The History of New York State
Book XI, Chapter 8, Footnotes

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



Berlin, January 19, 1917.

On the first of February we intend to begin submarine warfare unrestricted. In spite of this, it is our intention to endeavor to keep neutral the United States of American.

If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico: That we shall make war together, and together make peace. We shall give general financial support, and it is understood that Mexico shall reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. The details are left to you for settlement.

You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain that there will be an outbreak of war with the united States, and suggest that the president of Mexico, on his own initiative, should communicate with Japan, suggesting adherence at once to this plan, at the same time, offer to mediate between Germany and Japan.

Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that the employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to compel England to make peace in a few months.

(signed) Zimmermann

#2 New International Yearbook, 1916.



July 26, 1917.


You are entering on a difficult task, the gravity of which is beyond anything that can be said in the way of discussion. You realize the significance of what you are to do, and you know that a responsibility, heavier perhaps than you have ever faced, is upon you.

War demands individual sacrifice to the common cause. No people ever approached war with a calmer appreciation of that sacrifice or a firmer resolve to bear it, and to present themselves to be classified for service in the place to which it shall best serve the common good to call them. This calm determination could not exist were it not for the confidence of the Nation in its institutions. In this public confidence is found the very spirit of the Selective Service Law. The most sacred rights of country, home, and family are entrusted for adjudication to local citizens and officials, nominated by State Governors, and appointed by the president. The most equitable rules that could be devised have been prescribed for guidance, and the administration of these rules and the sacrifice that is offered by your neighbors is entrusted to your hands.

From everyone is demanded a sacrifice. But there is one though to be always in your mind: The selected man offers his life. There is no greater giving than this; and that thought should guide you always. There may be a few who will urge upon you claims for exemption or discharge that, whatever may be your inclination of sympathy or affection, you will know ought not to be granted. It will strengthen you to remember that for every exemption or discharge that is made for individual convenience, or to escape personal loss of money or property, or for favor or affection, some other man whose time would not otherwise have come, must incur the risk of losing his life.

You are not a court for the adjustment of differences between two persons in controversy. You are the agents of the Government, engaged in selecting men for the government, there is no controversy. You, acting for the Government, are to investigate each case in the interests of the nation, and never in the interests of an individual. There is not on exemption or discharge in the law or regulations that is put there for the benefit of any individual. All are there for the benefit of the Nation, and to the end that "the whole Nation may be a team in which each man shall play the part for which he is best fitted."

There should be no rules like those of court procedure, no technical rules of evidence. You should proceed to investigate cases which you are not satisfied exactly as you, as an individual, would proceed to inform yourself of any fact about which you are in doubt.

Kast of all, it is important to say a word about your own sacrifice. The place to which you have been called is one which no man would seek save in the performance of one of the highest patriotic duties.

The Nation needs men and needs them quickly,. The hours will then be long and the work absorbing. The duty is always to take and never to give, and human nature is such that there will be little praise and some blame. The sacrifice of many of those whose cases are to be decided is no greater then that of the men who are to decide them; and your only reward must be the knowledge that, at great personal sacrifice, you are rendering your country an indispensable service in a matter of the utmost moment.

(Signed) E. H. Crowder, Provost Marshal-General.


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

HTML by Debbie Axtman

You are the Visitor to this USGenNet Safe-Site™ Since September 5, 2004.


[Index][Book Index][NY][AHGP]