600 engineers. Our duties will be those of a raiding party - i.e., to cut the hostile lines of communication and to destroy magazines and depots; in fact to harass the enemy wherever found. After the war I have formed plans to start a series of half a dozen real newspapers in the United States. I believe that the greatest result of this tremendous combat will be a far closer federated brotherhood than has ever been imagined. These newspapers will be published on an altogether new plane, and will aim at really educating the proletariat to a higher civilization and culture. They will force upon the executive beneficial and benevolent laws tending to rectify faulty administration, and generally to open out to our people uncontemplated vistas of high living and prosperity.


SECTION 2

Source: 'Harvard College Class of 1900 5th report'

Clarence Wiener

Born at Philadelphia, Pa., April 10, 1878.

Prepared at Hill School and Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.

In College: 1896-1898.

Occupation: Journalist and war correspondent.

Address: (home) Ewell, England; (business) Dalroy, Alberta, Canada.

From 1914 till 1916 I was offered three commands of British battalions by general officers who knew of my work in South Africa; and also a corps staff appointment with rank of Colonel. The British War Office refused to sanction any of these appointments as I refused to take the oath of allegiance to an alien ruler - something that was not demanded, or indeed even mentioned when I took a field appointment against the Boers. Naturally, having spent much of my life in obtaining first-hand knowledge and experience of the military doctrines, organizations, etc., in Europe, I was nearly heartbroken to hear of my pals going under and myself unable to take an active part in the great adventure. Yet right up to the day our own dear country came in I did not cease from my efforts to aid in several ways the Entente Powers, but my real place was in the lines. The day the United States declared war I cabled Adj-General McCain that, if I received the necessary authority, I would raise, equip, and train at my own expense a unit in England and in Italy to be known as "The American Legion." The purpose of this was to cause a wave of patriotism to sweep our country and thus to silence all further efforts of the pacifists and book-worms to retard military and naval efforts and endeavors. For I was persuaded that by recruiting this unit from intelligent compatriots, most of whom already had either militia training or were accustomed to the use of a rifle, we would be ready for the combat lines within four months - September 1 - by speeding up intensive battle training and marksmanship. It would now be beside the point to dilate on the benefit to the country had such a force been actually in the lines at that time. Such a psychic spur of moral force was all that was needed to swing us forward to a more stalwart conception of our duty and to accelerate training and transport of our troops abroad. Indeed there were already rumors that the common enemy meant to increase very measurably his menace to supplies on high seas; had he concentrated upon this instead of holding back personnel of his surface craft there is not a shadow of doubt but he would have forced a decisive decision in the field without America being able to hold out sufficient assistance, either in soldiers or supplies; for even England, a few months later, closed down all importation of even necessities of life to provide bottoms to get our troops across. Several cables passed between the Adj-General and myself relative to this "American Legion." At first it was proposed to have the movement legalized by Act of Congress; I understand it was placed before the Chief Magistrate three times and three times vetoed. It was said not to have met with favorable consideration on the political grounds that such an enactment would have given that great American, Theodore Roosevelt, an opening to recruit the contingent he had set his heart on taking over. I have no desire herein to digress into this political field, but if this is true, as I have reason to believe, it cannot absolve Wilson from more than parochial pedagogy, - it cannot absolve him from the display of a narrow and malicious spirit unbecoming to an individual holding such exalted office.

Well, after I saw that the legion idea would not materialize I closed all my business affairs in England, paid off all the heavy debts of my eight limited liability companies, although I was not legally and scarcely morally liable. I sold my estate to partially defray these payments and early in November sailed for my own country. From this time until the termination of actual hostilities I sought in every way I knew to obtain active employment in the field - without avail. I venture to think that the gods, if gods there be, would have wept in tears of blood to have had to endure in silence the insult and injury to which I was subjected for five years. As for the average mortal he would have been, without doubt, driven insane long since. So much for the past.

The future is of great danger to this glorious Republic, hardly less in our present plentitude than starving and distraught Europe. I have maintained for years that the chief way to combat anarchy and destructive syndicalism - now called Sovietism - is by education of the proletariat through the agency of a stalwart, patriotic, and efficient public press. It has been my idea to cut the trace lines of such a policy by institution of several newspapers working in close rapport and cooperation. This scheme with its many and tremendous ramifications for the benefit of the commonweal cannot here even be outlined, as it would be out of place in such a record.

Yet it is toward these very actual trials and stress that educated classes must look clear-eyed and alert lest an avalanche catch us in its wake.

Note: This appendix almost certainly contains spelling mistakes, since some of it has been corrected from an automated text recognition document and, as we have already learned, Wiener was not that good at spelling.


HV Usill
HV Usill
Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
Page Family
Page Family
TH Snow
TH Snow
JA Larby
JA Larby
J Harrison
J Harrison
Foundlings
Foundlings
Nonsuch Mansion
Nonsuch Mansion
New Stables
New Stables