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    Description

    Woodrow Wilson Declaration of War Printed Broadside. 17" x 22", circa 1917. Broadside printing of President Wilson's address to Congress on April 2, 1917 asking for a declaration of war against Germany and the Central Powers. Up until this point, Wilson had strongly advocated American neutrality in the First World War. However, after German submarines once again began attacking American vessels in February, and the contents of the Zimmerman telegraph were made known, Wilson could no longer suppress public outcry. His speech reads, in part: "...Vessels of every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their destination, their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom without warning and without thought of help or mercy for those on board, the vessels of friendly neutrals along with those of belligerents. Even hospital ships and ships carrying relief to the sorely bereaved and stricken people of Belgium, though the latter were provided with safe-conduct through the proscribed areas by the German Government itself and were distinguished by unmistakable marks of identity, have been sunk with the same reckless lack of compassion or of principle. I was for a little while unable to believe that such things would in fact be done by any government that had hitherto subscribed to the humane practices of civilized nations...When I addressed the Congress on the 26th of February last, I thought that it would suffice to assert our neutral rights with arms, our right to use the seas against unlawful interference, our right to keep our people safe against unlawful violence. But armed neutrality, it now appears, is impracticable...Property can be paid for; the lives of peaceful and innocent people can not be..."

    An incredible piece of history, which highlights President Wilson's mindset as well as the public mood on the eve of war. Congress would declared war on Germany four days later, on April 6, 1917. A signed copy of this broadside sold at Siegel Auctions for $10,000 in 1993.

    Condition: Horizontal and vertical flattened folds, light toning and small area of soiling at center of headline. The bottom edge shows light dampstaining. A few areas of paper loss and/or small tears minimally affects the text in a few areas.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    18th Wednesday
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