* Former President William H. Taft and Editor William Howland Make Arrangements to Meet and Likely Discuss the Formation of the League to Enforce Peace *
27th President. Typed letter signed (TLS) “Wm H. Taft”, May 10, 1915, personal New Haven, Conn. stationery, 7×9, to William B. Howland of The Independent, in full:
I find your letter of May 8th to-day upon my return from Madison and Milwaukee. I shall have to leave the city again tomorrow for Philadelphia, Cleveland and Wilkes-Barre. I shall return to New York from Wilkes-Barre on Friday, May 14th, but upon my arrival Mr. Hilles is going to take me out to Dobbs Ferry which will take up all of the afternoon. At six o’clock I am to attend the banquet of the Methodist Brotherhood in New York City. Upon the conclusion of this banquet I am to go to the home of Doctor Nicholas Murray Butler and from there to the home of Mr. Hilles, where I shall spend the night. I shall leave at 8 o’clock Saturday morning, May 15th for Dalton, Massachusetts. You will see, therefore, that every moment of my time will be taken up from Monday, May 10th to Monday, May 17th. I could see you and Mr. Holt on Monday afternoon, May 17th at 3:30 at my office in the Hotel Taft.
After leaving office, President Taft returned to Yale as a professor, continuing his political activity and working against war through the League to Enforce Peace. The League to Enforce Peace was an American organization established to promote the formation of an international body for world peace. At a convention in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on June 17, 1915, 100 noteworthy American citizens – concerned by the outbreak of World War I in Europe – formally announced the formation of the League. As president of the newly formed League, Taft hoped to prevent war through an international association of nations.
William Howland was the editor of The Outlook, publisher of The Independent and The Countryside Magazine, and president of the Independent Corporation. Howland was on the Executive Committee of the League to Enforce Peace with Taft.
In this letter, which pre-dates the formal establishment of the League to Enforce Peace, Taft is arranging a time to meet with Howland. With the convention in Philadelphia just a month away, it is likely the meeting Taft and Howland are arranging is to discuss the final details of the formation of the League.