The History of New York State
Book XI, Chapter 7, Part 1

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

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Chapter VII
How the World War Came to the Average New York Community

In the possession of the State Historian at Albany is an immense amount of material--some in print, much in manuscript--recording the experience of communities, large and small, of new York State during the World War period. There, in the State Library, cane be found the war records of counties, and townships, of cities and villages, the vast deposit of war data indicating that the common wish of most communities is that their own story of the great war period should be preserved. Some villages have their records in such completeness as to fill a printed volume. Obviously, to tell the direct story of each place would make the State compilation a work of very many volumes.

To attempt such a comprehensive review cannot come within the scope of this State work. An attempt to do so, within the space available, could produce scarcely more than a tabulation of names, dates, figures--an unintelligible, unsatisfactory heaping of statistics to depict what is still a vivid thrilling living story tot he average New Yorker. To ignore the story altogether would be to perpetuate an injustice upon every community, large and small.

Faced with this quandary, the compiler of this State work think it preferable to select one community, and faithfully follow its life through the war period, telling the direct story, just as it comes, in full realization of the fact that the experience of this one community could not be much different from that of all other new York communities, and that the narrative told could, with change of names and dates and proportions, easily be made to testify to the great happenings that filled the dark days of any or every place during the strenuous period when the nation as a whole applied itself to war. So thinking, he has selected the story of the city of Buffalo, taking this city as the example for no more logical reason than that in 1922 he had had occasion to review its war story, #1

also that at that time he head had access to the most complete local data, including City Clerk Sweeney's masterly volume on "Buffalo's Part in the World War." But although the following pages will state Buffalo's records, and make no specific direct reference to the glorious part take by Rochester, or by Utica, or by Syracuse, or by Albany, or by New York City, or by any other New York community, large or small, the average reader will probably be able to readily adapt the Buffalo story to that of his own home town.

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Bearing in mind the page-space within which this historical work of New York State must be confined, there seems to be no more satisfactory way in which the World War experience of the average new York community could be pictured. So, let us proceed with the story of buffalo's part in the World War.

From the beginning of the World War in 1914, buffalo was interested in the great struggle. It cannot, however, be asserted that Buffalo was keenly interested until long after the European nations had steadied after the first onslaught of the Teutons. Buffalonians in general sympathized with Belgium, but were quite prepared to leave foreign policy to president Wilson and the State Department, the majority of the residents approving by their actions the President's message: "Every man who really loves America will act and speak in the true spirit of neutrality, which is the spirit of impartiality and fairness and friendliness to all concerned."

As time went on the effect of the war came more and more appallingly before the people of buffalo, in common with the people of other parts of the Untied States. For one thing, the industrial opportunities were widening. Canadians were leaving civil occupations in Buffalo, for military service in their own forces. As 1914 passed into 1915 and that into 1916, blood was stirred in true right-thinking people of Buffalo by the "Luisitania" horror, by the poison gas and liquid flame heinousness, and by the stores that drifted over the Canadian border from time to time of atrocities suffered by Canadians, and of the acknowledged barbarities practiced by the calloused Germans. Nevertheless, for very long the average citizen instinctively felt that the theatre of war was very far from America. As Daniel L. Sweeney writes, in his excellent and comprehensive recording of "Buffalo's Part in the World War,": "the spread of the submarine warfare incited local interest and the presence of the 'Deutschland,' the underseas merchant ship from Germany, attracted our attention. . . . . but all these were happenings in a field from which we seemed wholly and everlastingly eliminated."

It is true that very many were stirred to active indignation by the submarine ruthlessness, and manifested it by approving the measures of preparedness that Mr. Roosevelt sought to have adopted. Several buffalo leaders attended the banquet in New York City of the Bankers' Club on November 3, 1915, which probably was the first preparedness meeting held in New York State. Mayor Fuhrmann, of Buffalo, at that meeting, said in part: "The people of Buffalo do now want the untied States to go to war with any nation on earth; they desire peace and good will between Americans and all others. Yet, if wars do come in the future. . . . . then every Buffalonian will be proud to have his country ready for the foe."

Soon afterwards a Citizens' Committee was formed in buffalo, and in

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December about 3,000 people gathered in the Buffalo Hippodrome to see a moving picture of the preparedness theme, and to listen to an address by Henry A. Wise Wood, of New York City, on the same subject. There was active recruiting of national guard regiments during the first months of 1916, but the net result in recruits was not great. Probably all efforts in preparedness were somewhat prejudiced by the thought that politics had some part in the agitation. In that year party leaders were apt to be more than usually emphatic and acrimonious when discussing matters of national politics in general and President Wilson's fondness for expressing himself by writing in particular. However, there were some momentous and portentous happenings in buffalo in the first half of 1916. The students of the University of Buffalo enlisted in such numbers as to give them one whole company in the 65th Regiment. Governor Whitman attended a preparedness meeting in Buffalo on February 26th. On June 24th A. Conger Goodyear marshalled a parade of flag-carrying citizens, the like of which parade, in enthusiasm and patriotic fervor, the city had not hitherto seen--at least not for many years. All Buffalo was marching. "Hats were flying, banners waving, and from a hundred thousand throats came am almost constant cheer." The "Buffalo Courier" of next day stated the "Buffalo never before witnessed such a parade of its men and women, or offered so grand an exhibit.. . . . . it was a glorious demonstration of the love of our people for their country, and of their unity of purpose that preparation shall be made for its defence." The martial ardor was stirred then perhaps not so much by forebodings of danger arising out of European complications; at that moment American was with difficulty curbing its impatience to exact retribution from Carranza or Villa for the latter's raid into United States territory.

On the following Monday, the War Department issued order for the despatch of national guard troops to the Mexican Border. Buffalo units, Troop I and the 65th and 74th Regiments, were rapidly filled and despatched to mobilization camp, and eventually to the Mexican border, the 65th Regiment being converted into an artillery unit, the 3d Artillery. It was given a splendid welcome, marching through cheering thousands to the Armory. On march 11 and 12 the 3d Artillery and Troop I also came home. How short a stay at home theirs was destined to be, however.

Out relations with Germany were fast becoming strained to the breaking point. On the day upon which the last of the buffalo troops returned from the Mexican Border, the government issued orders for the arming of American merchant ships; and soon afterwards it seemed that the authorities in buffalo had been given a hint that the guarding of industrial plants and public works might soon also be necessary. A meeting of the city council on March 23d discussed such plans, but the mayor considered that the Chamber of Commerce directors were unduly

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excited. He declined to take action then. However, rumors spread, so on March 26th Mayor Fuhrmann took action. The Niagara Defence League was formed, and the activities of the vigilant body during the war period were both extensive and commendable.

The national Guard units were hardly permitted to get out of uniform. Certainly the militia officers went forward wit this plans to have their commands ready for instant mobilization. On march 10th, Governor Whitman signed the appointment of Mayor Kemp as colonel of the 74th, to succeed Colonel Thurston, who had died on the Mexican border. soon afterwards, Colonel Manus McClosky, and captain J. K. Parkins, Untied States Army, arrived to muster the 74th Regiment again into the Federal service. Recruiting stations were established, and enlistment were many. On March 12th, the Buffalo-Plattsburg Association met to organized an Officer's' Reserve Corps, and the President's call for 87,000 men for the navy brought into being several navy and marine recruiting pasts in Buffalo. Patriotic speeches at open-air meetings were becoming of daily occurrence, and, as the Germans persisted in their fatal submarine campaign, the fighting spirit of the American people became thoroughly aroused. The theatre of war still seemed far distant. Just as the British, in August, 1914, had thought that they would not be called upon for more than a small expeditionary force for land fighting, so most American in March and April, 1917, were of the opinion that American would be asked for few fighting men. Even the United States Government, it seems, expected that its contribution to the allied resistance would be in munitions of war mainly, with perhaps some naval cooperation.

On April 2m 1917, the day upon which president Wilson was to deliver his war message to the assembled members of Congress and to the Nation, the patriotic spirit in Buffalo was stimulated by exercises of school children, at noon. In very buffalo school at that hour the children sang "The Star-spangled Banner," and gave rousing cheers for the president and for other great American patriots. On April 2d the Nation knew that it was in a state of war with the Imperial Government of Germany, even though Congress had not yet acted. On April 5th there was a mass meeting of Buffalonians in the Elmwood Music Hall, which meeting evidenced the determination of the people of Buffalo, in general, to support the president to the utmost. On April 3d, George Rand telegraphed to president Wilson offering to raise an entire regiment of 1,000 men in this city for home or overseas service, and to bear himself the cost of its recruitment and equipment. Early on April 6th the nations legislators at Washington passed the resolution declaring war upon the Imperial Government of Germany. It was signed by president Wilson on that day.

Action was immediate thereafter. On the evening of the next day,

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April 7th, buffalo's two divisions of the State guard of Naval Militia, which has been mustered into Federal service some weeks earlier and recruited to fullest strength, left the Armory of the 74th Regiment and boarded a train for Philadelphia. "The departure of that unit brought color tot the 74th assembled at the Armory to prepare for patrol duty in guarding railway bridges and public works. The 1st Battalion, under Major William R. Pooley, was ordered to remain at the Armory. The Tonawanda and Jamestown companies had already take up guard duty; and, in view of the anticipated activity of German sympathizers, and of the national and international importance of the public works along the Niagara frontier, the government and city officials "though it better to be safe than sorry." Fire ingrain elevators at Erie caused apprehension as to those at Buffalo, where such immense stocks of grain are usually stored. The police guard around them was strengthened. Thanks to these precautions, perhaps, nothing untoward happened.

It soon became evident that the Government did not favor indiscriminate raising of volunteer forces, although, while the details of the Selective Service Plan were being worked out, the recruiting agencies pursued their work actively. Captains Chauncey J. Hamlin and Patrick J. Keeler were especially active, the latter's speeches from the McKinley Monument platform being intensely patriotic and forceful and influencing some young men to enlist in the old 65th Regiment, which had become the 3d Artillery. However, recruiting efforts during April and May in buffalo brought disappointingly few recruits for the Federal service. America's manhood, in general, was ready, but seemed to prefer to await the call which would come by the surer method then being devised--the Selective Service Plan. Undoubtedly there were some young men who sought, by hastening into martial ties, to evade military service, the marriage License Bureau at Buffalo City hall proving this by issuing marriage licenses to more than 100 couples during the afternoon of one day in April, 1917. But these evaders did not represent the true spirit of Buffalo.

During the month of April there were many flag-raisings. The schools of course already had their flags, but the patriotic impetus brought like ceremonies into industrial fields. The fist flag-raisings at industrial plants at Buffalo were , it is said, those in April, 1917, at the Pierce-Arrow motor plant in Elmwood Avenue, and the Curtiss Aeroplane plant in Niagara Street. At a flag-raising by Postoffice employees, postmaster George J. Meyer announced that he would give his entire salary of $6,000 a year to war-relief funds. In the churches during April patriotic sermons were general.

On April 28th, three weeks before the passing of the Selective Service Act, Mayor Louis P. Fuhrmann received from the Federal authorities the

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plans of regulation that would be followed when the law became effective. It came to him as a real awakening, for he realized that it would touch all homes without partiality or differentiation. Nevertheless, pending the passage of the act, preliminary State plans were proceeded with. About 2,000 volunteer registrants were enlisted for the work, boards were appointed, and all details arranged. Registration day was June 5, 1917, and the registration board for the city of Buffalo was headed b y Louis P. Fuhrmann, as chairman, with Francis E. Fronczak as medical officer and City Clerk James J. Sweeney as secretary. On that day 58,223 persons registered in the city of Buffalo for military service. By the State constitution, all males up to forty-five years of age were subject to call to military duty. The figures of subsequent registrations were as follows: In June and August , 1918, 4,954 registered, and on September 12, 1918, when all persons between the ages of twenty-one and forty-five were called upon to register, 74,486 Buffalo residents filed cards. Altogether, there were 137,663 Buffalo registrants. Those exempted included 19,960 because of dependency, 76 for agricultural reasons, and 2.096 for industrial reasons. If those inducted into military service from the Buffalo registrants 15, 905 were accepted at camp. Of the "physical groups,' 14,334 were accepted for general service, 577 were classed as remediables, 2,860 were placed in the limited service class, and 4,682 were disqualified.

The quota for Buffalo in the first call was allocated by Governor Whitman on July 24th. Buffalo was asked to produce 4,204 men. There were difficulties, and in September William S. Rann was appointed Government Appeal Agent by command of the Governor. His associate was Louis J. Voltz. There were many divisional agents, chosen from Buffalo residents, and they had much perplexing work. Agencies for the assistance of registrants and draft boards also came into operation early. Governor Whitman nominated County Judge Philip A. Laing, as chairman, General Samuel M. Welch as Secretary and Edward R. O'Malley to compose the Legal Advisory Board for Erie County. They were appointed by president Wilson without delay. Lawrence J. Collins was chief deputy for the country. This board served for eleven months from December, 1917, and found abundant work immediately before them in elucidating the questionnaire of December. They were all busy men, but personal affairs were secondary in those days. All worked indefatigably for the great cause. It is said the "the volume of wok performed by General Welch, as secretary of the Legal Advisory Board, and the conscientious manner of its execution, was almost if not wholly without parallel of its kind throughout the country." #2 all gave their time patriotically without thought of compensation. In fact they received none.

To carryout the requirements of the selective Service Act, sixteen

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organizations, known as Local Boards, were brought into operation in the city of Buffalo. Another board, known as a District Board, was organized. The latter had jurisdiction over the local boards of the counties of Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming, and Genesee, and was in reality the "Court of Appeal" from local board decisions in its district. Those appointed on August 4, 1917, to constitute the Buffalo District Board were Norman E. Mack, Dr. A. N. Moore (Lockport), W. W. Smallwood (Warsaw), John G. Wickser, and John Lord O'Brian. The first chairman of the local sixteen boards of Buffalo were: Andrew J. Keller, Elmer E. Harris, Dr. C. Frank Bruso, John Yox, Frank S. Burzynski, Henry J. Rahl, Ernest Wedekindt, James L. Nixon, Cassius W. Kloten, Louis Fechter, Sr., Peter Paulis, Jacob F. Smith, Alfred E. Tovey, Elias Haffa, George F. Francis, and William W. Reilly.

The history of the campaigns to secure the financial means with which to prosecute the war form a glorious, and indeed astounding, chapter of American war history. The first Liberty Loan campaign began on May 4, 1917, and ended on June 15, 1917. No definite figures have been made public, but it is believed that it was well subscribed by buffalo citizens, though the first campaign was somewhat different from the succeeding four, inasmuch as it was to all intents a banking underwriting, whereas in the later campaigns the individual citizen was more insistently approached. Elliot C. McDougal and Walter P. Cooke were the chief directors of the first campaign in Buffalo. In June, 1917, Buffalonians had opportunity to fill the city's quota of the $1,000,000,000 Red Cross War Fund. Earlier in the year Frank S. McGraw has prevailed upon Buffalo people to contribute sufficient to the Red Cross to equip a base hospital. Robert W. Pomeroy acted as president of the Buffalo Citizens' committee; and many Buffalonians raised their eyes questioningly when it was announced that buffalo was expected to contribute one and a half million dollars. There was even greater surprise when it became known that William A. Rogers had personally contributed $100,000. The pace was thus set up, and the drive went "over the top" splendidly. Buffalo, the tenth city of the Union in population, stood seventh in the amount of subscriptions to the Red Cross; $2,000,089.98 was the total collection--absolute gifts, from the wholehearted people of Buffalo to the agency that was to minister to the Nation's sick and wounded soldiers and sailors; e. g., to their own kith and kin, for there was scarcely a family uninterested.

The welfare organizations were provided with means in like manner by the home folk of Buffalo, few of whom were destined to be without some close relative--a son or daughter, nephew or niece--in the service on foreign soil or preparing to go thither. The experience of the Young Men's Christian Association, which with the exception of the Red Cross, was, by many months, the first of the welfare organizations to enter upon

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war work, was equally astonishing and encouraging. The Y. M. C. A. first appealed to the general public of America in November, 1917, for funds for war work. They asked in all for $35,000,000. The country subscribed $56,000,000. Buffalo's quota was $350,000, but the amount subscribed willingly by Buffalonians during that drive, under the chairmanship of William A. Rogers, was $505,000. Buffalo passed her quota in every drive for war funds.

On July 10, 1917, president Wilson issued a proclamation drafting the State military units into the United States Army. He designated August 5th as the date upon which such transfer would be effected. On July 12th orders were issued by the Governor, through Adjutant-General Stotesbury, for the mobilization of the 3d Artillery and Troop I. The other Buffalo unit of State forces, the 74th Regiment, had been federalized earlier. What recruits were needed to fill the units to full strength were readily obtained, and on August 1st a detachment of the 74th, and another from the 3d Artillery, were named to go to Spartanburg, N. C., to aid in preparing that camp for National Guard troops. Between August 3d and 14th the companies of the 74th Regiment fathered in camp at the Kenilworth Rifle Range. There the 74th New York State Regiment became the 102nd United States Infantry. While that regiment awaited orders to entrain from Kenilworth to Spartanburg, the city administration made haste to recruit extra police officers to take the places of the soldiers withdrawn from patrol duty along the waterfront and at industrial plants. On august 29, 1917,. Colonel Kemp received orders to proceed to Spartanburg as soon as transportation could be arranged.

On august 31, 1917, Buffalo said a formal goodbye to the troops who were under marching orders. The ceremonial was staged in Delaware park and was "Buffalo's tribute to her men and women who, by the dedication of their lives to the service of their country," brought "honor to their city," It was an artistic programme, made all the more memorable by the musical part taken by children. the "Buffalo Inquirer" of next day reported the gathering, in part, as follows:

No more impressive scene was ever witnessed in buffalo than that last night, when upwards of 50,000 men, women, and children, participated in the program at Delaware Park, in honor of those citizens who are soon to leave to accept roles in the great drama that is being enacted across the Atlantic. Seated on the ground, in a section reserved for them, the regiments of infantry and artillery, the hospital units and the Red Cross nurses heard and saw the great patriotic demonstration which they will carry with them as long as they live. It was a scene never to be forgotten.

On September 3, 1917m the first detachment left Buffalo for a National Army cantonment, the first boys to be drawn direct from civil affairs to constitute the basis of the great citizen or national army that had been planned under the Selective Service Act. Each draft board drew five per cent of the men selected in first call. From every corner of the city the

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men assembled, accompanied by a cheering throng of relatives and friends. The call reached to the very heart of the city. All recognized that the flag had taken on a new significance. It is said that there was little cheering that day when those young men, still in civilian clothes, and wholly unskilled in the ways of war, departed to take part in the grim struggle. The hearts of onlookers were heavy, but undoubtedly all, audibly or inwardly, endorsed the wish expressed by President Wilson to the young men who were to become soldiers of the national Army. "God keep and guide you," was his prayer. The men left for Camp Dix, New Jersey. They were soon followed by other detachments; indeed, it soon became so usual an occurrence as to be taken almost as a matter of course, except by near relatives. On September 26th more than 2,000 young men entrained, and drafts were frequent thereafter. A colored contingent was given a rousing farewell. It took the form of an immense parade and a banquet in St. Stephen's Hall. But even though some detachments were given a less spectacular farewell, it may be said that no large contingent of troops left buffalo without a goodbye celebration of some sort. Many units, however, were too small to call for general notice by the city; but the men who thus silently went away, in twos and threes, called perhaps by draft boards of other cities or to enlist in Canada, knew that warm hearts would beat for them in Buffalo, until they returned safely, or would sincerely mourn them if they did not return.

On September 22, 1917, the old 74th Regiment passed in final review at Kenilworth Field, before leaving for Spartanburg, where it would be known as the 102d Regiment of Untied States Infantry. Its experience in the matter of farewell demonstrations was fuller than that of another Buffalo regiment. The old 65th Regiment, now the 3d Artillery, had departed so suddenly that plans of Buffalo people to cheer it on its way could not be fully carried through. The 3d Artillery received marching orders on September 24 and on the same day part of the regiment left, the last section entraining at the Erie Station in Buffalo at one o'clock next afternoon. There was more notice in the case of the 74th Regiment, however, and there was opportunity to indicate buffalo's interest, when the regiment marched through the city on September 29th. City Clerk Daniel J. Sweeney writes:

Denied the opportunity to do honor to the artillery boys, Buffalonians showered their well-wishes on the infantry regiment. Factory whistles, fire-tug sirens and church bells joined in the tumult of sound which announced their departure. They marched down Main Street through lanes of thickly-packed sad-eyed thousands. Buffalo had never before tendered such a demonstration to civilian or soldiers. The ceremony began in the early hors of the morning and lasted long into the afternoon when the last section of the train pulled out of the Lehigh Valley yards. It was estimated that more then 300,000 people thronged the streets along the line of march.

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Many civic bodies marched in the parade. Among these was an organization of older citizens, beyond draft age, who constituted a home guard. They were known as the Home Defence corps, and they marched, a thousand strong and uniformed, under the command of Colonel Herbert I. Sackett. Also in evidence in the parade were the old soldiers, veterans of former wars.

With the departure of the 74th, buffalo had given its last National Guard unit to the Nation. But there was much other military activity in buffalo. Fort Porter had become a medical centre. Base Hospital No. 23 was established at Fort porter on august 21, 1917, under command of Major Marshall Clinton; and while Base Hospital No. 23 was still at the post, three other hospital units were organized there, mobilizing on November 12, 1917. They were: Unit A, from Philadelphia; Unit F, from New York City; Unit K, from Omaha. United F left Fort Porter on January 7, 1918, and the other units, A and K, two days later, all bound for service overseas. On November 10, 1917, Fort Porter officially became United States Army General Hospital No. 4, Major Thomas D. Woodson commanding. It admitted 1,062 cases during the first year. Eventually, it specialized in psychiatric cases. Major Woodson was succeeded by major Albert E. Brownrigg in June, 1918, and the latter by Lieutenant-General Joseph E. Bastion in January, 1919. Base Hospital No. 23, a strictly Buffalo unit, organized by the Red Cross, left the city as a 500-bed hospital organization, for its war station, Vittel, in France, but very soon became a hospital for 3,000 beds. Altogether, during the war, Base Hospital No. 23 handled 15,000 cases.

General Home Conditions--Buffalonians will never forget the stirring inspiring self-sacrificing days of 1917-18. After they had parted from their own flesh and blood, with their loved ones--their daughters as well as their sons--they accepted with whole-souled devotion the other duties expected of them. Knitting for the boys was one of the first activities of home people; but as the war proceeded and stupendous loan succeeded stupendous loan, the people were called upon to deny themselves many of the ordinary comforts of everyday life. There were wheatless days, days upon which no patriotic citizen would eat food containing wheat. The fuel administrator instituted fireless days, days upon which no fuel other than wood cold be used. On certain days beef could not be had, and sugar became so scarce that a card system of distribution and apportionment had to be devised. Elliot C. McDougal was the first United States Fuel Administrator in the Buffalo district. He was succeeded in May, 1918, by Howard A. Forman. Early in 1918 it became necessary to close down all industrial plants in the country, save those engaged in the manufacture of war essentials. This temporary expedient bettered the fuel situation, but throughout 1918 the coal stocks were very carefully distributed. On November 15, 1917, lightless nights were instituted, and .

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while as time went on the regulation became less rigid and comprehensive, Buffalo was only dimly lighted until after the Armistice. Gasless Sundays were instituted in 1918, in an endeavor to conserve gasoline for ships of war, and for army use.

There were many campaigns to secure the money needed to prosecute properly the great national effort, and to give all the assistance that was possible to our allies. Y. M. C. A., Red Cross, War-Chest, Savings Stamps, and several other "drives," for what in normal times would be deemed impossible sums, were opened with confidence and in due season closed, with the chests filled to overflowing. But all were secondary in importance and size to the bond sale campaigns for Federal purposes, the five "drives" to sell Liberty bonds. The Untied States Treasury received, in all, more then twenty-four billions of dollars from the nation between May 4,. 1917, and May 10, 1919, in exchange for its Liberty Bonds. The country was intelligently mapped into districts, and the sum expected to be subscribed by the people of each district was stated before the beginning of the campaigns. Buffalo, in all, was asked for $216,471,800. That was its quota. Did it meet expectations? Yes, magnificently. Altogether, the people of Buffalo purchased $250,308,150 worth of Liberty Bonds. The subscriptions in Buffalo to the first Liberty Loan were not made publicly known, but the figures of succeeding campaigns are definitely known. Deducting these from the total stated above make the amount of Buffalo's subscription to the first Liberty Loan $23,799,650. The second Liberty Loan campaign opened on October 1, 1917, and closed on October 27, four weeks later. Buffalo's quota was $55,600,500; the sales were $58,720,200. The third Liberty Loan campaign opened on April 6, 1918, and closed on May 4, 1918. Buffalo's quota was $30,876,600, and sales were $39,920,650. The fourth drive opened on September 28, 1918, and closed on October 19, 1918. Quota was $61,648,400, sales were $66,583,700. The fifth campaign, known as that for the Victory Loan, began on April 21, 1919, and ended triumphantly on May 10, 1919. The quota was $463,346,300, and the sales were $61,283,950. The sales were not confined to the richer people of the city; all classes subscribed, and to their utmost. There were 196,706 subscribers in buffalo to the fourth Liberty Loan. By the way, the city of Buffalo, according to Untied States Census Bureau statistics, possessed only 73,630 families in the year 1910. The city of Buffalo has therefore good reason to be proud of its Liberty Loan record. Buffalo subscribed more then $4,000,000 to the first Liberty Loan before even the terms of the loan were known; the fact that the nation needed money was al that some of the wealthier patriots of Buffalo needed to know before placing their personal means at the disposal of their country. And the same spirit of eagerness to help was commonly manifested by Buffalonians in all phases of the work. It may here be well to remind readers that although Buffalo is taken as the

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example for the State, the same spirit of fervent useful self-sacrificing patriotism was manifested by almost every community of the Empire State.

Continuing the Buffalo example, it maybe added that only hose who had part of the work of organizing these immense financial campaigns have full conception of what they entailed. Elliot C. McDougal was chairman of the first Liberty Loan campaign, but upon his appointment as United States Fuel Administrator for the Buffalo district, his place as chairman of the Buffalo Liberty Loan committee was taken by Walter P. Cooke, of whom it is written: "The construction, almost overnight, of an organization that reached every man, woman, and child in the community, and that brought the Liberty bond in every home, office, plant, and workship in the city of Buffalo, was Mr. Cooke's greatest contribution to the war." Mr. Cooke remained at the head of the local committee until the successful completion of the fifth loan campaign.

Buffalo as one of the pivotal points, and during the campaigns many men of national prominence visited the city. the most prominent, of course, was President Woodrow Wilson. He came only to hold a labor conference, however. Still, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, and Secretary of the Treasury William G. McAdoo, visited the city during the third Liberty Loan campaign, coming directly therefore.

Some of the publicity work was brilliant. Posters met the eye everywhere, and the terse messages they delivered must have driven through the thickest skin. For instance, one second Liberty Loan poster asked: :Shall we Be more tender with our dollars than with the lives of our sons?" One for the third loan reads; "Fight, or Buy Bonds." Some perhaps were willing to accept the alternative, though they eventually found their possession of Liberty bonds brought them no exemption from military service, if physically fit, and called. One poster for the Victory Loan depicts an artisan emptying his pockets: "Sure! We'll Finish the Job." So the issue of government bonds went irresistibly "over the top." Of course, it was not accomplished only by men,. Women were just as active in the campaigns, and even junior organizations, such as the boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts had appreciable part.

Wonderful work was accomplished in Buffalo by organization. As George D. Crofts, vice -president of the Liberty Loan committee stated: "the Liberty Loan organization was buffalo. Guided by the active workers, numbering three thousand, it reached out to include every church, every school, every shop, every factory, every plant, every office, and every home in the city. it new no East Side not West side, no North side not South Side--it was Buffalo. We have been put to the test and have risen high above American cities. We have given much

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and have become richer in the giving." Such was the spirit in most New York communities.

 

The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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