The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981

Notes and Documents
A Texan in London: A British Editor Lunches with
Colonel Edward M. House, February 15, 1916
Edited by LEWIS L. GOULD*
O NE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT EPISODES IN THE FRIENDSHIP OF COLO-
nel Edward M. House and Woodrow Wilson was the colonel's
mission to warring Europe in early 1916-a diplomatic foray that led
to the House-Grey Memorandum of February 22, 1916. Looking to-
ward an end to the First World War through American mediation or
probable intervention on the Allied side, this document has been the
subject of close scrutiny and analysis. Historians have examined
House's visits in England, France, and Germany between January 5
and February 25, 1916, to appraise his performance as a diplomat, to
measure the response of the belligerent powers to his mission, and to
evaluate the impact of his mission on the question of American inter-
vention in the war.x
Edward M. House was fifty-eight in 1916, and had been Woodrow
Wilson's friend and adviser since late 1911. Before achieving national
influence, the diminutive Texan-whose honorary title Governor
James S. Hogg bestowed on him in 1893-had been a shadowy figure
in Texas politics. At the turn of the century House had been at the
center of "Our Crowd," and, with the aid of Thomas Watt Gregory
and Albert S. Burleson, had helped send Senator Charles A. Culber-
son to Washington in 1899 and, between 1899 and 1907, put Joseph
D. Sayers and Samuel W. T. Lanham into the governor's mansion in
*Lewis L. Gould is professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. The
Strachey memorandum is in the Strachey Papers, House of Lords Record Office, and is
printed with the permission of The Spectator (London). The author also wishes to thank
Wilton B. Fowler, editor of the new edition of the House diary, for help in obtaining
material from that work.
1Among the extensive writings on House's role in this phase of Wilsonian neutrality
policy, the following are most relevant: Arthur S. Link, Wilson: Confusions and Crises,
1915-1916 (Princeton, 1964), 101-141; Patrick Devlin, Too Proud to Fight: Woodrow
Wilson's Neutrality (New York, 1975), 403-438; and John Milton Cooper, Jr., "The British
Response to the House-Grey Memorandum: New Evidence and New Questions," Journal
of American History, LIX (Mar., 1973), 958-971.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/. Accessed July 10, 2014.