First edition of The Big Four by Secretary of State Robert Lansing, inscribed to fellow American diplomat and Under Secretary of State, Hon. Henry P. Fletcher.
Octavo, 213pp. Blue cloth, title in gilt on spine and front cover. Solid text block, light toning to endpapers. Residual dust along top edge of text block. In the publisher’s first state dust jacket, loss to spine, archival reinforcement to verso, an exceptionally scarce dust jacket, but in distressed condition.
Signed on the front free endpaper: “To Honorable Henry P. Fletcher, with the personal regard of Robert Lansing. Oct. 1921.” A unique association copy to Henry P. Fletcher, the Under Secretary of State and former United States Ambassador to Mexico and Chile, who would later serve as ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy.
Robert Lansing (1864-1928) served as the United States Secretary of State in the Wilson Administration, from 1915-1920. He was an important member of the American delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, but privately opposed many points of the Treaty of Versailles, and soon fell out of favor with President Wilson. He opposed the creation of the League of Nations, believing it was not important to maintaining international peace. After President Wilson suffered a stroke, he called together the cabinet and openly discussed Vice President Thomas Marshall assuming the presidency. He was asked to resign by Edith Wilson and returned to his law practice in New York.