Former President William H. Taft Welcomes the Arrival of the First US Red Cross Representative in Allied Occupied Palestine
27th President. Typed letter signed (TLS) “Wm H. Taft”, April 21, 1918, personal New Haven, Conn. stationery, 7×9, to Cornelius Bliss Jr. in New York, in full:
I have your letter of April 15th. I am very glad that Dr. Finely has concluded to go to Palestine. I have no doubt he will fill the place well.
Colonel John Finley was Red Cross Commander to Palestine during World War I. In 1918, it was decided he would go to Palestine to oversee the efforts to rebuild and shape the territory that had been conquered and taken from the Ottoman Turkish Empire.
Cornelius Bliss was the war-time head of the Red Cross in the United States.
This was a very early official trip to Palestine and perhaps the first by the United States to the allied-occupied territory.